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 Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:09 am


As the brash young boy, known as Little Pete, fumbled with his pistol he froze as his adversary smoothly drew his Remington and pointed it at his heart. Even before that, however, the thin man that Blackie had called Bones Brown, and drew two pistols to Wil's one before the man could even clear the barrel of the holster. Pete watched in horror as blood erupted from his friends body, and screaming in pain the man teetered and began collapse.

"Please don't shoot me!" Screamed the boy, pleading for his life.

The tall man raised his gun high, leveling it with the boy's face and the kid literally fell to his knees in a quivering mass crying for him not to shoot. Sandy had never intended to kill the kid, and as fate would have it, he didn't even have to wing him, although for the terror he inflicted on the young couple he did deserve something.

Sandy looked over at Bones, then down at the dying man, spitting up and choking on his own blood. Soon he'd be dead and Bones would live on, Sandy had seen this outcome many times before and had come to expect it. The man beat his opponents not just because he was fast but because he'd looked death square in the eye so many times they were old friends, but then Bones had made his acquaintance long before he ever picked up a gun.

Nodding to Bones, Sandy strode toward the blubbering kid and mercilessly drove the handle of his pistol across the bridge of his nose. There is a horrible crack and blood spouted across the boy's face as he fell back on the street.

"Toss your gun!" Ordered Sandy.

The boy complied, whimpering from the pain of his busted nose.

"Your damn lucky, kid. I ought a blow a hole in your gut for what you might of done to that young woman! Now get up and get lost!" Ordered Sandy.

The boy stood up and started to stagger away.

"You keep running boy, 'cause if I see you again," Sandy looked over at Bones, "I'm sending Death after you!"

Sandy holstered his gun and walked over to Bones. "Thanks." he said, then he looked down at Wil, who was just about dead. "McIntire's the law around here and this is one of his dogs. I don't suppose he's going to look to kindly on this. Damn, I was looking forward to a good nights sleep in a bed. So what say you old chum? Fight or flight?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:07 am



Bones watched as Sandy dealt with the kid, the young cowboy was practically wetting himself as Sandy drew down on him. The kid was no gunfighter, he fell to his knees begging for his sorry life. Sandy had him give up his pistol before breaking the kid's nose, the young man staggered away holding his neck kerchief to his bloody face.

That young cowboy did not know how lucky he was, Sandy Wilken was no quick draw artist but a man who did not pull pistols lightly, no Sandy Wilken was a man who put some thought into his actions and he knew very well how to put a man down with one shot.

Bones approached the man he'd shot, he could see the dark blood staining his mouth, shirt and pants.

"Ah hell Sandy, his blood's black, I shot him through his liver."
Bones had seen this before, in an effort to disarm his enemies Bones Brown had gotten good at a fatal liver shot. There was no joy in the thin gunfighter's words, he was just stating facts.

"I've put us in it now Sandy, this man will surely die and we will have to deal with all the hell this stirs up."

Bones' guns went back into his belt, he stared blankly at the dying man. He did not feel guilt for killing the man, on the contrary, any man who puts hands to a gun rolls the dice and nobody lives forever. However, the thin man felt bad for what this might mean for he and Sandy for trouble would come swiftly now, be it the local law or more of McIntre's soldiers.

"Who wears a real badge around here Sandy? They'll want to know what happened here."

Bones Brown was not what you call a law abiding citizen, now he was no outlaw but he sure did not feel obligated to live by the same rules that most folks did. If someone was looking to hurt him or those close to him Bones would strike first and not lose a wink of sleep over it. At the same time Bones knew that killing a man was a serious thing and that somebody would need to hear his side of things.

The wounded cowboy coughed his last breaths and fell quiet and still, dark blood running from his mouth, his eyes still wide open. Townsfolk were coming out of the hotel and saloon to see what the trouble was, they murmured quietly amongst themselves as they took in the scene.

"I just got here Sandy, I ain't running no more..." Bones said to his friend as he slid his Colts back into his belt.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:46 pm

Maddie woke to the sound of gunfire with a start. Jumping from the bed she ran to the window of her hotel room and saw a young man laying in the street, dead or dying. She then noticed the stranger from Jake's and another man standing next to him. Looking back over, she saw another young kid dropping his gun and taking off. She saw Mr. Fallon come out of his house next door to the hotel, glance at the scene and go back inside. Maddie stood at the window, watching and thinking. Her pa was needing some extra men to work on the ranch and help with protecting the horses and few cattle from the rustlers that had decided to attack the Circle M. Her pa knew it was McIntyre's way of trying to intimidate them into letting him on a piece of the action of the money they were making breaking mustangs for the military. The Keegan's had a strong dislike for McIntire and for now, were standing strong.

Having figured out what had happened in the street, Maddie had a plan forming in her head. They could use men like the two down in the street.....if they would be interested to working on a ranch. She would track them down in the morning and talk to them about it. Until then, she lay back down, sleep coming more quickly this time.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:17 pm


Sandy listened to the words of his old friend as he watched the man at their feet die, his thoughts ebbing away like the black blood that oozed from the mortal wound. He looked over his shoulder and regarded the people that emerged from the hotel. Among them was the young couple, the girl's eyes red as her boyfriend consoled her. Mr. Fallon was there too, nervously wringing his hands, fearing what McIntire would do to even score. After all, one of the men who just shot, William Lock, a prodigy of McIntire's was staying in his hotel and that just might give the man enough reason to burn it down or worse. Not that he was an unscrupulous man but he was as unpredictable as a rabid dog and could be just as vicious when it struck him.

When Fallon's and Wilken's eyes locked for a moment, the inn keeper bid a hasty retreat back into the hotel. Sandy then turned to Bones. "McIntire runs this town Bones," he answered, "and he's not gonna care that we shot down his man in self defense. We're out gunned and out manned here but over in Coyote Hills there's supposed to be a marshal. We'll tell him our story and let him deal with McIntire."

Sandy took a stride toward the hotel and looked back to Bones, "I'm gonna clear out my gear. Get the horses, I'll meet you round the side." he told his friend but Bones hesitated and Sandy could see a fire growing in the man's eyes. Pausing, Sandy nodded his head understandably, "We ain't running, Bones but we can't stand up to this man, at least not yet." he said, then gave the gunman a wry smile, one that Bones remembered always accompanied a plan.

Sandy strode into the hotel and found Fallon at the top of the stairs. "Fallon." he called.

"No, no, no. Leave me alone. I want nothing to do this. I want you out of here, now." Fallon said nervously, "You killed him. You killed Wil Lock! McIntire's going to be furious."

Sandy's heavy steps echoed through the hotel as he slowly stomped up the stairs toward the rambling man. "Stifle it Fallon." Said Sandy, his fine English mannerisms replaced with the gruffness of an outlaw, "He didn't give my friend a choice and you know it. Now I'm not askin' you to be a hero, but I need to know if there's anyone that can get me and my friend to Coyote Hills in the dark."

