Tag: mystic

Agents of the Vault – Part 8

Part 8 of Agents of the Vault.  Charlie, Grisom and Doris make their way to Yankton but their cargo, Leland, is not too happy about it.

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Agents of the Vault
Part 8
By Grant Baciocco

The horses trudged slowly up out of the valley, straining under the weight of the cart which hauled Grisom’s trunk, the trunk full of gold and three fully grown men: Grisom, Charlie and the bound Leland.  Doris loved running in the tall grass of the prairie and did so as the cart ambled along.  Charlie enjoyed watching her tumble and fall as they travelled and was glad to give her some time out of the saddle bag.

After watching her for a bit Charlie turned to Grisom, “You think she’s the last one?”

Grisom looked over at Doris as she sped ahead of the wagon, trying to outpace the horses.  “Not sure.” He replied.  “She’s certainly the only one that’s ever been on record of being in captivity.  And with the way their bodies supposedly disintegrate when they pass on, there’s been no record of them before excepting the very brief mentions in the Coalition’s record books and even those are sketchy.”

They rode along in silence for a few seconds.

“You know they are going to want to take a look at her when we get there.” Grisom said flatly.

Charlie nodded.  “They ain’t gonna keep her or anything.”

“No.  I don’t think they would.  And I don’t think Doris would let them.” Grisom added with a chuckle.

Charlie smiled.

Grisom continued, “They’ll want to study her a bit though.  She’s a one of a kind.  She’s the United State’s only native mystical creature.  No other creatures like her exist here.  The Coalition will want to learn as much as they can about her for the records.”

Charlie nodded and looked out at Doris who’d now climbed up the tug of one of the horse’s harnesses and was proudly riding upon it’s back, closing her eyes as the wind blew into her face, smoothing back the fur on her head.  The same horses she’d spooked the night before took her as a peaceful creature now.  This was one of her wonders, she could be bold and almost vicious like she had been last night or she can be sweet and peaceful as she was now.  Charlie settled back against the buck board and let the rolling of the cart lull him into a nap.

Charlie startled awake to the sound of voices.  His right hand went instinctively to his gun.  He came to his senses and realized that Grisom was talking to Leland who’d regained consciousness after being wholloped.  And Leland was none to happy at his predicament.

“You have no right.  You ain’t no lawman.  You ain’t got no power to apprehend me.” Leland was shouting from his prone position in the back of the cart where he lie between the two trunks.  Doris had left her perch on the horses and was now seated on the gold trunk looking down at Leland as he spoke, cocking her head like a dog does when they are trying to work something out they can’t quite grasp.

“Well, “ Grisom started and Charlie could tell by that ‘well’ that this conversation had been going on for quite some time before he’d woken up, “I tell ya Leland.  I may be no sort of official lawman as you say, but I can be quite sure that there’s a bank in Yankton that’s going to love to have a few words with you once we get there.  And It’s my thinkin’ that they may just have a reward to offer for making sure you arrive.”

“Be that as it may, you have no right to make me ride back here lyin’ down like an animal with this…creature or whatever it is strarin’ at me.”

Doris understood this and took the insult directly.  Her back arched and her teeth bared.  A small, strawberry sized ball of flame hovered between he two long incisors.  A low whistle escaped her throat.

Grisom laughed, “Now, you see you’ve insulted her Leland.  And if there’s one thing Doris can’t abide, it’s insults.  So if I were you, I’d apologize or things might get a touch bit hot back there.”

Leland looked over at Doris again and the fireball had grown to the size of a tangerine and hovered about two inches from her mouth.  The whistling got higher pitched.  Leland swallowed hard, “I…I’m sorry for insulting you.”

Doris didn’t look appeased.

Charlie looked back and laughed, “Don’t forget you manners Leland, Doris here is a proper lady.”

Leland shot Charlie a look that showed he hated to lower himself this much to an animal, but he turned back toward Doris and said, “I am powerful sorry if I have offended you…ma’am.”  He nodded his head a bit.

Doris immediately closed her mouth and smiled, the fireball disappearing into thin air.  Sitting pretty in the sun, proud to have been called ‘ma’am.’

The cart continued towards Yankton, with Doris keeping a watchful and weary eye on Leland as they ambled along.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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Agents of the Vault – Part 7

Part 7 of Agents of the Vault.  Charlie and Grisom meet up with the men who stole the trunk and Jane is not far behind.

