Mary Peace Finley Award-winning author of books for young people
White Grizzly: Chapter One (cont.) White Grizzly: Chapter One (cont.) White Grizzly: Chapter One (cont.) Buy now Buy now
"After we left Taos, we—Papá and I—tried to catch up with the wagons, but the Jicarilla Apaches found us and . . . and . . . " Julio pressed his eyes closed. Papá’s death was too horrible to remember. Julio heard Bent’s chair scrape against the dirt floor, and Red’s grip on his arm relaxed. "Where’s the message?" Bent stood before him with his hand extended. "Ay, no!" Julio’s knees went weak. "Didn’t you get it? After Papá—after everything that happened—I sent the message to you with a sheepherder. Helacio was coming with a wagon train." Julio saw Bent glance over his head and nod, and Red turned loose of Julio’s arm. Bent’s face softened. "Well, you sure don’t look like you could be Enrique’s son." He looked down at the floor and signed. "I’m sorry about your father, Julio." He ran his hand over a stubble of beard. "Awful sorry. Here, sit down. You’ve had a long, hard journey." As Bent slumped back into his chair, Julio eased down onto the edge of a wooden stool. "Julio, your father was a fine man, an honorable man. I couldn’t have built this Fort without him." Bent leaned forward and began to sort through a stack of papers on his desk. At the sight of the torn message stained with Papá’s blood, Julio’s stomach lurched, and he looked away. "The sheepherder told me those confounded Apaches killed your papá," Bent said. "How did you escape? How did you get here?"
© Mary Peace Finley 2012
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