Saving Mattie [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Phil Dunlap
eBook Category: Historical Fiction
eBook Description: Rawhide Smith wasn't looking for trouble when he came upon Mattie Slaughter, a strong willed 12-year-old girl holding a shotgun aimed directly at his head; he was merely looking for a job. Tired and hungry, he finds her resistance to allow him to speak with her father troublesome. When he discovers the reason for the child's defiance, a deeply-ingrained conviction of moral duty takes over. He accepts the responsibility of caring for Mattie until he can find a family to take her in. The task proves more than just looking out for one child's welfare. He runs up against a powerful and corrupt cattle baron bent on driving all small ranchers off their land. In the employ of this greedy varmint are a dozen bloodthirsty gunslingers who are not reluctant to shoot innocent people and burn their homesteads on his command. Rawhide Smith soon finds his determination to right the wrongs becoming increasingly dangerous to his own health, and Mattie's as well.
eBook Publisher: Treble Heart Books, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2008
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [MultiFormat - What's this?]: eReader (PDB) [247 KB]
, ePub (EPUB) [272 KB]
, Rocket/REB1100 (RB) [213 KB]
, Portable Document Format (PDF) [733 KB]
, Palm Doc (PDB) [241 KB]
, Microsoft Reader (LIT) [263 KB]
, Franklin eBookMan (FUB) [252 KB]
, hiebook (KML) [551 KB]
, Sony Reader (LRF) [330 KB]
, iSilo (PDB) [198 KB]
, Mobipocket (PRC) [250 KB]
, Kindle Compatible (MOBI) [322 KB]
, OEBFF Format (IMP) [326 KB]
Reading time: 220-308 min.
Microsoft Reader (LIT) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud ENABLED
Portable Document Format (PDF) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud DISABLED
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
As we approached the Brewster place, a wretchedly thin woman in a bedraggled and worn cotton dress stood in the doorway pointing a rifle in our direction. Her eyes were ringed with dark circles, and her face was lined with worry. She was a pitiful sight. Clearly, life on the prairie hadn't been kind to her.
"Hello, the house. We're friendly. No need for the rifle, ma'am." I hoped the sound of an unthreatening voice might ease her fears. The rifle remained pointed at us. I heard a weak voice coming from inside the cabin that seemed to be calling for help.
She looked around, then eased the rifle to point at the ground. Her shoulders slumped as if the last vestiges of hope had vanished and she might just as well give in to whatever was to befall her. Mattie came to the rescue.
"Missus Brewster, it's me, Mattie Slaughter," she said peering around me. "You remember my pa and ma. This here's my friend Mister Rawhide. We come to be of help. Would it be okay to get down off'n this nag?"
"Nag?" I was offended. I was glad that Chigger didn't understand such words or I'm sure we'd both have been dumped on our backsides right about then.
"Mattie, child, I'm so sorry I didn't see you there. Of course, you get right down from there and come inside. You come at a time when we could use all the help we can get."
I took Matty's hand and helped ease her down off Chigger, and we followed Mrs. Brewster inside a dark, depressing house made of logs and mud chinking. A cow lay dead in the yard, bullet ridden, as did several chickens. The Venables had done a fair job of shooting out the only three windows, too, and the door was about to come clean off its leather hinges from being slammed into numerous times by .44 rounds.
Near a window lay a man, moaning. He was bleeding from a shoulder wound. I knelt beside him to take a look. The bullet had probably busted the shoulder, but if we could get the lead out, the man would probably live. I'd seen much worse wounds where a man had lived to fight another day.
"Ma'am, I think we need to get this bullet out, pronto. If you got a skinnin' knife, and some whiskey, I'll get at it."
The lady scurried around, pulling a drawer from a hutch and fumbling through the several utensils therein. She found a knife, almost worn down to nothing from being sharpened over and over. It was quite sharp and looked as if it would do the job.
"I'll put a pot on for hot water. We'll need to clean him up after you go carvin' on him. I'll fetch my needle and thread, too, seal up the hole with a right fancy stitch."
I had to grin at her description of the imminent operation. Over the years, I had patched up cowboys on many an occasion. During cattle drives, young drovers would get knocked off their mounts, half-trampled by skittish cattle, or shot up while on a drunk in some wild and wooly town. I was no stranger to fishing around for a hunk of lead in a man's flesh. Not that I ever looked forward to it, however.