Chapter Nine: The Month the Babies Cry

Here is my chapter nine of my western, The Month the Babies Cry. After Micah crossed the Trinity River, he reined his horse to a halt and watched the small, brown human speck weaving erratically toward him through the mesquite trees and grass. Micah studied the youngster and determined him to be about six years of age and a Mexican. Micah nudged his horse on, holding him to a slow gait. The wind had shifted to the north, and it bit his neck and back and the gusts gnawed their way through his tattered gray-wool greatcoat. Micah thought the northern had arrived early. The gusts rocked the creaking, bobbing mesquite boughs and roared in his ear as they blasted past him. As the wind wended its way past him, it whistled sharply with notes as shrill as an eagle-bone flute in a Kiowa Ghost Dance. He pulled his felt hat down further on his head and tightened the stampede string. As Micah neared the boy, he saw brown eyes that spoke of terror and loss and sadness. Without stopping his horse, Micah bent over and scooped the little one from the ground. buy albion gold The boy’s teeth rattled and he quivered in Micah’s arms like a captured rabbit. He wore only a nightshirt, and his legs were blue from the cold and lacerated from mesquite thorns. Compra Zapatillas Asics Online cheap albion gold Micah reached for the Federal issue blanket tied to the back of his saddle, unfastened it, and wrapped it around the boy, and they rode on toward Jacksboro. The wild-eyed boy clung to Micah’s neck and buried his sobbing face in his shirt. “Shhh. Shhh, hijo,” Micah whispered.I ain’t gonna hurt you. ¿Donde está su paredes?” The boy turned his face toward his right shoulder and pointed to the west. “Alla.” He sobbed again. “Comanches?” “Si, Mi padre dice son Comanches.” Micah’s stomach churned in a way it never did under threat of facing Yankees. “How many? Cuantos?” “No se.”Está bien, muchacho. Está bien. ¿Como se llama?” “Juan. Soy Juan Gonzalez.” “Me llamo, Micah.” He uncorked his canteen and handed it to him. “Agua. Toma.” As the boy greedily drank, Micah scanned the area. When he finished, Micah corked the canteen and hung it around Juan’s neck. “Hay mas agua si necessitas. Duerme, muchacho. Necessito eschuchar.” They passed abandoned farms and burned houses of Micah’s former neighbors whose fallow fields and pastures were now overgrown with mesquite, juniper, and prickly pear. The boy was fast asleep when Micah reached the edge of Jacksboro Square that afternoon. Micah counted the dozen ramshackle buildings left standing along Rat Row and he once again cursed the war that had taken him away for reasons he couldn’t clearly remember and he cursed the Indians who had never left Jack County residents a moment of peace. A few horses were tied outside Jacob’s saloon and Nelson’s hardware store. The store Erin’s parents had owned was boarded up. They had sold the store when the war started and moved to Fort Worth. A man stepped out of the saloon and sat on one of the rough-hewn cedar benches on the porch. AIR MAX 2016 He studied Micah a minute, held up a hand in acknowledgement, then limped out to the street where he waited for Micah. “How are you, Amos?” Micah asked. “I’m good for an old man. I thought you might be a ghost, Micah.” “No, don’t know what I am, but I ain’t a ghost.” “I see you are still wearin’ your Confederate uniform, so I guess you ain’t switched sides.” “Nope, ain’t switched sides. Here on furlough. This uniform’s all the clothes I got, so I reckon I’ll be wearing them a while yet. You ain’t gonna start carrying on about how I should have joined the Federal Army like some of the other Jack County boys, are you?” “Naw, ain’t no need to do that. albion gold I always favored Southern views myself. I’m glad you made it back home. Yessir, I reckon there’s a passle of boys from here we’ll never see again. Their folks are gone crazy worrying about them. This war ain’t helped nobody that I can tell. I tried to join up. They said I was too old for regular service, but they said they could put me at Camp Ford down in Tyler and give me guard duty. I respectfully declined the offer.” “You probably gave them a good cussin’ to boot. Things look pretty rough here.” “That’s a fact. Maybe things will get better though. God knows they couldn’t get no worse.” Amos nodded at the boy. cheap albion silver “Who you got there?” “Says his name is Juan. He ain’t mine, if that’s what you’re wondering. I found him up by the Trinity, just wandering around. Scarpe Air Jordan Another Jack County orphan. I’ll see if Ramon Chavez cain’t take care of him, being the boy is Mexican, and since I pass by his house anyways. He says some Comanches came. I reckon they killed his parents. I didn’t think it prudent to linger and look for them, so I brought him with me.” Juan opened his eyes and saw Amos. He turned and buried his face in Micah’s shirt again. His arms clung with a tightness Micah only faintly remembered, a nearly completely buried memory of his own little brother who had died of the sleeping sickness in boyhood years long gone. “Well, that Mexican boy ain’t the only Jack County orphan. Why don’t you and the boy get off that horse and come rest a spell inside. It’s a mite bit cold out here. Air Griffey Max You can get some hot coffee or I’ll pour you a cup of mescal I bought from the Mexican sutler that passed through town a spell back. More than likely you been ridin’ all day.” “That sutler likely was this boy’s folks, I guess. I have for a fact, Amos, but I need to get on out to the home-place and see how my family is doin’.” “They’re doing fine. Saw Erin and your twins in church last Sunday, Micah. Though I worry about them being so far out from town. Ain’t no family living beyond them no more. They’s all gone. Any other boys come with you?” “Elbert and Captain Allison’s servant, Ezekiel, rode with me as far as Forth Worth. They went on to Weatherford. I’ll go get Elbert when my furlough is up—maybe.” Amos turned his head and spat and the wind carried his spittle several yards away. “Damn, this wind is cold.” “Sorry you got to come home to sad news, Micah. Comanches and Kiowas been raiding us fierce lately. More than a dozen families burned out, bunch of folks kilt. The sorry pagans must have kilt them in their sleep. Burned your and Erin’s parents houses, took all their stock. I just didn’t want you to go out there not knowin’ that you ain’t goin’ back to much.” Micah’s father had died a year after moving to Jack County from pleurisy, his mother the next year from grief. Micah had taken over the farm. After he and Erin married, they moved into Erin’s parents’ house, as it was bigger, and he had rented out his own place. Micah pulled Juan closer to him, feeling comfort from the little brown arms choking him. “Much obliged, Amos. Can’t be helped, I reckon. They knew about the Indians afore they come out here. I can always rebuild the house if I want to. I passed the Jones’ place coming in. fjallraven kanken cheap Not a soul in sight. They cleared out too?” “Them and about half the county. It’s been rough here, boy.” “What about the Rangers? Ain’t they doin’ something?” “There ain’t no official Texas Rangers no more. The war took most of the fightin’ men away anyhow, even the ones they said would be left here for protection. But the great state of Texas has authorized us to raise up a minuteman militia to help put down these Comanche raids. Mochilas Kanken Big Captain Howard from Parker County is coming to Jacksboro soon to sign men up for what they’s callin’ a punitive expedition against the savages. He’s meeting with some of the men in the saloon. If you ain’t got a belly full of fightin’ already, you might want sign up. It would help us to have some experienced soldiers with us. So far, it looks like it’s mostly going to be old men like myself and some boys that were too young to sign up for the war.” “You goin’, Amos?” “Thinking about it. My horse was stolen though, so I ain’t got nothin’ to ride but an ornery mule.” “They payin’ men to sign up for this little expedition?” “I heared that Texas is going to spot us a bit of money for it. New Balance 574 męskie Guess the state held some gold back that Jeff Davis didn’t get his hands on. Besides, the Injun problem is getting so bad that they had do something about it.” “I reckon so. How is Ramon Chavez and his family?” “They’ve done well. He’s an odd man, that Chavez. He had a horse stolen not long ago. Chavez swore he’d find a Comanche before the week was up. And low and behold if a Comanche didn’t try to steal another horse that very night. Chavez snuck up on him outside his corral and gut-shot him with his rifle. That Injun still managed to run a spell before he gave up the ghost.” “Chavez is a crack shot, so I guess he gut shot him on purpose. That ain’t the first Comanche Chavez ever kilt, and I reckon it won’t be the last neither.” “Mighty good seein’ you alive, Micah. I’ll tell folks you ain’t no ghost.” “Naw, I ain’t no ghost.” Micah kneed his horse. “I’ll drop this boy with Chavez, but I’ll be back in time to join up with your minutemen.” He continued south out of town, and the day darkened. He urged his horse to a trot until he reached the homestead of Ramon Chavez. Nike Free Run Womens Shoes
