“Throw me the rope” Button yelled. Gladys coiled the rope and threw it in the general direction of the voice. “NOT THE WHOLE ROPE!” the voice yelled back. Gladys leaned over the side of the cliff and looked down. “Oh, sorry! Can you throw it back up here” she asked.
The end of the rope struck her foot and she reached down to grab it. “Ok, now I want you to tie the end of the rope to that mesquite tree. Tie it up good so it will hold the weight. Can you do that?” Button yelled from the bottom of the crevice. Gladys took the rope and wrapped it around the trunk of the scrawny mesquite tree. She made a loop and then stuck the end through and pulled tight. It looked pretty solid. She walked back to the ledge and yelled down “OK. I wrapped it around and made a knot.”
Button looked up as he looped the other end of the rope around his waist. “Okay, make sure that knot is tight. Gladys nodded and ran back up to the tree. How in the world had they gotten into this situation? They had been out riding in the back pasture having a perfectly lovely afternoon when the next thing she knew she was trying to help a 200 pound rodeo clown climb the side of a red clay hill.
She felt a little responsible. She probably shouldn’t have screamed like a banshee because she thought she saw a rattlesnake. It looked like a snake. How could she know it was a craggily branch that looked like a snake? How could she have known that Button’s horse was skittish about women shrieking out “snake”? She never even imagined that Blue would throw his master right over the side of the dry creek bed bank and run off like his tail was on fire? She had no idea.
These thoughts were running through her head like water through a sieve as she watched Button trying to pull himself up the steep bank. She watched as his boots caught then slipped. She saw the rope taut one minute then slack the next. She saw her boyfriend halfway up the sheer one moment and laying on his back in the dry creek the next.
“Glaaaadisssss!!!!” came the cry. She leaned over the side and starred down in horror seeing the big cowboy lying in the dust.
“Button? Are you awright” she asked with true concern.
“What kind of knot did you tie” Button asked brushing and dusting and spitting out his tobacco.
“The only kind of knot I know” she answered.
He shook his head and sat his hat back on his head looking at the rope in his hand “Do you know how to tie anything other than a SLIP KNOT?”.
“Nope. I never got my knot tying badge in Girl Scouts” she replied.