Carter crashes to the ground fiercly.James looks down at his brother who was choking to catch his breath.
"You alive?"James asks.
Carters eyes adjust for the sunlight as he squints up at his sibling.It takes him a second but he begins to come around.It was hard for him to speak at first but soon he was able to mutter a few words.
"God even in death I'm stuck with you,"he jokes.
Carter sits up with his brothers help then James unties the mans hands.Standing to his feet Carter notices his gun belt was gone.He was weak and begins to fall over when James catches him.
"Take it easy.Here drink this,"James orders handing Carter a canteen full of water.
The dehydrated man chugs the water finishing the whole thing.He was feeling better already and is able to stand on his own.
"How'd you find me?"Carter wonders.
"They left me behind and took you.So I stole a horse and followed.Once they was out of sight I came over here and cut you down,"James explains.
"I don't suppose you stole me one?"Carter inquires.
"Nope but I think you'll be ok,"James replies pointing to Carters horse.
The horse had never left and was grazing ten yards away.Whistling for the animal it trollops over to him and rubs it's head against the man almost as if she was happy to see Carter alive.Mounting the steed Carter glances at his brother.
"C'mon little brother we got unfinished business to take care of,"Carter says.
The sun had set in Wahachi.Victor and his comrades were busy drinking at the saloon.A few whores from the brothel are hanging out with the men feeding their ego's and indulging in free booze.The men laugh jovially as they down the alcohol and grope the women.
"Stan,another round you old coot!"the fat obnoxious man commands the bartender.
The barkeep rushes another bottle of whiskey to the table.He hated when Victor and his cronies came into town because the men always ran off the other costumers and never pay for the liquor they drink.Victor sits at the head of the table with a chubby red haired woman on his lap.Carters gun belt with his fathers guns lay on the table next to him like a prize he had won.The man wore a huge grin across his face and was cockily bragging about how great he is.The night wears on and the drinking continues.The two men with Victor have had enough and head to the hotel with their woman.Victor stays behind with the big breasted red head.She goes down to her knees and begins servicing the man.Between the liquor and the blow job Victor didn't notice the shadowy figure that had snuck in through the back door.
"Looks like I caught you at a bad time,"a voice rings out from behind Victor.
The voice startles him and he shoves the womans head from his groin.He turns in his chair to see a tall man wearing a duster jacket and cowboy hat.The brim of the hat covers the mans face making it hard for Victor to see who he is.
"Who is that?"Victor demands.
"Your worst mistake,"a familiar voice responds and Victor recognizes it instantly.
The man removes the hat and reveals his identity.It was Carter.Victor leaps up reaching for his pistol but before he is able Carter removes a rifle from under the coat.
Victors was nervous and scared beyond belief.He tries to swallow but his throat is dry as a desert.The man couldn't believe Carter was alive.
"Stan go tell the boys I need help,"he orders the barkeep.
"I'm not getting involved Hank.Your on your own,"the bartender tells him then walks out of the room.
"Son of bitch!"Victor grumbles under his voice.
"Nobody here to help you Vic.Time to man up,"Carter antagonizes.
Victor saw in Carters eyes he was serious.Victor tries to reason with the man he had left for dead just hours ago.
"Hey Carter I'm sure you're angry.Hell I'd be angry myself but just hold on a moment.There's got to be a way to fix this right?Money,I got lot's a money.What say we make a deal,huh?"Victor suggest.
Carter cocks the rifle and gives Victor a sharp intense look.
"A deal?I don't think a deals gonna cut it.Not after what you did to me.Especialy not after what you did to my brother!"Carter replies.
Thunder cracks in the distance and it begins to rain outside.The small drops of water beat down on the town slow at first then it starts to come down harder and faster.The two men lock eyes.
"Come on now Carter it doesn't have to be like this.You know as much as I do you're not a killer,"Victor pleads.
Carter inhales the air around him and a calm over comes the man.For a moment Carter feels as if he had found a natural state of anger from within and it felt good.
"I am what you made me!"Carter snarls.
