Two reminders and a snip!
First, Turtleduck Press is still looking for that right writer to join our merry band.
Second, the posting of my cowboys story is still coming up. This snip is from earlier in the story than the last excerpt.
Cal rode close to the canyon wall, not really watching where he was going the way Joseph would have if he were that close. He wasn’t, of course. Joseph rode a bit behind and off to Cal’s left as they rode— Joseph thought they were headed south. But he wasn’t sure.
“There.” Cal’s horse stopped and without Joseph telling her to, so did his mare. He felt his balance go and grabbed the saddle horn to stay on as the dumb horse walked closer to Cal’s buckskin. Cal himself was pointing down into the canyon. “See the ruins?” he asked.
“No— yes.” If by ruins Cal meant the seemingly regular collection of rocks that might be the size of a small hunting lodge, down by the creek.
“You’ve heard of the Battle of Adobe Walls?”
Cal shook his head. “In 1864, Kit Carson held off thousands of Kiowa and Comanche with three hundred men at Adobe Walls. The part they often don’t mention is that Carson had raided the Kiowa a couple days before in provocation, and he had howitzers. Still, it was a helluva battle, three hundred against thousands. He didn’t win, but he didn’t lose either. Whatever you think of the reasons for the battle, that’s pretty impressive.”
“History-wise, that’s pretty awesome. But I thought adobe was mud?”
“That’s not Adobe Walls down there, but it was one of the triggers. A man named Willard Grissom lived down there with a couple wives and a passel of kids, and he traded with the Comanche. After a while he got to thinking he should run the place, the story goes, and the Comanche disabused him of the notion. It was pretty nasty— though history now says not nearly as nasty as the rhetoric went, kind of like Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction— and it’s part of why Kit Carson was sent after the tribes here.”
“Texas schools must beat California’s by a mile,” Joseph said, trying to remember anything he’d learned in school besides nobody’s listening. “When did you have time for rodeo class?”
“That was PE,” Cal said with a grin, turning his horse. The little horse almost swapped back for front, he turned so tightly. “I didn’t learn about Grissom in school, though,” Cal said. “My four-times-great-grandfather was at Adobe Walls. Twice. In the second battle he fought beside Bat Masterson, and twenty-eight men held off seven hundred attackers mad as hell about white men shooting their buffalo and doing a lot of other rotten things.”
“…damn,” Joseph said. “So the ranch has been here over a hundred years?”
Cal looked up at the sky, looked around, moved a bit as if settling deeper in his saddle. “The ranch has been here since God made it,” he said. “It’s been entrusted to MacGregor hands for more than a hundred years. And I mean to keep it that way, so we might ought to get back to the fence.” He shoved his beat-up hat down on his head.
I’m pretty proud of this story, and I can’t WAIT for you guys to read it. Join the M/M Romance group on Goodreads to read it as soon as it’s posted!