I wondered if I'd get any comments after Part 10 of Meleah's Western.:) I love reading them, so I hope you keep it up. If I were to post the western more often, I think you would get tired of commenting, so . . .:) By the way, I had my notebook up here for Meleah's Western and Grandma read it. She enjoyed it and, like the rest of you, she wanted to know what came next. Dad also enjoyed reading it. Grandma said she didn't know how I could describe everything and everyone so well. I don't know either, but it sure is fun.
Okay, so Part 11 is not being posted. This story was written like some others, from a calendar picture. Hannah Cov. and I decided that I would pick the assignment and she would pick the picture. Then we would both write a story. This is my story. If you want to read Hannah's, you'll have to ask her for it.:)
Number of Words: 1,000 - 1600
Time to Write it: 2 weeks
Special Instructions: must take place in two days.
“Girls, you want to explore the old trail tomorrow morning? The one Dad and I found while hunting.” The speaker was a tall, slim young man of about fourteen. His dark skin and straight black hair gave proof of his Indian ancestry.
Jessie looked up. “But tomorrow is Thanksgiving.” She hesitated. “When would we go?”
Cassie raised her head from her book. “Let’s go early! Real early.” Her black eyes flashed with excitement. “Say we can go early, Steve!”
Her brother grinned. “Why don’t we leave at 5:00. That’ll give plenty of time to be back before Mom needs your help for the 2:00 dinner.”
Suddenly Cassie seemed to have second thoughts. “Would it be just us three?”
“Couldn’t we take Major?”
“No, he’d scare off anything worth seeing, but I’ll take my gun, if you want,” Steve told her.
“But . . .” Suddenly all the stories she had read of danger came back to her mind and she shivered.
Thirteen-year-old Jessie was growing tired of her sister’s timidity. “Cass, one would think you weren’t a direct descendent of a great Indian chief.”
Thus chided by her older sister, Cassie took a deep breath, squared her slim shoulders and lifted her eyes to meet those of her siblings.
Steven chuckled, “That’s the spirit, Cass. We’ll make you a brave Indian yet. Now, do we pack food for our little expedition or attempt to eat before we leave?”
Both girls were for packing it.
It was cold and nippy when the three adventurers gathered by the back steps the following morning. Cassie was shivering with excitement and cold while she clutched Jessie’s hand tightly. Inspite of her ancestors, she admitted to herself that she was just a little bit scared.
“Are you both ready?” Steven’s whisper broke the silence.
“Yes,” came the equally quiet response.
Cassie cast a quick look back at the lighted kitchen windows knowing their mother was there at that moment putting the turkey in the oven. For a moment, only a moment, she wished she hadn’t suggested they go early. At least Steven had his gun. It was so dark, she couldn’t see her hand in front of her face.
“Steve,” she whispered, “can’t we turn on a flashlight?”
Steven’s voice replied from the other side of Jessie, “No, you’re eyes will grow accustomed to the darkness.”
For several minutes no sound was heard but their soft footsteps and the crunch of fallen leaves.
“Careful now, it’s the barbed wire fence. I’ll lift the bottom of it up, and Jess, you crawl under first. Careful,” as Jessie let go of his arm and dropped to the ground without a word, “make sure you stay low.”
“Okay, Cass, now you.”
“But I don’t know where to go,” her voice was a whimper.
“Come to my voice. There, I’m right in front of you. Drop down and crawl under to Jessie.” Steven’s soft but fearless voice seemed to inspire Cassie with courage, and she obeyed without a word. Steven was also soon over and joined his sisters.
“Now we must move in single file as the path is only a deer trail.”
“Won’t you run into a tree without a light?”
“Indians can see in the dark, Cass,” was the reply.
Cassie glanced around. To her astonishment she discovered that she too could see the dark outlines of trees and of Steven and Jessie before her.
“I am the great granddaughter of Chief Strong-Arm, and I must be as stouthearted and brave as he.” The thought nerved Cassie to only flinch when a twig snapped somewhere off to her right. A tingling sensation crept up her spine at the thought of what might be watching her at that moment. She wondered if Jessie had heard the noise. Was she scared? She wouldn’t ask, for she didn’t want to break the silence.
On the threesome moved with a steady pace. Cassie marveled at how confidently Steven led them up and down hills, not pausing when the trail twisted and curved. “He is as all Indian braves should be. They must find their way in many a darker night than this. He is leading us to a powwow with other great chiefs. Or, no,” Cassie frowned in the darkness. “he is leading us to safety, for some other tribe wants to carry Jess and me off as captives.”