"Coyote Hills? Y-You're going for the marshal? Y-You'll never make it. People have tried before and McIntire always gets them, besides the fastest route is through Apache country and they're on the war path." Said Fallon backing up as Sandy climbed up the stairs toward him.

"We'll take our chances." Said Sandy as he opened up his room and gathered his gear and saddle.

"Look, I'm not a brave man. I have a daughter, I have to watch over." Pleaded Fallon.

"All I'm asking you for is the name of someone that can guide me to Coyote Hills." Repeated Sandy, "In a place like this there's always someone who know's the back country, now who is it?"

Fallon was reluctant at first to relinquish the name but then after considering what would happen if this man was still in his hotel when McIntire arrived he blurted out, "Keegan."

"Who?" Asked Sandy, prompting the man to elaborate.

"Ian Keegan. A horse rancher, he owns the Circle M. Eight miles west of town."

"Is this man friends with McIntire?"

"He most certainly ain't." Answered Fallon with bold certainty.

Sandy smiled when Fallon straightened and stood up to him. It was refreshing to find the man's spine.

"Thanks." Said Sandy then he headed down the stairs to meet Bones at the side of the hotel.

"Wait!" Called Fallon from the top of the stairs, "If you're really going to try and get the marshal, you'll need someone to get you to the ranch. Our daughters are friends, and Maddie's here right now, I'll fetch her for ya."

Sandy nodded gratefully. He was wondering how he was going to find the Circle M in the dark and a guide would be most appreciated. "I'm obliged." he told Fallon then went outside and found Bones with the horses round the dark side of the hotel.

While Sandy met up with Bones, Fallon made his way over to his house and rapped on his daughter's door. He made sure they were awake then explained the situation to Maddie. "These men might be able to stand up to McIntire, but they need to get to Coyote Hills and fast." he told her, "That's why they need your pa to guide them."

Mr. Fallon knew that Maddie knew the back country nearly as well as her father, but there was no way he was going send a girl along with two gun fighters in a race against McIntire. It was dangerous, and he knew Ian could take care of himself, still he worried about involving the man in this and felt terrible just thinking of what McIntire would do if ever learned of his involvement. He didn't even really like the idea of sending Maddie out with them to ranch. Unfortunately he couldn't think of any other way to get the men out of town, and he knew the girl could handle herself, especially on a horse.

As Sandy saddled up his horse, he told Bones the plan. That if this horse rancher, Keegan could get them to Coyote Hills before they could be intercepted, they could bring in the law, deal with McIntire then the iron wagon would be undefended. Shady Gulch would be rid of a tyrant and they'd be thousands of dollars richer.

"All we have do now is wait for this guy's daughter to show us to the ranch," Sandy mentioned as he leapt up onto his horse, "but we may have another problem and that's Dawson. This range rider got into some trouble in town and there's a posse out lookin' for him right now. They think he's headed to Coyote Hills and that's where they're headed."

Sandy tossed his scraggly hair out his eyes and smiled broadly at Bones. "Never said this was going to be easy."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:50 am



Bones knew that Sandy would come up with a plan, the young man was the most level headed person he had ever known, and stubborn too. Bones could not help but feel that they were running away like cheap murderers but if Sandy said the marshal could be found in Coyote Hills, then Coyote Hills it was.

Bones went for the horses and put his rifle and clothes back into the saddle bags, and gathering up Sandy's horse he brought them back to the front of Fallon's hotel. A few people were still gathered to see what all the trouble was but Bones was not a man that was big on explaining himself. However he did make a brief statement to the small crowd of hotel patrons.

"You all get the undertaker out here to see to this man tonight, it would not be right him lying out in the street till morning."

By the looks on their faces Bones was sure that someone would get this done. As Sandy got on his horse he told Bones about the girl and how they would need her to find Coyote Hills in the dark.

"We've seen worse odds Sandy...and we're still here. All the trouble we've seen and lived through we should take up gambling." Bones said with a grin.

"It's times like this that I kinda wish Jesse was still with us..." The thin man said seriously as he rode along side Sandy.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:15 pm

Maddie's sleep was interrupted by Allison banging on her door. Rising, she rubbed her blue eyes and opened the door.

"Maddie, Pa needs to see you. It seems that a couple of men need to see your pa.....tonight and they need you to get them to your ranch."

Maddie nodded her head and after cleaning up a little with the cool water in the basin, she brushed out her long hair and tied it back into a ponytail. Making sure that she had everything, including her gun, she slapped on her hat and headed on downstairs.

She followed Allison to the front porch, then watched as her best friend high-tailed it back inside. Shaking her head, she approached Mr. Fallon who explained the situation to her. He knew that Maddie could handle herself, but it still galled him to be sending her with these two, even if it was to guide them to her father's ranch. He told her to be careful and be on guard with these two, even though he felt that they were honorable men....they were still gunslingers.

"Okay, Mr. Fallon. Don't worry, I'll make it back to the Circle M okay. I'll send one of the boys back here to let you know that I made it."

She looked up at Sandy and Bones sitting atop their horses, her bright blue eyes taking in everything quickly from their hats to the sidearms to the horses legs. Nodding her head to them, she headed for the livery to gather up Jasmine and her own gear. Riding up to the two men on her black and white painted mustang. Her saddle was light-weight and unusual. Made of skin covered leather draped over a blanket, it had a small saddle horn and thin stirrups. It looked like something the indians would use. It had a handmade scabbard for her .22 rifle, ties in the rear for a bedroll and saddlebags which were tied down securely. The beadwork on the saddle and blanket were beautiful ranging in colors from black to red to blue to white to orange to green. On the rear right corner of the blanket was the beaded picture of a hawk and on the other corner was the beaded picture of a mustang. Jasmine had a flowing mane and tail, both of which were partially white and black. She had one blue eye and one brown and most of the Apache in the area considered Jasmine to be a medicinal horse and knew that she was faithful to Maddie just as Maddie was to her.

"You'll need to head over to Sal's and let Pokey know what's happened, Mr. Fallon. The man I send back can help him get the buckboard wheel fixed and get it and the supplies back to the ranch."

She looked at Sandy and Bones, still assessing the two.

"The Circle M is 8 miles west of town and it's not the nicest of country but if you do as I tell you until we reach the ranch then you'll be fine. As for making it to Coyote Hills......(she smiles)......you'll definately need me or my pa to get you there without any mishap. Let's go and keep up."

Turning Jasmine away from the hotel, she clicks her tongue to her, nudging her in the sides. She gives a laugh as her mare takes off, her black legs picking up speed, onlookers scrambling to get out of the way.

********************************************
The terrain was rather barren, rocky and hard. The night sky was clear, the moon full and the stars bright. Maddie said nothing to the two men, even though she had questions aplenty. She knew that men like these would tell what they wanted when they wanted and they would ask her questions when they pleased. Until then, she'd just lead them to the ranch, knowing that her father wouldn't be too pleased that she'd led them to the ranch alone, but she would deal with that later. Right now, these two men were willing to stand up to McIntire and that made everything well worth it.

