Some Write It Hot

January 14, 2011

Tom’s Story Continued Chapter Six by Debbie Vaughan

Filed under: Free read — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Just in case you need to catch up click on

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five

“Hail the camp!” The smell of beans and bacon had mixed with salt spray and wet sand for the last five miles, someone’s late dinner or very early breakfast. A few hours yet before dawn, I reckoned I had time to stop for a bite and still reach the shore in time to hunker down for the day.

I watched the lone Negro man spring to his feet and reach for his rifle, scanning the wood line in my direction.

“Hold!” He called out, slinging his rifle to his shoulder with practiced ease as the mare stepped into the glow of the campfire. “What’cha be doin’ out and about this time of the morning–Sa?”

The “sir” came belated, as an afterthought. Free he might well be, but cautious. The rifle was Government Issue. I raised my hands, palms outward. “On my way to meet a ship and running a little late, hence my need to travel when I should be sleeping. Mind if I share your fire for a bit?”

“N’sa, I reckon that’d be gist fine. Step on down and into the light. That be a fine lookin’ mare you got yosef there. Mighty fine.” He stepped to the mare’s side, lowering his rifle to stroke her sleek neck. “Here Sa, I takes her fer ya. She can visit with Silas. He’ll be plumb beside hisself keepin’ such fine company.”

I stepped down from the saddle and handed him the reins. Watching as he led her to the picket line where his mule, also Government Issue, was tethered. The man was a medium hue, small, wiry and about as bowlegged as they come. “You seem to know horseflesh.”

“Few things I know better. I worked on a horse farm afor the war, was a wrangler for the Third in it.” He wiped his palm on his pants and then offered it as he leaned his rifle against the tree. “I is Paul. Paul Monroe.”

I took the hand he offered. “Tom Thornton.”

He snatched back his hand and reached for the rifle, his eyes wide but showing no panic. “What be ya, mista?”

Well, this was a twist I hadn’t expected. Granted, my hand was cool, but there was a chill to the autumn air I had thought would mask it. I started to say I meant him no harm, but for some reason couldn’t force the lie past my lips. Curiosity got the better of me. “What do you think I am Paul Monroe?”

He pondered that for a bit. “Ain’t no haint gonna be travelin’ on hossback.” He held my gaze, then squatted and ran a blind hand through his gear. He produced a torn and tattered book. Steadying the rifle against his shoulder with one hand he thrust the book out to me with the other. “Hold on to that, if’n ya please.”

I took the book from his outstretched hand and rolled it over to expose the worn cross on its cover. “Your Bible has seen better days, friend. You read it often?”

“No’sa. I can’t rightly read, but I knows some of them lines by memry. And now I knows you ain’t no devil, but you ain’t no livin’ man either. What’ch be?”

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