If you want to subscribe to the Grantcast, you can do so with iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!  And let me know what you think of the story in the comments here, as we go along.

Also, if you prefer a PDF version of this part to read, CLICK HERE for that.

Finally, if you’d like to support my projects, visit www.patreon.com/saturdaymorningmedia


Agents of the Vault
Part 7
By Grant Baciocco

Jane ordered the train to stop when it reached the point that the ambush had occurred.  The conductor pointed out where it had happened, having received the coordinates from the railroad office.  Jane inspected the ground as the conductor nervously glanced at his watch.  She stood and looked over at Brenner.

“Get the horses.  We ride from here, following those tracks.” She barked.

Brenner nodded and with the other agents began to get the horses off the livestock car.

The Conductor wiped his brow with a red handkerchief.  “Be careful around here.  One of the bandits got bit really bad by a snake during the battle.”

Jane looked at him suspiciously.  “A snake?  In the middle of the night?  Hardly believable.”

“That’s what the train company wired back.  Said that during the fracas, one of the bandits got bit pretty bad by a snake.  Paralyzed him pretty good for about an hour.”

Jane raised an eyebrow at the conductor’s cluelessness, “Paralyzed?  For an hour?  What kind of snake just paralyzes you for an hour?  A rattler’s poison will kill you.”

The conductor thought for a moment.  “Come to think of it, the railroad company said it was a snake, but the bandit who’d been bit kept saying it weren’t a snake.  He was swearing up and down it was something else.  Some kind of creature he’d never seen before.”

Jane smiled and whispered.  “A prairie fire.”

“What’s that?” The conductor asked.

Jane ignored his question and looked over her shoulder at Brenner.  “Brenner, let’s go.  We can’t waste any more time.”  She turned back to the conductor.  She took another 100 dollar bank note from a pocket.  “You’ve been most helpful.  We’ll be getting off here.  You may proceed to Yankton.”

She handed the note to the conductor and turned to speed up the unloading of the horses.

Meanwhile, in the valley about 10 miles away from where Jane was, Grisom, Charlie and Doris had taken a good twenty minutes to hike around the side of the valley and come up to the edge.  Below them in a heavily wooded patch of forest they could see black smoke rising from the chimney of a small, log cabin.

“Damn.” Grisom said, spitting out a wad of chew.  “This is the absolute worst scenario.  They have cover from all sides.  They could have lookouts spread out anywhere.”

“How are we going to get down there without them seeing us?” Charlie asked.

“There ain’t no way.  So we’re gonna have to let them see us.”

“What?” Charlie questioned.

“Come on, we gotta go back to the horses.” Grisom was up and walking back down the hill.  “We’re going to get ourselves captured.”

Charlie scrambled to go after him.

Down at the cabin, Leland sat amongst a stack of gold bars.  He smiled as he spooned a piece of salt pork into his mouth and chewed noisily.  “This here is our retirement boys.  Look at all that gold.  Tomorrow we ride south to Mexico and then it’s just the highlife for the rest of our lives.”

The two men gathered in the cabin with Leland cheered and raised a cup each up in salute.  After a beat, one of the men raised a question, “What about Jimmy?”

Leland’s face turned dour.  He nodded and scratched his chin.  “Well, Jimmy is a real sad case I reckon.  No doubt he was caught and is probably near close to being put in a Yankton cell right about now.”

The men nodded silently.

Then Leland continued, “However, Jimmy knew the risks of the job then he took it.  In honor of Jimmy, we shall spend his share of the gold wisely in Mexico!”

The men cheered loudly and again raised their cups again.

Their reverie was suddenly interrupted by a loud pounding on the door.  The three men jumped and instinctively reached for their guns.

A voice boomed from outside, “Leland!  Leland get out here.”

Leland stood from his chair, hand on hip, “Iron Dog?  What are you doing back here.  You’re supposed to be on lookout.”

“I was on lookout.  Caught two men trying to sneak into camp.”

The three men in the cabin rushed to the door.  Leland threw it open and the three squinted in the sunlight as their eyes adjusted the sight that lie before them.  Iron Dog stood at the door with his rifle aimed at a spot about fifteen feet in front of the cabin.  There were Grisom and Charlie hands raised, in placid complacency.

Leleand smirked and stepped out of the cabin.  “What do we have here?  Where do you to think you were going?”

