Book Signing News:
I had a successful signing at the Books-A-Million in Baton Rouge, another sell-out and as usual made some new friends and good contacts. I was so busy that I neglected to take any photos. I returned home late last night, played my guitar a little and crashed out. This morning, I sent two articles in to TGIF Weekend Bandit, for my column on the Civil War in Indian Territory and North Texas. Today, I hope to do some creative writing, work on learning some new songs, and of course attend to my list of endless tasks associated with the writing business.
Tomorrow, I resume teaching my classes at Delta. Thursday through Sunday, I’ll be in Jefferson, Texas, for Kathy Patrick’s Girlfriend Weekend. I’m scheduled to be on a couple of panels, and I’ll have a table there to sell some books. This is always a fun and profitable weekend for me. However, I will try to post a blog entry every day.
North Texas During the Civil War: Life in the Corridor
This is a short excerpt from a novel in progress. It portrays a member of the 23rd Texas Cavalry returning home on furlough during the last year of the Civil War. I have set my novel to take place in Jack, Parker, and Young counties, an area of Texas heavily raided by the Kiowa and Comanche. The wide swath of land the raiders followed from Texas up into Oklahoma, Kansas, etc. ,was known as the Corridor. In this excerpt, my protagonist, Micah, comes upon a young boy after he crosses the Trinity River.
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 drawstring.
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. 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. 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.
“Si. Mi padre dice son Comanches.”