by Xaneth

The second man in charge of the seven, now six, newcomers was not as stupid as he appeared. He was not as smart for that matter as William but he new something was not right, this was confirmed when he espied his associate consorting with the seven peacekeepers in the sheriff’s office.

John Crow gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to go and shoot the rat bastard in his cell, but knew the time was not right

John had informed his boss of the latest developments and as predicted had been told in no uncertain terms to execute all seven of the peacekeepers, the only problem was John didn’t believe that they stood a chance, even with William. The remaining men in the group, now under his command were reluctant to disobey the man who hired them and would probably do as he commanded irrespective of the possibility of death or being detained.

John himself, though he would never admit it, was scared of their boss. He was a formidable man with a lot of money and power to match, he like so many others wanted nothing more than to be the man who defeated the Magnificent Seven and if he couldn’t destroy them, merely killing them would also do.

Stupid psycho, John thought to himself, wondering how he always managed to get himself involved with crazies.

He returned to the boarding room where his men were waiting for him and made sure the door was secured behind him, the five other men looked at him expectantly. The new leader hesitated unsure of how to continue.

"Well, we’ve gone and lost Will to the other side," he told them flat out, and to his surprise they didn’t seem overly shocked. "And the boss wants us to go forward with plan B."

The smallest member in the room, Henry, raised his hand.

John sighed, "Henry."

When Henry stood and opened his mouth to speak all preconceived notions of his character based only on his appearance were banished, "I will only be part of this if you as our leader come up with a suitable plan to rid Four Corners of these seven men to the satisfaction of our present employer," he spoke in a flat tone using one breath for the entire sentence. Having said his piece he sat back down as his associates including John nodded in agreement.

"Well, I happen to have a plan and if any of you have anything better you better say it now," John told them as he sat on a chair, "We need to single ‘em out, get ‘em while their alone or at the most in pairs. And," he said with an evil grin, "We need to teach our good friend William it’s not nice betray your partners."

+ + + + + + +

The seven did not have any luck finding their quarry in the saloon, the bathhouses or the livery. The last place they looked was the boarding house, and although it was found empty it had sighs of being recently evacuated.

Chris took this as a sign that the Crows were lying low since William’s crossover, and wondered if the young man’s life may be in danger from his former associates. Not wanting to take any chances he set up watches for the evening and night for each of them to stand guard over Gibson.

"Who knows," he told his men when some of them grumbled, "We may just catch these slippery blonde cowboys red handed."

To be a good sport Chris took first watch. When he entered the jail Will Gibson was lying on his side facing the wall, apparently asleep. Larrabee wondered if it had occurred to him that his life might be endangered, to be able to sleep that way, he didn’t stir for the entire three-hour shift either.

Chris stood and stretched when Ezra came in at the start of the next shift with a tray of food from Inez for Gibson. Ezra did not look happy about doing his shift at the height of gambling activity at the saloon, thinking of what he would be missing out on but did not say as much in front of a tired and stiff Chris Larrabee.

Instead he set the food upon the table in the centre of the Sheriff’s office and looked curiously at the man in the cell.

"Mr Larrabee?" he started to ask the man in black.

"Yeah?" Chris was half way to the door but paused when Ezra called him.

"Has Mr Gibson slept this entire time?" the gambler asked with a frown.

"Yup," Chris replied not pretending for a minute he wasn’t confused by the man behaviour as well. He just shrugged at Ezra’s expression and left the jail heading for the saloon.

Standish went to the bars and peered at the man on the bunk, "Mr Gibson, I have your dinner here," he called loud enough to be able to wake him. The man did not move.

Ezra called him again this time louder but the Gibson slept on. The gambler was getting irritated by now and quickly snatched the keys to the cell off the hook, opening the outer cell door and coming closer still to the sleeping man, "William," he called harshly hoping to jar him out of sleep using his first name. When the sevens new ally still did not answer Ezra become suspicious, he made to unlock the door of his cell but found it was not locked, just closed. He frowned and went over to the bunk to looked closer at the man and realized with a start William’s chest was not rising and falling with breath. Quickly flipping the man over onto his back, Ezra realized why, there was a rather large knife sticking out the man’s chest and his shirt was soaked with blood.

