Thursday, August 26, 2010
Chap 4 Next Morning
The night had been a cool one, a relief after so many hot nights and the cool water from the evening before and taken the tension off. After a rough day there were smiles on the faces.
A sharp breeze rolled across Evan’s neck when he rolled over. Shadows were just starting to form. Early morning light gave form to the shapes around him, the wagons were outlined, beyond were the ridges and the hill was a distant glimmer in the sun. When Evan tossed the covers off a shiver ran through his limbs, it was cooler than usual this morning and there was moisture in the air.
Trying to be as quiet as possible Evan slid into his clothes, stirred the fire some, there was a glow, set a couple of chips in and put the coffee pot on the fire. Walking to his horse Evan slipped a halter on and rubbed the horse some, put some water into the bucket for the horse and went back to the fire to pour a tepid cup of coffee. He sat the cup on the wagon seat, jumped on the horses back, spun around, picked up the cup and headed out to round up the cattle.
There was enough light now to see the tufts of grass and clods. Riding up to the ridge to survey where the Oxen were. Climbing up the ridge Evan could see the sun on the distant clouds, on the horizon boiled a haze. At first glance he thought it was smoke, closer scrutiny he could see it was low clouds rolling down the sand creek. Fog was building to the west and headed their way. Quickly Evan turned the horse around, flipping the coffee cup empty and running for camp.
Flying into camp everybody that had been sleeping was now awake. Yelling Evan told his brothers to get mounted and help him to get the Oxen rounded up before the fog became so thick they could not see them. Hurriedly boots and pants were put on and shirts were slipped on while running to the horses. Up on the ridge they rode scouting where the cattle had roamed off to for the night. To the north were some dark shapes and a couple could be seen to the west. They broke off each going after the group they could see. Evan rode off to the southeast to see if some were that direction.
Evan rode onto another rise to look about, he saw two of them lying on the grass chewing their cud. He gathered them up and got them headed back towards camp. His brothers were returning also and when they counted they came up one short. They got the Oxen into their yokes and secured them to the wagons. The mules had been tied down nearby and would be okay. They had enough oxen and after breakfast they would ride out and see if they could find the lost Ox.