Somehow, that was exactly how it all started. She began to carry it back to the courses he had to keep up and down throughout the confederacy, and their time was splashed between different moves and land that they met and who learned to study. There was little talk, just a handful of necessary words, not because they were already at first glance, but not because the ground and the trails absorbed all kinds of words that did not exactly have to do with their business. Still, he did not like that term, and he still preferred chasing. Lorna thought of JB and felt that he was watching her. Had not this been so far from the start, after all? Since he came to take her to the airport on that big car she could not even climb. For the first few minutes they had not known much, as if the time they had spent before telling how pleased they were to have been sucked by the 747 Delta engines with which she had finally arrived in the New Continent. She had obviously been behind him on the way to the car, and had taken notes of how he was walking. But it was not just the feet, which was proportionally large for a big man like him, but how it weighed the weight. There was grace in all that moving almost solemnly. He watched him carefully point one foot behind each other as they went down to the parking lot. The sun was right in front of them, and there was no need for coffee to see how much premeditation was in either. He knew exactly that she was staring at her, but she let her go: it was a smart way to be a bit further when she was in the middle of the dozen young men who had been forced to do the course.

Of course, she perfectly understood what she was in the head: it was clear, it was clear as a line, of what he had rarely followed. Was this ambition? Perhaps, but it was just a handful of the cumulation of passion that he felt poured out of that heart and mouth and stomach every time he said to her: let’s get to work. It was a Million Tracks Baby, which he liked to say about her, which was a Million Tracks Baby. When the others asked him how he had been able to train her in such a short time – all in all, it was less than a year, maybe two seasons here, nothing more or more – he shook his head. They were expert pursuers, and maybe there was something wrong with the fact that he had brought a woman who, in reality, by stature and face was more like a little girl, this is understandable. By the time the sun was high, as pale and shiny as it was saliva. The plastic bag with inside the long blond hair was there, firm in his right pocket, and Lorna certainly felt an irresistible impulse to keep it from there continuously to look at him and look at him. Other traces, after that, had not been found. What would JB say? Of course nothing, it was never his job to say something that had to do with reproach or something. Then Lorna realized that the wind had risen, so in a single moment. He realized that the fronds of the fir trees bent toward her, beginning to swirling leaves coming from other plants still. He stopped looking up because the real problem was on the floor: pine needles were moving, and the ground was too dry to hold them. That changed all the cards on the table he thought. This greatly increases the distance between me and the blond cowboy, he realized. Or this may mean that from this point on I have definitely lost its traces.

Maybe there was something else he could do. Around her, the wind had worn all that Lorna was clinging to, needles shifted from the passage of a boot (be aware: from the sole completely smooth, and even with the heel almost leveled, that was certain) Or other hair. He could only leave that point, and quickly: going down to the river, he had no choice. The slope was steep for her as it was for him. He got up quickly, and the little boy began to descend slowly as the black sky drifted into the pines. He had little time before it was raining, and the rain would have – a lot, a lot of rain – carried away what she was looking for. The slope deteriorated ruinously on the bank of the river and she could smell the bouncing water that had made the boulders completely white. JB had told her that the banks of the rivers could be the key to a pursuit. One could find something there: the tracks could be more visible if the blond cowboy had gone that way. He kept thinking that he should have found something that would surely have found him. On the edge of the brook he immediately saw the little ferns: if someone had gone there he would certainly have damaged the soft ground on which they grew up. It was exactly where he had to look, look good, and carefully plant plan if it was necessary. Of course, JB had forced it to do so infinite times. “This is because certain plants like ferns, if there are the right climatic conditions, say they are also favorable, tend to return to their exact position of origin.” Of course, this Lorna if it He remembered well. He lay flat on his knees, and began to scrutinize between each plant and then down to the real embankment, which most probably the flow of the brook had reduced because somewhere, further north, it was already raining. The air had somehow been lead, and there was no doubt that from then on it would rain, raining seriously. But the brain knew exactly where to look: and in fact, between two ferns, perpendicular to the shore, there, he found the material smoothed: grass, and small stones, and passed over only the tip of his fingers: the earth was smooth to the touch Soft she always applied in these cases. The right sole of the cowboy boot. That was the evidence she was looking for.

