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

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SinTara
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:09 pm

Maddie couldn't help but overhear Sandy talking to Bones. She was finding that she respected these two men more and more. Looking over at Chase, she saw that he was scanning the area, clearly uneasy as he too had lifted his rifle from it's scabbard. She was thinking about doing the same when she spotted movement up in the rocks above them and about 50 yards to the right. She too, lifted her own rifle out and laid it across her lap. She noticed that Chase had spotted the movement as well.

"About 50 yards to the right was movement."

Chase didn't even turn around to the two men behind them when he spoke, not giving any indication to whomever was up in the rocks that he'd even spoken.

"Not Apache.....worse."

Maddie nodded her head to Chase, knowing now that they were dealing with bandits, probably bandidos if the rumors were correct. She saw Chase's face harden and knew that he was thinking about Allison's mother. He had a crush on her best friend but had never pursued it for fear that her father would reject such a union based on his Apache blood.

Maddie's heart was racing and she was thinking on what to do and when, when a shot rang out, hitting Chase in the meaty part of his shoulder, leaving a deep graze that streamed blood down his arm. Drawing her .38, they spurred their horses into a run when another shot rang out, causing Jasmine to spook, rearing up and almost unseating Maddie. Maddie got her quickly under control and followed Chase. She turned to see if Sandy and Bones were behind them, but didn't get the chance when another shot came from the other side of them, grazing her upper thigh, leaving a deep furrow. She jerked, but nothing more, concentrating on getting through this part of the terrain.

Spotting an outcropping of rocks that would make good cover, Chase turned to Sandy and bones.

"What do you want to do? Make a run for it or a stand?"

He looked over at Maddie and saw her pale, drawn face. Looking down, he saw the blood soaking her upper pants leg.





"You two have the experience here and it's clear that they're just wounding, not trying to kill....yet. Maddie's been hit so what do you want to do?!

"I'm fine Chase. let's just get through this without anyone getting killed. Just go!!"

Maddie had never been shot before, even though this was just a deep graze, but she decided that she'd much rather be bucked off a wild mustang than this. Her thigh burned and she could feel her blood soaking her pant leg, but she did her best to ignore it pushing forward along with the others.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:26 pm


Sandy dismounted on the run, deftly landing on the pebbled ground, his Henry in one hand and the reins of his horse in other. He stared up at the rocky bluffs around them, black silhouettes against the midnight blue sky, betraying no details nor sign of their attackers.

He glanced over at the half-breed, assessing his wound. The man wouldn't be using that arm for a while making him useless with a rifle. "Draw you gun and watch that pass over there." Sandy ordered Chase his eyes only briefly falling to the wound that girl has sustained.

"What do you think?" Sandy whispered to Bones as he scanned the ridge above them.

They'd rode right into an ambush, and a good one. High rock walls on both sides and only two exits from what he could see. "Damn." Sandy cursed under his breath, he'd been so busy gabbing with Bones and catching up with his old friend, he hadn't been paying that much attention to their course. He had trusted the expertise of his guides, but it had become quite apparent that they knew the land, but lacked the experience to avoid riding into things like box canyons, especially in those areas frequented by bandits. Hell, he should have kept his eyes on the road!

Sandy knew, that Bones could speak some Spanish and had some experience with bandidos, but as yet they weren't sure if in fact that's what they were up against. The only thing he was certain of, was that as soon as they moved under the canopy of rock the shooting had stopped. Whoever their ambushers were, they knew they weren't going anywhere. They were just waiting for them to make their move, and patience was a sign of experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:51 pm

Chase felt about useless as a tit on a boar and it showed. He'd failed. He'd known better than to ride into a box canyon and yet he'd allowed trying to impress the gunslingers to cloud his judgement. Now, Maddie was hurt as was he and he felt like a complete idiot.

Maddie on the other hand, was in pain but doing her best not to show it. She knew as well as anyone that they were in trouble and she also knew that McIntire had a few of the bandidos in his pocket so to speak. She just hoped that none of them were in this group.

Once they'd gotten to where they had some cover in the rocks, Maddie gingerly dismounted and pushed Jasmine to the side where she wouldn't be in the way. She took off her bandana from around her neck and tied it over her wound to stop the blood which was already slowing some. She made a sound as she tightened it, but other than that was silent.

Using a large rock for cover, she sat down behind it, looking at Sandy, Bones, and Chase before looking back at the tall silhouettes of the rocks and cliffs. Like Chase, she felt like an idiot but she'd never really guided anyone through here before. She knew how to get to Coyote Falls and she knew the land but she'd always been with men from the ranch who watched out for her. Some guide she was, she thought glumly to herself.

"I should have been paying closer attention, Sandy. I'm sorry. What are we going to do now?"

Her apology was also directed at Bones and she made sure that he knew it before turning her attention back to where she thought the bandits were. Things were not going as planned.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:23 pm



Bones was still off his horse near Sandy when the shots rang out, the gunfighter crouched low where he was watching the jagged rocks that topped the canyon nearby. Whoever they were they knew how to shoot, they had hit Chase and Maddie already.

The full moon was bright but no so much that Bones could see up into the top of the canyon, Bones could see no movement, just a tall stretch of dark blue shadow up to the top of the rocks.

