Fifteen year old Clint Slade gripped the reins to four horses tightly in his hand, his breathing slow and ragged in silence of the midmorning air.
One army pay-roll.
The odds were in their favor. While Clint didn’t appreciate the job of merely holding the horses while his brothers got the fun part of the job, his heart beat pure adrenaline through his veins at the thought of being filthy rich in no time flat. It was beginning to make sense to him why his brothers chose this way to make their living. He had been skeptic before, but now he felt the same rush of what he labeled as happiness.
Suddenly, two shots sounded out of nowhere, piercing the silence and sending a chill racing down his spine. A woman screamed and more guards came from down the street toward the bank.
What was he to do? His brothers hadn’t told him what to do if things went wrong. They had planned on this job coming off without a hitch. Robbing a bank in midday while people weren’t as guarded as at night had seemed like a fool-proof plan.
Yet it had gone terribly wrong.
More shots fired until the sound filled the air and threatened to suffocate him. Clint dropped the reins to the horses. He began running down the slope toward the back of the town, pumping his feet as hard and fast as they would go, until he reached the back of the bank. Rocks in the ground stuck into the bottom of his bare feet. He slid to a stop at the back door. He heard the loud groans coming from inside and knew that it was a scary scene behind the oak slab in front of him.
He was too young to hang!
Visions of a noose and a hangman filled his mind and struck terror into his core.
The fear took over his common sense as he ran back to the horses. He grabbed the reins to his Palomino, mounted, and rode away without a backward glance. He rode hard and fast away from the sound of gunfire and apparent death.
The hooves of his horse pounded past and faster as they put more distance between Clint and Destin, Virginia. He had to get out. He didn’t want to be an outlaw for the rest of his life.
He wouldn’t even go back to Boss. He would just skip out altogether and make a life somewhere else.
Without the bothers he’d had all his life.
What he did that morning would haunt his dreams until many, many years later.
There's a little bit of Clint's past:) Hope you guys enjoy this story!
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Sparks fly and horns lock on the Dottie Belle Ranch in Plateau, Arizona! Clint Slade is a well-known hired killer. What he does for a living has never been questioned nor given an explanation. The dime novelists love his work to pen to paper, and yo...