It all happened so fast, one minute they were just standing there, then all hell broke lose. They had been eating dinner when they heard the first shot. The bullet flew through the air just barely missing Mr. Favor's head. They all quickly ducked behind any cover they could find. Bullets tore threw the air. Two of Favor's men were hit, one in the shoulder one in the leg.
As quickly as the shooting had started it stopped. Favor wasn't sure what happened next it was all blur. The men came down into the camp and they talked, Favor couldn't remember what they had talked about, but he knew they had talked.
Some one pushed Mr. Favor, at the same time there was a shot. Many more shots followed, one came from Favor's own gun.
When the shooting stopped Mr. Favor slowly stood. Directly in front of him there was six body's. Favor wondered who had pushed him. Whoever it was had saved his life he knew that much. Looking to his right then his left he didn't see any one. Then he looked down.
Mr. Favor stood shocked, blood was spilling from the man's side, too much blood. Wishbone rushed to the injured man and he used a bandanna to try and stop the bleeding, but it was quickly soaked. Wishbone had yelled for someone to bring cloths.
"We're gonna have to get him to a doctor fast," said Wishbone. "Mr. Favor hold this and keep pressure on the wound."
Favor did as he was told, but before he could put his hand on the cloth the man's hand was already there. Favor had thought he was unconscious.
"It's bad ain't it."
Favor looked down at the young man. "Yeah Rowdy, it's bad.
Pain was written clearly across Rowdy's face. His hand was pressed tightly against the wound. Blood was already seeping through the cloth and streaming down his fingers.
Favor gently moved Rowdy's hand and replaced the cloth. It was then that he noticed the ground beneath Rowdy was also soaked in blood. As carefully as he could Favor lifted Rowdy's injured side off the ground and put a cloth on the exit wound. He gently laid Rowdy back down. Rowdy's hand tightly gripped his wound as the blood continued to soak through the cloth. Again Favor moved Rowdy's hand, but this time it wasn't so he could change the cloth. Mr. Favor pressed down on the wound trying to stop the bleeding. Rowdy tensed, the pain was more then he could take. The world slowly went black.
Favor was glad that Rowdy had passed out, at least he wouldn't be feeling the pain for a while. Wishbone came back shortly after Rowdy passed out. He had some of the men put Rowdy in a wagon, then Wishbone, Pete and Favor took Rowdy to the nearest town which was only a mile away.
The doctor had told them that Rowdy probably wouldn't live through the night. Rowdy had asked Favor to make sure his pay made it to his Ma. Favor promised that that he would bring it to her personally. Rowdy told him that his mother lived in a town called Clover.
"Mr. Favor that town is just a few miles away from here," Pete had told him.
Next thing Favor knew he was on a train going to a small town called Clover. He slowly walked to the small house at the end of the street. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, dreading what he was going to have to tell her.
A small women with gray hair and eyes that reminded him of Rowdy, opened the door.
"Mrs. Yates?" Favor asked.
"Yes, who are you?" her soft voice questioned.
"My names Gil Favor."
"Mr. Favor! Come in!"
Favor was surprised at her reaction, but followed her in.
"Please, sit down. I'll go get some coffee." She hurried into the kitchen and was back in only a few minutes. She poured him a cup before pouring one for herself. "Now what brings you here Mr. Favor, is Rowdy with you?"
"Well I'm here because of Rowdy," Favor wasn't sure how to tell her the bad news.
"What's happened? He isn't-" She didn't finish the sentence.
Favor knew what she had started to say, "no ma'am he isn't, but he is hurt."
"How bad?" Fear was clearly written across the women face.
"The doctor doesn't think that he is going to make it," Favor slowly answered.
Mrs. Yates quickly left the room.
Favor sat waiting for her to come back. He absently stared at the painting on the wall. The painting had a small boy running away from the sheriff. At the top of the painting was the word Rowdy. At that moment Mrs. Yates walked back into the room carrying a bag. Favor stood up when he seen her coming back in.
"I'm ready to go," she said.
Favor knew exactly what she was talking about. He took her bag, then they went outside and walked to the train station. Favor had already bought two train tickets. Then next train was due to arrive in one and a half hours. They sat in silence for the first forty minutes.
"What happened?" Mrs. Yates was the first to break the silence.
"He was... Shot," Favor closed his eyes as he remember what happened.
Favor looked up at the women and met her eyes. "We was eating dinner when there was a shot, the bullet just barely missed me. We took cover and fought, a couple of my men got hurt. We talked and they didn't like what I had to say so they tried to shoot me. Rowdy pushed me out of the way, but the bullet hit him."
They sat silently for the rest of the hour. Finely the train pulled in. They were the first ones on the train.
"When Danny was a little boy he was always getting hurt," Mrs. Yates broke the silence once again.
