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Only The Strong Survive by Ama

This story is an orphan – that is, the writer has not been active in the fandom for a long time, and the story has been rescued from the old, defunct Yahoo groups. So that we don’t lose the story entirely, we’re storing it here.

However the original author still owns this story. Should they reconnect with the fandom at some point, we will naturally respect whatever they want to do with their story.

Word Count 5,300

The rain was pouring down hard and the howling wind accentuated the loneliness Johnny had been feeling for weeks. He had been on his own for two years but tonight, he felt defeated. 

Each raindrop fell in rhythm with his beating heart. Thought after thought brought him back to his early childhood and the times he spent with his mama. He snug himself closer inside his make-shift tent in an effort to avoid the cold breeze that was blowing through his body. Sleep was overpowering him and his eyes closed. 

“Johnny, where are you my son? Wake up.” He heard a faint voice calling to him.

“Mama is that you?” He looked around but the wind and the rain was all he heard as his eyes closed again. 

Hours passed while he slept. 

A sudden pain in his left shoulder forced his eyes open. “I should have listened to the doctor and followed his advice.” Being careful not to open up the fresh sutures, he turned his body around until he found a comfortable spot. 

“Johnny where are you? Listen to me. You are in danger!” For the second time that night he heard his mama’s voice. His eyes were fully awake and despite the pain in his shoulder, he felt the need to pack up and move on. 

The rain slowed down to a misty drizzle as he rode his horse down the empty road. Fire flies appeared and illuminated the path. They seemed to sense the direction he was heading. 

“Johnny be careful”, a faint voice spoke in his ear. His eyes widen with curiosity when he saw what appeared to be a misty figure of a man riding towards him. He slowed his pace and placed his hand on his gun as they met. 

The stranger nodded his hat and continued on his path. When Johnny looked back, the thick mist had swallowed the man. Goose bumps ran its course on Johnny’s arms and he shook his head scattering droplets of water in all directions. 

“Mama, what is going to happen? Why am I in danger?”

He pulled his gun out and held it in his hand and kept following the lighted path down the road.

Several hours later, he noticed a bright light in the horizon. The sun was showing itself and he sighed in relief that he had made it through the night. 

Riding into the town reminded him of yesterday’s confrontation. His eyes swept the approaching view and he came to a sudden stop when he saw the stranger that he met on the road last night. 

He led his horse next to the stranger and slowly dismounted. “I don’t want any trouble.” The stranger stated and rode away. Johnny felt puzzled and wondered what kind of trouble laid ahead.  

A breakfast of steak and eggs filled his hunger and the tall glass of beer drenched his thirst. 

Shots rang in from several locations and people scattered to the floor. Instinctively, Johnny went for his gun and waited. He picked up his glass and finished his drink. 

The side door opened and four men dropped to the floor as Johnny reloaded and waited. 

“Madrid, Give up and surrender!” A huge grin appeared on Johnny’s face and he signaled the waiter for another glass of beer.

The front door flew open and five men dropped to the floor. Johnny finished his glass of beer, paid for his food, and walked out the door. He mounted his horse and rode out of town.

Several days later, he found himself fighting in a range war that provided enough pay to allow him to move on. As always once the job was done the pay would become an issue because of his age.

“You are just a kid!”

“A kid who killed for you and will not hesitate to do what is necessary! “

After several minutes of staring at each other, he collected his pay and rode away. 

He could not understand the need to always be on the road but he followed his instincts which had kept him alive. 

A sign up ahead told him he was entering the state of Texas. He remembered hearing his mama talk about Matamoros. She said that was her home town near the Mexican border. 

He turned his horse towards Matamoros and quicken his pace. 

Would he find family there and would they accept him? Thoughts circulated in his mind bringing both hope and a sense of belonging to someone. 

The thought of a family would be a delight but what if they did not want him. After all, why had his mama never gone back. Could his light skin and blue eyes have been the reason? Did they send her away because of him? 

He was determined to find his mama’s family and learn the truth. 

