“Whiskey,” hazarded Barr. “Harlan must ‘a’ got ’em drunk. An’ that’s three times I’ve missed that snake. Wish it would stop raining so I could see better.”
“Why don’t you wish they’d all drop dead? Wish good when you wish at all: got as much chance of having it come true,” responded Neal, sarcastically. He smothered a curse and looked curiously at his left arm, and from it to the new, yellow-splintered hole in the wall, which was already turning dark from the water soaking into it. “Hey, Joe; we need some more boxes!” he exclaimed, again looking at his arm.
“Yes,” came Johnny’s voice. “Three of ’em—five of ’em, an’ about six feet long an’ a foot deep. But if my outfit gets here in time we’ll want more’n a dozen.”
“Say! Lacey’s firing now!” suddenly cried Barr. “He’s shooting out of his windy. That’ll stop ’em from rushing us! Good boy, Lacey!” he shouted, but Lacey did not hear him in the uproar.
“An’ he’s worse off than we are, being alone,” commented Neal. “Hey! One of us better make a break for help—my ranch’s the nearest. What d’ye say?”
“It’s suicide; they’ll get you before you get ten feet,” Barr replied with conviction.
“No; they won’t—the corral hides the back door, an’ all the firing is on this side. I can sneak along the back wall an’ by keeping the buildings atween me an’ them, get a long ways off before they know anything about it. Then it’s a dash—an’ they can’t catch me. But can you fellers hold out if I do?”
“Two can hold out as good as three—go ahead,” Johnny replied. “Leave me some of yore Colt cartridges, though. You can’t use ’em all before you get home.”
“Don’t stop fer that; there’s a shelfful of all kinds behind the counter,” Barr interposed.
“Well, so long an’ good luck,” and the rear door closed, and softly this time.
“Two hours is some wait under the present circumstances,” Barr muttered, shifting his position behind his barricade. “He can’t do it in less, nohow.”
Johnny ducked and looked foolish. “Missed me by a foot,” he explained. “He can’t do it in two—not there an’ back,” he replied. “The trail is mud over the fetlocks. Give him three at the least.”
“They ain’t shooting as much as they was before.”
“Waiting till they gets sober, I reckon,” Johnny replied.
“If we don’t hear no ruction in a few minutes we’ll know he got away all right,” Barr soliloquized. “An’ he’s got a fine cayuse for mud, too.”
“Hey, why can’t you do the same thing if he makes it?” Johnny suddenly asked. “I can hold her alone, all right.”
“Yo’re a cheerful liar, you are,” laughed Barr. “But can you ride?”
“Reckon so, but I ain’t a-going to.”
“Why, we both can go—it’s a cinch!” Barr cried. “Come on!”
“Lord!—an’ I never even thought of that! Reckon I was too mad,” Johnny replied. “But I sort of hates to leave Jackson an’ Edwards,” he added, sullenly.