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Mary Whimsey

 

 

Buscaderos: Missing Scenes

Episode tags for The Buscaderos
My thanks to Mary O. Her suggested made the scenes much, much better.




Scene One

“I guess no man knows until his time comes,” said Scott desperately trying to keep the quiver out of his voice.

Drago kept talking but Scott hardly heard him. He kept thinking of the Gatlin gun. If they just wanted to kill him a single shot to the head would be easier. They were using the Gatlin gun to terrify him. And they were succeeding. Only pride was keeping him upright.

That repeating gun would turn his body into ground meat. If he could risk asking for a favor he would ask that they not leave his body for Murdoch to find.

Murdoch who he had never called father and now never would.

Murdoch would survive; he had learned long ago to accept what life gave and took. He'd shove what ever he felt behind some door in his mind marked Scott and go on just as he'd gone on after Scott's mother died and Johnny's mother ran off taking Johnny with her. Murdoch was a survivor. He'd become harder, colder but he would make it through. Even so Scott prayed his father was spared finding what was left after the Gatlin gun peppered him with heavy shot.

“And they voted by acclamation not to rehanged them!” said Drago clearly enjoying his own performance.

Scott swallowed hard and said, “But the rope won't break for me.”

Drago continued to toy with him, almost but not quite offering hope.

Scott suddenly thought of his grandfather. Dear God, what this would do to the old man. Please let them have sense enough to spare him the details. His grandfather too had survived a lifetime of loss. Had hidden himself in business after the deaths of his wife and children in the same way Murdoch had lost himself in building up the ranch. They were so much alike his father and his grandfather but Scott had never had nerve enough to tell either of them so.

Scott knew his death would kill his grandfather. It would sever the old man's last tie to the future; it would be the unsurvivable loss.

Drago hopped up on to the wall, swinging the bottle towards the place he wanted Scott to stand. Scott saw the flash of color, the flowers in the pots.

Teresa. Teresa would mourn him. Other friends and family in the east would mourn for him but it would be Teresa who put flowers on his grave. It would be Teresa who grieved when his father could not. It would be Teresa who would remember them as a family. Only remember the good times, little girl, don't ever think of this.

Scott pulled his body tight together, making himself as small a target as possible. Instinct took over and his hands covered his manhood. That tiny part of his mind not consumed by fear or anger was amused. He knew, he'd seen them fired, a Gatlin gun could cut a man in half and yet there wasn't a man alive who wouldn't try to protect his manhood.

Scott's gaze passed over Chapel. The man was excited, almost licking his lips.

You're a dead man. Johnny will hunt you, Drago, the whole bunch, down like an avenging angel.

Oh, little brother, if you want to avenge me stay here on Lancer where you belong, marry a pretty girl, have a dozen children, raise the world's most beautiful palominos and live a long, long life.

Scott knew it was a forlorn hope. It was not in his brother simply to go on with his life after this. He would again become the gunfighter Johnny Madrid. Without mercy he would hunt them and kill them. Afterwards there would be no coming home. Johnny wouldn't escape that brutal life again until someone more skilled than he faced him down.

“You want to say a little prayer?” asked Drago almost kindly.

Scott shook his head. He had heard last rites perhaps a thousand times during the war but the only prayer he could put into words was:

Please, God, protect my family. Keep Johnny safe.

As Drago lower his arm as the signal to fire Scott drew into himself. The words of the old New England Primer children's prayer, his first prayer learned at his grandfather's knee, came back to him.

Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake; I pray the Lord my soul to take.




Scene Two

Johnny stood just outside the patio wall; he shook his head at the mess Jelly's diversion had made of it. He wondered if someone among the vaqueros knew anything about working with adobe. They had to get that gaping hole patched up before Teresa came home. The less Teresa knew about the whole affair the better.

He let his gaze sweep over the patio itself, noting the broken pots. Then he stopped and looked again at the far wall. His eyes traced the line of deep holes that ran chest high across it. It didn't take much thought to realize they had been made by the Gatlin gun. The line was straight for a yard or more then arced upward and down again to continue at chest height.

“ Madre de Dios .”

Johnny felt his stomach tighten into a hard ball and his breath catch in his throat. That arc in the line of holes was the height and width of a man's torso and head; his brother's torso and head.

Johnny turned around quickly. He let his breath out slowly. He saw Scott leading the filly he was halter breaking across the dusty yard between the barn and patio. Johnny knew that his brother was alive and if not entirely well at least in one piece. But realizing what that line of bullet holes meant he had to look at Scott.

“You done yourself proud.”

Drago's parting words to Scott hadn't made any sense to Johnny at the time. Now they did.

Reluctantly he looked back at the wall. His imagination showed him his brother standing there; standing tall, not begging for his life, not screaming that they had the wrong Lancer.

How could anyone meet his brother with his fine ways, his fancy words and mistake him for a border gunfighter? What was that girl trying to do letting them think Scott was him? What was her name? Violet? He barely remembered her. How could his meeting her years ago have put his brother against that wall? Wasn't it enough that his past haunted him? He couldn't stomach that it should hurt Scott.

Johnny turned again to watch his brother.

Scott was gently pulling the filly towards him; his low, firm voice encouraging her. His attention was completely focused on the young horse. He looked nothing like a man who had spent the night fearing for his life.

A small smile played over Johnny's mouth. That was his brother; so much more than he appeared.

Although like many Johnny wasn't in the habit of praying except when he was in trouble. He prayed then.

Thank you, thank you for my stubborn, impossibly brave big brother. Please keep on looking out for him.”




~ end ~

 

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