Swinging From the Cottonwoods

William James Stoness

Published by Stoness Publications at Smashwords

Copyright 2002 James Stoness

All characters in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to any person living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Chapter 1

Slouched wearily over the weatherworn saddle, the rider looked around in the gathering gloom of an early dusk. Earlier, as he had approached the massive range, the mountains had stood out so clearly that he had felt that he could have touched the snow covered peaks. Then slowly the white, fluffy, cumulus clouds began to build skyward, becoming dark and heavy as the day wore on. Now, half way to the pass the rain had come.

It arrived suddenly, as so often happens in the higher elevations, where the mountain itself hides the storm from view until it is upon you. The clouds opened and it rained, or rather, it poured. The rider, an experienced man, rode steadily, his slicker pulled tightly around his body in the faint hope that it would keep him dry. He rode clear of gullies and washes for he knew the suddenness of flash floods, so sudden that they could catch a man and horse in mid-stream carrying both of them to eternity. Nightfall found him still on the exposed part of the trail, with no good cover to protect him from the storm.

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