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BURNT 5.6

In BURNT on October 12, 2010 at 8:26 pm

1970

There are eight of us in the riding party, or, as Lucas calls us, “the posse.”  The rest have paid for the privilege.  I don’t know the exact amount, but I’m sure it’s six figures.  This buys you a week on a bunk at the ranch, one-on-one sessions with Lucas, and special “self-discovery journeys” like this one.

Another perk is the playful banter, the non-stop berating.  “C’mon, you city folk, stand up in them stirrups.  Give those nags their head.”  He whips the horses and their riders into a charging frenzy.

I count a surgeon, a banker, a couple of developers, a couple of Wall Street types.  Not an accomplished rider among them.  And none of them ready for a hard gallop on a narrow mountain path alongside a deep gorge.

Candace, who owns a chain of movie theaters, is in real trouble.  She’s lost her reins and clings to her saddle horn, her feet flying free of the stirrups.  My father is nowhere.  I drive my mount alongside, between her and the gorge.  I’m pulling on her horse’s mantle when I hear the SNAP!

Somehow I stay in my saddle.  But the saddle plummets into the gorge and I plummet with it.

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