His own house was an hour’s ride beyond that. The moon had risen, and from a rise he could see the silhouettes of Chavez’s Spanish horses as they stirred restlessly in the corral. He reined his horse to a halt and paused. Moments like this always surprised him, those times when one sees sights that are calm, peaceful, and beautiful. He rode on slowly toward the Chavez house. As he neared, a small flock of sheep bleated nervously and huddled together in one corner of the corral. While Ramon’s dogs carried on, Micah sat on the horse and waited. Ramon stepped outside, closing the cabin door behind him. Under Armour Pas Cher He held a shotgun in one hand, the barrel pointed to the ground. His eyes scanned the horses and sheep in the corral, probed the dark edges of his property, and settled on Micah’s shadow-form. nike air max 90 femme “What do you want?” “Ramon, it’s Micah Evans.” Ramon leaned the shotgun against the wall and strode toward him. Ramon held up his hand and Micah clasped it, and the iron grip nearly folded Micah’s hand in half. “Micah, Micah,” Chavez said. “We hoped you would make it back to us. Who is the boy?” “Juan. Found him wandering over by the fork of the Trinity. Looks like the Comanches killed his parents. His parents must have had the sense to hide the boy before the Indians got them. I reckon I’ll ride out and try to find his folks’ bodies as soon as I can. At least I’ll give them a decent burial—if there’s anything left of them. buy albion gold I saw old Amos in town. Canotte Denver Nuggets He said the Comanche problem is getting worse.” “Come inside, Micah, and we will talk about it. “ Ramon lifted his arms toward Juan. “Ven aqui, niño.” Juan reached out and clasped Ramon’s neck, and slipped off the horse into his arms. He smoothed down the boy’s black hair. Bienvenido, Juanito. Este es su casa, ahora. Voy a ser su papá. Veronica! Micah is home! Tiene hambre!” Micah dismounted just as Ramon’s wife stepped onto the porch. Veronica wiped her hands on her apron as she ran to him. “Micah! Oh, gloria a Dios! Micah, You have returned! Look at you! You left a boy and have returned a man. Your mother and father would be so proud. Virginia Cavaliers Jerseys Come inside from this cold. I have supper ready. Miguel will stable your horse. Miguel, ven aqui! Señor Micah is here. He has finally returned.” Miguel joined them and took the reins as Micah handed Ramon the boy. He smiled shyly at Micah. “Welcome home, Señor Micah.” “Good seeing you too, Miguel. He’s nearly a grown man himself, Ramon.” Ramon placed his arm around Miguel’s shoulder and shook him so hard that Miguel’s hat fell off. buy albion silver “He grows too quickly. Ay! And such a horseman, a fine caballero! Micah, you should see him. He’s already better with a lariat and whip than I am. I know you are in a hurry to get home, but you must stay long enough to eat with us.” Micah dismounted and embraced each of them—these friends of his lost family. Miguel helped him carry in his guns, saddlebag, and bedding, then returned to feed and corral Micah’s horse. “Veronica, take the little one inside. It appears God has sent us another son. Take him inside.” “His legs are eat up by mesquite thorns,” Micah said. “You might need to doctor him so those scratches don’t fester up.” Veronica peeled back the blanket. “Ay me! His legs are scratched so. I must wash them immediately. adidas eqt hombre Miguel, please bring in another bucket of water.” “Sí, mama.” At the table, Veronica served them a supper of chicken, beans, and corn tortillas. Ramon studied Juan as he hungrily ate, pushing more food toward him. “He looks like a fine boy,” Ramon said. “He has strength in his eyes. It is good the Comanches didn’t find him.” Micah nodded. His father had told Micah enough stories about Marcos so that he understood the nuances of meaning in Ramon’s words. Before Micah’s father and Ramon moved to Jack County in 1854, they had ridden together against the Comanches in 1839 in Colonel Juan Seguin’s Rangers. fjallraven kanken uk On one excursion, after they destroyed a Comanche village, they found a sixteen-year-old Mexican boy hiding in the brush. After trying to talk with him, Ramon dragged him into a blackjack oak thicket and blew his brains out. Ramon told Micah’s father that the boy had been with the Comanches too long and was no longer a Tejano. Micah’s mother had chided his father. “You shouldn’t tell your boy such stories.” His father replied that Texas was not like other countries, and that if they had let the boy go, he would only have killed more Texans and they would have eventually had to kill him anyway, and that Micah needed to hear that such things are. Sometimes the work of a Ranger was not always pleasant work, his father had said. Miguel excused himself from the table. He fetched his rawhide lariat and dragged a stool nearer the fireplace. He began to oil the leather, working each inch of the rope with his hands to make it more pliable. “The Indians must be giving Jack County the devil,” Micah said. “I must have passed a dozen burned or abandoned houses since I crossed the Red River. Are they Comanches or Kiowa?” “Both tribes as far as I can tell. It’s the worse I’ve ever seen—even worse than when your father and I lived in South Texas. The frontier has been so weakened by the war that the Indios realize they don’t have to go all the way to Mexico now for booty. Before they just wanted try to steal stock and such, but they’ve become vicious lately, Comanches and Kiowa especially. They are attempting to drive us away, and they think they will succeed. Sometimes they’ll start out a large band, then they’ll split up and hit several different homesteads in one night. At other times they’ll come in a large army and attack a small town like they did last year when 600 or so came down the corridor. They steal our stock and then sell them to the Yankees in Kansas or to Comancheros in the Llano Estacado or to ranchers in New Mexico. They kill the men and old folks, and they take the women and children as captives. Tejanos, whites, and Negroes too. Do you know why?” “Ransom?” Micah said. “Sometimes. A few parents in Jack County have recovered children with ransom, but not many. albion silver I think the Indians want us to leave their land more than they want ransom. They want to rebuild their tribe. Smallpox killed so many of them years ago that now they want to steal our children and raise them to rebuild their tribe. They take our women to breed, and the children they have are raised as Comanches.” “Maybe we should get them back.” “No, hijo. How a man or woman is raised determines destiny. Thus, those who are raised among the Indians are ruined. The upbringing confuses and confounds their nature, like when a child is suckled at the teats of a wolf. My father told me stories of these children who were raised by wolves in the mountains in Mexico. Such children cannot stand upright; they bark and bite at humans. There is no way to help them. It is so with the captives. After a few years, they have no memories and their heritage is lost to them forever. They start thinking they’re something else instead of what they really are. Such are better off dead.” Micah’s thoughts drifted into imagining Juanito’s fate if he had not found him. cheap albion gold Ten years as a Comanche or Kiowa would have changed him from the sweet boy he seemed to be into a hard, horse-stealing, killing machine. The thought depressed him. “Amos said that a Captain Howard from Parker County wants to recruit some Jack County Boys to hunt down some of these raiders.” “I heard, but it I’d be surprised if it does much good. Micah, the ones who raided us are probably Antelope Comanches who will be back on the Llano Estacado by the time they get a unit together. Texas is sending him to form a militia just so we’ll feel like the state is doing something to protect us. I don’t know much about Captain Howard. I do know he is a Ranger and a Confederate like you.” “I hope he’s got some sense. But being called a captain don’t tell you what kind of leader or Indian fighter he is. We had our share of ignorant officers in our own regiments.” “Well, if he wants to catch them, he must pursue them quickly. Even now, the trail will be old. They may be too far out on the plains, though I have heard they have been moving their camps steadily closer to us.” “They’ll keep coming back until we bloody them bad enough, Ramon.” Ramon daubed his tortilla into his beans and scooped them into his mouth. “I know. Someday, I hope we can exterminate them.” “I plan on going with this Howard and his militia. I want you to go too, Ramon. You’re the most experienced Indian fighter in Jacksboro, and the best tracker I’ve ever known. I’d feel much better about it if you were with us.” “Hijo, I am an old man now. The unit will be better off without me.” “He will go,” Veronica said. “He wouldn’t miss the chance to be a Ranger again.” She reached over and placed her hand on his. Fjallraven Kanken BigMi Tejano Ranger. Vaya con Dios, con Micah. Give the savages a taste of their own medicine.” She said this with more vindictiveness than Micah knew she was capable of. “Ah, Carida. What would I do without you?” “You would be an old grumpy bachelor, for there is no other woman who could put up with you as I do.” Ramon’s brow wrinkled. Veronica smiled. “Nor love you as much as I do.” Ramon’s scowl evaporated when she kissed his forehead, and he smiled. “Your father tried to warn me about your mischievous nature,” he said. “But no, I would not listen to his wisdom!” Veronica patted Ramon on the shoulder and refilled his coffee cup. “Someday our own Miguel will find the love of his life, and be the most fortunate of men, just like you, no?” “I saw Frederick in the Federal prisoner stockade at Tyler,” Micah said. “Did you speak with him?” Ramon asked. “No. And I ain’t likely to if he comes back neither.” Ramon looked at him. “Only a woman could cause such division between two friends.” “Only a woman like Erin.” “Did you kill many Yankees, Señor Micah?” Miguel asked. “I killed my fair share, I reckon.” “It is good. They wanted to take our liberty. I am sure the great Juan Seguin who my father rode with would have fought with you, with the Confederacy. Papá wanted to go with you, but . . . ” “That is enough, Miguel,” Ramon said. “We are just happy to have Micah back with us and that the Federal soldiers did not kill him.” “I am tired of this war talk,” Veronica said. “It is time we prepared the household for the night.” She moved to her rocking chair and Ramon set Juan in her lap. “Tomorrow, Miguel will make you a cot,” Veronica said to Juan. “But tonight, you must sleep on the floor.” She sang to him, and the salve of her voice, the creaking rocker, and Juan’s weariness soon pulled him into a deep sleep. “Hold him for me, Ramon.” She passed Juan to Ramon, then retrieved a pair of quilts from a chest and spread it out on the floor. As her hands smoothed down the brightly colored top, she said, “These quilts were made by your mother. She gave them to me to celebrate Miguel’s birth. I can see her soul in the tiny stitches, all these little scraps of cloth she changed into beauty and into the warmth of a quilt.” “I remember less of Mother than I should. chaussures de foot Nike I know she had a knack of making something out of nothing.” Micah could visualize his mother, rocking his little brother who was so sick that terrible February. He remembered too how at other times she would sit alone and sew on her quilt tops, lost in her own private thoughts. Thoughts so private that at times, even her husband knew them not. And now, those private thoughts and those little scenes, like his mother, were all gone forever. Juanito fell asleep and Veronica laid him down. “Soon we will visit your parents’ graves,” Ramon said. “I’m much obliged, Ramon,” Micah said as he stood up to leave. “I best be on my way.” “Es nada, hijo,” Ramon replied. “I’d ask you to spend the night, but I know you wouldn’t. Your family is well, Micah.

