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Dead Speak

Part 3 of 3

Published in original form: Bewildering Stories issue #168

Allen “Hosse” Kieran ran for his life, frantically searching for the opening of the mine. He’d been running ever since the monsters had taken down the James brothers without a fight; ripping them apart as they’d screamed and emptied their guns.

Not one to run from any fight, the speed that he’d seen used against them was something he’d never want to see again.

Racing through the transfer station, he was relieved when he broke into the sunlight and found several of the others already waiting for him.

Stopping to catch his breath, he noticed they were short about three of their original number.

Weathered roughnecks all, they bore the image of strength buried in grime. Covered in dust and dirt from the mine and trail, they almost looked ghostlike as the sun beat down on them.

Martin, his ever watchful partner, ambled over as he turned to speak in a low voice so that the others wouldn’t hear them. “They got Nells and I’d suspect the James boys if their not with you.”

“Those James boys are staying put, but not by their own choosing.” Kieran replied, realizing Moorhen had set them up.

They’d ridden up from Cheyenne to claim the gold he’d assured them was hidden inside the now empty mine.

“Just ask the old codger they pinned as Sheriff and he’ll show you.” The drunken man had slurred with a tilted smile, tipping his beer to them as they’d left.

He’d taken silver for the tip that had cost them blood.

“There ain’t no gold, is there.” Martin sighed, realizing the death they’d brought to the town had been for nothing other than the short bit of pleasure the two women had given them at the saloon. Even then he’d not gotten his turn with the girl before she’d made a break for it and been taken down by the younger James.

Any idiot would have known to shoot her in the leg and not the back. Least ways then she could still give them what they’d wanted from her. The damned fool had managed to hit her in the back and head before she fell dead and worthless to the ground.

None amongst them had been willing to take pleasure from a cooling corpse, even as good looking as hers was.

Kieran stood and looked at the sky. “With any luck we can clear this land and be long gone before spring brings someone looking to find them and figure out what happened.”

“Saddle up boys!” Martin yelled to the others who grumbled as they moved toward their horses.

“What do we do about Moorhen?” Martin asked, already knowing the answer.

“Once we get back, take a couple of the boys and plug that son of a bitch for the trouble he’s caused us.”

The horsemen led the extra horses behind them as they left the town, sitting silent and barren as winter descended to claim it.

Unfortunately their plan for a clean escape would be for naught as justice in the form of Abigail Dorchester would be carried through the deep snow of Montana toward the silent town by her team of powerful horses.

With temperatures falling as they would, justice in the form of revenge would be a dish served cold to those who’d violated the peace in Goblin’s Toe, Wyoming.

* * *

The End

Copyright © 2004, 2005 by Robert L. Sellers Jr. All rights reserved.
Please do not use without permission of the author.

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