"Jesus," the gambler breathed taking an involuntary step backward. There was no doubt Gibson was dead, but how it was possible eluded Standish. He quickly stood and made to turn back to the cell door but a hand on his shoulder and a sliver of cold steel against the back of his neck stopped him.

"Don’t turn unless you want to end up like that rat William," said a voice to close for comfort. Ezra obeyed, raising his arms away from his guns in a submissive manner to avoid riling the man.

A man came to stand in front of him but the knife against his neck did not move, indicating there was more than one man in the cell with him.

Or at least, more than one living man, Ezra thought wryly.

The gambler recognized John from his introduction in the bar when Ezra had played cards with a few of the men.

The second in command relieved Ezra of his guns, neglecting of course to find his derringer.

"It’s Standish right," John asked in mock interest then grinned, "Poor William," the Crow frowned at the body seeming confused about something, he continued, "but that was him really, never thinking things through. Bet he didn’t think of the consequences of going over to the other side."

Ezra struggled to keep a straight face as the man mispronounced consequences, "Oh yes," he said in agreement, "You really don’t seem the type to uphold honour amongst thieves."

John’s grin grew wider, "I ain’t a thief, gambling man. He, on the other hand," indicating the body of Will Gibson, "Was."

Was, Ezra repeated to himself, looking down at the corpse on the bunk, lying in a pool of congealing blood and wondered to himself if he would meet the same fate before long.

+ + + + + + +

Chris stretched for the second time since leaving the jail as he entered the saloon and wondered about putting an armchair in the office to replace the horribly uncomfortable wooden one that was already there. Briefly scanning the bar he spotted Buck at the bar trying desperately to make any sort of impact on Inez.

Larrabee grinned at his old friend antics and made his way over. Buck sighed when he got there as Inez walked off after yet another snub and turned to the man in black.

"Gibson behaving himself?" he asked.

Chris nodded, "Been sleepin’ for hours."

Buck raised an eyebrow, "Sleepin’, huh?" he laughed, "No sense of danger then."

Chris didn’t reply but gave the saloon another sweep with his eyes; he saw all of his men at one table toward the corner, save Ezra and Vin.

"Where’s Vin?" he asked Wilmington.

"Doing the rounds," the ladies man told him, "He couldn’t sit still."

"Really?" Chris couldn’t help think if the tracker was feeling restless, then they probably all should. He said as much to Buck who gave him an assenting look.

"What are you thinking?" he asked wanting to know what his friend was suggesting.

"I think we should find the Crows immediately and send someone to back up Ezra," Chris said as he made his way to the table the rest of the seven, with Buck in tow.

He arrived at about the same time Vin ambled through the bat wing doors, seeing them, the tracker headed in the same direction.

When Chris gave him a questioning look, he shook his head. No, he hadn’t found the Crows.

Larrabee turned to his men and addressed them, "I have a bad feeling about the Crows; they’ve found out what we were trying to do and are sure to retaliate. I think whatever they’ve decided to do they will try tonight," he said in a low voice so only the men at the table could hear. The five peacekeepers he was speaking to nodded in agreement, Chris continued, "I want them found tonight, all of them. They’ve run loose in our town for too long, doing as they please, mocking us," the man in black had a very distinctive look on his, one that told his men hen had had enough, "JD, I want you to go to the jail and help Ezra guard Mr Gibson, I don’t think these men will take kindly to betrayal. The rest of you will split up and search this town from top to bottom and inside out, until we find them. If we don’t find them, we’ll do it again."

Chris held the full attention of his men, "Are we clear?" he wanted to know.

