Найдите свой следующий любимый книге

Станьте участником сегодня и читайте бесплатно в течение 30 дней
Riders on The Wind

Riders on The Wind

Автором Vance Tillman

Читать отрывок

Riders on The Wind

Автором Vance Tillman

Длина:
137 pages
2 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 1, 2017
ISBN:
9780719822971
Формат:
Книге

Описание

John Hauck and his Nez Perce wife are hired by the proprietor of the Wild West show, in which they have performed, to track down his kidnapped daughter. Their quest to find her takes them across the country from the settled East to the untamed mountains in the West, following a twisted trail of lies and deception, fighting all the way against the sinister Dement and his outlaw gang. On the journey they are joined by Hauck's old friend, the Sioux chief Otoktay, who leaves the Reservation to go on the warpath one last time. How will the old-timers deal with a changing world as they reprise former battles? The days of the Old West are numbered. What will be its legacy?
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 1, 2017
ISBN:
9780719822971
Формат:
Книге

Об авторе


Связано с Riders on The Wind

Похоже на «Книги»
Похожие статьи

Предварительный просмотр книги

Riders on The Wind - Vance Tillman

Riders on the Wind

John Hauck and his Nez Percé wife are hired by the proprietor of the Wild West show in which they have performed to track down his kidnapped daughter. Their quest to find her takes them across the country from the settled East to the untamed mountains in the West, following a twisted trail of lies and deception, fighting all the way against the sinister Dement and his outlaw gang.

On the journey, they are joined by Hauck's old friend, the Sioux chief Otoktay, who leaves the Reservation to go on the warpath one last time.

How will the old-timers deal with a changing world as they reprise former battles? The days of the Old West are numbered. What will be its legacy?

Riders on the Wind

Vance Tillman

ROBERT HALE

© Vance Tillman 2011

First published in Great Britain 2012

ISBN 978-0-7198-2297-1

The Crowood Press

The Stable Block

Crowood Lane

Ramsbury

Marlborough

Wiltshire SN8 2HR

www.bhwesterns.com

This e-book first published in 2017

Robert Hale is an imprint of The Crowood Press

The right of Vance Tillman to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him

in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Chapter One

It was a bright morning; roosters were calling, dogs barking and cattle bells ringing in the pastures. The two riders had risen early and had already passed the farmhouse just as lights were appearing in the kitchen windows. They were a man and a woman, no longer young but fit and well-honed. The man was lean yet strongly built; the woman small and light-framed. She wore a conventional riding outfit that could not hide the graceful bearing of her Nez Percé origin.

‘Looks like somebody’s havin’ a spot of trouble up ahead,’ the man said.

The woman nodded. Her keen eyes had seen the wagon too, stranded by the side of the road. As they got closer they could see that the left fore-wheel had come off. A man was standing near by; he had unhitched the horses and fastened them to a tree.

‘By the look of the way the front of the buggy has dropped, I’d say there was a good chance the axle-box must’ve come loose,’ the man said.

A few moments later his surmise was proved correct when the woman spotted the missing item lying in the dust by the side of the road. They halted long enough for her to retrieve it, then they rode on till they came alongside the wagon.

‘This what you’re lookin’ for?’ the man said.

The man with the wagon looked up, shielding his eyes from the sun. ‘Say, where’d you find that? I bin searchin’ for a good hour an’ couldn’t see no trace.’

‘You’ve got the lady to thank for that. Don’t much escape her notice.’ The two riders dismounted.

‘My name is Hauck, John Hauck, and this is Julia.’

The man held out his hand. ‘Riley,’ he replied, ‘Wendell Riley. Sure am pleased to meet you.’

‘Let’s get that axle fixed,’ Hauck said.

The two men set to work. While they did so the Indian woman looked admiringly at the polished buckles and red rosettes on the horses’ harnesses. The horses themselves had been carefully brushed and combed and the man looked equally well-groomed in a black suit and boots and with his hair slicked back. He was dusty and hot now but he had obviously made a big effort to look smart. It didn’t take long to get the buggy fixed.

‘Nice rig,’ Hauck commented as he stood back. ‘Goin’ some place special?’

‘County fair. Got to pick up my gal on the way. She’ll have been expectin’ me. Sure hope she ain’t gone with anyone else.’

‘Better get movin’,’ Hauck said.

The man hesitated. He was young and suddenly seemed embarrassed. ‘Sure appreciate you folks helpin’ me,’ he said. ‘Say, why don’t you come along? It ain’t but a few miles to town.’

Hauck turned towards the woman. He couldn’t mistake the gleam in her eye. ‘Sure,’ he said.

‘Why don’t I see you there? I could introduce you to some of the folks.’

For the first time the woman spoke. ‘That would be real nice,’ she said. She smiled and glanced towards the buggy. ‘Like he says, better get movin’. You don’t want to keep your lady waitin’ longer than she has already.’

Riley grinned; it made him look little more than a boy. Climbing into the buggy he started his team on a quick trot down the road, leaning back to wave at them as he went.

‘Something about him reminds me of you,’ Julia said to her partner. ‘When I first met you. Remember?’

‘That was a long time ago,’ he replied.

‘Don’t seem like it though.’

The man smiled and reaching into his pocket pulled out a small package.