My Hometown Lyrics by Bo Depeña

Another song by one of my favorite Texas musicians! I (and I think he does to) plays it in C in G position using capo.

“My Hometown” by Bo Depeña

I never dreamt of missing Laredo I never thought I’d be so down But I sit here and pray for tomorrow When I wake up in my own hometown I never dreamt of hating this city Where once you’re lost, Arizona State Sun Devils Jerseys cheap albion gold you’re never found, Footwear Gears albion gold Well I don’t think I remember the sunrise The way it rose in my hometown. cheap albion gold I never dreamt of missing my brother He and I don’t get along But before I reach the point of regretting, asics femme Gonna meet him in my hometown. PUMA evoPOWER homme Well I never dreamt I’d lay here beside you Talking about this place we’ve found Well we don’t belong on dirty old sidewalks, adidas zx 750 donna buy albion silver We belong in our hometown. final fantasy xiv buy gil Repeat V. NIKE AIR MAX 2017 buy albion gold 1: There’s no way out of here. Nike Paris albion silver There’s no way out of here There’s no way out of here. FREE RN FLYKNIT FEMME buy albion gold Anymore, cheap albion silver anymore.

A Review of the “Touched by Ghosts” Album Cover by Tyler Thomas

A Review of “Touched by Ghosts” Album Cover by Tyler Thomas

rickeypittmanbardoftheso7Touched by Ghosts is a single by the artist Rickey Pittman. Scarpe Nike Store Italia He is a country and western singer who sings with a folk tone. Nike Free Rn Flyknit Dames He is also a professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Nike Air Max 2017 Dames groen

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    Chapter Seven: Month the Babies Cry: Headed Home

    Chapter Seven: Headed Home

    They made better time without the prisoners. Outside of Fort Worth, the riders paused at a crossroad. Elbert and Ezekiel would stay on the main road that would take them to Weatherford and Parker County, while Micah would veer north on the Old Military Road toward Jack County. asics kayano 21 hombre “You boys take care,” Micah said. “I’ll get you word soon somehow on how things are. You do the same. Looks like we got fine weather for riding.” Ezekiel looked toward the north and shook his head. “No. It’s going to rain,” Ezekiel said. NIKE TANJUN

    “The wind’s shifted. albion silver See how your horse sniffs the air. The moon wore the Madonna’s halo last night. We’re in for a soaking.” “Well, if so, ain’t nothin’ we can do about it, except dust the wet and mud off us in the morning,” Elbert said. Almost as soon as Micah had taken the Gainesville Road, clouds began to roll thick in the sky, blanketing the moon like a dark shroud. The air cooled, and blobs of rain pelted him. He reached in his saddlebag for his oilcloth poncho. Maglie NBA “We’re in for a soaking, Colbert,” he said to his horse. The line of rain ahead paddled the ground, and Micah gritted his teeth as he rode on. The rain changed to sleet and he leaned his head forward so the brim of his hat would protect his face against the stinging pellets of ice. He thought of his many nights in the cavalry, and how most nights were spent in small tents or on the ground, sleeping between logs. He remembered waking in the morning in his dew or rain-soaked clothes, in the winter sometimes rising with a thin white shroud of snow over his body like a martyred Saint Eulalia. buy albion gold He pressed himself against Colbert’s neck to absorb warmth, and rode till he came to an abandoned trapper’s shack. Boston Celtics It had been built of juniper logs. buy albion gold The door and most of the chinking was gone, but it was more or less dry inside. He broke branches from some nearby blackjack oak trees, piled the wood inside the cabin, and built a fire in the crude stick and clay chimney. When the wet kindling finally took, he felt more human, and less like a soldier. When he enlisted, Erin told him she was afraid this war would cause him to lose his human side. albion gold “Why would you think that?” he had asked her. “My family is Scottish.

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  • My ancestors, just like yours in Wales, spent their lives fighting the English. No good came of it. Just like no good will come of this war.” She said he had war fever just like the others, and told him that in war his job would be to kill and wound men he had never known and against whom he held no personal grudge or malice. Now, Micah couldn’t remember exactly why it was so all-fired important to become a part of this war. New Balance 1500 hombre Colbert snorted and stuck his head inside the doorway as if to look at the fire, exhaling frosty clouds of breath. asics pas cher Micah ran his lariat across the shack, post to post, then shucked his clothes and draped them over the rope. He wrapped himself in his gray blanket, stretched out on the ground and stared at the flame. His teeth chattered. The thunder reminded him of cannon, and the wind took on a mystic voice like a dumb mute uttering garbled arcane secrets. Again, he thought of Erin. The first time he saw her was at the Methodist church. She and her parents had just moved to Jack County from Fort Worth. Maglia Kevin Durant cheap albion gold That Sunday, Micah had tied his horse just as the Methodist circuit minister rang the church’s bell. He took off his hat as he lined up behind other worshippers and entered the building. The minister wore a black military chaplain’s frock, one he had worn in the Mexican War—a war he talked of often in his sermons. His face bore a scar below his right eye that was covered with a patch, covering the eye he had lost from a faulty rifle cap. He held out his hand. “Micah, so good seeing you.” “Reverend.” Micah moved into a pew on the edge of the divider between the men and women just as the minister began the doxology to begin the service. He then led the congregation in a few songs. The acapella singing seemed comforting that day. After the songs, the minister said, “Brethren, I greet you in the name of the Lord. Welcome. We will now go to our God in prayer. fjällräven kånken classic I call on all here to observe proper proprieties of worship. I know there are Baptists and Campbellites among us. Feel free to take whatever posture of prayer you wish.” Most in the congregation took the usual Methodist posture of kneeling on the pew and facing the rear of the church. adidas donna Nike Air Max 90 Dames Micah, though a Methodist himself, decided to just sit. A young woman almost directly in front of him, kneeled on her pew and faced Micah. She smiled at Micah as she bowed her head. The minister was several lines into the prayer before Micah remembered to bow his own head. During Communion, she passed the silver chalice over to him. cheap albion gold She looked Micah in the eyes just as the minister said, “Now to him that is able to keep us from falling . . cheap albion silver .” “My name’s Erin,” she had whispered. Micah had only nodded, suddenly finding himself speechless as he looked into her emerald green eyes. After church ended, he had managed to gather enough nerve to walk up to her. “I’m Micah Evans. Would it be possible for me to call on you?” “You do get right to the point, don’t you.” She flipped open a fan and fanned herself, then touched her heart with the open fan. New York Giants Jersey “Well?” Micah said. “Yes,” she replied. nike requin tn pas cher buy albion silver “I think that would be nice. ray ban femme pas cher I do hope you’ll bring flowers. I like flowers.” She moved the fan to her lips. “Yes, ma’am. I think I can do that.” Micah had loved Erin ever since that day. He did call on her that week bringing her bluebonnets, and then afterwards dropped by her parents’ farm every chance he had, helping her father with stock and repair work on the old Smith place they had bought. Erin had not been an easy girl to court.