"Who?" Favor didn't think that Rowdy had a brother so he had no idea who she was talking about.
"Danny is Rowdy's real name," she answered his question. "Didn't he ever tell you that?"
"No, he didn't. How did he come to be called Rowdy?"
"It was a stranger in town that started calling him Rowdy..." She sat staring out the window as she told Favor the story behind Rowdy's name.
A tall man in a black suit climbed off the stage coach. His Black hair was slicked back and a hat carefully placed on top. His blue eyes looked over the small town and quickly found the hotel. He picked up his bag and walked down the street. As he walked a group of boys came running out of the ally, one of them ran into the stranger.
"Easy there," the man spoke as he reached out and steadied the little boy.
"Sorry mister," the boy quickly apologized.
"Don't worry about it better catch up to your friends," the stranger gently pushed the kid off in the direction of his friends. He than continued to walk toward the hotel.
At the hotel he got a room that looked over the street. The room only had a bed, desk and a chair. He sat his bag down on the bed before walking over to the window. He noticed the boys were still playing in the street. Moving away from the window he walked towards the desk. He picked up the small desk and carried it to the window, next he picked up the chair he also carried it to the window.
He went back to his bag and pulled out a small box and sat it on the desk. From the box he pulled out a piece of paper and some paints. He began to paint the buildings and the horses standing in front of them. He had been painting for nearly an hour when he noticed the boy that had ran into him was yelling at another of the boys. The yelling quickly turned into fighting, soon the two boys were rolling around on the ground their small fist pounding one another.
The stranger laughed as the sheriff came running down the street. He could hear the sheriff yelling.
"Danny Yates! Joe Hani!" the sheriff yelled.
The two boys jumped up and ran off in opposite directions, their friend also took off running. The sheriff continued to chase the boy who had ran into the stranger earlier.
"The sure are a rowdy group," the stranger spoke to himself. The man decided that he would add that to his painting.
The stranger left his hotel for lunch later that after noon. As he walked he heard small voices yelling. He looked around trying to find where the voices were coming from. He quickly spotted two boys rolling in the dirt. Again the sheriff came and started yelling only this time he only yelled one name.
"Danny Yates! If I catch you I'll whoop you so hard you won't sit down for a week!"
The boy ran straight towards the stranger. The man caught him by the arm and hurried him into the small restaurant before the sheriff could see.
The boy laughed as he looked out the window and saw the sheriff searching for him.
"Gee thanks mister," the boy thanked him.
"No problem. Are you hungry?" the man questioned him.
"I don't know If I should," the boy wasn't sure if his Ma would let him.
"I'll explain it to you're Ma if thats what your worried about," the man told him.
After thinking about it some more he finally said, "Alright mister, I'll eat with ya."
"Have a seat then Rowdy," the man pulled out a chair for the young boy. Not even realizing that he had called him Rowdy. The boy gave him a questioning look before sitting down.
"What would you like to eat?" the man asked him.
"Could I have some fried chicken mister?"
"Only if you call me Jim."
"Alright Jim," the boy smiled.
Jim ordered the food and it was brought to them a few minutes later.
"Do you spend a lot of time running from the sheriff?" Jim asked.
The boy grinned, "yeah, but he's caught me before and never whipped me like he says he will."
Jim laughed, "what about the boys you were fighting with. Why do you fight with them?"
The boy looked sad for a minute, but quickly covered up the fact with a smile, "they wont leave me alone so I make 'em."
They spent the rest of the meal talking about the town and some of the people that lived there. An hour later Danny noticed the clock.
"I gotta go Jim! My Ma will be lookin' for me," Danny jumped out of his chair as he spoke.
"Alright, maybe I'll see you around town sometime," Jim also stood.
"Bye Jim!" Danny hurried out the door.
"Bye Rowdy!" Jim told him bye just before Rowdy was out the door.
Jim went back to his hotel room and continued painting.
"He continued to call him Rowdy until the day he left town. After he left, Danny insisted on being called Rowdy so the name stuck. The sheriff and I were the only ones who called him Danny," Mrs. Yates finished the story with a smile on her face.
Favor smiled too, but then his thoughts drifted back to the fact that Rowdy was laying in a bed dieing.
Wishbone and Pete had stayed at the doctor with Rowdy. The doctor had taken care of Rowdy's wound and stopped the bleeding, but Rowdy didn't seem to be doing any better. The doctor said that he had lost a lot of blood, but there was still a chance that he would be alright. Instead of getting better Rowdy slowly got worse, he was very weak. It seemed that any strength left in him was slowing being drained. A nurse came and went, each time shaking her head sadly. The doctor told them to expect the worst. That was when Favor had left.
