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Prairie's Children, Return to the West -- Chapter 7
Submitted by Starla Anne on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 22:02
Remember, she is a female gunslinger and the woman with her is a sharp shooter. It is said the other woman can shoot a target dead center while riding a horse at full gallop. I think you can handle them, but not here in town. It would cause too many questions, so what I suggest is to ride out into the desert and lead them into an ambush. That way, no one will know who did it and you would be in the clear.”
Return to the West
“Good morning, Jack,” said Bill as he strolled into the small rock house in Nogales, a small Mexican town sharing the border with Arizona. Nodding his head toward the other people present, Bill added, “and good morning to you, Bret, Susan, Charlene”.
“Good morning, Bill. It is good to see you again. Have a seat,” replied Jack.
“Well, I see you got settled in, but I have a piece of bad news,” stated Bill as he sat in a wooden straight chair. “You know that woman whose baby you kidnaped?”
That statement got the attention of everyone in the room as they stopped whatever they were doing and stared at Bill.
“Well, she and another woman and an Indian have been asking questions and it seems like they are headed this way.”
“How did she find us?” asked Susan.
“I have no idea. It’s as she just homed in on you like a carrier pigeon. But, it is definite. She is on her way.”
“Well, we will take care of her,” bragged Bret.
“Now, I wouldn’t be too sure. Remember, she is a female gunslinger and the woman with her is a sharp shooter. It is said the other woman can shoot a target dead center while riding a horse at full gallop. I think you can handle them, but not here in town. It would cause too many questions, so what I suggest is to ride out into the desert and lead them into an ambush. That way, no one will know who did it and you would be in the clear.”
“Yeah,” replied Jack. “We wouldn’t want the law in on this. They might find out about us and report us to the U.S. Marshals. Besides, I would not want to tangle with her in a gunfight. They say she is fast on the draw. But, where would we go to do the damage?”
Bill answered, “Well, you want to keep your name clear here in Mexico, so I think you should go somewhere between Bisbee and Tucson. Once the deed is done, you can come back here and start your new life with plenty of money.”
“Yeah, and a baby we can call our own,” smiled Susan.
“Your baby?” complained Charlene. “How about me and Bret?”
“OUR baby,” answered Susan. “You two can be Aunt and Uncle. We will raise her together.”
“You girls stop fussing,” said Jack. “Right now, we have got plans to make. Let’s see, Bill, you go ahead and find a good spot and let us know. We will leave a lot of clues so that female gunfighter can follow us.”
Turning to Susan and Charlene, he continued, “You girls be sure and practice. We will want to use rifles and each of us will select a target and we have got to be accurate. There are four of us and if two would select one woman each, we are bound to get those women -- even if one misses. We can take care of the Indian later. He may run anyway. There is no way for us to fail.”
“Great,” replied Bill. “Then you can return to Mexico and lay low until the heat dies down and spend your old age back across the border.”
With the plan in mind, the group began to discuss the matter further. As they talked, no one noticed the figure of a large woman as she turned from where she was standing near an open window and walked away.
Ruth and her traveling companions discovered Bisbee to be the boom town it was reported to be.
“Let’s ask around and see what we can find out,” suggested Ruth as they stopped at the livery stable to get their horses some fresh hay and rest. “I suggest we find us a store and get something to eat.”
Anne replied, “I sure would like to have a cooked meal again. Why don’t we go over to that restaurant ? It wouldn’t hurt to spend a dollar or two.”
“Well, okay, but somehow I feel uneasy around here,” answered Ruth.
The meal was delicious and the women remarked that they had ever tasted anything so good. A young girl smiled from the cooking area as she wiped her hands on her red and white checked apron and picked up two slices of apple pie. She did not appear to be much over 25 years of age, but prepared meals that was usually expected of older, more experienced woman. As she set the pie on Ruth and Annie’s table, she smiled again and said in a sweet feminine voice, “I had a good mother to teach me.”
Returning the smile, Annie stated, “She did a good job.”
Walking across the street, the women saw Joseph hurrying from the saloon.
“Let’s get out of here in a hurry,” he said breathing heavily, being somewhat short of breath, grabbing Ruth by the arm, tugging at her to move fast.
“Why? What’s wrong?” she exclaimed.
No sooner had she gotten the words out of her mouth, a huge brawly looking man shouted from the other side of the street as he reached for his holster, “There she is! The big shot! Thinks she is fast on the draw! Well, we will see how fast she is.”
Ruth suddenly realized she had been wearing her father’s guns while traveling and forgotten to take them off when she arrived in town. Seeing the man go for his gun, she quickly shoved Joseph out of the way and fell quickly to the ground on the opposite side. The man fired and the bullet hit the ground barely missing Ruth.
Suddenly another shot rang out. Ruth looked up in time to see the man drop his gun and grab his hand. She looked toward Annie and saw her blowing smoke from the end of the barrel of her gun and looking straight at the man. “There are two of us,” she said very loudly.
She paused and continued, “You coward. You did not give her a chance to draw. Your gun was out of your holster before she turned around.” Annie wasn’t sure of that remark, but she thought it to their advantage to have an excuse for Ruth not drawing her weapon faster. “You scum. She could shoot you down and use your bones for toothpicks.”
Ruth was shocked. She had never heard Annie talk that tough.
“And further more, I am giving you five minutes -- no, not that long -- to get out of town! I mean pronto!”
The man grabbed his hat, scrambled to his feet, and headed toward his horse.
A Mexican woman was standing a few feet away with a basket of vegetables as though she had been peddling her goods. She quietly walked over to Ruth as she was getting up off the ground.
“You gunfighter?” she asked.
Ruth did not know how to reply and wondered what this woman wanted.
“You looking for baby?”
How did this woman know she was searching for her baby. The puzzled look on Ruth’s face was what prompted the woman to speak more.
“I hear hombres talk. They plan to kill you.”
Now, this was getting very interesting. Annie, hearing the conversation, walked over and said, “Let’s find a place to talk.”
The livery stable seemed safe enough. Ruth and her companions learned from the Mexican woman the details she had overheard while standing outside the window of the house where the kidnapers were living. The woman described the men’s conversation about being afraid of Ruth because they believed she was a gunfighter and how the men had made plans to draw Ruth and Annie out into the desert and ambush them. She also mentioned that they did not think Joseph was a threat and they could handle him later.
The woman was thanked by giving her a few dollars for such valuable information. As she was leaving, she said, “I will pray our Mother Mary that she will protect you and deliver your baby back to you.” Ruth thanked her for remembering her in prayer even though she was confused since she had never had much contact with a person of the Catholic faith. After thinking about it for a moment, Ruth decided that was okay. This woman would pray in her way and the preacher back in Birmingham would pray his way, so Ruth had no doubt that God would not fail because it was clear that all of them trusted in the same God.
--- To Be Continued