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Don't Tamper with Horses

-Part 10

...continuing. Moss stood behind the mostly-closed door of the livery, watching through the narrow gap as a dozen men rode into town at a lope. The man in the lead was a large man with dark facial hair. His horse was two hands taller than the other outlaws' horses, and it threw its head as they rode up to the saloon.

"That's Deveney," the kid whispered in Moss's ear. "My sis says he's the worst outlaw since the Plummer Gang."

Moss raised his eyebrows. "Just what is your name, kid?"

"Denny Lake. My sister is June. You know you're taking an awful chance just watching Deveney?" Denny's eyes were huge as he stared at the outlaw boss.

Moss shrugged. He thought of Sam Morgant and Orville Wilkins and wished they were with him. The three could have a fine time taking Deveney down, just like they took on the Cassady brothers. He grinned thinking of what Orville would have to say about it, though. The farmer did not seek out adventure.

Deveney's men marched into the saloon, slamming the batwing doors to either side with a bang that Moss could hear from the stable. He was too far away to hear exactly what was happening, but he could hear glass smashing and a scream. Moss grabbed Rocket's reins and opened the livery door enough to slip out. "Stay here Denny," he said. He could feel the kid's eyes on him as he walked across the street and tied Rocket to the hitch rail alongside Deveney's horse.

The saloon was tense. A bartender stood nervously against the back bar, broken glass and spilled whiskey beside him and his arm around a crying girl. The paint on her eyes was melting onto her cheeks.

A big, rough man stood in front of the bartender. His red hair stuck out at odd angles under his hat and he had a mean scowl. He lifted another bottle to throw toward the bartender and girl.

"Hey!" Moss called. "Pick on somebody your own size."

The red-haired man turned around. His eyes were dark and angry and Moss felt nerves coil in his gut.

To be continued...