It is a glorious morning to be alive. The sky is a pale blue along the horizons, but the sun is coming up with all its splendor. Some trees are still holding on to their colorful dress, however, most of them are bare. Yards are covered with a carpet of leave, or have piles of them just waiting to be jumped in. It is chilly out now, but it should warm up somewhat. Today is the kind of day, to get things done. So, if you don't have anything planned, get to work and DO something!
This week has been bewilderingly busy.:) I had all kinds of plans for getting lots done, but a friend and her baby spent the afternoon here on Tues. That was such fun. On Wed. afternoon/evening, I taught my last writing class for the year and the family stayed and had supper with us. Delightful. Yesterday, we were out in the morning and then we baby-sat the kids all evening. That is always fun. You never know what we'll do.:) Today we have friends coming over for Library this afternoon and there is a bridal shower for a friend tonight. Tomorrow, being Saturday, means another busy day, too.
So, I didn't get much written this week. At least I had something to post.:)
I hope you enjoy this next Meleah's Western.
The night, which had closed down around Ty and Sally, was dark and still. Other than the glowing embers of the fire, only the sliver of moon and the thousand twinkling stars in the heavens were to be seen. The brother and sister had gone to bed with the sun, having covered many miles that day. All was hushed. No breeze blew to rustle the leaves or grasses and only occasionally would one of the horses stir. The silence was intense.
With a start, Ty suddenly was jerked awake. For a moment he lay staring into the darkness and straining his ears. Softly reaching beside him, his hand grasped his rifle. Whatever it was that had awakened him would find him ready. Lying quietly back down, he pressed his ear to the ground, listening. Hoof beats. Faint though they were, there was no mistaking them.
Moving stealthily over to where Sally lay still wrapped in a deep slumber, Ty placed his hand over her mouth and whispered, “Sally!”
She was awake in an instant, her eyes wide with alarm. Not a sound did she make as Ty drew away his hand.
“Someone’s comin’. Get yer gun an’ get behind the trees.”
Sally nodded and slipping out of her blanket, she drew her father’s six gun from its holster. Then noiselessly she disappeared into the gloom. Ty followed and together they crouched in the blackness, waiting.
It wasn’t long before they could both hear distinctly the sound of horses. They weren’t moving rapidly, but they came on at a steady pace. In another moment they would be there.
Beside him, Ty heard the soft click of the six-shooter as it was cocked.
“Don’t shoot ‘till we know who it is an’ what they want,” he hissed.
“I don’t aim ta. Jest ta be prepared.”
Ty smiled rather grimly. He was glad Sally was taking things so calmly, yet wished she didn’t have to face this at all.
On the steps of the approaching horses came. A welcoming nicker from one of their own mounts greeted the new arrivals as they drew near the camp site. From the shadows Ty could make out the form of one rider who halted and looked around.
That voice! It couldn’t be, and yet-- Ty heard Sally gasp as once again the stranger called,
“Ty? I know I ain’t taught ya ta sleep through someone ridin’ inta camp. Where in thunder are ya?”
“Uncle Bob!” “Carson!” The answering cries came at once as both Ty and Sally rushed from the trees, the one to grip Carson’s hand while the other threw herself about his neck.
It was indeed Carson. He had returned as it were, from the dead. Questions flew so thick and fast that he had no time to answer any or get a word in edge wise. At last, having disentangled himself from Sally’s embrace and pulled his hand out of Ty’s viselike grip, he cried out,
Instant silence prevailed. “I’ll answer yer questions soon’s I can, but I’m near famished an’ the poor beasts must be plum tuckered out. An’ how ‘bout a little more light.”
Sally built up the fire and pulled out some dried meat while Ty saw to the horses. It wasn’t very long before all three were sitting around the blazing fire. All thought of sleep had vanished.
“Uncle Bob,” Sally began, “How’d ya manage ta get out a that river?”
“Weren’t never in no river, girl.”
“But,” Sally protested, “I’m sure I saw ya down in the bottom of the valley, right ‘fore the water came.”
Carson snorted. “Well, it weren’t me. Why I was plum up the other side when that there flood come a rushin’ down. I was scairt for you an’ Ty. Couldn’t get them ornery beasts ta get anywhere close ta the edge ta look for ya neither. By the time I did get back, there weren’t no sign of neither of ya. I even fired my gun, though it ain’t likely ya could a heard it, seein’ I couldn’t hear it none too well myself. I did light a fire a hopin’ ya’d see the smoke.”
“I didn’t even look for smoke, Carson. Sally had been so sure ya was in the bottom that we both gave ya up for dead.”
“Ya ought ta know it’d take more’n a little water ta get rid a me.” Carson grinned and stroked his beard with his hand.
“But how’d ya find us?” persisted Ty.
“Why, I met Black Eagle. Used ta hunt an’ trap together years back. In fact, yer pa used ta come with us ‘for he went an’ got hitched ta yer ma. Ain’t seen Black Eagle for some time an’ it were right nice ta see him again. He called me Swift Fox an’ yer pa, never one ta talk much, was Silent Hawk.”
“Ty, maybe that’s why Black Eagle kept lookin’ at ya. Ya reminded him of Pa.”
Ty didn’t answer for several minutes. Then he turned with a question to Carson. “How come Black Eagle didn’t say he knew ya?”
Carson shrugged his shoulders. “I reckon we ain’t goin’ ta ever know. He did come a lookin’ ta see if’n I were really dead. An’,” Carson couldn’t help chuckling, “he found out I weren’t. He set me on yer trail an’ here I am. But, by thunder, Ty, I well nigh couldn’t catch ya ‘fore ya travel powerful fast. An’ now,” he yawned, “I reckon I could use with some shut eye.” With that, he stretched out by the fire, after wrapping himself in a blanket, and was soon snoring.
“Well, would ya look at that,” Ty shook his head. “He’s gone from dead ta snorin’ by our campfire. Huh.” Looking across the fire to his sister, he asked, “Ya reckon we ought ta join him?”
Sally giggled. “Jest long’s I don’t have ta snore like a grizzly bear.”
Ty grinned. “I reckon not.”
Now, do you have any questions to get me going again?