That's right, today you get the next part of the Western! I don't know what was wrong with everybody, but they didn't want to do anything. I think they were just so overwhelmed with all that had just taken place that they couldn't think well. Whatever the reason, I had trouble getting this written. Maybe it was just me. I hadn't written for a while, so perhaps my brain was clogged.:) (Writers can come up with all kinds of excuses.:))
This week has gone by quickly, as usual. I have written every night except last night because I had class. I didn't get the story I was trying to get done finished, but I did get the first part of another one done. But that is for next week.
I have also been getting ready for American Government Camp. :) It should be lots and lots of fun and hard work.:) I will have a post up next Friday even though I will be in the midst of AGC. I can get it ready to post on Wednesday (before we leave for training) and set the time so it will post on Friday morning.:)
But enough of that. Here is Meleah's Western Part 22! Enjoy! Oh, and remember, boys in WI, you can comment, too.:)
No one talked as the three travelers ate their evening meal. Ty and Sally kept watching their visitor, wondering where he had come from, who he was and what he was doing. Neither could eat much though they at least pretended to, more for the sake of the other than for themselves. The food seemed to stick in their throats, and it was only with effort than they managed to swallow any of it. It was a relief when at last the repast was ended.
The Indian lit his pipe and stared into the darkness. Ty built the fire up to a pleasant blaze. Then settling down beside his sister, he began to talk.
“My name’s Ty an’ this is Sally. Who’re you?”
“What’re ya doin’ out here?”
“Hunting grounds this. Hurt leg,” the Indian grunted while nodding towards his right leg and continued. “See strange fire. White squaw welcome Black Eagle.”
For several minutes the Indian smoked in peace before asking, “What white man and squaw do here?”
Briefly Ty recounted their adventures ending with Carson’s death in the river. “An’ now we aim ta keep headin’ north ta Fort Larramie. Can ya tell us how ta git ‘round the river?”
The Indian grunted. “When sun come, me show.”
Ty expressed his gratitude, but Sally pulled at his sleeve.
“Ty,” she spoke low, “I can’t ride tomorrow. My horse is injured.”
She shook her head. “No, but she was limpin’ ‘fore we stopped, an’ I found her right foreleg cut.”
“She might be better in the mornin’.”
No further words were spoken as the darkness deepened about them. The cry of an owl in the woods was heard and in the stillness distant sounds were amplified. The heavens were bright with stars. Gazing up at them, Sally yawned. The day had been long and full of heartache and sorrow.
“Why don’t ya get some sleep,” Ty asked her, touching her arm gently.
She nodded and in a few minutes was rolled up in her blanket. Clutching her locket with its precious picture, she fell asleep trying hard not to think of Carson.
The night, passing quickly for Sally whose overwrought nerves demanded rest, dragged by with slow, weary feet for Ty. Their Indian guest, after sitting silent for some time, also rolled himself in a blanket and slept. Into the flickering light of the dying flames Ty gazed, not seeing anything, lost in memories, struggling to accept Carson’s death. If this trip was to cost so dearly at the outset, what would the final cost be? Would it be worth everything?
All through that long, lonely night Ty wrestled with himself and with the questions that had no answers. Questions that kept returning to haunt him and which only brought more questions.
As the grey dawn began to steal across the sky, Ty stood to stretch his cramped and weary legs and built up the fire. As he did so, both the Indian and Sally awakened.
“I reckon I’ll be goin’ huntin’,” Ty spoke to no one in particular.
“No,” the quiet voice of Black Eagle interrupted any words Sally might have said. “White man sleep now. Black Eagle hunt.”
Ty shook his head. “Can’t sleep.”
“Did you sleep at all last night, Ty?” Sally questioned somewhat anxiously.
He shook his head.
“Then do try ta sleep now,” she begged.
Again Ty shook his head. “Can’t,” and he turned to the Indian.
But he was not to be seen. No trace that he had been there but moments before were visible.
“Black Eagle?” Ty called, his voice sounding harsh and out of place in the quiet morning air. No answer came back and the brother and sister looked at each other.
“Ya reckon there were an Indian here for real, Sally?”
“I think so,” Sally sounded a little uncertain. “We couldn’t both be dreamin’ the same thing, could we?”
Ty sighed deeply and sank down beside the warm fire. The air was chilly and he felt cold clear through. Right then he wouldn’t have cared if a tribe of Indians had been there and then vanished.
“Ty,” Sally coaxed, “please lie down an’ rest some. I can’t be havin’ ya get sick like--” The loss of her father was still keenly felt and she left her sentence unfinished.
Ty reached up and pulled her down beside him. “I ain’t goin’ ta git sick, Sissy.” It was a rare thing for that endearing childhood name to pass Ty’s lips and Sally gave a quavering smile. “I reckon I might jest take a bit of a rest if’n ya don’t mind the quiet.” He smiled wearily.
“Mind the quiet? I’ve been livin’ in quiet for ‘round two years with Pa off trappin’ or huntin and ya off with . . . oh, Ty!” and the sentence ended in a sob.
Gently Ty put an arm about his sister. “Now, ya jest git some more rest. I reckon ya need it ‘fore we travel on.”
Sally pulled away from him. Wiping her eyes with her sleeve, she swallowed hard. “I’ll rest only if’n ya will too.”
“All right,” Ty yawned. He knew it was useless to try to argue, and in a few minutes he was sleeping soundly.
For several minutes Sally sat gazing about her in the half light of early morning. Everything was shrouded in stillness save for the soft chirpings of a few birds. Even the horses tethered nearby seemed to be enjoying their rest. Sally wondered where the Indian had gone and if he would return. Had his presence been a dream? She shook her head. No, he was real. And he had been there. Where he had gone and how were mysteries which might remain forever unsolved.
A gentle snore issued from the blanket in which Ty had rolled himself. Sally yawned. Then, feeling tired, she lay back down near her brother and was soon, like him, asleep.
Any questions to spur me on?