They passed the abadoned buckboard with the busted off wheel, now having slowed their mounts to a gallop. There was a warm breeze blowing and every now and then a coyote would yip and another would answer. If the two men thought it strange that Maddie would occassionally yip in return, they said nothing. Maddie on the other hand, was doing this for a reason. Not only did the ranch hands watch out for her, but so did the Apache that found safety on their ranch and the ability to live as they were meant to.

A couple of hours later, the two men would spot armed sentries standing atop rock formations, watching them. Maddie waved to them and they waved back, giving a series of whistles that were answered in kind further on into the terrain.

"We're now on Circle M land and in about an hour we'll be at the ranch house. Pa will be waiting and will know that we're coming."

Maddie said no more as she continued on. Occassionally, the two men would see Maddie give a wave to what appeared to be thin air only to hear a strange whistle in return. It was a well protected ranch, but still McIntire had found ways to get his rustlers inside as there wasn't any fence.

Finally, they reached the ranch-house. It was a two-story log cabin with a wrap-around porch. A large man, standing about 6'2" and weighing around 200 pounds stood there, his arms crossed over his chest. His blue eyes, like his daughter's, stared at the two men riding in then rested on his daughter.

"Maddie, you've got some explaining to do and you will do that here shortly."

As Maddie nodded her head to her father, he turned his gaze onto Sandy and Bones.

"Name is Ian Keegan and I own the Circle M. Who are you and what is it you want?"

Ian was nothing if not blunt and straight to the point. His wife, Abigail, came out the front door and scowled at her husband. Her long black hair, golden skin and dark brown eyes gave away her Indian heritage. She only stood about 5'2" and weighed about 125 pounds. She laid her hand on her husband's arm, giving him a gently smile that was returned.

"Ian, where are your manners. Maddie wouldn't have brought these men if they were a threat and you well know it. Now, why don't you all hand your horses over to Hank there and he'll get them rubbed down. Then you can come on in and have some coffee while you all talk."

Abigail was soft spoken but there was a strength that showed in her expressive brown eyes. She looked at Maddie and smiled at her daughter, nodding her head to show the two men who Hank was and then lead them into the house.

Doing so, Maddie then led the two men through the front door where they stepped into an open living room. Off to the left was a dining area with the kitchen off to the side. A large stone fireplace took up one wall and next to that were the stairs that led upstairs. Once everyone was seated at the oak dining table, Abigail served up coffee, strong and black and good. She set cream and sugar onto the table for anyone who wanted some. Next, she set some small gingerbread cookies in the middle of the table in case the men were a little hungry. She kissed Maddie's cheek before heading back into the kitchen. Maddie looked over to her father then to the two men, waiting.

"Now, gentlemen. What is so important that my daughter had to bring you here in the middle of the night?"

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:45 am





Tumbleweed slept in the underbrush near a canyon in the late afternoon. He hid his horse in the hidden valley where his cattle would have been. He spent most of the early evening burying his crew so that they could rest in peace, away from buzzards while Ethan tried to figure how he was going to make the trip to Coyote Hills. He woke to the sound of vibrations on the ground and instinctively knew a posse was on his trail. Geezus that didn't take long..

Tumbleweed whistled for his Apposala pony. The spotted white, brown horse came trotting over and bowed toward him. Hello ol' girl...Ready ta do some hard riding...Grabbing her reins, Ethan jumped on the horses' back and took off in a gallop.

In the distance the posse kicked up dust from the dessert floor and the noise sounded like a herd of cattle rushing toward his position.

Thinking to hisself...Damn...if I cut back across maybe I can fool them and head fer that ranch I saw a miles ago from here...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:34 am


Keeping his rifle close at hand, Sandy trailed behind the young girl, following the white of her horse gleaming in the bright moonlight. She was a fair rider and it seemed she wanted to display that the way she drove her mare down the moonlit trail, while he and Bones struggled to navigate the unfamiliar terrain in the dark. He and Bones exchanged a look but said nothing.

Coming up over a ridge, Sandy raised his face to the mild night wind that caught his long hair and played with the hat that more than often hung round his neck rather than on his head. Down the slope they could see lights in the distance and the girl made for them and so they followed her as close as possible.

As the girl yipped away like a Coyote, it reminded Sandy of when he was a boy playing hide and seek with the Kootenay children along the Columbia River. On nights when the moon was bright, they would come calling and toss pebbles at his window, until at last he raised the courage to sneak out and explore the wilderness with the fleet footed natives. Over the years he had become accustomed to soft foot falls of moccassined feet and few times he could hear people stirring in the darkness but he did not let on that he was aware of it.

As they approached the ranch house, Sandy immediately recognized the man who approached them to be Keegan, as he shared the same blue eyes as his daughter. He smoothly dismounted and walked over to the man, extending his hand but Keegan did not reciprocate the gesture, so for a moment they stood face to face their eyes locked. The two men were the same height, Keegan was probably built a lot like Sandy in his younger days but age had added some girth. Still, the man looked as though he could chew a hammer and spit nails while the younger man searched for the proper words and while he did, Sandy noticed that Mr. Keegan's eyes looked past him to his more advanced partner which was often the case, but he didn't pay it any mind. He had always tended to do the talking, not because he knew any better than Bones, but because the older gun fighter preferred to sit back and observe a situation before speaking.

Sandy was about to speak when Keegan's wife acted as a mediator, which was probably more than often the case, and they were invited inside. When they were settled round their large oak dining room table, in a setting that Sandy found very familiar he introduced himself, "I'm Sandy Wilken and this here is Butch Brown, we had a run in with some of McIntire's men." he explained, the undertones of his British accent greatly contrasting Keegan's drawl beneath which one could detect a hint of Irish in some of his words, just as Wilken's accent fluctuated.

With the mere mention of the name McIntire, Ian Keegan's rigid expression turned to concern, and when Sandy elaborated on how the man called William Lock drew on Bones and lost he almost seemed sympathetic to their situation.

Sandy took bite of the gingerbread and a swallow of coffee, smiling his approval to Mrs. Keegan, while Ian digested the news. It was obvious that there was no love lost between Keegan and McIntire. Sandy figured the security on the ranch was to deal with the self proclaimed ruler of the town and so they shared a common enemy.

"We need to get to the marshall in Coyote Hills, Mr. Keegan. They'll be coming after us and the way we see it, our only choice is ride to the law. The real law." Said Sandy, "So we need someone who can set out with us tonight before they come for us and Mr. Fallon said that you know this country like the back of your hand."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:30 am


Smith slowed his horse as he approached the small canyon, if Tumbleweed was hidin' anywhere it be in the there, it was a good spot to hide your horse. As big Smith slowed his horse the rest of the posse slowed as well, they could see Smith in the bright moonlight, he motioned for them to spread out and find Tumbleweed.

The posse was well armed, Smith himself carried a rifle and the rest had a fair mix of pistols and rifles. Some of the older men in the posse had served in the army and were good shots, they all looked forward to taking a shot at the wanted man. 700 dollars was a lot of money to these working men and they aimed to collect it one way or another.

