California Crackdown

Free California Crackdown by Jon Sharpe

Book: California Crackdown by Jon Sharpe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jon Sharpe
camp there was only one way out. It was a camp that was easy to defend from attack, but it also made Fargo’s job a lot easier. He had them trapped like rats in a water barrel.
    He left his horse in a safe place, then with his heavy carbine in hand, he scouted the area around the camp.
    There looked to be three men in the camp. Daniel was not one of the men. Fargo had been right that it had been Daniel who had gone into Sacramento. Fargo just hoped the marshal and his men could find him and protect the stupid kid.
    At the moment the men were standing around the campfire, drinking coffee. Cain’s wagon sat near where they had tied the horses, and it was still loaded with the gold. Clearly, this was just a stopover point until someone told them what to do with their loot.
    They realized too late that they’d been joined by a fierce-looking man with a Henry and a real unfriendly voice.
    One of the men started to go for his gun but his friend said, “Don’t be stupid, Dave.”
    “I want the guns pitched as far as you can throw ’em. Then I want your boots off and I want you to toss them too. Far as they’ll go.”
    “Who the hell are you?”
    “Nobody important. But you killed somebody important, at least to me. So just be thankful I don’t shoot you bastards down right here and now.”
    The harsh words made them move quicker. They bitched and moaned of course—it was humiliating, throwing away your guns and boots—but they did it.
    When that was done, Fargo said, “Now hitch up the horses. I’m taking the wagon.”
    “They’ll think we took it,” one of them complained.
    “I’d say that’s your problem, not mine. Now get it done.”
    A mile beyond where the men had camped, Fargo found a place to pull the wagon off into some cover behind some rocks so it couldn’t be seen from the trail. He tied up the horses and then went back for his own horse.
    He tied the Ovaro to the rear of the wagon. When he got back to the main trail, instead of turning back north, he went south away from Sacramento. It would be a good ten miles out of the way to circle around and back into town that way, but that was better than taking a chance of meeting any of the Brant men coming for the gold.
    Right now it was better to let Brant and his people think that his men had been robbed of the ore they had robbed from Cain. It might give Daniel another day of life.
    Maybe.
    He got the gold into the bank before it closed and then told Marshal Davis where he could find the robbers. So far, the marshal had had no luck finding Daniel, but as he said, most of his men didn’t know what Cain’s son looked like.
    “We’ll find him,” Fargo said. He thanked the marshaland then headed to where Cain’s two men should be waiting for him.
    He found them both sitting in the Mine Shaft Saloon at a corner table, their backs to the wall. They both had drinks in front of them, but it was clear they were too worried to drink much. A deck of cards lay on the table between them, but no cards were dealt.
    One was a solid middle-aged man with a wide mustache. His name was Jim. The other was Walt. From this angle, he looked like he could bend a railroad spike with his bare hands. Cain had told Fargo that both men were good in a fight and both had ridden the range at times. Fargo had a good feeling about them.
    As Fargo entered the run-down saloon, both had their hats pulled low over their eyes. But when they recognized him, they jumped up and pushed their hats back, smiling. Patience and waiting were clearly not their strong suits.
    “How ya doin’?” Jim asked as Fargo approached the table.
    “Are we going after them?” Walt asked.
    “Doing fine,” Fargo said, indicating that the men should follow him out to the street. “Doctor said I would live. And I already took care of the robbers and Cain’s gold is delivered and where it belongs.”
    “Fargo, the stories they tell about you don’t go anywhere near far enough,” Jim said, shaking his

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