Cavanaugh’s men rode hard and fast to the small town on the horizon. Their rage was palpable as they beat their foam slathered horses ever closer.
Once they crested the hill, a man seated on his horse stood starkly out against the horizon. Cavanaugh called a halt. As the rising dust plumed outward, the Major cantered over to his tracker, “what’s the news, Boone?”
“Most of the townsfolk have holed up in their homes or headed out of town,” he answered. “I think they can smell the trouble that’s been brewin’.”
The Major’s face twisted into an ugly mask, “What about that witch of a sister?”
Boone gulped and his horse shied back a step, “The nun is down there, sir. I’ve seen her with my own eyes.”
The tracker proffered the spyglass and Cavanaugh snatched it from his hands. While he scanned the streets of the town, Cole drank loudly from his canteen. Tuco lit up a cigar while Frank and Holt chewed on the jerky that they had salvaged from the villa. The other men waited on their commander.
“How many are down there?” asked the Major.
Boone sat quietly on his horse as he calculated in his head, “Besides the nun? Nine of them calico queens.”
Cavanaugh stiffened and leaned forward, “I see one of our China girls down there.”
“Well, there was fifteen of them, last we saw.” Boone started counting on his fingers, “I’d give a guess at twenty five, then.” He looked over what was left of the gang, “Only thirteen of us. We are sorely outnumbered, sir.”
The clap of the spyglass being closed snapped his men out of their reverie. Cavanaugh turned to face his posse, “How about it, boys? We got twenty five fillies down there and only one of them can shoot.”
Tuco growled, “That nun aint no woman. She’s a curse.”
“Best way to end a curse is to end it, hombre,” Cavanaugh shot back. “Let’s clip the horns on those painted cats! Hyaah!”
The Major shot forward and his men followed close behind. To some it seemed as if Sam Hill rode with them. To others, they were the devils and the desire for vengeance was thick.