Five heads nodded, as the six of the seven stood and made their way out the crowded bar, once outside JD headed for the Sheriff’s office and the rest split up and started sweeping the town for Crows.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra considered his options. He had been in worse fixes than this and was quite confident he would he would make his way out of this one too. There were only two men in the jail with him and Ezra still had his derringer, he would just wait until an opportune moment to put it to use on John, the obvious man in charge. He would then order his man with the knife to put it down.

Yes, Ezra had it all planned out that was until Mr Dunne entered the office putting new twist on circumstances.

"Ezra?" JD called as he came through the door looking around the office for him. He spotted the confrontation taking place in the cell just as the man with the knife turned and threw the said knife hard at the young sheriff. Being as young and nimble as he was JD managed to twist himself to the side as the knife sailed past imbedding itself in the door, he then drew his gun and shot the man who had just tried to kill him before he could react to his failure to do just that.

As JD dealt with the knife wielding man, Ezra activated his derringer and brought it up to John Crow’s throat. Unfortunately John was not worried about the fate of his associate and had hardly taken his attention off the gambler. He had had one of Standish’s Remingtons pressed to Ezra’s throat as well.

"Oh," Ezra said with a frown.

JD, who had his gun out already, automatically aimed it at John Crow.

"Uh, uh," John held up a finger on his free hand, "I wouldn’t."

Ezra’s eyes didn’t leave the Crow’s face, "I’m inclined to agree Mr Dunne," he said.

JD didn’t move, but kept his trained on John Crow. His facial expression was slightly nervous but more so ticked off.

John looked at him his expression slightly confused, wondering why he wasn’t intimidated by him.

The two held each other’s gaze for a beat, until Ezra cleared his throat.

"I’d much like it if this situation could come to some sort conclusion," he said.

John turned his attention back to the gambler as he spoke, "Maybe the young man should put down his gun?" he suggested.

Ezra raised an eyebrow, "Mr Dunne?"

"But, Ez-."

"Put it down Mr Dunne," Ezra told him steadily.

JD hesitated, then placed his gun on the desk and stepped back.

"And now you," John Crow ordered Ezra.

"And why would I do that?" Standish wanted to know.

"Because I’ll shoot you if you don’t."

Ezra appeared to think about it, "You see, Mr Crow, I have one guaranteed shot in my gun, but only one of the two guns you confiscated from me is loaded," he smiled charmingly, "Now which gun do you suppose you have?"

John’s eyes flickered over to the other gun on the bunk next to the body of Gibson; this was the only sign that the gamblers words had struck home.

JD relaxed slightly, trust Ezra to pull out an ace, but still kept alert. He had seen Gibson’s body despite not having reacted to it.

Ezra adjusted his grip on his derringer, reminded John of its presence at his throat.

"Consider your options Mr Crow," he advised.

John licked his lips, "How do you know I don’t have the loaded gun?"

"Because I know my own guns, and I know exactly which one you have."

John Crow might have acted audacious, but in truth he was a coward and did not want to die. He weighed up the odds and lowered the gun.

Having diffused the situation, JD and Ezra locked John Crow in one of the other cells and brought the bodies of Will Gibson and the dead Crow from the current one.

The undertaker was sent for and the bodies removed, JD frowned as this was done.

"I wonder who he was," he commented looking at Will’s body.

Ezra gave him a look, "Will Gibson, you remember?"

"No, that’s not what I mean," JD replied impatiently, "Where he came from, if he had any family, that kind of thing."

"What was his story," the gambler added.


JD turned to Ezra, "I’ll go back to the saloon and wait for the others, if you stay here and keep an eye on him," he said indicating the prisoner.

Ezra nodded his agreement and sat down at the desk as JD dashed out the door and ran down the boardwalk toward the saloon.

He was half way there when he just missed crashing into Buck coming out of an alleyway.

"Whoa, JD," Wilmington put his hands on the young sheriff’s shoulders to stop him toppling over, "Shouldn’t you be at the jail?"

