Cody stared at the Johnson brothers, his ire growing by the second. Buford Johnson was dead, even he knew that, a belly wound of that nature was fatal. The delay had cost them time and there was no way that they were going to make Desperation before tomorrow afternoon. It was to dark to try to traverse these trails at night, to easy for one of the horses to break an ankle or throw a shoe. Instead, Cody Jarrett seethed, stuck in the middle of nowhere with the one person he couldn't kill, the one person who knew the name of the man who was going to sneak them out of the country, Beau Johnson.
"He ain't got much time left Cody, ....my brother ain't got much time left. I jus' wanna make him comfortable."
A belly wound was a helluva way to die, Jarrett should know, he'd killed plenty of men that way. Your stomach acids bled into your body, very painful. It would be more merciful to just shoot the poor bastard. Cody's hand danced over his Colt, fingertips itching to grab the pearl handled revolver, and splay both of these bastards brains over the rocks. But he needed that damn name. Getting this much money across the border with his face plastered over every wanted poster in the fucking county wasn't going to be easy. Beau had the name of a man who could sneak them across down the Colorado and into Old Mexico. At least until some of the heat wore off him for a little while at. Jarrett had made a lot of enemies in the last few years and with the US Marshall's office on his ass now, it seemed a good idea to lay low for awhile.
Still, even without that name, with this much money at his disposal and his reputation in a town like Desperation, maybe he didn't need the Johnson boys as much as he thought. Sometimes a smile and a bullet could make a greater payment than plain old American currency. Besides, why share this kind of bounty 3 ways when you could keep the whole fucking lump sum for yourself. Jarrett felt that familiar warmth in the pit of his stomach, that euphoria that built whenever he un-sheathed his pistol. Whenever he knew he was about to kill a man. Cody Jarrett smiled and eased the pistol free, hearing that welcoming click as he thumbed the hammer back. Slowly, ever so slowly, he squeezed the trigger, hearing the roar of the gun as he fired two rounds into Buford Johnson's chest. Beau jerked himself back, scrambling backwards like a crab.
"What the FUCK CODY!"
Cody cocked the pistol again and slowly moved it side to side, as if shaking his head no, when Beau went for his gun. He kept it trained on Beau as he lowered himself into a crouch in front of the perspiring Beau.
"Now Beau, I appreciate the love you had for your brother, but I'm afraid I have plumb run out of patience here. I aim to get to Desperation and out of this fucking territory and I aim to do it quick. Now I need you to give me the name of the contact or you'll be joining your brother a might bit faster than you figured."
Beau was flush with fear, though he steadied his voice before he replied.
"That name is the only thing keepin' me alive Jarrett, it's the only chip I got left in this stake. Why the fuck should I give you the one thing you need me for. You're the most wanted man in the territory. You NEED me Jarrett. If you think you can get out of this fucking place without me you are fucking crazy. I'm afraid you're just gonna hafta shoot me you crazy bastard."
"Fair enough Beau."
Cody thundered the last 4 shots in his gun into Beau, his body jerking as the hot lead burst through his chest. He picked himself up from the crouch and wandered back to the small fire they had set up. He calmly reloaded his pistols, ejecting the spent shells onto the dusty ground. Grabbing his canteen and some trail rations, he settled down, resting his head on his saddle to eat and grab a few hours sleep. He glanced at the Johnson Brothers and smiled, already feeling more confident in his choice. He tossed back a long pull of the canteen and started rolling a cigarette, it would be dawn soon enough and he had plenty of trail to cross.
End of Line.