Chapter 10 – Dust, Revenge and Forgiveness
Small spirals of dust and a solitary child sat on his mother's stoop were all that greeted me as I rode into town, my rifle in one hand, the reins of my horse in the other. The child scampered inside as I dismounted outside the small saloon in the centre of the high street and tied up my horse. I saw no other sign of life as I walked to the centre of the street to stand outside the Sheriff's office.
Nothing mattered other than revenge to me then. Anger still coursing through my veins I lifted the rifle to my shoulder and let all hell break loose.
Bullet after bullet pumped into the jailhouse, prompting yells of surprise from inside and from houses all around as the still of the morning was shattered by my hatred of the man I thought to be inside.
I slung the rifle back into its holster on my back and ran at the door, kicking it open and powering into the confines of the jail. It was a testament to the sloppiness and confidence that these men possessed that the door had been left on the latch rather than being firmly bolted as it should've been. As a man rose from behind the desk, I whipped my gun from its holster, the Rimfire barking a slug into his chest. He slammed into the wall, his tin star spinning to the floor. Another man appeared in the doorway and as a bullet sang past my ear I shot him first in the leg, then in the head as he crumpled in pain.
Moving into the cell area in the back of the jail, I checked the coast was clear and took a second to reload my guns and the rifle before moving back into the street.
Despite the early hour, a few patrons staggered out through the door of the saloon and, for a few seconds, I stood in front of them as they tried to work out what the hell had happened.
"Where's Tennant?" I finally broke the silence, three men facing me across the street.
"He ain't here, who the hell are you anyway?" The oldest of the three spoke. A tall man, with a black Stetson and salt and pepper stubble darkening his cheeks he seemed to be the leader of the small group.
"None of your concern stranger, I'm just here to kill Tennant."
"Then you'll have to go through us," said one of the others hotly, a younger man who's hand immediately dropped to his gun.
The Rimfire spoke once more as all the skills I'd learned over years as a gunslinger came into play. He clutched at his stomach as I dropped to one knee, the pistol spitting bullets at the older man as he too went for his gun, my left hand rapidly fanning the hammer. As he did, I saw the third man also reaching for his weapon and I knew that I couldn't shoot him too in the time I had left to me.
And then another gun spoke as Henry galloped into the street steering Delilah with his knees, his rifle held in clawed hands as he screamed his pain and anger at the men who stood before me. As the last of the men hit the dirt, Henry's bullet ploughing into his torso, Henry reined in his mount with some difficulty and slumped in the saddle before falling off his horse and into my arms.
"Idiot boy," he said almost fondly and then passed out, leaving me kneeling in the dirt with the only person who cared for me.
There was a sudden clatter from the rear of the stables, and a lone man thrashed his horse into terrified movement, his body bent low in the saddle as he raced away in the direction of Tennant's ranch. No bullets followed him and burdened as I was by Henry's prone form, there was little I could do to prevent his escape.
As I laid the unconscious old man to the ground and stood, there was a whisper of movement behind me and I whirled, the Rimfire leaping into my hand to come to rest at the throat of Anton the shopkeeper.
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Windblown SaviourHistorical Fiction
(Historical Fiction / Action) - Gunslinger: I may be feared and admired, but I call nowhere home. My gun and my skill define my existence. I was born fast, and endless practice has made me the best. For now. A brief rush of adrenaline. Noise, the s...