"Was there, but one of the Crows killed Gibson and I killed another one and the other Crow is in jail now, Ezra’s there, so there are only four left to find."

Buck shook his head to clear it, "I think I understood that," he said mostly to himself.

"Shouldn’t we find Chris?" JD asked.

Buck nodded, "I’ll wait for Chris and the others here, you go back to the jail and wait for us there," he said as JD nodded in return and headed back the way he had come.

+ + + + + + +

Not long after all of the seven were once again all in the Sheriffs office, having been informed of the latest events in the Crow saga, they were awaiting their leaders decision.

Chris glared at the man behind the bars as he thought, then said, "I don’t suppose you want to tell us where we can find your friends?" he demanded of John.

John Crow merely grinned at the man in black then proceeded to spit on the floor.

Larrabee turned his attention back to his men.

"There may only be four left, but I have no doubt that they’ll still try to cause trouble," he told them, "They’ll still want their money and this just means their cut will be bigger. So he," jerking a thumb at the Crow in the cell, "Needn’t worry about any rescue attempts."

John Crow made a face but still didn’t pipe up about the whereabouts of his colleagues.

Surmising that they could very little that night, specially seeing as most of them where exhausted and hungry, they decided to call it a night and resume searching come morning. Again they didn’t bother to set up watches but this time it was because they simply did not care.


The four men currently being sought by the seven were not even in town, after the death of one and the capture of another of their comrades they opted for the safety of a nearby miners shack, abandoned the same as the nearby mine.

The four of them were leaderless and the plan that had been mapped out to them when they had joined up for the job had gone awry. It was supposed to have been a relatively simple job. The seven of them where told to do whatever it took to destroy the reputation of the famous seven protectors of the town of Four Corners.

When one of them asked why they needed seven men to do this, they were told never to underestimate the Magnificent Seven, as their boss referred to them as.

So they hadn’t, and they had taken every possible caution to ensure the success of their task but still these famed seven men had outwitted them.

It was, to say the least, embarrassing.

They had all changed their identity and their appearance, it had been William’s idea to pretend they where brothers and Catholics for that matter. But still, their plan had been foiled.

They themselves had only figured out they had been played themselves because of William and John. But they didn’t have either of them and so they didn’t have a leader. None of the remaining men had a clue what to do next but that did not stop them wanting their money.

The only other semi-intelligent man in the group had been Henry but Henry was currently at the undertakers and would not be leaving there any time soon.

So Charles, James, Richard and Harold Crow, better known as Charlie, Jimmy, Dick and Harry, came up with the best plan they could and implemented it as soon as they could, which was that very day.

+ + + + + + +

The first thing Chris did when he arose the next day was check up on John Crow. He found the man asleep on his back and snoring loudly.

Other than the ruckus, everything else seemed in order.

Chris left the Sheriff’s office and made his way back to the saloon, there he met Vin, Buck and JD eating breakfast. He sat down himself after ordering some coffee from Inez.

Buck looked up from his eggs and bacon, "How’s our guest?" he asked through a mouthful of food.

"Sleepin’," the man in black replied, "And snorin’," he added.

"Any sign of the other four?" Vin wanted to know.

Chris shook his head, "We need to find ‘em soon, before they can try and claim on their wages."

JD looked thoughtful, "We’ll need ‘em alive if we want to find out who sent ‘em, right?"

The three other men at the table nodded in agreement, "Easier said than done though," Vin added.

"Yep, four young and dumb cowboys looking to get rich by killing us, but not clever enough to come up with any sort of plan. They’ll probably just use what resources they have and end up killing themselves," Buck surmised as he pushed his breakfast plate. He gave Inez a charming smile when she came to collect it, which she did return if a little falsely. The ladies man sighed dramatically and JD hid his face in his bacon to keep from laughing.

+ + + + + + +

Nathan looked up sharply at the knock on his door. He was inventorying his supplies and was slightly irritated at being disturbed, but thought it could still be someone needing medical attention.

