Wednesday, August 22, 2012
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Episode Nine concluded with:
The newcomer was easy to follow. He obviously didn’t care if the hoofbeats of his horse were loud. Dehner and Reverend Nate rode quietly up the hill behind him. When the hoofbeats stopped, the two men dismounted, tied up their horses, and began to proceed on foot. There were enough trees to provide both good cover and an array of twigs on the ground which, if stepped on, could snap and betray their presence.
Both men stopped and hid behind two separate trees as they got in range of a loud voice. The person talking was obviously not Akando and was obviously angry. “I don’t give a hoot ‘bout no big plans. A deal is a deal and ya better do what ya said ya was gonna do, injun!”
Akando did not shout. His words couldn’t be heard. But Dehner guessed from the tone of his voice that Akando was trying to appease the angry white man. The loud voice again sounded, “Ya better git to it, quick!”
Again, loud hoofbeats sounded on the hill. Dehner and Reverend Nate both made sure their cover shielded them from the rider. But the caution wasn’t necessary. The rider didn’t look around. He didn’t look back either. The man was apparently confident that no Indians would come after him in retaliation for his angry words.
The man, whoever he was, held power over Akando and his bunch. Dehner wondered what it might be, but he didn’t have time to give it much thought. Reverend Nate signaled with his hands that he was going to move in closer to the Indians at the top of the hill. Rance nodded and pulled out his Colt .45, indicating he was ready in case there was trouble.
Nate advanced stealthily up the hill, vanishing into the shadows of the trees. When he returned about fifteen minutes later, Dehner could tell his friend was excited. Once again, hoofbeats could be heard on the hill; this time they came from the other side. And this time they were quiet. The people in Hardin would not be able to hear them.
Nate signaled for Dehner to follow him. They returned to their horses, mounted and rode down the hill. When they reached the bottom, the pastor quickly explained what had happened. “Akando has ordered five of his braves to a nearby house. They are being led by Sahale.”
“Know anything about Sahale?”
Reverend Nate grimaced. “He was violent and dangerous as a boy. He has become even worse with manhood.”
“Why are they going to this house?”
“Don’t know. Couldn’t hear that well. But I could tell from the tone of their voices that it is no social call. I know the direction they are heading. We’d better follow them.”
The two men began to trail the Indians, wondering about the strange visitor whose demands Akando seemed willing to appease.
Tomorrow: Episode Eleven of Ultimatum