Julio listened, but hearing no voices, turned and looked out over the adobe wall that surrounded the second floor. This view was even better than if he had climbed high in a cottonwood tree. With no branches in the way, he could see the vast plains surrounding the Fort and the sheep grazing by the Nepesta, the river Americans call the Arkansas and Cheyenne call the Arrow Flint. Until yesterday the tipis of the Cheyenne village had clustered there, each with its own fire circle. Now nothing was left of the village but pressed grass, dead coals, and discarded bones, as if a whole piece of his life had been sliced away. Across the western horizon, vast mountain ranges stretched as far as he could see north and south. "How did we ever make it through those mountains, Chivita?"Chivita jumped up, front paws on his leg, but catapulted off barking at the sound of a loud, angry-sounding voice."—been expecting him for days! Bring him in!""Easy, Chivita." Julio gave the signal to quiet.Red motioned to Julio from the door of the casita and stepped aside.So this was William Bent! Julio had imagined the owner of Bent’s Fort as a giant, but the man with dark hair and sunken eyes leaning over papers and writing at a small wooden table was not a big man at all. Julio rapped against the doorframe with his knuckles. "Pardon me, Mr., Bent. I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have to ask you a question."