a temporary police force
posse were chasing two dangerous fugitives, would they ask for supper before the apprehending?
take into police custody
If a posse were chasing two dangerous fugitives, would they ask for supper before the
pale yellowish to yellowish brown
The last rider sizes me up from atop his horse, a sorrel with a
flaxen mane and white socks.
a swaggering show of courage
My voice sounds too high so I tune it to my lowest pitch and add
perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
Finally paying attention, the Mexican swaggers toward me like a Spanish bullfighter addressing a cow that has wandered into the arena: posture erect, nostrils flared, eyes
the highest part of the back at the base of an animal's neck
The Mexican rests an elbow on the gray horse’s
withers, the silver rosettes trimming his black trousers and jacket winking at me in unison.
satisfy, as thirst
I drink from our canteen, but Andy pulls it away before I get a chance to
slake my thirst.
a prolonged intense look
I decide this West must not have recognized me after all. After his initial
scrutiny, he barely casts me another glance, which gives me the chance to study him.
a vain and temperamental person
Peety lays a horse blanket on the poky yellow grass in front of Cay. Hitching his trousers, he carefully lowers himself onto it.
prima donna, your pantaloons are already filthy,” says Cay.
provoke as by constant criticism
As he positions himself in front of the grinning Cay, I wonder at the power of a single word to
goad males into doing things they don’t want to do to acquire things they don’t want to have.
something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be
“C’mon, Sammy,” says Andy, at least playing along with the
sham. “Send him home.”
lacking in harmony
A chorus of yips starts up, coyotes celebrating a kill, but even worse than the coyotes is the wind. It started as a dry breeze, but now it pulls at me, sucking the moisture from my lips and eyes. It blows through the cedars in a
dissonant chord that rises and falls like the wheezing of croupy lungs.
reflect deeply on a subject
“Well,” I say, still
mulling over the story, which reminds me of Icarus, whose wings melted off when he flew too close to the sun.
a short moral story
parable of caution. The story represents man’s struggle with others, nature, and ultimately himself, which is the hardest one of all. The prince didn’t understand he was fighting himself until it was too late.”
herd and care for
wrangler's introducing your friend to the remuda,” says Cay.
I yank on my boots. “
plant having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation
With his mouth full, Cay answers, “A coosie is who cooks for you, a cayuse is the animal that carries you, and a caboose is what you should never wave over a stinging
politely refuse or take exception to
My first reaction is to
demur. I’ve been taught to never take the last piece for myself, which Chinese people consider very impolite.
disposed to act in accordance with someone's wishes
“I know how to ride,” I say coolly. I don’t mention that my only steed was our
compliant mule, Tsing Tsing, back in New York who only had two speeds: slow, and slower.
humorously sarcastic or mocking
wry smile touches her lips. “You don’t say?”
unfriendly and inclined toward anger or irritation
“How many miles do you go a day?” I ask the grump at my back.
“At this turtle pace, we’ll be lucky if we break fifteen,” he says in a
a raised mark on the skin
“What else can you do, Andito?” says Peety, scratching a red
welt on his neck.
spreading out in different directions
Pawpaw trees with their dark leaves, big as my foot, shade the bank, linked by clumps of pussy willows and
press down tightly
tamp down my nerves and make my voice sound hale.
exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health
I tamp down my nerves and make my voice sound
marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
West pulls back his spear,
poised to strike.
The fish leads me into the brown tangle, slimy and probably full of disgusting leeches. I glance back at Andy,
revulsion pulling my face in different directions.
an indication that something has been present
Then Peety peels off the long underwear and folds them into a neat pile, sweeping away the last
vestiges of my composure.
become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
“But now I wanna know, if they don’t wear unders, how they stop the
show in, or as in, a picture
West’s drawing is remarkably true to life, and full of motion, the muscles and sinew
rendered in complicated hatch marks and shading. Only an artist could reproduce an animal so convincingly.
a disposition to be distant and unsympathetic in manner
Despite the vaquero’s initial
aloofness, I find him to be the most warmhearted of the three boys, one eye always watching out for Andy or me as if we were part of the remuda.
showing inventiveness and skill
I run my hand along the center of the rough fabric and find more vent holes hidden in the seam. There’s even an opening underneath the collar.
Ingenious,” I say.
“What’s that mean?”
She snorts. “If I was real
ingenious, I wouldn’t get back on that four-legged death trap.”
a small stream
We walk along the Little Blue, whose
rivulets run in all directions like veins.
cross a river where it's shallow
But when we
ford the river to follow the trail northwest, I’m simply thankful Andy and I don’t have to splash through the muddy water on our own.
a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts
I always dreamed about us returning to New York, opening up a music
conservatory. I would teach violin, he would teach the other strings, like the cello and banjo, and we would get someone to do the woodwinds.
any of various wild or domestic cattle
Pouring out from the forest before us are dozens, maybe hundreds of livestock, tearing down the trail at top speed. The
bovines and equines lead the charge, trailed by goats and a few pigs.
a hoofed mammal having slender legs and a flat coat
Pouring out from the forest before us are dozens, maybe hundreds of livestock, tearing down the trail at top speed. The bovines and
equines lead the charge, trailed by goats and a few pigs.
a loud, harsh, or strident noise
din of charging animals increases until they finally tear by under me, mooing and shrieking.
a noisy fight
Princesa enters the
fray, tail and head held high. Approaching traffic slows her, but she continues to thread her way to Peety, still twenty feet ahead.
A longhorn charges from Andy’s left, its horned head waggling up and down with each
a large gathering of people
I watch them move away from me until the
throngs of animals swallow them up.