To help celebrate here’s an outtake from White Savage, my first release through MuseItUp Publishing, and old fashion western, packed with action and sprinkle through with a sweet romance. A blurb first, to give you a feel for the story, followed by an extra scene between secondary characters not in the book.
No one knew how long the Indians had the boy only that it had been too long for Jimmy to learn to be white again. After being locked in their jail, beaten, and chained as a child he returns ten years later, to be hunted as a thief, murderer, and kidnapper. His name was Clay. The Hoodys called him, Jimmy, the White Savage. On the run Clay is pushed into proving there’s a savage in all of us, but is the woman a captive? Or did she go of her own free will to help the White Savage?
Sam, the marshal’s Indian tracker, and Joey go to town to send a secret telegraph:
The trip to town seemed be boring to Sam, but Joey was on tender hooks the whole time. He never believed they’d get in and out without being seen, but with Sam's patient guidance, he learned a passel of new tricks. More importantly, he learned quite a bit about Sam, the most pleasant being that Sam had a tremendously entertaining sense of humor.
Sam had explained stoically that what he wanted to do was a diversion, so he could go into the telegraph office unseen, but Joey saw through that. No diversion had to be done that way. A fire in the barn at the other end of town would have probably gotten just as many folks looking the other way, kept them busy too, putting it out, and making sure none of the horses burnt up, but it wouldn’t have been as funny. And Sam let him be the one to do it, then stay and watch the fun.
Joey figured they laid there for hours. Sweat trickled down his back tickling him, flies kept landing on his face, and he was sure ants were crawling up his pant legs. He wanted to swat flies, rub his shirt on the sweat, and stomp the ants out of his pants, but Sam told him to lie still, so he did.
Sam laid there the whole time they waited as passive as a man carved out of wood. If a fly crawled into Joey’s eye, he cringed, squeezing his eyes closed till it moved away. Those flies were the worst. Half a dozen times, Joey nearly let go and swatted at them. When he figured he just couldn’t stand it anymore, he stood it just one more time, and it paid off. Someone finally came out, his pa, following the path to the outhouse.
“You go quiet now. Meet me here, ten minutes,” Sam told him, rising to his knees then slipping off without a sound.
Joey picked up the staff Sam had picked for the job and slipped off sounding, to his disgust, like a herd of horses compared to the way Sam moved. But his pa didn’t hear him, not till he slammed the end of the staff he carried under the handle of the outhouse door and rammed the other end tight into the ground with his foot.
Noah yelled, demanding to know who was out there. He shoved the door and yelled again, shaking at it from inside. Joey giggled as he backed off, then he added a touch of his own. He struck a match and dropped it in a pile of dried brush nearby.
When Joey got back to the observation spot and dropped back to his belly to watch, he saw he’d started more than he’d intended, but boy, was it funny.
Josh ran out of the house to see what his pa was yelling about. He saw the fire, ran back to the house, forgetting all about getting Pa out of the outhouse. He ran into Jeremiah, standing in the way to watch the fire. Jeremiah got shoved and had a bucket slammed against his chest. Josh ran back for another bucket, Jeremiah scooped his full of water in the nearby horse trough, threw it on the fire, then collided with Josh on the way for another. The whole time, Noah was screaming bloody murder, pounding on the outhouse door to be let out.
Everyone in town came running, some grabbing up buckets, and others trying to kick the stick loose that Joey had wedged against the door. Josh finally took that over and stomped it to snap it in two. Noah came tumbling out just as the flames reached it and started licking up the side.
The strangest thing happened then. Joey never knew before that something like that could happen, but he sure would remember it. The outhouse blew up. Just plain blew up like someone had tossed a stick of dynamite in it. Josh and Noah were knocked flat and bits and pieces of wood rained down on them.
“Go,” Sam said, making Joey jump. “Now.”
“Did ya see that? It blew up, just plain blew up.”
“No think of that. Good joke,” Sam said before trotting off.
“Yeah, but what made it blow up?” Joey asked, panting as he ran to keep up.
“Gas from stink. White man dumb, all the time put in same place. Make stink bad.”
“Yeah, guess…gues…we ought ta…bury it like…a cat.”
“No difference. All go back to dirt. You work too hard to run. Do like this.”
Sam showed him, and Joey learned. The jog-trot was easier, but he was still winded when they got back to the horses. That didn’t keep him from talking.
“Never seen anything blow up like that. Did you see the look on Pa’s face? Boy, was he mad.”
“Make you happy, see mad?”
“It sure does. I caught him with his pants down,” he said and giggled.
“How old you?” Sam asked, swinging up on his horse’s back, Indian style with a handful of mane and without use of stirrups.
“I wish I could do that,” Joey said in admiration. He stepped up in the stirrup to his saddle. “I’m twenty-three.”
Joe shook his head sadly, kicked his horse forward and said, “You no learn much all that time.”
“Pa wouldn’t let us. Would ya teach me how to mount like that?”
“You Pa bad man. Maybe kill him.”
“If you don’t, Jim will,” he said with a shrug. “Will ya teach me?”
“Maybe. Right now find where McGee find track.”
“I can show ya where I lost him. That’d help, wouldn’t it?”
So Joey learned some about tracks. When Sam found where McGee left the posse’s trail, following the tracks he recognized, Clay’s horse, he headed them back to Te’s. Joey badgered him with questions until he finally said, “Sam tired. Want sleep now.”
“While ya ride?”
“Horse follow yours,” he said, settling himself to a slump of careful balance.
“Sam, how come ya talk ta me like that? Figure I’m too dumb?”
“Sam too tired think all words. Sleep now, talk later.”
Joey’s problem, the one causing the incessant rattling, was two-fold. He had gone without sleep long enough that he was rummy, and like a lot of people, the more tired he got, the more wound up. The second was that never in his life had he asked anyone questions that answered him with more than shut-up. Seemed like it to him anyway, and not only was Sam willing to answer him, he gave smart answers.
He was silent all of three seconds. “How’d ya know Jim’d go back the Plotts ranch if ya didn’t know Johns was there?”
“This Indian tired. You talk now, no teach later.”
“Ah, Sam, I was just wondering. She seems mighty fond of him, worried like. I just wondered if he liked her, too.”
“No teach,” Sam warned again without a change in his position.
“Okay, I don’t wanna make ya mad. I was just wonder—I’ll shut up, promise.”
Sam let his chin fall to his chest with a slight smile on his face.
Watch for my next western, Tarbet, coming next year, one of many to be released through MuseItUp under both of my pens. Two names, one author, thousands of stories. Read about them all at: http://www.larriane.com