Agents of the Vault – Part 17

Part 17 of The Agents of the Vault is here!  Now in Trinity, Grisom, Charlie and Doris try to come up with a plan to deal with Jane and the Pinkertons.  They also need to figure out what to do about Leland.

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Agents of the Vault
Part 17
By Grant Baciocco

The cart carrying Charlie, Grisom and Doris rumbled into the small settlement, down the road that had, at one time, hoped to the be the main thoroughfare of the bustling city of Trinity.  Weeds grew wildly in all directions and large tumbleweeds piled into the streets having come to rest on the side of the buildings.  The buildings were in various states of dilapidation.  The blue sky could be seen through the walls and the rooftops.  Grisom steered the horses towards the tallest of the buildings, the hotel.  “When we stop, Charlie, you help me get the Vault trunk up to the top floor of the hotel.”

“Right.”

“And me?” yelled Leland over the roar of the wagon, “What about me, dammit?”

“We’ll come back down for you.” Grisom spat.  “The desk is our main concern.  We will untie you and arm you, but we need to make sure the desk is safe.”

Leland continued to grumble his displeasure at playing second fiddle to the crate, but neither Grisom nor Charlie payed him any attention as they unstrapped the trunk with the desk in it from the back of the wagon.  Both men strained as they carried it up onto the rickety old porch of the hotel.  Grisom kicked the door open with his foot.  The dilapidated door, nearly coming off its hinges as it swung wide and slammed into the inside wall.  Grisom pulled the crate towards the staircase that looked even worse for wear than the door.

“Those stairs gonna hold us and this crate?” Charlie asked, trying to disguise the waver in his voice.

“Here’s hoping.” Grisom grunted as he mounted the first step.

The stairs were shaky, but, luckily, they held as Charlie and Grisom climbed them.  At the top of the stairs, Grisom made a left and then another left and headed for the hotel room that overlooked the street, or what there was of it.

“I want you up here kid,” Grisom said as they sat the trunk back up against the wall furthest away from the windows.  He was out of breath and took a second to catch it.  “With your aim, you’ll be better advantaged from up here.”

Charlie nodded.  “Where will you be?”

Grisom looked out the window pane, out across the prairie where five specks grow bigger and bigger by the minute.  He figured Jane to be 5 miles off or so.  “I’ll meet them in the street.”

“What?” Charlie said, “That’s suicide.  You know Jane will shoot you on the spot.”

“She won’t shoot me until she knows where the trunk is and it’s in her possession.” Grisom said, turning to Charlie.  “That’s why you are the last line of defense.

Charlie lowered his head and then looked across the room at Grisom, “And Leland.”

“I’ll arm him.  I’ll post him on the stairs.”

“You trust him?”

“What choice do we have?”

“And Doris?”

At the sound of her name, Doris popped a head up out of the saddle bag slung over Charlie’s shoulder.  She looked at Charlie, then Grisom, clearly understanding the gravity of the situation.

Grisom looked at her.  “Doris, if Jane takes the stairs, and gets into the room, you get out through the window, get to ground and burrow.  You do not surface until you don’t hear any sound for three days.  Understand.”

Doris was clearly troubled, but nodded her understanding.

Grisom smiled at her.  “You are more important than what’s in the trunk.  You cannot get captured by Jane.”

Doris whistled in agreement.

Grisom looked back up at Charlie.  “Look, kid, it’s going to be all right.  There’s only five of them.  You and I have faced steeper odds.  We can take them.”

“And if we can’t?” Charlie asked.

“We will.”  Grisom said, nodding his head.  He crossed the room to the trunk and, with his finger, began tracing symbols on the padlock that kept the trunk sealed.  “I’m also going to call for back up.  I just hope they make it here in time.”

The padlock on the trunk popped open and Grisom slid it off the latch.

“Go down and get Leland untied and bring him up here.” Grisom said as he popped the latch on the trunk.  Charlie nodded and headed downstairs.  Doris at his heels.

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

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