"Spread out men, I'm gonna ride to the top of those rocks and see if I can see our prize."
Smith steered his horse up the side of the run of boulders, the bright moonlight made the red rocks look dark blue, almost purple. Smith himself had been a scout in the army and had some good skills when it came to hunting a man cross country.

Smith could just make out the sound of a single horse making a hasty run beyond these rocks, Smith's eyes could just make out a single rider riding hard and fast away from the posse. It must be Tumbleweed.

Smith whistled loud and the posse came back into a tight column and they rode quickly after Tumbleweed. Smith could not help but notice that the chased man seemed to be heading in the direction of Keegan's ranch. Keegan was a tough nut but surely he wouldn't make a move to help a murderer and rob the posse of their bounty.

Smith gripped his rifle and wondered about Keegan and the Apache that were rumored to haunt these hills as he rode on in the moonlight.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:24 pm

Goyahkla and a party of eight warriors lay hidden in the rocks of the canyon looking down on the trail as alone rider galloped through the canyon.

Goyahkla and the others were acting as a rear gaurd, as the rest of his band made their way into the mountains to the southwest. After the lone rider passed, Goyahkla motioned with his rifle and two of the warriors ran, jumped on their horses and galloped off after the lone rider. Goyahkla and the war party preparing to move off when a coyote howled in the distance and the flash of a torch could be seen on the rim of the canyon wall. Soon several riders came galloping into the canyon. Goyahkla signaled and the band of warriors hidden in the rocks opened fire with arrows, repeating rifles and carbines. Two of the men in the posse fell from gunshot wounds, one's chest, seemed to explode as the bullet from a Sharps .52 caliber carbine struck him knocking him to the ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:05 am



Smith and the posse were moving quickly through the small canyon, there was no time to waste, the man they were looking for was only a few minutes ahead of them. The men rode with their heads down, the canyon floor was strewn with fallen rocks, but the terrain was not the only hazard here.

Goyaklah and his band of Apache launched an attack on Smith and the 5 other men of the posse, the Indians operated from higher ground which gave them a huge advantage. The Apache chose their targets well, two men just behind Smith fell from their horses as shots rang out from the top of the canyon.

Both men died quickly, one was still tangled in his stirrups, his horse dragging him along. In addition to the gunfire, arrows flew at the white men, one struck Smith and caused him considerable pain as it entered his shoulder just above his collarbone. Smith spurred his horse harder in hopes of getting ahead of the band of Apache.

"Above us! It's an ambush!" Smith shouted through gritted teeth.

The cowboys began to shoot back but there was nothing to see, the Indians were well hidden in the rocks above. Bullets whizzed and zinged around the canyon as the men fired wildly hoping to pick off some of the native men.

The surviving men of the posse pushed forward following Smith and hoping to move through the canyon and away from the Apache. The men were seasoned riders and navigated the rocks and ditches well as the Apache men continued their onslaught.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:30 am



Bones sat at the table next to Sandy, he did not say much as he observed Keegan and his much smaller wife. Keegan did not seem like a man you'd want to cross but there was also a sense of kindness under the man's beefy exterior.

As Sandy talked about what had occurred in town and the death of William Lock, Keegan's eyes fell on Bones. His blue eyes seemed to size up the thin man as Sandy talked about the trouble. Mrs. Keegan was setting out coffee and sweets, Bones sipped some coffee but did not eat the sweet smelling cookies.

Sandy told Keegan about wanting to get to Coyote hills, he was the only one who could help them and there were rumors that he was friendly with the wild Apache that roamed the space between here and Coyote Hills and if there was any truth to this he was undeniably the man to help them.

Bones nodded politely to Mrs. Keegan as she poured more coffee, she was a friendly enough woman. Bones thought about the gunfight and all the trouble it would cause, and now these good people were in it too."Damn this McIntre" Bones thought. Bones was thinking that the young cowboy that Sandy had spared surely had enough time to get word back to his boss by now, Bones figured that someone was coming to avenge their dead friend and a young man with a broken nose was looking to get even.

A sense of zenlike calm came over Bones as he thought about them coming after him and Sandy, why he would simply send every last one of them to the cemetery on the hill if they came with murder in their hearts. As far as Bones Brown was concerned it was a simple matter, kill or be killed.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:58 pm

Maddie sat at the table, listening to Sandy talk to her father. She was priveledged in the fact that her father treated her as an equal along with her mother. Although, her mother chose to serve the men and her rather than join in. She saw her mother glancing over at the thin man called Butch Brown or Bones as Sandy would call him. She knew what was coming and couldn't stop the smile that began as her tiny mother approached the tough gunman.

"Mr. Brown, you are too skinny and should eat. Now, if the gingerbread cookies aren't to your liking, I can prepare something else while I am preparing pemmican and hard bread for your trip."

Abigail's dark brown eyes looked directly into Bones', her hands on her hips, showing that she clearly had no fear of the tall, skinny gunslinger. She heard a chuckle from Maddie and gave her daughter a scathing look which wiped the smile clean off of her face.

"Mr. Brown, if I were you I would either eat one of those fabulous cookies or allow my wife to fix you something else. She won't leave you alone until you do."

Maddie didn't know what this man would do, but her gaze turned to Sandy and she saw him watching the two as they had a stare down, her mother unrelenting as her father continued to speak to both her and Sandy.

"Mr. Wilkin....Sandy, I cannot guide you to Coyote hills at this time. I have a new herd of mustangs that my boys are bringing in tomorrow and am needed here to see to it that they are taken care of. But, I do know of another who knows this land just as well as I do as well as the Apache tribes and she is just as good with a firearm, knife and bow and arrows as any man I've ever come across. My daughter, Maddie, can guide you and Mr. Brown along with one of my own men, Chase Jones. He's half Apache, his mother being Apache who married one of my ranch hands. He's a good man but I need Maddie to accompany you to make sure that the sheriff knows that you're on the up and up. The sheriff knows us and he has no love lost for McIntire any more than I do, although he is somewhat leery of McIntire."

Maddie's eyes widen when she hears what her father says and she hears her mother's gasp of alarm as well. At the same time, she's elated that her father has enough confidence in her to suggest that she guide these two men. And Chase is just the man she would have chosen herself to accompany them. But, she also saw that it seemed like Sandy wasn't too keen on the idea.

"Mr. Wilken, I assure you that I can handle myself out there. I've spent many nights out in the open and with my Apache friends. I can shoot and ride as well as any man and I know this land as well as my pa. Don't let me being a woman give you pause, because I can assure you that I have no pause......", she turns her attention to her mother, "Ma, you know that I will be fine out there. You and the Apache's have taught me the ways of the land and all that it holds as well as protecting myself. I will be fine."

Maddie, having said her peace, turned her blue eyes back to Sandy. Her eyes showed confidence and knowledge and even though she was young, she was tough and knew that she could do this.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:51 pm


The night was pleasant and John McIntire reclined in his rocker as he puffed on his pipe and watched the happenings just south of his home away from home. When he stayed in town, he lodged at the grand house which was constructed for the would be mayor of Shady Gulch, but such a position had never come to be, at least no one had the courage to fill it so long as McIntire was around.

