I eyed the night and,
grinned back at the smiling moon.
Just what’s so funny?
Warren stepped off the train and pushed his hat back on his head. Damn, it was hot here. When he’d gotten the telegram from Billy he jumped at the chance to fall back in with the old gang, but in the old days they’d pretty much stuck with Missouri and the surrounding states. It could get warm and humid there, Lord knows he’d complained about the weather enough but it was nothing like here in Yuma. He had never felt a heat like this except those times he had stoked his mama’s woodstove, as a boy.
He made his way under the awning and took a seat on the wooden bench in the shade and waited. Billy had said he would send someone to meet him.
The day wore on and the crowd on the platform dispersed. Warren had his Henry rifle in a leather case leaning on the wall next to him, the case was soft and shiny; from countless cleanings and oilings. A matched pair of six guns, with ‘mother o’ pearl’ handles was strapped to his hips, and saddlebags perched next to him on the bench. Warren sat still, studied the horizon and endured the heat. He sat for hours, just waiting. He dozed on an off but it was too hot to get any real sleep.
It was early evening when a young cowboy stepped onto the platform from around the side of the depot. Warren had heard him coming but stayed still and watched him. He wore chaps and a canvas duster, with a wide brimmed hat pulled low over his eyes. His hair was long and unkempt, tied at the back of his neck, he needed a shave. When he turned towards him, Warren spotted a black patch over his left eye. He spat a wad of tobacco towards the tracks.
“You Warren?” the young cowboy asked without coming any closer.
“Might be,” Warren replied, “Who’re you?”
“Name’s Angus. Billy sent me to meet somebody named Warren, take him back to camp. Would that be you?”
Warren stood up, satisfied that Angus was who he claimed to be. “Yep, that would be me. Did you bring a extra horse?”
Angus smiled, “I got you a horse, sir and I’m sorry I’m late.” He said but offered no explanation.
Warren picked up his rifle, and threw his saddlebags over his shoulder. “How far we goin’, Angus?”
“It’s ‘bout a five hour ride, we’re going south inta Mexico. I figger we got a couple hours of light left tonight. We can camp in the Tinajas. It’ll be a little cooler there. We can finish the ride in the mornin’. Billy’s anxious to see you again.”
Warren simply nodded and started walking in the direction from which Angus had come. The young cowboy fell in step and walked along with him.
“Billy’s told me about some of the things you two got up to in Missouri. He told us about that time when you was boxed in, just southeast of Independence. Did that shit really happen?”
Warren paused, “Billy told you about that, did he?”
Angus stopped and looked back at him, “Yes, sir. He did. He says no one’s better with a long gun than you.”
“Billy said that?” They started walking again. Neither one speaking.
Rounding the corner of the building Warren spotted a pair of horses. A Palomino, that was obviously Angus’ mount and a Bay that he assumed was for him. He grinned. He could tell that these were Billy’s horses. Billy’d always had an eye for a good horse. It was gonna be good to ride with Billy again. It was gonna be good.
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