Previously: As expected, the outlaws rode carefully into Loco and were surprised that they saw no townspeople, anywhere. Suspecting a trap, Jeremiah Smith had his men go no farther into town than the jail, “Keep yer eyes open fellers, I’m going inside.”
With guns drawn, Smith entered the jail—and quickly exited with Jay’s note, “C’mon, let’s ride! They got Spencer!”
Chapter 7—Loco Part IV, Fort Justice—Episode 3… Flutters was flying back to inform Jay Cooper of the outlaws riding out of Loco towards them when he saw his friends were not alone on the trail—they were being watched.
Flutters watched the watchers. With his extraordinary sight, he quickly recognized the watchers, and flew directly to the marshals.
Unfortunately for the marshals, Smith and his outlaws were pushing their horses hard and quickly beginning to close the gap between them.
“You have company, on both flanks,” Flutters said, “Very dangerous company.”
Immediately everyone was jolted out of the long-trail induced stupor, “The outlaws, already?” Jay was a bit embarrassed.
“Your ancestors, Hiram.”
“Yes, Little Wolf Silverthorn, Brave Hawk and their father, Grey Wolf,” Flutters replied, “But more importantly, the outlaws are riding fast, too fast and are getting close.”
The marshals HAD been riding as fast as they could, but were slowed by Spencer’s horse, a non-sentient nag of questionable ancestry. “How soon?”
“Twenty minutes, a half-hour at the most.”
“My apology, Hiram, but we don’t have time to socialize with your family. Flutters! Find us a defensible position—FAST!”
At about the same time—at La Cantina… US Marshals Chris Shouse and Sarah Cooper were at La Cantina for high tea…or something approximating that, when Lt. Colonel Phineas Cooper arrived.
He knew he had insufficient troops to take the fort by force, and would have to do it by cunning. He immediately recognized Sergeant-Major Hugh Cantrell, “Sar-Maj Cantrell, you old war-horse!”
“Colonel Cooper! As I live and breathe, what brings you here Phineas?”
“I’m here to take command of the fort and I believe Major McClellan won’t be welcoming me. In fact, I suspect he won’t even open the gates for me.”
“I can help you with that, sir,” Lt. Nathan Woods offered.
“Black Horse Regiment?”
“Yes sir, but now of only platoon strength,” Woods replied, “We have sentry-duty in an hour, and the gates will open for you sir.”
To be continued…