This week, another Oklahoma expatriate prevailed upon me to allow him to guest post the prologue to his unpublished novel OLD SASSY PANTS. Donald T. Morgan (how about that, another Don) wrote a comedic drama set in (where else?) New Mexico, featuring a young urban tenderfoot’s first visit to his father’s recently acquired ranch. The life, the people, the culture are all strange to him, but it is his fascination with a “talking mountain” called Diablo Blanco that represents a danger to him. It all appears to start when he disdainfully dubs the churlish mountain Old Sassy Pants.
The following is the Prologue to Don’s novel.
|Courtesy of Pixabay|
The Wagon Wheel Ranch in Northern New Mexico
The old Indian massaged his arthritic joints and tried to remember a time when they hadn’t ached. The raspy breathing and subdued snores of sleeping men filled the stuffy bunkhouse. It was only a little after nine, but dawn came early on a working ranch, so most of the hands had already turned in.
He had long ago abandoned the Old Way to live among white men, but the buckskin trousers and the sateen shirt he chose over his usual denim felt surprisingly good on his skin and brought back rich memories of another time and place. He paused as a distant rumble reached his ears. Diablo Blanco—the White Devil—was restless. But the mountain was nighttime talking more than usual lately. He silently left the whitewashed wood-frame building and padded to the corral where he whistled his pinto to his side and saddled up. Beneath a half-moon, he mounted and rode toward the dark silhouette of the mountain to the west. His pony turned frisky in the cold night air, so he allowed the animal to prance a bit. In a fold of land on the eastern slope of the mountain, he built a crude altar and lit a bonfire to chase away the high desert chill… and perhaps the fear puckering his back, as well. Inhaling the rich, tangy scent of the pine and spruce trees surrounding him, he lifted his arms in the glow of the dancing firelight and began to chant. The prayer on his lips died as the earth trembled violently beneath his moccasins. Diablo Blanco was angry. And an angry mountain was dangerous—especially for the young ones on the Wagon Wheel… those with too much adventure and too little sense. At the sound of his pony’s neigh, he whirled. And faced the monster the White Devil had sent for him. Sounds interesting to me. Let Don know if it sufficiently intrigues you for him to proceed with publication. Goofy question. You always seek to publish.
I should also tell you Don Morgan is the author of an Amazon ebook called The Eagle's Claw. It's good reading.