Previous chapters and other rootin' tootin shootin' good stuff located in the roundup located here
Morgan Fogg struggled and the leather bit tighter. As the sun rose higher, the leather dried and got tighter. It stung his wrists in a slow torture, but nothing compared to assault on his ears from his angry cousin Hiamovi who was in a similar predicament.
<…ill rip you head off! You will beg for death! I will pull…>
“Oh, shut up!” Morgan snapped, his cousin wouldn’t understand the words, but he’d get the tone. “Could only wish the sun who rise higher and faster and just end, me so I wouldn’t have to listen to YOU! I was hoping you’d go hoarse or pass out, but you’ve been yelling and screaming for hours on end! This is just torture.”
Hiamovi went to speak again when there was a rustling in the bushes. Not the kind a human makes, but something large.
“You stupid jackass! By yelling like a kicked whore, you’ve attracted a bear or a cougar,” Morgan moaned. “So instead of being slowly torn apart by the sun, you’ve exchanged it for fast ripping apart by a beast!”
<What is it? Can you see it?>
<Now you want my help?” Morgan scoffingly replied as he tried not to struggle but the sounds of whatever was coming their way made him tense up. <I hear bears like loud boys, so keep yelling.> “Idiot!”
The foliage moved as it closed in on them. Morgan struggled against the leather, Hiamovi did the same and suddenly Morgan stopped, and gasped as the creature emerged from the bushes behind his cousin.
<Oh Great Spirit!> Morgan yelled. <Protect us!>
Hiamovi screamed and thrashed as the creature walked past him and over to Morgan, who broke into peals of laughter. It was his horse, the cantankerous grey mare.
“Where’ve you been?” Morgan asked as it snacked on tufts of grass near his feet. <You scream like a woman>
<I WILL KILL YOU!>
“Lord I hope so,” Morgan exclaimed. “Okay you. Yeah you you bag of bones. I know you can hear me. Remember I bought you a blanket? And I feed you. And you kicked that Chinaman in the head for me, remember?”
<I will kill you and your dumb animal!> Hiamovi spat.
<Have to get free first> Morgan said as he pursed his lips and whistled at his horse. “Gotta give you a name one of these days. Hey! You!”
The grey mare raised an eybrow mid chew as it looked at Morgan, almost sarcastically as the sun lifted higher into the sky.
5th March 1857, twelve miles outside of Bleach, Utah Territory
“Iz there a plan, or shall ve just ride to another member of your family?” Klaus Mannheim the large axe wielding Prussian asked as the Morgan Fogg gang left the town of Bleach in their dust.
“How was I to know my cousin was going to get himself killed?” Ellison Quimby replied as he scanned the horizon ahead. “It was a good plan.”
“It was an outhouse of a plan!” snapped Frank Waterman. “Should stick to the plan of holding up these little towns, telling them we’re Morgan Fogg, his price goes up, we capture him, get the re…”
“How we going to capture him?” Remus Supple asked.
Frank rubbed the back of his neck. “Well…”
“Seems you don’t have much of a plan now, do you?” Remus quipped.
“Shut your hole!” Waterman yelled back. “You’re lucky you’re even IN my gang.”
“Your gang?” Klaus said reining his horse to a stop. “Vas is das your gang?”
“We’re all in this,” Quimby said as he also stopped. “It’s a dumb name for a gang but it’s OUR gang.”
“And look where your leadership took us!” Waterman rounded his horse and parked up next to Ellison. “Middle of nowhere! And you, all you want to do is chop people in half! Zis is not goot, choppen choppen!”
“Ist that me?” Klaus was puzzled at the impression.
“Cool your spurs boys,” Remus said. “We are all in this together. We’s just need a better plan than what’s we got.”
“So, spill it,” Frank demanded angrily. “If you got one.”
“We head east towards Fort Dodge in Kansas. Along the way we hit a couple of them little camps and outposts, freshen horses and the like. Head back to where we KNOW Morgan Fogg tends to operate. Then we track him and kill him.”
Ellison nodded, Klaus clapped his hands together. “Zis is a gut plan. I like zis plan!”
Frank snarled and turned his horse. “After you, fearless leader.”
Slowly the grey mare wandered over towards Morgan. “Oh, come on you stubborn jackass, could you help?”
The mare continued to ignore and chew grass.
<Your animal is useless> Hiamovi laughed through the pain as the leather bit into his arms. The mare’s ear pricked up and it looked over at the incapacitated brave, whinnied, and turned to Morgan. It nuzzled him and then began to chew on the leather strap, her big teeth shearing through it quickly and Morgan was free. He collapsed on the ground, his body aching from the enforced stretch.
“When we hit town, I’m going to fill you full of sugar,” Morgan told the mare. “But first things first.”
Morgan pulled himself up and took his Jennings rifle out from the mare’s saddle holster. He checked it, cocked it and walked over to Hiamovi aiming. His cousin screamed and flinched as death approached.
<Not so…> Morgan didn’t have a native word for what he wanted to say. “Goddam talkative now are you?”
<Don’t kill me Red Bear!> Hiamovi screamed.
<Not a reason> Morgan replied as he lined up the shot. Hiamovi screamed and bucked like an animal only managing to tighten the leather. Morgan sighed and lowered his gun, then grabbed the muzzle and swung the rifle, smacking Hiamovi unconscious with a loud crack. Morgan freed his cousin, spat on him and mounted the mare. “Now let’s get the hell out of here. Yar!”
6th March 1857, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
Jeremiah Hatton looked at his blackout, a large burly Negro man named for what he did to people and the colour of his skin, as he placed a small bag of loot on the table. Hatton smiled. “Very good. Seems Leavenworth shall prove profitable for myself. Because if I ever lose at cards, one of you four, which these dullards merely think there is only two of you, shall retrieve any of my losses for me. Ha ha ha ha.”
To be continued