He shook his head as a few dazed men staggered out of the Golden Lotus Tea House. More opium addicts to add to an already long list, but McIntire really didn't care. He bought the place in secret a year ago under the agreement than Mr. Tsing never made mention to anyone that he was the owner. As ruthless as he was, McIntire still had an image to maintain and consorting with the Chinese was bad for business. Not that it really mattered in the grand scheme of things but in absence of any true competition he kept himself sharp by upholding to the standards he would expect of any other businessman. It was why, McIntire was always dressed immaculately. His black suites were always clean and pressed, his boots polished and his gun shined, a crisp image which served to add to his infamy.

"Evenin' Mr. McIntire, mind if'n I have a word?" Rumbled Blackie as he limped up the stairs of the veranda, the stiffness of his right leg only noticeable when performing such motions.

McIntire acknowledged his man with a nod as he re-lit his pipe and fanned out the match.

"Seem's we have a problem. Redcoat Wilken and Bones Brown are in town. I tried convincing them to leave them be until we could get more men, but they wouldn't abide." Informed Bill Black, otherwise known as 'Blackie'.

McIntire thought for a moment while he recalled where he had heard the names before then he when it struck he announced, "Oregon City." to which Blackie acknowledged with a nod.

If McIntire was concerned about his prodigy he didn't say it, but Blackie had known the man long enough to tell when he was worried by the way he stared off in the distance. William Lock, had been like a son to the man and while he wasn't the coddling type his favoritism had always been quite obvious which was why Blackie had thought it best to let him know that he had tried to convince Wil to let things alone. The glare that McIntire cast toward him so much as told him that he knew Blackie was covering his arse, but if anything McIntire believed that all men were responsible for their own actions and wouldn't hold it against him if the worst happened.

"Why don't you round up some of the boys, Blackie." Ordered McIntire, and that's when a young Pete Dalton came running round the corner of the Golden Lotus like the devil himself was after him.

"Mr. McIntire! Mr. McIntire! He shot 'em! He killed, Wil!" Screamed the out of breath kid, his busted nose streaming with blood as he tripped up the stairs, collapsing on the veranda.

Big Blackie walked over to the boy and pulled him up into a sitting position. "Move yer hands" he ordered, and as he looked over the boys cracked nose grunted, "Broke it good. You ain't shot are ye?"

"No... but they killed, Wil. Shot 'em down in the street in front of Fallon's."

McIntire was quiet, a seething volcano about to erupt but he stayed in control, his exterior remaining cool. "Blackie." he said sternly, "Take Pete to the Doc, then round up the men."

Blackie complied, scooping up Pete and ushering him back down the main street to the doctor while McIntire remained in his chair silently fuming. As he watched his two men vanish down the street, he took out his Colt and inspected the cartridge, making sure everything was in working order, he then smoothly rose and walked round to the back of the house where he had a private corral. He saddled up his handsome black quarter horse and rode down Main Street.

A crowd had gathered round the body of William Lock and the undertaker was overseeing matters.

"Get back ye vultures!" Growled McIntire, dismounting on the run and in one fluid motion ending up at the side of his fallen man. It was no secret that Wil was McIntire's right hand man, rumors even circulated that he was an illegitimate son, but there was no truth to it. A definite truth, however, was McIntire's anger. It was not often that the people of Shady Gulch witnessed the man showing much emotion, but McIntire is in a full rage. "Get back!" he shouted, as he kneeled beside Wil.

The gun fighter inspected the bubbling black wound and cursed under his breath as he recognized the severity. It was a shot meant to kill and he as he closed the eyes of the man who had been like a son to him he swore vengeance. Standing slowly, McIntire looked at the people around him.

"Which way did they go?" He demanded.

"They road off west with the Keegan girl." Answered a fearful man.

"Keegan," Said McIntire in a low guttural tone, "He's crossed me fer the last time."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:36 am


Sandy glanced over at Butch then back to the girl. He took her words to heart but didn't offer any in return the idea of being responsible for her was just too much for him to handle. He stood up and extended a hand to Ian Keegan. "Sorry to involve you in this matter, sir. I hope we didn't put you in it." he told him then motioned to Bones that they were clearing out on their own.

It seemed that Ian Keegan was well aware that they had steered McIntire toward him, but it seemed he'd been expecting the man to come head on at him for some time now and assured him that they'd be fine. Sandy, however, felt that the man was being a little too optimistic, but then it suddenly occurred to him that's why he volunteered his daughter. To get her away from the ranch. There was no telling what McIntire and his boys would do to her and Ian was simply choosing the lesser of two evils for her sake.

"We could stay, sir." Offered Sandy.

Keegan smiled and slapped him on the shoulder. "No. You and yer friend get." he sternly told him, then he looked over at his daughter, "Maddie will guide you right. You just keep your eyes on her."

Sandy nodded, acknowledging the dual meaning of the man's words. Seemed they'd be keeping an eye on the girl after all, but it was the least they could do for the man. Maybe the girl could take of herself, but then maybe she was too much of fire cracker to know when to up a run.

"Com 'on." Sandy said to Maddie, "Let's get on to Coyote Hills. The sooner we leave the sooner we can make it back with the law."

Sandy exchanged one more look with Ian Keegan and gave him a nod, leaving the house and giving the girl some time to say good bye to her Pa. He made his way outside, mounted his horse and waited for Maddie to join them and lead the way.

While they waited, Sandy road his horse along side Bones. "Think they have a chance against McIntire?" he said quietly to the quick draw.

Keegan's men looked like they had sand, but McIntire had no doubt assembled a small army of gunfighters and even with the help of a few Apache, Sandy didn't think they'd last long against the master of Shady Gulch. Hopefully, they could hold out until they made it back, but he feared they'd only return in time to bury the dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:47 am



It seemed Mrs. Keegan was was going to lean on Bones until he ate something, the cowboy nodded and took one of the ginger cookies and bit into it. The ginger was strong with a hint of sweet on the end, not Bones' cup of tea but he finished the thing.

"Thank you mam..." Bones said to the friendly woman.

It seemed that Pa Keegan was going to have Sandy and Bones travel with his daughter despite Sandy's silent protests, there was no arguing with the man. Bones could see a look in the man's eyes, he was no dullard, he knew that some combination of McIntire's wrath was heading to this ranch and if Maddie did not go with Sandy and Bones that she would be in the middle of it. Keegan had some tough looking ranch hands to help in a fight, and maybe some Apache hiding in the wings, Bones hoped that they were tough enough.

Bones admired Keegan, he was going to make his stand at his homestead, if McIntire's cowboys were coming Keegan would face them here. Bones wondered if Maddie was fully aware of what her leaving with them meant.