  • She was more educated than Micah, having had private teachers all her life. She was of Scottish ancestry, confident, and Micah soon learned that she had a fiery temper and would not put up with any nonsense. adidas nmd r1 uomo The kind of woman that he thought would be a good mother for his children. Micah was not the only man in town who noticed Erin. nike air max 90 pas cher Frederick too had courted her. Micah had hated the competition, though he thought Erin had only used Frederick to provoke jealousy in Micah. The year before Erin came, Micah and Frederick had been close friends, but the friendship withered, then turned hostile after Micah and Erin were engaged. A year later, they were married. A year after that, the twins were born. When the twins were four, the war had come, and Micah signed on with the 23rd Texas Cavalry. Frederick had joined a Kansas Federal cavalry unit. Micah woke from his reverie, bowed his head, and whispered a prayer for Erin. He seldom prayed. Never for himself, not even for his own safety, but when he did pray, it would be a soft prayer for the safety of his family. adidas ultra boost męskie Micah knew the war had rattled some things loose, but when he thought of Erin, he knew still had a heart inside him.

    Chapter Three of The Month the Babies Cry

    This is chapter three of my Civil War western novel, The Month the Babies Cry. Chapter Three: Micah meets Silas Micah left the girl’s crib and returned to the saloon. Elbert was not in sight. cheap albion silver Most of the soiled doves were absent as well, but the tavern was still full of soldiers. Micah dragged a stool to the wall. He set his hat in his lap, slicked back his hair with his hand and leaned back against the cypress boards. He blew out his breath and said out loud, “If you ain’t a sight, Micah.” “Damned, if we ain’t all a sight.” Micah turned to the voice. A solider sat alone at the table next to him. He wore the uniform of men in the Army of Tennessee—a kepi, a brown-gray sack coat and trousers that looked to have once been sky blue like the Federal soldiers wore. A rifle, wrapped in a quilt, lay on the table in front of him. “Yes, Lord, ain’t we a site,” the man said again. He emptied his glass of whiskey and slammed it down on the table. “You’ve had a bad night, I guess,” Micah said. “I’ve had two months of bad nights.” “Mine hasn’t exactly turned out like I imagined,” Micah said. “Well, if we’re going to drink and talk the rest of the god-awful night, you might as well drag that wobbly stool to this table. What brings you Texas boys to Shreveport?” Micah set the stool closer to the man and dropped his hat on the table. Chicago Bulls

    “We’re taking some Federal prisoners to Tyler.” “Could you stand another drink?” the man asked. Without waiting for Micah’s reply, he walked to the bar and returned with a bucket of beer and two glass schooners. “You can call me Silas, if you care to call me anything. albion gold Drink up. And your name, sir?” He dipped a schooner in the bucket and slid the beer towards Micah. Micah lifted his glass in a salute. “Much obliged. I’m Micah Evans.” “I saw you go out with that woman,” Silas said. “You came back mighty quick. I figure either you were so wound up you popped quick, or you changed your mind about doing such things.” “I changed my mind. I ain’t no whoremonger.” The soldier nodded and his hand stroked the grizzled stubble on his chin. “I’ve changed my mind every night. Still on the straight and narrow, but I am not sure how long that will last.” The man drank deeply from the schooner and wiped the foam from his mouth with his sleeve. “I need to go clean myself up, but I can’t seem to drag myself out of this place. I’ve been drinking steadily three days now. Air Jordan 13 Uomo

    buy albion gold Haven’t left except to go to the shithouse. Passed out on my way back one time. I’m about out of steam.” He took another drink. “Yes, sir, about out of steam.” “What put you on this drunk?” Micah said. Chaussures Nike Pas Cher “A hard question that is, Micah. albion silver One that many, including myself, have asked. But the answer—that’s what’s really hard, and if I drink enough, the answer is hard to remember.” “I don’t quite get the point of what you’re saying,” Micah said. “I signed on with the 17th Alabama Sharpshooters. I was given a roving commission as an independent sharpshooter and scout. I could go where I please, and wage war at my own sweet will. Our company was one of those units attached to different brigades according to the whims of high command. Sometimes they only attach one of us—as in my case. Some idiot sent me to General Kirby. Only he didn’t know nothing about my orders, and he doesn’t care for sharpshooters particularly. He says that climbing trees and shooting men at long distances doesn’t seem civilized. Civilized . . . That was the word he used. There isn’t anything civilized about this war we’re in. Maybe there should be, but there isn’t. So, I’m sitting here in Shreveport till someone gives me orders. I’ll probably drink myself to death before the ignorant fools decide they’re going to do with me.” “Must be discouraging,” Micah said. “It is. But ennui and frustration with military intelligence is not what has created this black cloud of depression I carry on my heart and soul. Mine is a burden I’ve resolved and resigned myself to carry till I’m in my grave. Do you have a family, Micah Evans?” “My wife, Erin, and a set of twins. I haven’t seen them in two years. I should be there instead of here.” “You should indeed. I’m from north Alabama. I stopped at my home on the way here. The Yankees had burned my house. Air Jordan 1 I couldn’t find my wife, and nearly lost my mind. Then I finally found her at a relative’s homeplace, and I surely did lose my senses. My cousin’s family had discovered her wandering the roads. The Yankees had abused her so terribly that she was addled.” He clenched his teeth and hissed, “She didn’t even know who I was. I didn’t know what else to do, so I left her in my cousin’s care and came here as ordered. Go home, Micah. Go home to your wife and twins. You won’t regret going home, and if you do return, you can get shed of that guilty conscience and worry that’s written on your face.” “I am going home—right after I drop off these prisoners.” Micah looked at the quilt-wrapped rifle. “A Kerr?” “No, a Whitworth.” Silas unwrapped the scoped rifle, lifted it by the stock, and handed it to Micah. “An English rifle. Ever seen one?” “Nope, but it looks like a fine piece. What’s the caliber? Appears to be rather small.” Silas dropped a three-inch, hexagonal piece of lead on the table. “ It shoots a.45 caliber bolt. Most accurate rifle in the South. One like this one killed a Yankee general at Chickamauga at 1,000 yards. It’s been rumored his last words were ‘They couldn’t hit an elephant at this range.’ Some other sharpshooters have killed Yankees at 1500 yards.” Micah computed the distance. “That’s a far piece.” He thought of how handy the rifle would have been when he was a Ranger. The Comanches always managed to stay just out of range of their rifles, flaunting Texan scalps hanging from their lances and mocking the Rangers’ impotent helplessness. Micah handed the rifle back to him. “You reckon you’ll go back to Alabama?” “What for? What’s there for me? For anyone? Nothing but chimneys of burned-out homes left by Sherman’s Mongols. Anyways, I seem to have lost all my gumption. Likely I’ll just stay here and drink myself blind and senseless.” He drained the last of his beer. “My mind is numb, my tongue thick from drink, and still the terrors of the heart afflict me so. I’m no weak man, Micah Evans, but I was not prepared for the suffering God has thrust upon me. How can a sorry sample of humanity like myself be allowed to live, and my Rosie . Air Foamposite Pro . . My poor Rosie . . buy albion gold . cheap albion gold .” Silas withdrew a single-shot shotgun pistol from his belt, set in on the table and spun it. cheap albion gold The worn barrel passed Micah and wobbled to a stop in front of its owner, pointing at him like the needle of a compass. “Bang!” he said. “You best be careful playing with a loaded pistol like that,” Micah said. “They’ve been known to be temperamental and unstable at times.” “Just like people,” he replied. Silas stood up and slipped the pistol into his belt. “You’re a good man, Micah Evans. I’m headed toward the shithouse, and I leave my rifle and gear in your care and under your watchful eye.” He dropped some coins on the table. Womens Nike Air Max 90

    “Buy us two whiskeys if you would.” Micah had sat down with the two glasses of whisky on the table, when he heard the blast of the shotgun pistol. He slowly drank down one glass of whisky. He lifted the other and said, “To you, Silas,” and slammed down the glass next to the other. He reached his hand into the soldier’s haversack and withdrew a small leather-framed ambrotype. Opening it, he saw an image of the soldier’s wife and sweetheart. He studied the dark curls and sparkling eyes of this woman who had been a man’s religion until men in blue had ravaged her and by that savage act destroyed heart, hearth, and heroism in one vicious swoop. Micah thought about the men who had violated her. Such men were more than undisciplined—they were barbarians so sunk into cruelty that they had cut the bonds of decency and civilized behavior. Asics Kinsei 4 męskie And Sherman and Lincoln and others had set these wild dogs of men on even the civilians of the South. buy albion silver The girl was still alive, but no longer on terra firma, on this earth, but no longer of it. nike air max dame Silas had lost her forever. nike air max 1 noir Femme These thoughts churned Micah’s insides. Micah slung the man’s cartridge pouch and haversack on his shoulder and picked up the quilt-wrapped rifle. He found the soldier on the ground behind the saloon. Micah pried the pistol loose from his hand and replaced it with the photograph of the girl.

