All For One & One For All
Mari heart raced, Pinkerton detectives could mean only one thing, Zee's nightmares had come true, the James-Younger gang had been arrested and that meant one thing.
They would be hung.
A tearful woman emerged from the barn she ran towards the house where her two children watched form the window. She ran to the bedroom and opened the chest in the corner again. She rummaged through the belts and pistols and found what she was looking for. A pair of pants, a shirt and braces, boots, and finally a hat and coat, she threw the items on the bed and pulled her dress of her body and dressed herself in the clothes she worn when she joined the gang.
She then fastened a belt around her waist and sat two pistols in the holders on either side of hr hips.
"Lizzy, Joe come with me." She said as she pulled on her hat and coat and left the house.
Lizzy closed the front door behind her and ran after her mother and brother.
"Listen to me, I want you to go in Auntie Zee's house and be very quiet because she's asleep alright. If she wakes up and asks where I've gone, tell her I said that …" She couldn't think what to say, how do you tell a woman that her husband, and his family have been arrested and unless she could get there in time, they'd all be dead?
"Tell her I said it'll be ok and I'll deal with it." Mari sighed and hugged her two children.
"I love you both so very, very much" She whispered and kissed them both on the forehead.
"Be good for auntie Zee while I'm gone" And with that she lead them up to the house and closed the door behind them and ran to the stables.
She untied her horse and threw it's saddle over it's back and fastened the girth, and then fastened it' bridle around it's head and pulled herself onto it's back.
She turned her horse around and galloped of towards her hometown Liberty and maybe even her death. She trotted into the town and saw Jesse, Frank, Jim, Cole and Bob lined up on the platform.
Bob was nearest the end where Mari was and a smile spread across his face as he spotted her.
Mari winked at him as a sign that she was there too help before she began looking around for a weakness in Pinkerton's forces, and then she spotted it.
"Bingo" She smirked and jumped down from her horse alongside several other which she guessed belonged to stagecoach which Pinkerton and the others had travelled in.
She took out a stick of dynamite from her coat pocket and lit the fuse with a match before throwing it with all her might to the stand where Thaddeus Reins sat along with Alan Pinkerton sat with wicked grins on their faces.
In a huge explosion from the dynamite they were blown back to hell and in the smoke and confusion she ran to the platform and cut the ropes binding the boys' hands and feet. The dust had started to clear and Mari knew they didn't have much time, as she untied each of the boys they ran to where they'd seen her tie her horse and galloped off from the town.
"Jim get going I'll catch up" Mari said as she kissed her husbands check and ran to untie Frank.
"Boy am I glad to see you" Frank smiled as Mari untied him and followed Jim. Mari turned to run but as she did several men ran at her.
"Now for the fun part" she smiled and whipped her guns out from under her jacket and began shooting the men surrounding her. She slowly backed towards her horse as she continued to fire her guns. As the last man fell to the floor Mari climbed on her horse and galloped off after her friends and back to her home.
As her horse skidded to a halt in the yard back at the farm she saw the boys waiting for her, Mari jumped down form her horse and looked at each of them.
"Mari Younger I'd never thought I'd say this but I'm damn glad you joined the gang," Frank smiled and hugged his cousin's wife.
"Where's Zee?" Jesse asked as he hugged Mari too.
"She's inside with the children; she doesn't even know you were gone and I don't think she should know. She'd been having nightmares about you lot getting caught."
"Then we don't tell her" Cole sighed. "No need to tell her now Thaddeus Reins is dead."
"And Pinkerton" Mari smiled. A great weight had been lifted form her heart, now that those two crooks were dead she felt she could relax a little, the danger still hadn't passed, she knew one day trouble would come again but she knew that the boys would be ready and so would she.
"Well boys let's leave Mari and Jim alone for a bit." Cole smiled and led the way to the house he shared with Frank and Bob, and Jesse disappeared to his house to see his wife and daughter.
"I can't believe you were stupid enough to come after us on your own." Jim sighed.
"Jim the boys are my family, Zee needs Jesse and I need you." Mari replied.
"I'm never gonna let anything split this family up Mari, I promise"
"I know you will" Mari said and as the evening sun set behind the dusty hills Mari and Jim kissed and made their way back to their house to carry on their lives with hope and joy now that Thaddeus Reins and Alan Pinkerton were out of their lives forever.
The James-Younger Gang remained on their farm for the rest of their lives.
Alice-May James grew into a fine young woman with a taste for adventure like her father; she Married at the age of twenty three and had two children Jessica and Harry. Lizzy Younger grew up to marry a young man from Liberty and had a son Luke. Joe Younger married a young lady from Jamestown and had three children George, Jack, and Bella.
Jesse James lived to the grand age of seventy eight and died at home on his farm with his family around him. Zee James died shortly after her husband at the age of eighty.
Cole Younger married a woman form Liberty and had two children, Alice and Leah. He died before Jesse at home on the farm at the age of seventy two. His wife died at the age of seventy three.
Frank James married a woman from Jamestown and had one daughter Helen. He died at the age of eighty one and his wife died at eighty.
Bob Younger finally got his wish and became a hit with the ladies, but he only had eyes for one who he married when he was thirty eight. He died at the age of sixty five and his wife sixty eight, they had one son Alex.
Marietta Younger lived to the age of eighty six, he beloved husband Jim lived for three more years and died when he was eighty nine. He was the last of the James-Younger Gang to die and was buried along side his family in the woods near the farm were they finally found peace from the railroad and lived in happiness.
To all the heroes who have fallen in battle, for all who fight and die for what they believe your names may not be remembered after you are gone but yours sprits live on and you are the greatest heroes of them all, because you brought freedom for those you protect.