Bones looked to Sandy as he pulled along side of him out front of Keegan's home.
"Chance or no, sometimes you've gotta make a stand...you don't always go to a fight, sometimes it comes to you."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:12 pm

Maddie watched as Bones and Sandy left the ranch house, feeling as if she were missing something that passed between her pa and the two gunslingers. Looking back at her father, it then dawned on her what was going on. Her father knew that McIntire would find out that she had been the one to lead the two men back to their ranch and with the hatred between her father and McIntire, it could very well be the last straw and send McIntire and his small army straight here.

"Pa, maybe I should stay. You're gonna need all the guns you can get and I'm a better shot then most of the boys here."

"No, Maddie. I'm sending you're ma to the Apache camp along with one of my men to ask for help from the band that live here with us, albeit in hiding. I will send another man out to try and locate Goyahkla and ask him to allow you, Chase, Sandy and Bones to pass through peacefully. I can only hope that he will do this, knowing what we do here on the ranch for his people. I can only hope that he realizes that at least here, on this ranch, his people can live in peace and the way they were meant to live. I only wish we could do more. Hopefully, he and his band will allow you to pass without any incidents. Now, come here and give me a hug."

Maddie rushed into her father's arms, hugging him tightly as her mother came out of the kitchen with a pouch full of pemmican, Indian flat bread and beef jerky. She had tears streaming down her face as she pulled Maddie into a tight embrace.

"These two men are honorable men, Maddie, even though others don't see them that way. We will be safe until your return. I love you, Madison."

Maddie hugged both once more before heading upstairs to grab a change of clothes for her saddlebags. She stopped long enough in the study to grab extra ammunition for her .22 rifle and .38 special six shooter when she put the .22 rifle back and grabbed her .44 Henry along with the proper ammunition. She looked once more to her parents before sliding out of the door to see Sandy, Bones and now Chase waiting for her on their horses. She saw Chase holding Jasmine's reins as one of the hands had already brushed her out and re-saddled her. She stuffed her clothes into the saddle bags that had a bedroll tied over them. Her .44 rifle was already loaded and in it's holster and her .38 was strapped to her hip. She swung up into the homemade saddle and turned to Chase, giving him a sad smile which he returned. Both knew that it was a possibility that they would be coming back to nothing more than a shell.

Chase Jones was 26 years old, 5'9" and about 175 pounds of muscle. He had striking green eyes, golden skin and thick amber colored hair that hung in a braid half-way down his back. He had a long scar down the right side of his face from a knife fight with one of McIntire's men a few years back. He and Maddie had grown up together and he looked at her as a little sister and she to him as a big brother. He had already introduced himself to Sandy and Bones before Maddie had come out.

Abigail came out of the house, handing Sandy, Bones, and Chase pouches like Maddie's filled with pemmican, Indian flat bread and beef jerky. Speaking low enough for only Sandy and Bones to hear she motioned to them that she wanted a word.

"Maddie is head strong, but she's not addle-brained. She's quick to temper and just as quick to jump in and help but she's a good girl. Please.....please take care of her. You both know as well as I do that it's very likely that her pa and I won't be here when you return and Maddie suspects this as well. Just........take good care of her. She'll try the patience of a saint, but she won't let you down when you need her."

Laying a small, gently hand on the leg of both men, she thanked them for what they were doing and turned to stand with her husband on the porch.

Maddie, holding back the tears, smiled to her parents as she turned Jasmine away from the house and headed out. It would be approximately 7 to 10 days before they returned, depending on whether or not they ran into any trouble along the way there and the way back and how quickly they could get the sheriff to be ready to ride back to Shady Gulch. Maddie knew that it was very likely that McIntire would retaliate before then and she could only hope that her pa, his men and the Apache they had befriended would be able to hold him off until they could return with the sheriff.

Her demeanor was somewhat subdued as they left the boundaries of the ranch an hour later. She'd been quiet but on alert for anything suspicious. Turning around, she cast a hopeful glance back at the land that she called home, knowing that she may not see it again. Before she turned back, her gaze stopped on Sandy her blue eyes showing that she did indeed know that she may be an orphan before they returned. She gave him a small smile as she turned back around on Jasmine and nudged her into a gallop.

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Judge not nor fear that or those which you do not understand, for it or they may be someone or something that will aid you in the trials of your life.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:09 am


Only the sound of stray dog scampering down the board walk could be heard while John McIntire's will and anger imposed a silence over the streets and saloons. "William Lock is dead!" he had shouted to all the onlookers that had gathered on Main Street, "He's dead and I'll be damned if any one of you is going to disrespect his memory this night. I want all the saloons closed! And, if I see one man raising a drink to their lips no in honor to this fine man lying here, I'll flay the flesh from their bones!"

There wasn't a man, woman or child that didn't believe for a moment that he wouldn't do it either and a deafening quiet settled on the town. Fearful of McIntire's wrath not a body moved while the undertaker carefully oversaw the moving of Wil Lock's body onto his cart. He requested a couple of deputies to assist him and the man treated the body like priceless china else McIntire shoot him dead on the spot. The undertaker knew that blood would spill this night over the murder of the Marshal's favorite and many more would require his care before dawn.

Blackie road up main street, past the other eleven deputies that were more like McIntire's personal guard. Each one seasoned in their trade, a few had even served with McIntire back in Missouri Territory when he was a hired gun for the railway. They were all loyal to the end and followed his word to the letter.

"Sir. The men are gatherin' at the end of Jackson Street." Informed Blackie.

McIntire silently watched as the undertaker's cart carried the body of Wil Lock up the street to the morgue. The men patiently awaited his command, and when he was ready ever so slightly waved his hand and the twelve deputies moved out behind Blackie who had always been the number two despite McIntire's relationship with Wil. Blackie would never say it to the bosses face but he always knew that kid's mouth would get him shot dead, he wasn't one of them but for some reason, McIntire had taken a shine to the boy. Now that he was dead, Blackie knew that McIntire wouldn't be satisfied until every last man, woman and even child associated with Wil's murder suffered the same fate.

McIntire remained stationary, leaning over the horn of his saddle, staring into nothingness while his men road off. Slowly then, his dark eyes moved slowly across the crowd, casting their cold hatred over everyone if only just because they were still living. Not a soul moved, and only when McIntire was but a shadow at in the darkness up Main Street to people relax and slowly make their way to their homes.

At the end of Jackson street a small army was beginning to gather. Men from McIntire's ranch and surrounding areas were mobilizing with the efficiency of a military outfit and in another hour they'd be forty strong. Then once and for all McIntire would wipe out the Circle M and string up Keegan in the center of town for all to see, after he learned where this Redcoat Wilken and Bones Brown were. As for Keegan's brat of daughter, well, he had special plans for her. He'd been tolerant and patient of the girl for far too long and it was high time the finest looking filly in town paid him the respect he was due.