He thought he would really like a cup of coffee from green thermos rolling that morning into the hands of cops. She would have said yes and she would rest her flat lips to feel the reflux of the long pulled coffee (she was just like that: long pulled coffee) and to return to her eyes: by the time the air had become a big blanket and the time Made tight in his hands. The more she was unable to determine the direction he had taken, the more he moved away from the miserable, almost microscopic last traces he had left. And then? And then he could have climbed into a car, hosted by someone, and he could hear the dust squinting between his teeth as he lowered the window and felt distant from everything. And maybe even different. The fact was that Lorna could not afford all that. He needed to find other tracks, and he would find them here, even there, alone, even without the JB guidelines. He always told her that the track was there, somewhere, and she was just waiting to be found by her, only that. There had been moments in the past, in which the orbits of the eyes swirled with impatience, she did not, could not control them, and it seemed to him that the only thing possible was to concentrate only on the micro signals indicating that c ‘Was a passage, a passage of any kind, a passage exactly there, clear and clear in his eyes. Now he had lost track, though he knew he was actually there, somewhere, and had to do just that. In front of her, across the stream, there were some stones in an abnormal position. From there he could see them because the cloud cover had covered the whole sky, and he could see the sand in some way not shine, but to stand out sharply: small grooves on which the stones had been dwelling for a long time before That one foot (two cowboy boots from the worn-out sole, she corrected) passed there after the torrent had gone down to the best and best. The flow had swollen, as North was already raining, and she could hear all the flow of that water inside the bronchi, but she had to pass on the other side, and had to do it in a hurry. The stones he had observed were really in an unnatural position: the groove that once came to their bed was all too obvious, and he could even glimpse with absolute certainty the tip of the boot, distinctly in front of everything. It was at that moment that he decided that the first appointment deserved words now, and he would have spoken to her first, that was certain.

He put the right index point flat in the crevice of the boot, pointing straight to a wooded area, no more than ten feet. You’re close, you’re close but I know you’re not so handy. I have no idea where you are, you could be everywhere blond cowboy. Lightweight light travel, this is what I see. You have never turned back: even this I saw. You have the soles consumed because you wanted to put these boots exactly, you just needed these. I start to see you sharply now: you’re longliner, you have never been fatigued in your life. You are agile and you are used to moving quickly. No, you were not running away, I know this for sure. You were moving away quickly. But you knew your direction. There is no trace of fragility in what you do: every movement has been so studied that it is finished by becoming natural, without forcing. Exactly without forcing, you have crossed the expanse of pine trees, being careful to stay in the middle space between two plants, where the needles form a thick, compact expanse where it is difficult to leave a sign of self. But you were not running away, blond cowboy: the pace is regular, careful but regular.

