Trail of the Apache and Other Stories
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Destiny, restlessness, and greed moved the white man west, into lands occupied for centuries by a proud and noble people: Arapahoe, Navajo, Apache, Sioux. The bitter misunderstandings and brutal clashes of cultures that resulted ultimately shaped the nation we know today. In seven classic western tales, the New York Times-bestselling Grand Master re-creates a world of violence, deception, vengeance, and strange beauty with the same peerless storytelling power that distinguishes his acclaimed suspense fiction.
Both was an honest man, and his fear was an honest fear. He was just young. His knees trembled not so much at the thought of the coming engagement, his first, but at the question: Would he do the right thing? What would his reaction be? He knew it would make or break him. And then, before he could prepare himself, it had begun. Two, three, four carbine shots screamed through the canyon, up beyond their sight. At the same time, there was a blur of motion on the opposite canyon wall not a hundred
valley below; but massive boulders along the cliff top lodged over the depression, forming a four-sided opening. It was a gigantic frame through which they could see sky and the flat surface of a mesa in the distance. On both sides the mesa top fell away to shoulders cutting sharp right angles from the straight vertical lines, then to be cut off there, in their vision, by the rock border of the cliff frame. And before their eyes the mesa turned into a flat-topped Spanish sombrero. Billy Guay’s
and seemed unnatural. Moving at this pace, it was almost dusk when they reached the edge of the timber. The pine hill was still on their left, but higher and steeper. To the right, two spurs reached out from the cliff wall that had gradually dropped until now it was just a hump, but with a confusion of rocky angles in the near distance beyond. And ahead was a canyon mouth, narrow at first, but then appearing to open into a wider area. As they rode on, Angsman could see it in Ed Hyde’s eyes. The
He shook his head. “That’s a mountain of back-breaking hours just to prove a point.” “You think it’s worth it or not?” the boy said angrily. Cleary just smiled. “Your dad would have liked to seen this,” he said. “Come on, let’s get those hides.” Skinning buffalo was filthy, back-straining work. Most hunters wouldn’t stoop to it. It was for men hired as skinners and cooks, men who stayed by the wagons until the shooting was done. During their four weeks on the range the boy did his share of
a poker game on a blanket, a lantern above them on a crate. They paid little heed to the old man and the boy, letting them prepare their supper on the low-burning cook fire and after, when the boy stood over them and asked questions, they answered him shortly. The game was for high stakes, and there was a pot building. No, they hadn’t seen the Foss brothers, and if they had, they wouldn’t trade with them anyway. They were taking their skins to Caldwell for top dollar. They moved on, keeping well