I thought we should take a look at Guy next. He is the elder son of Guthrie Sinclair, and we’re seeing him through the eyes of Peggy. Her father, Steen, owned a neighboring ranch and was a very close friend of Guthrie. When Steen died, leaving her an orphan, she moved into the Sinclair ranch and the family takes care of her land and ranch on her behalf. She is writing to an old friend who has since moved away from Cimarron. At the time of writing the letter Peggy is about 16-years-old.
My dearest Clara,
I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve missed you since your family moved to Tucson. We have had so much excitement here and I’ve had no confidante to share my thoughts with. There is nobody I can talk to in the close and sisterly way we did. You must persuade your parents to allow you to come to visit us. I’m sure Uncle Guthrie would organize a party in your honor, and invite lots of beaus for us to dance with. It would be such fun.
As I told you in my last letter, Uncle Guthrie’s sons have now returned home, but I didn’t have time then to tell you about them. Can you believe that I now share a home with the two most handsome young men in the territory!
They are not at all alike in either looks or temperament. Of course they are only half-brothers and were raised at opposite ends of the country, so it’s understandable that they bear so little resemblance. The only thing they have in common is that they are both uncommonly handsome.
Guy is Uncle Guthrie’s elder son, the one who was sent away to Boston as a child. Uncle Guthrie says Guy would have gone to Boston to be educated anyway, but the Indian raids brought the event forward by a year or two. And dearest Clara, he is quite the gentleman – tall, broad-shouldered, with wavy reddish-gold hair! Everything a young man should be. He was a cavalry officer in the war and still retains a military bearing. I would love to have seen him in his uniform with his sword at his side – I’m sure he would have been the most handsome man in his regiment. Unlike so many young men, he doesn’t wear a beard, although he has a moustache which makes him look very dashing. He pays it a great deal of attention, ensuring it is always immaculately trimmed. His clothes too mark him out as a man of breeding and taste. He has his clothes made by the finest tailor in Boston and sent here. They fit his manly figure perfectly. I know my darling father would have approved of every aspect of his demeanor and character.
Is that a little clue to how handsome I find him? I daydream of him declaring his undying love for me and asking for my hand. And if he were to kiss me, I swear I would die of the most exquisite pleasure. What on earth would Uncle Guthrie say if he knew I had such thoughts?
Of course Guy is several years older than I. After the war he attended Harvard to finish his education. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s even been to Paris and London and the most exotic places that I can only dream about. He is very well-read and knows about all manner of things. I swear I could ask him any question and he would know the answer. He and Uncle Guthrie discuss politics, and literature, and everything under the sun. But his interests are not confined to intellectual pursuits – he was one of the founders of a very famous sailing club in Boston. I love to picture him on a boat in full sail with his hair blowing in the wind.
Because he is so experienced in the ways of the world, he is a man who can make conversation with all of our neighbors. He is never at a loss and always covers any moments of embarrassment for people in the most gentlemanly and refined way. It is a most charming trait and marks him out against most of the men here in the West.
He is unfailingly kind and very courteous in all of his dealings with me. He offers me his arm on the street and there isn’t a man alive who can assist a young lady into a carriage with such consideration. He always makes me feel . . . oh heavens! How does he make me feel? Protected, I suppose, and safe! He’s a man that you know you could always depend on and that thought makes me warm and comforted. He really would make the ideal husband.
I’m sure it must be destiny that my land, left to me by Pappa, borders the Sinclair ranch. That would make the match absolutely perfect. Do tell me that would add to my attraction as a potential wife. Oh goodness, even thinking of becoming his wife makes me flush.
Oh hark at me! I’m carrying on about how wonderful he is. But he really is, dearest Clara, he really is.
However, I suppose you’d also like to know about Uncle Guthrie’s other son, Johnny. I think you would prefer his looks and be very taken with him. All of the girls in town almost faint when he walks past, and they’re all hoping he will pay them some attention. The other girls say he is even more handsome than Guy, but I can’t see that myself. He is very dark-haired, and he is clean shaven. But there is such an air of danger about him.
Yes, dear Clara, danger! Don’t be shocked but Johnny used to go by a different name. Fierro! Yes, I can still scarce believe it but Johnny is the famous shootist, Johnny Fierro.
I was so frightened when I found out his true identity, but you needn’t worry, he is quite safe. You need have no fears of him when you come to stay. Although maybe it would be wisest not to tell your parents of the name he used to use.
He doesn’t have Guy’s manners or education but he is always polite and holds my chair for me at the table. But he is very mysterious. He never speaks of his past and he always wears his gun – even in the house. To be honest, that annoys Uncle Guthrie intensely, but they have given up fighting over it at last. I think Johnny is very stubborn and he wasn’t going to give in. I know he still practices his draw too. I tried to follow him once so that I could hide and watch him, but he spotted me and sent me away.
He’s very strong and muscular. There’s something very manly and physical about him. That sounds silly I suppose but I can’t really describe how his presence makes a young lady feel. He sets your heart all fluttering and you feel a little warmer all over when he’s around. I mean all over and everywhere! It’s almost as if I’m standing on the top of a mountain and just one wrong move would send me tumbling over. Falling into what I can’t imagine but it feels like it could be dangerous and wonderful. And goodness knows what Uncle Guthrie would say if he knew about that.
I think though that is how all the girls around here feel when he walks past. Hetty Doyle says she almost swoons just at the sight of him. So does Mary Carter. But they are both very silly girls! And neither of them can pluck up the courage to even say ‘good morning’ to him. Now that proves they’re silly! Even so, I can’t imagine what sort of girl would ever be able to manage him, he’s so remote. But I suspect you’d love to try if you met him – you’re braver than the rest of us.
He doesn’t seem to have made any friends since coming home, although he and Guy get along extremely well. They play chess, and we were all so surprised to discover that Johnny is a very good chess player. He’s also a fine horseman. But it’s very strange, he hardly ever smiles, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him really laugh. But oh my, when he does smile!
I could tell you all sorts of other things about him that I wouldn’t like to put in a letter. I really need to see you. You must come to visit and then you will see my two companions for yourself and will doubtless decide which you think is the more handsome. But please, you can’t have Guy for yourself, I absolutely forbid it! Although it would be quite alright for you to feel he is the more attractive brother.
Give my fondest love to your family and please come to visit very soon. I want to hear all about your life in Tucson and I have so many stories and secrets to share with you.
Your loving friend,