John got out the Telescoping Binoculars he'd picked up before heading this way. The range wasn't that great though they did help him see a little closer.
A look at just the building showed that Greely was obviously scared. Though John thought, was it of him or perhaps something else? Well john thought, we'd have to see. Though it didn't really matter, the bastard was dead one way or another.
John started to count the men that were on the roof alone. Twenty was a little extreme, John then started to get a count around the house, on the grounds, then the outer buildings.
John could only shake his head; Greely was obviously terrified to have as many men as he had. The rest of the day John and his wife moved slowly around the perimeter of the house.
John could only nod more when he saw that not only were there a lot of men, the place was well fortified.
Hmmm John thought, perhaps he ought to send a little message? A small lit up John's face as he nodded. Yes, just a little message.
He turned to Gosnih, explaining just what he was going to do. She nodded as they both bedded down to wait or nightfall.
A few hours later John arose after saying prayers for and against all that he would face tonight. A nod to Gosnih he then turned seeming to vanish from sight. Gosnih blinked then a smile crept across her features, they were all dead if her husband wished it.
The first two he came to were dead even before they hit the ground. The next two at the front door went just as fast. Inside three in the hallway died just as fast, then two more at the other end of the hallway.
John stopped when he heard the voice of Greely. A peek in the room showed that the man was not alone. The Indian warrior was there with him.
"Tanaka turned slightly to the door when he felt the white man who, felt more like a warrior of the people. A look at Greely, Tanaka could see that the man had no idea just how close to death he was. The only thing that was probably stopping the man, was the other six that were in the room also.
"It seems that we have a very fast, very talented man here in town. The fact that he was far faster than that damn gunfighter, makes me want to hire him. I want the seven of you to ride out to where he is scouting, convince him to join us. One way or another, with us or dead." Greely told all of them.
One of the men stood, "Ya need to watch this one. 'es a lot faster than you think. Got the eyes of a killer, more than most I have seen."
"Shit boss, we don't get ta carve him a bit? Hell, were's da fun in talkin'? I say we 'ave a little fun, then bring em to you. That way, ya can make him join." The big man next to the second said.
"As much as that appeals to me, no, I want him in one piece. Been having a bad feeling lately, don't want it to bite us in the ass." Greely almost growled out making the six white men back up a bit.
A slight smile came to Tanaka's lips. So, the big white man wasn't as stupid as he first thought. Here he thought with all the men he had he was safe. The fact that the white man was at the door was a testament to just how deadly the man was.
There was a knock at the door, one of the men went to answer it, gasping when one of the guards fell through the door way. "Damnit boss he's dead."
Greely's eyes went large as he started to issue orders to double up on the patrols. Also, to increase the number of men within the manner.
Tanaka moved to the body placing a hand on it. "Not dead long, short time." Tanka looked around. "This is strange I do not feel him. It seems almost as if one of my people have done this. I would see signs of them though, this is troublesome. Do you wish me to send word to my people?"
Greely stared angerly at Tanaka, he knew that if Tanaka's people were here, he would be dead in no time. "No, I want you to hunt and find this son of a bitch. Bring me his head, scalp, whatever just kill him!"
Tanaka turned to head out onto the land around the manner. A stop at the front door had him turning all the way across the front. A nod of his head he slipped out into the darkness.
Several of the men that were standing next to him, gasp as Tanaka almost seemed to just vanish. Greely nodded, who ever had killed the seven men in and near the house, were as good as dead.
With a turn Greely started to turn when there was a shout. Another two bodies were discovered a few hundred yards from the front door. Shit Greely thought, that was nine men that he really had no way of replacing at the moment.
Greely turned to go in shaking his head, as long as he had the Indian's wife and child, he was protected. He just hoped that the Indian didn't find them, before he killed him.
A look at the report on his desk showed that the gold from the mine was still heavy. Damnit! He had more than a few hundred thousand dollars now, though he still felt that he didn't have enough. At least with the loss of the nine he could put even more away.
A heavy sigh escaped his throat, this was starting to cost him in lives. Lives that at the moment he really couldn't afford to lose, even if it meant more to his coffers. He just hoped that, the big buck of an Indian could resolve this problem. A problem that could blow up in all their faces.
John rapidly crossed the front of the manner. He was reunited with Gosnih only a few minutes later, he signaled for the both of them to move. Immediately, he heard the shrill whistle of an alarm as the bodies of the men in the house were discovered.
John and his wife moved a significant distance back, it was a few minutes later that John felt a presence. Tanaka appeared a few moments later. John signed for him to sit.
"We will start the search for your mate and son, when we leave. Most of the area we have covered they are not in, I have an idea though, where they may be." John said in tones that, to others would seem as if the wind whispering pass their ears.
"If you can free them, we will be brothers forever. I wish you all the help of the great spirit to help you accomplish your quest." Tanaka said.
Tanaka watched, then John nodded then he and his wife seemed to suddenly fade. With a satisfied nod, Tanaka turned then vanished.
