Agents of the Vault – Part 16

Part 16 of The Agents of the Vault is here!  Grisom and Charlie are spotted by Jane and the Pinkertons and try to find cover.

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Agents of the Vault
Part 16
By Grant Baciocco

The next morning, before dawn, they were in the wagon again, now headed North towards Yankton.  Charlie and Grisom were up front, Doris in the saddlebag between Grisom and Charlie on the buckboard.  Leland, laid out flat, tied to the floor of the wagon.  They rode in silence, None of them speaking a word.  Charlie kept glancing over his left shoulder to scan the horizon behind them, knowing now that Jane would want more than the trunk made him doubly nervous to get to Yankton and The Vault.  He thought if they could make it there, at least there would me more Agents to help fend off Jane and the Pinkertons.

Charlie’s heart sank when he saw four specs appear on the horizon behind them, a cloud of dust being kicked up in their wake.  “Grisom.” he said, turning and touching Grisom’s shoulder.  Grisom looked at Charlie and then in the direction of Charlie’s nod.

“Well,” Grisom said, flicking the reigns, spurring the horses on faster. “It was fun while it lasted.”

“What are we going to do?” Charlie asked.

“I don’t know,” said Grisom, looking at the prairie ahead of them.  They were just coming over the top of a small butte when, as if answer to a silent prayer, a small grouping of five buildings appeared ahead of them.  “There.” Grissom said.  “We’ll take them on there.”  Grissom flicked the reigns once more on the horses and steered them in the direction of the buildings.

The horses thundered ahead of them, but Grisom could tell that they were getting weaker.

“Hey Grisom.” Leland yelled form the back of the wagon.  “You mind telling me what the plan is?  You just going to leave me all tied up here and let your Pinkerton girlfriend have her way with me?”

“No.” Grissom replied, “Though I’m sure you’d like that.  Let us get cover and then I’ll decide what to do with you.

The wagon rumbled towards the buildings.  Charlie held tight to the saddlebag and Doris with one hand, and the side of the buckboard with the other.  This wagon was not made for this kind of speed and if the trunk bound for The Vault, the trunk with the gold and Leland hadn’t been strapped down, all three would have been thrown clear.

They past a wooden sign with faded letters that spelled out the word Trinity on it.  As they neared the buildings, it was obvious this settlement had been deserted for quite sometime.  In fact, Trinity, had been deserted for close to thirty years.  A well to do Minnesotan had attempted to build a town here in the hopes that the railroad would come through it and turn it into a metropolis.  In return, the Minnesotan, owning the land, would become even richer than he had been.  The railroad had made a left instead of a right and the hopeful town of Trinity with a city hall, goods store, saloon, hotel and livery had been left to bake in the prairie sun and rot in the prairie winters.

Grisom kept the horses on at a breakneck pace, ignoring the danger of prairie dog holes as the horses raced forward.

“What are we going to do Grisom?” Charlie asked above the rumbling of the wagon and thundering of hooves.

“We’ll figure it out when we get there.” Grissom growled back.

As the cart rumbled towards Trinity, ten miles behind them, Jane led Brenner and the three other Pinkertons, galloping across the prairie.  She was pretty sure the speck she saw dip below the horizon had to have been Grisom and the trunk.  She glanced back at the men following her, lagging behind.  Gilmore trailing at the back of the group, wrestling with the prairie fire they had taken from the indians.  They had bound it with leather straps, lashed it’s snout shut and put a deer skin hide over it’s head, but Gilmore was worried that the creature might wriggle free and be able to breath its fire again.  Or at the very least, bite him.  To Jane, the capture of the prairie fire made the chase for Grisom and Charlie even more urgent.  If they could secure the trunk, they could also secure Doris.  Bringing both the Trunk and Doris home to her employers would, no doubt, double her pay.  And, of course, killing Grisom on top of all that would make her day.

Brenner spurred his horse and pulled up alongside Jane.  Brenner could barely hold his horse at a speed to match hers.  “What’s the plan when we catch up to them?” he shouted over the horse’s running.

“We kill them all.” Jane spat back.  “No damage must come to the trunk and the prairie fire must be taken alive.”

“Right.” Brenner nodded just as his horse lost pace with Jane’s and he began to trail behind her.

Jane lowered herself in the saddle and spurred he horse on faster.  “Grisom.” She whispered.  “Your time is up.”

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com

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