Previously: Meanwhile—at the same time on the trail to Ft Justice… Neither the marshals, nor the cavalry found any highwaymen—anywhere along the trail.
Even with the help of the far-ranging Flutters; who once again proved that he could perform his function without once mentioning the “Master,” at least not out loud.
“I have checked the desert for twenty miles on both sides of the trail between here and the fort. I found no one—save for a couple of hapless prospectors.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, Flutters—I do,” Susie said, “They must be out here somewhere; they can’t just disappear.”
Perhaps they can—GENTLE READER—Perhaps they can…
Chapter 8—Fort Justice—Episode 5…A mine entry somewhere on the desert…
Flutters, in his search, passed by several silver mines, and occasionally observed prospectors working the mines.
Most of them were abandoned.
The mines being worked had carts on tracks leading from the mines and other evidence to indicate it was an active mine—some abandoned mines did, as well.
I can’t blame Flutters for missing this mine, GENTLE READER, after all—one mine looks pretty-much like another.
The bird was doing yeoman-tough work, and in general very-good work. He was after all very-good at observing and believe it or don’t—very-highly regarded by his companions.
Except, of course, when he wandered off into his “Master” delusions. THAT—they mostly ignored, or at worst—merely smiled and nodded.
What Flutters didn’t see at this particular mine were the two men who emerged just seconds after he overflew the mine.
They clearly were not miners.
They had no picks.
They had no shovels.
They had no cart.
What they did have—were firearms.
Firearms were not all that unusual—miners usually had them close-at-hand to fend-off claim-jumpers.
But they generally didn’t carry them.
These fellows were not miners.
They were outlaws. Inside the mine there was enough room to house fifty men and fifty horses.
This is their base of operations.
This spells trouble for our marshals—and provides an excuse for more cheesy serial fiction.
A good thing, right? RIGHT?
To be continued…