Mountain Man
Chapter 5

Copyright© 2018 by UtIdArWa

I spent the next 20 minutes erasing the signs from where we had broke the trail to get up to the cave. It was always harder to erase sign than to create a trail. During that process I thought about what I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t really want to hurt these yahoo’s any more than I already had. But I also didn’t want them to get any closer to the ladies. So, my main goal was to lay false trails and lead them off into the wilderness, preferably in the opposite direction. The farther, the better. If things got worse, well then, I would dial it up and get serious. What I really wanted to do was to get them so discouraged and disoriented as to give up on us and move on. Barring that, to get enough of a lead on them following me, to allow the ladies time to get down to civilization.

Don’t get me wrong. If needs be, I wouldn’t think twice about sending anyone, or all three to St Peters judgement. But, given a choice, I’d rather hang them out to dry and then let the Law handle them. If Inspector Richards and the entire Department of Justice got their collective rocks off by taking them in, More power to them. Just get the trash off my mountain.

I started by making sure that I made enough of a trail for even a rookie to follow. It had to be obvious, but not too obvious. I wasn’t sure how experienced these guys were in tracking or bush craft. I hoped that they were clueless, But I wasn’t going to count on it. If any of them had experience, they may get suspicious and not follow my game plan.

I knew when they were starting to get close. The birds and insects got quiet and I started to hear human type sounds. but I hung around long enough to get a good idea of just how close. I was waiting at a sharp bend in the trail when Fatso came creeping around. At first, he didn’t see me. He was spending all his time looking left and right at the bush. Which I didn’t want, Particularly in this stretch of trail. I wanted him to focus on the obvious, Me. And ignore the subtle, Where I had rubbed out the tracks we had made earlier. I had to make this look good. So, just loud enough to be heard I yelled out, “Shit”.

Immediately Fatso’s attention shifted to me. I gave him long enough to know it was me and I took off. It was only a glimpse, But I knew it worked. Fatso immediately started calling Mr. Big and letting him know that I had been spotted.

I continued down the trail for about 15 minutes, making sure that that I kicked up plenty of sign. When I reached the spot I wanted next, I left the trail and started towards the river. I also made sure that Jughead kicked up a lot of dirt and sod. Again, not an obvious trail, but not one a rookie would have trouble with.

When I got to the river, I was at the clearing that I wanted. The river bank was clear of trees and it looked like an easy ford across. I had used this as a camping and fishing spot before. I knew that about halfway across the channel had cut deep. The water wasn’t really moving fast, but it dropped suddenly and was over the average man’s height. A good swimmer wouldn’t have a problem, but would have to work at it. A poor swimmer might not make it. Either way they would be far downstream before the got to the other side. I led Jughead into the water a couple of feet, just short of the drop off, and then turned downstream. We continued on for about 30 yards downstream and then we came up out of the water.

My next goal was a hiker’s bridge that was about a half mile downstream. I didn’t care whether or not they cut this trail, But I was in a hurry to get back to the other side of the fake ford where we had gone into the water. I needed to be in position when they spotted me next, and maybe trick them into crossing there. If I was lucky the river would wash them all the way to the Pacific Ocean and out of my hair.

Unfortunately, when I got to the clearing they were starting to cross. Mr. Big called a halt when He saw me. He started yelling at me, But I couldn’t really make anything out over the river noise. But I know he understood me when I flipped him off and started laughing. He must have been seriously irritated, because he pulled a pistol out and fired several rounds my way.

The pistol surprised me. What didn’t surprise me was his marksmanship. If I had had the Henry with me, I would have put paid to his account right there. But it was in the scabbard with Margarite and the ladies.

He didn’t hit anywhere close to me. You have to remember that convicts don’t get a lot of range time. And at the distance we were at, you would need to be an ace shot, with a dialed in handgun and probably special ammo. Even If he had any previous training, it had to have been several years since he had put any serious practice time in. I doubled over laughing and pointing. I was trying to goad him, hopefully into crossing the river.

I needed to keep this guy antagonized and mad, at me. If he took the time to think about it, He was going to realize that the women were missing. And start wondering where they were. As it was, a desire for revenge on Me had to be his main motivator. At least for a couple of hours more.

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