Within four seconds the whole deal was done and the three men lay on the ground, Sim Abner’s left arm layin’ in the fire. I walked over and kicked his arm away from the flames, rollin’ him over with my foot to see if he was still breathin’, only to find wounds from my two slugs in his chest and the right side of his head gone. Two Quivers had shot Alcott, then fired a shot at Abner, hittin’ him in the left ear, the bullet exitin’ behind his right.
About that time, The Boys all walked into the camp. I walked over to Yodell, who was starin’ up at me, frothy blood comin’ from his mouth.
“I told ‘em you’d be a daisy. You’d not a-took Windy Jim, less’n ya’s mighty handy,” he said, his breath comin’ in chokin’ gasps.
“You come a-huntin’ me, Yodell. If ya hadn’t come to me this wouldn’ta happ’ned. Ya can’t blame nobody but yourself.”
He winced with pain. “A feller what I know was in the express office, when ya come in with gold. We reckoned ya had a strike located and figured to foller ya to it. I never knowed yore name.” He laid quiet for a few seconds, then with a labored breath asked,
“Huh...I never reckoned to get it from a brother Johnny Reb,” he coughed out.
“I fit fer the Blue.”
“Well...,” he choked out, “no time to worry ‘bout that now.”
Then he took a couple of haggard breaths and died, me squattin’ yonder next to him. I’d killed many a man durin’ the war, but I’d never had to sit next to one whilst him a-dyin’.
“Let’s tidy up the dead, here boys,” I says. “We’ll find a place aways from here to bury ‘em.”
Two Quivers responded immediately, sayin’, “I know place to the west...a dirt bank that hangs over. I find it today.”
Well, he’d been thinkin’ like me all along, only sayin’ nothin’, so it wouldn’t look like he was sidin’ against Little Wolf. He was a quiet feller and had more savvy than I’d given him credit for.
“Alright then, let’s get ‘em on their horses,” and with that, we saddled their mounts, draped them across their saddles and tied them down.
Whilst me and Two Quivers was loadin’ Alcott, I saw he’d been shot through the body, the bullet enterin’ just left of the spine below the shoulder blade...right where it counted most. Yes sir, there was a lot more to Two Quivers than met the eye.
The moon was near full and the sky clear, so there was more than enough light to see by. With Two Quivers leadin’ the way, we pulled up along a dirt bank that had plenty of small rocks layin’ all around. We took them from their saddles, stripped them of their guns and belongings, then laid them along the base of the bank, pilin’ their saddles on top of the bodies.
Usin’ sticks, we caved the overhangin’ dirt bank over them. Finally, after layin’ rocks atop the dirt, we made more dirt to fall, so the place would look more natural, hopin’ not to attract attention to it, should somebody pass close by this way.
The bodies bein’ covered, I says, “Grandpaw always said pray after, so I reckon I will.” Takin’ off my hat, in Cheyenne I offered,
“Lord, we can only thank ya fer seein’ us through our recent skirmish. I ask your fergiveness fer takin’ these men’s lives, although they come a-huntin’ us. I never knowed ‘em and only talked with Yodell here fer a few minutes, so’s I can’t say much on their b’half. Well...I reckon you got ‘em now. Amen.”
Sample Text From
Ball Creek Zach: Book 1 West of Fort Laramiee
Steve Ritchie Westerns
“Find any cows, Abe?”
Before Kane could answer, there was a flash of burning gunpowder on the hillside across the creek and a bullet hit the doorpost only inches from Gray’s head, the report ringing out an instant later.
Instantly, the light inside went out as Kane took the few quick steps to the corner of the cabin. Standing quietly, leaning against the stone wall, he quickly estimated the shooter to be approximately one hundred-ten yards away, across the creek in the darkness of the timber covered hillside. Having seen the muzzle flash, he already had his Winchester up, so he levered five quick shots, scattered across the area where he’d seen that flash.
Within only a few seconds of his last shot, he could hear the faint rapid hoofbeats of a horse racing south through the timber, tree limbs popping loudly as they were broken off by the fleeing horse and rider. He quickly shoved four fresh cartridges into the loading gate and raised the rifle again, leading the sound he was hearing, and fired four more times.
After he let go with his last shot, Gray asked, “Think ya got him?”
Kane chuckled in the darkness. “Nope, but I sent him on his way with somethin’ right serious to think about,” at which Gray laughed aloud.