Book – Whispers of The Greybull by Steven Smart


 from chpt. 19:
Cole slept peacefully, and the next morning he walked out on the porch into fog so thick he had a hard time seeing the corral. He heard the mules breaking branches to get some of the last good grass that was left between fallen aspen trees from an earlier windstorm. Cole didn’t like not being able so see more than thirty feet. If the bear were nearby, he could stalk Cole from any direction.

 


After several minutes of standing out in front of the porch, Cole decided to cautiously walk over to the mules and get Patch. He knew he would feel better with his smart mule beside him. Cole brushed Patch’s thick coat, which was becoming heavier due to the cold, autumn nights. The saddling went well, and Cole tied on his saddlebags and his rifle, then mounted. On the ride out, Patch’s ears swiveled back and forth, searching the area for unusual sounds. It took a little searching but finally he found the trail leading up to Old Man Rock. The fog bothered Cole, but after fifteen minutes of riding, they broke out of the low hanging clouds, revealing a beautiful blue sky with a bright warm sun. Cole relaxed as he scanned the jagged ridges in front of him. The clouds looked like a dirty cotton ball floor that stretched as far as the eye could see.
For several hours Cole followed the trail, trying to remember the path to Old Man Rock. As the trail veered slightly uphill, Cole noticed a small, odd shaped rock at a turn in the trail, and he recalled that this was the place he had changed direction and meandered down the ridge. He had learned young from his dad to always try to visually remember the small things as he traveled in the woods, because sometimes, like when fog settles in, even the smallest detail could save your life. It began to look familiar as he rode further down the ridge and on to a faint trail that worked its way through the rocks and grass.
The clouds were now beginning to break, and Cole could see ridges exposing themselves further down into the valley that only moments before were hidden. He thought about how much time he had spent on a horse and how Patch was measuring up in his ability to find an old trail, one that he may not have ridden for months and then only once. Cole was able to ride right to the burned patch of spruce and then around it to Old Man Rock. He wasted very little time looking at the rock then tied off Patch to a small aspen tree. He immediately dismounted and climbed the rock, and it didn’t take long for him to see what Jay had seen earlier: an old, but very well-defined indentation that seemed to wind across the mountainside toward the steep timbered ridge to the east.
From the ground the trail was hidden by tall grass and rocks. A man would have a hard time seeing it from horseback or just standing on the site, but the elevated view from the rock allowed Cole to make out the faint track. Whoever had built this trail had entered from many directions, an old prospector’s trick. The terrain in front of him was wide open and didn’t look like an entrance to anything, much less a trail. The closer he walked towards where he thought the trail began, the more the terrain in front of him looked rocky and impassable. Then suddenly the deeply carved imprint of a trail seemed to appear just over a small rise. Whoever had placed this trail had done a great job of hiding it.

Best methods to order all forms of the book (paperback, audio, digital, and cd) are through Steve’s website:  
http://www.authorstephenbsmart.com/western-novels/purchase

Read more — http://www.authorstephenbsmart.com/books/WhispersofTheGreybullChapter19.pdf

 

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