McLintock figured, rightly, that Kidd had arranged the robbery and murder of his own father and brothers, and briefly considered back-shooting him now—after all, if he’d do that to family—he wouldn’t hesitate to kill a mere partner, “We’ll need help.”
“We will. Expendable help.”
“We need somebody to take the blame for what we’re about to do, after they do our dirty work.”
“Where do you expect to find such people?”
“Perhaps just ahead,” Kidd saw a group of riders approaching.
Season VI, Chapter 3 Trackdown, Episode 20:
They were out of work and out of luck, fired from their last job as wranglers at the Double Bar W Ranch, a sprawling operation down in Texas, for a little too much drinking, a little too much gambling and a whole lot of fighting.
Three of them (wearing chaps in the illustration) when sober, were true cowboys, just trying to get by but just too closely acquainted with bad whiskey and bad tempers. The other two both fancied themselves as gunmen and gamblers, and since leaving the ranch led the others on a bit of a crime-spree along the the trail, robbing isolated travelers. Fortunately, they’d killed no one—yet.
The way Abraham Wilts, the leader of this little gang, classified people was as either predators or victims, and he read the approaching two as the latter; the younger of the two was a “drug store cowboy” with his small-brimmed hat, fancy vest and brace of guns riding low on his hips. The other man, as old and over-the hill with his long beard and cross-draw holster was also clearly a victim.
“Get ready, Ben,” Kidd advised, “If we can keep this bunch from doing something stupid, as it looks like they’re thinking, and keep them alive, we’ll have us some expendable employees.”
McLintock was no man’s fool, and had already pulled his spare .44 from it’s saddle-holster, a leftover from his cavalry days—an old-fashioned method of carrying a side-arm from back as recently as the War of 1812, and favored by some cavalrymen as place to keep a spare side-arm.
Hands went to guns as the five victims came up on the real predators—Kidd and McLintock.
Thus ends Chapter 3…To Be Continued…