Chapter 28, Hill
…Carlton knelt beside a sprawled body. It was Jim Wainright. He’d been hit several times in the chest and stomach. Carlton closed Jim’s eyes and stood. Not a good way to go. Not that there is a good way to go, especially for a law man. It didn’t look like he had much of a chance to even defend himself. He got caught in the ambush, the same as he and the rest in the saloon he had just left. There were others scattered around the street also. He’d found Jed Thornton and Marshall Thurston across the street. They’d evidently come running up and got caught in the crossfire of what appeared to be Hill’s men. He heard boots behind him and spun raising his gun. Sheriff Morgan stood there with his deputy.
Morgan looked frightened. “What happened here?” he asked hoarsely,” There’re bodies all over the place!”
Carlton’s lip curled slightly, “The fine citizens of your fine city decided to take matters into their own hands and ambushed us. Look’s like you’re the sole legal authority in town right now, Sheriff.” Carlton continued, ignoring the badge on his own this chest. “Unless you can find Don Mathers. I haven’t found his body yet.” Pointing out the bodies in the street he continued., “Wainright, Thornton and Marshall, damn good men. Looks like Thornton and Marshall gave as good as they got. There are a number of other bodies over there, the ambushers. There are a bunch of bodies in and around the saloon too. Becareful if you go in there, I left my brother Kelvin and he is a bit jumpy right now, understandablely. I have to find the rest of my family, Sheriff. I’ll leave you to straighten this out.” Carlton turned and walked off down the street with his pistol in his hand, disappearing in the shadows. The Sheriff and Deputy stared dumbfounded at his back, watching him go.
…Luke looked at Donni, “Well?” he asked quietly, “Here’s your chance to kill him. His gunslinger’s gone.”
Donni wasn’t smiling, “You want Buck Trent?”
Luke grinned with very little humor, his teeth white in the night, “Sure do. You heard what he said about killing Carlton, Kelvin and the others. I figure we can at least even it and finish this up.”
The two Holts stepped through the Silver Dollar’s swinging doors and stood there, pistols drawn.
Ben Hill, Sr. raised his eyes as he heard the doors swing open. He froze. He saw two Holts standing there with badges pinned to their chests and death in their eyes. One had a large blood stain on his right shoulder. He was wearing a left handed tied down gun and a reversed holster on his right hip. The other was a right-hander and his left leg was bloodstained. Both had their guns pointed unwaveringly at the Hill’s and Trent. The bartender continued wiping a glass behind the bar.
Hill’s eyes narrowed focusing on the badges, “What do you want, lawmen?”
“Oh yeah, lawman,” Donni said has he reached up with his free hand and removed the badge , throwing it on the floor in front of him. “I’m here to kill you, old man,” he continued with a slight smile.
Trent shifted slightly and Luke shook his head, “Make another move ya little runt and I’ll splatter your chest all over the wall behind you,” his voice was flat and cold.
“So,” Hill blustered, “You’re just going to shoot us… in cold blood?”
Donni shrugged, “I could… just like you did my brothers and tried to do to us. But that would be too easy now, wouldn’t it?”
The bartender reached under the bar but Luke shifted his .45 and fired twice, driving him back into the glass behind the bar and breaking it. Blood gushed from the two gaping holes in his chest and he fell behind the bar. Luke quickly aimed his gun at Trent again.
“Stand up, Colonel,” Donni said and thumbed back his hammer. Ben Hill stood and stepped away from the table, his eyes never leaving Donni’s gun.
Ben Hill, Jr. suddenly grabbed at his gun and pushed away from the table. Donni fired once, moving his gun just a fraction. The boy screamed as a hole appeared in his forehead and blood and brain splattered the wall behind him. His gun fell from his hand and he pitched backwards. Trent looked horrified and sick but didn’t move. Donni cocked his gun and waited.
Ben Hill, Sr. took a step towards his boy’s body, “Benny?” he said.
Donni waited. He knew the man would draw now. Ben Hill turned back towards Donni.
“You…,” his face contorted with fury he clawed at his gun. Donni shot him through the shoulder, knocking him back over a table. He walked towards him.
Buck Trent jumped to his feet but Luke shook his head, “It ain’t your turn, runt.” Trent’s hand fell away from his gun as Luke stared at him.
“Not quite like shooting a man from behind is it?” Luke said softly.
Ben Hill rolled over and reached for his gun. Donni shot him in the stomach twice, then kicked his gun out of reach. “So ends your legacy. Now you take your time dying now, Colonel. I wouldn’t want it to be too quick. That’s for my brothers, you son-of-a-bitch. Don’t worry I will still put a bullet in your head after you pass out and before I leave.” He holstered his pistol and leaned against the wall, “Your turn, cousin Luke.”
Luke holstered his gun and waited. “Go ahead, Buck. Let’s see how fast you are. I’m giving you a chance.”
Trent began sweating and shook his head, “I ain’t a gunslinger like you… what kind of chance is that?”
Luke smiled, “About the same chance you gave us. Go for it.”
Trent suddenly grabbed at his pistol and frantically tried to get it out of his holster. Luke cleared his holster and cocked his gun. Trent froze, his gun half out. Luke pulled the trigger and Trent buckled, clutching his stomach. He fired twice more, hitting him in the chest.
Luke holstered his pistol and looked at Donni, “Should we get out of here before the fancy pants gunfighter comes back.”
“Probably won’ t matter since his boss is going to be dead soon.” Donni replied as a feeble moan escaped Ben Hill’s lips and he began to shake.
“How many times have I told you boys to watch your back?” Carlton said quietly from the doorway. Donni and Luke both spun drawing their guns. Carlton stood there with a scowl, his thumbs tucked in his gunbelt.
Donni slowly broke into a grin, “You ain’t dead!” he said happily.
Luke thumbed his hammer down and looked pissed, “You shouldn’t sneak up on us like that, Cousin Carlton. I could’of shot you!” Carlton just gave him a hard look.
Donni grabbed his brother and shook him, “You ain’t dead… well I’ll be damned!” Carlton winced slightly. “Hey you’ve been shot.”
“Don’t worry about that yet. What about the gunslinger I heard you mention?” Carlton asked.