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Tender Is the Storm

Tender Is the Storm

Description : Tender Is the Storm
1874, San Carlos Reservation, Arizona

The cat was large, over two hundred pounds and nearly eight feet long. High up in the mountains, it lay on a boulder, its eyes riveted on a spot thirty feet below, where the slope leveled off to form a wide ledge. There among the tall pines was a small herd of wild horses, roped off. They were nervously stamping the ground, sensing the cat’s presence even though there was no breeze to carry his scent.

Suddenly the cat sensed danger. Then he saw the two men winding their way up the mountainside leading a string of horses, seven more to add to the waiting herd. They were quite young, the two men, and looked almost identical. Both had darkly bronzed skin and long black hair flowing loose about their shoulders, and both wore kneehigh moccasins and long white breechclothes spanning well-muscled thighs. But one was tall and bare-chested beneath his short black vest. The other was much shorter and wore a long-sleeved white cotton shirt girded with a cartridge belt sitting low on his .

When the new horses were added to the herd, the cougar rose from his perch and leaped from the boulder, moving cautiously toward the two young men. One was half-Apache, and the other, taller man wasn’t an Indian at all.

The two men stopped, frozen, staring up at the huge cougar. Why hadn’t they sensed him? All was still except for the prancing of the horses.

The tall man stuck out his hand, and the cougar closed the distance between them with a thundering...

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