Saving the Gunslinger

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Prologue

Samantha rode hard back toward the house trying to beat the rain. She failed and soon the rain was pelting her bare arms and face. The cold hard drops quickly soaked her white riding dress thoroughly.

She pulled the mare's reins up sharply when she saw the wagon in front of the small home she shared with her father. A feeling of dread washed over her and she wasn't sure why.

She jumped from her mare and walked into the barn to find Eddie, the old man who helped her and her father out.

"Eddie." she called out for him but there was no answer. She walked back to the stalls and gasped in horror. Eddie was lying on the floor of the stall with part of his face missing. Blood covered the stable walls and his white hair was matted and covered in chunks and blood.

Samantha turned quickly and vomited on the ground. Her thoughts went to her father and she ran blindly into the house. Her father was in the kitchen and a man Samantha had never seen before was sitting at the kitchen table with a gun in his pale hand.

"Samantha." her father said with fear in his voice. She froze in her tracks and looked at this new man.

He was thin faced. Dark black, greasy hair hung below his hat to his shoulders. He wore a long black duster and black boots. He flashed her a grin revealing badly rotten teeth. His face was hair free and covered in the worst scars she had ever seen. His eyes were such a light blue they seemed to be made of ice.

"Is this your daughter then, Jacob?" the man asked looking Samantha up and down. Samantha realized that her dress was clinging to every curve of her body and the rain had rendered the white fabric see through. None of her body was left to the imagination.

"Yes, Mr. Matthews, this is my Samantha." her father replied. "Samantha, why don't you go upstairs and change into some dry clothes." Before Samantha could take a step toward the stairs Mr. Matthews pointed the revolver in her direction.

"No, Samantha, stay." he urged. She froze and looked at her father with wide eyes.

"Now let's get back to our business, Jacob."

"I don't have your money yet, Mr. Matthews. I need more time." her father replied. Samantha's eyes narrowed. What money were they talking about?

"You don't have more time. I loaned you that money with the understanding that when I came to collect you would pay up." Mr. Matthews snapped with a sharp edge of anger entering his voice.

"Please, just give me a few more months…."

"No." Mr. Matthews snapped quickly. "But perhaps we could work something else out." he looked at Samantha hungrily and she gagged.

"What are you talking about?" her father asked nervously.

"Give me that daughter of yours and I'll forget about the money." Jacob exploded with anger.

"How dare you!" he yelled coming toward Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews stood and aimed the gun at Jacob's head.

"Run, Samantha! Run!" her father shouted. Samantha watched as Mr. Matthew's finger squeezed the trigger. Her fathers head exploded and brains and blood splattered against the wall.

Then Samantha was running. She ran as quickly as she could through the pouring rain to the barn where she jumped back on her mare and took off into the woods. She knew Mr. Matthews' wagon could not follow her there. She heard him yelling out to her.

"Run, little Samantha… I will find you! You belong to me now!" She continued to ride hard until the sky darkened and she could go no further.

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