Apache Canyon

There was a reason it was called Apache Canyon and Old Pete proceeded cautiously, aware that there’d been a recent outbreak of hostilities between the Jicarillas and the locals. Somebody had gotten twitchy-brained and shot off their gun without thinkin’ twice and now the whole Sangre de Cristos was on edge. Didn’t matter that he’d had no part in the original quarrel.

However, Pete hadn’t seen a soul in three days, and he was beginning to think he was gonna get to Taos in one piece after all, if the damn half-grown dog taggin’ him would quit wanderin’ off then comin’ back, widening the scent trail with his idiot nosin’ around. Pete scowled as the puppy reappeared, this time from a thicket of scrub oak, dead leaves rattling on the ground. The dog went into a half-crouch as it came closer. It was holding something in its mouth, its curly black tail drooping anxiously.

“What ya got there?” Pete asked. He squatted and held out his hand and the dog released the item into his palm. “Shit!” Pete said, dropping it. Then he leaned closer and sniffed. It really was shit. Human, too. Fresh enough to still stink. He rose, studying the slopes on either side, turning to examine the pass behind him. So much for bein’ alone.

“Thankee pup,” he muttered. “I think.”

Copyright © 2016 Loretta Miles Tollefson

 

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