“I were 14 when I rode my first night hawk,” Dusty told the kid. “War a night like this one when them beeves had stampede demons inside ‘em and war lookin’ for any excuse to run.”
The kid shifted his gaze off Dusty and onto the moonlit cattle that surrounded him and the old timer.
“How can you tell,” he asked with a hushed voice, “when they ready to run?”
Dusty bit off a chaw and then offered the plug to the kid, who waved it off, the question still on his face.
“They eyes.” Dusty answered. “They eyes glow red, them demon cows. They glow in the dark. Blue fire and red eyes, that how you know. We know that night they gonna run. Boss know, put every hand out on night hawk. Keep them beeves calm, keep ’em still. I sing to ’em but it do no good. They ready to run, nobody can stop ’em”
The kid went wide-eyed.
“They didn’t run though, not that night,” Dusty sighed. “They was angels in the herd. Same as tonight. You look fer ’em, you see ’em.”
He rode off into the night, leaving the kid to watch for angels.