Cotter opened the bag. “These gloves arrived at my mail drop at school yesterday. They’re tight fitting and lined with rabbit fur. My friend Dr. Garrison in Endura Texas sent them for us.”
“Why. We have these?” LaRoque brought up his hands showing the heavy buffalo gloves.
“It gets cold in Texas just as bad as here. Guns are made of iron and cold iron sticks to your hands. It’ll ruin your aim and recovery for second shots. They use these gloves down there. We’re going to use them today. Put them on now and get them all heated up. We’re almost there.”
Target practice took the usual two-hours. Reloading the cylinders accounted for most of the time. They loaded their two guns a final time before they headed home.
“Andy you’re getting pretty good with both guns. John you’re getting your aim point back too.”
“My aim crapped out when I started to stand up straight from the surgery. I’ll be better than before.” LaRoque smiled and then frowned as they approached the house.
“Whoa, what have we got here?” Mashpit was the buckboard driver for the return trip. He stopped the team and the three men looked at the five wagons in front of the wine-pressing building.
“Leave our wagon here. John you move wide to my right and Andy go wide to my left but make sure you can see my face. Only draw your gun on my command unless someone draws down on you.”
Eight able-looking men emerged from the barn to remove more boxes from their respective buckboards. A ninth person came out reading from a stack of papers. Jake looked toward the main house and saw a covered carriage at the front door.
Cotter considered the worst case. Danzer and a bunch of hired thugs were sabotaging their farm.
“I’ll cover the middle three wagons and you two watch the ones on the ends.” Cotter looked again at the main house. Danzer was nowhere in sight. He would have to turn toward the house right after he cut down the men on the middle wagons.
They unbuttoned their coats pushing the hems back so they hung at the pistol grip level of each of their two guns. The man with the papers looked up at them. He was just under six-feet. He looked a little startled as he saw Cotter and his two friends.
The man moved toward the third wagon and placed his stack of attached papers on the buckboard seat. He unbuttoned his two topcoat buttons and reached inside with his right hand.
Cotter reacted immediately. “Now.” He yelled. “Cover them. If they reach for any gun, shoot their arms.”
With lightening speed Mashpit had his two guns out and pointing. LaRoque and Cotter drew in unison.
The men froze in their tracks. The ninth man still had his right hand reaching into his coat.
Cotter gave a quick glance toward the main house. Nothing happening there. “You. Raise your hands in the air. All of you.”
The ninth man removed his hand from his coat and raised his other. The hand contained another sheet of paper and not a pistol.
The other eight looked like they were going to soil themselves. “All right,” Cotter used his penetrating bounty hunter timbre. “Who speaks for you?”
“I do Monsieur. I am Fabian Rosicot.”
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