Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meleah's Western - Part 37

Welcome to Western Wednesday!
This is the very first Western Wednesday of Rebekah's Reading Room. I hope you enjoy it. Do you think I should keep doing it?
And one more thing, don't expect me to do much talking before the story. I'm busy.:) Enjoy!

Part 37
“For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow
upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. .
. . The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his
eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. . . .” Then the good
man bowed his head and prayed. Carson, never having been much of a
praying man himself, having gotten out of the habit when off trapping
on his own, now listened with great respect. This man knew who he was
talking to and seemed to expect an answer. He swallowed hard, suddenly
recalling his Aunt Kate as she used to pray with Sunshine in their old
cabin. From there his mind drifted back a few more years, and again he
seemed to hear his friend Jake as he prayed one day with his beloved
Ellen by his side. Another voice came to echo in his mind. A voice from
long past, a voice from his childhood. Even the tones were distinctly
heard, and the weight of his own father’s hand on his shoulder seemed
to be felt once again. His father was speaking to him, repeating words
from the Bible. It was all so clear, so real. “’The steps of a good man
are ordered by the Lord, and He delighteth in his way.’ Remember Bobby,
the only good men are those who place their trust and life in the hands
of the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him direct their paths. Wherever you
may go, never forget that you have given yourself to Him.” Carson’s
head dropped into his hands and he sat bowed with the remembrances
which that one heartfelt prayer had roused. “God help me, I did
forget,” his heart cried out. He knew it was no use to pretend
differently, for the gentle drawing of the Shepherd was strong in this
wandering sheep. Never had Carson intended to forget the only One who
had been his comfort when his mother and father were taken from him.
Nor the One who, when Aunt Kate and Sunshine were taken from him, had
guided him still, Somehow, however, he had forgotten. Not completely,
for the knowledge of that Someone had kept him safe in many a
temptation, yet he let days go by without a thought for the One he had
sworn allegiance to. It was all too much. Rising abruptly, he left the
house. He had to settle this thing alone with only himself and his God.
In the house, Sally continued to sit in the daze she had been in since
their arrival. Only when Mrs. Fields talked to her, did she seem to
rouse. “Come, Sally,” that good woman ordered gently, laying a hand on
Sally’s arm. “You must get some rest now. There is a bed in the room
right next to your brother’s. Things will look better in the morning.”
And so, with the Joe’s assistance, Sally was helped to her feet and led
from the room. How long she slept was uncertain. All was still and
quiet when she opened her eyes. Again she seemed to see Ty slumping in
the saddle, saw the blood staining his shirt and the petticoat beneath
her hands, saw the well loved face so white and still. With trembling
limbs, she rose. Was Ty still alive? Had he died while she slept? She
should never have left him! “Ty,” she moaned, “I can’t lose you too!”
Choking back the sobs that nearly strangled her, Sally crept from her
room into the large and equally dark one beyond. Pausing a moment to
listen at the door where her brother lay, she placed one hand over her
wildly beating heart trying to quiet it. She felt her locket. Clutching
it tightly, she drew a long, deep breath. Not a sound could she hear.
All about her was quietness. Slowly she pushed open the door and
stepped into the dimly lit room. As the door opened, Joe, who had been
keeping watch for the last hour, turned. The sight of Sally standing in
the doorway with her long, dark hair hanging loosely about her pale,
anxious face and over her shoulders, one hand clenched over her heart
and her eyes filled with unshed tears, was a sight the young man never
forgot. Silently he stood, but before he could take a step towards her,
Sally had staggered across the room and dropped on her knees beside the
bed. One hand was laid on the motionless hand of Ty while her face was buried
in the bedclothes. The silent shaking of her shoulders gave the only
indication of the anguish within her. Tenderhearted and full of
sympathy, Joe watched the girl without stirring, until a muffled sob
reached his ears. Then he quietly moved to her side and, kneeling
beside her, placed one hand on her arm, whispering, “It will be all
right. Jack isn’t giving up and everyone is praying.” The only answer
was a fresh burst of tears. Compassionately, Joe stayed by Sally,
alternately watching Ty’s face and whispering comforting words to the
distressed girl beside him. The gentle, calm voice gradually soothed
Sally and her sobs grew less intense. After a little while, the hand
which had clutched her locket loosened and stole over to timidly touch
the hand still on her arm. “Do you want to come sit and wait until Jack
comes?” were the softly whispered words Sally heard as she drew a long,
shuddering breath and grew still. When she nodded faintly, she felt
herself being lifted up and half carried to the chair. Swallowing hard
and blinking away the tears, Sally looked at the face of her brother as
it lay still upon the pillow in the dim room, watched, and waited, and
prayed. Stationing himself nearly behind her chair, Joe stood also
watching, waiting and praying as the minutes slowly ticked by.

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