It is cloudy and wet outside this morning. It rained during the night and there is a chance of rain for today, too. This is the kind of day I either want to curl up with a book or get a lot done. I know, drastic differences.:) I can be rather extreme at times.
I wanted to let you know, those of you who read "Alan's Farewell" that it was named in the honorable mentions of the contest. There were over 320 entries. There are other contests coming up that I'm trying to decide if I should enter. One is at the end of this month. It has to be a christian story of no more than 700 words.:} The other is writing a story for the Vision Forum catalog cover. That has to be in by Dec. 31. I guess we'll see if try. If you think I should enter these, let me know.
Thanks for all your comments on the newest story. I'll be getting back to it as soon as I can. I want to find out what happens and who people are, too. But, for now, here is the next Western. I finally got Ty and Sally to do something.:) Enjoy!
It was the smell of a savory, venison stew drifting through the blanket and awakening his appetite that aroused Ty from slumber some time later. For several minutes he remained unmoving, feeling drained of all energy and wishing only to sleep. However, the pangs of hunger would not subside. With a yawn, he threw off the blanket and sat up.
The sun was high, showing that the morning was well nigh past. The vast expanse of sky was a brilliant blue with wisps and puffs of clouds dancing across it. Everywhere in the woods and sky birds were singing, eager to be alive on that glorious day. In the distance, the still snow covered mountain peaks gleamed in the sunlight.
A movement beside him caused Ty to turn. Sally too had been aroused by the smell and sat up.
“Eat.” The Indian across the fire nodded towards the pot on the fire.
Needing no urging, Ty and Sally filled their bowls and began. Not for a long time had they tasted such a wonderful stew, and they ate rapidly and in silence.
When at last he could eat no more, Ty drew a deep breath. “I ain’t sure jest how it happened, but I feel ‘bout ready ta set off again. I ain’t sayin’ I know jest where ta go or that I ain’t goin’ ta miss Carson, but I got the courage ta go on again.”
Sally nodded. “If’n my horse is all right, I reckon it might be nice ta get on.”
Then Black Eagle spoke. “Horse good walk, no ride. Stew give life. We go. Black Eagle show trail to white man and his squaw.”
“We’ll be right glad ta go with ya, Black Eagle, but this here,” and he jerked his head in Sally’s direction, “is my sister not my squaw.”
Camp was packed up quickly and the trio set off on foot leading the two horses. Each breath of air seemed to infuse new energy and life into every fiber of Ty and Sally’s beings. The events of yesterday, tragic and terrible though they were, could not cast a deep gloom today. They would move forward. Hope of success, however distant, seemed to grow brighter with each step they took.
Sally fingered her locket, looking down into the tiny face, and whispered to herself, “We’ll find her, Mama. We will.”
And Ty, reaching his hand into his pocket pressed the broken locket, muttering with a new tone of determination, “I’ll do it, Pa. No matter what it takes! I’ll find my other sister.”
And so the day moved on. That night they camped and the following morning set off again, still with Black Eagle as their guide. By mid afternoon the old Indian had pointed out a trail which led north. Farewells were called, Ty and Sally rode off leaving Black Eagle watching them until they were lost to sight.
The horses kept up a brisk pace, for the feeling of spring was filling all living creatures with its vitality. By evening the two riders had traversed many miles, and on finding a suitable place to camp, halted. There they prepared their supper after taking care of their horses.
Miles away, the slow plodding steps of horses came through the woods to the keen ears of the watching Indian. Eagerly he listened. The steps came closer. A twig snapped. As the rider came into view, the Indian lowered his rifle and stepped out into the open. At the unexpected appearance, the lead horse snorted and tossed his head. At this the rider looked up.
“Swift Fox,” replied the Indian on foot. “It is many moons since you come here.”
The rider nodded. “Yes, many moons.”
“Come,” Black Eagle beckoned. “We eat. Smoke pipe. Sleep.”
With his rifle in his hands, Black Eagle led his guest into the woods. Neither talked for both knew talk could wait. Once they had arrived at the Indian’s camp site, Swift Fox slid off his horse and stretched his legs stiffly before taking care of his mount and the other horse.
It was only after the simple meal was over and their first pipes smoked, that the two friends begin to talk. Their low voices were dispassionate at first, however, as Black Eagle recounted the last few days experience, the eyes of his companion began to gleam in the firelight.
“One white man and white squaw?” Swift Fox questioned with interest. “Good!”
Black Eagle paused, eyeing the other figure across the fire.
“Where they gone to?”
Grunting, Black Eagle gave a faint nod of his head in the direction Ty and Sally had taken.
Swift Fox quickly looked at the darkening sky, then at the still darker woods about them.
As though reading his thoughts, Black Eagle shook his head. “No find tonight. They ride quick.”
“When sun comes again. Black Eagle show Swift Fox the trail. Swift Fox, he find.”
Silence fell on the little camp site for several minutes. After knocking the ashes from his pipe, Swift Fox began to talk. In the stillness his voice sounded like the distant thunder of a far off storm. For some time the voice went on with a few solitary comments from Black Eagle. Then all was quiet. Rolling themselves in blankets, they slept.
The sun had scarce risen when Swift Fox set off on the trail of Ty and Sally. He was well mounted, and the horse tethered behind was not one to lag on such a morning. Bidding Black Eagle good bye, the rider set the horses into a brisk ground eating pace. He scarcely noticed the lush green leaves which now were to be seen on every tree and bush, nor did he pay the slightest attention to the birds which sang so loudly. He had one fixed idea, to find this white man and his squaw. This he would do. They would not slip from his grasp. He would follow them.