    Chapter Six: Month the Babies Cry “At Camp Ford.”

    Chapter Six: At Camp Ford

    When Camp Ford’s stockade came into view, Micah rode on ahead. The boys on picket duty rose dutifully. Micah nodded and said, “Afternoon, boys,” then rode on past them. The towhead said, “Reckon we should have saluted him? He carries hisself like he’s an officer.” “Naw,” the lanky boy said. “I think he’s just Texas Cavalry.” He looks at the line of prisoners. “Wonder when they’ll stop coming?” “There don’t seem to be no shortage of Yankee prisoners to be sure. I wish I was regular Army so I could catch me some.” “You couldn’t catch a cold, much less a Yankee. Regular army? Shoot. They wouldn’t have you.” He looked at Micah. “Now that one there, I bet he’s killed a thousand Yankees. I can tell by the way he carries hisself. Smith’s probably gonna make him a general.” Micah rode toward an officer’s guidon above a cabin. KOBE 11 At the cabin, he tied his horse to the hitching rail. An officer came out and looked at the prisoners trudging toward the stockade. Micah saluted. “You’re bringing prisoners?” the captain said.

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  • “How many?” “A dozen, well there was, now there’s just eleven.” Micah handed the lieutenant his orders. “Walked them here from Louisiana.” “Kirby’s campaign on the Red River is sure making my life difficult. I’ve already got too many prisoners.” “There’ll be more coming your way. We’re catching some every day.” “Why did he send such a small bunch of men?” “Don’t rightly know. I haven’t really given it much thought. If you start trying to make sense of everything an officer tells you to do, you’ll get addled. I know you’re an officer, but I didn’t mean nothing personal.” “No offense taken. At least you understand your orders. I’ve got some militia here as guards—let’s just say they are a bit on the slow side.

  • It seems like every man around here that the regular army doesn’t want, I get. When do you go back?” “I ain’t for a spell. I got a month’s furlough that begins tomorrow. Is that no good Chicolithe still working for you?” “He is, and a godsend too. Ten men escaped this week, but he brought them all back. Most of them alive.” “I reckon I need to herd these prisoners inside that stockade of yours and get our horses seen to for the night.” “I’ll have my cook prepare you supper. soldes nike air max 1 pas cher He’ll bring you something, say, in about an hour? How many shall I tell him to prepare for?” “There’s two others. Elbert Johnson, another cavalryman, and Ezekiel, my captain’s servant. Thank you, Captain.” “The area for the enlisted men is along the road. You can set up your quarters for the night there.” Micah untied his horse, mounted and rode to Ezekiel and Elbert. He told them of the captain’s offer of supper and to go ahead and care for their horses. He followed the prisoners as they marched on to the stockade. Two guards opened the gate, and for a moment the buzz of human voices and movement ceased as those in the stockade contemplated the new additions. Fjallraven Kanken No.2 Air Jordan For Sale Three federal men lined up and greeted the newcomers in a mock salute, then busted out laughing. Micah wondered if they were drunk. He watched as the prisoners faded into the swarm of blue inside. St. Johns Red Storm Jerseys As the gate closed, the soldiers who had gathered to gawk at the new prisoners dispersed except for one heavily bearded Union soldier who stared at Micah. The soldier raised his hand, then he too turned and was lost in the restless movement of the prison population. “Damnation,” Micah said. Micah led his horse to the corral. Ezekiel and Elbert’s horses and the mule were already inside. He unsaddled Colbert, patted him on the rump and led him in with the other horses. A pitchfork and a pile of hay were next to the gate. Micah forked some of it over the fence to his horse Colbert. He hoisted his saddle and guns to his shoulder and walked to his camping area. Ezekiel and Elbert sat with a buckskin-clad man, dressed like the buffalo hunters or trappers who used to pass through Jack County. He heard the man say, “And that’s when I quoted him some Shakespeare. And you know what? That Indian thought I was making some kind of magic spell with those highfalutin words.” Ezekiel and Elbert laughed. The wild man looked up at Micah and said, “I told the Captain that he should revoke your furlough and sign you on for duty here. I told him you might make a good farrier.” He grinned, showing his tobacco-stained teeth. “Chicolithe, well, I’ll be,” Micah said. Chicolithe stretched out his hand. New Balance 997 męskie “Micah Evans. It’s been a spell.” Micah slapped his hand into Chicolithe’s iron grip. new balance uomo trovaprezzi “I heard that you have been chasing Yankees.” “I am. And I’m grateful for every one of the sons of bitches that tries to run. They’re a hell of lot easier to trail than a Comanche. Now, Yankee soldiers are tough enough mind you, but they just don’t know how to cover their tracks.” Micah sat down on the ground next to him. “Well, I brought you some more, then I’m on my way home. You heard any news?” “I have, Micah, and it ain’t good news. adidas ACE homme The savages have about taken over the country. Folks are abandoning their places and moving this way. No one hardly has any stock left. I heard the Yankees in Kansas are buying our cattle from the Comanches and Kiowas.” “What happened to the Ranger units?” Elbert said. Fjallraven Kanken Sale Kids “There’s a few left, but not enough to provide any real protection. Most units were transferred to the war.” Chicolithe tapped his pipe on his boot and emptied it. “Frederick’s in there.” “I know. I saw him. You had a chance to talk to him?” “A word or two. He’s alright. The prisoners here have plenty of food and water. Nike Air zoom Pegasus 33 damskie Not much sickness. They’re a sight better off than the prisoners in Georgia. At least we’ve got food in Texas we can give them. Frederick always had a knack for getting himself in awkward situations. At least here he can keep his ornery self away from bullets. You want to talk to him? I’ll get the commander to call him out.” “Naw. Frederick and I had words before I left Jacksboro. Ain’t no repairin’ the friendship. And things ain’t settled yet between us.” “Frederick might not be in too big a hurry to get back to Jacksboro since he sided with the Federals. As belligerent as Frederick is, it’s probably best he’s here. Since he can’t keep his mouth shut, he’d be right in the middle of all that mess. You know how he’s got a knack of irritating folks.” Micah nodded. “Got a real talent for it.” “Last time I passed through Jacksboro, I stopped in on Erin. Boise State Broncos She and your two children are doing fine. Growing like weeds, they are.” “I haven’t seen them in two years, Chicolithe.” “I know, Micah. Sooner this war is over, the better for all of us. You hear about the hangings in Gainesville?” Micah watched one of the guards on his roosting point on the stockade. The guard aimed his rifle into the stockade and then withdrew it. One of the prisoners must have wandered close to the deadline. “No, I didn’t hear nothin’ about no hangings.” “They hanged about forty men accused of insurrection. Arrested a bunch more from all over North Texas. bns gold Some were from Wise County. I reckon they were trying to bust up that Union League.” “Were these folks they hanged causing trouble?” Elbert asked. “Not as far as I can tell. Other than speaking their mind, they don’t seem to have done anything.” “Turning on our own can’t be a good thing. We don’t have enough people here as it is. The Comanches won’t have to attack us. They can just sit back and watch us kill ourselves.” “You remember James Tackitt, that Methodist parson? He said this war’s made folks plumb crazy. I think he’s right about that.” “They still call him the fighting parson?” Ezekiel said. “Yeah. He’s still saving souls and fighting Indians. Both occupations can keep a man busy in Texas. I think he’s quit preaching to the Indians though. Says now that the savages are like the Canaanites in the days of Joshua and need to be exterminated or driven from the Promised Land. I think that last episode on Tackitt Mountain when he and his family fought off Piny Chummy soured him on trying to save any Indians. He’s about quit enrolling soldiers for the war though. Says that there ain’t no one left fit to recruit.” “Tackitt enrolled me and Elbert,” Micah said. “And I got a bone to pick with him about that. Maglie NBA Life in the Confederate Cavalry ain’t much like what he described when I signed those papers.” “I guess a man’s life ain’t never going to be exactly like he wants or expects. It does gets exasperating at times, but we keep trying to give it some form or shape that matches the idea in our heads.” “Why are you doing this job, Chicolithe?” “Cause I’m a greedy son of a bitch, and I like hunting men.” There was a long board table under a pecan tree in front of the captain’s cabin. Two servants covered it with a tablecloth and then set out plates, glasses, and silverware. After placing some chairs and campstools around the table, they returned with a huge bowl of greens, a skillet of cornbread, and a platter of beefsteaks. Chicolithe rose.