A loud shriek caused him to seek shelter. He scanned the grounds but the only sound heard was his rapidly beating heart. He turned his head around just in time as a large shadow swept towards him forcing his body to twist sideways. As sudden as they appeared, the shriek and the shadow were gone. 

He arrived at a small village and a smile appeared on his face when he saw a sign that read “Matamoros.“

Freshly-made tortillas scented the breeze drawing him in like a rabbit about to be trapped. His eyes scanned the restaurant as he felt an arm on his shoulder. His gun met a young woman who gasped in fear.

“Por favor, senor”, she pleated, “I will show you to your seat.” 

Johnny put his gun down and followed her. His eyes gazed in amazement when he saw the town’s local history painted on it’s interior walls. 

He placed his order and resumed his observation of the town’s history while he waited. “What the…” A picture of his mother and a tall Anglo man holding hands stood in front of him. 

He summoned the girl and inquired about them.

“I am too young to know about that couple but I have heard stories about their love for many years.”

“Their love? Are you sure?”

“Si senor, according to the stories I heard as a child, they were deeply in love.”

“Do you know her name?”

“Maria Lancer and her husband Murdoch Lancer.”

“Gracias.” A confused Johnny replied and continued with his survey of the local town history. 

“Senor, you look like her? Did you know them?”

” She was my mother.”

Johnny glanced at the painting, “Do you know if she had family and where can I find them?” 

“Don Ramon is the oldest resident that would know the answer. I can take you there if you wait a few minutes while I finish my duties.”

Johnny nodded and walked outside to the front porch. Memories begin to flow in his mind. He closed his eyes and envisioned himself with a mother and a father. His eyes flew open as he heard the familiar piercing sound. 

His gun once again faced the girl as she was exiting the restaurant. “What is the matter with you? Do you have to point that gun in my face?” 

“No ma’am, I was startled by a piercing sound and…. “

“What sound did you hear?” she interrupted. 

“It is gone now. Can we go find the man who can answer my questions?”

Four houses down the street, she stopped and pointed, “I cannot go any further but if you continue down this street you will find him sitting outside of his house.”

Johnny nodded his head,” What does he look like so I can identify him?”

She laughed, “You will know soon enough when he sees you.”

Johnny continued down the street wondering why the girl laughed and what she meant with her comment. 

” Ven aqui!”shouted an old man. Johnny looked up as the man pointed to him. 

“What are you doing here? “he demanded. 

“I am looking for Senor Ramon, sir. I was told he may be able to answer some questions about my mama.”

“Your mama’s name is Maria Lancer?” he asked while he observed Johnny’s face. 

A startled Johnny replied with a smile, “Yes, sir.”

” You should be at home with your mother. Go!”

“Mama is dead and I need some answers. I will leave after that.”

The old man looked at the boy’s determined stance, “Yes, you are her son. Alright, come here.”

Slowly, Johnny climbed the steps until he felt a cold hand on his left arm. He fought the instinct to reach for his gun.

“Sit here next to me and let me look at your face.” instructed the old man as he released Johnny’s arm. 

When their eyes met, the old man gasped, “Dios Mio!” 

Silence overtook him for a few minutes until Johnny asked, “Are you alright , senor?” 

“Yes, go on with your questions.”

“Did my mother have any family or friends that are still living here and where can I find them? “

“Where is your father? Did he abandoned you, too?”, questioned the old man with curiosity. 

“He can go to… Forget about him. I have. “

“What do you wish to know?”

“Any information about my mama and her family.”

“Maria was a beautiful girl with a kind heart. She would stop here on her way from school and helped my ailing wife with the chores. She ran errands for us and we enjoyed her company.”

He seemed to be in deep thought, “One day, a tall stranger came along and took her away. She was deeply in love with him and we were happy for her. If only we could have seen into the future, we may have saved her.”

“What do you mean, saved her?” 

“That Murdoch Lancer abandoned her and we never saw her alive again.”

“Did my mama have any family that is still living here?”

