Sorry about the length of time of writing this and "the larabee girl"
Larabee girl will be making a return shortly once I get the young Evelyn into shape for "Manhunt" though she is proving surprisingly grouchy about this one.
As normal I don't own any rights to the Magnificent Seven… most disappointingly
(C) The Magnificent Seven belong to themselves and all its characters are properties of MGM and its affiliates.
Early the next morning found Evelyn Larabee, calmly doing some brushing on the front step in preparation for the arrival of Mary and Inez later. It wasn't the first time she'd done this and she enjoyed it in honesty. Not that she'd let her father know that one or anyone else for that matter.
It made her think of her mother and her sitting on the step, watching her. Just as she had done the day she died.
Perhaps it was this thought that made Evelyn look up. She felt something tense when she saw several horses and riders come up the long path and breaking from the tree line, she walked back inside and checked her father's rifle and put it by the wall by the door close in range before she stalked back, finding the men about to get off their horses.
"Stay where you are," she called, opening the door and leaning on it. Thank God she'd changed into her dress, they'd just think she was a dull little female. "The owners are in town, no business today."
"Miss Larabee. Your father sent us here. Met him en-route out of town," called the one in black. "Said we could get a bite to eat, mighty hot day Miss."
Evelyn nodded. That did sound like her father, or more than likely, Buck. The two men were former ranch hands themselves and understood the strenuous nature of the trail – but something in her mothers Irish blood warned of danger and Evelyn knew better than to let them in.
"Sure, just wash up down there," she said, gesturing at the water trough. "Sorry nobody gets in without-"
She was about to say her father and uncles say-so, when the big man smiled and nodded. "Yes, yes Ezra gave us the password and to say he'd by later... tyrants never yield."
Evelyn froze in her motions briefly. "You know what, I've always been fond of that southern snake," she said, cheerfully. "If you'll excuse me gentlemen for two moments, I'll bring out some pie."
There were polite thank you's and if not for Ezra's warning, Evelyn was sure she would have done the job there and then to get them the pie. She shut the door and locked it, as quietly as she could before grabbing the rifle. She pulled the rifle to her shoulder and ran up the stairs, still holding it tight and running into Vin's room. Two of the men were leaning over the trough washing their faces and sharing grins – having no idea that a savage grin was alighting the face of their favourite target.
None were expecting for the gun shot to hit the back of the trough, sending water into the water and the rapidly filling hole. It took the two men several seconds to realise that their faces were full of splinters from the blast. Two shrill squeals filled the air at the same time as another rifle blast sent the horses running.
Eve quickly reloaded and ran down the stairs, getting to the door the same time as the one man. Thank God that Josiah teach her to keep calm in such situations, although she had no doubt the big man had not foreseen this. She shouldered the rifle and fired at the man, ignoring the heat and whistle of the gunshot dangerously close to her ear. The man yelled and she began to run outside before he regained his senses rushing to the kitchen and through the back door, hoping nobody would have the sense to try and round her off.
She quickly clambered onto Centurion, and clicked her heels to the flanks, the horse sensing her masters urgency to leave. The two galloped off down the gorge, the roar of bullets in Eves ears. She quickly manoeuvred to look at the one rider who was firing, one of the men who more closely resembled a porcupine. Something was yelled about girl, but Eve had blasted again – cursing when the bullet went wild and struck the man in the shoulder sending him off his horse.
She galloped down the steep hill, dodging trees and cursing as she felt hot lead whiz by her ears. She was just about on a trail when the horse lost a shoe and Evelyn was thrown. For a brief moment she groaned in pain and then she remembered one important thing, somebody was trying to kill her and she wanted to live. She also remembered as she scrambled to her feet and began to run – why were they trying to kill her? She plucked at the knife she'd hidden in her boot – silly dresses but at least they hid the boots she wore beneath, a present from Ezra on the quiet last Christmas. She'd hidden them in her cabinet and they were good to run in. To hide Bowie knives, that Buck had been missing for months and even better to make a quick escape.
She ran into the forest purposely dodging through the thickets, creating a false trail as it were. Once reassured they'd follow this beyond all others, she silently began to change. Vin was taller than her but that didn't matter she thought as she threw the dress – with no shortage of delight over doing so – before she walked into the brush, lying on her belly and putting her knife next to her and covering it with her hand.
"Let's get out of here," said the one man. "She isn't worth it."
"You heard the boss, and he shot the McAdams boy when he didn't shut it, do you really think he's not gonna gut-shoot us too?" Evelyn kept silent as she listened. Fools were talking more than they should've. "That lady client of his is might demanding."
Evelyn rolled her eyes. She knew it was too good to be true. Her father may have been fought with many women in his time, but only one was this buckshot crazy anymore. No she couldn't have died off in a hole somewhere. Ella Gaines. Damn woman.
She waited for the men to move off before standing up and walking towards the back road that she knew Maude Standish used to come up. The woman never announced her presence.
She was musing over this when a mans hand slid over her mouth. She screamed, and cursed her inner stupidity. Why hadn't she thought about the third injured man?! Thrown from his horse. Didn't mean she had the luck that it had broken his neck.
Alcohol tinged breath lingered around her neck. "Why you aien't running around nude, but running around like an Indian." She squirmed. "Pretty young thing like McAdams said…you know we could come to an arrangement,"
The man's sweaty hands eased towards her sides, and Evelyn scratched the man's face frantically as she fought him off before she burst into a run and ran onto the trail directly into a thin figure. She only just had time to register it was a friend before the figure raised the gun in their hand and fired a shot at the man approaching.
"Now Evelyn Larabee, what mischief has my no good son and his miscreants got you into now?" asked the imperious voice of Maude Standish-Sanchez.
And as Evelyn grappled a tight hold on James who had flung himself into her arms, she did the one thing she could think of.
Cry in relief.
Ezra grunted as Chris and himself were heaved to their feet, Chris giving a fellow cough at the disturbance. The night had been filled with grim laughter as they thought of what would happen to the men with Ezra's choice words. If Evelyn was good enough they'd not tie it back to their mischief. Or was Evelyn on the way – broken and silent. Chris could take broken, broken meant it could be fixed. Silent meant nothing. The rest of the seven growled and grunted when they were in turn moved off to stretch their legs.
The leader of the group – now everyone was certain – was sitting looking into the ashes of the fire with a grim expression yet almost haunted as he chanced a glance at Chris, and Chris was startled by a fuller face but a very similar version of him. He felt Ezra start also but neither made comment. Nobody else seemed to notice so Chris kept silent, could be that he was looking into fellow remorseless killers eyes, he thought.
"Your daughter should be joining us shortly." The man looked up with a maniacal grin. Chris didn't speak, but flinched when he heard horses coming in from the distance. "Ah, here is our guest."
But his face turned into a snarl when compared to three men who rode out only two rode in, one more closely resembling a porcupine. Chris hid a grin behind a cough. Josiah didn't even bother hiding it. It was evident that Evelyn had gotten Ezra's message loud and clear.
"Where the hell is she?"
"She ran out on us, rode like the devel down a crick."
"Hunter got thrown from his horse… didn't see him. Probably broke his neck."
Chris looked at the other man in black, a maniacal grin on his face as he stated with pride. "She's the fastest horse rider I've met. Leapt three gorges with the Indians last month, unless you sent me after her she isn't coming in."
The man laughed darkly again and shook his head. "You know its lucky Larabee that my client needs you and your daughter alive. I'm going to take great pleasure in gutting her right in front of you."