Bones had seen similar moves before, one shooter would stay up on the ridge and take pot shots at the intended victims while the other members of the gang slowly flanked them.

Bones began to shuffle away from the others.
"We should spread out, they're gonna try and flank us in the shadows of the rocks." Bones motioned to the low side of the canyon, a dark spot that would be a good place to emerge from.

Bones hands were on his guns as he moved slowly, keeping his back against the rocks that protected them. If they spread out a little they would be better prepared for any attack on their flanks. With Sandy on one side and Bones at the other their chances were fair.

Bones nodded to Sandy as he moved, the thin man was at the end of the protective canopy, he listened for any out of place sounds.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:24 pm

Maddie stayed crouched behind the large boulder with Chase standing over her holding his six shooter in his good hand. He told ther that Bones had gone to the other side and warned about the bandits flanking them. Maddie's pa had told her about bandidos using this particular form of attack and knew that they would need all four of them with guns drawn to get out of this.

Using the boulder for leverage, she stood up peering around to get a better look. She didn't see Sandy right away but knew he was nearby.

"Stay down, Maddie. Anything happens to you and your pa will have my hide."

"Shush, Chase. I'm fine and just as good of a shot as you are. Right now we need all of us in order to get out of this and you darn well know it."

Maddie hated being coddled and even though her leg was burning, she wasn't about ready to sit back while the men took all of the danger upon themselves. She may not be experienced in this kind of gun battle, but she would do what she could. Looking around, she saw another small rock outcropping that provided good coverage while allowing someone to see around them. Only problem was whoever was there wouldn't be able to see behind them but she felt that it was worth the risk.

Instead of telling Chase what she was going to do, not giving him the chance to stop her, she just did it, limping the few yards over to the rocks. A couple of shots rang out, going wide telling her that the shooter could see shadows now instead of prime targets like they'd been on horseback. She made it to the rocks and managed to get herself wedged in between them, peering from behind and over them to look around and try to pinpoint the shooter.

Chase was going to strangle her!! When she took off the way she did, his heart went into his throat especially when he heard the shots fired at her. Damn her and her stubborn hide but he had to admit what she did was a good idea. Where she wound up gave her a perfect view all around her while making herself a harder target. Spotting Sandy, he whistled a bird call to him, gaining his attention. He pointed to the rocks, letting him know in common Indian sign language where Maddie was.

Maddie looked around, almost wishing that the shooter would get off another shot so that she could see the flash of fire from the barrel of the weapon and know where to fire.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:18 pm


Dark clouds had began to dance before the bright moon and as one of the shadows raced across the canyon, Sandy had simply seemed to disappear. A few moments later, Bones caught a glimmer out of the corner of his eye. Sandy had managed to quietly make his way part of the way up the ridge and had positioned himself on a narrow ledge adjacent to the shelf of rock that Chase and the girl were under. Using a pocket mirror, Sandy redirected the moonlight toward his partner in the hopes that his keen eyes would catch it and know that he had him covered. From his current vantage point the rifleman's range covered the entire canyon, but in order to be effective he needed one of those snipers to give him a target.

Sandy grit his teeth. He should of got the half-breed to run out and draw their fire, but he just couldn't bring himself to risk the man's life like that, even though it was the best move the injured could have made. Then something stirred below. It was the girl.

"What the hell are ya doing?" Sandy growled to himself as he watched the lame girl limp over to a cluster of boulders. The position gave her an advantage to support Bones but she was wide open to the snipers! Quickly Sandy turned his attention to the ridge taking advantage of the distraction and sure enough one of those bastards poked his head up and took a couple a shots at her. Maddie didn't see the flash fire, but Sandy sure as hell did.

The sniper had pinned her down and now he was just taking his time and aiming. There was no way he could miss. The experienced shooter, steadied his breathing and slowly squeezed the trigger. A third shot rang out, echoing though the canyon and Maddie was struck from behind. The girl was hit by a tiny rock that had tumbled down from the ridge above her, kicked off by the boot of the rifleman that had her in his sights.

The falling rock that harmlessly bounced off Maddie's shoulder would serve to make the girl aware of another falling object. A few seconds later a large dark image descended from the cliffside and crashed to the ground with a series of sickening snaps and slaps as the body of the sniper landed just behind one of the boulders Maddie was leaning against.

There was another shot, and a bullet ricocheted just above Sandy's head and he immediately returned fire with a series of three rapid firing shots with his Henry that forced the second sniper to retreat from his position on the other ridge just above Bones. Sandy couldn't be sure if he got a piece of the man as he slipped out of sight in another passing shadow, but he was damn sure he'd be thinking twice about showing his head again any time soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:49 pm

Maddie turned when the small rock hit her in the shoulder just in time to see one of the snipers fall to the ground, dead. Maddie's stomach churned, but she swallowed down the bile, refusing to give in to the urge to get sick upon hearing the man's body hit the various rocks on his way down. Then she realized that if it hadn't have been for Sandy, she'd be dead now. Taking a couple of deep breaths, she calmed herself, turning back around to keep an eye out for Bones. She'd have a meltdown later, right now she just did her best to ignore the body behind her.

