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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fragment - Backtrail

Me and Dodge was the ones that found Collier by the fence like he was. Could tell from the brokeneck buzzards that Collier tried to stay alive. I don’t know what to make of it – her leavin’ him alive, gut shot like she did.

Dodge was sayin’ he knew Collie from way back. Two of ‘em used to ride with the Captain and the little woman out East in the old cities, keepin’ peace in a couple of black and red carros they got from God-knows-where.

Dodge said him and the woman was close on account of bein’ alike: didn’t wanna talk much, both just lookin’ out West like they missed it.

Maybe she was doin’ him a kindness, given Collie half a chance to make it ‘til we come back. Dodge said more’n likely she knew bein’ gut shot was the worst way to go, and for a big sumbitch like Collie it’d be the longest road.

Captain Grant didn’t have nothin’ to say on this. He didn’t have nothin’ much to say ‘bout any of it when we come up the road to see the farm mostly burned up. He didn’t even pull out his rifle then, likely figurin’ that she’d have been long gone.

I seen a picture of her once and she looked just like the girl. Miranda.

Ruiz found the mutie tied up in the barn, some of her hair burned off, half babblin’ in Spanish makin’ little noises like a dog. Captain Grant didn’t say nothin’ when Ruiz said he was gonna leave the mutie tied up.

Captain Grant didn’t say much of nothin’ for a spell. Just dug the toe of his boot in the ash here and there like he was lookin’ for salvage. Ruiz kept runnin’ his mouth, like he was tryin’ to fill up the silence with somethin’. We all felt before we even saw the Captain break Ruiz’s nose. Like as not because to shut Ruiz up as to just have somethin’ to do with his hands.

Captain led a row of trucks to Jude’s place. Later, I asked Dodge how the Captain would know she’d gone through Jude, but the wiseass sumbitch just said simpatico and left it at that.

Jude was worse off than Collie if that’s possible. He was wearin’ the butcher’s apron he put on when he was sewin’ us up and that’s how we recognized it was him. Otherwise, he ain’t had no head to know him by. That young boy call himself Pierce was the one found the bloody bandages in the back part burned. At this, the Captain got more philosophical, and so his mood got blacker.

We all of us kept quiet when we found the savages Jude and the Captain paid to keep watch on the border. Two savages and only one spear left between ‘em. It could be war with the jefe what hired these boys out to Jude on account of getting’ ‘em back without one of them holy spears. More likely as not, there’d be some real oro changing hands to make this right.

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