Bayou Trackdown

Bayou Trackdown by Jon Sharpe Read Free Book Online

Book: Bayou Trackdown by Jon Sharpe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jon Sharpe
the love I had for my wife and the love I bear for my child.” Namo paused. “I’ve never done what I am about to do. I have always been too proud. But I will do it now. I will beg you.”
    “Don’t,” Fargo said.
    “I plead with you to help me. I can’t do it alone. Not and watch over my children, both.”
    “Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.”
    “You are weakening? Good. I beg you on my dead wife’s behalf. They say you are one of the best at what you do. Only a few are your equal. Jim Bridger, but he is old. Kit Carson, but I couldn’t find out where he is. And that mountain man in the Rockies who has a Shoshone wife but he never leaves the Rockies. So that left you.”
    “If I had known about your kids, I’d never have come.”
    “You hate children that much?”
    “I hate seeing them die.” Fargo remembered one little girl in particular. He had been fond of her, and she died in his arms.
    “With the two of us working together, maybe they won’t.”
    “Maybe,” Fargo said.
    “I will go anyway, you know. With or without you, I will continue to hunt the creature. And they will continue to go with me.”
    “I should hit you with a chair.”
    Namo Heuse grinned. “You’ve changed your mind. But let me hear you say the words.”
    “By any chance are you related to Doucet?”
    “Why would you ask such a thing? He and I are nothing alike.”
    “You’re both bastards.” Fargo smiled as he said it. “All right, Namo. I’ll do as you want. We’ll take your son and your daughter.” He looked at them. “God help us.”
    “Thank you.”
    “Save it for after. If we’re still alive.” Fargo nodded at the kids. “And if they are.”
    “We can head out at dawn. I came by pirogue. It is faster than walking. And safer.”
    “I have a horse.”
    “Where we are going is not for horses, monsieur. You must leave the animal here.”
    “That’s my point. There’s no stable or livery.”
    But there was Liana, and when Fargo asked, she agreed to let Fargo tie the stallion out behind the tavern, and promised to feed and water him while Fargo was gone.
    “For you, handsome. But only for you. And be careful out there, yes? The swamp is a very dangerous place.”
    Fargo had no need to be reminded. But he shut it from his mind for the time being, in part because she invited him to stay with her a second night if he wished. Of course he wished. While he waited for her to close, he went out for some air. Night had fallen over the Atchafalaya. From the swamp came bellows and croaks and an occasional roar.
    Fargo had been in swamps before. There were no more treacherous places on earth. They were home to a host of things that could do a man in. The prairie and the mountains had their perils but compared to a swamp they were downright hospitable. He could never live there. Not that he shied from danger. He just wasn’t fond of snakes and even less of quicksand, and he had a passionate dislike for mosquitoes. And, too, he preferred to have a horse under him, not a canoe.
    Far off something screamed. A death shriek, unless Fargo was mistaken. Prey had fallen to a predator. He thought of the animal they were going after. He didn’t buy that nonsense about a monster. There must be a logical explanation. Whatever the creature was, if it was flesh and blood it could be killed. All he needed to do was get it in his gun sights.
    “Mister?”
    Fargo nearly jumped, and cursed himself for his nerves. He turned, surprised to find Clovis Heuse. “Does your father want to see me?”
    “No. I came looking for you myself. It’s him I want to talk about, though.”
    “I’m listening.”
    “Don’t let anything happen to him. Losing our mother was awful enough. We couldn’t stand to lose him, too.”
    “I’ll do my best but I can’t make any promises.”
    The boy didn’t seem to hear him. “I’d take it poorly if he died. I might even blame you. Something to keep in mind.” Without so much as a “good night,” he

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