John and Gosnih were moving at a great speed as they withdrew from where Greely's manor was. There were only two areas that they hadn't checked yet. John felt fairly sure that they were in one of the two places.
They stopped half way to the first area to make camp. John was sitting in the top of the tree, when a thought hit him. There was a possibility that they were hidden within the town. The simple fact though that there wasn't any thing that seemed different within the town had John doubting.
Early the next day, the both of them arose heading for a small group of shanty cabins John had seen. Hell, they weren't really cabins, more like walls and a roof held together with spit and wire.
No, John felt they had to be elsewhere, they'd know within the next few days.
Within a few hours they were drawing closer to the shanty buildings. The only problem was, the closer they got the more uneasy John started to feel.
He was pretty sure that there were people there, the thing was something didn't feel fight about the whole situation.
Finally, he and Gosnih were within sight of them. John suddenly stopped their horses, seeing the sights of several old campfires. Alighting, John signaled for Gosnih to remain hidden while he moved further in.
John hadn't even gone a hundred yards when he started to hear the voices. Listening, his face twisted into an intense look of hate. In a clearing a few feet ahead, John came upon the scene of several men that were torturing a man.
John's hand turned white knuckled, as he gripped both of his revolvers. A move to a better protected spot, had John drawing both of his revolvers.
He then started to fire as rapidly as he could. Ten men were down before the others started to really react.
"I suggest if the rest wish ta live, ya ease them pistols to the ground." John growled.
One growled turning toward John's location, the report of a rifle blowing the gun out of the man's hand, stopped all those left.
A look across the clearing, John could see Gosnih swiftly changing position. Shaking his head John swore to his self, that woman was going to be the death of him one day.
John slowly entered the clearing, kicking guns and rifles away from the men. There were at least nine other men that had their arms raised. Many glared at John at least 'til they hear the cocking of a rifle.
As fast as he could John had all the men with their hands tied behind them. John signaled to Gosnih that they needed to move as he had seen the spore of more men around the area.
John then turned to the barely breathing man. Another look of intense hatred crossed John's face, as he doctored what he could, to stop the man's bleeding.
John turned back to all the men, "I wasn't going to kill ya, now? I got no problem with it." John had loaded his pistols after tying the men. Without remorse John went down the line shooting each man.
Only a few moments later the tortured man's eyes snapped open, looking at John with pain and defiance.
"I'm not associated with hose animals, name's John, John Strongburg, Texas Ranger." John told the barely conscious man.
The man's eyes were darting everywhere before he spoke. "Bullshit, even if'n ya had a badge, not much change I'd believe ya."
John shook his head in agreement, "your right, not sure I'd believe me either. Any chance I can take you to your place?"
"Reckon ya could though not much chance of ya getting there alive. Got at least twenty-five guns there, even with me, can't see ya getting through. The man said, barely above a whisper.
A movement to his right showed Gosnih motioning to him. "Hate to do this, we got company." John said as he lifted the man. They quickly retreated in the forest.
John laid a hand on Gosnih then pointed up. She got his meaning as she started to climb the tree in front of her. John soon followed moving as slowly as he could.
Thankfully the man had passed out, less than five minutes later they heard a large group of men where they had been. "What in the hell!? Twenty damn men and they couldn't stop this? Don't see a whole passel of tracks, plus that bastard miner is gone. Thought sure by now they'd a'killed 'em. Search the area the bastard couldn't 'ave gotten far."
At first John thought of taking each man as they moved passed where they were. Then decided against it, there were too many men here to tempt fate.
Less than a hour later those searching started to return. Each group had the same report, not a damn sign of them.
"Give me a break, they're not ghosts or birds they..." The obvious leader said.
John looked to Gosnih signaling her to start moving away, he quickly followed after her.
John heard the leader talking quietly to the others before he was several trees away.
A good twenty minutes later they were quite a distance away. Both had heard random gun shots much further behind them, the men following shooting at what they thought were people.
John could only shake his head at their stupidity, though thinking about it, maybe they weren't. He could have left several deadly traps.
They were far enough away that John thought that they were safe for now. Making the man from the shanty cabins as comfortable as they could John was somewhat hopeful for the man's recovery.
It was nearing sunset when the man awoke again, "still huh?" The man said in a near whisper. "Why you helping mister? Never seen ya before, why you here doing this?"
"I'm after the head of all this, name's Greely." John slightly growled.
"Must'a been a powerful slight he done ya, fer ya to come here after him." The man said a little stronger after Gosnih gave him a cup of water. "Much obliged mam." The man said, causing Gosnih to stare at the man.
John was nodding his head, while the man was drinking. "You might say it was," John said pulling the kerchief away from his throat. "The son of a bitch tried to hang me, his mistake?" Here Jon's face turned to one of extreme anger, "he didn't kill me."