There would be much more to say about her and the fact that that would be the longest pursuit she had been involved in. The Trackers environment was one of the first questions she had been asked – how long have you been following someone? – but JB had sent him alone, and no one would even come to look at what he was doing. She wondered if she was not following a wrong track, in short, imprints that were not those of the blond cowboy but of any other person, maybe a blond and slim girl wearing worn cowboy boots. But he ran right away. It could not be at all: it was the sole to make the difference, that sole that was immediately followed. From one moment to the other, to a dry folktate of that loaded wind, he could have it right in front of his eyes and it was a bad smile that he had poured into his mouth, with the corners above. And he was young, but he did not believe it like that; he was bruised but flush, as if there was something wrong with him that did not go completely. The fact was that Lorna knew now that he was stretching her hand to her, calling her in a certain direction. Others would say that he was throwing the hook, others would still call him an ambush. Here we are at the levels of Robert Frost’s poems, she said. Maybe I really have miles to go before I sleep. But he had not noticed that there was, in the grass, a tiny wake visible, more visible than ever. Only when he stopped looking at the horizon to be able to rest his eyes he realized the wake: the grass stems, which at that point grew for about two palms of height, returned him a clear vision. There was no more visible trace of that, and the width of the trait concerned had the absolute certainty that it could not be an animal, not even a big deer. Have your feet been true? It was you. He touched the ground with the tip of his fingers on the lower part of the grass and could hear all that great cold entering with his capillaries. You were, now I know. The smooth sole of his boots had slipped elegantly over that grass, and humidity had kept him in that position; in short, he was bowing obediently under his weight. Lorna held to the right of the wake, creating her herself. The trail led straight to the beginning of a new scenario, a wood crossed by the interstate. Now it all seemed so simple. Why was it really so? After crossing the river, the blond cowboy had encountered a land on which it was impossible to leave a trace: we had gone in the middle without turning, without hesitation. The grass ropes were bent toward the direction he was following. Lorna ran straight next to the net track he had created. He found himself in a forest of young larches, grown after the land had been abandoned; here the ground was soft, and Lorna could easily follow the footprints. They were crisp, shining exactly like the bright lights inside the 747 that had brought her there to start her life. At that moment it occurred to her that JB had never left her alone, and that even at that precise moment her custody had become somewhat less restrictive. He had been trained by him for months and months, as long as the word exhaustion had ceased to have a definite meaning, somehow palpable. There had been no time to adversely affect JB. For him every moment had to be a test. The last moments of light were right, then the clouds would sharpen the blades really. Lorna looked around, and there was a certain degree of despair in her looking around her. The track was easy until shortly before, but the wood in front of her was quite stuffy and there was no way to get around it. It stretched out of oil as an exploded experiment, and there was overwhelming around her. The fear of failure was obsessing. That’s all. Perhaps it would be better to have expert Experts Trackers who would give it a change? Yet JB was convinced she could do it, which would bring that success home. As hard as his training was, JB was convinced she could do it. She had personally assigned her to that case, she had been trained to do so to present an occasion like that. Of that blond cowboy he did not know anything yet – Lorna had not had time to prepare any SITREP or send it. In short, JB did not know that time had changed, he did not know about golden hair, or tight boots and smooth sole. She did not know she was exhausted but she never stopped, never. He had no idea where she was, and perhaps she liked exactly that. The only thing that interested him was that she was there, she alone.

He entered the woods flat and did not look at the ground. He saw him there, squatting to a pine that was heavier than him. The first thing he saw was his boots. They were exactly the same as she did when they were tracked after so many traces. Then he saw their hair, they seemed to have a life. They covered her face, folded forward. Lorna leaned forward, stretching her hand. He had nothing to do except those cowboy boots, sweaty jeans, and a flannel shirt that covered a long, thin torso. She did not carry any weapon, and even though JB had told her to give unconditional attention, Lorna approached him more and more. He wanted to look at him better, look at it carefully. He tried to wiggle his hair to see if he was injured in his head and to make sure he was not in a state of unconsciousness. What he did was completely misguided. His right hand was gripped with force and he rubbed it against his whole face. Plan, but firmly. Could that be an archaic subtype of caress? Or anything like that? Lorna turned back. “You’ve made me less than I thought.” In a moment he stood up and for the first time she realized how tall he was, and yet he kept staring at his feet steadily, he just could not raise it look. It was an oppressive sense of domination what Lorna felt, and to put it all it should have been the opposite. He should have put his handcuffs in short, he would already have it! Needed to put his handcuffs and contact the county police, and then JB, and perhaps at that point he should have been far away, of a reassuring distance. He had already had his coffee in his hand, and he should have already changed. Instead, now the blond cowboy stood before her, and even though she had not run away, she was still there, in front of her and that look and that rattling voice made her so extremely disarmed. “Your suppositions about me were all right, they brought you to here.” He broke off because he had rained down. She pushed her hand to her again, waving the rain and then the air with her long, loving hand. But it was rigid, just like the falling rain, like stalactites that plunged into the ground and before in their skin. If there had been a third person, she would have said Lorna was wrong not to handle it. But should also said that he had lost all his training when he saw him resting on the tree, and he had put himself in the head – in short, he had convinced himself – that the blond cowboy was not dangerous. And it was not over there at all. The biggest problem with a Tracker is the end of Tracking. Just because it all ends up, it feels like being robbed, worse than when the Cheyenne were out of caravans on caravans, and climbed on escalops. When Tracking ends the Tracker wants to stay with the Fugitive. That was good, JB. The real escape somehow begins when you find it, Lorna. She had just said this to her. It is not that you roll the roles, that you cannot do it.

[All Rights to Kyt Walken, 2017]

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