horse stumbled, breaking his train of thought. He spent the next couple of hours
intent on guiding his horse over the rocky trail. Blaze made his own way most
of the time, but would sometimes step without considering that he was carrying
a rider and would lose his balance and almost throw Red. Red was patient, because
Blaze had been running wild and carried no rider only a few months ago. Red
himself had broken the horse back at the Dawson ranch. The foreman had given
Blaze his name because of the horse's fierceness and it went with Red's name.
Red finally rode out of the rocky area,
but it was now getting dark, so he soon stopped and made camp. He hadn't hunted
anything that day, so he had to settle for a little jerky and a cup of coffee.
When Red was done eating, his stomach still rumbled so he went and set a couple
snares, hoping to catch something for the morning. As he lay down to sleep,
he stared up at the stars for a few minutes. They filled the sky and twinkled
like they were trying to show him something. Red tried to figure that out like
he had done every night since he had left San Antonio.
The next morning Red checked the snares
and had caught a rabbit. He prepared and cooked it. It was colder than it had
been the day before. Winter was coming fast. He would get to California just
in time. Red remembered that Uncle Orrin always complained about the cold. Uncle
Orrin had once told him that he had known his father since they were only knee
high themselves and were as good as brothers. Red had called him Uncle Orrin
from then on. When Red's father had died, Uncle Orrin had looked after him,
gotten him a job on the docks and showed him ropes. He missed Uncle Orrin.
Uncle Orrin had given him his nickname,
Red, when he was only eight. He had been playing down by the docks with some
other boys, when one had started making fun of him and called him a momma's
boy. He got angry and hit the other boy. He had been winning the fight, when
Uncle Orrin came along and pulled him off of the other boy. Uncle Orrin had
called him Red, because he said his face had been so flushed. Uncle Orrin then
took Red home and told Red's mother that he had beaten another boy who was calling