Only Clem & Chuck’s long experience as cowboys kept them from being thrown as they dodged tree-limbs on their twenty-minute high-speed involuntary exploration of the forest.
Shortly after, the humans awoke, made coffee, and while the fire was burning down to hot coals for cooking, they gathered to enjoy the morning air and the brightening sky. They found Buttons already there, “Good morning, Buttons, were you here all night?”
“Yep,” she replied with a slow tail-wag.
“Did anything exciting happen while we slept?” Chris yawned.
Northstar shook her head and nickered, “BUTTONS!”
Season VI, Chapter 3 Trackdown, Episode 12:
NOTE: We’ll probably see Clem Reed & Chuck Dayton again (mostly because it took some time to draw them), ‘though they may have different names. In movies & TV, they’d be called “extras.”
After the humans left for their breakfast, Buttons and Northstar hung back, Buttons wagged her tail, “But Northstar, we can’t let the humans know we were ALL sleeping, even that bird.”
Northstar looked up into the tree, and sure enough, there was Flutters, almost directly above and still sound asleep.
After everybody was fed, they broke camp and resumed the hunt, Mac formed two groups, a scouting group and a supply-train group. To begin, Susie, Boomer, Erik, Buttons, Ben, Alice, Daisy and PepperCooper formed the scouts. Chris, Sarah, Larry, and Mac provided protection for Susan driving the chuck wagon and leading the mule-train.
Buttons finally told Mac & Susie about the raid, and after praising her quick-thinking, they decided the supply-train needed to be protected at all times. Larry FlutterMatters was assigned to provide aerial surveillance and communications between the two groups.
Switching people between the two groups, save for Blackmon, who remained with the scouts, and Susan who was the best muleteer and remained with the supply train, they continued using this tactic and they progressed very rapidly.
Their quarry made a significant mistake, they accidentally left behind a blanket at one of their campsites, and Daisy recognized the human scent; the blanket belonged to Randolph Kidd. Marshal Blackmon surmised from that, that the other man they were chasing was Major McLintock—that was a dead-on guess.
To be Continued…