Printed from WriteWords -

A prodigal return

by  Prospero

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012
Word Count: 300
Summary: A re-tread on the theme of returning

“You crazy bastard, don’t expect me to come looking for you. You’re gonna die up there. Y'hear!”
Thorn waved or maybe he was batting at a fly, it was hard to tell with his back turned like that. Gimp cussed and spat into a puddle. ‘Godammit, if that boy ain't the most ornery summabitch in all a God’s green acres.’ He watched as Thorn, the mule laden with provisions and the little flock of sheep struggled upwards through the snow and mud until they disappeared behind a rock fall. 'Wasn’t the Yukon tough enough without taking off into the mountains in the middle of winter like that.' "Good luck, Jason", he muttered to himself. Then limped towards the saloon and the promise of beer with a whiskey chaser.

It was well into summer when an emaciated figure staggered back down the trail into Dawson City. The man was weighed down under what looked like a huge sack and his tattered boots left bloody spoor at every step. Although he limped and weaved as he walked there was a fierce determination about him that stopped anyone from offering to help though a chinaman with a handcart hovered close just in case.

The man was scanning the storefronts as he passed and when he turned into the Land Registry there was a flutter of interest amongst the on-lookers. When he came out again an hour later clutching a brown envelope which could only mean a registered claim the crowd second guessed him and headed for the Assay Office. Only those near the front heard him say. “I used an old Indian trick and staked sheep skins to the river bed to leech the gold out of the water up at Moose Creek. Tell my Pa, Jason has returned with a golden fleece."