Mrs. Keegan's words echoed through Sandy's mind as they road into the night. He at least was glad the kindly woman would be spared, but as for Ian Keegan, he hoped that the man went down swinging and took as many with him as he could. The half-breed, Chase wasn't too talkative, but then from what Sandy had learned about the Apache that was pretty typical. He has happy though to have the man with them, as much as he wanted to honor the wishes of Maddie's mother, he was no babysitter and Bones even less so, although on more than occasion he had heard the old koot offer, Jesse a kind word or two when she needed it. Despite his gruff and haggard exterior that man had a soft side, at least for his friends, which Sandy was thankful for.

They were not far from the ranch when, Chase paused at the edge of a low valley stretching westward. He partly closed his eyes and listened as if waiting for the wind to carry distance sounds to him, and for all Sandy knew, maybe it would. He'd seen stranger things among the Kootenay, but then something caught his eye. The marksman's keen eyes peered out into the moonlit steppe and at first he thought that maybe he had caught sight of a coyote but then it became clear that it something else.

"There's a rider down there." Sandy announced and though no one else would have caught sight of it yet, Bones at least would know not to doubt the man's eyesight.

A year ago some Dutch eye doctor created some scale for measuring people's vision and Butch and Sandy had the opportunity to take the test when they were at the doctor in Oregon City getting patched up from a rather boisterous evening. Turned out, Bones' eyes were fairly decent but Sandy's amazed the doctor. He had said that people with good, normal vision was 20/20, but that Sandy fit into a small group of people that had 20/10, which meant he could see twice as good as most. It was probably why Sandy could shoot the tail off a hawk at three hundred feet, so when he said he saw something, Bones listened.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:00 am



"Just one Sandy?" Bones asked.
Sandy was looking to the west, maybe this rider was one of Keegan's men, but why would he be moving through this patch so late at night? It could be a trap, many more men, McIntire's men could be just behind this lone rider. It could be the beginning of one hell of a fight. Bones opened his long coat making it easier to pull his pistols if need be. Bones looked into the dark valley below, he could not see this rider yet but if Sandy said he was there, he was.

Keegan's girl and the half breed seemed unshaken by Sandy's announcement, they merely readied themselves for what might come. Bones got off his horse and walked up to Sandy to get a better idea of where the rider was coming in at. Sandy looked into the night, his eyes were as sharp as they come.

Bones remembered a time when they were feuding with the Hudson Bay Company and they were leaving a town up north with their saddle bags full of HB silver. No one was following them as they camped outside of town overnight. In the morning as they saddled up again Sandy joked that he could shoot the bell of the schoolhouse in town from their camp. Bones thought it impossible, but Sandy simply took up his rifle and rang that bell. When this happened that morning it was still very early and the light was poor and damn it all if Sandy didn't ring that bell.

"What's it look like Sandy?" Bones asked.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:40 pm


"Just one... so far." Replied Sandy as he reached into his saddle bag and took out a spy glass. As good as his eyes were, it had been invaluable to him. 'Wonder why no one had ever considered rigging one these to a rifle?', thought Sandy.

Looking out across the range, Sandy got a close look at the lone rider and spied a man that sat tall in the saddle, sporting a fancy double breasted red shirt. "Never seen him before." Said Sandy, "I can't tell whether he's a friendly or not but by the ways he's riding I'd say someone's after him."

Sandy handed the spyglass off to Bones. "See for yourself. Y'know, I wonder if that might be that range-rider, Dawson." he guessed, "If it is that means the posse isn't far behind, but if that's a scout heading up McIntire's men we better high tail it."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:45 pm

Maddie watched Chase peer off into the distance and then listened when Sandy said something about a lone rider in the distance. She couldn't see anything yet, but by the way Chase was acting and then Sandy's statement, she didn't doubt his words. Taking the loop off of her .38 at her hip she made sure that she had an easy draw if she needed it before sitting there quietly. Chase kept looking over her, concern in his green eyes for Maddie was hardly ever quiet and subdued and it worried him. He was afraid that she would try to head back to the ranch to help her pa, which he couldn't blame her for wanting to do, but he had talked to his own pa and then briefly to Mr. Keegan while Maddie had been upstairs gathering a change of clothing. He'd promised the man his pa looked up to and respected that he would help Sandy and Bones keep her safe, for they both knew that McIntire wasn't just furious over the fact that Keegan wouldn't share in his wealth, but with the fact that he wanted Maddie for himself and she had always made it clear that she'd rather spit on the ground he walked on then give him the time of day. Now that McIntire was good and truly fit to be tied, he would go after Keegan and then Maddie. He wondered if Sandy and Bones had any idea of this.

Maddie sat quietly as Sandy looked through the spyglass, her blue eyes studying him. She had seen her ma speak to both him and Bones and had an idea on what she'd said to them. She would have been warning them about her independent nature no doubt. She had the strong urge to turn around and head back, but she knew that her pa wanted her safe so he could concentrate on defending the ranch. She wondered if the Apache warrior from the band that lived on the ranch would be able to find Goyhakla before he found them, that is if the warrior allowed the man from the ranch to live if he was found. She'd heard plenaty of stories about the mighty Apache and actually had great respect for the man who was fighting for himself and his people to live the way they were meant to before the white men came. She would love to meet him, but was smart enough to be a little afraid of it at the same time.

Turning her attention back to the situation at hand, she looked back over the land, finally seeing a moving speck that was the rider. He was heading in the direction of the ranch and this made Maddie sit up straighter in the saddle.

"Sandy....he's heading towards the ranch. Do you see anyone else yet?"

Maddie was clearly trying to stay calm, even under the knowledge that her parents were in danger, knowing that she couldn't turn back. She looked over at Chase who was looking in the distance towards the rider. He turned his green gaze to her, his eyes showing no emotion now.

"Maddie, your pa and mine will survive. With all of the men on the ranch and the warriors....my brothers.....they will survive. We must get Sandy and Bones to Coyote Hills."

"You could guide them as well as I could, Chase. Maybe I should return to the ranch and help my father. He could use an extra gun and set of eyes."

"And you know as well as I that McIntire would take you at the first chance. He's wanted you as his wife to have access to the ranch for 2 years now and you have insulted him at every turn. You know that this is why your father sent you with us. You are a brave woman, Maddie and full of courage, but even your spirit would break under McIntire's fist and rule. You are like a sister to me and I made a promise and intend to keep it."

Maddie just stared at Chase as he spoke. This was the most he'd ever said at one time before and it was strange to witness. She turned and look over at Sandy then Bones and saw the looke on their faces that told her if she tried to return to the ranch she wouldn't get far. She turned her attention back to the lone rider, resigning herself to the fact that she had to follow her father's wishes and remain safe and out of McIntire's clutches, for if anything happened to her ma and pa, then she was sole heir to the Circle M and even though it was a small ranch, it was extremely profitable.

"What are we going to do, Sandy? Do we keep going or head for the rider?"

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:44 pm


Sandy watched the loan rider pass from sight behind a wall of rock. Who ever it was, he seemed to be alone and headed in the same westerly direction as they were only the rider was purposely taking a detour toward the Circle M ranch.

