The next release will be SON OF PROMISE on January , a companion book to the wildly-popular Texas Romance Family Saga, this story featuring Travis and Emma Lee Buckmeyer, married in CHIEF OF SINNERS (book ten) with a story that took place while her sister Sandy had Harry overseas for the most medical care in the summer of 1950.
Enjoy a scene from Chapter Three with twelve-year-old Cody meeting a horse up close and personal for the first time! Enjoy!
Cody jumped off the fence. “I was born ready.” He heard himself say it, but he wasn’t anywhere near ready to climb aboard that horse. The beast looked wild-eyed and itching to kill someone. Nothing like his mental picture of a colt at all.
The animal took two steps toward Travis then pranced a semi-circle toward Cody. He retreated to the fence. No telling what he would have done if his head wasn’t tethered to Travis’s saddle horn.
Travis turned the gray putting him between Cody and the dun; he took his foot out of the stirrup. “Get on behind me.”
Cody nodded then hurried to the gray’s side. He wanted to be anywhere but there, getting ready to ride this living, breathing death machine, but he had to prove to Travis and maybe even more to Emma Lee, that he was no coward.
He stuck his foot in the stirrup, grabbed the back of the saddle, then hoisted himself up behind the man. His heart pounded in his ears, and he couldn’t get enough wind, but it seemed his legs where made for sitting a horse.
His chest relaxed and he filled his lungs. Man, the world looked different from up there. Emma Lee sat on the top board of the fence and smiled at him so proud like he was hers or something. He smiled back.
“Look at me, I’m riding a horse.”
She laughed. “Hang on tight.”
Travis looked over his shoulder. “Ease on over. If he gets too crazy, I’ll snatch you off.”
Cody nodded like jumping on the back of a bronc was something he did every day. Could Travis really grab him if the colt decided he didn’t want to be ridden? He lifted his leg and scooted toward the dun’s back. His foot touched the other saddle.
The horse didn’t buck or snort. He tried to do like the man said and ease in, but at the last minute, he couldn’t help plopping. Still nothing from the colt. He just stood there.
Travis clucked once and the gray eased out. Cody and the dun stayed right beside them. He remembered to breathe. There wasn’t anything to this. His toes found the stirrups and slipped on in. It was fun.
The gray broke into a trot, and the dun followed suit. Cody grabbed the horn with both hands and bounced hard on the saddle. Travis unwound the rope off his saddle horn.
“I’m going to give him a little rope. Let’s see what he does. Oh, and you can push up from your stirrups to smooth that ride a little.”
For half a turn around the corral, the young horse minded his manners following Travis’ horse like he was still tied close. Cody tried a semi-stand in the stirrups, just to lift his hind-end off the hard seat.
A comfort started settling in when out of the blue, the colt lowered his head, hopped stiffed legged a time or two, then kicked up his back legs. Cody flopped back then fell forward. He slid to the right.
The ground got closer, and his balance played hooky. He grabbed a double handful of mane and practically laying on the dun’s neck, pushed himself back into the saddle. He squeezed tight with legs doing his best to stay put.
Though a part of him wanted to hop on off and bolt, he gritted his teeth and held on. This horse wasn’t about to throw him. Emma Lee was still watching. He wasn’t going anywhere.
Travis pulled the dun toward him. “He was testing you a bit, that’s all.” He looped the rope around the saddle horn. “You did good.” After a half dozen trips around the corral without any bucking, Travis stopped at the gate and swung off the gray. “Ease on down, left side, use your stirrup.”
Cody joined the man. The ground felt good to his feet, but his knees wobbled. Riding the horse felt way better. It pleased him that the colt hadn’t bucked him off and even more for impressing the man. Travis handed him the rope and the gray’s reins.
“I’ve got a bosal in the truck; think you’re ready to ride him by yourself?”
Cody didn’t have a clue what a bosal was or if he’d ever been ready to ride by himself but heard himself say. “Sure, remember? I was born ready.”
“Okay then, good.” He slipped out the gate.
Before Cody could think up a good excuse not to ride alone, the man returned carrying a rope and leather contraption. It amazed him how quick Travis had the bosal thing on the colt’s head. He untied the soft rope, pulled it out, then looped the reins on either side of the horse’s head and dropped them over the saddle’s horn.
“So you ready?”
Cody nodded. His mouth went so dry he couldn’t say anything smart, not that he could think of anything right then anyway. Even if he wanted to. What he really wanted was to run to the truck and have Emma Lee drive him back to the safety of the house.
Instead, he steeled himself for the ride of his life. That dumb horse was probably going to toss him for sure this time. He grabbed the saddle horn, stuck his foot in the stirrup, and swung aboard. The dun didn’t move.
“Hold the reins in your left hand.”
Cody complied but kept his death grip on the saddle horn with his right. “Ease your hand forward then give a nudge with your heels in his ribs, not too hard. Make a little cluck sound. Tkukt, tkutk. Like that.”
Against his better judgment, again he did as told, though if a fly had been resting on the colt’s ribs, Cody doubted it would have suffered any damage. His heels touched ever so gently. But to his amazement, the dun moved forward. He was riding a horse, really riding a horse, all by himself.
He clucked again with one side of his cheek then nudged him a bit harder. Maybe not squashed the fly, but wounded for sure. The dun broke into an easy trot.
Emma Lee’s smile warmed his heart as they passed by. He was riding a horse, really riding. Not like the wind, but he was riding. Maybe he’d hang around a few days extra, get this cowboy thing down. Hiring out for ranch work might pay better than dishwashing or floor mopping and it’d be a lot more fun.
After a few clockwise laps, Travis had him turn around and go the other direction. Once, Cody thought the colt was going rodeo on him, but it was only a slight stumble. Then to his surprise, the man opened the gate.
“Come on, We’re burning daylight.”
♥♪♫•✫Whenever I feel afraid♪*•♫♪ I hold my head erect!♫•✫*♪ And whistle a happy tune ♪♫•✫ so no one will suspect ♪♫•✫♥♫♪ I’m afraid!♪♫•✫ While shivering in my shoes ♪♫•✫*♪•.♪ I strike a careless pose ♫ •*♪*•♫♪ then whistle a happy tune ♪♫•✫♪ and no one ever knows •.♪♫ I’m afraid! ♪♫•✫♥
…from The King and I by the God-gifted Rogers and Hammerstein
Did you know the Bible tells us no less than 365 times to have no fear? In several versions: Fear not! Be not afraid! and the like. Fear is the opposite of faith. Never accept fear for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind!
Has God delivered you from fear?