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The Magpie Coffin (Splatter Western Book 1) by Wile E. Young

The Magpie Coffin (Splatter Western Book 1) by Wile E. Young

Author:Wile E. Young [Young, Wile E.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: epub, ebook, QuarkXPress
Publisher: Death's Head Press
Published: 2020-03-20T04:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER TWELVE

We spent the next two days searching for Sergeant Craft’s secret abode. I had heard of men like this, those who found hidden places to work pain on people. They never stopped, one death was never enough. The hunger would well up again and they’d go out into the night looking for something to sate it. I sympathized with them; in my world or theirs, dealing death was just the way of things.

The burned down husk overlooked a hillside that had been picked clean, old stumps barely clinging to the grey clay that was all that remained from the barren hillside. The burnt shells of logs were all that remained of the house that had once stood here, black and charred ash giving away Craft’s comings and goings. I knelt in that ash, measuring the size of the boot prints and feeling the ancient stone where blood had dried.

Jake brought two lanterns from the coach, handing one to me. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, goose flesh prickling its way down my arms. I drew the Gun, Jake’s own piece already in his hand. I put one finger to my lips and gestured to the trail. It ended in a locked cellar and from somewhere between the wooden slats, I saw a light burning.

“You think he’s down there?”

No point in telling him to be silent, not with the lock on the cellar. There was only one way to get through those doors. I aimed carefully and slowly pulled the trigger.

There was a clap of thunder, pained metal, and the lock went tumbling into the grass. I motioned for Jake to pull the doors apart. If Craft was down there waiting, I’d rather him take a shot at me than be dead on and put my companion under.

Jake heaved, gritting his teeth as he pulled the heavy wood back. I braced myself, expecting to hear gunfire and make a few corpses, but nothing moved down in the dark except the small flickering of a solitary candle.

“He might not have come back yet, but someone sure has.” Jake spoke truth, one that brought me to a crossroads. This hole needed exploring, no doubt about that, but more than likely there was going to be gunplay, and an awfully big risk that Jake would catch a bullet.

Still, I couldn’t kill Mr. Craft, not without trying to divine some information from him, and his face was still unknown to me. No choice at all, really.

“Mr. Howe, stay behind me. If someone starts shooting, you let me kill them.”

Jake nodded, moving in behind me as I descended into the cellar. Even with my instructions, he kept his weapon out. The floor was wet, rainfall seeping through the cellar doors and turning it into quagmire. It sucked at our boots, each step laborious and heavy. The candle burned on a small table. Someone had left a bandolier there, a few knives, and a pouch. It didn’t look like they were expecting to be followed.



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