Oh, and a newsflash: my publisher sent word that The Last Ride is the official title for the third Milestones book (yes, the one I have not yet finished! AUGH!). It comes out next winter.
Andi and Levi rode over to the chuck wagon,where cook was busy unloading the pots and pans, and dismounted.
“Girl, get over here and help me with the grub. You, take this bucket and get us some water.” he said motioning to Levi.
Andi and Levi exchanged an annoyed look. Chad just had to make me the cook’s helper. He couldn’t have let me help with the cattle, no sirree. That’s just like Chad! Andi thought to herself as she grabbed a handful of pots and pans from the wagon and took them over to where cook was building the fire.
“Alright, now get me the beans and the jerky.”
Andi sighed. Dragging her feet over to the wagon she reached inside and fumbled around looking for the food. Grabbing the beans and jerky, she took them over to the fire. She grimaced as she set it down. She had learned one thing about the trail drive so far; she did not like the meals. It was porridge in the morning, jerky for lunch, and beans and jerky again for supper. Not like I thought it would be any different.
“Girlie, why don’t you go and get me another bucket of water. I think I’ll need more than one.”
Andi nodded and hurried down to the creek after Levi.
“Hey, Andi, where are you going?” Levi asked. He had filled his bucket with water and was on his way back to the camp.
“Cook decided he may need two buckets of water for all the hungry men, not just one.”
“Mind if I walk back with you?”
Andi grinned. “Sure.”
“Andi. . .do you think he would mind if we took five minutes longer?”
Andi glanced at him, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “I think he would mind. But...as long as we hurried…”
They both set down the pails and hurried over to the creek. Levi got there first, and splashed water on Andi. Andi laughed and splashed some back on him.
Before they knew it, the sun had dipped lower in the sky. They were startled by hoofbeats approaching. They both looked up, then glanced at each other in horror, the same thought evident in their eyes.
“What in the blazes are you two doing out here?” Chad rode up with Mitch close behind him.
“Uh, we were just--” Levi started
“We came to get water.” Andi finished, she glanced down at her wet clothes, “But I guess we got sidetracked.”
“You guess? Cook says he sent you both down here for water forty-five minutes ago. We were afraid something had happened. Now get that water and get back to the camp.” Chad rode off without another word.
Mitch paused and glanced down at them. “There’s no problem with cooling off, little sis, but you should have finished your chores with cook first. The cow drives aren’t all fun and games; they’re hard work. We’re only on the third day, and you’ve already got Chad in a huff. I’ll try to see if I can calm him down, but be careful something like this doesn’t happen again.” he wheeled his horse around and galloped off.
“Uncle Mitch is right,” Levi said looking at the ground. ‘I shouldn’t have suggested this to begin with.
Andi sighed. “The problem is that Mitch is always right, and It’s as much my fault as it is yours.” she walked over to the pails. Dumping out the water, that had grown warm in the sun, she dipped it in the creek and filled it with new, cool water. Levi didi the same, then they started back to camp.