So I’m riding back to Armadillo with Rufus Higbee tied up and hooked to my saddle so he doesn’t fall off.

I nabbed Rufus for the bounty on his head, and have been regretting trying to bring ‘im back alive ever since.  Well, regretting that I didn’t have anything to make a proper gag out of.  The guy just won’t shut up, and from where he was holed up, the Marshals’ office in Armadillo’s a long ride.

To make matters worse, the Walton Gang he’s a big part of just doesn’t want him spending time in any jail.  So, they’re hunting and hounding me pretty good.  For my part I’ve been making it tough on ’em.  Dragging the ass overland to avoid cross roads and pinch points, and hauling it down long roads to put distance and cover tracks.

Still, they got numbers and I have to kill them in trios occasionally.  The whole time Rufus is telling me what god awful things happened to the last guy that brought him in.

“Rufus, if you don’t shut that gaping sore under your nose,” I elbow him in the neck, “the last guy that brought you in is going to be the last guy that brought you in whole.  You’re worth an extra hundred dollars to me if’n you get to mouth off to the Marshals.  But soon as you use up a hundred dollars of my patience, all I’ll bring in is your scalp, a hand, and this monogrammed pistol of yours, which will be missing the round you shot at me, and the two bullets I’m gonna replace your eyes with.”

“You don’t scare me, Kid.”  He puffs from the rump of my horse, “even if you get up the guts to try, my boys will hunt you the rest of your short days.”

“That was dollar 95.”

‘Fore too long his boys are on us again, but we’re within sight of down, so I fire over my shoulder and spur it on.

“Finish him, boys!  Don’t let him get me to the Marshals!”

I empty one of the spare six guns and drop it.  Not trying or anything, though I did knock one of them down.  I ride up on the jail, and the other two decide to keep going.

“My boys’ll get me, my boys’ll get me, you’ll see!”

That’s when, pulling loud mouth down I see he’s got a few new holes in him, ones I didn’t put there.  “Rufus, seems your boys already got you.  Might want to think about that the rest of YOUR short days.”