“No, everyone is gone. You are welcomed to stay here with me. You are too young to be alone.”

“I appreciate your kind offer but I need to move on. I can take care of myself.” Johnny thanked him and started to leave. 

Suddenly, he heard the loud piercing sound coming up behind him. He turned in time to see a large shadow fly over him.

“Quickly, come inside the house !” shouted the old man as he grabbed Johnny’s arm and pulled him inside. 

“Did you see the dark shadow or hear the piercing sound?” Johnny asked while his heart rate was beating rapidly. 

“Yes, I heard it. I can hear the sound but I have never seen the shadow.”

“What is making that sound?” Johnny asked with curiosity. 

“I have asked myself that same question for many years and I have yet to find a reasonable answer.”

“Is there a certain time that you have heard that sound or an occasion that triggers it? Have you investigated to find the source? “

” No, and you must not do that for your own health. Your mother would agree with me.”


“There are no more answers to your questions!” shouted the old man. 

Johnny stared at him for a few minutes and replied, “Thank you for your time.” He left and walked back to town where he found a place to spend the night. 

Morning arrived and once again he found himself wondering how to find his mother’s family or friends so his questions could be answered. 

“Buenos dias, senor, did you get your questions answered?” inquired the girl from the restaurant. 

“No, but I will find the answers today.” he replied as he placed his order for breakfast. 

He stared at his mother’s painting, “Why didn’t you tell me that he was my real father? Where is your family? Are there any more secrets?” 

“Senor, my grandmother mentioned your mother last night. She said your mother has family living in a ranch five miles North from town. They are the Lopez family.” stated the girl as she placed Johnny’s breakfast on the table. 

Johnny ate his breakfast quickly and was soon at the ranch entrance. 

“Do not approach if you value your life, boy. What do you want?” demanded an elderly man who aimed a rifle at Johnny. 

“I am looking for work. “

“You are a boy. What kind of experience do you have that would be of value to this rancho? “

“I have worked in a number of ranchos and can handle the work load.”

The elderly man looked at the boy, “Where is your family?” 

“Gone. I am looking for work for a few days and then I will move on. “

“Take your horse to the stable and meet me at the bunk house.” replied the elderly man as he moved to allow Johnny in. 

Johnny was assigned to clean up the barn and tend to the horses. He rolled up his shirt sleeves and proceeded to clean when he heard, “You, boy tend to my horse and follow me inside the house.”

After tending to the horse, he quickly walked to the house.

“Come inside and close the door.” ordered a distinguished gentleman who appeared to be in his late fifties.

Johnny waited nervously until the older gentleman spoke, “How old are you, chico?” 

“If my age is a problem, I will leave, sir. ” 

“No, you know how to show your elders respect. That is all I need.”

“Return to your duties before the segundo finds you gone and comes looking for you.” he laughed out loud and shooed him away. 

Johnny completed the job and stopped to wash his face and hands when he heard the segundo calling his name. He dropped the towel and ran outside.

“Where have you been?” barked an irritated man. “Your job includes tending to the owner’s horses.”

“Marcos, leave the boy alone. I took up most of his time.” laughed the owner. 

He turned and looked at the boy, “Come inside I want to ask you some questions.”

“Go on chico, do as he ordered”, instructed the segundo. 

Johnny followed the owner inside the house. 

“Have you had your dinner? “

“No, sir. “

“Good, you will dine with me tonight and we will become better acquainted. Sit here.” he ordered. 

Johnny could not remember the last time he had eaten such a great meal. A large, thick, juicy portion of steak with potatoes served with a variety of side dishes melted in his mouth as he savored each bite.

For a brief moment, he thought it was a dream.

“Tell me son, what do you want to know? ” questioned the owner as he looked directly at Johnny.” Do not lie to me, I expect the truth.”

“Very well, I am looking for information that will lead me to my mama’s family.”

“What do you expect to gain, boy?”

“I only want to meet them, nothing else.” stated Johnny as he rose from his seat. 

“Sit down!” shouted the owner. “You are not excused from this table.”

