For three days the unlikely trio had been trying to out run the ever persistent posse that Sarah was fairly certain her father had organized with the help of the sheriff in Miles City. Heyes kept saying that they had help of an Apache tracker even though Sarah had been positive it was old Twin Oaks, the town's resident Apache tracker, if that wasn't a coincidence. For the first time in the three days they had been running the posse was now with in range. Bullets whizzed by, many of them missing Sarah by mere inches.
"Ugh!" a bullet finally found its mark in Heyes' right shoulder.
Sarah looked over her shoulder and saw Heyes slumped over his horse's neck. She spurred her horse and rode back for the wounded man. She quickly seized the other horse's lead rope and without hesitation galloped toward a nearby grove of ponderosa pine trees.
"KID, WE'VE GOT A MAN DOWN!"
Kid loped over to where he had heard Sarah's panicked shout. Worry griped his mind as he and Sarah helped Heyes dismount and sit against a tree.
"You alright, Sarah?"
"Don't worry about me, Kid,"
"Get a fire going and heat some coffee,"
Sarah set to making the fire while Curry looked over his semi-conscious friend.
"How bad is it, Kid?"
"Just a flesh wound, coulda been worse, a lot worse,"
"Think they'll come back and…?"
"Sarah, I hate to tell you this, but I don't rightly know the answer to that question."
"Shh, I'm right here," Sarah knelt down at Heyes' side.
"Yes, I'm a little shook up, but I'm alright," she brushes a loose strand of her coal black hair out of her face. "Get some rest, I'll be close by."
Sarah sat by the fire and poured herself a cup of coffee. She was frightened that there would be another posse that would come to finish this one had started.
"Sarah, maybe you should lie down for a while, I'll get you up when supper's ready."
"Okay," she poured Kid a cup of coffee and he took it gratefully. "If only I looked back sooner, we wouldn't-" tears streamed from her grey-blue eyes.
"Hey, don't cry darlin', I've seen Heyes come outta worse then this," Kid placed a comforting hand on Sarah's shoulder. She says nothing, but gives the Kid a weak smile to show that the gesture was appreciated. She took her bed roll from her saddle and spread it out near the fire and said a short prayer before lying down.
Sarah woke with a start, gasping for breath. It was a dream, she told herself, just a very bad dream. The fire had nearly gone out and Curry was asleep on the other side of the fire. He musta just let me sleep, it's alright with me I'm not hungry anyway, probably wouldn't be able to eat.
"I'm here," Sarah moved next to Heyes. "How do you feel?"
"Like death… warmed over, ya sure you're alright?"
"I'm fine Heyes, don't worry about me."
Heyes drifted back into a dreamless sleep. Sarah put another log on to the fire and poured herself a cup of coffee, she wouldn't admit it but over the past three or so days she had come to see Heyes as an older brother.
She woke early the next morning and started to make a breakfast of biscuits and fried salted bacon, Kid woke just as she started to make fresh coffee.
"Mornin' Sarah, did ya sleep well?"
"Well enough, I suppose, how about you?"
"No, not well, spent the better part of the night worryin' about Heyes, and you."
"Here, have some coffee," she poured two cups and handed one to Kid. "It will help you feel a little better."
Kid took the cup with an air of gratitude. The dark circles under his steel-blue eyes only told half the story, Sarah could tell that there was something else was on the ex-outlaw's mind.
"Heyes, I've got coffee,"
"How's your shoulder?"
"It's there," Heyes took a deep breath and winced. "Now are ya sure that you're alright?"
"Heyes, I'm fine, stop worrying about me," Sarah realized that it came out harsher then she would have liked. "Sorry, I've just never been in this kind of a situation before."
"So, what happened?"
"You don't remember?"
"I remember talkin' to ya and then… I felt like I had been trampled by a horse,"
"Remember anything else?"
"I'm not sure about what else happened," Heyes took a long drag on his coffee.
"Well, I looked over my shoulder and saw you slumped over your horse's neck and I rode back for you, a foolhardy decision on my part."
"No, that was bold and noble of you to do that, now that you mention it I think I saw that black mare comin' for me, for a minute I thought that I was done for."
"Well it's good to see you back to your old self Heyes, think you'll be able to ride, or do ya just want to stay here a few days and rest up?"
"Nice seein' you too, Kid, think we should stay here for a few days, we ain't in any rush to get to Porterville; besides, I don't think I'd have the strength to get into the saddle, let alone get back out again."
"Plus," Sarah added. "We have an ample water supply and should be plenty of wild game 'round here and there maybe roots and berries here 'bouts too, like you two I'm in no rush."
After eating her breakfast Sarah set to gathering more fire wood. Best get a good bit we'll be here for a few days or so, she thought, I never knew that camping could be so relaxing.