Chapter 3: Ambush
Copyright© 2015 by maypop
Girilal awoke the next morning and noticed the two brothers at the table. They were so involved in their morning bible study they did not hear Girilal get up. He went to the wash basin and washed his face and hands. When he went back to the table Loyd was praying and Boyd's head was bowed. Girilal wanted to ask them about their faith but just could not seem to get the question out.
After Loyd finished praying he pulled out his pocket watch and said, "It is six o'clock. Let's go eat before I starve."
"Loyd, you were born starved. Mother used to say that if she fed you all you wanted, you would have outgrown Goliath," Boyd kidded.
"I can't help it if I am still growing and you quit a long time ago!" Loyd jabbed back.
"Ok, I can't help if I am just a little runt." Boyd shot back.
"I do not think the Sanders twins are calling you a runt right now." Girilal said, and then burst out laughing as the previous day's fight came back into his mind.
"Before we go, Girilal, do you know of anyone that might have been a witness to any of the times when the Sanders were threatening Bobby or you?" Boyd asked.
Girilal suddenly lit up like he was in the sun's light when it came out from behind a cloud, "Yes, Nathan Williams. He is the owner of the property directly on the other side of the Sanders property from Bobby. They have been giving him a hard time, too. He was there about a month ago when they came and told Bobby that accidents happen, and he could be in one. Nathan was in the house and heard all that was said. His horse was in the barn but they did not see it. He stayed in the house and was really scared the Sanders were going to find out he was there."
They all headed down the stairs to breakfast. The dining room was full. They were about to wait for a table when Dr. Webb waved at them from across the room. They headed over to his table.
"There is room for three at this table, for the most popular new comers in town." Dr. Webb said, shaking hands as they took the three remaining chairs.
"What are we so popular about?" Loyd asked innocently.
"First, you two have to watch it. No one has ever beaten down the Sanders twins. I know they are not going to stand still and do nothing. Boyd, I don't have a clue of how you closed both eyes of both men and never got hit even once. I saw them this morning. They ask for pain killers. They looked a mess. I expected you to want the same. I brought some with me in case you needed some, but you do not have a mark on you that I can see!" Dr. Webb spoke in amazement.
"Where are they now?" Boyd asked.
"Thank goodness, they have their own eating place!" Doc answered with a smile.
"Doc, we just do what we have to do to defend ourselves. We trained for this mission of justice in the west. We don't brag about what we do or how we do it. Now, let's eat – I'm starving." Loyd said as he looked around for the server.
"Better watch the Boss. He gets upset when the foods don't hop into his plate and say eat me!" Boyd shouted for everyone around them to hear.
"You are just a little runt of a boy; maybe you would be more my size if you ate a little more!" Loyd said back, collecting a few laughs with his words.
"Boss, our horses get defensive around you. They are afraid you might start to steal their food!" Boyd shot back and everyone started cracking up.
A young lady that appeared to be about twenty came to asked what they wanted for breakfast. She said, "Goodness you people seem happy this early in the morning."
"I will take coffee with milk and sugar. I want three eggs, a large slap of ham, and three biscuits with gravy on them." Loyd said hurriedly as though the lady might leave before he could order.
"I will have straight coffee, two eggs, three flapjacks with butter and maple syrup. Order anything you want Girilal. The same to you, too, Doc." Boyd said.
"I never turn down a good meal. I'll have my usual, Sue Ellen." the doctor said.
"I will take milk, two eggs, and ham with a biscuit." Girilal answered.
"What are we looking for when we go out to Bobby's?" Dr. Webb asked after Sue Ellen left.
"Girilal said he heard shots. First, I want to see how many times Bobby was shot. Second, I want to see the direction in which the bullets went into the body." Boyd said.
"Why would that make a difference?" Girilal asked.
"I can answer and it is very clever, Girilal. The men were on horses. If they shot Bobby, the bullets would enter the body and go down instead of through at a straight line. For what it is worth, Matt's bullet was traveling up, when it hit Matt's arm," Doc said with a smile, showing that he knew what Boyd was talking about.
"We want Doc to come along to be a witness to that in court. We also want to stop and get the pistol that the twins threw into the water." Boyd explained.
"How are you going to find the pistol? It is in at least ten feet of water!" Girilal asked, scratching his head.
"Girilal, in 1850 a man invented an underwater breathing apparatus. It is a helmet filled with air. The helmet is strapped on my head. Loyd turns a crank that pumps air down a hose into the helmet while I am under water. I have a lead belt that will hold me on the bottom. I can stay down until I find the pistol." Boyd explained.
"The west is going to be a changed world, thanks to you men!" Dr. Webb exclaimed.
"We just hope to do our part." Loyd said with a smile.
