The first book in the trilogy gets you familiar with eight year old Clyde and his family.
SAMPLE OF Chapter 3
The Journey Begins
Elmer rides away from the farmhouse thinking, What just happened? I can’t believe it, we did it again! What’s that I hear? Pulling back on the reins, he brings Sacred to a stop. He tilts his head to obtain the best angle, looks back, and squints his eyes as if it helped him hear better. It must have been his imagination or his desire, though. He sure wished Dorris would come out to stop him....
... Dorris sits at the table crying and talking to herself, “How stupid am I? Why did I make such a big deal about the house before he left? I always seem to do that. I never intend to, but I still do it. If I only. . . . ” Before she can finish, someone knocks at the door. Quickly wiping her tears with her apron, she scoots back from the table, stands up, and walks toward the door. She can’t imagine who’d be there. If it were Elmer, he’d just walk in. Standing at the door and making herself presentable before opening it, she tugs on the door, but it sticks again. She keeps tugging, and with the third tug, it flies open. Gathering herself together after almost falling over from tugging so hard, she looks up. It’s Jonathan, one of the ranch hands. He’s new to the ranch and seems to be well-liked. He’s a good-looking young man, slender, around 5 feet 8 inches and always polite. Appearances, however, don’t always reveal the real person, but he’s one who put up a good front. He spends his evenings roaming around town. Others in town already have a nickname for him, Whiskey. You see, he lives a double life.
Taking his hat off, he says,“Good day, Mrs. Lewis!” “Good day! What can I do for you?” “My name is Jonathan, Ma’am.” “Okay, Jonathan, What can I do for you?” “Well, ya see, Ma’am, Mr. and Mrs. L sent me over here to look in on ya while your man is gone.” As Jonathan continues to talk, Dorris becomes uncomfortable. She watches his eyes and they aren’t looking into hers. She’s dressed, as always, in a Victorian-style dress, which shows her womanly figure. After all, they never have many visitors, and she always wants to look good for her man. The longer he stands there, the more uncomfortable she becomes, with his eyes wandering up and down and all. By the smirk on his face, she can tell he’s enjoying himself, and she wants to get rid of him quickly.
Dorris interjects, “Jonathan, everything’s okay; we’ll be fine.” “Oh no, Mrs. Lewis, I want to help in any way I can.”
Dorris presses the issue,“Jonathan, like I said, we’ll be fine. We have plenty of wood and food, but please thank the Livingstons for us. Good-bye.” She grabs the door and begins to close it. As she does, he turns to walk away and hollers, “See ya tomorrow!”
She can only stand there and watch this bow-legged young man walk away as she thinks; He doesn’t take a hint too well. I’ll have to keep my eye on this one. He’s one you can’t trust.
...Mom and the kids scurry to finish chores before they lose daylight. As Ruthie leaves the barn and heads to the house, she notices the sunset.
She sprints toward the house, ’cause these types of pictures don’t last long, and hollers, “Mom, come outside and look at the sunset! Hurry!”
All Mom hears is Ruthie screaming, so she runs out with a scared look on her face. “What is it Ruthie? What’s wrong?” “Look at the sky!” “Ruthie, you nearly scared me to death over a sky?” “Just look, Mom.” “Oh, my, that is beautiful! Look at all the colors, the yellows, reds, and blues.” “I hope Dad’s watching,” Ruthie says. “I’m sure he is. I’m sure he is,” Mom replies with a knowing smile. Her Elmer loves the sunsets, and she’s sure he’s not missing this one.
Elmer gets his fire going for the evening. He finds some small rocks to make a small circle with, just enough to contain a fire. There’s an abundance of twigs around to keep it going for quite some time. He reflects on his family and knows that by now they’re all home and sitting around the table sharing an evening meal. With a smile on his face, he opens his saddle bags and pulls out dinner for the evening. It hasn’t even been one night and he’s already missing Dorris’ home-cooking. In the saddle bags, he finds a treat and a note from Dorris that reads:
“To my love, I hate not having you around for these next few days. I will miss you more than I can describe. So you don’t miss us much, I’ve packed you a surprise. Please eat them the first night as they may not be good longer than that. I love you, my man!”
He takes a gander into his saddle bag and sees something wrapped in a towel. A smile crosses his face as he unwraps a small towel containing three homemade biscuits, his favorite. He sure loves his woman! The stars peek through the black skies overhead as he leans back against an old log and eats his biscuits. As he looks at the sky he remembers something from long ago; can’t remember where he heard it from, but it goes something like this,“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight.” He stops there with a laugh’cause he can’t quite put the rest of it together.
The fire dims as do Elmer’s eyes. He slips into the tent, slides into his bedroll, and thinks; Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day. This part of the property has always had the most damage. I must be about a half mile from the next shed, since each is about two miles apart. I have to be on the alert, ’cause this part of the property has the easiest access for rustlers. We’re out in the middle of nowhere. It’s easy for them ’cause they can see people coming for miles. Need to get a good night’s rest so I’m also prepared not to get bushwhacked.