Passin' Through (1985) by L'amour Louis

Passin' Through (1985) by L'amour Louis

Author:L'amour, Louis [L'amour, Louis]
Format: mobi, epub
Published: 2010-12-12T06:26:50.437000+00:00

Chapter Thirteen

He had sat back there watching, saying nothing, making no move, just watching, and he had been watching me. Beacham was like that. By the time he made his move he knew what he was going to do and how, but I knew he liked to have a line on those he was to kill. He wanted to know them, to understand them, to know what he might expect.

Chances were that I knew more of Beacham than he knew of me. That "Passin' Through" business wouldn't mean anything to him. He would be trying to sort me out, if he didn't already know, to decide who I was and why. If it was me he was gunning for. And if it was, who hired him? Who would want me dead that much?

There were people who would like to see my lying dead but most of them were cheapskates. If they couldn't do it themselves they'd never dream of paying anybody to do it for them.

Somebody either had money to spend or Beacham owed somebody a favor.

Amongst some trees on a low knoll back from the trail I made a late, cold camp. If by some chance Pan Beacham was followin' me, I wasn't goin' to send up a smoke to bring him to me. Picketing my horses on the grass inside the cluster of trees, I bedded down in the shadows and slept, trusting my horses would warn me.

An hour before daylight I came down from the trees and headed east.

For a man wary of trouble I'd picked up a lot of people who were huntin' my hide, and when I rode out that morning I had a nasty feelin'. Trouble was riding my way and I'd best get set for it. I shucked my rifle and checked the loads, though I didn't need to. I held that rifle in my hands.

Did they know I had three horses? I doubted it. Beacham might, for he'd be checking around, making sure of things. Suddenly I left the trail and rode up into the trees. For a few minutes I sat my horse, studying the country around. Keeping under cover was not going to be easy, and those hunting me might know the country better than I.

My fingers rubbed the stubble on my jaw. Before I saw any womenfolk I was going to have to shave. Nothing moved back along the trail, nor in the country around. So why was I jumpy? And I was. I wiped my hands on my shirtfront and squinted, looking over the sunlit land before me.

Riding out of the trees, I kept to low ground, skirting the base of a tree-clad ridge. Suddenly, I pulled up, listening. I'd heard a horse running, or was I imagining it?

My eyes swept the country again. There was no dust, but there wouldn't be in this grass-covered country. The valley was wide, broken by occasional low ridges and knolls, mostly fringed with trees. There were a couple of small streams. Wary of open country, I headed back into the trees, working my way toward higher country.


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