Jubal Sackett by Louis L'Amour

Jubal Sackett by Louis L'Amour

Author:Louis L'Amour [L'Amour, Louis]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Sackett family (Fictitious characters), Frontier and pioneer life, Sackett family (Fictitious character), Western stories, Westerns, General, Fiction, Frontier and pioneer life - West (U.S.) - History - 17th century, West (U.S.)
ISBN: 9780553277395
Publisher: Bantam Books
Published: 1986-04-30T23:00:00+00:00

A cold wind was blowing up outside, swirling the snow. We added fuel to the fire and then I went to my bed beyond the flames. Gomez, if that was his name, was staring into the fire, thinking.

He was a bright man, and brave enough, I suspected, but his plans had gone awry, and now he would be considering his next move. That he did not wish to arrive back among his people empty-handed was obvious, as it also was that he had contempt for anyone's feelings but his own. Yet he was no fool. He was a man of whom to be wary. In this, the smaller cave, there were but three of us.

Whatever else Gomez was, he was now desperate. Beaten and driven from Diego's expedition, he had stumbled upon us, hoping for a horse. Now he must head south through the snow to Santa Fe. I did not know the distance but it was many days travel, and I could not believe he was anxious for it.

That night I slept not well. At every move he made my eyes flared open, and Keokotah was equally on edge, yet at daybreak he shouldered the small pack of food we gave him and without so much as a thank-you he walked off into the snow, going back the way he had come.

We watched him move away, and Keokotah followed him, after he disappeared from sight, to see if he continued on his way.

When he was gone I went to Itchakomi's cave.

Two women were making moccasins, another was stitching furs together for a robe, a fourth was cooking.

We seated ourselves together near the wall. No men were in the cave. "They hunt for meat," she explained. "The winter is long, and we eat much.”

"This place is good," I said. "You will bring your people here?”

She was silent for several minutes. "I do not know. My people have lived long beside the river. It is warm there and what they plant will grow. Here they must learn new ways. The planting seasons will be different. I do not believe they will wish to leave the warmth and the river. They will stay, and hope for the best.”

"But you will tell them of this place?”

"People do not lightly leave what they have always known. Our old ones are buried there. The young who died are buried there also. Our memories are there, and they will turn their eyes from danger.”

"And you?”

"Their place is my place also. I must be with them. I must lead and I must advise.”

"If the Great Sun dies while you are gone?”

"If I do not return in time, another will take his place.”

For a time we did not speak and then I said, tentatively, "It is lovely here, and in the spring—”

"When very young I went one time to the mountains. I went with my mother, my father, and the Ni'kwana. There were others, too. We went to trade. We went to a long valley with forest all about and a small stream.


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