Saturday, January 2, 2010

Still In Chapter 14


Jean-Yves stepped quietly away from the fallen log, moving into the deep shade beneath the trees. Bull moved with him, a few steps to the Frenchman’s right. Bull had heard nothing but birds calling and trees moving in the light wind but he was no woodsman and he walked deeper into the forest, obeying Jean-Yves’ gestures to widen the distance between them and go first to their left and then to their right until Bull was sure he didn’t know from what direction they had come nor how far into the woods they were.

Bull moved forward through the trees and a wall of thick brush and brambles hid the Frenchman from view for a few minutes. When Bull came past the thicket, Jean-Yves was not to be seen and Bull reversed his steps and found himself alone on the other side of the brush. He walked to his left, to where Jean-Yves should be and saw no one. Bull whispered the Frenchman’s name and cocked his head to listen and heard nothing but the forest sounds. It was dark beneath the ageless trees and Bull whispered louder and then spoke Jean-Yves’ name and after a moment he called out heedless of any danger from Indians. The birds fell silent and there was nothing, nothing in the forest and Bull was alone and did not know where he was or how to get back to the river.



  1. I've waited long enough to leave a comment.

    Good Lord Almighty Mr. Bailey, where on earth do you get your imagination!

    I could hear his breathing and the deafening silence that followed.


  2. Thanks! You know, I re-read this excerpt and all I see is Hemingway, O'Connor and Faulkner. So I guess that's where I get my way of writing down the simple scenes I've imagined.

  3. I'll also say that sometimes, the simplest actions can be the hardest for me to write. The phrase "Jean-Yves stepped quietly away from the fallen log" took a day and a half to pull together.

  4. I thought of Hemingway when I read this. It has that fifth dimensional quality to it. I love, love, LOVE as the tension mounts when Bull realizes Jean-Yves is gone. Little shivers up my arm.