“You remind me of a cousin that…. Who was your mama?” he questioned while he observed Johnny’s facial features. 

“Maria….  Was her name Maria? “

” Yes, sir.”

“I am your Uncle Raymundo López. Come here!” he ordered and pointed to a position next to him.

Johnny froze for a few seconds until he felt his feet moving forward. 

A warm embrace and a kiss on his forehead let him know he had found his mama’s family.

“I am delighted to meet you mi hijo. Tell me how long have you been on your own? “

Johnny froze in place and could not utter a sound. He finally pulled himself together and spoke.” My mama passed away almost two years ago. I only came to find and meet her family in an effort to learn more about her.”

“Wonderful. She was a beautiful girl who foolishly fell in love with a stranger who abandoned her and you.” 

“Estella! Ven aqui!”

An elderly woman in her late sixties appeared, “Mande usted, senor.”

“This is my nephew, Johnny. He is to be respected as my own son.”

“Si, senor.”

“Come, let us go to the library where we can sit more comfortably.” he said and Johnny followed. 

“Maria’s boy.” He shook his head in disbelief. “You look so much like her.”

“Sir, can you please tell me what happened that would cause mama to stay away from here?” 

“Your father came looking for her and almost caught up with both of you, but she escaped and never returned.”

“Why was she avoiding him? Did he abuse her or me?” Johnny felt the need to understand what kind of man his father was. 

“Your mother said he didn’t want her as his wife. When I questioned her further, she refused to answer and left that same night. “

“Tell me about yourself. What have you been doing to survive out there all alone? You are a child.”

“I am fine and I can take care of myself.”  Johnny stated in a slow deep voice.

“Those were Maria’s same words when I offered to protect her. It resulted in her death and you alone on the streets. No! You will follow my rules and obey my orders.”

Johnny glared at him but when he saw his uncle stand up and cross his arms, he shook his head in agreement. He would stay for a while until he got his questions answered. 

Johnny’s uncle sent him to bed with an understanding that more of his questions would be answered in the morning. Estella led him to his room where he found a comfortable, soft bed which caused him to over sleep until he heard a loud pounding on the door. 

“Get up Johnny! Meet me downstairs for breakfast.” stated his uncle. 

Johnny quickly washed his face and dressed. He slowly went down the stairs not sure what he would be encountering with his demanding uncle. He had no intention of staying here under his control. 

“Here he is. I am proud to present my nephew, Johnny. “ proclaimed  Johnny’s uncle with pride in his voice. “Isn’t he a lovely, handsome boy?”

“But, of course, senor. You were correct he is truly handsome. It is my pleasure to meet you senor Johnny.” stated the uncle’s guest.

“The pleasure is mine, sir.” 

“Johnny, this is Senor Alvarado, who happens to be the best tailor in Mexico. He has come to measure and fit you so that you can be properly dressed to meet the rest of the family.”

Johnny stood still with his mouth open in shock. “The rest …..  of the family?”

“Yes, close your mouth and come over here.” laughed his uncle. 

The tailor spent 20 minutes measuring Johnny’s arms, chest and height. His uncle observed and smiled as he saw Johnny starting to squirm. “Stand up straight, Johnny. Stop moving around!” he stated with a smile.

Immediately, Johnny stopped and replied, “Yes, sir.”

“What did I tell you, Senor Alvarado. He is well-bred with the Lopez self-respect.” gleamed his uncle. 

Johnny smiled as he thought, “Yes uncle, well-bred with a gun fighter reputation.”

Although it took only one hour for the tailor to complete his work, it seemed like an eternity for Johnny. He was aware of his uncle’s presence and concentrated hard enough not to squirm again. 

“Oh yes, this fine boy will look stunningly handsome with these suits. I will begin on them immediately.” stated the tailor as he left the house.

“Come, let us go and eat our breakfast. We will discuss the plans to meet the family afterwards.” 

“Uncle Raymundo, why didn’t you tell me last night that there were other members of the family?  Why did you wait? Is there a problem that I am not aware of? “ inquired Johnny as he followed his uncle to the breakfast table.

