A Time Past
by Dave Watters
"C'mon Roy, let's see how far she goes before we decide what to do."
Randy smiled to himself feeling silly about talking to his horse. Long trips like this tended to make you want to break the silence though.
The smile faded quickly from his face. This fence went on for miles on end. He couldn't afford to take the time to go around; he had to be in
Carson City in two days. Going miles out of your way on horseback quickly turned two days into five.
He scanned the horizon looking for cattle and more importantly cattle ranchers. Tensions could rise along with trigger fingers when cattle got involved in things. If they thought he was a rustler rather than passing through they'd track him all the way to Carson.
Still, he had to get on his way and by this point he was just stalling. By the tree would be best. There was a small section with a cross board that he could jury rig so the rancher wouldn't lose any cattle. He took out his wire cutters and set to work.
About an hour later the work was done. He and Roy on the other side of the fence and two bits left by the pole for the ranch hand that would end up re-tensioning the wire. Randy paid his way.
The thought that the train might be safer on the way back whispered through his mind at the same time as the bullet.