She jumped when she heard the series of shots and then it was quiet.....for now. She looked up and saw the clouds begin to cover the full moon. They had to get out of this and get to Coyote Hills!! She knew while they were pinned down here, McIntire was probably gathering his men to attack her parents' ranch. She peered back up over the boulders, trying to spot Bones but knowing that she wouldn't be able to. She looked over at Chase and saw him looking out over the terrain. Then, she saw him look up at Sandy and then over at her. She didn't know what he was thinking, but she had a feeling that it may not be good.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:49 am



Bones caught sight of Sandy's signal and stayed low just beneath the rock ledge, Maddie was moving out in the open. The girl was quick, even with a wounded leg, the hidden shooter took aim at her again.

Immediately after the sound of the sniper's shots Bones heard the familiar bark of Sandy's Henry rifle, the hidden shooter above Maddie fell dead from his perch. Another hidden gunman fired at Sandy from just above Bones, taking this as his cue Bones slipped out from under the ledge and slinked around and up that side of the canyon.

Bones could be quiet as a breeze if he wanted, he crept through the shadows, making his way closer to where he had seen the shots come at Sandy. Clouds were rolling in, they obscured the pale moon, making the ridge even more difficult to navigate.

Bones had his Colts in his hands as he walked up the ridge, he could not see much in the long shadows up here and this other armed man seemed equally gifted at being near silent. Bones was not the type to waste ammunition and decided against flushing this would be killer out from his spot with wild gunfire, instead the thin gunfighter stood still and listened for any sounds. The night was quiet, Bones took a few small steps forward, his guns still in his hands, out in front of him.

Suddenly there was the subtle sound of boot heels shifting in the rocks and sand here on the ridge as the hidden gunman moved to make his way down the far side of the canyon, away from Bones. The man moved swiftly, he made his way down the opposite side from where Bones had gone up, he would soon be emerging from the rocks very near Chase and Maddie below.

Bones quickened his pace as he watched for the man, this sneaky bastard must have been half mountain lion by the way he moved through the rocks and boulders. Bones could hear him but had yet to catch a glimpse of the shooter.

"He's coming your way girl, you and your stable boy better look sharp!" Bones shouted as he made his way down the ridge.

Bones looked across the ravine, Sandy was out there training his rifle but Bones feared that the young man and the girl would see the bandit first and have to make their move.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:52 am


Bones was right that Sandy had his rifle trained, but just not at the stealthy sniper that had snuck him. As the quickdraw expert, pursued the rifleman, Sandy took a shot only he near hit him in the foot. Now, Sandy had been known to miss what he was aiming for, but never by much so there had to reason for him stopping Bones in his tracks.

Sandy didn't know what else to do, other than take a shot at his friend to warn him. Two more gunmen were making their way through a narrow pass, far too small for horses but just right for some human jackals. They were the flank, that Bones had suspected only they had been playing possum, waiting for the perfect opportunity. Sandy had just been lucky enough to catch sight of them through a small gap, but they were otherwise obscured from a clear shot.

Sandy could only hope that Bones saw the men in time, and if he did he was on his own unless he could draw them into the open, otherwise Sandy didn't have clear shot. Unfortunately the girl and her man, Chase were on their own with the experienced marksman that descended on them with murder in his eyes. Sandy tried to get a bead on him, but in order to pull off his sharp shooting warning for Bones, he had put himself way out of position. There just wasn't enough time for him to act.

"God dammit! Shoot him Maddie!" Screamed Sandy as loud as he could with an urgency to his voice that wasn't just concerned with her safety, but more so because Chase was putting himself directly in the path of the gunman. With his one bad arm stiffening his movements and the loss of blood, Sandy didn't know if the man would be able properly aim his pistol let alone fire it.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:43 am



Smith was huffing and puffing, he and his remaining 3 men had made it to a cluster of large boulders, the Apache in the rocks above them were silent for now. The Indians were most likely not done with Smith and his men, after all, the white men had crossed into Apache raiding land in an effort to catch Tumbleweed Dawson.

Smith's shoulder ached from the arrow wound, the broken shaft of the weapon was sticking out of Smith's bloodied shirt just above his right collarbone. Smith listened for the Apache, but they could be silent as death, for this was their landscape.

"What are we gonna do now Smith?" One of the men asked wide-eyed as they crouched together in the dark.

"Don't mess your britches yet boys, they won't get us all." Smith said holding his rifle firm. The seasoned fighter was hurting but he was determined to kill as many of the Apache as he could before they took him down.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:19 pm



Bones was coming close to running as he made his way down the narrow channel of rock. Sandy's rifle sounded again across the small expanse, the shot landed right at Bones' boot tips, the sound bounced around the canyon as it kicked up sand and gravel at Bones' feet. Bones crouched quickly and looked all around him for any threats. Sandy must have seen something that he did not, nearby in the shadows more armed killers must be closing in and if this was so then Bones realized that he would be out of reach of Sandy's sharp eyes and his faithful Henry rifle.

