I jest ain't sure. I have been a little busy. Enjoy part 41 and don't forget to come back on Friday for your Favorite Fiction!:)
Joe didn’t know what to say, for he wasn’t about to admit that he had
begun to grow slightly worried himself at the long absence of his
father, brother and their companions. True, he didn’t know what they
had discovered or where they had gone, but surely, surely they would be
back soon. Now he could only try to comfort the girl in his arms, but
she was so upset, how could he? His heart went out to Sally in her
anguish and distress. Instinctively, almost without realizing it, his
arms tightened as though to protect her from the terror and fright that
beset her while in low tones he began to pray. One sure Refuge he knew
could help and comfort Sally and to this Refuge he turned.
It was several minutes before Sally’s heartrending cries subsided into
pitiable moans. She continued to tremble as she drew each shuddering
breath. Joe waited in silence for her to recover her composure. His own
emotions had been deeply stirred by seeing Sally so overcome.
A clatter of hooves in the yard outside had the effect of bringing
Sally’s face, streaked with tears though it was, out of her hands. Joe
released her and stepped to the window. “They’re back, Sally,” he told
Flying to the door, Sally threw it open and, on seeing Carson dismount,
rushed to fling her arms about him and begin to cry once more.
“Hey, what’s this? Sally, Ty ain’t--” and Carson looked at Joe quickly.
“No,” Joe answered the unspoken question. “He’s sick, but still alive.”
“Thank God!” Carson breathed earnestly. “Ya had me worried there,
Sally. What ya all upset ‘bout?”
“I thought they would get ya like they promised ta do to Ty,” she
whispered, shuddering again at the thought.
Carson hugged her close. “It weren’t them, Sally. Jest some cattle
thieves. We rounded ‘em up an’ Jim and his men are takin’ ‘em to the
sheriff right now. Jed an’ me thought we’d come back ta see how Ty
“Why don’t I take care of your horse for you, Carson,” Jed offered,
holding out his hand for the reins.
“I’m much obliged, Jed.” Carson patted Flint’s neck. “An’ would ya
check on Par?” he called.
Carson was quiet as he followed Sally into the sick room and saw Ty
moaning and muttering on the bed. Jack was putting a new bandage on his
shoulder, but looked up as Carson approached.
“I’m glad you’re here,” he remarked softly. “Perhaps you can keep him
Even as he spoke, Ty opened his eyes and began calling once again for
Carson, his tones hoarse and urgent. “Carson! Where are ya?”
“I’m here, Ty. Right beside ya,” Gripping his friend’s restless hand he
added, “What ya so worried for? I ain’t goin’ ta leave ya.”
“The letter, Carson,” gasped Ty, eyes fixed on the face above him. “Did
ya read it?”
“Sure, sure. Ain’t nothin’ ta get excited ‘bout.”
“But it’s from her!”
At that, Carson turned quickly and looked at Sally. What was Ty talking
about? What letter? Who was the “her” that had written it? Just as he
was about to ask, Ty spoke again.
“Dan! I ain’t stayin’ here.” His glazed eyes were fixed on Jack’s face
and his breathing was coming in gasps. “Give me the letter!” he
“Hey, Ty, jest ease up, I got the letter. Dan ain’t goin’ ta touch it.
He ain’t got the brains ta get it from me. Now why don’t ya jest have a
drink,” as Jack hurriedly placed a cup in his hands and nodded at Ty.
“That’s it,” for Ty accepted from Carson’s hand the drink he had been
refusing from Jack for the last hour. “Now ya jest get some shut eye
an’ I’ll take care a some other things ‘round here. Deal?”
“Deal,” Ty murmured, worn out by his struggle.
Neither Carson nor Jack stirred from their posts until Ty’s deep,
steady breathing told them he was asleep at last. Then Jack drew a long
breath and let it out slowly. Standing up, he beckoned Carson to follow
him while Mrs. Fields slipped past them to take up her post.
Once all were out of the room, Jack turned to Carson. “Thank God you
came when you did. Another fifteen minutes of that raving could have
had dire results. He’s been calling for you most of the day.”
“An’ I weren’t here,” the regret in his voice was evident as he paced
“Well, I ain’t goin’ ta leave him now. Not if’n I have ta stay all
The door opened and Jed came in. Curiously he glanced at the gathering,
noticing Carson’s disturbed face, Jack’s grim look and the worried and
sympathetic expressions Sally and Joe wore. “What’s going on? Is Ty
Jack shook his head. “Worse than he was this morning, but not worse
than when you got here. Where are Pa and the men?”
In a few words Jed explained, adding in answer to Carson’s look, that
Par would be all right after a few days rest and that he had bandaged
his leg to give him more support.
“Uncle Bob,” Sally began hesitantly, “why didn’t Ty ask for me?”
The reply came slowly. “I reckon his mind’s gone back ta the time him
an’ me were off trappin’. Ya heard him talkin’ ‘bout that letter didn’t
“Well, I kind a think that were the letter ya wrote when ya told him
‘bout yer pa’s sickness.”
“How do ya know?”
“’Cause a his talk ‘bout Dan.” Here he looked over at Jack with a
slight grin, “Hope ya won’t take it personal ‘bout what I said back
“About the not having brains?” Jack returned the smile, though his was
rather tired. “I long ago learned not to pay attention to what a sick
man says or those who are trying to calm him.”
“But Uncle Bob, who is Dan?”
Until next Western Wednesday.:)