The old man leaned back into the pillows on his bed with a sigh. Getting in and out of the bed was becoming more difficult with each passing day, but he'd be damned if he would give in and use a bed pan. He might be near the end of his time on this mortal coil, but he wasn't quite ready to shuffle off it just yet. No sooner was he settled back into the bed, than the door of his room opened. A small smile creased his lined and weathered visage as a pretty and buxom young nurse came strolling in to see him. She returned his smile and fussed over him, fluffing his pillows and straightening the sheets across his bony legs. As she bent over him, he had a marvelous view of her creamy cleavage. Teasing this sweet young thing was one of his few remaining pleasures.
"Come on, Lois," he wheedled, "unbutton another button for me."
The young dark haired woman gave him a look of mock exasperation, but pulled her shoulders back to accentuate the thrust of her substantial bosom. He made a production of sweeping his eyes up and down her well-padded frame.
"You are an incorrigible, dirty old man," she giggled as she reached up and opened the third button of her stiffly starched white uniform.
"Yes, I am," he said proudly. "Don't you just love me?"
Lois put her hand tenderly on his cheek and looked into his surprisingly clear and twinkling grey eyes. The honest truth was that in the six months she'd been his personal nurse, she'd grown to have incredibly strong feelings towards him, even though he was half a century older than she. He had this indefinable charisma about him that still drew women to him, despite him being in his eighties. Impulsively, she bent down and kissed him, and then pulled back enough so he had an unobstructed view down the deep valley that her bra created.
"God help me, but I do," she said softly.
The old man's name was Tyler McGuinn, and the story of his life was amazing to the point of being unbelievable, even to him. See, Ty McGuinn's body was born in 1857, but his soul was born in 1940. Somehow, his consciousness had traveled back in time from 1977 to 1877. His thoughts, memories and ideas took up residence in the brain dead body of his great-great uncle, a sociopath cowboy whose name he shared. You can read about Ty's early adventures in the novel 'El Paso'.
As would only be natural, Ty had been curious about who tossed him backward a century, and why they did it. Through a series of weird coincidences and events centered around the El Paso Salt War of 1877, Ty finally figured out why he was sent back, but he never did find out who or what caused his pre-incarnation as his ancestor. Once Tyler had solved the immediate problem that had put a kink in the flow of time, he started worrying about the effect his unexpected existence in the nineteenth century would have on the future, particularly the future of his family and his twentieth century self. Tyler tried to walk the razor's edge between making the future better and changing it so much he wouldn't exist in it.
Time was full of potential paradoxes. The main one he had to consider was a major conundrum. If he changed time so that he was never born in the future, how could he have gone back to fix the problem in the El Paso of 1877 in the first place? Of course, there was also the problem of sitting on his hands while he had knowledge that would save millions of lives. In the end, he funded a philanthropic organization that spearheaded the invention of penicillin thirty years early, and the early development of a polio vaccine. The Anna Lopez McGuinn Foundation became the long lasting and preeminent charity devoted solely to the health and welfare of children.
Tyler discovered during his second lifetime, that he was indeed changing the future, the changes he wrought were mostly positive in the big picture of things, but he wasn't so sure about the future he was making for Tyler Lopez McGuinn, his future self. His concern grew when he neared the date that he'd been born in his first life. He took some comfort in knowing that most events in his family had happened as they had in his first life, although they were delayed by fifteen to twenty years. He had been much relieved when his father in the future was finally born in 1937.
One thing that gave Tyler comfort was his knowledge that certain events were set in stone; regardless of what he tried, he couldn't change them. World War I was such an event, as was the death of his grandson David in World War Two. Ty Ringo had to take it on faith that the birth of Tyler Lopez McGuinn would also be one of those unchangeable events. Thus he prepared the letter and packaged his journals for his grandson's widow, Isabel Lopez McGuinn. He stipulated in his will how and when she would receive them.
Tyler Ringo McGuinn died on November 20, 1940; just one day before he had been born his first time in the twentieth century. His death neatly avoided the potential problem of him being in two places at the same time. Tyler Lopez McGuinn was born the second time, twenty-five years later...