“We were going to see you.” Grisom replied.

Leleand was quiet for a second.  Then he smiled.  “You,” he said pointing to Grisom.  “You’re the fella from the train.”

Grisom nodded.  “That I am.  Name’s Grisom and I’ve come for my trunk.”

Leland let out a loud laugh.  “Ha!  You’ve come for your trunk have you.”  He looked in Charlie’s direction.  “This here your back up?”

Grisom didn’t say a word.  Charlie was sweating profusely.

Leland looked to the indian covering the two men.  “Iron Dog, you take their guns off of them?”

Iron Dog shook his head.  “No.  No guns.  They came unarmed.”

Leland looked back at Grisom.  “You walked into my camp, unarmed, with the goal of getting you trunk back.”

“That’s right.  And that’s what I aim to do.”

Leland let out another loud laugh, “Ha!  Well, you are either the bravest man who ever set foot in these parts or the dumbest fool that ever lived.”  He was quiet for a second then turned to the two men in the cabin’s doorway.  “Truett, Buck, go get that trunk and drag it out here.”

The two men looked at each other quizzically.  Leland looked back at them, “Now!”  The men fell over each other scrambling back into the cabin.  Leland looked back at Grisom, “We’re going to see what’s so important about this trunk of yours.”

A beat later the two men came shuffling out of the cabin, carrying the trunk in between them.  They strained under the weight of it and slowly maneuvered it to over in front of where Leland stood and set it down.  Once it was down they backed off.  All eyes were on the trunk.

Slowly Leland walked around the trunk, examining it as he did.  It was clear from the wear on the trunk it had see a lot of use.  The hardware was tarnished to the point that it was difficult to make out what type of metal was used in construction.  There were all manner of stains and dents covering the wood on all sides. Peppered on all sides of the trunk were strange symbols.  Leland, at first, took them to the letters, but upon closer examination they were odd symbols of objects he just couldn’t discern.  Not the type of writing that Indians usually used, but something else.  He got to the front and noticed the big heavy padlock on the front.  Standard issue, like most found on lock boxes from the bank, but this one was different in that it had no key hole.

“Truett, bring me the crowbar.” Leland said softly, looking at Grisom and holding out a hand.

Truett ducked into the cabin and returned seconds later with the crowbar, handing it to Leland.

Grisom cleared his throat. “Leland.  Mind if I call you Leland?”

Leland glared at Grisom.  He did not reply.

“Lealand, what’s inside that box is very old.  Very, very old.  It has no significant value to anyone other than sentimental.  Charlie and I were just bringing it to Yankton where it’ll be stored away and forgotten about.  The contents of the trunk include several bound books, some papers and a wooden lap desk.  There’s nothing else.”

Leland smirked, “If that’s all that’s in there, then you won’t mind me taking a look see.”

“Well, I wouldn’t except the trunk has certain…protections.”

Leland pointed with the crowbar. “Like this lock without a key hole?  The wood along the sides of this trunk look older than dirt.  Why I think that this crowbar will be able to wrench that lock off there in no time flat.”

“Well, you would think that but appearances can be deceiving.” Grisom replied.

“We shall see.” Leland said as he positioned the crowbar in the lock where the top of the bolt rested.

Grisom whispered to Charlie, “Close your eyes.  Then when it happens, we carry out the plan.”  Charlie nodded and closed his eyes tight..

“Hush.” Iron Dog barked, not able to hear what they had said, but he raised his rifle towards them.

Leland gave a glance back at Grisom and then with all his might he wrenched down on the crowbar.

Three things happened all at once.  The big thing was that there was sudden flash of bright blue light.  Even in the direct sunlight of the morning it caused everyone to cover their eyes.  The second thing was that as the flash engulfed them all, Leland was blown back from the trunk about 10 feet by some unseen force.  He landed hard on his back and the force at which he’d been thrown knocked the wind out of him.  The third thing was that this bright blue flash and the force that knocked Leland back didn’t create and ounce of noise.  In fact, the birds in the surrounding trees continued to sing as they had been seconds before.  This lack of noise was a good thing as at that moment, Charlie had let out a high whistle and from the tree near wear they stood, Doris dropped to the ground with the saddlebag around her neck.  She dropped it between Charlie and Grisom and they reached into the bag and grabbed their revolvers.