Her dreaming was interrupted by the sudden halt of Jessie and Steven. She glanced up in time to see a large, six-point buck pause motionless no more than five yards from them. For only an instant he stood there, then with swift leaps, he disappeared into the morning dawn.
“Oh, how pretty!” Jessie breathed.
Steven nodded and once again set off.
The light of the coming dawn was giving them enough light to see though a morning mist hung about them.
“Here we are,” Steve’s voice broke the quiet.
“We’re at the old bridge,” Cassie sounded surprised.
“Yes, and just past it, around that farther bend, we will find the old trail. It is on the right of the path. Cass, do you want to lead?”
With a toss of her black hair she stepped out in front. “Everything depends on me now,” she thought. “I must find the only path to safety and not let the enemy see or know.” With great caution she crept forward, her black eyes darting everywhere.
Behind her, Steve and Jess exchanged amused glances, and Steven tossed an acorn at her
“Come out of your dream world, Cass, and let’s get going.”
Cassie sighed. Why did they have to ruin the most exciting part of the adventure? Well, she’d save it for another time.
“It is so quiet out here,” Jessie breathed, “and so still.”
Nothing more was said until Cassie halted and pointed towards a faint opening in the woods.
“Good job, Cass, you’ll make a tracker after all.” Steven grinned at his youngest sister and shifted his gun to the other arm. “Jess, do you want to lead?”
Jessie shook her head.
Cassie hesitated and began to shake her head.
“Are you losing your nerve?” Steven couldn’t resist teasing a little.
Cassie grinned. “Indians don’t explore an unknown path without a weapon. Now if you’ll give me the gun--”
“No way,” Steve interrupted. “Dad would skin me alive if I did.”
“Then you lead Steve,” Jess broke in.
The path was faint and narrow. The three children moved down it carefully, ears and eyes open for any sign of wildlife. Here and there they spied turkeys or deer, and once Jessie spied an owl, but it flew off before the others saw it. All at once Steven stopped and listened.
A faint sound was coming from their left. To Cassie’s imaginative mind it sounded like the call of their Indian foe!
“It sounds as though someone is moaning,” Steven whispered. “Come on.” He deliberately stepped off the path in the direction of the sound.
“Steve!” Cassie’s hushed call made him turn his head. “It’s a trap. They want your scalp!”
Steven’s black eyes gazed straight into those of his sister. “Cut out the pretending, Cassie. This is for real.” Then he once more set off toward the sound, his sisters following.
Each passing moment brought more light although the sky remained cloudy and the mist hung heavy. The moans grew louder, and suddenly through the trees the figure of a man lying on the ground was to be seen.
“Hello,” Steven’s voice broke the silence.
The man raised his head and looked at the three who had suddenly appeared before him.
As the man didn’t speak, Steven spoke again, “Are you hurt?”
The man nodded with a groan and let his head fall back. “I was out huntin’ a few days ago, and my gun backfired and knocked me clear down the ledge yonder an’ I ain’t been able to get farther’n this.”
By then Jessie and Cassie had drawn near, and Steven was kneeling beside the stranger. He introduced himself and his sisters.
“I’m Sam,” the stranger told them. “An’ I’d be much obliged if you could help me.”
Steven and Jessie went to work bandaging, as well as they could, Sam’s arm and head and putting a splint on his leg.
“If I had some crutches, I think I could make it to the path.”
“Here, lean on me,” Steve offered. Then with Steven on one side and Jessie on the other, they set off for the main path, Cassie leading the way. All dreams of enemies had vanished from her mind leaving only one thought. “Find the path.”
To her own surprise, she came out on the path right beside the old bridge.
“Here,” Steven handed Jessie his gun. “You and Cass wait here with Sam while I run home and get Dad.”
Before anyone could protest, Steven was gone. The girls made Sam as comfortable as they could, and Jessie pulled out a small pack of jerky.
“Here,” she offered, “eat. And here’s water.”
Sam accepted them gratefully.
“Where are you going to have Thanksgiving dinner?” queried Cassie.
“Thanksgiving? Nowhere. But I didn’t know Indians celebrated it since us white men took your land.” Sam looked curious.
Jessie spoke softly. “Yes, they took land, but if the white man had never come, we would never have learned of Jesus Christ.”
Sam gazed at the colored leaves around him, then at the two dark, yet beautiful faces near him.
“Wouldn’t you like to have Thanksgiving with us?” Cassie asked.
Sam nodded, and all three fell silent.
It wasn't the best story, but that is how it happened.