I loved all the comments I've gotten.:) Thanks! Now should I respond to the comments with another comment? Or should I just wait until the next Friday? What do you want?
Yes, Joseph, I think you could think of something else to do.:) After all, it might be hard to do the same thing since Abigail doesn't go around in hoop skirts all the time. Or does she?:) I wouldn't worry too much, Abigail. :)
Elisabeth begged for another Western, and several people didn't like how I had left it last time. Sorry. But, like I told someone, you never know what is going to happen when you sit down to write. There are times when your characters just have a mind of their own.:) I know, if you don't do a lot of writing, that sounds ridicules, but its true!
This week has gone by quickly. I taught two writing classes on Wednesday, and then yesterday I signed up to take a writing class. :) I am also working on my Scribblers writing assignment. So, I am writing. I won't be writing this evening though because we'll be down in Branson and tomorrow we'll be in Silver Dollar City! :) I can't wait! I haven't been there for four years!
For some reason, I have a feeling that most, if not all of you have skipped this until after you read the Western. Maybe I should start putting the story first and the introduction last.:} But here is the story.
For over an hour Ty and Sally rode in complete and utter silence. With Carson gone, they both felt a great and heavy loss. Why hadn’t Carson noticed the sound? He had heard it enough times, hadn’t he?
Ty knew they would have to find some way to get around that river to continue their journey to Fort Larramie. But how? Was it best to try to go around the mountain? Should they try to go west for a while and try to cross it? Would the river go down enough in a day or two to get over it, or would it continue to rage with melting ice and snow from the mountain tops? Wearily he considered all these problems and questions. Normally his mind quickly formed solutions to any problem. He knew the best way was to meet trouble head on, but somehow, today was different. He shook his head. Different yes, all was different now.
“Let’s bed down here, Sally,” Ty pulled his horse up beside a clump of tall trees whose branches were green with tiny leaves.
Sally dismounted and camp was set up. The pack horse was gone, so all they had was what was in their saddle bags. In moments, Ty had a fire burning and was pulling out his rifle.
“I’ll see if’n I can’t jest get us some meat. Ya wait for me here.”
Nodding, Sally finished unsaddling her horse and began to rub it down. When she came to its right foreleg, the horse moved away.
“What is it, girl?” she asked softly, feeling of the leg. “Well, no wonder ya were limpin’. Ya got it cut. Was it tryin’ ta get out ‘fore the river came?” Her soothing voice and gentle hands calmed the horse. Carefully she washed and bound up the leg. “I reckon perhaps we ought ta jest let ya take it easy for a day or so, till ya get better.” Softly she rubbed her horse’s nose.
Nickering, the horse nuzzled Sally’s shoulder as though to agree.
Sally checked Ty’s horse for injury, but found none. With her duties thus completed, she sat before the fire and waited. Every now and then she would get up, put a few more pieces of wood on the flames and then resume her seat.
The sun, which had been sliding down towards the western sky, now cast a last bright gleam around the mountain peaks causing the snow to glitter and glow in a dazzling evening display. In the east, the sky was beginning to change to a dusky blue, and here and there a brave little star peeked its face out as though to see if the king of the day had really gone to bed.
Sally gazed up into the sky as the sun disappeared. No moon was to be seen. Ty was not returned, and Sally began to wonder where he was. A soft whinny from one of the horses made her listen. Soft footsteps were heard. They were limping slightly, Sally could tell, and coming from the other side of the fire.
In silence Sally drew away from the fire’s glow into the shadows and quietly pulled out her gun. Who was it? The footsteps halted just beyond the light.
The horses moved a little restlessly but didn’t act very frightened. Sally knew it was a human being, but who? And what did he want? She swallowed hard. Her hands were shaking and her heart racing. At last she could stand the silence no longer.
“Come out inta the light, or I’ll shoot.” She hoped her voice didn’t give away the fear she felt.
A soft rustle of leaves and a dark form glided into the light. Sally gasped. It was an Indian, and he had a gun!
For several seconds Sally stared. True, she had seen many an Indian before, but never when she was alone at night on a strange mountain side. Cautiously she too stepped into the light and looked at her visitor.
“Huh,” the Indian grunted and sank onto the ground and looked into the fire.
Sally could tell he was old and tired. She grew bolder and stepped closer. “Who are you?” she asked.
“Huh,” was the reply.
Another step closer and Sally could see the weariness in his face. “Would ya like some water?” she asked feeling for her canteen with her left hand while her eyes never left the Indian’s face, and her right hand still grasped her pistol.
Taking that for assent, Sally handed it over.
The Indian took it and raised it to his lips. After tasting a little at first, he tipped it up and took a long draft. “Much good.” And again he drank deeply.
Sally smiled faintly. “Are you hungry?”
A grunt was the answer.
It was difficult to carry on a conversation with someone who only grunted to every question asked, yet Sally kept trying. “My brother went huntin’ ta try ta find meat. When he returns, you are welcome ta join us.”
“Huh, good,” was the reply.
“Are there more, I mean, are you alone?” Sally ventured at last to ask after several long minutes of silence.
Sally breathed a sigh of relief. If he was alone, surely he was not someone to fear. Now if only Ty would come.
The Indian heard him before Sally did. He arose and held his rifle with both hands.
“It might be Ty,” Sally whispered.
Sure enough, Ty’s voice called out as he approached. “Sally.”
“I’m right here, Ty, an’ we got a visitor.”
The next moment Ty stepped into the light and saw the Indian who, when he heard Sally’s response, had sunk back down and let his rifle rest on his knees.
Ty eyed him a moment and then said, “Welcome.”
Ty had brought several rabbits, and soon Ty, with the help of their Indian visitor, had them skinned and roasting over the fire.