PARASOL  1880

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       Parasol Wyoming territory, 1880 - Gold has been discovered in the hills west of Cheyenne and the fever has struck. Parasol has become an overnight boomtown of miners, merchants, gamblers, drunkards, freighters, cutthroats and whores who fight for their share of the wealth that is being ripped from the earth. The mother lode is still to be found, but it's only days away. Everyone can taste it. Now stake your claim in Parasol.


        As Jack drew closer to the trees, he could see the dust swirling up behind the stage and leaving a trail behind.  It appeared to be racing headlong into it’s destiny with no thought of a future.  Jack could only wait.


       Sam Jackson, the stage driver was coming through an area where he did not have good visibility–-a place where horses and riders could hide. He had learned through experience that you did not loiter in these areas.  Sam leaned forward in the box and whipped the horses into a dead run.  The coach bucked and leaned toward one side.  It took a moment for it to right itself and level out and the horses to get in stride.


      The guard riding shot gun crouched down and the two guards inside the coach were on high alert.  With the stage lurching, lunging and whipping from side to side everyone was thrown off balance.  Sam had outrun more robbery attempts with this action, in the past, more than any other thing he had tried.


       The masked outlaws darted out from the grove of trees.


      The war began!The first shot fired went straight through the heart of the guard riding shotgun.  Killing him instantly.  His body slumped off the seat and slid into the boot of the stage. The next shot was intended for the driver, just missing Sam’s head.  If they could kill the driver, the horses would stop running in a short distance.  By killing the guards the fight was over and the riches were easy pickin’s.


       Jack urged the stallion in behind the coach, in the cloud of dust where he couldn’t be detected.  He pulled his bandana up over his nose so he could breath and also resembling the outlaws, buying him time to act.  With rifle in hand, he started firing at the masked figures on horseback.  He shot four of them out of their saddles before the leader realized that things were not going according to plan.     Jack  was now riding the stallion close to the coach and could see that Sam had hunkered down under the drivers box and was slapping the horses hard on the rump with the reigns and yelling commands to the six horse team.


        As Jack came along side he yelled.“Pull up Sam!  I’ll get the rest of them!”.     Jack was deadly accurate shooting his rifle.  However,  reloading on horseback, while running, was a bitch. So he switched to his hand gun.


       He only had four more to take care of and nothing on four legs could outrun the stallion. Jack caught up to the next one and cracked him on the head with the butt of his Peacemaker. The rider tumbled off his horse with a force that would kill most men.

      

      Jack raced on, only three more to go.  He switched back to his rifle, loading as he rode.