Tuco dismounted and tied up the stallion to the large statue of the brass bull which dominated the courtyard. A low chuckle escaped as he appraised it. Apparently the family that used to own the property prized themselves on the beef they raised. Never mind that the previous owners now only occupied the recently dug holes in the back acreage.
Tuco spit a wad of tobacco at the beast before he turned for the house.
He stepped in slowly through the front doors of the old Spanish villa. Some of the original opulence still hung in places but dirt had piled up in the corners. It still carried that abandoned feeling. Even though the Major had come to call it home as of late.
He heard Cavanaugh rummaging around and found him in the back study. He stood there with a fistful of papers while the blast streaked safe hung open.
Cavanaugh turned and eyed Tuco. He set the papers down on the partially burnt desk. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at the Dogie keeping an eye out?”
Tuco grabbed a tumbler and poured himself a shot of whiskey. “That’s why I’m here chief. There’s been trouble in town and I figured I’d be the one to tell you.”
“Have a drink, why don’t you,” grunted Cavanaugh. “Trouble eh? Those China shave tails been raising a fair fuss out here too.
Tuco muttered, “You still got ‘em here?”
“Takes the Doc a while to break a girl into a proper shake.” The Major poured himself a slug, “Anyway, I’ve been waiting on a better payout from Crawford at the miner’s camp. Their last three were given the rice bowl and candle.” With a wink he said, “He’s getting pretty desperate.”
Tuco’s laugh was a rough and ugly thing. He’d seen that trick before. Once a China girl was worn out, she was locked in a cage with a rice bowl and candle. They only had three options once that candle went out. They were expected to starve to death or take their own lives. Sometimes you had to do the work yourself and leave what’s left of them in a shallow grave.
“Well boss,” Tuco growled. “Some catholic sister’s been causing trouble in town. Wallace has gone missing. The train man is dead and so is Beekman.” He slammed the glass against the desk, “And so is my brother.”
Cavanaugh’s eyes perked at the word sister. “The nun alone?”
“Don’t know boss but I’m going to kill her. And I’m going to make it slow.”