Their food came and Boyd said the blessing. They stopped talking and put all concentration into feeding their faces.
When they were taking the last few bites, George walked in and up to their table.
"Your buggy is ready and outside by the door." George said.
"Thank you, George. You did not have to do that." Loyd said, handing him a twenty dollar gold piece.
"Boyd already paid." George said, looking at the coin.
"Sir, I don't know your name but the money is a tip for a job well done." Loyd answered.
George walked away thinking to himself, "Many more days like these last two and I will be rich."
They all piled into the buggy. The Morgans were sashaying down the road. They were rested and happy to be out of their stall. Within minutes, they were racing down the road in which they came the day before.
"I have seen some luxury in my time, but this is by far the best I have ever seen!" Doc Webb said, looking around the buggy.
"Loyd gets all the credit." Boyd bragged.
"Loyd, do you manufacture these buggies." Doc Webb asked, as though he might want to buy one.
"No, this is the only one made, and there will be no others ever made." Loyd said.
Boyd was driving the team. They were about five miles out of town when Loyd saw a reflection ahead in the rocks to the right. He looked to the left and saw a pile of rocks.
"HEE HAW!" He shouted.
The horses cut to the left toward the rocks and burst into a dead run behind the rock pile and stopped!
The brothers spoke to each other in Chinese, "He will be 100 yards behind the reddish rock. Give me time to get in place across from him. I'll flush him and you get him." Loyd answered.
"Yes sir." Boyd answered.
The two guest passengers thought they were suddenly in the hands of a couple of lunatics. Never had they seen anything like this. What in the world was going on? What language was that they were speaking?
Boyd, who was on the right side, grabbed the rifle from the gun rack above his head and bailed out, darting back the way they came. He disappeared in the rocks toward the road.
Loyd, who was on the left side, grabbed the rifle above his head and sprinted to the left side of the rocks. This brought him where he was straight across from where he saw the flash.
Boyd found a small rock in the shadow of a large rock to look around. He found the reddish rock Loyd indicated. There were the tops of two hats sticking up over the edge of the rock.
"Come out with your hands up!" Loyd shouted, only to get gun- fire in his direction.
This caused Boyd to carefully aim at the one who stuck his head up on the right and put a bullet just below the brim of his hat.
As he flew against the ground, grave yard dead, the other one forgot and moved around the rock to get out of Boyd's line of fire, right into Loyd's line of fire.
Loyd, knowing they would need to question him, shot to hit him through his right leg just above the knee. Fortunately for the man, he moved just as Loyd shot. The bullet passed through a major nerve just grazing the skin a couple of inches above the knee. It inflected great pain upon the man, and in a short time, but in a couple of hours the pain would leave him.
"Don't shoot any more -- I give up!" The man screamed in pain. It felt like his leg was shot off. He lay back and did not look, fearing the worst.
"Is there anyone else with you?" Loyd shouted.
"No, Arthur is dead. You shot off my leg!" The man screamed back.
Even though the man sounded sincere, Loyd cautiously moved toward him while Boyd watched for other would-be bushwhackers. When Loyd reached the man safely, Boyd headed back to get the team.
"What in the world is going on? I heard gunfire." Doc Webb asked in a concerned voice.
"Somebody tried to bushwhack us. Loyd is questioning the live one while I get the horses." Boyd said, while he put up his gun. He picked up the reins and slapped them across the horse's backs to get them to go. He turned them around and headed back to the road and toward the location where they were closest to the victims.
"I have never seen two people work that good as a team. Is there anything you two don't do with perfection?" Doc Webb said, shaking his head.
"Thanks to our dad, we started practicing when we were about five." Boyd said.
"You truly are twin brothers. I have never seen twins look so different. I thought you were just making a game of it." Doc Webb said with an amazed look on his face.
"You should have seen the way they handled the Sheriff yesterday." Girilal remarked, smiling while saying a prayer of thanks for being in such good hands.
Loyd stood over the wounded man and said nothing.
"What are you going to do to me" the man whimpered.
"Mister, whoever you are, you are lucky I am here instead of my brother. You have about two minutes to tell me who sent you to ambush us. If you wait until he gets here, he won't be nice to you like me. He's libel to skin you like he would a deer. What say you get it off your chest for your own sake?" Loyd said opening his eyes real wide like he was even frightened at the idea.
"I am Jimmy Cox. Robert pulled us out of the roundup and told us to scare you off. When you shouted, Arthur rose up and fired in your direction. The other man shot him. I moved to get out of his line of fire into yours." The man managed to get out between moans of pain.
"Were you with the Sanders when they went to the store where Bobby was shot?" Loyd asked.
