Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 9: 8584 (36699 Book, 102,081 total)

A very hard day today, and not a very interesting snippet. Mostly I'm just tired, but I'm keeping up there still. I'm going to start slowing down here soon. I don't dare ignore other things any longer. It's been an interesting nine days though! I think I would like to write more in the western vein, but not until I get a better grounding in it.

Today's NaNo snippet:

They turned back, a slower pace as they headed home. Clouds were brushing across the sky and it looked like they were in for a wet night. He looked at Storm, wondering again where the boy slept at night. He hadn't figured it out yet, though he was never late in the mornings, and the guards never saw him leave the compound.

But then maybe they wouldn't. Kitt was starting to think there was more Indian in the boy than he let on -- that he knew their ways, and he could move with the shadows at night.

"There's that pinto again," Mr. Weaver said. "Sure wish we could get that one caught!"

Kitt looked up to see the horse standing on the trail in front of him. They'd seen him running wild for most of the last year, and she'd started looking it. The torn straps of a halter still trailed along beside her. They'd found the camp of the man who'd owned him -- the man dead, shot and robbed. The horse had been nearby, but he'd run.

"Anpayto," Storm said, his voice a whisper.

"Storm?" Mr. Weaver said.

But the boy slipped off his horse and handed the reins to Kitt. He limped forward -- a far worse limp than he'd had before. And then he held out his hands and gave a whistle.

The horse's head came up, the ears canting forward.

"Anpayto," Storm said again, a little louder. And then he whistled again.

The horse cantered straight to him, bent down, and rubbed his head against Storm's shoulder. Storm was already working off the halter, careful where it had rubbed the skin raw.

"The horse knows you."

"Yes sir. He was stolen from me." He picked some burrs out of the mane. Then he looked back at the men. "You believe me?"

"No doubt at all. She's your horse," Mr. Weaver said.

"Her name is Anpayto. It means radiant one -- A Sioux name. A chieftain gave her to me after I saved his daughter from some white men out to have fun. But a year ago someone stole him from me. I heard him tell his companion he was heading for Santa Maria. So I went there and I waited."

"He and his partner must have had a falling out. One of them is dead and buried out there. We found the camp. The horse was close by, but we couldn't catch her," Kitt said. "Good thing you came along today. Looks like she would have had a hard time going through another winter. How you going to get her back to the ranch?

"She'll come with me," he said.

He was right. The horse trailed along behind his mount like a puppy pleased to be going home. When they got back to the ranch, he went straight to work currying and feeding her.

"I'll pay you for what I use," Storm said, when Kitt and Mr. Weaver came back to the stables later.

"You already paid for it," Mr. Weaver said. "We would have lost Berto and maybe Mark, too. I don't like to bury hands, Storm. So you consider it paid up, whatever that beauty needs."

"Thank you, sir," he said and patted the horse on the nose. "I'm glad to have her back."
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