Another Excerpt from Thunder Moon Tussle

Thunder Moon Tussle received a five star review

by Torn MacAlester

Nils entered the habi­tat to see Deputy Miller wear­ing his cov­er­alls, look­ing like a prospec­tor her­self. He won­dered if she intend­ed to make fun of him. He moved in and watched her fix the cof­fee, notic­ing she con­tin­ued to strug­gle with it. Tak­ing a seat, he watched with­out com­ment. She filled the two cups and sat down at the table, set­ting one in front of him.

“Thanks,” he said.

“I fig­ured there will be a ton of work today,” she said. “I need to help the best I can.”

“Hence the cov­er­alls?” And call­ing me prospector.

“Yeah,” She smiled. “I fig­ured the best way to help you would be to embrace your ideals.”

He real­ized she lis­tened to the tales he told the tourists in the Con­rad Sta­tion bar. “You mean–”

“Yeah, that prospec­tor code of inde­pen­dence you speak about in your stories.”

“Miller,” Nils ques­tioned, “you know those are just made up sto­ries. Don’t you?”

“Yeah,” she laughed. “It’s ridicu­lous that Mor­gan is an old prospec­tor that was here twen­ty years before you got here. That time­line would put his arrival to before Yel­low­stone. I’m guess­ing your sto­ry is about some­thing you and Mil­ton did years ago. But, I’m sure the ice sto­ry is most­ly nonsense.”

“I agree. It is a lit­tle ridiculous.”

“What was the prospector’s code?”

“That was from anoth­er sto­ry,” he corrected.

I’m here.” Miller start­ed, “I’m doing, uh–

I’m doing what I need to do. There is nobody else. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. If it doesn’t get done, it stays undone and kills me. If I need it, I have to do it. If I will stay here, it has to be me who does it all. If I sur­vive, it will be my work that does it.” Nils fin­ished. “Is that what you’re think­ing of?”


Thunder Moon Tussle received a five star review

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