“Jake Silverhorn’s Revenge”
“Stagecoach Robbers Don’t Always Win”
By Big Jim Williams
Jake remained in the crater for several hours under a blistering sun that dragged its shade with it as it shifted to the west. His canteen was empty. He rubbed his blistered lips. He needed water. From the protective edge of the sandy hole, his eyes and telescope repeatedly probed the trees, undergrowth and Leviticus’ potential hiding places. There was no sign of the killer. The breezes that had swept the canyon had left as suddenly as they had appeared, maybe scared off by Leviticus’ two dynamite blasts, an unrealistic thought that Jake quickly dismissed.
Water became Jake’s primary need when he jumped out of the hole and lumbered toward protective boulders lining the meandering shallow stream yards away. There were no shots as he buried in face in the cool water, drank, and then filled his canteen. He remained prone for several minutes behind protective boulders before squinting again at endless places where the killer could hide in the mouth of the tree-lined canyon.
Leviticus is either waiting for me to stand and be shot, thought Jake, or fled during the explosions when I was keeping my head and ass down. Jake slowly stood, fearing a bullet could rip into his body. No one fired.
Relieved, he slung the canteen over his shoulder, adjusted his hat, and carrying his rifle and cocked pistol exited the canyon’s wide entrance and found the outlaw’s footprints. He followed them as they moved north. Drops of blood were scattered along the trail.
Jake was angry he hadn’t killed Leviticus, but glad the man was bleeding. “Hope the bastard doesn’t die before I can find him and kill him,” he said. “Nobody is sending him to hell, but me. He’s mine. Then the buzzards and animals can claw, chew and fight over his worthless carcass.”
Matilda saw the rapist long before Walter did. The donkey lifted its head from nibbling tender creek grass and stared at the newcomer, not sure if she should bray, run away, or ignore the limping man who carried a pistol in his right hand. Then Matilda caught the man’s downwind scent, a strange odor of blood and sweat that predicted danger to the animal’s sensitive nose, as she decided to announce his unwelcome arrival with a braying blast of, HEE-HAW...HEE-HAW.
Walter had nodded off in the shade while waiting for the rabbit to cook as its fat remains dribbled juice over a bed of coals. The adjacent stream provided a gentle pillow of sound as water tumbled over its rocky bottom. Hearing Matilda, Walter quickly sat up and started to reach for his rifle. “What...what’s goin’ on?” he asked. Then seeing Leviticus, “Where in the hell did you come from?”
The renegade poked his pistol in Walter’s surprised face. “You touch that long gun old man,” he warned, “and you’ll be hoppin’ in hell, with a big hole in your noggin, alongside your roastin’ rabbit. You got that fat man?”
Walter swallowed hard and quickly nodded.
Leviticus threw Walter’s old rifle into the underbrush, and then tore a rear leg from the dripping meat and hurriedly began eating. Although in pain from his injuries, he smiled as juice from the succulent meat ran down his chin and hands. “Ain’t bad at all,” he said. He sucked the bones clean, added them to the underbrush, and tore off the jackrabbit’s remaining rear leg. It too was soon gone as the outlaw wiped his greasy mouth on his shirtsleeve. He slid the rest of the roasting rabbit from its makeshift spit and continued eating.
“Ain’t et in a day,” he said, smiling through a stuffed mouth.
“Could...Could you...save some of that for me?” cautiously asked Walter. “Been waitin’ all day to eat that long-eared hopper. Weren’t easy trappin’ it.”
The intruder grunted, broke off the end of the rabbit’s bony backbone and tossed it to the old man. “That’s the ass piece that goes over the fence last,” he chuckled.
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If you enjoyed the story and would like to start reading the series from the very beginning,Volume 1,here is the Amazon Kindle link:http://www.amazon.com/Jake-Silverhorns-Revenge-Quiet-Deadly-ebook/dp/B00MZJ3PM4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1441913725&sr=8-3&keywords=big+jim+williams