Freedom Trail

Claimer: Everything belongs to me, except for historical names and such obviously. :) Note: Any issues you find in speech is simply dialect.

Chapter 1: Fast Ponies

John McCoy sat idly. The large silver dappled horse stamped it's feet impatiently, bobbing it's large roman head. The herd of horses and cows stormed past. His eyes stared off to the horizon as the sun sunk deeper into the sky. The land was washed in a pink glow as the last of the daylight began to disappear.

He sighed heavily and muttered gruffly, "C'mon Buck, the crew'll have no clue where they're headed without us."

The grey horse snorted in what John believed to be an agreement. He smiled slightly, his skin delving into the long worn-in creases littering his tanned face. He cantered along gently, the reins in one hand, the other resting on his upper thigh.

A long legged sorrel approached him. Jack Haden was the man's name. He was thirty years younger than himself. The boy was orphaned in a bad gun fight. John-naturally, the charming, kind man decided to adopt the boy into his care. Now, fifteen years later, Jack was nearing 27 years old and was quite the horsemen. He was a gruff young man. He had to be, from what he had gone through as a kid and the nine years they had been separated. Through it all, Jack became a smart, aware, keen, the best shot John had ever seen, and frustratingly stubborn adult.

The deep voice of the younger man sounded out, "Found a little cove for the herd to stay in.-"

"-Good ambush site-" John cut in calmly as he pulled tobacco from his pocket.

Jack cut him off readily in return, "-and our camp is about 100 yards from it in a hole in the thicket."

John smiled at the younger man. Jack grunted, "What you grinning about?"

The older man only shrugged as they approached the cove Jack had spoken of. John lowered himself slowly from his horse. His knees creaked a bit as he hit the ground. He shook his legs out a bit. John McCoy was a household name across Texas due to his reformations of several Sheriff departments. Brutal reformations in exaction. He was never a law enforcer. Never had he been in the Military. He was simply a horseman, a horseman that had had enough of sideways authorities. He was a kind, generous man, but was unforgiving towards injustice and corruption.

The loud, almost completely unintelligible gutterings of Tom Johannes ripped through the quiet and peaceful air. John grinned to himself. Tom was an ex-Texas Ranger, and one of the best ones at that. He was unforgiving. Never took criminals in alive, he always got his job done, Tom simply did not know how to fail. Tom and John had been partners forever. John had the ears on the inside and Tom had the know-how.

Tom stomped into the campsite. He dropped onto a log heavily. Nearly immediately pulling his flask from his pocket. His mutterings had halted as he swigged deeply. John folded his hands across his chest as Tom spoke suddenly. "Wha's the plan?"

John sighed. "We're going to Montana."

"Then what?"

"From what I understand, Montana is rural nearly completely, which means more wild horses. We can stop stealing from Mexico's herds-"

"-and start stealin' from Canada?"

John laughed, "Maybe. Montana is going to be the future for settlements besides Kansas. Kansas is flat though. Nothing there. Montana is much more suitable to our needs."

Tom spoke once more, his voice taking a turn for the depressing, "There aren't gonna be any whores."

George and Harmon laughed in unison. They were the twins of the outfit. Nearly exact in all that they did and said. George signed up for the trip in the beginning just for the ride and money, his brother soon followed. According to George, Harmon lost his wife and kids to bandits, and in attempt to get away from it, he signed on. They plopped down beside each other. The fire was beginning perk up as the sky continued to darken. The whinnies and incessant "mooing" continued on more softly.

Line Break

Jack wiped his boots on the doorstep, he noticed a peculiar sight outside the saloon. There standing was an Indian pony. 14 hands, medicine hat paint stallion. Definitely an Indian pony. Indians never came near towns though, he didn't dare believe anyone got lucky enough to steal one either. He turned back and entered the building. Saloon's were a familiar place to him. They smelled of men, alcohol, cowboys, and horses. Only this time, it was not so familiar. Sure, it smelled of all the former, but a new smell took a hold of him. It was then he noticed a woman dressed in pants, a shirt, and a cowboy hat sitting down at the bar.

He watched her carefully, she had a holster on, with a gun in it. Normally, that's where guns went, but holsters and guns and women never mixed. Ever. Neither did pants or shirts unless the woman was undressing a man, but that was beside the point. She removed her hat to reveal dark brown hair, her skin was a dark olive color. It suddenly became obvious. This woman was a half-blood Indian. It would explain the Indian pony outside the Saloon as well.

Jack approached the bar and took a seat. He cast a glance towards the woman again. The bartender ignored her completely. He approached Jack instead. "What can I get ya?"

