Corporal Wallace’s spyglass rested against her eye as she spied on the broken down villa but the yard beyond the crumbling low wall remained still and empty. The route she had taken the wagons had been long and circuitous before she had abandoned them back a ridge or two.
The sound of a slight scuff sounded off to her right. Her eyes flicked in that direction but there was nothing to be seen but Mormon tea and a few scrub oak that clung to the dusty soil. The rustle of a branch caught her ears before she slowly reached for her pistol but the click of a hammer from behind her made her hesitate.
Dust plumed into the air from horses ridden hard as they came to a stop in front of where she lay. She counted three men when a couple more popped up out of the weeds. The tromp of boots behind her stopped her from reaching for her gun.
She spread eagled out in the dirt as the point of a barrel pressed into the back of her skull.
“My, my. You are a strapper aint you?” rang out a man’s voice tinged with a Spanish accent. “I didn’t expect to find you above the bend.”
Her gun was wrenched free from its holster and the clatter it made as it hit the dust put it a few feet away.
The butt of Tuco’s Paterson cracked into the back of her skull, “Can’t say I’m pleased.”
Her eyes fluttered open as the floorboard jounced underneath her. Rusty iron bars crisscrossed her view when a vaguely familiar face took up the sky.
Cole started when he saw Tuco wrap his hands around the sister’s throat inside the cage of the cat wagon. “Hey Tuco, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Pretty sure Cavanaugh’s gonna want her alive.”
With an unsatisfied grunt, the man’s hands left her neck. The rough road underneath the moving wagon jostled her once again.
As she caught herself, she barely heard the words as his fist crashed into her chin, “After the Major’s done with you; you’re mine sister. You’re mine.”