Bones crouched in the dark, his back pressed tight against the jagged red rocks, unlike his aging eyes, his ears were still as sharp as ever and he could hear the two men coming close. They walked through the narrow neck of rock slowly, the men seemed to have experience at this because they walked as one and made very little noise. Bones could hear them, they were no more than 30 feet away from him, they were below him on the trail, if he did not act they would soon join their friend below and easily pick off Chase and Maddie.

Bones picked up a stone and chucked it up the trail a few yards from where he was hiding, the men heard this, the one bringing up the rear crouched low and rushed cautiously to the sound. The bandit was walking like a duck as he passed Bones in the dark, he did not see the scrawny gunfighter in the shadows of the rocks. Bones sprang from his hiding spot and grabbed the man by his gun belt, the two men spun around for a second but Bones had the element of surprise and the momentum. Bones turned the man towards the edge of the canyon lip, Bones swung with all his might and found that he was successful in tossing the man over the side.

The bandit screamed like a child as he fell, he struck the rock shelf below and bounced from the jagged canopy and landed on the canyon floor almost exactly where Bones had been at the beginning of this fight. The second man could see Bones now, he fired his pistol at the long haired gunfighter, his gun shots flashing in the dark. Bones jumped onto his belly as the shots hit the rocks around him, they pinged and zinged as they struck the rocks. Bones' hat had fallen from his head as he jumped it was laying in the dirt just inches in front of him, he reached out and grabbed it. As Bones slipped his hat back onto his head his fingers slipped into a fresh bullet hole in the felt of the hat.

"Son of a bitch..." Bones mumbled to himself as recognized the close call.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:57 pm


Sandy scrambled up the side of the ridge, the hard soles of his boots struggling to keep their footing on the smooth stone. From his position it was quicker to go up then down and he had to make it round the tall tower of rock in order to help Bones. Looping a strap around his rifle, Sandy slung it around his chest and over his back then proceeded to make the short vertical climb to the top of the ridge. Strong and agile he easily pulled himself up and over the edge of the rock face, while musing to himself of the thought of him slipping and cracking his head on the rocks below. That's when, he heard the God awful scream followed by the sound of a body crumpling on the rocks below. Sandy didn't for one second believe it to be Bones. He'd seen the man bite back the sting of a hot poker and not so much as quiver a lip.

Springing to his feet, Sandy unslung his rifle and sprinted along the ridge that Bones had previously climbed in search of the last sniper. The very one that was bearing down on the half-blood Apache and the Keegan girl that very moment, but Sandy had his priorities and his friend came first. He wasn't the white knight type, anyone who knew him well enough could testify to that, besides Keegan boasted his daughter could shoot. In Sandy's books when one made such a claim in the face of danger they were damn well inclined to stick by it.

The sound of gun fire erupted just below Sandy as he negotiated the dark ridge, stumbling a few times but not loosing a step. As the angle of the slope increased Sandy's pace quickened even more and now he was sprinting, his long legged strides spurred on by gravity, putting him near out of control as he barreled down the dark rocky trail. The gun fire had originated from below him and the last thing Sandy expected was to run into anyone let alone come across his partner sitting in the middle of the trail.

"Son of a bitch..." cursed the dark form in front of him and Sandy was moving too fast to stop, or even slow down.

No sooner did Bones hear the sound of Sandy's heels bearing down on him, that the man hurdled him with surprising grace his back foot once more knocking Bones' hat to the ground. Sandy hit the ground and stuck his landing but his forward momentum threw him forward into a somersault, then the big man skidded along the ridge until he was stopped by a few boulders.

Sandy was none the worse for wear. His pride hurt a lot more than his back, but that was the least of his worries. There standing over him, outlined in the moonlight was the other gunman who had been making his way up the trail in pursuit of Bones when Sandy came tumbling down the rock side.

"Damn boy. If'n that wasn't the dumbest thing I'd seen in a while." Stated the bandit in a low rumbling voice void of any kind of mexican accent, his gun pointed directly in Sandy's face.

The gunman seemed oblivious of Bones who was just twenty feet up the ridge, but then it occurred to Sandy in that moment that this gunman didn't realize there was two of them. In the confusion he thought that he was Bones who had taken a tumble down the slope and was thanking his luck.

The bandit looked down at Sandy's rifle which was still in his hands but there was no way he'd be able to use it before the gunman squeezed his trigger. His mouth spread into a grimy toothy grin, "Been looking to get me one a those." he said with gloating laugh.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:44 am

Maddie heard Sandy yell at her to shoot. She looked out and saw the bandit coming at her and Chase and Chase was the target for he was in plain sight of the shooter. Taking aim with her rifle, Maddie got him in her sights and squeezed the trigger, her shot hitting home throwing the man back on his rear as the bullett made a hole in his chest. She saw him kick his legs a couple of times, then lay still. Turning around, she slid down the side of the boulder, sitting on the ground shaking. She'd just killed another human being and it didn't sit well with her.

"Maddie.....Maddie.....you okay? Talk to me, Maddie"

She heard Chase's whisper but didn't answer right away. After a few minutes, she raised back up, her eyes catching the dead man laying not far from her which Sandy had taken out.

"Maddie.....c'mon little sister, talk to me. We get out of this and back home, I'm gonna need your help to get Allison to allow me to court her, so c'mon, say something!"

