There is still snow on the ground here from yesterday's snowfall, but not much on the sledding hill. Some friends and I decided to go sledding yesterday, but the hill is a south/west facing hill and most of the snow was already gone. Probably partly from the wind. So much for sledding. Anyone have a great big hill with lots of snow I can go sledding on? I love sledding even if I did break my arm doing it once. But that is another story which isn't very exciting.:)
A friend mentioned this week that she couldn't imagine just sitting down and writing a story. She said all she would be able to write is conversation. I'm not sure how I write all the details and everything, but it sure is fun!
I've gotten some writing in these evenings. Sometimes it is difficult to decide what to write. If you have given me instructions for a story, I will get to it. I promise. I'm just not sure when.:)
But, since Hannah did request that for two weeks I post Meleah's Western, I'll delay no longer. Enjoy! And part 27 will be up next week so come back.
Carson drew a long breath before he continued. “Sally, that picture ya got in that there locket is jest like yer sister’s goin’ ta be lookin’ right ‘bout now. I’d bet my last bullet on it.”
Drawing the locket out of her dress, Sally gazed at the face inside. It was a sweet face that seemed to look back at her, one that wore an expression of gentleness. Kind eyes with just the hint of a smile about them, under a perky little hat with feathers, seemed to match the bright smile of the full lips.
No one spoke as Ty also looked long at their mother’s face as it hung around Sally’s neck. “Well,” Ty spoke at last. “I reckon perhaps we can find her after all.”
Two days later, Carson, Ty and Sally found themselves at a crossroads in their journey. They had passed the night in the only hotel of Rock Valley which stood at the foot of the pass leading to the other side of the mountain range and Fort Laramie. A tall, rough looking, dark bearded man, having heard them mention where they were headed, now offered his services as guide for a shorter, though less traveled, trail.
“I know the trail. It’ll take two days off yer travels.”
“How traveled is it?” Carson questioned shrewdly, wondering if the guide was being honest.
“Well, not many travel it at all. Fact is, not many know of it.”
“And why should we follow it ‘stead of the traveled one?”
“It’s lots quicker. But,” the man put in, glancing over at Sally. “You are planin’ on comin’ back through here ain’t ya?”
Ty spoke up suspiciously, “Why?”
“The trail is a might dangerous, especially fer a lady. It’d be best if’n ya left her,” and he nodded in Sally’s direction, “here till ya returned.”
Ty’s eyes narrowed. “Why?” was all he asked, but he was roused. What was this man trying to hide? Did he really know a trail or was it just a trick? And why did he want Sally to stay behind?
Having heard what the man said, Sally moved up beside her brother, her eyes flashing at the very idea of being left behind.
“Well,” the man began and then hesitated, evidently a little embarrassed by Sally joining the group. “Like I said, it’s rather dangerous. An’ well, no offense ma’am, it ain’t safe fer one who can’t hold his own to defend himself should we be needin’ it.”
“I’ll have ya know, mister, that I can shoot jest as well as you can.” Sally fairly bristled with indignation.
“Well, that ain’t all exactly, ma’am,” he began, somewhat flustered.
The man’s evident hesitation was causing both Ty and Carson doubts about the man’s honesty and purpose. “Then get on with the rest,” ordered Carson. “We’re wastin’ time.”
“Well, like I said, it’s dangerous an’ ain’t well used. But it’s quicker. Oh yes, two whole days quicker, but there’s a few places that the trail goes right along the cliff an’ ain’t much more space than a horse with a full load. An’ . . .” The man paused and his eyes became hard. “There’s a mountain lion roamin’ the trail. Larger ‘an any ever seen ‘fore an’ meaner ‘an ten she bears. I been tryin’ ta kill ‘im fer nigh upon three years. An’ I aim ta get ‘im, if’n it’s the last thing I do.”
Sally turned slightly pale at the mention of a mountain lion. Gladly would she have pleaded then and there to go the other way even if it took a week longer, had not the man been looking at her with his cold, dark eyes. Was he trying to scare her into remaining in town?
Ty wondered the same thing, for his keen eyes and ears thought they detected a cunningly devised tall tale. There might be some truth to it, however, and Ty made a promise to himself that he would find out. Now he only remarked, “Seems like a mighty rash offer ta lead us over this trail with a wild cat so dangerous ‘bout.”
“Well, I figured on goin’ myself,” protested the man indignantly, “but when I knew you were headin’ that way, I thinks ta myself, ‘Vin, three guns is better’n one an’ ya might get ‘im that a way.’ An’ so I jest offered.”
“Much obliged,” Carson grunted. “Give us time ta sleep on it.”
“Oh sure,” the man became suddenly very polite. “Ya jest talk it over. I reckon ya’ll figure out I was right ‘bout leavin’ her here till ya return.” With that, the man bowed to Sally and strode off down the street with a swagger in his steps.
“Ty, ya ain’t goin’ ta do it, are ya? I ain’t goin’ ta stay here! I’d rather--” Sally didn’t finish for Ty silenced her.”
“Hush! This ain’t the place for that. Let’s go, Carson. I reckon I know a skunk when I smell him.”
Silenced, but still ruffled, Sally followed her brother down the street towards the hotel. She noticed his easy stride and thought of how at home Ty was in the saddle as well as out of it. It was Carson who appeared slightly out of place.
“Never did like these here fancy towns,” he grumbled.
Before the trio reached the hotel, Ty paused and crossing the street, entered a saloon. Sally gasped inwardly but then realized that Ty was only trying to find some things out. With a fast beating heart, she waited with Carson on the porch wondering what Ty would discover.
Striding up to the counter, Ty leaned his elbow on it and eyed the bartender.
“What can I get ya?” the ba tender asked looking casually at him.
“Some information,” Ty replied coolly without moving.
The man glanced around before leaning down to Ty’s level. “What kind of information?” The man had lowered his voice.
“What do ya know about a man who calls himself ‘Vin’?”
Any ideas for me?