Suddenly Victor reaches for his pistol.Carter squeezes the trigger on the rifle and thunder booms in the distance at that same moment concealing the sound.The bullet flies violently through Victors abdomen and out his back.He falls to the floor and the red head screams.Carter takes his gun belt from the table and steps over the man who was squirming on the ground.Victor is still breathing as Carter heads for the exit.
"See ya in hell,"Carter comments and leaves the saloon.
James was waiting outside with Carters horse.The rain was dumping on Wahachi which helps conceal the two mens get away.The brothers head for home.The wheels in Carters head were turning.This was the first time he had ever killed a man and the guilt begins to weigh on him.Carter yanks his horse to a halt and James does the same when he realizes the man had stopped.
"What is it?"James asks.
Carter sits on the animal not saying a word.He thinks for a moment then glimpses at James,a somber look embedded on his face.The rain pelted down on them.
Finally Carter speaks,"I can't go home with you little brother."
"Why not?"James questions curiously.
"I murdered the only son of Martin Crowell.He isn't going to let that rest until I'm dead,"Carter explains.
"What about me?What about Mary?"James appeals.
Carter was between a rock and a hard place.He loves Mary more then life it's self but could not drag her into this.He was not the same man who had left her that morning.His heart and soul were darker now and he was scared to face her because of that.
"You go home James.Tell Mary Carter Wade died this day,"Carter orders the teen.
Turning his horse Carter rides the opposite direction.James watches for a second then pursues after him.
"I'm coming with you,"James says sternly.
"I said go home James,"Carter persist.
"No,I'm coming whether you want me to or not,"James argues.
Carter brings his horse to a stop and turns to his brother.
"Go home now!Don't make me force you James,"Carter commands with a authoritarian tone in his voice.
"No god damn it.The only reason your in this is because of me.Now I'm going with you and that's all there is to it.You're all I got Carter.We're brothers for Christ sake,"James protest with tears in his eyes.
James was just as strong willed as him and Carter knew it.It was the way he had been raised by their father before he was murdered.Carter was nineteen when it happened and had to become the man of the house afterwards.A year later their mother took her own life leaving Carter to raise his nine year old brother all alone.So when James disobeyed him he was not a bit surprised.
"You're not going ta hug me are you?"Carter jokes trying to lighten the mood.
James begins to laugh and wipe the tears from his eyes.The two men ride west away from Wahachi and all their problems as the rain continues to pour down on them.
"You know for a second there I thought you were going to say you love me,"Carter pokes fun.
"Yea you ain't that lucky,"James laughs.
Dawn breaks as the sun comes up over the mauntians.Mary had not slept and feared the worst.This wasn't like Carter to stay out all night.The woman hears horses marching up to the cabin and jumps up happily to run outside.She opens the door only to find it was not Carter.Instead Mary saw sheriff John Walker of Wahachi with his deputy and three other men ride up to her.She recognizes one of the men immediately it was Martin Crowell.
"Morning Mary,"the sheriff greats her.
"Is Carter here?"he asks politely.
"No sir he didn't come home last night,"she answers.
"Well when he comes home tell him I need to have a word with him,"Walker informs her.
"I will.You mind telling me what this is all about?"Mary questions.
"We just need to talk to him is all.We'll let ya get back to your buisness.Sorry to have bothered you Mary,"the sheriff remarks.
Martin Crowell had heard enough.He did not come all this way to be friendly and grew tired of how the sheriff was handling things.Martin decides to interject and take matters into his own hands.
"Is that all you are going to do here sheriff?"Crowell snaps.
"What else would you like me to do,Martin?She says the mans not here,"Walker comments.
Crowell was furious.The old ornery mans nose begins to flare and his eyes were sharp as daggers.
"My boys laying in a bed paralyzed as we speak and you treat this as if it was some kind of joke!He will never walk again and the man that did it is running around free as a bird.I expect you to do your job sheriff Walker and if you can't then I will find someone that can!"Crowell roars at the top of his lungs.
Spurring his horse Martin and the other two men ride off angrily back to Wahachi.
"Good day Mary,"the sheriff says tipping his hat.
With that Walker and his deputy were on their way leaving Mary all by herself.She was devastated and held it together long enough for the men to fade out of view.Mary falls to her knees and begins to cry.
© Copyright 2017 rlmathews. All rights reserved.
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