Clay Taggart ran a palm over his right shoulder and wished he
was able to understand the Apache. For all he knew they might be discussing how to
dispose of him. The pair by the spring hadn't stopped glaring at him from the moment
he'd seen them. He suspected that if he turned his back on them at the wrong time,
he'd end up with steel between his shoulders.
Clay glanced at the opening and debated whether to make a run for it.
Every moment spent with the Apaches was another moment he cheated death. And no
man's luck lasted forever. Grunting, he moved to the pool and splashed more water on
his aching shoulders and back. The chilling stares of the nearby Apaches added to
the goose flesh that broke out all over him.
Be patient, Clay told himself. he'd get his chance. Sooner or
later, he would escape, and if the Apaches tried to stop him, he's sell his life dearly.
"White Apache, listen!" Amarillo said.
"More horses come!"
Clay spun. Sure enough, hooves drummed farther down the arroyo.
"Against the wall!" he commanded, thumbing back the hammer on his
rifle. Each of them cocked his weapon, and they were ready when more shadows came to
a halt almost at their very feet and a rough voice bellowed, "Lookee! There's
"Forget the damn horse! Look down there! It's Lester
Inhaling, Clay leaped into the open, pivoting as he did, and shouted,
Three scalp hunters were above. Three men all of the same stripe.
Grimy, grungy killers who satisfied their lust for blood by slaying a people they
rated lower than human. In their estimation the only good Indian was a dead Indian,
and they had made scores of good Indians in their time. But their time ended then