Author Topic: Hunting  (Read 29 times)

Offline RobMancebo

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Hunting
« on: May 16, 2020, 05:59:26 pm »

   "What the devil are you doing out here?" the soldier snarled down at Eli.  The miner didn't answer at first.  He'd been minding his own business and expected others to mind theirs.  The officer, however, was not of the same inclination.  He had forty armed men mounted behind him and must've had aspirations to make captain early. 
   Eli looked back to Elsie, his mule, the pack upon her back, the shovel and pick tied on.  The officer was not only rude, he must've been an idiot.  Instead of giving the man a straight answer, Eli spat and looked up at the mounted man and his followers belligerently before saying, "Huntin' buffalo." 
   "There haven't been any buffalo around these parts for years,"  the officer snapped. 
   "Well, I didn't say I found none," he replied with small smile.  "What are you doin'?" 
   "The Apache attacked the stage and I intend to make it hot for them!"  the soldier said grimly. 
   "You're-- chasing Apache?"  Eli said in surprise. 
   "We are.  I'll chase them all the way to Mexico if I have to!" 
   "Say, how long have you been in Arizona, Mister?" 
   "Lieutenant," the officer corrected.  "And I've been newly assigned to Fort Grant.  But I've been fighting Comanche in Texas for nigh six years." 
   "Well, Lieutenant," Eli said with a glance toward the small dust cloud in the distance.  "Apache ain't Comanche, an' that's a fact.  The first chance they get, them folks will turn about and cut loose on you." 
   "They wouldn't dare take on a heavily armed column." 
   "I didn't say they would take you on.  They learn't better than that at Apache pass in '62.  But they'll sure cut loose on you once they find a proper spot, and Mister, Apaches know all the spots." 
   "That's what I've been trying to tell you, Sir," a blue-clad first sergeant put in.  "They don't turn in ambush sometimes, they ALWAYS turn in ambush." 
   "That is enough, Sergeant,"  the officer cut him off.  "I will be the one to evaluate the threat."  He turned back to Eli and told him,  "As for you, you are lucky they missed you as they passed.  I suggest you continue your hunting further north.  Juh has jumped the reservation with every warrior he can muster and is headed for Old Mexico." 
   "Juh and every warrior he can muster,"  Eli replied, "and you're tailin' him with just forty men?" 
   "I have two more troops following, sweeping South.  We'll likely trap them between us.  Don't worry, we'll catch them."
   Eli looked to the concerned face of the top sergeant and back to the lieutenant before saying dryly,  "Well, I won't hold you up then." 
   The lieutenant gave him a nod and waved his troops forward .  As they reached their stride, he led them into a trott to try and close the gap on the fleeing Indians. 
   Eli watched them for a few minutes before he gave his Colt a familiar check and loosened his Winchester in its scabbard on Elsie. "Well, girl,"  he opined slowly to the mule,  "We'd best make ourselves scarce.  I expect we might still find some color around Tombstone.  The climate will be healthier too, 'cause there's a troop of soldiers who'll be dead or afoot in a few days.  Heaven help 'em if their fellows don't catch up to 'em before they're all shot to pieces." 

 

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