Longarm and the Horse Thief's Daughter

Longarm and the Horse Thief's Daughter by Tabor Evans Read Free Book Online

Book: Longarm and the Horse Thief's Daughter by Tabor Evans Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tabor Evans
said with another toothy grin. “If you like, though, I can keep my eyes open. I’ll let you know if I see anybody that might be your party.” The man was careful to avoid asking anything that might have been of a personal nature, anything that Longarm might have taken offense to.
    â€œI’d appreciate it. Thanks.”
    Longarm had another couple whiskeys—they tasted better and better the more he had of them—and went back out to collect his animals.
    He walked a hundred yards or so outside Bedlam and laid out a camp of sorts. He did not need to cook for himself this time, not even coffee, but he could certainly use some sleep.
    Bedlam was as noisy as, well, bedlam, but he was pretty much beyond the distance where the noise might bother him, so he stretched out in his blankets with his .45 resting in his hand. Just in case.
    Then he closed his eyes and went promptly to sleep.

Chapter 18
    â€œShit!” Longarm snapped up into a sitting position seconds after a bullet slammed into his bed, not missing his head by more than inches.
    â€œWatch where you’re shooting, asshole. There’s somebody tryin’ to sleep over here,” he yelled.
    His answer was another gunshot. This time the slug passed on the other side of his head with a loud crack.
    The son of a bitch was shooting at him deliberately.
    Longarm jumped to his feet and snapped off a shot of his own. In the darkness he had nothing to aim at except the muzzle flash of the other man’s gun, so he sent a .45-caliber sizzler of his own in that direction and was rewarded with a yelp. Whether that sound was a matter of pain or of frustration he could not tell.
    He dropped back onto his blankets to pull his boots on, and another gunshot came at him out of the darkness, and from a different location.
    This one passed overhead by a good two or three feet. Apparently they had not seen him drop down.
    Two shooters? Or one man quietly on the move. He could not know that.
    Longarm stayed low and moved silently in the direction of that last gunshot, Colt in hand, alert for motion within the shadows. His night vision had been disrupted by his own gunfire, but it was returning now.
    He did not know how long he had been asleep. More to the point, he did not know how long the nightly drinking and rowdiness in Bedlam generally went on, but by now there were few lights and no noise coming from the village. He would have welcomed more light, actually. It would have made it easier for him to find the bastard or bastards who’d shot at him.
    Longarm darted forward from shadow to shadow all the way down to the creek without finding anyone to shoot at and without being shot at again himself.
    Disgusted, he turned back uphill and returned to his bedroll.
    It was quite obvious that whoever it was that wanted him dead knew where he had laid out his blankets. Equally obvious was that the person or persons, whoever he was or they were and whatever his or their motives were, could choose to try it again.
    It just did not seem like much of a good idea to lie down and go back to sleep in that same spot, and so, reluctant but resigned to the necessity, Longarm saddled the mare and loaded his burro again. Then he led the two animals well away from Bedlam, to a grassy spot just above a grove of young aspen.
    For the second time that night, Longarm laid out his bedding, removed his boots, and lay down.
    This time he did not drop into sleep immediately. This time he lay awake for a little while trying to work out who might have wanted to shoot him.
    Jane Nellis’s attackers? They would certainly have good reason to want him dead or at least wounded badly enough to stop him from following them. But that made no sense. Not at this point, since they would have no way to know that Longarm existed, much less that he was on their trail.
    He had seen no one in Bedlam he had ever encountered before. No wanted criminals who could have recognized him and assumed

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