A Debt to Pay – An Excerpt
A western novel taken from
Yesterdays: A Collection of Short Stories
Excerpt from Chapter Two
The gunshot brought men running from nearby buildings, guns drawn. Ignoring them, Gilly kept the pony between him and the ranch hands, allowing Blue to follow him as he walked with Harvey, whom he assumed was the foreman, toward the house. They were almost there when the door suddenly opened and a young woman rolled out onto the verandah in a wheelchair with a shotgun on her lap.
“Stop right there Harvey!” she yelled, turning the wheelchair until the shotgun’s barrels faced the men. “Who the hell have you got there?”
“Don’t know Miss Jenny, he ain’t said.”
“Well ask him you fool!”
“Why don’t you ask him, Miss Jenny,” Gilly shouted taking a few steps forward.
“I told you to stop mister!” she warned, turning the gun toward him.
“Hell lady, if you’re going to shoot me, you’d better get on with it.”
A rifle shot whizzed through the air coming from the direction of the farm buildings. The bullet buzzed harmlessly over Gilly’s head. Unflinching, he continued walking, hissing a threat over his shoulder at the foreman.
“One more shot comes my way, Mr. Harvey, and you’ll become my target.”
Gilly’s threat held a cold harshness that left the foreman in no doubt that he meant it. He raised his arm to signal his men.
At the bottom step to the verandah, Gilly stopped and stared into the barrels of the girl’s shotgun.
“They were your men,” he stated quietly.
“Who were my men?”
“The three dead men laid across them ponies over yonder.”
“You’ve got some nerve fella, now what else are you going to tell me about them … that you shot them?”
“Something like that.”
“Well then, how are you planning to get outa here alive?”
“Same way I came in lady, but I ain’t leaving yet.”
“If I pull this trigger you won’t be leaving at all,” she threatened.
“Lady you ain’t no killer, if you were I’d already be dead!”
© 2010 J. Robert Whittle and Joyce Sandilands
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