Mac knew they couldn’t stay hidden for very long, so he detailed Boomer and Sarah to go into Murdo and make a claim on their plot of land by the stream. He hoped the land was unclaimed, but if it was they were to find an unclaimed parcel and they’d move their camp.
“Abe has been looking over the ranch hands who worked for Pinchpenny,” McLintock was smiling, “He thinks we can keep them all. That brings us to forty ranch hands.”
“You think we can trust all of them?” Kidd was skeptical.
“No, not completely. They are expendable—and we need expendable people. Of the forty, half are men I would trust to follow our lead completely. The others? As I said, expendable.”
Season VI, Chapter 4 Predators and Victims, Episode 15:
Flutters brought important news and relayed as much of Kidd’s plan as he could remember, and as much as I hate to admit it, GENTLE READER, he remembered a lot. They now had enough information to make their plans more or less final.
Daisy & PepperCooper were not pleased at being left behind as Sarah & Boomer left for Murdo, as daughter & father “homesteaders,” but understood they must help provide perimeter security for Camp Coldwater.
“I don’t have to tell you this, Cooper, but no matter what a local says, respond as a 19th Century woman, not 21st.”
“Yes, Father,” Sarah replied, “You brought me up to be a proper lady.”
Boomer laughed & Pal snorted.
Kidd and his posse left Dreadwood at first light, heading south out of town. Known to Kidd and to no other among them, McLintock sent five of the “expendable” wranglers, the gunfighter wannabes, out an hour earlier to go out south of town—he wanted them to wait for the posse and ambush it. He told them that Kidd, the new marshal had visited him and accused him of horse-rustling. Kidd, of course, knew precisely where the ambush would be. Planning an operation was McLintock’s specialty, something he’d done during the war to great effect.
The land was still available from the government, in fact it had just been released for claims, so Boomer staked their claim to some 600 acres on both sides of the creek.
One of the cowboys, who had just claimed an adjacent parcel, took note of Cooper, “If you was dressed like a lady…”
That was a really stupid thing for him to say…
To Be Continued…