When we last left Duncan, Methos, and Charlotte at Mac’s new winery, Duncan was insanely curious as to just how the two knew each other. While I’d intended this to be that story, instead it’s the story of the last time they met. I hope you’ll enjoy it regardless! On the upside, it isn’t a crossover!
Notes: A sequel to ‘He’s a Pirate’, The title from a song of the same name by Connie Dover.
Characters: Methos, Duncan MacLeod, Original Characters.
Summary: It’s been a century and a half since Methos and Charlotte last met, and Duncan wants to know all the details.
An 'Echoes the Sea' series summary can be found here.
I Am Going To The West
“If you want my advice, I’d hire Carrie Williams away from Seacrest Vineyards,” Charlotte told Duncan. “She’s an assistant winemaker there; young, but with a lot of promise. As your winemaker, she can bring your label an edge.”
“Do you think she’s up to the challenge?” Duncan asked as he refilled Charlotte and Methos’ wine glasses.
“Absolutely! This winery has so much potential, and Carrie can help you realize it.” She took a sip from her glass. “I almost bought the place back myself.”
“You used to own it?” Methos asked curiously.
“I did. It was part of my landholdings once; I sold it just before Prohibition. It’s good land,” she said with obvious fondness. “I think you’ll be very happy here, Duncan. This is a place where even one of us can grow roots.”
“I think I’d like a few roots,” Duncan admitted, with a smile. “It feels like home already.”
The three Immortals, having finished the lunch Duncan MacLeod had made them, had spent the last half-hour talking about Duncan’s plans for the winery that he’d just purchased. Charlotte, who owned a neighbouring winery, had been giving him the benefit of her experience and local knowledge. Duncan, being the soul of politeness, had resisted trying to assuage his curiosity on just how Methos and Charlotte Sparrow knew each other. But he would have had to be blind not to notice the little glances, the small smiles, and the brush of fingertips, over the course of their meal. About the only thing he’d been able to gather was that Charlotte knew him as Methos and that he had been using the name ‘Matthew Adamson’ the last time they’d met as he was now.
It was times like this that Duncan realized how much of a mystery his friend still was. And somehow, he just knew Methos wouldn’t be whinging about the boonies of San Luis Obispo now he’d been reunited with Charlotte.
“So this is where you came to,” Methos said softly, not looking at her.
“It is,” she replied just as softly. Her eyes seemed fixed on her wineglass.
Methos put his hand over hers on the table. “I came back, but you were already gone.” It wasn’t an apology, but it was something of a plea.
Finally, she looked at him, her face soft with memories and sadness. “I know you did, dearest Benjamin.”
He nodded as she touched his cheek with a fingertip. “I’ve missed you, Charlotte.”
“As have I.”
Duncan cleared his throat, finally asking the burning question, “So how long has it been since you two have seen each other?”
Methos smiled. “Too long….”
Doña Ana, New Mexico, Autumn, 1866
Methos left his horse drinking at the trough, looking around the main street as he slung his saddlebags over his shoulder. It felt like he’d been riding for weeks without a break, and he was thinking that maybe it was time to stay put for a while. This seemed as likely a place as any.
“New in town?” a voice asked from behind him.
Methos turned slowly, putting on his best non-threatening look – at least for now. “Just arrived,” he agreed.
The town’s sheriff looked him over, then nodded, seeming to come to a decision. “Planning on settling here or just passing through?”
“Thinking of stopping here for a while. It’s a beautiful piece of country.”
“That it is. Hank Jenkins,” the man introduced himself, sticking out a weathered hand.
Taking the hand, Methos shook it firmly. “Matthew Adamson.”
“Where you coming from?”
“Never have been that far north,” Sheriff Jenkins admitted. ”What brings you to New Mexico?”
“I was looking for warmer winters,” Methos told him with a grin.
Jenkins laughed. “Can’t blame you for that.” Then he said, “You must be thirsty. Let me buy you a drink at the cantina.”
“I’d be obliged.”
A few minutes later, they’d crossed the street and the two men had settled themselves at a table. Soon they were sharing a bottle of tequila and the fiery liquid burned a trail down Methos’ throat into his gut. Yes, this place might do nicely.
“You’ll be looking for work.”
Methos nodded. “Know of any?”
“I might do.” He took a slug from his glass. “You any good with horses? Cattle?”
“That might work,” he said mostly to himself. Then he turned his attention back to the newcomer. “The Widow Black has a place a few miles north of town. Good size spread. She runs cattle and breeds horses.”
“Is she looking for a hand?”
Jenkins chuckled. “Not exactly.” At Methos’ look of inquiry, he explained, “She’s a stubborn one. Runs the place with just her, a passel of young ones and a lame servant. “
“And you don’t approve?” Methos asked dryly.
He looked surprised at that. “What? No, I admire the woman, but she hasn’t the sense God gave her somedays! Ran off the last hand she hired and the one before that decided he didn’t want to work that hard,” he explained. “A lot of men think a widow with kids will be an easy touch; the first thing they’re thinking is how to get her land from her. But Pearl’s nobody’s fool.”
“So it would seem,” he agreed.
“The thing is, her oldest girl is marrying my boy Jeremy in the spring, so Pearl’s practically family. It’s my place to look out for her.”
“Fair enough. But what makes you think I’m any more trustworthy than the last two?”
“I’m a good judge of men, Mr. Adamson. You’re not a drifter; your horse and gear are too fine. You carry yourself like a man who has made something of himself.”
Methos threw back the rest of the tequila in his glass, considering. He did need work if he was going to settle in for the foreseeable future, and being a ranch hand to a widow wasn’t a bad situation. “I’ll admit, Sheriff Jenkins, I am intrigued.”
“I hoped you would be,” he replied, obviously relieved. “But be forewarned, she might be a bit tetchy you showing up. Pearl’ll take some sweet talking to take you on.”
“Have no fear, Sheriff, sweet talking is my specialty!” Methos poured more tequila into their glasses and the two men toasted to stubborn women and warmer winters.
Part One ][ Part Two