So I’m riding along, south of the border.  Having just lost 25 dollars to a Trece Anos going all in on a pair of jacks against a pair of queens, I’m riding a “borrowed” horse, and understandably grumpy about it.

Or rather I was riding, until a dozen or so bullets from a roaming thug cut down my properly borrowed horse. 

So I’m walking, long arm in hand, toward the Presido.  It’s a border fort on the Mexican side of the Rio Bravo.  It’s pretty empty most of the time, so it catches me off guard when I hear some gunshots on top of the hill above me.

I take cover against the slope and aim, looking for the shooter, but he’s up over the hill top.  I start working around to get an angle on him, when I hear him shout to his friends, “I’m over here shooting birds!” 

A fellow sportsman, so I relax.  Always a mistake.  I round the edge of the rock face, and a new hole opens in the brim of my hat.  I guess those birds were sitting on the ground.  A few more bullets miss as I dive behind cover.

I’m a hundred yards or so of wide open road from the good cover and fields of fire waiting in the fort.  No way to make that without a good distraction.  A good distraction later and I manage a sprint to the gate.  I get inside just as a flurry of bullets pock mark the wall.

Now the great thing about the Presidio is a dozen or so “crew serve” positions.  The one facing the bird shooter is a shiny gatling gun and a giant pile of ammunition.  I climb up to it just in time to see the Trece Anos pop his head out.

I give the handle a few cranks and a delightful stream of lead flies toward him.  It ain’t exactly a Springfield, so he manages to get behind something solid.  “He’s trying to kill me!” he screams over the din.

“Well, yeah, that’s what I do when some one shoots at me,” I say to myself.  “Or sits on a horse in front of me,” something vicious adds. 

Bird boy stands up to take a few more shots at me, and gets ripped apart properly for the effort.  Now I see he wasn’t just shouting to shout.  He has two friends coming over the other hill, outside the angle for the gatling.

Two against one’s odds I can’t say I like, so I jump off the tower and run over to another position.  This one doesn’t fire near as fast, but…


One exploding cannon ball leaves two greasy spots on the road, bits of fine red mist in the air, and me not exactly worried about return fire.

“The Kill ‘Em All Kid is trigger happy.”