{Chapter} 32

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{Chapter 32}

Adam threw Katie behind a tree and positioned his body to protect her.

This can’t be happening. How did they know where we were? We were completely silent!

Adam checked his gun and found it fully loaded. He took aim.

“Steady. Aim. Shoot,” he whispered to himself to try to calm his shaking hands.

He pulled off a shot in the direction of their attackers, not doubt Mark and his men. Adam pulled the hammer back on his gun and aimed again.

“You know what they’re after, don’t you?” Katie asked.

Adam was impressed at the lack of fear in her voice.

“Yeah, it’s that paper.” Adam fired again.

He heard a yelp. He must have hit one of them.

“Where is it?” Katie asked.

“Erik burned it to disintegration three days ago,” Adam said as he set the barrel of his pistol on his forearm to steady his aim.

“They ain’t gonna believe that.”

“You’d be amazed at what people believe with a .45 pointed at their face.” Adam shot toward the bunch of trees that the gang was shooting from.

“Adam!” Adam turned to see Wade with a bullet in his right shoulder, blood oozing down arm and soaking his shirt.

“Wade!” Katie squealed.

“I’m fine,” Wade motioned for Adam to move to his left to get a better shot.

Adam nodded. “You stay here, Kate. Don’t move, hear?” he told Katie.

Katie nodded.

Adam looked back over at Wade, who was breaking out in a cold sweat at the pain but was shooting anyway. Now was when he thanked God that Wade was left-handed. He murmured a prayer for the man and ran behind a tree a few feet away.

Looking across camp, he saw Toni with a rifle in one hand and a pistol in the other laying down behind a fallen log. Erik was hidden behind a stump and the other three cowboys were shooting out from behind trees like the rest of them.

Adam slowly crept around to where he could see the gang. The only ones he saw were Joe Blake and Marshall Heath. Where were the others?

Adam continued sneaking around until he came up behind the two men.

“A’ight you two. Reach or I’ll clear a couple of your organs.” Adam pulled the hammer back on his gun.

Both men froze.

“Did I stutter? Do as I say!” Adam growled.

The men dropped their guns and stood, holding their hands in the air. The started to face him.

“Don’t turn around,” Adam commanded.

With one hand, he reached inside his pocket and pulled out his tin badge. Though he had no authority in the area, the two dim wits wouldn’t know that anyway. Adam pinned the badge on and smiled.

“Now, hit your knees,” he demanded.

Joe and Marshall dropped to their knees.

**********

Erik held his breath when the shooting stopped. Either something really bad happened, or something really good happened. Either way, Erik wasn’t taking any chances. He took the time to reload his gun quickly before pulling the hammer back and looking for a target.

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