"We don't have the luxury of time so we should press on toward Coyote Hills." Sandy replied to the Keegan girl's question, glancing over at his partner for approval. He then looked over his shoulder, as if he could see the rider beyond the ridge, "Who ever the rider was he's heading for the ranch and a lot of guns."

Sandy coxed his chestnut coloured quarter horse forward, prompting Chase and Madison to continue on down the gradual slope toward their destination. It was an uncharacteristically warm night for the time of season and Sandy unbuttoned his buckskin jacket and let the mild wind brush against his light shirt. He tried not to think of what tragedy might befall Madison's home, but McIntire's vengeance would at least work in the favour. If he did attack they would have a significant head start before he learned of their whereabouts, more than enough time to reach Coyote Hills and bring the man to justice.

Sandy mused at the thought of he and Bones running to the law and looking over at his old partner and shared his mind, "Damn. I can't believe what we're doing, Bones. We're usually hiding out from the law instead of looking for it. If Jesse were here, she slap us both up side our heads and kick our arses all the way back to Oregon. Say, you remember when we first met her? We were in that bathhouse, at the... what was it again. Ah! The Queens Hotel and she bust in looking for the son-of-a-bitch that stole her horse!" he started to laugh aloud as the memories flooded back, "What the hell did you say to her? Something like, 'Ma'm if'n ya don't mind I'd rather die with my boots on' and Jesse, she tosses your boots into the tub with you!"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:18 am



Bones watched as the red shirted rider vanished on the other side of a ridge of rock. Bones inspected the finely made spyglass, it was capped in real silver and down the side of it it said 'Property of the Hudson Bay Company'. Bones grinned as he handed the thing back to his friend.

Bones remembered the first time they met Jesse like it was yesterday, she looked like she was gonna kill somebody when she burst into the baths. All Sandy and Bones could do was try to convince her that they knew nothing about her horse and hope that she did not have the strength to pull them out of their bath water.

Bones had told her that if he was gonna die right there he wanted to get his boots on, Jesse tossed them right into the warm water.

"My boots were wet for a week!" Bones grumped as he recalled.

Bones followed Sandy's lead as he moved down the steppe, it was best that they keep moving even if trouble was all around. The moon was high and cast a impressive amount of light on the rocky countryside. Bones kicked his horse and rode up close to Sandy.

"This marshal better have the sand to do what we need him to do or we're going to have to build a mountain of bodies to make all this right, hell Sandy we'll probably have to do that anyway..." Bones said glumly. Bones was not exactly a ray of sunshine but there was truth in his words. If the marshal did not want any of this business then it was up to Sandy, Bones, a half Apache ranch hand and Keegan's girl to set things right.

Bones thought about the violence and blood that was heading their way like a storm, would the girl and the half breed be able to stomach it? Sandy and Bones had been pushed into corners before, and they did what was necessary and they carried it with them, but these fine young people need not become what Bones had become, someone who is good at killing.

A small wave of guilt washed over Bones as he pondered the odds, he was well aware that he had only been reunited with his old friend Sandy for less than a full day before the trouble started. Bones looked over at Maddie and Chase, they had their whole lives ahead of them.

"You let me know when it's time to build our mountain..." Bones said to is old friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:21 am

Maddie listened to Sandy and Bones talk about a girl named Jesse and then about a mountain of bodies. Her eyes filled with tears which she quickly blinked back and stiffened her spine, refusing to give in to the fear of losing her parents. She only hoped their bodies weren't among the ones in the mountain that the two gunslingers were talking about if the sheriff didn't do anything. Her expressive blue eyes filled with worry, but she didn't turn around. Instead, she kept going, determined to get the two men to Coyote Hills and convince the sheriff to put a stop to McIntire once and for all.

Chase kept a close watch on her and she knew it. He was concerned just as Bones was about whether or not Maddie could handle what was more than likely coming. He knew he could for he'd killed before, but Maddie........as tough as she was, he knew she'd be able to take a life in defense of herself, family or friends, but how badly would it affect her? He'd known Maddie his whole life and she had a temper that had more often than not gotten her in trouble but she also had a heart of gold. He knew that when he killed the drunk who had tried to kill his pa, even though it was to save his father it still affected him to end someone's life. He would never forget it, but he would do it again if he had to.

Maddie followed Sandy and Bones down the gradual slope until they reached the bottom, where they all spurred their mounts into easy, but fast moving gaits. Maddie looked around her as she rode, wondering if Goyhakla was watching them and hoping that he would allow them to pass without incident so that they could reach Coyote Hills as quickly as possible.

They were coming into terrain that was somewhat flat surrounded by large boulders, rocky cliffs and perfect places for bandits or angry Apaches to hide and pick them off. Her senses were on high alert as she scanned the area, knowing that even if someone was there, she wouldn't see them. She was more leery of the bandits than she was the Apache as she respected the Apache and knew pretty much how they lived and what they expected. Bandits lived by their own rules and didn't care who they attacked.

"Sandy, Bones....this area we're riding through is prime ground for bandits and rogue Apache. You won't see them until they want you to."

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:11 am


Sandy had taken note of Bones' eyes lingering on the engraved HBC name along the spyglass as he handed it back and returned his smile. He and the gunfighter had alleviated a lot from that company but the spyglass was one item, Sandy had acquired long before they had ever met, back when he still believed in the Hudson Bay. Still, seeing the name always brought back some good memories.

Sandy had been trying not to consider what would happen if the Coyote Hills marshal wouldn't or couldn't stand up to McIntire, but Bones' conclusion seemed to be an accurate assessment. He gave his friend a solemn nod, but between the two gunslingers it was far more than simple gesture, it was a pledge. They'd been tight scrapes before, but neither of them would be alive that night if they hadn't stood together.

"Good to ride with you again old man." Expressed Sandy. Removing any doubt that he in anyway blamed him for gunning down that maggot back in Shady Gulch. He knew, however, just as well as Bones, that this fella, McIntire wasn't going to let up until he had his revenge, and Sandy had little doubt that he'd sacrifice all of his men to get it.

"If that marshal backs down, we're not going have much choice then are we?" Pondered Sandy with a sigh, "Y'know, Bones sometimes a get tired of it... the killing, I mean... seems there's been a lot over these past years."

He didn't say it, but he eluded to the legend that followed Butch Bones Brown. Sandy knew better and didn't believe the story but occasionally the thought of it sent a chill down his spine, the story that stated the former undertaker was the reaper himself, collecting souls before he put his victims six feet under. A story concocted by overly imaginative drunkards, but one, nonetheless that Bones lived up to. Now it seemed there'd be more killing when Maddie warned them that the area they were entering was frequented by bandits and Apache on the war path, but Sandy wasn't about to lie down and die in the name of peace. He was a fighter and if someone struck at him with intent to kill he was surely going to kill them back.

At the mention of rogue Apache in the area, Sandy unfastened the scabbard of his repeating rifle and laid the Henry rifle across his lap. He knew that if the indians were seeking blood, whether they appeared to be peaceful or not wouldn't make much of a difference so he made sure he would be ready.
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Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart
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