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Wagon Train Diaries...2

Updated on June 24, 2014

Dead Crow's Valley

The Wagon Train Diaries...

Dead Crow’s Valley



Historian’s Note: These stories take place in the late 1860's.. a wagon train’s historical notes.


The Indian scout led the way through the narrow, cramped corridors created by the wagon trains. The Wagon Master was in tow after hearing a scream which carried through the night sky.

The Wagon Master was a bantam size cowboy with very strong features. His mere presence commanded respect. They were headed for wagon 13. That’s where the screams came from. Usually it was always White Deer, who followed the Wagon Master dutifully.

White Deer was a seasoned scout. He had been a scout for the calvary for over fifteen years. He wasn’t as big as Alastar Brown, but that never slowed him down. He would stand up to anyone, at anytime. He was a very important piece to Alastar’s wagon train.

Watching the chaos that reigned as the other travelers pushed and shoved their way through the gathering crowd to get a peek of what was happening. To firmly establish control over a growing group, the Wagon Master fired two shots into the air. It was a customary action in order for the crowd to identify the leader of the train.

"Settle down!" he shouted.

A young woman came rushing toward the Wagon Master. Her body and spirit cried out for action. It took every ounce of control she had to settle down and tell Alastar what had happened.

"He did it," she huffed. "He did it."

"What?" asked the Wagon Master.

"My brother, my brother, he killed his wife and six of his seven children."

The crowd rumbled, and even those who didn’t really hear what she said felt the shock of what had happened. White Deer, looking to the Wagon Master, he tried to draw strength from his apparent calm. He tried to emulate his strength, his control.

"Dead Crow’s Valley,"Someone shouted.

"We have to turn back!"

"Settle down, it’s not Dead Crow’s Valley," said the Wagon Master. "We just have a man gone nuts."

Two cowboys brought the killer to the Wagon Master and held him there. In the killer’s eyes, Alastar saw no disappointment, no remorse, only acceptance, madness.

"I feel the devil in my body," whispered the killer.

"You murdered children..." White Deer grunted.

Suddenly, the killer knew. The realization struck him like a physical blow. His wife and children were dead. He had killed them. It took every ounce of his sanity to retain his control. To keep the pounding of his heart from overpowering him. He wanted the Wagon Master to end his life. To shoot him in the head.

The Wagon Master turned toward the Indian scout’s scrutiny. His gaze was steady and serene, acknowledging the lawless situation.

"Kill him!" shouted the crowd.

The Wagon Master fired two shots into the air again. Finally, a kind of order was established. A stillness settled on the crowd. A despair.

"Take him to the supply tent," he ordered. "We’ll drop him off at the next town where he will stand trial for the murder of his wife and children."

A few moments earlier, the wagon train travelers had seen justice in the face of their Wagon Master. After all, they were in a territory without law. But now those same faces were full of horror and disappointment...

To Read the first part click here

© 2011 Frank Atanacio


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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Debbie hope you're enjoying the western adventure

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      into the thick of things here, Frank. Justice in this lawless territory. Looking forward to finding out about the madman.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      Poetvix again thank you so much :)

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      I would write more but I have to know what happens next!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      Sue its always a pleasure to see your face pop up :) Cheers

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Hi Frank,

      "My brother, my brother, he killed his wife and six of his seven children."

      I wonder when and where the seventh child will show up.

      Looking forward to the next chapter.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      Writer20 thanks for always showing up on my pages :)

      Audrey I saw you on Hello..:)

      H.. it must have been hard.. and the dark reality of creating a whole new world for us had to be God sent..right?

      VG thanks so much for the comment...

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      The descriptions are so vivid that I felt like seeing a movie.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Frank, I have wondered about those days. They were long, tiring, dirty and usually people went hungry and thirsty. I can see how some went mad. This was a terrible thing you wrote. Sadly real happens in the world. I am glad I am protected by God who has always lived up to His promises. I wonder about the surviving child. He/she will have to overcome so much.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 6 years ago from California

      Like the short stories that you write Frank!! Lots of fun to read!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      This is a great story, waiting for more.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      thanks epi once again your comment means so much :) Frank

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago are definitely entering the short story territory of the great Will Starr and another western genre writer the great Wayne Brown - now I must add your name to this trinity - the great Frank, but then again I knew that all along ...... lake erie time ontario canada 12:54pm

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      Yes I was reawakened to history by another hubber.. and I think this little tale of travels might be received thank you so much Sky..:)

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 6 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      I will get to you about taking those people through those dark and evil possessed territory, in your imagination. Now whose fault will it be when he pleads insanity.

      Great story my brethren it reminds me of a great American story and guess what I was this minute listening to Born in the USA by Bruce. Well that great American story was , a wagon train that went through some treacherous passage and the y had to eat each other , think they were lost, in wicked surroundings. Can't blame me I love old history , gives me a sense of where we are going today.

      Great story Frank.


    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      yeah Ms Brooks thank you so much for sharing.. I'm trying to create the darkside of a wagon train.. you're talking about the late 1950's right? yeah thanks for that comparison and compliment :) Frank

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      What a great story Mr. Frank.. I cant wait to see what happens.. The Wagon Master has a real hard job on his hands. this reminds me of watching Wagon Train but in the 60's I believe it was. I voted up and awesome.