The Coyote Tracker

The Coyote Tracker by Larry D. Sweazy Read Free Book Online

Book: The Coyote Tracker by Larry D. Sweazy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Larry D. Sweazy
incursion back into Mexico.
    â€œWhen did Scrap come back to Austin?” Josiah said.
    â€œOnly yesterday, señor, back with the rest of the company, and trouble found him very quickly. He is in jail for the killing of a whore.”
    Josiah opened the door then. He smiled slightly at the sight of his friend, then jerked his head, motioning for Juan Carlos to come inside. Happiness was not exactly what Josiah felt, considering the news he’d just been told.
    It was not known to anyone how old Juan Carlos really was, but his hair was white as the snow on top of a mountain, contrasting even more brilliantly against his dark brown skin. Juan Carlos was half-Mexican and was the half brother of Hiram Fikes, Pearl’s dead father and Josiah’s former captain. Still able but less spry after taking a bullet near the gut in Brackett, Texas, several months prior, Juan Carlos operated in a variety of different capacities but most often as a spy for the Rangers. At least he had when his brother was alive, and more recently for Captain McNelly.
    Josiah looked up and down the street to make sure Juan Carlos was alone, then closed the door softly and locked it.
    Juan Carlos stood in the center of the room, a little hunched over, a natural stance not indicating pain or trouble, dressed in near rags, with no knife or gun showing. There was no question that the man was armed, just not visibly. Juan Carlos liked to fade into the crowd and not be noticed. He had saved Josiah’s life on more than one occasion and had more fighting skills, and gun talents, than any one man ought to have a right to. The fool who mistook Juan Carlos for a weak old man would end up a dead fool if he pushed him around or bullied him, or anyone he cared about.
    â€œWhat are you afraid of, Señor Josiah?” Juan Carlos asked, his voice low in tone, aware of Josiah’s situation with Lyle.
    â€œNothing.” Josiah laid the Peacemaker on the table in the kitchen. “Tell me about Elliot.”
    â€œAfraid of nothing? Certainly you do not expect me to believe that? Treating a friend like a stranger at the door? Life in the city has made you a nervous man, Josiah Wolfe. I am surprised by the change in you.”
    â€œIt’s not the city that has made me nervous.” Josiah glanced unconsciously to the back room where Lyle slept.
    â€œYou fear for the safety of your son.” It was not a question but a statement.
    Josiah stared at the old Mexican, not acknowledging whether he was right or wrong. “I have made enemies everywhere I have gone, Juan Carlos, you know that. I can’t be too careful.”
    â€œ
Sí
, Señor Josiah, Cortina would like nothing more than to see you dead. But he has been driven deeper into Mexico by McNelly and the other company of Rangers that joined him there.”
    â€œThey will go after Cortina regardless of the border.”
    Juan Carlos hunched his shoulders. “It is no longer my concern. I followed McNelly’s company home to see my niece. Is she well?”
    â€œI asked about Elliot.” Josiah sat down at the table after lighting a hurricane lamp. The room immediately smelled of coal oil. “You said he killed a whore? That doesn’t sound like something he would be involved in. Elliot’s always ready for a fight, but with a man not a woman. He’s scared of his own shadow around them. Even whores.”
    â€œThat is why I am here, señor.”
    â€œAnd this is not a ruse? After everything that has happened, I’m a little suspicious of what Juan Cortina is capable of.”
    â€œYou are in no danger that I know of,” Juan Carlos said.
    â€œThat’s good to know. But my troubles are far from cured even if Juan Cortina is hundreds of miles away. I faced down his last bounty hunter, and I’m sure there will be more. Following you, or using Elliot as a way to lure me out in the open, would not be beneath

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