‘You still carry that thing around with you?’

‘Sure do,’ he replied.

It was a parfleche made from tanned buffalo hide, painted with geometric designs which had once been bright but were now faded with usage. Inside was a string of beads made from animal claws.

‘Good medicine,’ she said.

‘The best,’ he replied.

He replaced the parfleche in the pocket of his jacket. ‘Come on, Ealaothek-kaunis,’ he said. It was her Nez Percé name and it meant Birds Landing. ‘Guess we’re goin’ to the county fair.’

As they got closer to town the roads became thick with wagons, buckboards and top-buggies, most of them gaily decorated, making their way towards the town which soon came in sight – a cluster of frame buildings and stores around a central square with some shade trees. A newly painted sign read Scott Corner. People had congregated in the town square, their conveyances lining the adjacent streets. It was an animated scene. Around three sides of the square booths had been set up and on the fourth side there were trestle tables loaded with foodstuffs. At one were platters laden with baked hams, fried chickens and other cooked meats; at another there were pumpkins, watermelons and apples and on one more jams, cakes, cookies and pies. An elderly lady in a blue gingham dress was serving lemonade. Further off, on the edge of town, some corrals were filled with livestock. There were farm implements and, in pride of place, a mechanical threshing machine. In the streets people were thronging round a series of stalls and from somewhere a piano tinkled. Hauck and Birds Landing dismounted and tied their horses to a hitchrack outside a drugstore on the fringes of the most populated area and made their way inside. There was a soda fountain and people sat together on little revolving stools. It was quite busy but they were soon served. They were just about to get up and leave when Wendell Riley came bursting through the door, accompanied by a fair-haired girl wearing a white muslin dress.

‘Figured I’d run into you,’ he said. ‘What’d I say, Hester? Didn’t I say they must be somewhere around?’

Without pausing for breath he came up to Hauck and Birds Landing. ‘Thanks to you I just made it in time,’ he said. He turned to the girl. ‘Hester, I’d like for you to meet Mr Hauck and Julia.’

The girl smiled and held out her hand without any suggestion of awkwardness.

‘Have you seen around?’ Wendell asked.

‘Just about to do it,’ Birds Landing replied.

‘Come on, we’ll show you.’

They were on their way outside when their path to the doorway was blocked by three men. They were mean-looking and they all wore sidearms.

‘Excuse me,’ the boy began.

The men stood immobile. Some of the customers in the drugstore made for an exit at the rear. Others watched with close attention.

‘Excuse me,’ Wendell repeated.

One of the men moved a fraction to one side. ‘Go on out, boy,’ he said. ‘We ain’t got no quarrel with you or your girl.’

Riley looked bemused. Hauck stepped forward.

‘It’s OK, Wendell. Do as he says. Take Hester outside. We’ll meet up with you later.’

The boy looked unsure. Hester pushed at him from behind and after another moment’s hesitation he moved to the door. With a last glance back he led his girl into the street.

For the first time Hauck confronted the three men. His blue eyes were hard and the man who had spoken looked away for a moment before turning to his henchmen. Hauck remained silent.

‘This is a nice town,’ the man said. ‘We don’t hold truck with no Injun lovers.’

‘ ’Specially not a squaw-man,’ one of the others added.

‘Ain’t that right?’ the third one said, turning his head to address the remaining customers. Most of them looked uncomfortable. One of them, a fat man wearing a black suit and string tie, responded with a feeble: ‘Sure.’

‘What’s more,’ the leader of the group said, ‘we aim to teach you a lesson. Just to make sure that you understand the situation.’

‘Pistol-whip ’em,’ someone shouted from the back of the room.

The man took one step forward. Before he had time to take a second Hauck’s fist had crashed into his face, shattering his nose and sending him reeling backwards.

‘Why you—’ he began.

His hand moved towards the gun which was placed butt forwards in its holster, but even as he drew it something glistened through the air and buried itself in his throat. Birds Landing had thrown her knife with deadly accuracy. The man hit the floor and lay there gurgling as blood spouted from his mouth. The other two men had drawn their guns but Hauck was quicker. The gun in his hand spat lead and they both went down, one of them firing his pistol harmlessly into the ceiling as he fell. After the noise and unexpected violence there was an eerie calm. Hauck turned round.

‘You!’ he said.

A man at the back of the room wearing fancy duds looked up in alarm.

‘Who, me? I ain’t done nothin.’ It was the man who had advocated the pistol-whipping.

‘You can apologize on their behalf to me and the lady,’ Hauck said. ‘After that you can get out of town and if I ever see you again I’ll kill you.’

The man looked about him as if to elicit some support but if that was his aim none was forthcoming.

‘I . . . I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘Real sorry.’

‘OK, apology accepted. Now git and remember what I said.’

Quickly the man slinked through the back door. Hauck turned to the man behind the counter.

‘Sorry about this,’ he said, ‘but all you folks saw that this was none of our doing.’

Вы достигли конца предварительного просмотра. Зарегистрируйтесь, чтобы узнать больше!
Страница 1 из 1

Обзоры

Что люди думают о Riders on The Wind

0
0 оценки / 0 Обзоры
Ваше мнение?
Рейтинг: 0 из 5 звезд

Отзывы читателей