Before the bandits could focus their eyes again, Charlie and Grisom started firing.  Charlie took out Iron Dog first and then turned and shot at Truett.  Grisom had dropped Buck who had started to get up, the shot knocked him back to the ground.  Grison ran to where Leland lie on the ground gasping for air.  Grisom watched as Leland’s focus came back to him.  His eyes looked up into Grisom’s.  He tried to form a sentence but nothing came out.

Grisom crouched next to his head, “I do believe I warned you not to try and open that trunk.”

Leland gasped loudly for air, “What….what…what…?”

“None of you business.” Grisom replied and hit Leland on the head with the butt of his gun, knocking him out.  Grisom stood and looked over at Charlie who was just coming out of the cabin having made sure there was no one else inside.

“Clear.” Charlie nodded.  “You think there’s other members of the gang around?”

“Possibly,” Grisom nodded.  He scanned the ring of trees that surrounded the cabin.  “Let’s get the trunk into the wagon and get out of here.  Even if there ain’t more members of the gang, the shots’ll probably bring someone nosing around.”

Charlie looked back into the cabin, “What about the gold?”

“I reckon we should take it with us.  We’ll take that and this one here with us,” Grisom replied, indicating Leland, “and we’ll bring them both to Yankton.”

For the next few minutes Doris scurried around the cabin getting into the food and knocking things over, while Grisom and Charlie loaded the trunk, the gold and the bound Leland onto the back of the bandit’s wagon.  They also pillaged some water and a little food for the journey to Yankton that Grisom figured would take them three days to make.  About twenty minutes after the ruckus had begun, they were on the wagon on their way to Yanktown.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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Agents of the Vault – Part 4

Part 4 of Agents of the Vault.

If you want to subscribe to the Grantcast, you can do so with iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!  And let me know what you think of the story in the comments here, as we go along.

Also, if you prefer a PDF version of this part to read, CLICK HERE for that.

Finally, if you’d like to support my projects, visit www.patreon.com/saturdaymorningmedia

Agents of the Vault
Part 4
By Grant Baciocco

It was pitch black when the train came to a sudden, lurching stop, sending the occupants of the passenger cars tumbling forward.  Charlie instinctively grabbed the saddle bag as he woke, making sure it was secure.  He stood and looked at Grisom who was picking himself up off the ground.  “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know,” replied Grisom.  “Something’s wrong.  Train’s don’t make unscheduled stops in the middle of the night.  But get your gun ready.”

Charlie’s saddle bag shifted.  A whistle fluttered out.  Charlie’s hand quickly grabbed the side of the bag.  “Easy Doris.  Easy.”

Grisom looked towards the back of the car, “Let’s step outside and see what we can see.”  He then nodded towards the bag, “Keep her quiet.”

Charlie reached into the bag and stroked the soft fur of the creature that huddled inside of it as he followed Grisom down the train’s aisle towards the back of the car.  Passengers were busy standing, readjusting luggage and wondering what had happened.  They peered out of the windows and into the darkness as Grisom and Charlie passed them and chattered amongst themselves, throwing out possible theories for the train’s sudden stop.

Charlie and Grisom went out the door at the back of the car and Grisom motioned towards the ladder leading to the roof of the freight car behind the car they’d come out of.  They ascended and once on the roof, they crept along the top, keeping low so they couldn’t be seen by anyone of the ground.  They could see torches lighting the area around the door of the freight car on the left side of the train.  On their bellies now, they slid forward just enough to see over the edge of the roof.

Three men on horses with torches and bandanas around their faces waited near the freight car door.

Charlie whispered, “Are those Jane’s men?”

Grisom shrugged, indicating he didn’t know.  Just then, from one of the passenger cars further up the train, came some shouting.  Grisom and Charlie looked to their right and saw a fourth bandit on horseback forcing another man to walk towards the freight car.  As the two figures came closer, Charlie and Grisom could see it was Mr. Brandle.  His mouth was running non stop.

“—The truth!  There’s no gold on this train.” Brandle pleaded.

The man on horseback kicked him further along the side of the train.  “Be quiet and keep walking.  We know there is gold on this here train.  Our man in Yankton says so.  Also says that you, Mr. Brandle, have the only key that can release the trunk with the gold from the special slot on the train floor.”

Brandle was a bundle of stuttering now.  “Ab-ab-ab-surd!  Why the thought of it is outrageous.  I have told you that there is no gold, why are you so reluctant to not believe me.”  They were now standing at the door of the freight car.

