Cody had met the odd mix of strangers a few hours after he'd had his fun at that old farm. He still had his saddle bags full of money and the sawed-off, but he had seen opportunity in the stage coach. A man as wanted as him would be sure to be recognized trying to sneak into Desperation, but amid these "upstanding" citizens he figured he might have a better chance, even if one of the bastards was clearly about to die.
He'd already forgotten the dandy with the shiny gun, he was no threat to anyone. That coward was never far from the stage and from the old man. Caleb may be an old cripple, but there was iron in the fossil still, but still Cody wasn't afraid of him either. That fat bastard, Bartley, driving the stage was even less of a threat. Hell the one inside the cab, the one about to die, posed the bigger threat than him. Jarrett knew there was no way that the diseased fucker would make it to town.
The only one that made him uneasy was the girl, the cripple's daughter, Eva. She was past 30, nearly an old maid, but damn if she didn't have curves. Those tight pants, the chaps, the strain of her breasts in the button down shirt. If he hadn't just quelled the fire in his loins a few hours ago Cody wasn't sure if he could resist her. Still, that iron strapped to her leg wasn't just for show and he didn't like the way she looked at him. Her hand never seemed far from that pistol, or even from the rifle on the side of her saddle. In the end though, no woman posed any kind of threat to Cody fucking Jarrett.
He was looking over the ridge, down into the valley, with the dim lights of Desperation in the distance. You could see the river flowing around the edge and emptying into the gulf, leading towards freedom for Jarrett, to Old Mexico. Still the town of Desperation lay at the edge of the edge of the valley and the surrounding farmland seemed over run with the monsters. From his perch on the ridge he could see the creatures, some of them mindlessly shuffling, other bent over the corpses of the dead. He looked to his side, at the dandy, Moore, peering down into the valley through his spyglass. he was about to ask for a look when he heard the old man cry out.
He saw Eva spur her horse back to the stage as he and Moore spun around. Cody checked the load in the sawed-off and hastened, wondering if the bitten man had turned. He beat Moore to the stage, who didn't seem to be in any hurry. Bartley, was still waddling off the drivers seat as he approached, though Eva was the first to arrive. She flung the stage door open, her rifle brought to bear. Caleb sat inside, the cripple cradling the poor bastards head.
"He.......he just shuddered once and let out a long slow breath. We're too late."
Eva lowered her rifle and climbed inside, holding her father in a sidelong hug. The old man seemed to age years before his eyes, suddenly seeming sadder and more pathetic with each passing moment. Cody curled his lip in anger and pulled out one of his Colts, his voice dripping with derision.
Eva's face shot up, her face a steely mask of disgust as Caleb looked on sadly. Neither of these pussies had the stones to do what needed to be done. Cody looked to the dead man, Rex, and saw where the man had been bit. The bandage was black with seepage and pus, and you could see the fleshy tones of his skin already turning a spoiled yellow. It would happen sooner or later, but it would happen.
Cody thumbed back the hammer and fired.