  • “Well, I’m going to get some supper. I assume the captain invited you. He’s a real hospitable man, the captain. If you’d been here last week you could have been entertained by Miss Molly and her poetry.” “Naw. We weren’t invited. He said he’d send us food. Canotta Toronto Raptors Who entertained you?” “Some gal from Houston that came up to visit with the captain’s family. She fancies herself a poet. She ain’t much to listen to, but my, my, she does have other assets that offset her lack of poetic skill. Right pleasant to the eyes that woman. Well, you take care, Micah Evans. I’ll make it out your way some day. When this war winds down, I’ll likely go west. Lord knows there won’t be nothin’ east of here to go to.” “I’m glad we’re upwind from the stockade,” Elbert said. “Has a ripe odor to it.” “Everything about this war stinks,” Micah said.

    Chapter Fourteen: The Month the Babies Cry

    Chapter Fourteen: The Raid Somewhere along the Brazos, three spectres glide furtively through the shadows, through mesquite and prickly pear and muricated nettles clawing at their buckskin boots and long-fringed moccasins. adidas zx flux damskie Nike Air Max 2016 Dames Wearing the surreptitious night as a cloak on their sun-blackened skin, they move like a skulk of rabid fox, like a pride of feline prowlers seeking to escape observation. Soon, their eyes, dark adaptations, fix on the yellow nimbus of candle and firelight streaming through the open cabin door. Central Michigan Chippewas Jerseys

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    A New School Program by the Bard of the South, Rickey Pittman

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    Chapter Five: Month the Babies Cry

    Chapter Five

    Tyler Texas

    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”—Ernest Hemingway The thunderclap woke Chicolithe. He stretched his legs on the rope bed and listened to a surge of wind as it roared through the pine tops and to the rain as it pounded the wooden shingles and slid from the roof to slap puddles of water on the hard clay ground. He sat up and looked out the cabin’s one window by his bed. The thunder echoed through the piney hills like enfilading cannon, and he heard a bolt of lightning crackle high above the earth, burning sky and air until it augured its tentacle downward into a pine. He heard the tree split and crash into the ground. As the storm moved eastward, the thunder eased into rumbles and the lightning into white-charcoal screens. His bluetick hound stirred, and the dog’s tail thumped the bedpost. Chicolithe reached down and scratched the animal’s head. “One of them will run tonight, Nimrod. Best get some rest, boy.” The dog blew out a breath, licked Chicolithe’s hand, and rested his muzzle on his outstretched paws. Chicolithe rose an hour later, let the dog outside, and then moved to the stool at the fireplace. He threw pine kindling onto the embers and blew them into flame. sac kanken The blackened clay of the stick-framed clay chimney was cracked and thick with charred pine resin. The smoke swirled and looped inside its black crypt, then spiraled up the flu. After the logs caught, he let Nimrod back inside and made coffee and a small boiler of cornmeal mush. NIKE AIR MAX THEA

    As he ate, he stared into the flames, his thoughts taking him to earlier pursuits of these erratic and desperate men in blue coats. He heard the splash of brogans wading through the mud and puddles outside his cabin. A small hand, not a man’s fist, pounded on the door. It would be one of the guards from Camp Ford. Slipping his suspenders over his shoulders as he rose, he opened the dilapidated pine-board door. “Come on in, boy. Get dried off.” The fifteen-year-old stepped inside, removed his slouch hat, and squeezed the water out of it. “I’d like to visit a while, Mr. Chicolithe, but I got to get back to the fort. Colonel Allen wants you to come right away with your dogs. Some Yankees run away last night.” “How many this time?” “Colonel said a half-a-dozen of ’em.” Chicolithe ciphered the silver dollars he would earn if he could catch them all. The boy held his hands over the fireplace. “It’s rained like thunder all night long. A cold rain, too. Nick Marshall – Auburn Tigers Jerseys I reckon they thought the rain would cover their trail.” “They thought wrong.” Chicolithe studied the boy who had already worked the camp for a year. The boy was one of about two dozen militiamen on guard duty at Camp Ford—all of them boys, old men, or stove-up soldiers—who guarded the 2,000 Federal troops inside the stockade. More prisoners seemed to arrive every week. He wondered how many the pine log fort could hold. Chicolithe had taken a liking to this youngster. If the war lasted another year, this boy would be sure to sign on with regular Texas infantry or cavalry. A couple of the other boys guarding the fort seemed a bit addled and thickheaded to Chicolithe. He doubted they would ever be accepted for regular service, but this boy—he would be absorbed quickly. A half-dozen. That meant that it wasn’t the impulsive blind run of a few soldiers who seized an opportunity, but it reflected a planned escape. New Balance 990 damskie Likely, they had weapons and food stored up and a route planned. Maybe some help from someone outside the stockade. If the escapees stayed together, they would be easy enough to catch, but if they split up, Chicolithe knew he would have a devil of time catching them all. “Well, boy, help me load up the dogs, and we’ll be on our way. It sounds like the rain is letting up.” While the boy hitched his two mules to the wagon, Chicolithe saddled his horse and tied him to the back. He threw a sack of corn into the wagon bed and checked his guns. He stepped over to open the dog pen, and the six hounds inside bayed and pawed the gate. When he swung it open, the bloodhounds swarmed out, noses to the ground, their tails slapping the air in excitement. “Shut your mouths and get in the wagon,” he said. The dogs sniffed their way to the tailgate and hopped into the wagon bed. “You too, Nimrod,” he said. Nimrod, looked at him like an indulgent sergeant major would look at an officer giving orders before a battle, then hopped up with the others, sitting on his haunches in a corner of the wagon bed. “Why do you call that dog Nimrod?” the boy asked. “I knew this old Jewish man in Tyler. He used to tell me stories from the book of Genesis. One of them was about Nimrod, whom he called ‘a mighty hunter of men before the Lord.’ Now this old man says that Nimrod could hunt and track men and animals better than any man on earth. People feared him, and I’d say they had good reason to. I guess Nimrod had to have been a good manhunter if he caught the good Lord’s attention. This hound of mine is the best manhunter I got, so I gave him that name, Nimrod. “He’s the smartest and meanest hound I ever had. He’ll let a boy in gray pat him on the head, but the sight of a blue uniform seems to make him crazy mad. Must be some kind of natural instinct that some of the human race don’t have.” They happened upon a wagon of refugees—a mother, her young boys, a teenage daughter, and two servants. The wagon was piled high with their belongings. One of the servants wore a Confederate kepi. The servant raised his hand in greeting, then asked Chicolithe, “How far are we from the town of Tyler?” “About a mile straight ahead,” Chicolithe said. “Where are you folks from?” “From Louisiana,” one of the girls said. “We had a plantation near the Mississippi River. We are the Stone family. My name is Kate.” “Things bad there?” he asked. “Yankees and ruffians have taken over. They’re stealing and burning everything. We decided it would be prudent to move to a safer area.” “When you get into town, go to the Methodist church. The minister will help you. He’s taken it on himself to help folks like you. He’s commander of some sort of refugee relief committee.” “Thank you, sir,” she said. “Tyler, Texas.” She sighed. “It seems so far from our Brokenburn.” The pilgrim family moved on. The boy said, “That Kate is a pretty thing. Don’t you think so? I just might have to go to town next chance I get. Make sure they get settled and all. Do you have a sweetheart, Mr. Chicolithe?” Chicolithe spat into the road. “You mind your own business.” He popped the reins and the mules plodded forward. As Chicolithe neared the stockade he reined the mules to a stop. He looked down into the five-acre prisoner of war camp and contemplated the crude makeshift log and earth cabins. Some dwellings were merely lean-tos constructed of scraps of lumber, pine branches, and canvas; some were tarp-covered soddies or shebangs, which were merely holes covered with tarps. Blue coats, dirty muslin shirts, and a hodgepodge of colors and costumes swarmed like restless ants in the daylight. Red-capped Zouaves with their bulbous britches bobbed about like fishing corks on a pond. His hounds pushed their way to the front of the wagon, peering over his shoulder as if they too wanted to again examine this oddity of architecture and humanity. A bugle sounded for the 7:00 a.m. roll call, and the swarm metamorphosed into lines. One dog growled. “You settle down, Stuboy. You’ll get after some of’em soon enough.” He turned his head and spat a stream of tobacco into the muddy clay road. He popped the reins and said, “Go on, mule.” “Place is swelled up real tight now,” the boy said. “All those prisoners they brung back from Mansfield, Louisiana have durn near filled the place up.” “Taking so many prisoners never entered our leaders’ minds, best I can tell.” Chicolithe said. “You know, boy, a prisoner of war camp is an awful thing. You take a man out of a soldier’s life and stick him in a place like this, you’re likely to do something horrible to his insides. I hear it’s worse on our boys they took up north. A Southern boy ain’t like these Yankees. He don’t mind fighting, he can suffer through being hungry and tired and wet and cold, but he just ain’t made to be corralled in a situation like this.” Two young guards on picket duty sat along the road. They stood as the wagon approached, and when they recognized Chicolithe, they sat back down. One resumed cleaning his single barrel shotgun, and the other whittling a cedar branch, the shavings piling up near his feet. Neither boy could have been sixteen. “You been inside that pen yet, Mr. Chicolithe?” the whittler asked. “It’s like a durn circus or insane asylum. Colonel’s expecting you. You can leave the towhead here with us.” The boy stepped off the wagon. “I ain’t had breakfast yet.” “You done missed breakfast. Weren’t much today noway. Just some fried mush and sorghum.” “It’s a long time till supper,” the boy said. “Reckon you could get me something to eat, Mr. Chicolithe?” “If they feed me, I’ll ask the Colonel to send some up to you too.” “Much obliged, Mr. Chicolithe.” At the house, two women sat on the porch in rockers. One was an attractive young woman with a book in her hand. The older woman was knitting. When she saw Chicolithe, she set her work in her lap and smiled. “My husband is expecting you,” she said. A Negro was stacking firewood near the house. “Benjamin, would you please step inside and notify Colonel Allen that Mr. Adidas Superstar Donna

