It was hot. There was just no way to get around it. Even the sea breeze, what there was of it this far inland, wasn't helping cool things off. That breeze seemed to only be accomplishing one thing, raising more dust. And there was plenty of dust. But that was South Texas in July and August, and the folks down here were used to it. The residents would be glad of some rain, as long as a hurricane didn't come along with it. After all, they had just finished the rebuilding process after the last big blow. Three years wasn't too bad, considering they had all but been flattened. And, since most of the area had gotten hit, there was always the problem of getting the necessary supplies hauled in, not just because of the demand on those supplies, but on the freighters as well.
The freighters had their own problems, mostly from Mexican banditos. These outlaws were even starting to raid farther and farther North every week. Then there was always the hunt for water as most of the tanks and springs on the outer edges of the Wild Horse Desert had dried up in May. It goes without saying that if one of the King Ranch foremen took a dislike to a freighter; they might as well close up shop or move to a new area. The ranch was so big by then it was all but impossible to haul south without crossing a part of it, usually several times. And it also wasn't above some of the foremen to extract a "crossing fee", though most of the freighters doubted if King himself authorized it, or even knew about it for that matter.
The Texas Rangers weren't much help. They were still getting reorganized, and were already spread very thin. The Frontier Battalion led by Major John B. Jones was still cutting its eye teeth in dealing with the problems of the west, but the Special Forces under Captain Leander McNelly was a force to be reckoned with. There just weren't enough of them to go around with all the trouble across the state. That left self-protection the only real thing a freighter, and most others, could depend on if trouble came their way.
Morris "Buck" Grayson was one of those freighters who rarely depended on anyone or anything but himself. He had been that way even before the war, and that experience only served to harden him even more. Not that he was a man who looked for trouble, but he could handle about anything that came along. He just preferred a more peaceful and uninterrupted kind of lifestyle.
Buck had worked the King Ranch for a few months once back home in Texas, but tired of being on the same land day in and day out. And he hated goats; something the King Ranch had plenty of at the time. Nevertheless, he still had a good relationship with all of the foremen scattered across the King Ranch landscape, and, as a result, had managed to outwit and outmaneuver the banditos both coming and going by using some of the safest areas of the ranch when he sensed a problem of any kind.
When he drove into Los Olmos today, that all changed. The streets were quiet, too quiet to suit him. In fact, there wasn't a single soul in sight. He stopped the team and wagon at the edge of the little town, reached behind him into the grub box, slowly lifting out his gun belt and matching holsters filled with new pair of Colt .44-40 double action revolvers. Then, reaching under the seat after strapping on the pistols and tying the holsters down, he pulled up his trusty double-barreled ten gauge shotgun.
The new Colts replaced an old pair of Army Single Action's he'd carried since the War, and the shotgun was something he had recently traded a retiring stagecoach guard for, swapping a handmade bosal for it. He had made the trade and the purchase of the new Colts for a time just like this.
ALL PHOTOS, GRAPHICS, CLIPART AND LOGOS USED ON THIS SITE ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR SPECIFIC OWNERS AND ARE USED WITH FULL PERMISSION OF THOSE OWNERS. A NUMBER OF PHOTOS USED AS BACKGROUNDS AND CLIPART BELONG TO THE OWNER OF THE CHEROKEE PARKS SITE AND MAY NOT BE COPIED OR USED IN ANY WAY WITHOUT SPECIFIC WRITTEN PERMISSION. PLEASE CLICK THE EMAIL BUTTON ON THE HOME PAGE TO REQUEST PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF PHOTOS, GRAPHICS AND CLIPART DISPLAYED ON THIS SITE, OR GO TO THE LINKS PAGE FOR USAGE REQUESTS REGARDING LOGOS, CLIPART, PHOTOS AND GRAPHICS FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.
Copyright © 2011-2021