I nearly panicked because I had no idea what to post at first. :) But I'm guessing you would like another Western. Make the most of it. :)
I have writing class again today. This time I have two classes. I'm doing the girls as well as starting class with a younger brother of one of the girls. He has wanted to take writing from me so we'll see how it goes. I think he'll be fun. :)
Have to get on with other things. Enjoy this.
Also, the fact that no positive clue of any kind had been discoved about his sister since they left Fort Laramie was causing serious doubts of ever finding her to torment him. The clue they had gotten at South Pass might or might not have been true. Perhaps they should have continued on to California or Oregon. Would they have to backtrack as a tracker does when he has lost the trail? Unknowingly, Ty’s brows had drawn together, and he neither replied to Carson’s question nor noticed his horse was lagging behind.
“Cheer up, Ty,” Carson called, having reined in his horse to wait until Ty rode up and then slapping him on the back.
Ty looked up startled, his hand instinctively reaching for his holstered gun.
Carson laughed and knocked Ty’s hand away. “I jest said, cheer up. Ain’t nothin’ ta shoot. Why Son, yer as grim as an old billy goat who’s beard jest got pulled. Ya said ya wanted ta make tracks, well by thunder, let’s make ‘em! These here horses are jest longin’ fer a good gallop since the road is right dandy. Why, even them pack horses seem ta think their pullin’ a stagecoach an’ are in an awful hurry. Now, are ya goin’ ta join us or are Sally an I goin’ ta leave ya in the dust?”
Ty looked a little sheepish. “I reckon I’ll join ya. Let’s go!” And with a loud whoop and a wave of his hat, Ty let Par have his head which he had been trying to get for the past mile and away they all went.
Racing down the road in that fashion with manes and tails streaming behind and the wind in his face, brought back memories to Carson of the days when he and Jake Elliot were boys together and used to race their horses on the level stretches of road between their two homes. The race didn’t last long and when Ty, who was in the lead, pulled his horse to a walk, there was no trace of the grim expression he had previously worn.
Sally came up with streaming hair, rosy cheeks and laughing eyes. “That was fun,” she gasped shaking back her hair from her face. “Starlight didn’t want to stop, did you Girl?” and Sally patted her horse’s neck. As though in answer, Starlight tossed her head with a whicker causing all three riders to laugh.
“That made me feel like a lad again when yer pa an’ I use ta race.”
“Who won, Uncle Bob?”
“It were different each time. Ain’t sure who won most, it were mostly jest fer fun.”
“Well, I reckon we ain’t likely ta do much a that kind a ridin’,” Ty remarked. “But that were jest dandy. Didn’t know Par had it in ‘im.” Ty gave his mount a gentle slap on the neck.
The trip to Thorn Hollow was made in four days since the trio were used to long days of riding and had good mounts. It was the afternoon of the fourth day when the town came into sight. This town was more up and coming than Dead Horse had been and they found the hotel to be quite satisfactory. On the day after their arrival, Ty, Sally and Carson began their usual questioning of the townsfolk. “Has anyone heard of a family named Westlin? They had many daughters and might have come through about eleven years ago.” Always it was the same, “Never heard of them. Sorry.” After three days of fruitless searching, the companions set off for the next town.
There the same story was repeated. No one had heard of the family searched for, but perhaps in the next town they would have news. At each town Sally wrote to the Fields always telling them where they were heading next, always hopeful that the next letter might have better news.
And so the days passed. Towns were one by one reached, the townsfolk questioned and the trio moved on. Hope and faith grew dim and almost dwindled into nothing as town after town only brought fresh disappointments. Could they go on like this much longer? No longer did they race their horses between towns, but plodded along seemingly unmindful of the coolness in the air or the brisk north winds which blew, bringing autumn and winter snows.
Ty especially seemed disheartend and scarcely spoke. Lost in thoughts of the past and full of bleak thoughts for the future, he rode day after day and sat by their evening fires scarcely eating.
Sally began to grow concerned and looked anxiously at Carson when, one evening, Ty wondered away from camp to stand on a bluff overlooking a river. “I just can’t stand to see him like this, Uncle Bob,” she confessed watching her brother. “Why don’t we find out anything?”
“Could be we ain’t on the right trail any more. I’m thinking maybe it’d be best if’n we stayed the winter at the next town an’ then start up the search ‘gain in spring,” Carson replied slowly.
“Do you think Ty will agree to settle down?” Sally asked.
Shrugging his shoulders, Carson also watched his young friend. He strongly doubted that Ty would consent to halt the search, at least not until the snows of winter forced him to. What were they to do?
For several minutes Sally watched Ty. She had been praying every day that some clue would turn up. Even if it meant they had to go hundreds of miles, anything would seem good news at this point. At last she stood and, after shaking the leaves off her skirt, slowly made her way over to Ty’s side.
Carson watched until she reached him, then, turning away, he wandered away into the woods where in a quiet, sheltered spot, he knelt in prayer for the two young lives so dear to his heart. He prayed also for his missing Sunshine wherever she was at that moment.