"I'm okay, Chase. Just help Sandy and Bones."

Chase breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Maddie's voice and then turned his attention to where he thought Bones and Sandy were. The clouds had now covered the moon and he couldn't see where the two had gone.

Maddie was watching as well, calming herself quickly. Like before with the man who'd fallen dead behind her, she told herself she'd have a meltdown later, right now Sandy and Bones needed her and Chase only she couldn't see them. That's when she heard movement behind her. Turning, she looked up and saw another bandit standing on a rock just above her.

"Well, well.....lookee what we got here. If'n it ain't a pretty little thing. Now, we can't go killin' ya'll right away, can we. Dressed like a boy, we would've shot you dead, but now I knows better and you be a pretty thing, yes siree. Just put down that there rifle and throw that six shooter over this way an' I won't hurt ya."

Maddie looked around, but saw that she didn't have much of a choice. She only hoped that the man hadn't noticed Chase and Chase could get a shot off. She dropped her rifle and threw her .38 off to the side. Suddenly, she heard the retort of another six shooter and watched as a hole formed in the middle of the man's forehead as he toppled off of the rock, landing right at her feet.

"Maddie......Maddie!!! Say something, dammit!!!"

"Thanks Chase. I'm fine."

Maddie spoke, her eyes never leaving the dead man at her feet as she watched a dark puddle begin to form beneath the man's head. She moved off to the side, away from him, which wasn't very far considering she was in a small space admist large rocks, but she had to get away from the dead man.

Maddie turned her gaze away from the man laying there and looked back towards where Sandy had gone and she'd heard the sounds of gunfire. When the clouds moved away from the moon, shedding pale light on the cliffs, she saw a man looming over another. Picking up her rifle, she aimed it, wishing that she could tell whether or not the man was one of the bandits. She didn't want to shoot in case he was Sandy or Bones. That's when she saw how he moved and made the decision that he didn't stand like Sandy or Bones. Hoping and praying that this was a bandit and she wasn't about to make the biggest mistake of her life, she squeezed the trigger. Her shot was off due to the pale light, but hit right next to the man, kicking up small pebbles.

"DROP IT OR THE NEXT ONE GOES IN YOUR HEAD!!!!"

Maddie didn't know if he dropped his gun or not, she was only hoping that she was right in her assessment and that this man was a bandit, not Sandy or Bones.

"Well, well....that's not a boy at all. You've got a pretty little filly traveling with ya'll. We'll just have to make sure she lives.......for now."

Instead of dropping his gun, the bandit standing over Sandy grinned even wider, thinking about what was coming to him once he got his hands on Maddie.

"Hope she don't belong to you, but don't really matter none anyhow, seeing's as ye're not going to be enjoying her anymore."

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:50 pm



Bones slowly got back to his feet, the bandit had Sandy dead bang and bones wasn't going to let this scum kill his friend. Bones walked slowly down the trail, he could see the man standing over Sandy. A shot suddenly struck the ground near the bandit, he shuffled backwards, surprised by the shot from nowhere. Bones could hear other shots from below, Chase and Maddie were facing their own challenge on the canyon floor.

There was a good 3 or 4 feet of distance between Sandy and the would be killer now, Bones kept moving, coming behind Sandy and spinning to his left he swung his guns to the right. Bones raised is two guns and fired. One shot landed into the shoulder of the man, he dropped his gun right away and lurched backwards. The second shot tore through his neck, wet blood erupted from the right side of the man's throat. He put his left hand to the wound as he fell but there was to be no stopping the bleeding. Bones was moving forward the whole time, even as he shot, he moved quickly to Sandy to see if his friend was wounded.

"Fine place to sit down..." Bones deadpanned, watching the darkness for more of the thieves.

Bones offered a hand up to Sandy both men were still waiting for more bandits.

"This is one helluva patch of real estate, it's crawling with this scum." Bones motioned to the ground, the wounded bandit gasped one more time and died.

"I suppose it's to optimistic to think we got em all..." The gunfighter said as he and Sandy moved back down the trail to see about Chase and Maddie.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:53 pm

Maddie heard the gunshots and saw the man fall. She quickly slides back down to a sitting position behind the boulder, her knees up to her chest, her forehead resting on them. Her rifle was laying right next to her, easy reach and yet not, but she wasn't thinking about that. She was thinking about the life she'd taken and all she wanted to do was either vomit, cry, or both. But, she did neither. Instead, she sat there, her leg burning and still bleeding although it had slowed considerably. She could hear Chase trying to get her attention but she said nothing. She looked over and saw the other body not far from her and still she did nothing. She knew that given the same circumstances again, she'd not change a thing in order to save Chase's life or even Sandy or Bones'.

When she heard footsteps, she grabbed her rifle again and came up from behind the boulder, ready to shoot whomever was there. She stopped short of pulling the trigger when she saw Sandy and Bones with Chase checking his arm. Not knowing whether or not they saw her and not caring at this point, she turned back around and sat back down, staring at the dead man laying not far from her.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:13 pm


Staring up at his executioner a strange calm washed over Sandy as all the men he'd killed flashed before his eyes. No first kisses or dramatic moments of triumph, just death and perhaps it was befitting for an outlaw to die at the hands of an outlaw. Of course, the thin man who lurked in the shadows had yet to weigh in with his opinion, and he spoke with fire and lead.

