12
Jul

Redemption Road

   Posted by: admin   in Collaborative Writing

     “Why Tombstone?” Troop thought. Wasn’t it enough that he’d been through several filthy mining towns so far and not even a decent clue as to where she was? It wasn’t until the last one where he heard a rumor about a woman fitting her description heading to Tombstone. It was her red hair. She was so arrogant, so full of herself; it was the one thing that she wouldn’t change. It would be her end, if he had any say in it.
     He had taken what little information he could get from the rumor and packed his horse for the long journey from Durango to Tombstone. Most importantly, he made certain he had enough ammunition. She had gotten away once before, not from him, but from someone almost as good. He was damned if she was going to get away again on his watch. She was good, no denying that, but he was better.
     So he rides steadily southwest, thinking to himself, “Why Tombstone?” Was she thinking of going into Mexico? He dismissed that idea; not because it wasn’t impossible, but because he didn’t want to think of the headache it would cause after the last time he wandered south of the border. He shivered at the memory. How was he supposed to know it was the General’s daughter?
     No, that red-haired witch was going to Tombstone for a specific reason. Otherwise, she would have headed due west for San Francisco. Something skirted the edges of his thoughts and slowly crept its way in. He jerked his horse to a dead stop and dropped his head. After a moment, he started laughing, and he raised his head high and bellowed out, “I have you!” He kicked his horse a picked up speed as he rode off still laughing.
     Night was coming and he decided to stop at a local watering hole. “Local” meaning wherever the hell he was at. It didn’t much matter; it had whiskey and hot brown food. He wouldn’t go so far as to call it a saloon, as it was mostly a tent with a low adobe wall to keep rain and small animals away. Of course, there were always the big animals he worried about; the drunk kind.
     He settled in at a small table and ordered a bottle of whiskey and whatever food was hot. Next to him was a card game and off in the far corner, in the shadows, one of the “ladies” was handling some business. His food arrived and he found he was hungry. After only a few minutes, his bowl was empty and the bottle half gone. He was warm and full. Now, it was time for sleep.
     As Troop rose, one of the cowboys at the table next to him jumped up.
“Cheatin’ son of a bitch!” he yelled as he drew his gun. Before the cowboy could get off a round, a shot rang out from beneath the table and the man who was once there, crumbled to the ground dead.

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