Considine and Pete Runyon had once been friends, back in the days when both were cowhands. But when Runyon married the woman Considine loved, the two parted ways. Runyon settled down and became a sheriff. Considine took up robbing banks. Now Considine is planning a raid on the bank at Obaro, a plan that will pit him against Runyon . . . and lead to riches or suicide. The one thing he never counted on was meeting a strong, beautiful woman and her stubborn father, hell-bent on traveling alone through Apache territory to a new life. Suddenly Considine must choose between revenge and redemption—and either choice could be the last one he makes.
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December 31, 1961
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Excerpt from High Lonesome by Louis L'Amour
AFTER THE MOON lowered itself behind the serrated ridge of the Gunsight Hills, two riders walked their horses from the breaks along the river.
The night was still. Only the crickets made their small music, and down by the livery stable a bay horse stamped restlessly, lifting his head, ears pricked.
Another rider, a big man who sat easy in the saddle, rode up out of a draw and walked his horse along the alleyway leading to the town ' s main street. Only the blacksmith heard the walking horse.
His eyes opened, for he was a man who had known much of Indian fighting, and they remained open and aware during the slow seconds while the horse walked by. Casually, he wondered what rider would be on the street at that hour of the night, but sleep claimed him and the rider was forgotten.
This rider did not emerge upon the street, but drew rein in the deepest shadows beside the general store, hearing the approach of the two riders coming along the street.
There was no sign of Considine, but he expected none. Considine had a way of getting to where he wanted to be without being seen.
The two riders went by, turning at the last minute in a perfect column right to stop before the bank. Each dismounted at once, and each held a rifle. Only when they were in position did Dutch walk his mount across the street and swing down in the comparative shelter of the bank building.
As he dismounted he held one hand carefully about a fruit jar. It was a very small jar, but Dutch treated it with respect.
Considine opened the bank door from within as Dutch brought his jar around the corner.
' It ' s an old box . . . nothing to worry about. '
Dutch moved past him in the darkness, walking with the cat-footedness given to some very heavy men, and squatted before the big iron safe.