Friday, January 7, 2011

Excitement, Quiz and Part 25

What a wonderful morning, Friday Fiction Fans!
There are clouds in the east blocking the sunrise. There are also clouds scattered across the sky. Don't think we'll get any weather though.

I started off this week feeling like doing something, anything really crazy, big or extreme. You know, something like getting my hair styled (which I've never done and don't want to) or spending all my money. Well, yesterday I did it. It was extremely exciting! I'll admit, I squealed several times in the process.:) I'm nearly giddy with excitement. To find out about my delight in the oh, so thrilling thing I did, go here and see for yourself.

And the January Quiz! How many books do we have?
In 2009 we had 4,011
And in 2010 we had 4,262
We got a lot of books in the first few months and then have been getting rid of books. So, I this point, I have no idea how many we have. Take a guess and the winner can pick what they would like posted for two weeks!

And now, I know you who are enjoying Meleah's Western would like to read the next part. I got it written and it didn't happen quite as I thought it would, but it is written none the less.

Part 25

Daylight found the three united travelers stirring, and it wasn’t long before they once again set off for Fort Laramie in the bright sunshine. As they traveled along, Ty, with help from his sister, told Carson all that had happened to them since they were parted at the river.

It was a long journey that lay before them, over rough countr, in much of which no white man dwelt. Each day brought its own challenges. The spring rains and melting snow caused flooded streams which had to be forded. Winter avalanches of snow and rock had blocked many trails, and Carson and Ty spent time trying to find the best way around them.

At last their trail led them down into the foothills where spring had arrived with a blaze of color. The riding was easier then, and they made good time. There were also settlers here and there. These welcomed the travelers gladly and shared their store of provisions, meager though they might be, with them. Sally, especially, was thankful to sleep under a roof now and again. And at each place they asked about the younger sister, hoping against hope for just a hint, some clue that would show them they were on the right track, but always it was the same.
“We’re right sorry, but we ain’t heard nor seen a any sech folk.” The man scratched his scraggly beard. “Ya heared a any, Ma?”
Thus questioned, the woman shook her head. “Land sakes, we ain’t never had no strangers round these here parts ‘cept trappers, here Billy, climb down off that table ‘fore I take this spoon ta ya, and traders till ya’ll came a ridin’ in. And, land sakes, Clara Jane, how many times must I tell ya don’t climb in that there cradle with the baby! Its down right nice ta see a lady.” Continuing to chatter volubly as she bustled here and there, the woman served up a fine stew and fresh bread.

Days passed into weeks and still Ty, Sally and Carson traveled north. Sally was beginning to grow dark from the sun. No longer did a long day’s ride wear her out, for she had grown nearly as accustomed to the saddle as her brother and friend. When they rested for their noon meal, Ty began to teach his sister the fine art of knife throwing. Sally was a quick learner and though she never could match her brother’s skill, she was a credit to her teacher. Carson now and then would join in and then Ty had hard work to hold his own, for the older man had many more years of experience with the best of instructors: Indians.

Although Sally couldn’t always hit the center of a target with a knife, she was a crack shot with her father’s pistols. Even a rifle made little difference in her shooting though she preferred the former firearm. Even if she didn’t talk much about him, Sally often thought of her father as she rode along feeling the weight of his guns in the holsters by her sides.

“Ty,” she asked once, late in the afternoon, “Ya reckon, if’n Pa were still alive, he’d a come with us ta find her?”
For a moment Ty was silent, watching the clouds race across the sky as though they were chasing one another. “Hard ta tell, Sally. It ain’t likely he’d a even told us ‘bout -- her.” Pausing, Ty sighed. “I jest can’t help wonderin’ why he wouldn’t never tell us till he was dyin’. It seems, well, sort a un-right somehow.”
“Ya got a right ta wonder ‘bout that,” Carson put in, leaning down over his horse’s neck to avoid a low tree branch. “But I reckon it ain’t as unnatural as it ‘pears. Never have I seen a man so in love, as yer pa was with yer ma. Why he fairly worshiped the ground she walked on. I reckon his love was so deep an’ the baby sech a part a her, that when she died, half his heart died too.” He squinted over at Ty and Sally from under his hat. “Nope, neither one a ya’s got the look a yer ma. Sally has a might a it when she’s arguin’ with Ty, but it’s jest her chin and maybe the tip a her head.”
Ty glanced at Sally and began to laugh, for her cheeks had grown quite rosy under Carson’s scrutinizing gaze.
Grinning, Carson continued. “Now, Ty, ya ain’t a particle like yer ma. Ya ain’t headstrong now ‘cept when ya’ve thought it all through, but, by thunder, when ya was a young whipper-snapper--” Carson shook his head, and Sally chuckled. “I recall a time when ya was set an’ determined that ya weren’t goin’ ta wash yer hands for supper. Yer ma said ya would. Yer pa were out back or I reckon he would a took care a ya right quick.”
By now Ty was beginning to grin rather self consciously.
“Well, yer ma gave ya a lickin’ an’ ya still weren’t goin’ ta wash. Seem’s like it took ‘bout two more lickin’s ta get ya ta mind, but ya did. An’ right ‘for yer pa come in, too. I always wondered if’n ya knew yer pa was comin’ an’ gave in ta save yer hide.”
A hearty burst of laughter came from the three riders as Carson finished his tale, and all dismounted to walk up a hill and stretch their legs. “I don’t recall that time, but I ain’t never goin’ ta forget Pa’s lickins. Why he could tan a fella’s hide till it felt like fire,” and Ty rubbed his seat as though he could still feel the sting.
“But Carson,” Sally questioned, “Did our sister look like Ma?”
“Look like her?” Carson repeated, “Why, she was the spittin’ image a her! I seen babies that folks say look like their ma or pa an’ I couldn’t see it, but Sunshine-- Well!”

Don't forget to leave your guess!


Abigail in WI said...

I guess 4,500 books.
cute background! :)

Hannah said...

I guess 4,845 ;)

Angela said...

I'm guessing 4,389

Anonymous said...

I'll guess you have 4,214 books.