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The Eclectic Pen - A Western Part 1

By: Rebekah M. (PossumAnnie) -   + 3 more  
Date Submitted: 9/20/2010
Genre: Literature & Fiction » Genre Fiction
Words: 988

  Part 1

A bitter wind struck the two riders full in the face as they crested the ridge. The view of the Sierra Blanca was partly obscured by the low clouds which had moved in after dawn. The towering peaks were still visible, the white of their snow etched against the deep blue sky. The riders reined in, ignoring the frigid bite of the wind to take in the scene. The valley lay before them in the shadow of the clouds while the ridge they were on was in full sunlight. The horses stamped with impatience, tossing their heads, each breath a frosty white cloud in the clear air, and the saddles jingled. The older rider pulled his hat lower over his face to try to block the wind and glanced back over his shoulder at the way they had just come.
“Let’s ride,” he said, noting the impatience of his companion.
No need to urge the horses, for only a slight hint was needed to set them both off at a brisk canter. The sound of the frozen grasses under the horses’ hoofs was almost the only sound to be heard for miles. Scarcely a word was spoken between the two riders who had been up long before dawn. For over an hour they rode, the younger rider paying no attention to either the scene around them or the clouds above. It was the older rider who kept alert, first glancing around and behind them as they rode and then looking with growing anxiety at the fast gathering clouds that blotted out the towering mountain peaks above them. On they rode, ever on, scarcely slackening their horses brisk pace for anything.
The wind was growing more bitter with each passing moment, and the older rider sensed a storm was on its way.
“There’s a cabin ain’t too far from here,” he announced, speaking loudly to be heard through the wind. “We can rest the horses an’ have a bite to eat.”
His companion made no answer save for a slight inclination of the head.
The horses were blowing hard when the two riders pulled them to a halt in front of a ramshackle cabin. No smoke came from the chimney and the latchstring of the door was out. A tiny shed built onto the cabin was just large enough for the two horses. The younger rider took the saddles off the horses and quickly rubbed them down with a handful of staw found on the floor and gave them something to eat.
The older man soon had a fire blazing in the fireplace and pulled out some cold meat from his pack.
“Come on,” he called to his comrade. “Set yerself down here and get a bite or two. This fire ought to thaw ya out ‘for long.”
The friend thus urged removed his hat and took a seat on a three legged stool near the fire. He was a dark haired man, rugged in looks with a full dark beard and the build of a man who had spent most of his life out in the wilds. He ate rapidly and in silence, every now and then turning to glance out the one window.
The wind shook the old cabin and whistled and roared around the chimney. The younger man suddenly sprang to his feet knocking over the stool and strode to the door saying,
“I’ll go saddle up.”
“Tain’t no use, Ty.” called out his companion. “We’d never make it. That storm is bound to hit ‘for too long. I been watching it all morning. It be a sight better to jest stay here the night and strike out first thing in the morning. We’d never make it tonight,” he said again.
Ty turned, and his voice was almost harsh as he said, “You can stay if you want, Carson. I can’t. We don’t know how long that letter took to reach us. Anything could have happened by now. I’m going. Come or stay as you please.” The wind slammed the door back against the side of the cabin as Ty strode out to the shed.
For a moment Carson sat where he was, staring at the open door. Then with a sigh he stood, picked up his pack and put out the fire. He could understand his companion’s impatience to be off, though it seemed rather foolish to leave the cabin in weather like this.
Several hours later, after traveling with what speed they could through the bitterly cold wind, blowing snow and growing darkness, Ty suddenly reined in his horse.
“I know the trail. Follow me,” was all he said, or shouted rather, and turning his horse to the left, he set off with Carson right behind. Soon they reached a wooded area and were somewhat sheltered from the fierce winds and driving snow. The trail twisted and turned, now going up the side of the mountain and now back down. At last a light glimmered through the trees in front of them. Both men, more from long habit than anything else, pulled up their horses and in silence looked searchingly at the light, listening all the while. Then, still in silence, they slowly approached. A cabin made of roughly hued logs stood in a little clearing, sheltered behind by a towering cliff which somewhat blocked the fierceness of the winter storm. Light streamed through two small windows as the riders approached. Ty dismounted, and with one hand on his gun, called out,
The door flew open, and a young girl stood in the doorway peering into the dark. In another moment Ty was beside her and had her in his arms, while she hung, laughing and crying to his neck.
“I’m back, Sally. Everything will be all right now,” Ty soothed.
Carson, without a word, took his horse as well as Ty’s, and disappeared in the direction of the small barn he had noticed. Ty, with Sally still clinging to him, entered the cabin, and the door closed behind them.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Rebekah M. (PossumAnnie) -

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Comments 1 to 2 of 2
Rebekah M. (PossumAnnie) - - 9/28/2010 10:04 AM ET
Should I post the second part?
Therese B. - 11/2/2010 7:09 AM ET
Spell check your work - "staw"
Comments 1 to 2 of 2