Dan Borden and Vicki had covered a lot of hot country. They were in the short grasslands by the Arkansas river. They had brought two horses and a mule with them. It was not an easy way to travel.
“We’ll make the crossing in the morning,” Dan said.
Vicki was too tired to answer. She didn’t know if she could live through another day of heat and thirst, for they’d had to conserve their water over long stretches of dry trail. She dismounted and went over to a patch of cottonwood to gather wood for a fire. Collapsing in the shade of a tall tree, she fell unconscious. Dan revived her, built a fire, and cooked some beans and a hare he’d shot. They put the fire out, then ate in the dark.
“We’re halfway there,” he said. “We’ll make it.”
Vicki nodded listlessly. “I hope so,” she said.
Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson