Just then the barn door opened and Tyler stepped in. "No one is in the bunkhouse, Mr. Kentworthy, not even the cook."
"Grubby went to town this afternoon. He'll stay there until the storm blows over. Thank you, Tyler. You had better go to the house now."
After Tyler left, Clint turned and headed down the row of stalls.
"What are you doing?" Amy asked.
"Going to look for them."
"Dad! You'll get lost too!" she cried, panic welling up in her chest.
He heard the fear in her voice and turning, put his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye. "Amy, you've lived on a ranch all your life. You know the dangers and you know the risk I'm taking by going out there right now, but you also know that there are men in trouble and that a good man never abandons his partners in a crisis."
Amy swallowed hard. "I know. I'll be praying. Please be careful."
"It'll be okay. No matter what happens, Amy, it's in God's hands." Clint turned away and opened Renegade's stall door.
When he looked up again, Amy was gone. For a moment he was puzzled, then shrugged and threw the heavy saddle onto the stallion's back.
He glanced up in surprise when the barn door opened a few minutes later and Amy stepped in. "I thought you'd deserted me." he said teasingly as she walked up.
"Dad! I wouldn't do that." Amy protested. She handed him his warmest coat, several canteens filled with hot coffee and some sandwiches.
"That's my ranch girl. Thank you, Amy." He tucked the coffee and sandwiches into his saddle bags, gave Amy a quick hug and picked up his rifle. "Good-bye, Amy. Keep things going at the house. You know what to do."
He led Renegade out the barn door and disappeared in the swirling snow.