THERE is a still, small hour of night when black shadows breathlessly await the coming of the darkest shadow of all. In this hour life drops to a low ebb and coldness seeps into the bones of men. This is the hour of dying-and for Coe Dawson it was no exception.
Steve Benbow heard the death rattle in the heavy shadows just beyond the rim of light cast by the dying embers of the campfire. He sat up, limbs heavy with cold, and crossed to where Dawson lay stretched on a blanket.
Dawson's face was a pale blob in shadows. As Steve knelt beside him, Dawson strained up on his elbows, face slick and hollow, eyes bulging as if he saw something awful off in the darkness. Then he fell back. He was dead, and for Dawson's sake, Steve was glad the man's suffering was over.
Steve covered the body with the blanket, turned and stirred up the campfire. He nudged Omaha Magruder with his boot toe, and when the wiry man with the red mane and beard sat up, Steve moved around the fire and woke his uncle, Tobe Whitman. Breaking a snore with a snort, Tobe stirred out of his blankets. He was a big, beefy, bald man, the only family Steve had known for most of his twenty three years. Tobe automatically reached for a whisky bottle that wasn't there, and said, "What is it?"
"The lawdog is dead."
"Couldn't he have waited until daylight?"
"Reckon he tried. He hung on for three days when most men would have died. Let's get a grave dug...."
First published in the September 3rd, 1953
issue of Ranch Romances Magazine.
Format: Electronic PDF File
First Published: 1953
All products are new condition unless noted otherwise.
Shipping is Only $8.95 PER ORDER for U.S. destinations.
Click here for more from Talmage Powell