When Maddie's shot ricocheted off the boulder beside Sandy's head, the man at first thought the bandit had fired. Warm red molasses flowed down the side of Sandy's face ebbing from a slice in his forehead. The close shot had kicked up a shard of rock that had sliced open his forehead, but it was nothing compared to what the bandit's close range shot could have done. Sandy looked up at the bandit, his left eye closed as blood flowed into it, then he swiveled his head to look upon what the bandit spied.

Bones emerged from the shadow, his two six-shooters drawn and death walked him. The bandit, fearful of the gunfighter sought to used Sandy as bargaining chip but the thin-man didn't give the man anytime to negotiate, or anything else for that matter. Several shots were fired, blood sprayed across Sandy's face and the bandit fell into a heap.

"Thought it was going to be my final resting place." Retorted Sandy to Bones' poke as the slim gunfighter pulled him to his feet.

"God dammit!" Cursed Sandy as he straightened up and felt the bruise on his back side where he had struck one of the boulders. He then looked down at the dead bandit, gave him a swift kick to the gut and spat on him. "Guess I'll be catching the next train to hell.", he said to the corpse.

Sandy agreed with Bones that were probably more, but three of them at least were dead, maybe more depending on how, Chase and Maddie made out. As they rounded the corner and young girl and Apache came into view, they took note of the dead rifleman sprawled out on the rocks with gaping hole in his abdomen. At that moment the girl, surprised by their arrival raised her rifle, but Sandy didn't flinch nor offer any words. He just continued to look around.

"There's another one over there, Bones." Said Sandy pointing to the body that Chase had shot in the head, "That makes five. Wonder if —" Sandy's words were cut short when he was distracted by the sound of a couple of horses riding away into the darkness. "Guess that answers our question then." he added as it was quite apparent that the remaining bandits were abandoning their dead partners and retreating.

Sandy ignored the distraught girl and the Apache while he made his way to his horse. He was positively dry and collected his canteen from his saddle and took a long refreshing drink as he strolled back over to Bones, rifle still in hand. He then poured a little water over a rag he procured from his pocket and placed the cool compress on the small cut on his forehead.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:47 am

Maddie sat there for a few more minutes, catching her breath and calming herself down. Once she felt somewhat calmer, she stood up and quietly limped over to Chase. She nodded to Bones as she walked by him and her friend and went to collect Jasmine who had shied away from the gunfire and gotten her reins tangled up in a thorny bush. By the time Maddie had her untangled her hands were pretty much covered with tiny, bloody nicks from the thorns. She swung herself up into the saddle, sucking her breath in sharply at the pain in her leg.

"Chase, if you're able to ride then I'd suggest we get the hell out of here. We still have to get Sandy and Bones to Coyote Hills."

Maddie turned Jasmine in the direction of Coyote Hills and giving her a nudge, began again. She noticed the small cut on Sandy's forehead but said nothing. She didn't even comment on Chase and his shoulder nor did she seem to be paying any attention to her own leg.

Chase looked up at her as she began to walk Jasmine away from them then looked over at Bones and finally at Sandy.

"What's the matter with her? She acts like nothing happened and doesn't even seem to notice her leg."

Chase knew what was going on with her, but he didn't really know what to do about it. He didnt' figure the two gunmen would know either, but he felt the need to ask.

Maddie continued on before stopping and turning in the saddle.

"You all coming or what?"

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:48 pm






Tumbleweed was down flat on his face in a dry wash swearing in his hat. Over the ridge, the Apaches showed up. It was just like them, the mean, ornery critters. He hugged the ground for dear life and hoped they would not see him. Tucked away as he was between some rocks where an eddy of the water that once ran through the wash had dug a trench between the stones and rocks.

There were nine of them. Not many, but enough to take his scalp if they found him, and it would be just as bad if they saw his dropped shovel. He was cussing cuz his old Hawkins .50 was leaning against the large rock he was behind and in plain view. He wouldn't have much a chance if they found him first, slithery fighters like they were, but if he could reach for that .50, he'd take at least one along to the happy hunting ground with him.

Tumbleweed could hear them now, moving along the canyon above the wash. Where in tarnation were they going? Tumbleweed wouldn't be safe as long as he were '' in country", and this was country where not many white men came. Those few who did come were just as miserable to run into as the Apaches and the Comacheros. Oh yeah...he reckoned someday to catch up to that bunch of bandits, slit the bandits' leader, January to get revenge for his family loss.

The Apache leader was a lean muscled man with a hawk nose. All of them slim and brown without much meat on them, the way Apaches were, and wearing nothing but breechclouts and headbands.

Tumbleweed lay pefectly still, played Possum. He was too knowing in indian ways to start moving until he was sure they were gone. He lay right there for almost a half hour after he had heard the last of them, and then came out cautious as a bear reaching for a honey tree.

