Wow! What a week! Of course for those of you following my Home Fires blog, you know what I'm talking about. I have been trying to get my book off to the publisher for a while, but I couldn't seem to get the final proofing finished. My cousin, who was going to do it all, ended up much too busy with college, so a few other dear friends jumped in and finished it. I got the last of the proofed chapters on Tuesday, made the corrections, got, what I thought, were the last pages ready before I headed to bed. On Wednesday morning I was ready. (I thought) My brother was supposedly going to come help me upload things, but he was busy, and I hadn't read over the checklist. So, after spending all morning at the computer doing all the things I didn't know I needed to do, I was growing tired. I had to take break after lunch and teach a writing class. At least I wasn't staring at the computer. :) After that, I got back to work. J couldn't come then to help me upload, so, with great trembling (I'm not a computer person really), I pushed the button myself. Ah! I did it. All of it! I managed to upload everything to the publisher! I was praying, let me tell you. So far I haven't heard from them saying I have to redo anything. Pray that I won't!!! If I don't have to, I should have it at the SHEM conference.:)
Well, that was my exciting week. After all that, I really haven't written anything. I haven't even wanted to be on the computer much. But, I did have several Westerns ready, so I wasn't worried.:)
Thanks all you who voted on my blog.:) It was nice to find out that my rambling thoughts were being read. There have been times where I feel as though I'm talking to space. :) I do that anyway, so I don't know what difference it would make.
Oh, one other thing before I let you have the western. :) I wanted you to know that I have a tendency to not post the next part of the Western if I don't think anyone is interested. So, if you are "dying" to read the next part at anytime and I haven't posted it, try leaving a comment.:) (Can you tell I like comments?)
“I could go up with Vin, an’ leave you an’ Sally ta take the other trail.”
Carson’s offer was rejected at once by a horrified Sally and an astonished Ty who added, “If’n anyone’s ta go, I’d do it. Been takin’ care a myself with them after me for more’n two years now. I reckon I could take on another.”
“No! Ty, I ain’t goin’ ta let ya do that. I’d go ‘long on that trail jest ta keep ya from goin’ alone. An’ don’t think I aim ta be left behind either.” Sally’s eyes flashed and her hand rested on the handle of her gun.
A hearty laugh filled the room. The sheriff shook his head with a grin. “Well, I don’t know what’s goin’ on except none of you seem content to go by the long trail. You could go with Vin, but I don’t know what he’s up to.”
“Excuse me, Sheriff,” Deputy Thompson broke in, “Look’s like you might have some company.”
Boots clumped on the hard floor as Sheriff Mead vacated his seat on the desk. In three strides he was at the door with his deputy looking down the street. “I wonder what they’re so riled up about.”
At the news of company, Ty, Carson and Sally rose and prepared to depart, but the sheriff put up a hand. “Just wait a minute, if you would. Let me check this out first.”
“Sheriff!” a loud voice called as four or five tough looking men with pistols and rifles crowded around the porch before the two officers of the law.
“Well?” The quiet reply seemed to calm the men somewhat, for when the voice spoke again it was lower.
“Vin’s in town again, an’ this time we aim to see what he’s up to. He don’t know most of these men by sight, so we thought we’d try ta get him to take us over his trail.”
The sheriff shrugged. “Then why come to me? Vin’s probably at the saloon or stables.”
There was a moment of silence broken only by the clink of someone’s spurs out in the street. At last one of the men spoke quietly, “We’ll visit him next, Sheriff. First though, we wanted to find out what you think of our plan.”
Scowling every time he walked past her or glanced in her direction, grumbling about the extra work she would bring, the danger she would be in, the bad luck it would be to have her along, muttering dire predictions under his breath, Vin at last got his followers ready to head up the mountains through the little used and known trail, Sally, her brother and Carson included. He wasn’t sure just how it had all come about that his offer to guide two men had multiplied into nearly a dozen and even included that woman. He had eyed them all suspiciously but couldn’t well refuse. Now he took his place at the front of the line and they were off.
Ty, Carson and Sally found themselves at the tale end of the caravan. Sally’s chin was up and her eyes gave off sparks, though she refrained from speaking. Vin’s looks and manners hadn’t escaped her notice. Neither had they escaped Ty and Carson’s sharp eyes. Both men were on the alert for the slightest double crossing or crooked dealings from the leader. Ty especially stuck near his sister, ready to ward off any unwanted attention she might receive as the only female.
It wasn’t the most talkative group and hardly a word was spoken until they halted for the night. Vin directed that watchers would be stationed around the camp that night in case of wild animals.
“Huh!” Carson grunted in low tones to Ty and Sally. “He jest gave himself away. He ain’t no trapper nor hunter neither. Ya don’t post guard for animals, ya build a fire.”
“Perhaps there’s other dangers besides animals, an’ he ain’t wantin’ ta tell us,” Sally suggested as Carson moved away to converse in low tones to a few of the other men.
“Could be. But what?”
Glancing around before she replied, Sally noticed the preparations for an evening meal. “Robbers.”
“What?” Ty looked quizzically at his sister.
“I mean,” Sally began again, “What if there is no real threat from wild animals, but a group of outlaws live here and Vin brings their victims to them.”
“Then why post guards?”
“With this many people, perhaps it is to make it look like he was protecting them.”
His brows drawing together in deep thought, Ty mused in silence for a while. He was still deep in thought when the call to supper came. Moving over to the fire beside Sally, he sat down and accepted the cup of coffee handed him.
“Augh! Terrible!” Ty choked and spit out the mouthful of coffee. Coughing and nearly gagging on what he had swallowed, he threw the rest of the contents of his cup into the fire and demanded, “Who made this stuff?”
“I’ll have you know that I made that coffee and I know how to make the best coffee.” It was Vin.
The others were cautiously tasting it themselves and each declared it undrinkable. One by one they poured it out into the fire or tossed it over their shoulders into the woods.
“Isn’t there anyone who can make a decent cup?” one of the men questioned. “I know I can’t.”
“Sally,” Ty urged, “Ya make the coffee. Carson an’ I can vouch for ya.”
“Yep, go to it,” Carson added.
Thus urged, Sally went at once to work and in a few minutes had the pot washed out and new coffee made. Handing a steaming cup to Ty she waited until he had tasted it before serving the others.
It only needed Ty’s satisfied sigh to bring the cups out all around the fire. Sally was highly praised and made official coffee maker for the trip. Vin only glowered.
Hmm, what should I post next week?