Mi Amor, Mi Corazon--Part V (story)

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He heard the sound of galloping hooves approaching him from behind. Turning, he saw her coming fast on her favorite steel-dust gelding, her long, dark hair blowing in the breeze like Zorro's cape. Pa pulled back on his reins.
"My love, where are you going?" she asked breathlessly, "And dontchew tell me yer hunting! Do ya figger thar iny deer 'round here? Ain't 'nuff grass out here septin' fer maybe a scrawny antelope or two," she said mockingly. Then, in the distance, she noticed the advancing dust cloud and shouted in alarm, "somethin's comin' our way!"
"Kain't tell if'n it be friend or foe, my heart, now you git on back to the children whilst I find out what it is," he commanded impatiently.
"Not on your life!" she argued, "who the heck do ya think I am? I'm yer woman! And whatever it is, and just like everything else in our life, we'll face it together.” She screwed herself deep into the saddle and as she forked her gelding, said “Let's go have us a look see."
They rode together, careful not to skyline their position by riding the crest of any bluff or hill. He saw them....his worst fears had been realized....the dust cloud was made by the barbaric, rowdy group of galloping henchmen that the drifters had told them about. It was easy for him to determine what kind of men these misfits were by the cut of their clothes and the way they set in the saddle. The murderous lot were following the winding trail left by the family's horses and wagon.
"My love, you stay hidden in these rocks," he commanded in a voice trying to disguise its concern, "I'm gonna try to turn them and git them to chase me down thet canyon thar." As he turned Ol' Dan he said, "When they start to follow me, you hightail it back to the children." He was off riding toward the oncoming desperados, shooting his gun into the air to get there attention.
The blood-hungry polecats saw him and turned there horses toward him...just as he had planned....he would lead them away from his family. He could hear and see the puffs made in the dust around him from their poorly-aimed bullets. He forked Ol' Dan and lit a shuck for the canyon, where he hoped to lead them on a wild goose chase through an endless maze of valleys, river basins, divides, passes and winding arroyos.
What was this! His beloved was riding after him. Why in the world was she taking this chance, he asked himself. He cranked back on Dan's reins causing the Morgan to lock his rear legs in a slide. After she had passed him on the galloping steel-dust, he followed closely behind her into the canyon. Looking wildly for a pass leading through the canyon, he soon realized there was no exit...it was a box canyon with steep, rocky unclimbable slopes...they were trapped...it was a dead-end.
He then noticed her body stiffen straight up in the saddle, then the spread of crimson on her back, and lastly, her slow fall out of the saddle to the ground. In a heart beat, he and Ol' Dan were at her side....bullets flying and ricocheting everywhere. Without hesitation, he shot Ol' Dan and pulled her to the shield made by the loyal horse's dead body. Holding her limb head in the strong crook of his arm she whispered hoarsely, "My love, you have a chance, take the steel-dust and ride....find a way back to our children....leave me here, save yourself."
"My heart, I will never leave you, save your strength," he replied as he hunkered down behind Ol' Dan's carcass and fired back at the approaching onslaught. He felt her feeble hand search for the crook in his arm....she needed to feel his strength and contentment one last time. He emptied both of his Sam Walker .44s that he carried. He now cuddled down close to his beloved and reloaded his horse pistols. As he pushed cartridges into the cylinders, he felt the warmth slowly drain from her body and then her hand fell from his arm and lay limp, motionless on the ground. "I haven't left you in 25 years, my love, and I ain't 'bout ta start now," he whispered softly.
The desperados ceased firing when they heard a howl resembling the blood-curdling and agonizing cry of a wounded animal. What happened next is hard to explain. Some might say it was suicide or cowardice, some may say, bravery or courage, others madness, and yet, some might call it sheer desperation. But 'keepers of the heart' could explain it...they would know the man had been ripped in two....he was alone, forsaken, deserted by his very soul.
With a loaded .44 in each hand, he stood up, straight and tall, to face the assassins. Without any sight through his water-filled eyes he fired, and fired again and again. As if by a miracle, a supernatural power must of aimed those pistols because each shot hit home, devastating the gang of killers. But not without a price, he himself was mortally wounded. When his guns were empty, his knees buckled, he fell over the body of his beloved, next to that of Ol' Dan.
As if on swift angel wings, her soul was spirited back to their small cabin. She lay restlessly alone on the feather-tick mattress, a wedding gift from long ago. Sleep would not come. She waited impatiently, fretting about her beloved husband who was out later than usual. She hated to be apart from him even for a minute, he felt the same way. They had a perfect love, one built on trust, faith, giving, and compassion....it grew with every new morning....they were one in body, mind and spirit....everyone could see that theirs was a match made in Heaven.
Finally, she heard the jingle of his spurs on the front porch....

-- Cabin Fever (cabinfever_mn@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002


There's more right? Cabin? Right?


-- Susan in Minnesota (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), February 07, 2002.

Cabin Fever, that was so beautiful and made me cry. I have wished for a love like that but I think it only happens in stories.

-- Karen Mauk (kansashobbit@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

argh... I asked for a warning. You didn't promise me one, but I thought I would get it. (eyes shut now) someone tell me when it's ok to look again.

-- Carole (carle@earthlink.net), February 07, 2002.

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