The shanty man gasped a moment then nodded in agreement. "I take it ya referring to that fat pig of a man. Yeah, we all know of him. Appeared little over a year ago. wanted to buy out claims real cheap, we'd already discovered gold. Hell, wouldn't have sold if'n we hadn't, been here way too long to give up now, this is home."
John was nodding, he remembered when he was like that. Then that ass Greely, had ripped all that away.
"We're going in tonight, let them know you are alive, having to heal up a bit, though alive." John let the man know.
The man started to shake his head then stopped. He'd seen the indian woman that was with John, the others were good though, he didn't think they were that good. "You injin? Like her?" The man asked.
"No," John said, "raised quite a few years with three different tribes. In here," John pointed to his heart, "I am much more indian, than I am white. On the outside, I am as white as most of you are."
The man was nodding his head. "Yeah, you might get in, got to warn yas though. Got a injin warrior and his squaw squatting with us. He's the only one I can see, feeling you comin'."
John looked back at Gosnih when she motioned that it was dark. John nodded, then turned back to the man, "gonna leave ya hidden, with food and water. Be back as soon as we can. What's your name so they know it is you?"
"Tell em Arty is still kickin', real name's Arthur though I hate it." Art said then gasp a bit Jon helped to man to hide, then John and Gosnih took two steps then seemed to vanish.
John made his way quickly toward the group of shanty buildings Gosnih, not far behind. They passed several of the men who were alert though, had no idea that. they had missed their prey.
John had almost reached the farthest building out when he heard a rifle cock. "I know not what tribe you are from, you sound like a herd of buffalo approaching."
John smiled, "one has to let the warriors know, one is coming, to be called friend."
John could almost feel the man behind him relax. "That remains to be seen, whether you are friend or foe. Tell me, what are you called he who moves like the people."
John relaxed as he slowly turned around. "I once was called, he with many homes. Later I was called quiet white snake."
The brave chuckled a moment, "all snakes are quiet."
John also chuckled a moment, "I believe it was chief's joke. For a long time, I was as you said as loud as a herd of buffalo."
"So, what name do I call you, as a brother?" The brave asked.
"My true name is quick light." John said nonchalantly.
There was a gasp, then the brave moved forward. "For much time, the tribe thought you killed. Many say that you were trampled on a buffalo hunt. The brave pulled John to him in a brother like hug. "I knew you were far too skilled to have died in such a way."
John sighed, then a huge smile came to on his face. "Ah, True Heart, long have I missed you. As for being trampled, that may be true, though, nearly happened. I was nearly, trampled. Many of the blue soldiers found me, stumbling no memory. It was several years before I got almost all of it back. By then too much time had passed, for me to return."
"Quick light, you could have returned at any time. You didn't know, just how missed you were. We searched for many moons; it was as if Wanka Tanka had scooped you up. We must smoke the pipe, tell each other of what has happened." True heart said.
"Perhaps some time later, I found a man who was from here, I..." John started.
True Heart whirled throwing his knife at a tree behind them. "Come out," he growled.
A moment later a female with indian features walked out of the forest her bow drawn an arrow notched.
"Gosnih, it is ok, he is of my tribe." John said. When she only looked at him with a confused look, John nodded, A small smile came to her lips as she lowered her bow.
"So, your mate is as fierce as you are. I would expect no less from you brother. As I remember, many females had their eyes on you, though you looked at none of them. I would say that you are indeed stronger with such a mate." True Heart said.
"We are here to bring word of one who was caught in the forest." John said.
True Heart nodded then quickly took John and Gosnih to the nearest cabin. Upon opening the door, the sound of more than a few rifle and pistol hammers could be heard being cocked.
True Heart stood in front of the two, "do not shoot, this is my brother he of many homes, his mate Gosnih."
At least twenty pairs of eyes looked from True Heart to John and Gosnih then back. "You know them?" The leader of those there asked.
"For many years, he was the one I told you about that disappeared. The tribe had thought him dead, then moments ago I was surprised to see him alive. It is indeed a good day." True heart said.
The leader looked at True Heart then his eyes narrowed as he stared at John. "Well, you I can believe I know you, him," here he indicated John, "I do not."
The rest of the men turned toward John, looks of suspicion on their faces. "Yeah stranger, he's right, he might know you he ain't seen ya in a long time. Why in the hell should we trust you." Another man said.
"As I told a man I saved from those men torturing," here all the men growled. "Not to worry all of them no longer are alive." Here each man nodded their head. "The man Art, told me to tell you, Arty is still kickin', real name's Arthur though he hates it."
"Yeah, sounds like him. So why you helpin' us, we're nothin' to ya." The leader said.
John pulled the kerchief from his neck revealing the rope burns around his neck. All the men in the room gasp. "Cause, the bastard that is running this, tried to kill me, I aim to see that, he can't do it again. As I told Art, Greely made one mistake he didn't kill me."
All the men in the room nodded their heads in agreement. "In that case you got allies here, especially if'n you decreased the amount we are having to fight." The leader said.