Chapter 25, We’re in Trouble
“Drop’em or I’m gonna blow your damn heads off,” Donni said angrily. The one called Whitey fired blindly, fanning his gun. The flash of his gun momentarily blinded the Holts in the dark alley. Donni fired twice, frantically trying to blink the spots from in front of his eyes. Why did he even say anything? Should have just shot them. They were following them and whispering with guns drawn. Damn Carlton and all his talk about wearing a badge. Doing it the right way. He saw Whitey’s hat fly off as he pitched backwards. There was a roar as the man with the shotgun fired towards the alleyway. Donni heard Luke curse as he fired three quick shots toward the man. The man with the shotgun staggered and fell. “Whitey” was laying face up, still thrashing. Two down one to go. He would probably hightail it out of there before facing the two of them in the fading light. That should give them a couple of minutes to catch their breath before going to find him.
“You okay?” Donni asked, scanning the dark for signs of the third man. There was no movement out in the street at all.
“Bastard hit me in the leg!” Luke rasped.
Donni knelt beside him and vainly tried to see in the quickly deeming light and even darker shadows of the alley, “Can’t see a damn thing. Sorry. How does it feel?”
“It hurts,” Luke said sarcastically, “How the hell do you think it feels?”
Donni laughed wildly, his heart pounding from adrenaline, “You’ve been hit before… ease up. I’ll get you to a doctor. Can you stand on it? Can you move?”
“I oughta shoot you,” Luke gritted between clenched teeth, “Just once, I’d like to see you get winged. Yeah, I think I can get along fine. We need to get moving.” He sucked in a large lungful of air as he lifted and stepped back down on his leg. Everything was still moving fine but he could feel blood running down his leg into his boot.
Donni slapped him on the shoulder and grinned big, “You can make it. We still got that third man to worry about too.”
Luke wobbling a little on his feet, “Don’t worry about me, cousin. Let’s get the hell out of here.” As they ran/hobbled down the alley as fast as they could.
Both ducked down into the darkened shadows of the building as they heard a shot behind them and a voice yelling, “They got Whitey and Frank!” Donni heard wood splinter beside him as more shots rang out. He broke into a cold sweat. There was more than just one man after them. How many?
“Damnation,” Luke yelled and threw himself against Donni.
Donni saw a darker shadow step away from the building ahead and across the street from them, then saw a blinding flash and heard the shotgun blast just as Luke slammed into him…
Carlton opened his eyes wide as he faintly heard several quick shots then a shotgun blast. He felt a rush of cold fear. Donni and Luke were out there by themselves. He pulled his gun, catching the eyes of the others at the table as he stood, and then ran for the door. It sounded like Kelvin and Dan were right behind him. He ran outside and stopped down by the horses. There had been a bit of a pause from the gunfire just as he got out, he wanted to make sure which way to go and then the shooting started up again. Out of the corner of his eye he just caught movement in the heavy shadows by the horses and turned to look. A bearded grizzly looking man was leveling a sawed off shotgun at him. “Get down!” he yelled and threw himself down by the trough in front of the saloon.
The night exploded as a volley of shots rang out punctuated by deep shotgun blasts. Carlton groaned as he felt a burning pain lance his side. He rolled behind the watering trough and tried to see what was going on. On the balcony across the street and up on the roof above it he could see muzzle flashes. Wood splintered and water splashed on him as the trough was hit again and again. One of the horses was screaming, it was down in the street, thrashing. He rolled over and crawled as fast as he could under the boardwalk, trying to ignore the pain in his side. As he got a few feet under the boardwalk he ran into Kelvin.
Kelvin, his face white, gaped at Carlton, “What the hell’s going on?” he gasped. His breath was coming hard and fast.
“You been hit?” Carlton asked shortly. Kelvin shook his head. “What about the others?” Carlton spat out, “What happened to Dan and the rest? Did you see? How did you get down here?”
The gunfire was deafening. Carlton knew that they needed to move quick. Get to the alley and assess the situation. He had no idea how many where out there or where they were at. No time to wait for the answers from Kelvin. Plenty of time to figure out answers to his questions later. If there was a later.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Carlton pushed at his little brother, “move.” They crawled back towards the building under the boardwalk, trying to get as far from the street as possible and towards the alley. Carlton stopped as the wood above them begin to splinter.
“Bastards,” he hissed. He rolled up against the building and pulled Kelvin with him.
“What about snakes?” Kelvin yelled urgently. Carlton didn’t bother replying he just crawled faster down towards the far corner of the building. He tensed as the shooting stopped. Someone was yelling loudly.
“There’s a couple under the boardwalk… Joe, you and Bob get’em.”
Kelvin winced as the sounds of gunfire rang out rapidly from inside the saloon. “Tarnation, Carlton! We’re in trouble!”
Carlton looked over his shoulder quickly, “No shit! Shut up and follow me!”
He stopped as he saw boots step down in the street at the end of the walk. Without thinking he leveled his pistol and sighted on the boots. He fired twice and held his breath, steadying his gun. The man fell heavily and Carlton quickly sighted at his chest and fired twice more. The man rolled on his back and was still.
“Moron,” Carlton said with a feral grin. He crawled faster as the gunfire resumed and the wood began flying to pieces around them. “At least they catch on quick,” Carlton said dryly. He crawled around the corner of the building and Kelvin scrambled behind him. Luckily the boardwalk turned and went down the alley partway on this side of the saloon. Of course he remembered that and it was why he headed that way. Carlton looked at Kelvin, “You ready?”
Kelvin nodded and cocked his pistol, “Sure Carlton, what are we doing?”
Carlton shook his head, “Just follow me.” He rolled out from under the walkway and went into a crouch fanning his gun rapidly around, looking for targets. He ran, in a crouch, to the edge of the building. Kelvin was a split second behind him and slammed into him, panting. They crouched in the darkness and waited…