Sometimes, being brave only gets you dead.
I was squatting at a brook when they stumbled upon me.
The soldiers were quick, and they had their sabers out. A moment later, I found out just how fast they were.
The sabers didn’t whistle so much as they screamed. A hard wind crashed over me as I rolled out of the way, snatching up the coach gun as I did so. I managed to get a single, haphazard shot off before one of the men cut the gun in half and sent each section pinwheeling away from me.
It was all I could do to keep away from the blades and get my feet beneath me.
The soldiers spread out, forming a rough triangle with me in the center. None of them spoke, and two that were greatcoats shed them, kicking them out of the fighting space.
No, these men knew their business.
I didn’t bother going for the Colts. I was quick but not quick enough to draw both revolvers and get off a couple of killing shots to give me room to move.
But I was able to draw my Bowie knife.
One of the men cracked a smile, and in unison, they attacked.
I was right about the sabers.
They hurt like hell.
I suspect they would have hurt a hell of a lot more if the men hadn’t decided to toy with me. One of them slipped in and put his saber through my left shoulder. The metal burned as it went through, the stench of singed flesh assailing my nose as the steel ground against my bones.
Clenching my teeth, I grabbed hold of the man’s tunic and dragged him close. His eyes widened for a split second, and then he tried to pull away.
It was too late.
I drove my knife up at an angle into the pit of his arm, twisting as I did so. He struggled to stay upright, but he fell to one side, tripping up one of his colleagues and pulling the sword out of my arm at the same time.
I attacked the man still standing, smashing aside his hasty attack and slamming the knife into his groin. Spinning on my heel, I saw the last man was dead.
He’d fallen on his sword.
With the brook whispering beside us, I watched as the wounded men bled out.
The sound reminded me of my youth and how we celebrated our victories.
With a smile, I went to the dead and took their scalps.