Why Maria Left or the Curse of Western Husbands by Deb B.

Word Count 534

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I’m just borrowing them.
Summary: Lighter explanation for Maria leaving Murdoch.

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Maria Lancer sat near the fireplace mending her husband’s shirt while her husband, Murdoch, read his mail. Suddenly, Murdoch started to chuckle.

“What is so amusing, my husband?” Maria inquired lovingly.

“Oh just this letter from Tom Barkley. It seems he got himself into a real jam,” Murdoch laughed. “He was in the mining town of Strawberry when he got word that Victoria had died. So naturally he started looking for a new wife.   He found a good one and then discovered that it was another Victoria Barkley that had passed on, not his Victoria. Man, he was lucky to get out of Strawberry in one piece.”

Maria failed to see the humor in the situation. “What do you mean by naturally he started looking for a new wife!?”

“Now, Maria, it’s a man’s duty to find a another wife so that he can have more sons to carry on the name.   A man should have at least three sons. Take Ben Cartright for example.   He had to marry three times to get his three sons.”

Maria was still not amused nor did she appreciate Murdoch’s condescending tone. However she had no wish to argue so she merely said, “Well, maybe he and Victoria will have another son.”

“Yeah but that’s part of what’s so funny. If they have another son, Victoria wants to name him Eugene!   Tom can’t stand the name.   He says a kid with a name like that would be so self-conscience that he would probably fade into the background. Eventually you would forget that he even exists.” Murdoch stood up and stretched. “Well it’s been a hard day. I think I’ll turn in. Are you coming? By the way, soon we’ll need to start thinking about number three.”

Maria answered “You go ahead, I want to finish this mending before I go … to sleep I mean.”

Murdoch went out of the room.   Maria sat staring into the fire.   What if she failed to deliver another son? Would she meet some untimely death like Ben’s three wives or Murdoch’s first wife?   That gambler fellow, Ken Rogers, wanted her to run away with him. He wasn’t interested in kids although he did say she could bring Johnny along.

Still she was fond of Murdoch and didn’t want to cause him pain.   She knew he had too much pride to ever divorce her. Would he be able to hold up his head when around Ben and Tom knowing that he would only ever have two sons? But maybe if she left, someday men would see that a wife is more that someone to bear sons to carry on the family name. Suddenly it was clear to Maria. She must break the curse. She must do the noble thing … not for herself, not for Murdoch, not for Johnny but for all the human race.

She and Johnny were gone the next morning.

The End
October 2002


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