    Chilicothe has arrived.” “Yes, ma’am,” he said. “This is Mollie Moore, Mr. Chicolithe, a wonderful poet and singer from Houston. She has come to entertain the troops stationed here and the prisoners as well, though the escape last night may have sabotaged their chances for much entertainment. albion gold My husband is most irate over their ingratitude.” “I’m pleased to meet you, ma’am,” Chicolithe said. “Mr. Chicolithe is here to recover the escaped prisoners, Molly. He is an expert tracker and marksman. He can follow the faintest of trails, and it is said that he can out-track any Indian in the woods or prairies. His skill and instinct is legendary.” “Is that so?” Miss Mollie said. She looked at his dogs. “They do look like they are vicious creatures.” “I wouldn’t call them vicious, but they can put on a ferocious face when they want. Some prisoners say I starve my dogs to make them meaner. That ain’t true. buy albion gold They say that I don’t allow them to hunt nothin’ but a man. That is true. Memphis Grizzlies They can follow a scent eight days old, even after a rain. The Yankees call them sleuth-dogs. Like me, my dogs don’t care for Yankees none.” “Do you have to use dogs to catch them? He reached down and petted Nimrod’s head. “No, ma’am, I don’t have to use dogs to follow and ketch a man, but the dogs do hasten the process. My dogs are hunters like me—they’ll follow a man day and night till they get him. You know, when Cortez landed in Mexico, he got the attention and respect of the Aztecs by three things: guns, horses, and his war-dogs. I’ve got all three, and I’ve surely got the attention of the Yankees here.” “Do you like poetry, Mr. Stubbs?” Mollie asked. Her eyes were sparkly, playful. He thought her a little arrogant, like she was testing him. “Lot of folks write poems, ma’am,” Chicolithe said. NIKE AIR MAX SEQUENT “I like some of what I hear, though most of what people call poetry leans toward the overly sentimental. I do enjoy reading good poetry when I can get it.” “Well, I hope you favor mine. I will look for you at my reading this evening.” Colonel Allen, a captain, two lieutenants, and a civilian came out of the cabin. “Mr. Chicolithe,” the Colonel said, “It seems I am in need of your services once again.” “That’s what I hear.” Colonel Allen scratched his neck under his beard and said, “Every batch, there’s always a few that starts planning an escape. And I don’t know why. I allow them to sell their souvenirs to Tyler folks. I try to feed them decently. They’ve heard of Camp Groce, they know this ain’t no Andersonville, and they know that if they go back to fightin’ they’re likely to get killed or captured again.” “It’s hard to explain human nature, Colonel. The ones that try to escape never think it out entirely. I see you enlarged the stockade.” “I had to. It’s a perplexing thing, having all these prisoners. It filled up faster than we had thought, so I had to pull all the logs up, cut them in half and split them and rebuild the fence. buy albion silver And they still keep coming.

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  • We already got prisoners from a hundred Federal regiments and seventeen states, a herd of sailors from the Federal Navy, seven colonels, four majors, forty-eight captains, ninety lieutenants, one doctor and one naval captain. Even got a couple of Texas boys from Jack County who had joined the Federal army.” “I thought you had arranged a prisoner exchange, so you could get them out of here.” “We thought so. We marched them to Shreveport, but the talks broke down, so General Kirby ordered us to march them back. You should have heard them Yankees cursing their idiot leaders. One Kansas boy broke down and cried. They couldn’t understand why the Grand Army of the Republic didn’t want to exchange prisoners. “I must apologize, Mr. Chicolithe. The responsibilities of my position sometimes distract me. Regarding your pay. I’ll pay you in Mexican silver coin, one dollar per man you return.” “The boy said that a half-dozen lit out?” “That is correct. I’m afraid we had a bad storm last night, and they made use of that diversion to slip away. They dug under some logs loose on the eastern side of the stockade.” “It looks mighty crowded. My guess is you’re about to have a passel of escape attempts. Course, when I get back with these, the others won’t be in such a hurry to get out.” “What do you mean, sir?” a Lieutenant asked. “I mean that they’ll find it’s safer there, than when I’m after them. adidas zx 700 damskie And this camp here . . .Well, it will seem like a traveler’s hotel compared to life on the run.

