OLD BILL – 3 of 6

At dusk, Old Bill wrapped himself in a buffalo robe and lay quiet against the skin wall of the Ute lodge. This weren’t no hunting party, if he savvied correct. They were layin’ in wait for somethin’ and it weren’t other Injuns, to his thinking. He wasn’t exactly a captive, but Three Hands had made it clear he should stay in camp.

He’d been wandering these parts long enough to have picked up a smattering of Ute lingo. What he’d overheard made him think there were Mexican soldiers headed thisaway. From Taos, mebbe, though it was a darn fool time of year to be comin’ from that direction.

He studied his situation. He didn’t blame the Utes for their plans. It was their country, after all. Theirs and the Taos Injuns. But he didn’t want to be caught in the middle of it neither. He eased out of the robe.

from Moreno Valley Sketches