l’d had sons, too …
But they were gone now … Forever.
lt was a very bad time.
The Colonel had tried to help the people.
But it was no use.
So he decided to go his own way.
He wanted to lose the madness over the mountains, he said.
Lose the madness, he said …
And so we lived for many years, and the boys grew strong.
Alfred was the older brother, old even for his years.
Samuel was the youngest.
There was nothing these brothers would not do for him.
They watched over him like a treasure.One year … l am an old man, l cannot remember the year. lt was the moon of the red grass. lsabel Ludlow, their mother, went away for the winter. She said the winters were too cruel for her. She said she was afraid of the bears.She was a strange woman, anyway. That spring, though, she did not retum.And after that. she did not come much to see us.Alfred wrote her many letters, but Tristan refused to speak of her.His world was here … with me.Every warrior hopes a good death will find him.But Tristan couldn’t wait. He went looking for his.
l have these letters.
They are from all of them. Ludlow … lsabel … Samuel.
The whole family. The whole story.
lt is all written here.
Dear lsabel, l am not fool enough to try to alter a life already lived.
But l feel l have not done well raising our sons in this wild place.
What did l know of children? l was trained to lead men.
This is infinitely harder. -William
l know it will surprise you greatly, but they are engaged.
This summer he will bring her to Montana to meet you all.
So behave yourself and be as charming as only you can be. -Isabel