"No, I was out rounding up cows to brand at the roundup, but I heard about it. The twins were bragging about whose bullet hit which eye and Matt was bragging about how he shot him in the heart and killed him first. It was disgusting." Jimmy answered.
"Bring your bag, Doc. The live one might need a little patching up." Boyd said, as he bailed out of the buggy and headed up the hill toward his brother.
' "Brother, don't hurt him. He confessed." Loyd said, as Boyd reached them.
Doc Webb squatted down and cut off the jeans above the bullet wound. He could not believe Jimmy was screaming so loud over such a small spot. It was about two inches long and half the depth of a bullet. He pulled a chunk of rawhide and the bottle of whisky out of his bag, "I can't stand for any man who walks away from his family. You have been around the wrong people too long, Jimmy." he said, as he poured a healthy portion of the whiskey in the wound.
He had known Jimmy's dad, Bobby Cox. He had owned a piece of land that he had been forced to sell to the Sanders. Bobby had moved to town and started cutting hair to raise Jimmy by himself after loosing his land when Jimmy was fifteen. Jimmy's mother died while giving birth to him. Doc Webb had done everything he could to save his mother. He was a young doctor then and blamed himself even though there was nothing he could have done to save her. He made a lifelong commitment that moment that he would study every spare minute to save as many lives as humanly possible.
When Jimmy opened his mouth to scream, the Doc stuck the rawhide in so hard all they heard was a muffled cry.
"You ain't going to die yet. You will live long enough to pay for your crimes. How well you cooperate will depend on how much time you serve for what you have done." Doc Webb spoke more as an encouragement than anything else.
Doc did not know why Jimmy did what he did. Jimmy had not been a bad kid. He loved horses and learned all there was about taking care of a horse. He also learned at a very young age how to coax a horse and encourage him to be the best cow pony around. As a kid, he roped anything that moved. At the ripe old age of ten, he got the worst whipping of his life. He roped his daddy's feet together while he was carrying a dozen eggs to their farm house from the chicken house!
He loved the ranch and hired on with the Sanders as a cowpoke to try to find something on them to get their land back that had been virtually stolen from them. He had not even told his daddy for fear he would forbid him because of the danger. His daddy had relented, thinking it was just to be a cowpoke.
Loyd and Boyd watched this with interest. "You are losing your touch, Bro! You missed your mark." Boyd remarked, ragging on his brother and best friend.
"No, I saw him move just as I shot. I never saw so much pain for such a small wound though. We might get a lot of information in the future if we can duplicate that shot." Loyd beamed.
All the more, the brothers put what had transpired into their memory to try again and again until they perfected that kind of shot.
"Man, he sure acts like he is dying, doesn't he?" Boyd laughed.
While the Doc worked on Jimmy, Loyd told Boyd what Jimmy had told him.
"Since I won't be able to walk any more, nothing matters anyway. I only worked for them because I wanted to try to find a way to get daddy's land back." Jimmy said sadly.
"Jimmy you are about the biggest cry baby I have ever seen. If you open your eyes and look, you will see it is only a scratch." Doc said laughing, and then it sank in what Jimmy had just said. "Jimmy, I must apologize to you. I had no way of knowing why you did what you did. Please accept my apology."
The pain from the alcohol from the whiskey started to disappear; Jimmy opened his eyes and looked cautiously. A smile crossed his face when he saw he indeed was only scratched.
"Gosh, Doc! I thought my leg was gone. I have never felt pain like that before!" Jimmy exclaimed. To answer Doc Webb he continued by saying, "Please don't tell daddy. He will be so worried."
"You have my word, son." Doc answered.
"Look, I know it looks bad. We were told to shoot to scare you off. I will do anything you say. If you want me to testify, I will." Jimmy said.
Jimmy slowly stood up, making sure he was stable on his feet. He then raised his hands above his head and said, "I have nothing to hide."
Boyd just said, "Ok Jimmy, don't you do anything like try to escape. You have no reason to. You will be a big help in the trial."
"Trust me, you have never seen anyone do the things these two can do!" Girilal exclaimed.
"Yes kid, these two men have talents that I have never seen used before." Dr. Webb added, shaking his head.
"Are there going to be any more surprises awaiting us?" Loyd asked.
"Not that I am aware of. Everyone else is at the roundup. I guess I was played for a fool. If you will trust me, I won't be fooled again." Jimmy said with his head bowed in shame.
"We have learned through experience that actions speak louder than words." Loyd said.
"Ok, get your horses, put Arthur on his and take him to town. Tell the Sheriff what happened and then go to the Caldwell Boarding House. See Miss Helen and give her my card. She will give you a room. Stay in the room and don't come out until we call for you. If things go well, you might get your farm back." Boyd instructed Jim as he signed a business card and handed it to him.