New Western Adventure Story

The life and times of Marshall Luke Johnson

by a. j. Lombardi Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved

The civil war began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at 

 

Part Ten

You can call me Beth

 

​I felt good when I left that morning knowing that the little girl who called herself Annie would be left in capable hands. For the next week or so things were pretty much quiet. The quietness soon disappeared when young Ben came galloping bareback into town on his Appaloosa.  “In a full gallop he stopped short in front of me yelling “Marshall, Marshall, I have something to tell you!  “Annie is gone, and we think maybe the injuns got her!”  After a few moments he calmed down and told me what had happened. He said that he thought he saw a few injuns passing through the path near the stream.  Shortly after, Annie was nowhere to be found.  “I quickly saddled up, grabbed some extra ammunition for my Sharps riffle and started to head out.”

 

About halfway there I changed my mind as to where I would go first.  I recalled the little girl Annie telling me that her family escaped from the Clayborn ranch.  I figured that maybe Mr. Clayborn had taken the girl. My hunch told me that I should check the Clayborn ranch first.  “Maybe Ben just saw some injuns heading out to catch up with the buffalo. I remember when I first came to town, people were talking about the great buffalo herd that would be passing through soon.  I know that a lot of the North Cheyenne and some of the Crow injuns would be following and hunting the herd.  Maybe Ben just saw a few of them passing through. I changed direction and headed to the Clayborn ranch.  It was late morning and very quiet around the main house and barn.  I figured that everyone was probably out in the pastures somewhere doing their daily chores. I decided to enter the house and then off to the barn to see if I could find the little girl.  When I entered the barn, I saw a little negro boy cleaning out one of the horse’s stalls.  He backed off when he first saw me.  I asked him what his name was to which he replied, “My name is Andy, folks round these here parts call be little Andy.  I knew right away that he was the brother that Annie had talked about. “Tell me Andy, is your sister Annie here.  “No sir, I ain't seen Annie in over a week or two.

 

I told him that I was Marshall Johnson and I would take him to see his sister.  As we started to walk towards the side door of the barn to leave, the two large main doors swung open.  The bright sunlight burst through along with two men.  I could also sense that someone else was in the barn somewhere behind me.  “By the way Annie described Mr. Clayborn I knew that the man on the left was him!  The bright sunlight that flooded the barn sort of overtook my vision.    I could not immediately see clearly.”  I could faintly see that one of the men had his arms raised with what looked like garden hoe. He was in motion to swing it at me. At the same time, I heard two loud gun shots ringing off my right side.  I could see a white flash coming from the barrel of a gun about three hand’s length of my right ear.  Next thing I saw was two men in front of me falling to the ground. I then heard my guardian angel say, “Are you alright Marshall, it’s me Jubal!    “Sheriff Hockshaw told me what happened and figured I would follow you in case you would need some help.  “Now I know you Yankee boys don’t know how to track like us Rebs, causin I plum followed you since you left town, and you didn’t even know it!!!  It was a defining moment in my life to have Jubal there to save me.  I was also impressed at his shooting inabilities in that he had to fire two shots.

 

I thanked Jubal and asked him to take the boy over to the Randall homestead. Jubal said that he would get Sheriff  Hockson, Lucian and Riley to meet me at the canyon. My next move was to head out to the canyon area where one of the union soldiers told me he saw a band of injuns.  Speeding off in a gallop I arrived at the canyon area in about fifteen minutes or less. A group of about twelve to fourteen injuns were camped out.  I noticed Annie fetching some water by the stream.  She looked up and saw me.  I had to make a move right quick.  So as to make as little noise as possible I rode up to her in a slow canter. She reached out her arms to me to lift her onto my horse. As I tried to lift her, her left foot got caught between my Sharps rifle and the saddle. I final was able to pull her up and onto the saddle in front of me.

 

Riding off in a full gallop I could hear the sounds of horse’s hoofs coming closer.  I then heard a loud yell and felt a sharp object strike me on the back of my neck. The pain was numbing as I could feel something warm dripping down my back. My vision started to drift, and I could not hold on any longer. I then fell from my horse and onto the  ground.  The only memory I had was that I could see my horse with Annie riding away.  While lying on the ground in a half-awake state I could see the striped hooves of about four horses around me.  I then suddenly felt an arrow pierce my left side. In the distance I could hear some gunshots.  Before I left full consciousness, I could sense Jubal lifting me up and saying, “I got you Marshall, we're going home!”

Continue  Part 11.

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Please note that this is an ongoing story that will contain  several additional parts that will continue to be published until it's completion.