Kerrigan:Part 1, Sry had it backwards

Discussion in 'Sound Off' started by Leep, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Leep

    Leep Guest

    So, here I was- Lost somewhere in the mountains with only my sheath knife and my pistol for companions. I had lost my horse, and a damn good one he was too. I had raised him from a colt and wasn’t happy about losing him.
    The way I had bailed out of that saddle and flew down into that roaring stream convinced all but one Blackfoot that I was a goner. But this last one was poking around suspicious like and he wouldn’t be happy till he had my hair hanging from his war lance. Now, I don’t have anything against the Blackfoot, in theory anyway. They were just trying to get along, and with the white man encroaching on more and more of their land, it seemed likely they would get a little riled. But, hell, I was just a poor boy from Tennessee trying to trap a few skins, pan a little color, and just enjoy this beautiful land, like they do.
    But, if my horse hadn’t flared his nostrils when he did and shied a step to the left, that old musket ball would have taken me right through the center of my skull. As it was, it raised a bloody furrow along side my head that swelled it such my hat wouldn’t fit for days, figuring I ever found it again.
    I heard the blast almost before I felt the stabbing pain and without thinking I threw my legs over the side and flew down that steep bank into a stream that was running full bank. I grabbed onto a half submerged log and wrapped both arms around it and just let it carry me downstream and away from that yelling, screaming bunch. I knew if they caught me alive, I was in for a rough time. They didn’t like us no way, and any one they caught never did live to regret it too long. “Matthew Kerrigan, you surely stepped into it this time, didn’t you”.
    I was the oldest of four boys and no one else knew where I was, so if I was going to get any help, it would have to be provided by my own self.
    James and Peter, Ma was big on Christian names, though they never did seem to have the desired effect, were back home in Tennessee, still working that hardscrabble farm, trying to help Ma make ends meet, while our youngest brother Jacob had been sent to Pennsylvania to get an education in the town where ma’s sister Jennifer lived. She was determined that at least one of her sons amount to something. Not that we didn’t get our share of schooling growing up, but we usually went just in the winter as summer was too busy a time to spare us, as the crops needed tending and cows and chickens to raise, along with the rest of the livestock.
    I was floating down that frigid mountain stream, cold, bleeding from a scalp wound, and trying to figure a way out of this mess. I still had that lone Blackfoot to fret about. I knew he was one who would stay the distance, and I needed to get out of this water and get dry afore I froze to death.
    I traveled around one bend, still moving at a good clip, when I spied a tree hanging out over the water on the far bank. As I swung closer to it, I gathered my strength and made a lunge up and out towards it. If I missed it, I would still be in the water, but now without anything to hold onto. But, I have always been uncommon strong and when I grab aholt of something, it usually moves instead of me. I was going almost too fast and nearly missed my grasp on the projecting limb. But, at the last second the current almost threw me at the tree. I reached up and grabbed that old wet limb and held on for dear life. In less time than it takes to tell, I scrambled up and over that fallen tree and rolled up and on the bank. I lay for a minute catching my breath, and then slowly gathered my wits. I needed fire for I was dreadfully cold, but I had little time to waste with that buck behind me. I took a pine limb and carefully swept the marks I had made coming out of the water. I then picked up handfuls of sand and scattered them carefully over my sign. I knew it might not do more than slow him down a bit, but I needed time to think and plan.
    Pa always said a mans’greatest weapon was his mind and his ability to think and reason. I still had my knife and a good keen blade it had. I also had kept my pistol somehow through all this, for which I was thankful. The thong had stayed on all this time, but gun work wasn’t needed here. One shot and I would have all the others in that bloodthirsty bunch on my trail again.
    I needed a hiding place, if I could find a good one, and lacking that, I needed a place to lure that lone Indian in close and get rid of him.
    I stood and looked carefully all about, scanning close in first, then gradually looking farther and farther out. I looked that place over as good as a man could and saw nothing that I could crawl into or under. I finally spotted an old spruce back away from the bank a ways and decided what I would do. I broke off some of the dead branches and with that blade of mine cut enough slivers to start a fire. There was plenty of good dead wood about and I needed to dry out and get warm or I wasn’t going to have to depend on that Indian to do for me; I was fixing to do it my self. Taking a flint from my pocket, I soon had a hot spark going into that dry tinder, and a minute later I had a good hot fire blazing. I knew I was living on borrowed time, but I figured that buck would be taking his time, not wanting to walk into an ambush if his suspicions were right.
    In just a few minutes my buckskins were steaming and I was almost warm again. Night came on fast in these mountains along with the bitter cold, and I still was undecided whether I should run or fight. But, I still had a mad on about my horse and I wasn’t real happy about getting shot, so I figured I might just as well fight. When we Kerrigan’s got riled up we just bowed our backs and waded in. Why, back in Tennessee we cut our teeth on fighting