Blood Valley (Blood Valley 1) by Johnstone William W

Blood Valley (Blood Valley 1) by Johnstone William W

Author:Johnstone, William W. [Johnstone, William W.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Published: 2012-08-07T07:00:00+00:00

I didn’t sleep too good that night. Done a lot of tossin’ and turnin’, with my head filled with boyhood memories about me and Jack and our ma and pa and all the other younguns. I wondered what had become of them. Were they doin’ all right? Had they married and settled down? Did they have families and all that went with that?

I’d sleep a while and then wake up and start to thinkin’ again. And all my thoughts had Pepper all mixed up in them.

I pulled out before dawn, after Pepper fixed me breakfast—she really could cook—and then give me a promise-of-things-to-come kiss right on the mouth. I rode Pronto into the darkness, headin’ for town.

The night past, we’d all gathered up in the fancy sittin’ room and I’d told them all about my childhood, and all that I could remember about brother Jack.

“Forgive me for saying this, Cotton,” Rolf said. “But this Jack appears to be the carrier of the bad seed in your family.”

He was sure right. I couldn’t deny that.

“Ain’t nothin’ to forgive when a person is right, Mister Baker. And you’re sure right. Now that I’m a man grown, and lookin’ back, I an see where a lot of the things Jack done was just lowdown dirty mean.”

All that was on my mind as I rode into the spreading silver dawnin’ of the day. But I wasn’t dwellin’ just on that. A good part of me was on the high alert for any trouble that might be hidin’ in the shadows.

But all my attention to danger was for naught, and when I rode into town, the streets and boardwalks of Doubtful was quiet and empty of anything except for a few dogs and cats. I rode slowly to the stable and put up Pronto. I told him to stay calm and don’t kick no slats out of his stall.

Pronto, he shoved me back up against the stall and tried to bite me.

The gimp-legged man had just opened his cafe as I walked up the boardwalk. Noddin’ my good mornin’s, I took me a table by a window and ordered coffee and breakfast.

Pretty soon, Rusty come walkin’ up the way, his spurs jinglin’. He spotted me and joined me at the table.

Rusty, he ordered breakfast and coffee, and over coffee, I asked, “Anything interestin’ happen while I was gone, Rusty?”

“You might say that.” He sugared and creamed his coffee and stirred. “Buck Hargon, Doc Martin, and that Canadian gunfighter, Sangamon, rode in. They’re over to the hotel.”

“Least it’s slowed down to a trickle. Hell, Rusty, there can’t be that many more gunslingers that’s out there out of work.”

“Yeah.” His reply was glum. “And for a fact, Jack Crow is comin’ in. He was spotted a few days ago near the Salt River Range.”

“Then he’ll be in any day now.”

“Yeah. Sheriff, do you realize they’s more than fifty known gunhands now in the valley?”

“I know.”

The cafe man brung us our food and for a time, we concentrated on eatin’.


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