Gus cooked beans and bacon over the campfire and brought a plate over for Elizabeth.
“It ain’t much, ma’am,” he said apologetically, “but it’s all we’ve got. I sure do wish I
could make you some biscuits to go with that.”
“No thank you, I couldn’t possibly…” she stopped when she saw the crestfallen look on
the boy’s face. “Oh, well maybe just a little.” After a few bites, she looked up and smiled.
“This is really very good. How did you learn to cook so well?”
“Oh, my ma taught me. After my pa left, it was just me and her, so I learned to
everything around the farm.”
“Well, I better see if anyone else is hungry.” Gus went back to his campfire and ladled
some beans into tin cups for the others.
Elizabeth looked at her husband sadly and shook her head. “I don’t understand, John,
how that nice young boy can be an outlaw.”
“Well he is, Beth. He’s riding with Mason and Parrado and they’re two of the meanest
“You know them?”
“I’ve never seen them before, but I’ve heard about them. They’ve been causing trouble
on both sides of the border for years—cattle rustling and holdups mostly.”
Elizabeth shuddered. “It’s a cold night,” she said quickly, not wanting her husband to
know how frightened she was.
“Yes, it is,” he said, wrapping his coat around her.
Heyes and Curry sat apart from the others and weighed their options.
“What do you think about trying to make a run for it in the dark?” Curry asked.
“Mason’s men would hear the horses, we’d never make it.”
“Yeah, I don’t really like that idea either,” Curry mused.
“I think we should ride out with Mason. I can keep on his good side long enough to buy
us some time until we can get away,” Heyes suggested.
“What about siding with the soldiers and overpowering them here in the rocks? You
know that’s what they’re planning,” Curry said, glancing over at the three men huddled
not far away.
“Kid, I didn’t want to worry you, but I think I’ve run into him before.” Heyes admitted.
“Worry me? Oh, well that’s mighty thoughtful of you, ‘cause up ‘til now I wasn’t