If you haven’t read Part 1, it’s here.
Somewhere in the American Unorganized Territory 1850
It was easy to catch the thread of Rankin’s story as it unravelled.
He pasted the floor as he spoke: I was already glued to my chair.
“I was riding Of Course to Whitey the blacksmith with an ax to grind when a few trees knocked me off Of Course and he ran off at the mouth of the river.
The trees put up a pretty good fight, but I went all out on a limb with the ax and left them pining and kindling for better days. I was hunting around for my horse Of Course when the bushes bushwhacked* me. I whacked back, but soon found myself on thin ice … which I fell through.
I managed to pull myself out of the river further downstream, get out of my britches before they froze, and came here.”
Rankin had been lucky.
A similar freak event had happened to me a week earlier.
I had walked slowly in to some quicksand and quickly found myself over my head and grasping for air.
I would have been a goner for sure except a passing goat fancied my hat and tried to grab it as it floated on the quicksand’s surface. I grabbed on to the goat’s neck and it pulled me out.
I’ll always think of it as my personal escape goat.
Nature was against us for some reason.
Rankin and myself had been spared so far; our younger brother Otto hadn’t.
to be continued …
* S. Le‘s contribution to this amazingly saggy saga