Longarm #399 : Longarm and the Grand Canyon Murders (9781101554401)

Longarm #399 : Longarm and the Grand Canyon Murders (9781101554401) by Tabor Evans

Book: Longarm #399 : Longarm and the Grand Canyon Murders (9781101554401) by Tabor Evans Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tabor Evans
stop.”
    “You’re envyin’ a buzzard?” he asked in an awkward attempt at humor.
    “That’s
not
a buzzard…You just told me it was a condor.”
    Wallace chuckled. “Big buzzard is what it really is.”
    “Maybe so,” Carrie said as the rest stop for the night, with its adobe cabin, outbuildings, and corrals, finally came into view, “but it can do the thing that I’d most like to do now…just fly and fly and never stop until I was on the other side of the whole world.”
    John Wallace wondered just how much pain Miss Carrie Blue had suffered already. Probably more than he could even imagine or want to imagine.
    And then he got to thinking about Frankie Virden and how the son of a bitch was fixin’ to put him out of business or charge him a per-passenger rate of ten dollars.Ten dollars! Why, the fare he charged each way wasn’t a hell of a lot more than that.
    John Wallace shook his head with worry. He reckoned that maybe Miss Carrie Blue and he were
both
caught in Frankie Virden’s clutches.

Chapter 14
    Al Hunt watched the stagecoach through a pair of binoculars as it rolled into the little adobe stage stop to rest its passengers for the night. He watched the driver and stage line owner, John Wallace, help a pretty woman down, and for a moment he was sure it was the federal marshal’s wife, but then he realized that there was another woman stepping out of the coach along with the other passengers.
    So, Hunt thought, there were
two
young women on the stage, but the one that had been in the coach was the rich woman married to the United States marshal. She was the lady that he wanted to capture for his pleasure and for ransom.
    “Son of a bitch!” Hunt hissed a moment later as he stared in disbelief at the big marshal being helped out of the stagecoach. “Shit!”
    And not only was the federal marshal still alive, he was able to walk with some assistance from his wife.
    Al Hunt was lying spread-eagled in the dirt on a hillside, and now he laid his head down on his forearms andbeat the earth in anger and frustration with a bare fist. How in the world could the marshal still be alive! He’d shot the man and saw him bend forward as the buckskin mare raced away into the brush.
    Son of a bitch! The marshal was alive…no getting around the fact. But, and this was the good part, it was clear to see that he was in rough shape.
    Hunt lay still while thinking hard. What was he going to do now? He could ride away and just go back to Flagstaff with his horse and claim he had been given the livery by his late friend and cousin. But if he did that…wouldn’t it then be obvious that he must have been with Carl when the marshal was ambushed?
    Of course it would! When the big United States marshal returned to Flagstaff, he would immediately understand that he, Al Hunt, had been the other ambusher at the gap.
    Hunt’s mind went through all his alternatives, and he knew that he was in a desperate fix. After giving the matter some hard thought, he decided that the only thing he could do to save his ass and to grab possession of his late cousin’s profitable livery stable was to kill the marshal. Kill him somewhere out in this rough country, and this time make damn good and sure that the man never returned to Flagstaff.
    As the sun went down and night fell upon the high desert country, Hunt climbed to his feet, slapped the dirt off himself, and decided that he had one big advantage, and that was that the federal marshal had not seen his face and had no idea that he had been one of the two men involved in the ambush.
    “I’ll just circle around that stage stop and go on up to the Colorado River and Grand Canyon,” he decided out loud. “And when that stagecoach pulls in to FrankieVirden’s Rimrock Hotel, I’ll act like I’m just another tourist. And then I’ll pick my time and kill that marshal and have his rich widow all for myself just as poor old Carl and I had planned…Only Carl won’t be around to have his

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