Bustin' A Cap Part 1 - (Day 4- Early Afternoon)

OOC: Joint Post by Winters, and Sail.

The logging road twisted and snaked it’s way along. It clung precariously to the slopes and hillsides through which years of horse and wagon traffic had worn its mark. Carpeted in snow as it was, it offered a near-silent passage for the four sets of hoofbeats that even now trotted in the direction of town.

The riders came two by two. In the lead was the tall, blond-haired man who rode alongside a perpetually smiling woman of dark hair and complexion. They talked and laughed among themselves, cheer rising in the aftermath of a job well done and the anticipation of their coming night together in town. Behind them rode the henchmen, each quiet as his own thoughts focused on a payout…or a payback.

Aluns was grim-faced. The bloody scrap of bedsheet he’d used to bandage his ear made his countenance none the friendlier as he scowled at his partner in crime. “Don’t care whatcha say,” he growled. I’m stickin’ around til’ I get to take an ear offn’ her head.” Before him was the boy, Gill. Though he sat upright, his hands were tied behind his back. The cloth he’d used to bind up last night’s wolf inflicted wound was now drenched in crimson, and leaving a trail of little drops in the whiteness.

Gill turned his head once more, as his sister’s fate was discussed. Haddie was still tied up, hand and foot. She’d been slung over the saddle like a sack of potatoes. Gill couldn’t see her face, just the red boots, the crude field bandage he’d fashioned over her shotgun graze, and the tattered dress which disappeared into her new winter coat. Were they…was “she”….really gonna let this guy start cutting pieces off of his little sister?

“Shut up, Aluns,” the Fair Man said over his shoulder. “She gets to decide…and you’ll prob’ly get a few more coin for your trouble.”

The second henchman laughed. “S’right. Just think…an hour from now, you’ll be sittin’ in the Crosscut with a bottle and your pick of the hostesses.”

“Not after this. Tonight, I’m goin’ to Miss Pearl’s house.”

The Dark Woman turned her head. “Why? Why pay so much more for somethin’ you’re only gonna do for thirty seconds?” At this, the Fair Man and the second lackey burst into laughter. Dark Woman joined in, laughing merrily as the offended Aluns hurled rebukes upon them all. As they rounded a bend notched from the hillside, even the overhanging trees echoed the derisive guffaws.

“Hi!”

Their laughter faded at the sight of a smallish, Spanic woman on horseback. She also had a sawed-off “over and under” double-barrel trained upon them. “Whatcha doin’?” Marisol asked.

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