Author’s Note: This is Part II in Book I of my series Tales of the West. You may read Part I: “Milly” here.
Genres: Fiction – Western/Action/Romance
Please be aware this story has elements of violence, gun violence, murder and death.
Ethan played by Boyd Holbrook
“Floyd and Jason”
Floyd and Jason woke up to the noise outside, and the voice shouting out to them.
“It’s the law, they gone and found us!” Jason said
They frantically ran around the house, grabbed their guns and crouching as low as they could but just high enough to see outside. Sure enough, a posse of men surrounded them.
“Looks like they got about 20 law men out there, a lot more than last time,” Floyd said
“And we ain’t got no getaway tunnel neither and NO ETHAN,” Jason said sounding rattled
“He must’ve left for a good reason–I ain’t seein’ Lincoln neither” Floyd said
“We can’t go out the front, we’ll get shot dead for sure. Even if most of those men are law men, they won’t all be bad shots,”…
“We can’t leave neither; we need to wait for Ethan!” Floyd said
“What are we gonna do, Floyd?” Jason said, looking over at his brother
“There ain’t no way they didn’t get men ‘round the back,’ Floyd said
Jason crept down as low as he could and made his way to the back of the house to check the outside.
He couldn’t see anyone there, but it was dark and there were bushes everywhere. They could’ve had law men or even hunters in the underbrush just waitin’ for them to come out.
Either way you looked at it, it was bad for Floyd and Jason.
“Can ya see anyone?” Floyd said
“It’s too damn dark to see a thing!”
“Do you think we could make a run for it out the back?” Floyd said.
Jason shook his head
“I dunno Floyd… it’d be mighty risky either way we go,”
“Let me just open the door a little and take a peek outside,” Jason said, slowly reaching up for the door.
“Be careful–they might have rifle men out there waitin’ fer us to go on out”
Jason had already opened the door a small amount, and then he closed it again and locked it.
“I say we wait and see what they’re gonna do first and wait for Ethan–if he’s comin’ in behind the posse, we might just have time to get on outta here alive!” Floyd said
“Okay…” Jason said
Ethan told Fran that he and the kid would be leavin’ and to keep her eyes and ears open for anythin’ at all.
Ethan grabbed Lincoln and pulled him up and out of the saloon.
“Where we goin’?”
“Back to the hideout… I’m tired and we need to sleep and we’ve already been gone way too long,” Ethan said
“I don’t wanna go back to the hideout, Ethan”
Ethan looked at Lincoln and squinted.
“Kid, I know you don’t like all the hidin’ we was doin’. But I gotta tell ya, yer chances ain’t good if you wanna go it alone–yer better off with us, trust me on that”
Lincoln walked over to his horse and slowly tried to get up on the saddle.
“You’re right Ethan… I’m an idiot fer leavin’ thinkin’ anythin’ else” Lincoln said, clumsily climbing onto his horse
“Let’s head back before Jason and Floyd wake up and notice we’re gone,” Ethan said
Ethan and Lincoln headed on back towards the hideout and almost a mile away, Ethan noticed tracks in the mud leading towards the hideout.
“Stop!”… he said
Lincoln pulled on the reins of his horse and looked at Ethan
“Look down at the mud–those are fresh tracks leadin’ into the hideout, ”
Lincoln looked down at the mud and could clearly see all the tracks headed straight towards their hideout.
“Is it the law? Did they find us?”
“Goddammit”… Ethan said getting’ back on his horse
“We can’t go this way back to the hideout, we need to go over that rise. That way we’ll get a clear view of the hideout from above,” Ethan said.
Lincoln and Ethan rode as fast as they could towards the rise. And it relieved Ethan that his rifle was still sittin’ in the backpack on his horse. He had a feelin’ he’d be needin’ it.
-END OF PART XXXVII-
You can read Part XXXVIII of Ethan’s story right here.