Yes, I do have the next part ready for you, but I really hope some one or several some ones will ask some questions. I got them this far, but I'm not sure what is going to happen next. I'm hoping that on Sunday I'll have a long, quiet afternoon where I can work on more of the Western.
I hope to get started on some short stories again soon, so come back and see what I posted. Of course at the rate the days are flying, I don't know if I'll have anything written.:} I don't see how they can go by so quickly! I mean, good grief! James is turning 2 today!! Wasn't Krista just born? And I know J & M were just married a year or two ago.:} But, such is life. I had better get used to it as I see no indication that the days are going to slow down any.
But be that as it may, I will no longer keep you waiting for Part 13. Enjoy!
Sally struggled to keep her eyes open, but it was hard work. Leaning back in her chair she yawned. Ty smiled, took the empty cup from her hand lest she drop it and glanced around the room. Aunt Leah must have also been watching Sally for she remarked, “It’s gettin’ rather late an’ Sally an’ I’ll be headin’ off ta bed. You three men folk can bed down anywheres yer a mind to in here or up in the loft. Pa’s got a heap a skins stacked over yonder. Come on now child.” She gently helped Sally stand up and began guiding her out of the room into a small bedroom. “I reckon the men folk can get along all right without us now.”
For several minutes after the ladies left the room, the three men sat in silence. It was broken at last by Uncle Matt. “I reckon you’ll be wantin’ ta turn in soon. We can have all the time we want ta talk in the mornin’ for it don’t seem’s though yer goin’ ta be a leavin’ soon the way that storm is blowin’.”
Carson glanced at his young companion’s face and noticed how worn he looked. “I aim ta turn in, now’s I’m thawed out. What ‘bout you, Ty?”
With a startled look, Ty raised his head, “What’s that?”
Carson chuckled, “I was jest suggestin’ ya turn in ‘fore ya tumble off yer chair.”
Ty gave a tired grin and rose to his feet. “Reckon yer right.”
It wasn’t many minutes later that two distinct snores were heard issuing from the loft as Uncle Matt blew out the lamp and stretched his old limbs on a pile of skins near the fire and closed his eyes.
It was broad daylight, or would have been had it not still been snowing, when Sally awoke from the first real relaxing and restful sleep she had known since her father had been taken sick. The sleep she had back at the cabin had been one of exhaustion, and she hadn’t felt much refreshed when she had awakened. Now, however, things were different. There was no need to worry about them coming for Ty. There was a woman to talk to, and no one was ill. With great rapidity she dressed, brushed her long dark hair back from her slender face and twisted it into its accustomed knot at the back of her head.
Stepping out of the small room, she paused to glance about her, for she had been so tired the night before that she had scarcely noticed anything. Now she saw a simple room with a table and a few wooden chairs pushed off to one side. A cook stove, over which Aunt Leah was bending, stood over against the wall opposite the outside door. The fire blazed brightly in the fireplace, and curtains hung on the three windows. There was even a gaily colored rug on the floor which Sally noticed with a smile of satisfaction. She wouldn’t mind staying here for a spell; she wouldn’t mind at all. Just then her attention was drawn to a tall, broad shouldered youth who had entered the door with an armload of wood. There was something about him that made Sally stare. He was clean shaven, and his eyes looked bright and cheerful. With a few strides he had crossed the room and in no time at all had stacked the wood neatly in the wood box. As he stood up, he glanced over and saw her standing in the doorway regarding him in bewilderment.
“Well, I see ya decided ta get up after all,” he chuckled. “I reckon ya’ll have someone ta feed those flapjacks to, Aunt Leah.”
“Ty?” Sally questioned in astonishment. With a sudden rush she had her arms around his neck while he swung her around the room. She was laughing and finally managed to gasp out, “I didn’t know ya until ya spoke. Ya look,” she paused for the right word. “Ya look so young, Ty. Not like ya did the night ya came home. Then ya looked nearly as old as Uncle Bob.” She used the childhood name she had long called her father’s friend and smiled over it tenderly. “I feel much too old to be yer little sister,” she remarked, suddenly pulling her hair out of its unbecoming knot and shaking her head to let it fall loosely about her shoulders and face.
Ty laughed and gave her a brotherly kiss. “Now ya look like the little girl I left long ago. Go eat yer breakfast ‘fore it gets cold,” and he gave her a gentle shove to the table.
Aunt Leah was regarding them with bright eyes. “Land sakes!” she exclaimed “You two younguns sure know how ta stir things up. Ya look a might more chipper this mornin’ than ya did last night.” She looked at Sally. “Did ya sleep well?”
Sally sighed in contentment. “I don’t remember when I’ve slept that well. But,” she added looking around, “where are the others?”
“Out,” Ty told her. “Takin’ care of the stock. I was picked ta bring in the wood. I reckon though that they’ll be in ‘for too long.”
Almost as though they had been waiting for those words, the door was flung open and two snowy figures came in stamping snow off their boots and shaking it from their hats and coats.
Sally sprang from her chair and ran to fling her arms around Carson as she used to do when a small girl. “I never really greeted ya back at the cabin, Uncle Bob,” she said. “I was so worried then, so I reckon I ought ta do it now.” She gave him a hearty kiss.
Carson pressed a kiss on one rosy cheek and then the other. Holding her off at arm’s length, he studied her. She was a lovely combination of both parents he decided, and a warm smile crossed his face.