“Same as before, I guess.” Carl shrugged.
After a moment, Sam ventured, “You ever give any thought to settling down? Following a regular profession of sorts? I wasn’t entirely joking about reading law, you know.”
“No schooling,” Carl said, and Sam brushed that objection away.
“Not required; some of the best have taught themselves, or apprenticed with a practicing lawyer. I know you can read, and figure. What about surveying? You’ve been out with Jack and me often enough to get the hang of it.”
“No, and I don’t think I’m cut out to keep a store, either.”
“What do you want to do with yourself, then?” Sam asked with genuine interest. “What did you apprentice to do, when you were a boy?”
“Farm,” Carl answered. “My father had a farm up on the Colorado. It’s what I know best—after ranging, of course.”
“Well, there you go,” Sam answered, sitting back with a great look of satisfaction. “Growing things; there’s always a future in that. I should have my father write to you, then. He is always sending seeds and cuttings, and telling me to try this or that. According to him, we should be in the middle of a Garden of Eden, here. And,” he looked over his coffee cup with a very purposeful look, “you might give a thought to courting, too. Mary could take you in hand, if you liked.”
“You’re getting too far ahead for me,” Carl laughed, and emptied the last of his coffee. “Don’t worry about me, Sam. I’ll settle down when I am good and ready and not a moment before.”
“Well, it’s a pity that the Princes’ settlement scheme isn’t going to work out,” Sam allowed. “You might have done very well with it, being a sort of go-between and all.”
“Ah, well,” Carl shrugged, “bet anything you like. By the end of six months, we’ll have heard the last of the Prince and his Adelsverein.”
Chapter Two – Gehe Mit Ins Texas