Monday, March 2, 2009

Trouble in Needmore

The ride down from Foreign Gap was mostly silent. Elmo, leading the way, kept his eyes on the trail ahead, occasionally glancing to one side when a rabbit skittered through the brush. Emmitt was concentrating on keeping his pipe going, and finding it necessary from time to time to give it a whack against the saddle to loosen up the contents. Logan, trailing behind, was lost in thought. The boys knew that Elwood was somewhere in these mountains, but exactly where was something that escaped them for the moment. They hadn't seen Elwood since he bought that new horse that he called Harley. Harley was a fine piece of animal flesh. Logan smiled to himself when he remembered Elwood's reaction that time the boys had gone for three days without grub and Elmo had suggested eating Harley. Course, Elmo nearly died before they got all the buckshot removed, but it was still kind of funny.

When the boys came to the crest of Needmore mountain, they noticed right off that something didn't seem right. Not a soul was moving anywhere on the dusty street. The Needmore Saloon would normally have the sound of laughter and piano music spilling onto the street, but it was quiet as a church. Emmitt noticed that right off, because he once had a job playing piano in that saloon. The old dog, Lucky, that normally slept just outside the door to the general store was nowhere in sight. "This ain't right," Elmo whispered under his breath. "You think so?" replied Emmit sarcastically. That Welch tongue of his was gonna get him in trouble someday. In one motion, the boys dismounted and shouldered their rifles. "Let's just take a stroll down the street and see what's going on," said Logan. "Elmo, how about you going first?" Logan suggested politely.

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