Old Nick’s Garley: 2
Western Subgenre: Indigenous Partnership
I looked it up and created Indigenous Partnership as the modern version of “Indian Wars” which we never want to hear about again. http://cuebon.com/ewriters/Wsubgenres.html
I already wrote a few more chapters for Old Nick’s Garley so I wanted to find a subgenre that fit my bill in order to answer the challenge. Enjoy!
“Shut that dog up and sign the damn papers.”
The government man had come down from the loft picking my straw out of his hair, spent the morning picking my grits out of his teeth, and the day argufying why I had to sign the custody paper for Miss D.
Old Nick had spent the night rattling his claws up and down the porch. At dawn he yowled like I’d only heard when my pa got hisself gored on the far side of the mountain.
“No place for a ‘she’” I insisted.
“Then ya gotta move.”
“Then ya gotta set her up in town nice and comfy.”
I snorted. My cattle weren’t gonna keep no female ‘comfy’. “How do I know you got the right PWG Garley?”
“Ask your son. Does it say “Get-the-Hell-Out?”
Rick raised his head from the papers. “If she’s grandpappy’s daughter’s kin, how come she’s called ‘Garley’?”
I looked the messenger in the eye.
“Maybe she never married. Maybe she re grafted in by marriage to her cousin. I don’t know and the government don’t care. It says …”
Nick let out a yelp right by the door, then another but fainter. By the third I could hardly hear him and I was already outside with my rifle cocked. His dust cloud headed out toward the distant smudge on the horizon.
Buck hot-footed to the stables. Coolie came out with full waterbags and biscuit tins.
We rode with the stars. We slept in boulder-shade when the sun melted the saguaros. Nick would circle back, run round his tail, slurp from the waterbag and take off. I guessed he slept with the wagon that was bringing Miss D.
As the sun was setting the third time, we rode up to Nick sitting under a mesquite tree. The empty wagon, empty rifle and a whole lot of footprints obscured by brushmarks left us grasping for clues. Nick whined and disappeared again.
“O’odham.” Buck squatted on his haunches.
As if conjured, a tall man with sunset-kissed skin emerged from behind a boulder with Nick panting at his heel.
“You got them?” I asked in the man’s language.
He nodded. “The man is dead. He tried to fight. The woman. The sun ate her blood. The child’s blood too, but she now eats with our little ones.”
Heatstroke. I nodded. “Thank your father, Wuai’nahk. What is his plan?” I had questions like a choya had needles, but none of them would change the chief’s plan.
“Our medicine will put the woman on the right side of the shade. When she can ride, we will bring her to you. You get rid of the government man.”
Nothing would give me more pleasure.
We unloaded our supplies except Buck and I kept a waterbag each for our horses. Wuai’nahk would have a horse nearby. He never showed off his riches.
His people would know when the government man left my land, but I needed them to keep their booty a little longer.
“When can I meet with your people? I would ask your father for more than medicine.”
The O’odham man clenched his cheek under his eye and disappeared behind the boulder.
Buck and I rode home. Near the house, I looked for Nick. If I didn’t see him by dawn the next day, I’d say he was more curious about the two Miss D’s than me even.
About the Author: Where are you from? Chances are, I’ve been there. Africa claims me as her child, Europe claims me as a nomad, Canada claims me as a settler. My voice, accent, outlook and style reflect all the places I have lived and loved. Music teacher, author, audiobook narrator, besides all that arty stuff.