Free Diablo by Patricia; Potter

Book: Diablo by Patricia; Potter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia; Potter
He’d never understood how or why he had survived when other men, better men, had died around him. Bullets caught those next to him, but always missed him. The bayonet had missed its real target, his throat, and had merely ripped into his cheek. Even in the Yank prison camp, he’d thrown off diseases that killed so many others. He’d started thinking he lived a charmed life until he’d returned to Texas, and carpetbaggers had ridden up to Davy’s ranch. Hell, even then, he hadn’t minded the outlaw life so much. His one regret was that he’d pulled Davy deeper and deeper into trouble.
    He mounted his gray. He wondered whether Nicky Thompson would mention his explorations to her uncle. Kane wouldn’t be surprised if Thompson already knew. Kane thought there was little that happened in the valley that Thompson didn’t know.
    Nat Thompson stared at Mitch Evers through hooded eyes. Since the episode a few days ago with Yancy, he’d asked Mitch to keep an eye on Nicky.
    â€œShe met O’Brien?” Thompson said, his voice rising ever so slightly.
    Evers nodded. “I don’t think it was planned.”
    â€œWhat in the devil was he doing riding at that time of the morning?”
    â€œAndy says he does a lot of riding.”
    â€œThen why in the hell didn’t he stay on the run instead of coming here?”
    Evers shrugged. “We checked him out real good.”
    â€œWell, he’d been in prison a few months. Maybe he’s just restless. But I think we should watch him.”
    â€œHe’ll have a shadow wherever he goes.”
    Pain struck Nat’s stomach. He’d come to expect it now, yet he wasn’t prepared for its growing fierceness. He tried to keep his face blank. He didn’t want even Mitch to know how bad the pain was getting. In a moment, it faded. Not entirely, but enough so that he could straighten up. “I have another idea,” he said. “I think I’ll invite him for supper.”
    He almost grinned at Evers’s surprised face. He would have, had not the pain continued to nag him.
    â€œYou’ve never—”
    â€œI know,” Nat said. “There’s something, though, that puzzles me about Diablo.”
    â€œNicky …”
    Worry etched even deeper in Nat. “She’s never shown any interest in anyone before. Damn, I wish I could send her out of here, but I don’t have everything ready yet. A few more months … just a few more months.”

Chapter Six
    Kane finished shaving and gave himself a wry look in the mirror, trying to see deeper than the image that stared back at him, searching for the man inside. He didn’t know why he even bothered with a razor, except that it separated him from many of the other guests. He didn’t know why he cared about that, either. He wasn’t much better than the worst of them. The law sure as hell didn’t think so.
    At least he’d never killed for fun. And the faces of those he had killed haunted him. All but one had been men in uniform, many little more than boys who were fighting for their country, just as he was. He hadn’t felt anger toward them, nor any pride in killing them.
    He had been here nearly ten days now, and he knew the others better than he’d like to. Most of them reveled in their kills. Their boasts sickened him, but there had been little else to do in Sanctuary other than share tales of banditry. Especially since he was avoiding Miss Thompson and, therefore, limiting his rides. Gambling, boasting, and whoring were the order of the day, not necessarily in that order. He knew he was considered odd because he did little of the last. So he gambled a lot, drank sufficiently, and listened appreciatively. He hoped his own lack of stories made him appear more discreet than reluctant.
    But Davy was never far from his mind. As he looked in the mirror, he sometimes thought he saw his friend standing next to him.

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