Tuesday, April 8, 2008
This is the beginning of the book I have been working on ...I will post the first chapter throughout the week and see what you all think of the story ... so let me hear your comments on this work in progress. Hawk. a/ho
DARK TIMBER. by Mike Hawk Huston.
September, eighteen ninety-five…
The scent of prey carries far on the high mountain wind. With each breath, the huge grizzly sucks in the rich scent rising from the canyon. Usually grizzlies are a very shy creature staying as far away from humans as possible, but not this bear, and not on this day. Through the dense timber along this high windswept ridge the bear can unravel the scene playing out in the canyon below, even though his eyesight is not all that great his sense of smell tells him all he needs to know about the humans setting up their camp down the mountain. Through scent, he knows there are three humans, two males, one female and four horses. Each animal, having his or her distinct scent that permeates the mountain air with pungent aroma. Throughout his lifetime, the old boar has had many encounters with humans and he carries the scars to prove it. However, unlike most of his kind, he has no fear of the weaker species, quite the opposite actually; he has learned to hunt them and has acquired a taste for human flesh whenever the opportunity arises.
Darkness is falling when the bear rises to his feet, the long claws on his front feet dig into the ground as he begins his descent down the mountain toward the human’s camp, he is in perfect condition weighing in at over a thousand pounds and standing over nine feet tall. He knows beyond any doubt that he is the fiercest predator in these mountains. Wolves, Mountain lions and other bears give him a wide berth. Even the native peoples who have inhabited these lands for thousands of years fear crossing his tracks in the wilderness. Tonight he will hunt these humans, who dare to make camp in his domain, and he has no doubt, what the outcome will be. Many humans have tried to do battle with him over the years and none have lived to tell the tales.
Chapter 1 WIND RIVER COUNTRY..
This wild beautiful country had surly been created just for John Lucas, as the wagon slowly crawls along through the magnificent countryside, he can only dream of all the gold hidden in these high mountain lakes and streams. This time of year, the aspens shine with their own gold and orange leaves making a stark contrast to the dark green of the seemingly impenetrable forests stretching for miles in all directions. The bugle of a bull elk echoes in the cool evening air around their cozy little camp. Tomorrow he and his brother Jay will be panning for gold along the east fork of the Wind River here at the headwaters near Bear Creek… His brother has brought along his wife Melanie on this adventure, she has never encountered the hardships of living in the wilderness but to her credit, she is doing her best to cope and puts on a brave face for her husband. The horses are watered and picketed on a highline near camp for the night; Jay and Mel have retired to bed in the wagon after the long days travels leaving John to feed the dying fire and dream of the riches he may find with the new dawn tomorrow.
Wild mustangs have a knack for sensing danger long before the actual threat becomes visible. Such is the case with the big grey pinto gelding, one moment he was ghosting through the forest with not a worry, the next his head came up and his muscled body tensed. Something on the wind has him spooked.
To the Arapaho people, Hawk is known as a wanderer, a man born of two worlds, his mother a white woman and his father an Arapaho warrior. Throughout his life, he has never really felt at home in either society. His red brothers have patiently taught him the way of the wilderness, while his youth was spent alternating between white schooling and native teachings. He finds that the high country is the one place where he can be absolutely free of the prejudices surrounding a half-breed. In this life, he has two true friends one being the powerful mustang he now rides, the other is the mangy dog standing in the trail just ahead. Scar is the dogs name, no one ever claimed he was the brightest pup in the litter, but his unwavering loyalty and unmatched stamina have saved the day on more than one occasion. From the dog’s toothy growl, Hawk knows what the danger is. Scar only reacts that way to one thing, his arch enemy…Bears.
Story continued tomorrow..........