He may have been right, from a certain point of view. The healer opened the door of his clinic to greet the visitor only to be greeted himself by the barrel of a gun, a colt he took the time to register.

"Whoa," he said automatically sticking up his hands. He recognized the man holding the gun as one of the fugitives but which one he didn’t have a clue.

Another Crow stepped around the first one and gave a rotten smile, "We’re in need of your services, doctor."

+ + + + + + +

Ezra came down the stairs from his room later in the morning, not his usual late self but still pretty late. The town felt tense, as did the peacekeepers, and the gambler thought it wise not to incur the wrath of one Chris Larrabee by not being there to search for the four Crows still at large. Upon coming to the table where Buck, JD, Vin and Chris were sitting he found them finished with breakfast and drinking vast amounts of coffee. They appeared to be the only people beside the Inez in the saloon.

After ordering some coffee for himself, he joined them just in time to hear JD ask, "Then where do you suppose they are?" he sounded indignant as if one of his suggestions had been brushed aside.

"Are you enquiring where they were or where they currently are?" Ezra asked of the young sheriff as he sat and took a sip of his coffee.

JD frowned, "Both," he decided.

Chris grinned, "Well last night they were probably holed up somewhere, but left at day break. As for where they are now, I know just as much as you, kid."

This seemed to satisfy Dunne and he went back to his coffee. Chris made to stand.

"We should get to it if we want to find those four today," he said and the others followed his lead and stood as well.

Ezra looked around, "Where are Messrs Sanchez and Jackson?" he asked of the four men in front of him, each of them was about to shrug as one of the said men came through the door. Josiah surveyed the bar before coming to stand before Chris.

He nodded a greeting before asking, "Anyone seen brother Nathan?"

Instantly and simultaneously the six men in the bar became alert, "Where did you look for him?" Chris wanted to know.

Josiah thought about it, "Clinic, boarding house, bathhouse, telegraph office and here," he ticked them off on his fingers as he went.

Josiah realized how it sounded, "You don’t suppose…"

But before he could finish his question there was a crash of glass as something smashed through one of the saloon windows and landed on the floor not far from the six men.

They stared at it as it took them a moment to register what it was, a stick of dynamite. Eyes went wide as brains told their owners to panic and duty told them to dive at the stick and toss it back out the window, this made for a comical freeze frame of six staring men. And as they stared, Inez took the opportunity to scoop up the stick and pluck out the fuse, which spluttered out.

The six men barely had time to look sheepish before a shout from out side caught their attention.

"We have yer healer!"

That seemed to be all they were getting, Chris shared a look with his men.

Ezra turned to Inez, "You’d best vacate the premises out the back and make your way to the Clarion," he told her; she did so without argument.

"This is getting ridiculous," Larrabee seethed, "I want them out of my town now."

He went to the batwing doors, and called out, "So what?"

"So? So…uh…we’ll kill ‘im if ye don’t…erm…come out!" came the hesitant reply.

As one the six men shrugged, drew their guns and stepped out onto the boardwalk, before them stood the four remaining Crows with Nathan among them. He had a gun pressed against his throat, but still looked sheepish.

There was a tactical silence as the six men on the boardwalk surveyed the five men in the road. Chris noted most of the townsfolk had vanished at the sign of trouble, he also noted that of the four men holding Nathan hostage, only one had a gun.

This is going to easier than I thought, Chris reflected; as his men spread out along the boardwalk to ensure themselves cover when the shooting started.

Buck and Ezra were to his left, with JD.

Josiah and Vin took cover to his right, while Larrabee himself stood just where he was, mockingly.

"Well, looks like we got ourselves a genuine standoff," one of the Crows called out, trying his best to look cocky. The only one who could afford to look arrogant was the one with the gun.

Chris frowned suddenly wondering if he underestimated the four men in front of him, no one would be stupid enough to come to a gun fight with only one gun, even if they did have a hostage.