 He came to an abrupt stop and addressed his nephew, “ We will discuss these plans and other matters after breakfast, understood?”

“Yes, sir. I understand.”

Breakfast was quiet without a single word being spoken. Johnny wondered if he should try to ask at least one more question. He opened his mouth but closed it when he saw his uncle shake his head and put his finger over his mouth to silence him. 

Finally, he was led to the library which happened to be his uncle’s favorite resting place in the house. Turning to Johnny he stated, “You may now ask questions?”

“How many members of the family are alive? Do any of them remember my mama? When can I meet them?” Johnny stated as patiently as he could manage.

“There are four, no… only three members counting myself that are still alive. They will arrive in two days and you will get your answers. Meanwhile, I want to know about you and where you have been since your mother’s death.”

“I have been traveling around taking several jobs that have provided cash to fund my way. I have no particular place that I am heading other than here in Matamoros where I was hoping to find  answers about my mama’s family.”

“The segundo told me you have worked in various ranchos. Were these ranchos here in Mexico or  Los Estados Unidos?”

“Mostly in the United States ,along the border towns because that is where I grew up.”

“Those are dangerous places for a child to be roaming around. There are gunfighters and other lawless individuals that could become a bad influence on young boys. I don’t understand why Maria chose to live there instead of here in this rancho where I could have protected her.”

“That was my mama’s choice. Maybe, that was her only choice in order to keep us safe.” 

“Yes, perhaps she felt that was the only choice she had. But now, Johnny you are home and I will protect you from harm. I can only guess the abuse you might have suffered because of your  Anglo father’s blue eyes.”

“It wasn’t that bad and I can take care of my own fights.” stated Johnny without letting his uncle know that he was the legendary,  “Johnny Madrid”. 

In order to distract any further questions about his past, Johnny asked, “Uncle, may I be excused so that I can report to the segundo for my work assignment?”

“You are a Lopez! We do not do menial labor of any kind unless it is assigned by me for disobedience or misbehavior. “  

Calming down, Uncle Raymundo looked at Johnny’s troubled face and smiled, “Johnny, this is your home and you will learn to run this rancho as an owner not a worker. Relax, my son and enjoy the pleasures of life that have been placed in front of you.”

“Thank you, Uncle Raymundo. I am not used to being on the other side where these pleasures are found. I have grown up watching my mama work very hard to provide for us.” 

His uncle led Johnny to the bunk house where he introduced him to the segundo and the rest of the workers. “This is my nephew, Johnny. You will respect him and follow his orders.”  

He acknowledged their acceptance of his orders and walked back to the house.

Johnny was left standing with the workers. “Senor, Johnny, may we return to work?” asked the segundo.

“Yes, go on with your chores.” That felt very good. He had never been in charge of ranch workers before. He was not used to giving orders without the use of his gun.

He decided to walk around the ranch and observe the work being performed. Each worker acknowledged Johnny  as he moved around the ranch.  A beautiful palomino caught his eye and he walked slowly up to him. “How are you doing amigo? You are  a beautiful creature.” he said as he rubbed the horse’s back. 

“Senor Marcos, who does this beautiful horse belong to?” asked Johnny without taking his eyes away from the horse.

“He belongs to Senor Lopez, your uncle. It was given to him by a mutual friend  last year.” 

“Do you like him, Johnny?”

Johnny turned around when he heard his uncle’s voice. “Yes, sir. He is a beautiful creature.”

“Marcos, settle up two horses and get  him ready for Johnny to ride.” 

“Come Johnny, let me show you the ranch.”

They rode for several hours over acres and acres of green rich land. Johnny wondered why his mama had refused his uncle’s invitation to live here. She had never mentioned her family other than she had lived in Matamoros as a child. 

“Johnny, why are you so quiet? What are you thinking?” 

“This land is beautiful. I was just wondering why my mama left everything behind and never chose to return.” 

“She was very young and foolish but we all loved her very much.”

