They looked like trouble, and they were.
A thick fog had come and forced Cain and me to hunker down. Moving through it was pointless. I’d no desire for the pup to break a leg or worse, so I smoked my pipe, and the dog slept on my lap.
After a few hours, I heard the jingle of tack, and the fog dissipated.
Five men, all a-horse, were less than a hundred yards from me while a sixth man sat on the ground, his back against a large tent.
I could smell roasting goat, freshwater, and horse manure. The men looked at me, disgust and mockery on their faces.
“Duncan Blood,” the horseman on the far right called out.
“Your mother brought you to us,” the horseman continued. “She has brought you here to die.”
“That a fact?” I asked. Cain growled, and I set him on the ground before I took to my feet.
The speaker spat on the ground. “It is. We’re to put a hole in your belly and eat you.”
“And which mother told you that?” I asked, resting my hands on the butts of the Colts.
“All of them.” The horseman laughed, and his companions joined him.
I let my eyes rove over the band and saw with satisfaction that none of them were carrying firearms.
“She said we should watch out for those things on your waist,” the horseman said. “They are some sort of weapons. They look like clubs.”
“They’ve been used as such,” I admitted, drawing them out. “But they won’t be today.”
“Go,” the horseman ordered, motioning toward the river with a braided quirt.
“We like the hunt,” he told me. “And we are bored.”
“I don’t,” I responded, “and I’m not.”
The horseman made a clicking sound, and his horse turned toward me.
I raised the Colts up, and the gathered men laughed.
The laughter stopped when I pulled the triggers.
The horses screamed in fear, and the men howled in agony as the heavy slugs tore into them. The man at the tent tried to run, but a took the top of his head off.
Still screaming, the horses ran, leaving their dying riders on the ground behind them.
I reloaded the Colts as I walked toward the men, Cain circling around me, ears back and growling.
The horseman tried to speak, and I shot him through the mouth.
I was tired of his voice.