Cody Jarrett finally let out a sigh of relief as the river crossing loomed into view. His horse was nearly dead, foaming from the mouth and blood streaming down her flanks from his spurs. Cody willed a few more steps out of the horse and jumped out of his saddle drawing his pearl handled Colt in the same motion. Two men were working this side of the station, a younger man and another older man with a beard. Cody shot the young one before he even spoke.
"Signal them to take us across or you're next."
He accentuated the point by drawing the hammer back on his gun. The old timer nodded, his eyes welling up with tears. Using his gun he motioned for the Johnson brothers to get on the barge. It was a large square raft big enough to carry 2 covered wagons. It had a single post in the center of it, through which ran a large rope that was suspended across the river. Each end was tethered to a large winch, which was wound or unwound depending on the direction the barge needed to travel. The river rushed and churned beneath the barge as Cody watched as Beau helped Buford onto the barge then when back to lead the three horse on, and their cargo. Cody dragged the old man along by the scruff of his neck and threw him onto the boat, thumbing back the hammer.
The old man slowly reached into his pocket, pulling out a small mirror, and flashed across the river. After a few moments the ropes when taunt and the barge began to move across the swelling waters. Cody allowed himself a small smile, knowing that freedom was mere moments away. He turned his gave to the Johnson brothers, Buford pale and sweating, knowing that his share of the loot was going to increase soon. He eyed Beau and allowed his smile to go even wider, his finger gently caressing the trigger of his Colt, still aimed at the old man. Soon.
As the barge pulled in Cody calmly walked to the end of the dock, eyeing the three people that were coming down to greet them, two burly workers and a slight girl in a simple brown dress. Cody smiled wide and raised his Colt before any of them could react. His gun thundered twice and both workers fell to the ground. The girl started screaming and after a quick step forward he brought the but of his pistol around across her face. Her lip split and she fell to the ground, sobbing. He hit her again on the back on the head and she fell silent. He wiped the blood from the gun and returned to the barge, thinking the girl may provide some fun in the next day or two, if she lived. Beau had his gun trained on the old man, whose face was red and stained with tears. Cody brought his gun up again.
"Beau, cut the rope so that the Marshall can't follow us. Then get three fresh horses out of the stable. It'll take him at least two days to get to the next possible crossing. I'll handle our captain here."
Cody's gun thundered one more time.
End of Line.