"What do you propose?" he asked them.

"If ya’ll put down yer guns, mebbe we’ll let the nigger go," the one making all the comments leered.

The seven, Nathan included, bristled at the impropriety.

Chris gave his men a look in turn; one by one they dropped their guns, then turned back to the group on the street.

"Now you," he said.

The man in front grinned, "Nah, don’t think I will."

The man holding Nathan pushed him forward roughly then raised his gun and made to shoot him in the back.

Chris yelled to Vin, found he needn’t have, Tanner had already scooped up his fallen gun, raised it, aimed and shot the man with the gun before his companions could react.

Jackson leapt up, drawing his gun at the same time and joined the seven on the boardwalk.

Only three Crows now remained, standing frozen around their fallen comrade, wondering how it had turned around so quickly.

Chris gave them a glare for good measure, "Is this finished?" he enquired.

Simultaneously the three men standing in the middle of the street raised their hands submissively. A less observant man might be excused for not seeing the stick of dynamite in the lead mans hand, it was lit and near the end of its tether.

The man holding it gave an atrociously rotten grin and threw it straight at the seven, then he and his two remaining companions scattered.

Time seemed to slow as seven pairs of eyes followed the path of the stick as it arced gracefully through the air.

They ducked as it sailed over their heads and over the batwing doors into the saloon.

"Not in my damn saloon!" Ezra exclaimed and went in after it before anyone could stop him.

"Ezra!" several exasperated voices shouted at once and went after him.

The only ones to keep his senses seemed to be JD and Vin, who jumped off the boardwalk and shot two of the retreating Crows in the thigh and knee respectively, this stopped them and the other one followed suit, being the coward he was.

At that same moment shouting came from inside the saloon. It went thus, "It’s stuck!"

"Stand on it!"

"Shoot it!"

"Don’t be daft!"

"Stick it in the water trough!"

"What a good idea."

The doors parted and five men rushed out cradling the spluttering stick like a baby. Buck leapt the rail, landed by the trough and stuck out his hands and Ezra, the main cradler, tossed it to him underhand.

The ladies man caught it, then fumbled it and then, much to the relief of the watching men, dunked it in the tepid water.

There was a representative splutter as the fuse was extinguished.

Chris shook his head at the antics and wondered, not for the first time since coming to four corners, how it was he and his men were still alive. He turned to JD and Vin, who had retrieved the complaining fugitives and brought them before their leader.

"Er, good work boys," he told them then started to laugh. It started slowly then gained momentum and soon all seven of them were laughing uproariously.

The three prisoners shared a look.

As soon as they had got themselves under control, the seven put their convicts in the jail, not even bothering to patch them up, and returned to the saloon.

After helping themselves to a shot of whiskey each, which they put on Bucks tab, they called Inez and told her it was safe to return, but only after they decided not to tell her about the dynamite.

Then they returned to the jail to interrogate their four prisoners, including John, "Gotta find out who sent ‘em," Chris told them on their way there

When they arrived however, they found the four men less than eager to cooperate. They kept shouting at each other not to tell and shouting at the seven that they would rather die than tell them anything. Actually it was James Crow who shouted this and when Chris heard it he grabbed the man by the shirtfront and pulled him close up to his face.

"I can arrange that," he pointed out giving the man a full on glare.

Jimmy hesitated before answering, "I don’ wanna die," he wailed.

"Well, you’re about to if you don’t tell me who the hell sent you!" Larrabee was close to yelling now as he lost his patience, the other six of the seven watched their leader at work with interest.

"Don’t tell him, Jimmy," one of the others, possibly Harold, shouted.

"Shut up," Buck told him in no uncertain terms.

Jimmy seemed to be having a personal safety dilemma, if not a moral one. The man who had hired him terrified the living daylights out of him and had made it very clear if they were ever to divulge his name he would make their certain death as painful as possible. On the other hand, he wasn’t here right now, who was here was an enraged Chris Larrabee and Jimmy Crow was starting to understand the rumours.