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  • “They cain’t have gone far. If they went due east, like I think they did, they’ll slow down when they hit the swamp. Nike Air Max 2016 Dames Groen Most of them have no sense of direction and will get lost trying to cut through it or circle it. You want them back alive? If I have to shoot one, and if you wanted his body toted back, you’ll have to send along me some help.” “Live will do fine, but don’t put yourself out to make them walk back. I’ll send a wagon along the road, and you can have the three guards you met coming in, and a couple of the Twelfth Texas Cavalry that have just been stationed here. These Federals who escaped were all officers. I can’t tell you how important it is that we find them quickly.” “Don’t you worry none. I’ll fetch them home. As far as men, just give me the towhead. If I need more, I’ll send him back to get them. I will need some rope or lariats though.” “As you wish.” Chicolithe walked around the stockade and found where the prisoners had slipped through. Two servants were resetting the logs. His eyes followed the faint trail made by their bare feet and thin brogans. He filled his pipe, popped a Lucifer on a stockade log, and smoked, speculating. He walked around the stockade, looking for other breaches and trails. At the gate, Chicolithe watched a guard escort a Yankee out of the stockade to the hospital building. A gaunt, walking skeleton, his body wasted away by dysentery, he must have lost his mind somewhere in Camp Ford. He held an ear of corn in the air and was gibberishly talking to it as if it were a close friend. As far as Chicolithe could tell, the corn’s new friend didn’t have a grain of sense. He moved on to his wagon. The towhead was already there. “Well, let’s get started,” Chicolithe said. He untied his horse from the wagon and mounted. He shouted, “Let loose the dogs of war!” He glanced up at Miss Mollie and saw her nod approvingly. “I see Mr. Chicolithe knows some Shakespeare. I do so hope that you will be back in time to hear my poetry.” The towhead dropped the wagon’s tailgate. Chicolithe’s eyes shifted to the visiting poet. “I look forward to hearing your poetry, Miss Mollie. ” Chicolithe shouted, “Let’s go boys. Sing for them! Sing, Cerberus! Sing, Nimrod! Sing, Stu-boy!” The hounds filed off the wagon and let loose a chorus of barks, bays, and growls and followed him to the escapees’ trail. buy albion gold The low murmur of voices and other sounds in the stockade stilled. It became so quiet that Chicolithe heard the shrill cry of a hawk above them. He knew it was good for the prisoners who had lacked the gumption to attempt an escape to see and hear the dogs. There was something about the dogs that frightened them. cheap albion gold And my dogs should frighten them, he thought. He and the boy followed the dogs, and as he anticipated, the escaped prisoners moved east, right toward the big swamp between Tyler and Shreveport. albion silver If they didn’t split up, he’d be finished by supper. From his horse he studied the trail. They weren’t traveling with great speed. They were either worn out or arrogant. “Are we close to them, Mr. Chicolithe?” the towhead asked. “We are. Now, listen to me, towhead. As the sleuth-dogs get closer, those Yanks will stop traveling together and make it ever man for himself, and they’ll scatter. Are you listening to me? They’re likely hungry, tired, and eaten up by briars and mosquitoes. The mind of an escaped Federal is a most peculiar thing. Once the dogs start baying, the runners always think the dogs are closer and running faster than they are. Makes them careless. Makes them crazy stupid. They’ll get scared and run themselves out. That’s just what we want. Under Armour Shoes Keep your eyes open too. When we start catching them, we’ll truss them up like a string of haltered horses and you’ll lead them along. You follow me slow. Don’t untie them, and don’t stop; I don’t care what they say or how much they whine. They might try some kind of desperate ambush on you. If you think one’s going to fight you, or if he threatens you, shoot him with that shotgun of yours.” Chicolithe studied the fringe of the swamp ahead. At the next rise, he saw a blue jacket weaving erratically through the brush, and white arms flailing at the briars and vines. When Chicolithe blew his horn bugle, the dogs raised their voices in a chorus of barks and howls. “Get him, boys!” he said. A couple of the sight dogs caught a glimpse of their prey and belted out in front of the pack, snarling like berserk Vikings working themselves up into a battle frenzy. A few yards away from its quarry, one sprang into the air, hit the Federal high in the back and knocked him down. The other dogs swarmed onto the fallen Yankee, latching onto arms and legs and pinning him to the ground. In his peripheral vision, Chicolithe caught a flash of blue to his right. Two more Federals were making their way into the cypress brake. “Towhead, you go pull the dogs off this one, and get a gun on the prisoner.” He spurred his horse toward the fleeing prisoners. The men paused at the edge of water then waded out into it. Listen to me, boys. That little bit of water ain’t goin’ to slow the dogs down. They like a swim now and then.” One of the Yankees hollered, “I’m not going back to that camp!” “You’re wrong about that boy,” Chicolithe said. He lifted his rifle and dropped the man. The surviving Yankee said, “Don’t shoot me! And don’t sic those dogs on me! Please, don’t sic those dogs on me!” “Alright,” Chicolithe said. “You come out here to me, and I’ll keep the dogs off you.” The Yankee trudged out of the water and came and stood by Chicolithe’s horse. The towhead led his prisoner and the dogs back to Chicolithe. Chicolithe pitched him a coil of rope. “Hog-tie these two and let’s get the other three.” From his horse Chicolithe could see other tracks leading to a canebrake. He nudged his horse toward it, figuring that the other three had stayed together. Chicolithe hollered, “You Federal boys in there, you best come out. My dogs done chewed up one of your friends, and the other’s lying facedown in the swamp water. Los Angeles Lakers Y’all are going back—one way or another. Now, I could set the dogs on you, or hell, I could just set fire to the cane and shoot you when you run out. I’ll give you a minute or so to decide.” A voice called out, “We’re gonna come out, Mr. Chicolithe. Don’t shoot us.” Chicolithe said, “You got any guns?” “Theodore here has a small pistol, but I think the powder’s wet.” Chicolithe heard them arguing among themselves. “What are you doing, holding a durn election? There ain’t but one decision to make and that’s if you’re going to walk out of the cane. I’m in a hurry to get back to camp and have a good supper and hear Miss Molly read her poetry.” Two Federal officers filed out. Chicolithe studied their faces. A man’s face and eyes shows what he is, he thought. Try as he might, a man can’t hide some things. As a manhunter, he had seen the whole spectrum of the emotions and mindsets of captives—rage, defiance, fear, confusion, frustration, madness, and despair. Officer or enlisted man, when a man is on the run, his face wears the naked truth of what he is in his essence. cheap albion silver Chicolithe counted the now silent men huddle in front of him. Four, one dead on the water, that made five. One missing. “Where’s the other one?” he asked the one who had the most fear on his face. “I—I—I don’t know,” he replied. Chicolithe lifted the rifle’s muzzle and pressed it against the man’s chin. chaussures de foot adidas “This is no time to take up the bad habit of lying.” Nimrod had frozen like a dog pointing quail, his eyes fixed on the cane. Chicolithe heard his low and steady growl. “Nimrod thinks there’s still someone in the cane.” The Lieutenant’s eyes widened. “Get him, Nimrod,” Chicolithe said. Nimrod spurted into the cane, the other dogs following his lead. A man’s angry voice cursed, and Chicolithe could hear him thrashing about in the cane trying to get away from the dogs. The man-voice was swallowed up by the barks and growls of the dogs, and the angry voice changed to cries for help. “It isn’t right for you to sic your dogs on him,” one of the Federal officers said. “Call them off.” “They do sound like their getting worked up, don’t they? You can go get your friend if you want,” Chicolithe said. “He should have come out like the rest of you had the sense to do.” Chicolithe waited a minute longer, then whistled sharply. The dogs stopped their attack. He knew they still circled the man, waiting for another chance to attack. Chicolithe heard the man hyperventilating and wheezing. He called out, “You ready to come out of that cane now?” “Yes.” Chicolithe whistled again and the dogs returned to the manhunter party. Nimrod rubbed his bloody muzzle on the grass, then nudged each of the other dogs as if congratulating them for their work. Chicolithe heard the prisoner trudge cautiously toward them through the cane. He stepped out in the open. His blue jacket was shredded and stained with blood. His eyes were glazed and crossed. “Lord, have mercy,” one of the Union officers said. “He needs medical attention. Can’t you put him on a horse?” “Patch him up best you can. He walked away from Camp Ford. Air Jordan 18 I reckon he can walk back like the rest of you.” He lifted his rifle and pointed the barrel west, toward the road. “You boys get to walking that direction. That will put us on the Tyler road and it will be easier walking. We’ll follow along right behind you.” “What about that Yank you shot?” the towhead said. “What about him?” “Captain won’t pay you unless he sees the body, Chicolithe.” “I reckon you’re right about that.” Chicolithe backtracked the group to where he had shot the escaping prisoner. The Federals stood at the edge of the swamp in silence, staring at the bobbing blue body, facedown on the water. “Y’all wade out and get your friend,” Chicolithe said. “You can bury him back at the camp.” When they had dragged the corpse out of the water, Chicolithe told the towhead to walk, so they could tie the dead Federal across his horse. He allowed the Federals to walk in a clump until they neared Camp Ford, then he tethered them neck to neck and ordered them walk in a single file. Chicolithe called out, “Sing for them, boys!” Nimrod and the dogs began their hunters’ chorus—howling, snarling, and barking, as they herded the prisoners forward, nipping at their heels like stock dogs. The Colonel met Chicolithe at the edge of the camp. He angrily eyed the prisoners, and then turned the manhunter. “Excellent work, Mr. Chicolithe. Excellent! Come by my cabin and I will pay you for your services. Guards! Open the gate for the prisoners. Write down their names, for I shall call them later for questioning and punishment.” After the Federals had filed into the stockade, the dogs sat on their haunches outside the heavy pine-log gate. Chicolithe rode on to the Colonel’s cabin, dismounted, and tied his horse to one of the cedar porch posts. There was a pail of water on the porch. He drank two gourds of water, wiped his mouth with his shirtsleeve, and walked back to the stockade. He climbed a ladder and studied the mass of prisoners. A few of the prisoners saw him and pointed his way, whispering to their comrades. He saw a prisoner, standing as if paralyzed, a pewter spoon in his hand. That’s odd, he thought. The prisoner’s eyes shifted to the man next to him, who held a bulbous rag, cupped in his hand. The one with a spoon vanished into a dugout, and Chicolithe watched the other untie his bundle. A thin stream of dust poured out as he walked along the path the Yankees had named Main Street. The soldier folded his rag and stuffed it into his pocket, then he too ducked inside the same dugout the man with the spoon had gone into. They’re digging a tunnel, he thought. Spoonful by spoonful. Guess it gives them something to do. He returned to the cabin where the Colonel, Mrs. Allen, and Miss Molly waited for him. Miss Molly said, “I see Caesar has returned with many captives. I shall later compose a poem as a tribute to your exploits.” Colonel Allen handed Chicolithe a small sack of coins. “I believe this capture will demonstrate to the prisoners how futile the notion of escape is. Hopefully, we will not need your services in the future. Some of the officers want to hunt for deer or perhaps even a buffalo tomorrow. Would you care to join us?” “Naw, I reckon I’ll stick to hunting Federal prisoners.” Chicolithe contemplated informing the Colonel about the tunnel. They had probably been working on it for sometime. He felt sorry for the Federals in a way—all that work and time expended for nothing. Canotte Phoenix Suns A tunnel meant several soldiers would attempt an escape. He thumbed the sack of silver coins in his palm. Scanning the sky, he speculated about future weather. cheap albion gold Too much rain would flood or collapse the shallow tunnel. This group wouldn’t wait for bad weather. They would escape as soon as they dug past the stockade wall. Nimrod trotted to Chicolithe and rubbed his muzzle against his leg. Chicolithe scratched Nimrod’s ears. “Don’t worry, boy. We won’t have to wait long.