"Shot o' whiskey."

The bartender pulled out a glass and a poured him just that. And completely ignored the woman again. Jack sent her a weary glance, she licked her lips in plain irritation. Her bright blue eyes shone in annoyance. Her voice cut through the thick air of the Saloon,

"Hey Bartender, I'd like a drink."

The man behind the counter glanced once at her, and promptly turned away with a look of disgust. Jack looked to the sign behind the counter that read, "No Indians, No half-bloods". The woman spoke again,

"I will not ask again. I would like a drink." She emphasized each word clearly as if explaining to a child. The bartender whipped around and approached her in anger, "We don't serve half-bloods, especially half-blood bitches." He spat on her.

The woman reacted furiously. She grabbed the man's hair and pulled down hard, slamming his face several times into the counter. She pulled her rifle from beside her and shoved the butt of the gun into his face, throwing the man back into his glassware. The shelves broke and the glass shattered upon the floor and the man's bloody and broken face.

She stood up and reached across Jack, speaking clearly, "Pardon me." Jack blinked a few times as her scent washed over him, it was very clean and feminine. Unlike men. It was a flower among weeds. It nearly choked him. She grabbed the bottle beside him and poured herself a glass. She leaned her back against the counter and stared at the Saloon's occupants, whom merely stared back in silence. Under her deafening glare, the buzz resumed.

Jack spoke conversationally, "That your Indian pony out there?"

She stopped mid-raise of her glass to her lips. "Yeah, what of it?"

"Nothing. Just don't usually see Indian ponies and live."

The young woman smiled softly. "Fastest pony there is."

"I'm pretty sure all Indian ponies are the fastest." Jack replied dryly as he downed his shot.

"Had a lot o' run-ins with Indians?" She asked curiously. Jack turned to her, bright-blue eyed inquisition. She was beautiful. But half-man he was sure. Jack nearly laughed to himself at this.

"A few."

"How did you get an Indian pony? I didn't think Tribes usually kept their half-bloods or give them horses."

The young woman nodded her head, "It's not a short story."

"Tell me some now, we might see each other on the road again, you can tell me the rest then." Jack gave her a half smile as he poured another glass.

The woman laughed deeply, "You don't want to see me again cowboy. I'm a bounty hunter, you see me again you best run."

He shook his head, "Pants, a shirt, a cowboy hat, a holster and gun, and rifle, and now you're a bounty hunter, what kinda woman are you?"

"The kind that kills for money."

"The worst kind."

She laughed. "Don't you know it."

She sobered suddenly as several footsteps rung out the Saloon. "My times up. Sheriffs here, and suddenly I'm a bad half-blood. Only time we're ever good is when there is dirt-work to be done."

Jack looked to the doors of the Saloon as they slammed open. "Need help?"

"Doll, I'm Indian raised. I don't need no help." She dropped the hat onto her head and grabbed her rifle. The Sheriff stood at the doors, he spoke over the chatter loudly, "We're taking ya' in Johnson."

"I saw what happened to the Indian woman you took in a few months back. There ain't no way in hell, you're taking me." stated the strange woman. Jack was turning in his seat to face the standoff when suddenly he was grabbed around the throat, he gagged in surprise as he was bent backwards to accommodate the shorter height of the woman. A bowie knife pressed threateningly to his throat. Jack groaned to himself. He should of known not to socialize with a half-blood. They could not be trusted and now he could very well die, depending on the actions of the Sheriff.

She hissed in a volatile tone, "Put your weapons down, or this young man dies."

The Sheriff suddenly froze, he tongued his teeth in thought and nodded to his men. They lowered their weapons, he spoke genuinely, "We don't want anyone else to get hurt."

She shouted suddenly making everyone jump around her, "Then you'll get the HELL out of my way, Sheriff!"

They moved out of the way of the doors as she led Jack out. He breathed deeply, licking his lips as he contemplated ways getting out the present danger he was in. They exited the Saloon and suddenly the woman released him. He straightened up as she hopped on to her bareback pony. She grinned at him, and tipped her hat,

"Thanks for the get-a-way hon."

And with a sharp kick, the pony blasted away quickly. She had been correct, that was one God damn fast pony.

So there yall go. A western story! Yeah. Great fun. I love, love, love westerns, so I decided to write my own. I watched Transformers 3 yesterday, and I realized how ANNOYINGLY women get in the way in stories, they serve no purpose but to be there and look good, so I thought, hey, why not a good old western story with woman that knows guns and riding? Good, or bad, yall should leave a review. Thank you!


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