When he got on his feet, Tumbleweed hightailed it for the edge of the wash and took a look. The Apaches had vanished. He turned and went down the wash, taking his time, he grabbed the shovel and continued to dig deep into the sand until water sprang up and filled the hole enabling him to fill his canteen.

The early evening air became figid cold as he walked the distance to his horse. Keeping his old mountain man rifle handy, it was a half mile to his horse, Lightening. Tumbleweed pulled his overcoat out of one of his saddlebags and pulled his black felt hat down a little tighter and hurried on.

He headed out at night under the stars and watched as the moon rose slowly in the east. Shadows would play a big part on what was real and what wasn't. Riding cautiously he entered canyon after canyon, working his way to Coyete Hills. He heard distant gunfire. His side arms at the ready and his .50 in the deerskin pouch slung over his right shoulder. He slid off Lightening's back and walked along side her as he walked, looking up the canyon walls, looking for movement. "Easy gal...I can feel it too" he whispered. He slipped the rifle off his shoulder and cocked the hammer. Stopping by a short bush, he tied off Lightening's reins and walked toward the next bend. He saw the flash before the bullet ricocheted off the wall behind him.

SON OF A BITCH!....Tumbleweed screamed. He loss his patience at that point, dropping to the ground, he laid perfectly still again for the second time that day. The last week, he loss his partner, his crew, his herd of cattle, been shot at, chased by a posse, laid still like a possum while them injuns passed him by in the wash and now this...

This was bullshit...BULLSHIT....and TW didn't get the name Tumbleweed for nuthing. Tumbleweed snapped, and rolled out from the corner bend, drawing his twin Dixie Remington .44 Army revolvers, he runs toward the shooters. Glancing to his left and then right, he aims and pulls the trigger at both targets. Both bandits drop as TW screams insanities to end this madness. Damn cowards...com'n out and fight you son of a bitches...

Tumblweed jumps over small boulders and rocks, to get into position, firing both guns, he drops into position and begins to crawl toward his next target. He didn't know how many there were, but suddenly from behind him, he heard the hoofs until the rider came into view.

Lifting the .50, he fired the rifle. The Hawkin boomed and echoed off the walls of the canyon. The rider didn't have a chance as the lead ball with the intials 'TW' stamped on it hit a vital organ and the rider keeled backwards in the saddle.

Setting the butt of the Dixie Hawkin down into the sandy grit, he leans against the canyon wall and takes a wad of cloth out of his trouser pocket. He looks both ways at the trouble moving towards his position. He tears off a piece between his teeth, spits on it and pulls the ramrod off the stock, pouring roughly 70 to 80 grains of black powder down the muzzle, jamming the lead ball into the muzzle and using the special tool, the percussion cap is on in a second as he pulls the hammer back and looks again at the uninvited bandits.

Shit....he looks at his right revolver with three shots and the left one with two. He could see the shadows and knew he was in a bit of a jam.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:45 am




Tumbleweed in his hurry to git it over, with had forgotten to take a few extra .445 leadballs with him. Now he had a choice to crawl away from this bloodbath or hope the only ones left in this raiding party were two more. He picked up a big stone and tossed it toward them.

Bam Bam Ba..lammm ... four shots fired in one more location...that made it easy enough. As Tumbleweed tossed another stone just above and behind the bandit, the bandit twisted and exposed hisself to TW and fired off another two into the dark canyon above him.

BOOMMMMMMMM! The Hawkin echoed again throughout the canyon and dropped the man. That'll teach ya to mess with me, ya son a of bitch.

Smiling, Tumbleweed stepped back into the shadows and reloaded the 50. He waited to see if their were anymore before he walked to each dead bandit to see if anyone of them looked familar. He picked up their guns, ammo and anything else that looked like it might be of use especially if he ran into those nine Apaches again.

He got back to Lightening carrying an armful of guns and put them in his deep saddle bags, then reloaded his own Dixie 44s before jumping on Lightening's back. Tumbleweed rode up the bend...side arms at the ready. He stepped over the dead bandit that he shot with his Hawkin. The leadball pierced the mans' chest and exited his back. He didn't like killin' unless it was in self-defense. "Good riddins" he said. TW grabbed the reins of the mans' horse and leaned over to look in the wood. He pulled out a ladies broach, small cracked mirror and a hair brush. "Som bitch...the bandit musta killed an entire family fer the pony". Tumbleweed shook his head and rode on. He followed the horse hoofs of two or three horses, they were different from the bandits' and apparently the two heavier hoofs were of men, who really didn't care that they were being followed. as they left a trail. The third horseman was a a lighter fella or possibly a woman rider.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:51 pm

Maddie was waiting for Chase and the other two to mount their horses when she heard the distant boom of a rifle. One she'd never heard before. She was still reeling from taking a life and watching others die in front of her, but was trying to ignore it at the same time. She knew Chase was concerned, she could see it in the say he watched her. The other two she got the feeling that they just didn't care one way or another.

She looked over at Sandy, her face emotionless but her eyes held what she felt.....regret for taking a life and a little horror for what she'd witnessed. She then looked at Bones and saw that he too, seemed to hold no regret.

She turned back around in the saddle, holding back the tears that threatened to fall. She refused to cry in front of these hardened men and appear weak to them.