In one quick motion, the man on the horse leaned down and knocked Brandle out cold with the butt of his revolver.  Brandle fell with a splat in the dirt next to the train.  “Jimmy, search this fat jasper for any keys he’s got on him.” The man on horseback barked.

Jimmy hopped down of his horse and turned Brandle over.  His pockets were rifled through and the bandit came out with a set of keys on a ring.  He held them up for the leader to see.

“Buck, help Jimmy get that door open and get in there.  It ain’t gonna be long before one of the passengers gets the fool notion to try and take us on.  We don’t need blood spilled tonight.  Let’s just get the gold and git.”

“RIght Leland,” one of the other men said as he hopped down from his horse to help Jimmy open the freight car doors.  The leader slipped his hand under his bandana and gave two short, sharp whistles.  As the whistles echoed in the darkness, Doris began shifting uneasily in the saddle bag to Charlie’s left.

Charlie reached a hand down into the bag and whispered, “Shhhhh.  Easy girl.”

Suddenly a creaking could be heard approaching the train in the darkness.  Charlie and Grison strained to see just what was going on.  Below them they felt the door of the freight car rumble open and heard Jimmy and Buck clanking about inside.  After a minute, a horse drawn cart entered the flickering ring of light the torches were casting on the prairie floor.

The man driving brought the cart around in a wide circle so that the bed of the cart was even with the floor of the freight cart.  As he did, Grisom and Charlie heard Buck and Jimmy straining as they lifted the gold chest across the freight car floor and into the back of the wagon.

Leland looked around.  “Okay, now let’s get to riding.  This has taken way too long.”

“Leland?” came Jimmy’s voice from inside the freight car.

“What is it Jimmy?  I said let’s get moving.”

“You gotta see this.”

Grisom shifted uneasily next to Charlie.  “The trunk.” He whispered softly.

“What the hell are you flapping on about?” said Leland as he brought his horse closer to the door of the freight car.

“This trunk.  Look at all the fancy markings on it.  Looks expensive.  Old, but expensive.”

Leland held his torch in through the door of the freight car and peered inside.  After regarding the trunk for a moment, he pulled his horse back.  “Bring it.  We’ll open it later.”

Charlie turned towards Grisom, “What do we do?”

“What can we do?  We can’t let them take the trunk.”  Grisom slid back from the edge of the car quietly, Charlie followed his lead.  Grisom had his guns out checking to see that they were loaded.  “Charlie, you slide off the other side of the car here and go at them from underneath.  I’ll distract them until you get down there.  We gotta be fast, if they take off we’ll lose them in the dark.”

“But, what should we—“

Grisom cut him off.  “No time.  Go!” Then Grisom stood up on top of the car and walked to the edge with his guns drawn. “All right, hold it!”

Charlie scrambled off the far side of the car as he heard the men shout in confusion at Grisom’s words.

Leland looked up at Grisom, “Listen old man, we don’t want any trouble.  We’re just going to take these things and be on our way.”

“You can take the gold.  Leave that other trunk.”

There was a moment of silence.

Leland looked at the trunk then back up at Grisom, “Well now, old timer, your protectiveness of the trunk makes me very curious as to what could be inside.”

“A writing desk.  Some papers.  I’ll open it and show it to you if you’d like.” Came Grisom’s reply.  Charlie was now under the train by one of the sets of wheels.  He was near Leland, but realized he didn’t have a clear shot unless he broke cover.  In the saddle bag, Doris was shifting nervously with the tension she felt in the air.

“Something tells me there’s more to what’s inside that trunk than just a writing desk and some papers.  So I think we’ll take it along with us.”

“I’d hate to see you do that, because then I’d have to kill you.”

Another moment of silence and then Leland and his men busted out laughing.

“Kill me?  You do realize you are seriously outgunned at the moment?”

“I may be.  Or I may not be.  I may have you surrounded.  You can’t be sure.”

Leland pulled the reigns of his horse back, starting the animal in walking backwards, while keeping a gun on Grisom.

“You can’t be sure that we don’t have this entire train surrounded.” Leland said, still slowly backing up.  He reached a hand under his bandana again and gave a long sharp whistle.