Now Wishbone was setting with Rowdy, Pete had went to the herd to tell the other what was going on. He was due back any moment. Wishbone was standing by the window when he heard Rowdy coughing. He walked over to Rowdy's bed and sat down on the edge of it. Wishbone picked up a cup of water and tried to get Rowdy to drink it. Rowdy drank a little before another coughing fit took over.
"Hows he doin'?" Pete asked. He had just got back from the herd.
"He's worse then before," Wishbone answered him sadly.
"The trains due any minute now," Pete told him.
Wishbone just nodded his head. Rowdy's coughing slowly got worse. Pete walked over to the bed and stood silently studying Rowdy's face. It was then he noticed the blood coming from Rowdy's mouth.
"Wishbone look," Pete pointed at the blood.
Wishbone turned to see what Pete was talking about. He looked at Rowdy's face and saw the blood.
"I'll go get the doctor," Wishbone left the room as he spoke.
In the short time that Wishbone was gone Rowdy began to cough worse. Pete picked up a cloth and wiped the blood off Rowdy's face. As the coughing continued to get worse Pete decided that Rowdy needed to sit up. There wasn't an extra pillow in the room so Pete sat on the bed and lifted Rowdy up. He the slid behind him and rested Rowdy against him. By the time Wishbone got back with the doctor the rag was soaked with blood.
"When did he start coughing?" the Doctor asked.
"A few minutes ago," Wishbone answered.
The doctor examined Rowdy while Wishbone and Pete silently watched.
Mr. Favor and Mrs. Yates walked the short distance from the train station to the doctors. When they entered the didn't see anyone so they went straight to Rowdy's room. As they got closer they could hear someone coughing and every now and then there was a voice. Favor opened the door and let Mrs. Yates walk into the room before he too walked in.
"Rowdy!" Mrs. Yates gasped. She quickly cover the distance between her and her son.
"Whats going on?" Favor asked. He was confused by the sight of Pete sitting on the bed with Rowdy lean against him, Wishbone was wiping something off Rowdy's face and the doctor examining the wound.
"We don't know yet, he just started coughing a few minutes ago," Pete answered.
It was then that Favor noticed the blood soaked rags.
Mrs. Yates stood by Rowdy's bed holding his hand. Silently crying at the sight of her son.
"There's internal bleeding, I'm going to have to operate," the Doctor told them. He left the room to go prepare for surgery. A nurse came into the room a few minutes later to prepare Rowdy.
The first thing he felt was pain, so much pain. He slowly opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was... His Mother?
"Ma?" Rowdy question.
"Yes Rowdy?" it was the first time in months she had heard her sons voice.
"Boss?" Rowdy was confused.
"Don't worry Rowdy, just rest," Favor told him.
Rowdy nodded his head. He was surprised at how weak he felt. He was soon asleep.
They stayed with Rowdy for a few more minutes before the doctor made them leave.
The night was a long one. The doctor had been able to help Rowdy and he was now slowly recovering. After he finished surgery, they stayed up all night with Rowdy. All night he coughed and by the time morning came he was still coughing, but there wasn't as much blood.
Pete and Wishbone took Mrs. Yates out to breakfast while Mr. Favor stayed with Rowdy. Favor was sitting in the chair by Rowdy's bed.
"Mr. Favor?" Rowdy still sounded weak.
"Was any one else hurt?" Rowdy asked.
"Two of the new drovers were, but they were just flesh wounds," Favor answered.
Rowdy nodded his head, but didn't say anything. After awhile Favor thought he had fallen asleep.
"How come you brought my Ma?" Rowdy's voice sounded very weak now.
"Because the doctor said that you wasn't gonna live."
Neither one spoke for several minutes. "Why did you push me?" Favor asked.
Rowdy opened his eyes, at first he had no idea what Mr. Favor was talking about. Then he remembered, "because your daughters need you," Rowdy answered.
"What about your Ma she would have been heart broken if you died!"
"Yeah, but she doesn't need me. Your daughters need you."
Rowdy was half asleep when Favor spoke again.
"Thanks Danny," Favor couldn't resist using Rowdy's real name.
Rowdy was instantly awake at the sound of his real name. "Ma told you?" it was more a statement then question.
"Yeah she told me, Danny."
"Who is Danny?" Wishbone questioned. They had just came into the room.
"Does anyone know your real name Rowdy?" Mrs. Yates asked.
"Not until now," Rowdy answered. He glared at Wishbone and Pete, he knew that by the time he got back to camp everyone would be calling him Danny.
"I'll just have to tell you the story," Mrs. Yates began to tell them the story.
Rowdy was only awake long enough to here his Ma tell them about him running away from the sheriff.
Rowdy had to stay a the doctors for the first two day after surgery. Pete and Wishbone went back to the herd the day after surgery. Mr. Favor stayed long enough to help Mrs. Yates get Rowdy home, he then went back to the herd. After for more days of bed rest, Rowdy was allowed to go back to the herd.