By Terry C. Johnston
Crack within the Sky maintains the improvement of the younger Titus Bass as he progressively learns the lore of the mountain guy. From a raucous rendezvous of trappers to a searing struggle with Comanche, from a frigid winter's kick back to the offended warmth of a chase with horse thieves, Titus Bass's West comes alive within the pages of this awesome novel--and in its ultimate scene, Titus Bass will meet younger Josiah Paddock and shape the deep friendship explored within the pagers of hold the Wind.
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Extra info for Crack in the Sky: The Plainsmen
Jack had said, his merry green eyes twinkling with devilment. ” Now he was growing testy. ” “Pretty Water,” Hatcher answered with a grin forming. ” “Yer heart, nigger. ” As Titus lay there now in the cold and the dark, listening to the discomfort of the others on the ground, to the night sounds of their horses and the closeness of wild critters who owned this forest, Bass had to admit she had stabbed him in the heart. Women. They had long been his weakness. How they preyed upon his heart, pierced him to his soul.
They pushed on into the afternoon and watched as the sun began to tumble toward the horizon behind their left shoulders. ” Solomon Fish asked the others who were stretched on their bellies with him, all six having left their animals tied in a copse of trees far below them before they scrambled up the slope to the top of the rimrock that color of old, sun-dried blood. ” The lean-faced Rowland stared down at the two hands he held up, flipping up fingers slowly, then folding them back down as he mouthed his numbers.
Remembering why he was here. Then peered around at the other dark forms sprawled on the ground, all of them radiating from the ember heap of last night’s fire like the hardwood spokes on a wagon wheel. Downright eerie, quiet as death itself were those eight other men. Not one of them snoring, sputtering, or talking in his sleep. Almost as if the eight shapeless cocoons of buffalo robes and thick wool blankets weren’t alive at all. Only he—finding himself suddenly alone in this suddenly still wilderness.
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