She heard Chase grunt a little when they bandaged his arm and then the creaking of leather when they mounted up.

"Do you want to go check out the rifle shot or what?"

Maddie waited for an answer from either of the two gunslingers.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:58 pm


When the first blast of the .50 caliber rifle echoed through the canyon Sandy shifted his head trying to determine where it originated and glanced over to Bones. "Damn! If I didn't know any better I'd swear someone was hunting bear." Quipped the experienced hunter.

Unable to determine the precise location of the shot, they could only wait for another and sure enough it was followed by a barrage of smaller caliber fire. Sandy looked Eastward and just as he turned his head the big 50 once more resonated through the narrow channels of the rocky labyrinth.

That's when the girl mounted up and made her impetuous comment.

" Well I think I'm going to choose the 'or what', Miss Keegan." Answered Sandy smartly, "Chase isn't exactly up for a fight and for all we know that could be McIntire and his men. I don't know about you, but I'm not really in the mood to join these stinking bastards in hell tonight."

Sandy checked the amount of blood on the cold compress he had been dabbing on his forehead. The bleeding had stopped and as he tucked the cloth into his pocket walked over to his horse and climbed into the saddle.

"The gunfire's coming from where we want to go, so I suggest we try and make our way around it. Until we know what we're up against we're best to stick to the shadows. Agreed?" Suggested Sandy then his hard stare fell on Madison, "You best keep close to Chase in case he passes out. How far to Coyote Hills?"

Most towns weren't more than three days ride apart, but Sandy wasn't familiar with the area and perhaps this town was closer to four. The man positively hated having to rely on someone else for directions. An experienced ranger himself, Sandy could track a buck clear cross Caledonia but here in this desert terrain he was out his element. He just knew that if they had to ride another five days or more they might as well turn north and make for Denver.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:06 pm

Madison returned Sandy's hard stare with one of her own.

"We have about 3 days ahead of us."

Maddie rode close to Chase noticing his palor. She hadn't thought that his wounds was that bad, but apparantly she'd been wrong. It was dark, except for the light of the full moon that kept peeking out between the clouds and as hard as Sandy was, she was kind of glad that he hadn't noticed her leg. She wasn't sure she wanted him treating her wound, even though he'd been somewhat gently with Chase's wound. The way he was treating her, she didn't figure that she'd get the same from him as well as if he knew that her upper pants leg was soaked with her own blood.....well, he'd probably treat her like some weak woman and she wasn't having that. So, she kept quiet about it and kept an eye on Chase.

"You pretty much know what direction to go, Mr. Wilken, so we'll follow you....for now."

"Maddie, what about your leg. I know your pant leg is soaked....I saw the darkness in the moonlight."

"Don't worry about me, Chase. Just concentrate on staying on your horse."

Truth was though, Maddie was in pain and even though her wound had slowed in it's bleeding, it had started up again when she'd mounted Jasmine, opening the deep furrow left by the bandit's bullett. As they rode, her blue eyes glared at Sandy's back. She knew she didn't have a right to be angry at him, but she was for some reason.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:46 pm





The night went by slowly, and then the rains broke. It began to pour shortly before daybreak and continued to pour. Tumbleweed noticed the washes were beginning to raise when he heard the high pitch squeal. Flash floods were common and the rainfall continued to cut into the eddy. Tumbleweed climbed the bank and walked along the wash. Every once in awhile he'd hear another squeal like a mountain cat in mating season.The wash suddenly rose quickly as the flash flood rushed through the canyon. The squeal came louder and thats when Tumbleweed spotted the calf. He found his little girl..rushing to 'er aid, he pulled his lasso free, and spurred Lightening. The horse kicked it to high gear, galloping like a flash of lightening to catch up to the baby calf. Tumbleweed's aim hit his target just as the baby calf 's head went under the rushing river.

Tumbleweed pulled back on the lasso and the calf spun around, whining just a little girl caught doing something naughty. Pulling back on the reins, Lightening came to a near stop, TW spun the the rope on the saddle horn and spurred the horse lightly while pulling back on the reins. The calf made its way to the side of the bank as lightening stopped back against the canyon wall. Steady lightening...Ethan tossed off his overcoat, and tied hisself off with another rope tying it off as well to the horn before sliding off her back. He got as close to the edge of the bank yelling at lightening to hold fast. Reaching out for the calf as the flood waters spilled over the bank. Lightening felt the tension on the saddle and stepped back, locking her front legs. She watched as the bank gave way and suddenly Tumbleweed tumbled into the rushing river. His last lurch just before the bank gave way enabled him to catch the calf. With the frightening calf kicking iin his arms, it didn't take long for Ethan to go under as wave after wave rushed over him. Tumbleweed kicked and pushed the calf up and hisself, gaping for air. He cleared his voice and whistled as loud as he could over the rushing water. Lightening pulled both him and the calf to safety. The free calf bawled loudly and kicked again at the scoured ground.

Tumbleweed sat up and half smiled.."Hello you old acorn," he said. "Runnin' off to the city again?" A grin on his face. "All right little girl," "Poppa got you outta trouble again."


END OF CHAPTER ONE (See CHAPTER TWO No Man's Land)
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