Suddenly from out in the darkness came the sound of a shotgun firing.  Grisom heard pellets hit the back of the train car behind him.  He fell flat to the floor.  Under the car, Charlie spun around to try to see where in the darkness the shot had come from.  As he did, his saddle bag shifted and Doris came tumbling out.

Doris was a small creature similar to a koala bear.  Gray, fuzzy, but with huge black eyes taking up the sides of her head.  She had a long prehensile tail that she curled around her like a ball as she tumbled from the bag.  She landed on all fours with her back arched like a cat, ready to attack.  He long incisors glistening in the torch light.  Her long claws digging into the wooden railroad tie she landed near.  A low whistle coming from her mouth.  Being so small none of the men noticed her.  Charlie realized she was out and was just about to whisper for her to return to the bag when the horse that was pulling the cart caught wind of her and reared back with a loud whinny.  Doris replied with a small puff of fire from her mouth that frightened the horse even more and made it bolt.  The man at the reigns of the cart, completely unawares of what had happened, held on for dear life as the cart sped off, full tilt, into the darkness.

Buck, who had been standing on the back of the cart when it began moving tumbled to the ground and landed next to Brandle’s, still unmoving, body.  The other bandits panicked in the commotion, and began to take off, firing wildly in the direction of Grisom and the train.

“Let’s go!  Follow the cart!” Leland barked as he turned his horse.  Buck had scrambled to get up and chased after the cart as it rumbled away.  He reached it just as it disappeared into the darkness and hauled himself up onto the flatbed back.

Jimmy, seeing his partner’s flight, scrambled out of the freight car and dashed for his horse.  Doris saw this and leapt forward, sinking her teeth into Jimmy’s calf.  Jimmy tumbled to the ground instantly paralyzed.

Charlie, scrambled out from under the train car, “Doris!  Bag!”

Doris looked towards Charlie, her teeth still firmly in Jimmy’s leg.

“Doris, bag NOW!” said Charlie sharply.

With a sad chirp, Doris released her bite hold Jimmy’s leg and scrambled off, across the dusty prairie floor, towards Charlie.  She gracefully climbed up Charlie’s leg and scurried into the saddlebag.  Charlie walked towards where Jimmy was lying down on the ground, still breathing.  His eyes were still able to move and he was awake, but he was completely paralyzed.  Charlie knelt next to him.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine in about an hour’s time.” Said Charlie to the, obviously, panicked Jimmy.  Charlie looked back toward the car and saw Grisom climbing down off of it and walking his way.  He also saw the conductor and others were now making their way to the scene of the action.  One person was helping Brandle up off the ground.

“She got out when the shots fired from behind us,” said Charlie, indicating the bag.  “Spooked their horse.”

“We’re going to have to go after them.  They have the trunk.”  Grisom replied, shaking his head, clearly frustrated.

The Conductor made his way up to them.  His lantern spilling light every which way.  “Is that one of them?” he asked.

Grisom nodded as he stood.

“He dead?” the conductor queried.

“No.” Grisom replied.  “Bit in the leg by a rattler.”

The conductor peered down at the fallen bandit.  He saw the puncture wounds in the leg.  “Looks too wide to be a rattler.”

“Well it was,” Grisom replied.  “I saw it slither off.”

“Hmmm.  Well you two best get back on the train.  Engineer wants to move out as soon as possible.”

“We aren’t going back.  Those men made off with our trunk and we aim to get it back.”  Grisom looked back at the train and the folks gathered around the freight car.  “We’ll take their horses.” Grisom said, indicating Buck and Jimmy’s steeds that were left behind after the skirmish.  He looked down at Jimmy, “Can you hold him on the train and turn him in at Yankton?”

The Conductor nodded.  “Not sure there’s a doctor on the train for his bite though.”

Grisom looked down and locked eyes with Jimmy.  “He’ll be fine.  I was able to get most of the poison out.  He’ll he right as rain in about an hour I imagine.”

The Conductor nodded again and whistled for two other train employees to come help him get Jimmy back to the train.  Grisom and Charlie walked to gather the horses.

“How we gonna know which way to go?  It’s pretty dark.” Charlie said.

“The wagon tracks should be pretty easy to follow.” Grisom replied.  “Hoping we can borrow a lantern from the train staff to light our way.”  Grisom stopped and turned to Charlie.  “We gotta get to them and get that trunk before they try to open it.”

Charlie nodded, “Or before they run into Jane.”

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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