Sunday, November 15, 2009

Empty mind and an excerpt

Just ran across a blog entitled Ramblings of a Raconteur written by Rebecca Ryals Russell who said she has finished her NaNoWriMo project, see at

My mind is drawing blanks this morning on writing the blog. I thought I would pick out a book and say something about it, then I thought, no, I've already done that the last few times. So, on to something else. I guess I could start off by doing an excerpt from a new novel that I'm working on, like this one (not a NaNoWriMo):

"Never mind," I said. "We'll do it some other time. What direction did the rustlers take? This is a big country."

"They stole them from the main herd over there," Zeke, said, pointing to some cattle grazing peacefully, "and took off to the northeast for a ways, then headed northwest to the canyons. We lost them in the rocks at the edge of the gulches. I think it was Indians that stole them, Utes would be my guess, but can't tell for sure."

I stared at him as he spoke, trying to tell if he was lying, but there was nothing except a turning away of his eyes from my face for a split second. Could be a habit or it could be the reflection of a lie.

"Anything else you want to know?" asked Zeke.

"We better get back to town before it gets too late," I said.

"That's the best idea I've heard all day," said Julie, and she took off at a lope with Zeke and me trying to catch up.

A few hours later, I was sitting on the Jesperson front porch steps, Julie beside me, and telling her what a great cook she was. Mr. Jesperson and Zeke were in chairs, partially hidden in the shadows. The sun had gone down, and a full moon had slid over the cliffs from the northeast, casting its gray light over everything but Jesperson and Zeke in the shade of the porch roof.

"That roast beef was the best I ever ate," I said to Julie, "tender and easy to slide a knife through, and seasoned just right. Thanks for inviting me."

"If it had been up to me," said Jesperson with a touch of anger in his voice, "you wouldn't be here."

"I wouldn't be here anyway if the sheriff hadn't locked me up," I replied. "It's funny isn't it? An old man is killed, another cowboy shot, a cowboy dead from a slit throat, some talk about missing gold and missing cattle. I don't know what to make of it."

"Oh, Jimmy, I don't want to talk about it tonight," said Julie, watching me. "Won't it keep until tomorrow?"

"There's more," I said. "A pretty girl with a jealous sheriff as a bodyguard, an overprotective father, a couple of Indians. Anyone else? I ask myself." Before anyone could say anything, I continued, "A man in prison in Colorado for robbing a bank, his son the cowboy with the sore throat, two aged criminals, one dead, gold, and missing bank money. It gets more complicated all the time. And there's the sheriff who's supposed to be catching the outlaws, but has time to act as bodyguard for a beautiful woman."

"You talk too much, Snyder," said Zeke. [Note: Zeke is the sheriff.]

"Just laying it out for all to see," I said. "Is there some reason I shouldn't talk about it?"

"Lots of reasons," said Mr. Jesperson. "In the first place, I don't want to hear it, and in the second, this is man talk and should be between men, and in the third place, you're probably wrong about everything anyway, so please change the subject."

"You heard him, Snyder, stop talking about Grady and whatever, or I'll lock you up again for disturbing the peace," said the sheriff.

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