“Come let’s return to the house. Dinner should be served in about an hour.” 

Johnny rode back in deep thought as to why his mama felt the need to escape Murdoch Lancer. What information had she held back from him? Was it possible that man, who he recently discovered was his father ,was searching for them? “

He felt the need to track down Murdoch Lancer. Maybe, the answers he sought were not here but with this so-called father.  He would wait for now and meet his mama’s family and learn as much about them in an effort to better understand her. 

The big day finally arrived which was driving Johnny a little crazy. He was told to put on one of the many suits which were tailored for him, but he decided that they should meet him with his usual clothing.

“Johnny,  come here!” yelled Uncle Raymundo. 

Johnny immediately sensed he had displeased his uncle as he approached him. 

“You are to stop this nonsense immediately and go upstairs and get dressed in the suit that I have picked out for you. Is that understood young man?”

“Perfectly, sir” 

Johnny quickly changed and was combing his hair. Looking at his reflection in the large mirror, “Well, Johnny boy, let’s get this over with.” he smiled and proceeded to walk down to face the family. 

“Mira que lindo esta este nino. He looks like Maria.”  

Johnny heard whispering as he climbed down the stairs. He was immediately approached by his Uncle Raymundo, “Stand up straight”, he stated as he led Johnny to meet the family.

“Johnny, I want to welcome you to La Familia Lopez. Let me introduce you to each member.”

Johnny smiled. He felt their eyes on him and tried to relax. 

“Johnny , I am your Uncle Eduardo. Your mama and I grew up together. It broke my heart to know that she passed away. How are you doing, my nephew?”

“Very well, sir. Uncle Raymundo has been very hospitable and has been patient with my constant questions about my mama. Maybe, you can answer some questions as well.” Johnny asked with hope.

“Johnny, there will be plenty of time for that after we get acquainted. Come over here and meet your Aunt Rosario and cousins.” 

After the final introductions were made, Estella called them to dinner. Everyone was assigned a seating place. Johnny was assigned his usual seat next to his uncle. He remembered the rule of silence during each meal. 

The silence was broken when he heard a firm knock on the front door. Estella opened the door, “I know that you do not consider me as part of this family but I am Johnny’s grandfather.” stated Don Ramon. 

Johnny’s heart rate thundered in his chest. “My grandfather … ?” he questioned as he stared at his Uncle Raymundo. 

Johnny stood up but was pushed back down, “No! You stay in your seat.” demanded his uncle.

He then turned to Don Ramon, “You have seen Johnny. Now, leave my house!” 

Johnny looked at the members of his family who looked away without saying a single word. He moved his chair back and stood up. 

“I do not know what problems this family has but I wish to meet all of my family. I came here to learn about my mama. Was this one of the reasons, my mama chose not to return?” 

“Johnny, sit down and obey my orders!”shouted Uncle Raymundo. “Don Ramon, leave my house.” he said through clenched teeth. 

Don Ramon looked at Johnny, “ Si, I should have told you I was your grandfather but I wanted to shield you from this demanding family. You know where I live.” 

“You have no business with Johnny, leave now!”

He excused himself and left. 

Johnny turned to look at his uncle, “If  I choose to visit him or talk to him, that is my business, sir.”

“We will discuss that later.” He then turned his attention to the family and directed them to finish their meal. 

Johnny looked at his uncle for answers but received a disapproving remark instead, “Johnny, in this house, I decide who enters and who does not. You are not to ever disobey my orders in front of anyone especially the family. I will not tolerate disobedience by a child. You may stay and finish your dinner and then you will go to your room.”

“Yes, sir I understand and I apologize for my lack of manners. It was not my intention to displease you and certainly not in front of my new family, but I was shocked to learn that Don Ramon who I met first when I arrived turned out to be my grandfather.”

He then stood up and addressed the family,  “Please excuse my lack of manners. My mama raised me to always obey my elders and I know that she would not have approved of my lack of respect to all of you. I will accept any of the consequences and responsibilities that Uncle Raymundo feels I have earned.”

