So I’m riding with C. A. Jones down by the Presidio.  He’s been laying low where he could blend in, while I’ve been trading favors with the Marshals, hunting various game, and generally figuring out new and interesting ways to kill Trece Anos.

When I heard A. J. was ready to surface again, I headed back down south to see what kind of trouble we could get into.  The Presidio can be a good place for that.

We set a few fires, then manned the guns and cannons on the walls of the fort against waves of Federales and Mexican Army troops.  With the bounties the Mexicans paying for our heads up over a thousand dollars apiece, that’s something like two billion pesos, we high tailed it across the river to the relative safety of New Austin.

The irony of escaping Mexican law by fleeing to Texas puts me in a reflecting and contemplating kind of mood, so I decide to show Jones something I ran across while hunting bear in Tall Trees.

“Hey, somethin’ I want to show you, and if we hurry we might get there by day break,” I call to him and we ride north toward the woods.

We’re in Tall Trees about 3AM and I catch the glint of a cougar’s eye.  As usual, whatever brand of Spanish A. J. was raised on translates “keep moving! Go! Go! Go!” as “hey, stop and look around.”

I see a cougar heading for Jones, and blast away at it.  He does the same for the one charging me, but the horses become a buffet for the three we didn’t see.  As we run, firing over our shoulders we stumble into bear territory.

A few hours of blasting our way through waves of the hyper-aggressive animals in Tall Trees, low on bullets, foot sore, and scratched all to hell, we get to the top of Nekoti Rock, just in time for the dark of twilight to start to break.  “Here we are.  Just in time, too. Here, stand on this outcrop.”

“Cool, are there some guys we’re going to snipe?” Jones asks excitedly.

“No, just stand up and look.”

“Is it bears?”

“No, just look”

“Is there a road?  Who are we shooting at?  Is there guys we’re going to kill?”

“No one.  Just look out that way.”

“What are we doing here, then?”

The sky lights up and the valley starts materialize from the sea of darkness into the warm bath of amber hues of dawn.  As high up as we are, we can see clear to Mexico, and across the desert plains to the pillars of rock jutting toward the heavens.  “We’re watching the sun rise.”

“That’s it?”

“Vision like this is why I came out west.”

A. J. looks at me blankly.

“Alright, let’s go see who needs their horses ‘borrowed’.”  And they call me the “Kill ‘Em All Kid.”