This week has been another one of "those weeks" which fly by before you are really ready. Of course the wedding was last Friday, Saturday was rather relaxed though we all slept in.:) Church on Sunday and then Monday. I spent almost all morning preparing for the two writing classes that were starting this week. Tuesday I did something I'd never done before. Okay, all of you who live in the country have done this times beyond count, but for me, a city girl, it was a first. I went over to help Megan make and can salsa, and can tomatoes. I had never canned in my life.:) It was rather fun. Just don't ask me to do it by myself.:) I spent most of that morning outside cutting up 16 onions, 2 green peppers and a bowl full of jalapeno peppers. :) At least I could wash my hands with salt afterwards so they didn't smell like onions. Did you all know that if you wash the cutting board, knife, your hands and anything really that had onions in or on it, it will take the smell away? Megan didn't. But I can tell you from trying it many times, that it works.:)
But that was only Tuesday. On Wednesday I taught two writing classes. One was for two high school boys (We started on essays.), and the other was for six girls. We had fun.:) Yesterday we went shopping, and I didn't remember until the evening that today was Friday.
Anyway, I'm posting. So before you go crazy ready this, I'll post the next part of Meleah's Western.
The roar had turned into a thunder of sound now as Ty grasped the bridle strap and pulled the struggling animal’s head back to the top of the ridge. For a moment the horse seemed to lose its footing, for it stumbled, but the next it was plunging up the rocks with no regard to the trail. Sally clinging in white, terrified silence wondered what was happening.
Then without warning, a veritable wall of foaming, rushing, swirling water came sweeping down the ravine right over the place Sally had been but seconds before! It came so swiftly that had not Ty almost dragged the horse back up the slope, no doubt both horse and rider would have been swept away.
Sally screamed as her horse gave a desperate leap over the last of the rock to safety thereby knocking Ty nearly off the edge into the roaring river below!
Terrified, both horses reared and tossed their heads. Ty’s mount raced away in fright while Sally’s would have followed but for the hands on its reins. Sally couldn’t move, her face was ashen. She clung fearfully to the reins of the nervous animal. Would it lose its footing and go plunging to its death in the cold river that had so abruptly formed? Or would it too make a dash for some distant place of safety? And where was Ty? The movements of her horse prevented her from looking for him.
In a moment, Ty was beside her, calming, soothing the frightened beast until it stood still long enough for Sally to slide weakly to the ground. Her knees gave way, and she sank onto a log.
“Sally! Are ya all right?” Ty had both arms about her trembling form. “Are you all right?” His voice could scarcely be heard for the rushing of the water below them. It was several minutes before Sally could answer.
“Oh, Ty!” and Sally burst into tears. She was shaking like a leaf and clung to her brother as though she would never let him go. “Ty, Ty!” was all she could get out between her sobs. Never in all her life had she been that frightened.
For several minutes Ty held his sister close and tried to soothe her distress. “Sally, it’s all right. Yer safe now. Yer safe.”
Gradually her sobs lessened and giving a last convulsive shudder, she looked up. “Ty, what was it?”
“Some ice dam must’a broke farther up the mountains. I reckon this here nice weather’s melted lots a snow.”
Together they sat in silence eyes focused on the raging, roaring, rushing torrent as it swept by just below their safe retreat.
“Oh!” Sally cried out.
Ty looked at her sharply. “What is it?”
Sally raised eyes so full of anguish and distress that Ty could only wait for her words.
There were only two words and they were spoken low and with trembling lips and quivering chin. “Uncle Bob.”
“What about him?”
“Ty, I saw him down on the bottom as I started down. Could he--?” Sally couldn’t finish the sentence.
There was no answer. Ty’s eyes didn’t seem to be seeing anything before him. Presently, as one in a daze, he rose and walked towards the water. For a long time he stood there, staring out over its heaving surface, then slowly, with a hand that trembled visibly, he reached up and took off his hat.
Watching him with tear dimmed eyes, Sally slipped to her knees and buried her face in her hands. Her mind was in a whirl. It had all happened so fast, so quickly, yet it seemed to her as though years must have passed since that morning when she had shot that rabbit. Uncle Bob, gone! Swept away in that mad, terrifying wall of water. It wasn’t right! Everything was hopeless. All seemed black. They couldn’t go on without him, could they?
“Sally,” Ty’s hand was on her shoulder.
She looked up.
His face was haggard and drawn as though in pain. “Come. We must get the horses.”
Silently she rose and allowed him to lead her away from that horrible place. Without a word they walked, the roar of the water growing fainter and fainter until it became only a subdued hum.
The two horses, recovered from their fright and grazing contentedly, looked up at Ty and Sally as though to say, “What took you so long? We have been here ready and waiting for some time.”
Carefully Ty readjusted the harnesses and saddles and made sure the packs were on securely. He felt as though he must be dreaming. Carson just couldn’t be--. He wouldn’t let himself even think it. Now, they had to go on, alone. How could he undertake this journey with only his sister? Feeling strongly tempted to turn around and ride back to the friendly home of the Jakobus family and forget the entire thing, he set his jaw and drew his brows together in a frown. His father’s dying words rang in his ears. “Ty will do what I couldn’t.” He would go on! He would leave Sally at the first friendly cabin if he had to, but he would continue! These thoughts along with many others drifted in and out of Ty’s mind as he worked.
At last he turned to his sister. “Let’s ride a while ‘fore we stop for the night.” He held out his hand to help her mount.
“Ty!” Sally exclaimed, noticing for the first time, his cut and bleeding hands. “Yer hurt!”
Glancing down, Ty realized why it had been so difficult tightening things. He didn’t protest as Sally washed and bandaged them, though he muttered something about not being able to hold the reins.
This delay over, the two mounted and rode quietly away. Neither one speaking.
Above, a few wisps of clouds floated lazily along in the blue sky. A gentle breeze fanned their faces and a mountain bird hidden somewhere in the trees sang a bright melody which neither one noticed.
To be continued at a future time.