"‘E never used ‘is full name…" he stuttered, "Jist told us te call ‘im…"

"Jimmy!" John shouted.

"Al somethin’…um…Al Dayublow, I think."

Ezra stepped forward, a smirk on his face, "El Diablo?" he enquired.

Jimmy nodded vigorously, "You know ‘im?"

Ezra gave a snort, "In a manner of speaking," he laughed, "El Diablo is Spanish for the devil."

Chris raised an eyebrow at the man he was still holding, "Is that so?"

"I swear, that’s what ‘e told us te call ’im!"

"And none of you questioned it?" Buck asked from behind the bars, a disbelieving look on his face.

Jimmy Crow appeared to think about it, "Will was always sayin’ what a psycho ‘e was. ‘E also said the man thought ‘e was an idiot. Mebbe he knew," he surmised.

"I would bet a lot he did," Ezra commented then looked up sharply as a thought occurred to him, "Which one of your merry band you took his life from him?"

John shook his head, "Nah, we never killed ‘im," he told the gathered men from the other cell, "Must have been El Diablo."

"What?" Chris demanded, "He’s here?"

"Hell yes, cowboy," Jimmy laughed then slumped to the floor as Chris rendered him unconscious by banging his head against the bars.

"I warn people not to call me that, but do they listen? No," Chris said half to himself.

The man in black turned to the other two men, Richard and Charles; "Is that true?" he asked then fiercely, "Is your boss in town?"

"He wasn’t to begin with, but he came here yesterday after John wired him, to…um…die," Charlie stuttered.

Chris advanced, "So where is he?" he hissed.

"In the hotel at the end of the street, room 14, he should still be there if you hurry," the man rattled off in abject terror of Larrabee.

Slamming the door of the cell behind him Chris exited the jail at high speed, the other six peacekeepers in the office followed.

The seven were not overly surprised when they found room fourteen deserted but with sighs of a recent occupation and subsequent evacuation.

"Can we still track him?" Chris asked of Vin.

The tracker shook his head, "Been to long, ‘sides it’ll be dark soon."

The seven looked around realizing for the first time it was late afternoon. They had been questioning the three prisoners for hours.

Larrabee made a valiant attempt not to blow a gasket, "A dead end," he muttered.

"At least we stopped ‘em making trouble with the Indians," Vin said, "Cowboy," he added.

"Don’t make me lock you away," Chris threatened.

"And so it goes, for the Cowboys and the Indians, of the Wild, Wild West," Josiah quoted.

"Luther?" Ezra hazarded.

"Sanchez," the preacher replied with a smile.

"Oh," the gambler shot back, "I’ve heard of him, shame he never really made it big."

"Made it big where it matters."

"If you boys are done, we have a man trying to kill out there somewhere," Vin said in mock seriousness.

"Oh great, another enemy. I’m gonna have to start a scrapbook soon," JD commented wryly.

The seven exited the hotel and meandered back to the saloon, "We could always ask Yosemite if he had a horse," Nathan said, about the only one to keep his head this time.

"That sound far to much like work," Ezra drawled.

"As much as I hate to admit it, Ez is right," Vin said, "The man’s far gone by now, we’d just be wasting our time."

"Not to worry," Buck added, "He’ll come back. He’s sort always do."

"And we’ll always be here, waiting for scuz like him," Chris said, sounding very sure.

"You make it sounds very dreary, Mr Larabee."

"Well, Ez, on a whole I found that life generally is."

"There’s always the saloon, though," Buck said with a grin, "Full of pretty ladies," he added.

The other six groaned at Buck, then brightened up as Vin observed, "You’re the only one with room on your tab aren’t ya Buck?"

"Don’t even think about it,’ was the last thing to be heard as the seven entered the filling saloon and the sun set on the Wild West town of Four Corners.


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