“Finish your dinner and go to your room.” ordered his uncle.

The rest of the dinner was spent in total silence more than usual. Uncle Raymundo had Estella escort the family to their bedrooms after dinner. No one was interested in conversations and stated they were tired from their trips.

Johnny waited anxiously for his uncle to enter his room but as the hours went by, he realized he would have to wait for tomorrow to face his angry uncle. 

He woke up early ready to face his consequences. A loud pounding on his door made him jump, “Johnny come downstairs.”

With each step he took he could feel his heart pounding louder and louder. It had been years since the last time he had been in this particular situation. 

When he finally reached the last step, he noticed all of the family sitting down. They turned to look at him.

“Johnny, we have been discussing Don Ramon and I have accepted the fact that you were not  intentionally disobedient. I am proud that you accepted responsibility by apologizing. Come over here and sit with us.”

Johnny’s heart beat slowed down with some relief as he sat down.

Uncle Eduardo spoke first, “Johnny what questions do you want us to answer?”

With a smile on his face, he asked,” Anything about my mama would be appreciated. Mama never mentioned that she had a family living here.”

“Maria was my second cousin on my father’s side of the family. We grew up together. She was a bright girl with dreams of one day moving to the United States.”

Johnny listened intensely to each aspect of his mama’s early life. 

“When your father came along, she quickly fell in love with the idea of returning with him to the United States. She felt her opportunity would disappear if she did not marry him. I tried to talk her out of it because I felt she needed more time to know him. Maybe she was foolish but I realized that she was deeply in love with him and he was in love with her.”

“I received two letters from her in the beginning telling me how happy she was. I was surprised and shocked when I learned she had left California.” 

“California … ?” 

“Is that where he lives?” 

“Yes, he came looking for the both of you several times during the last ten years. He said he was concerned about your safety and wanted to locate and take you back to his ranch.”

“Mama never mentioned him. I did see a painting of the both of them on the restaurant’s interior walls. The waitress said there were stories of their love. It makes me wonder why my mama chose to stay away.”

“Johnny, we are very happy that you chose to come to us and not to your father.”

Johnny rose up from his seat, walked around and turned, “What kind of man was my father?”

“Johnny, we know very little about him because as soon as they married, they left for California. Maria loved him very much and when she found out she was expecting you, she said all of her prayers for a happy life had been answered. We do not know the reason she left other than your father did not want her anymore as his wife.”

“Do you know in what place in California  ….. he lives?”

“No, but we do remember the name of his ranch was Lancer.”

“I wish to thank all of you for accepting me into the family. I have grown up believing that I was alone. You have treated me with kindness and ….  “

 He turned to look at his uncle Raymundo, “You accepted me as your own son and for once in my life I felt the love of a father. I love you very much, mi Tio.”

“Johnny, I never took the time to marry and I never missed not having children until I met you. I love you very much as well.” replied Uncle Raymundo as he hugged his nephew. 

Johnny continued listening to his new family’s information that drew him closer to them. He learned that his mama would have been welcomed to live with them. He thought of how different his life would have been. 

Finally night time arrived and Johnny felt the need to let his uncle know that he had to go and locate his father. He felt his father held the final answer why his mama left.

He looked around the house until he noticed his uncle outside on the back patio. 

“I know you must leave Johnny and I do not wish for you to go. But I realize that you will not stop seeking answers to your questions about your mama. Maybe, your father will be able to supply the final answers that will satisfy your curiosity why she left California.”

“My heart is breaking but I know that in time you will return back to us.”

“Yes, I will return. “ 

Johnny went to meet his grandfather and learned that he was his mama’s stepfather. They talked about Maria and how much they both loved and missed her. 

Johnny left for California and the Lancer Ranch in search of his final quest for answers that he felt could only be answered by Murdoch Lancer. 




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One response to “Only The Strong Survive by Ama”

  1. Interesting to find out about Johnny’s family before Lancer, but sad to think he missed out on both growing up.


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