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Shallowz

 

 

The Wall
An episode tag for Buscaderos.
Disclaimer: This story is based on the characters and premises of many talented people. Essentially - not ours, no profit being made, etc. This is just for fun.

Murdoch expected a mess. Sneaking through the wine cellar the night before had hinted that Drago’s men were not respectful of other’s property. 

“Jelly, head down to the barn, check it out.” Murdoch stopped just outside the kitchen’s back door.

“They sure made a muddle of things.” Murdoch smiled a little, hearing Jelly grumble all the way to the barn.

They had made a muddle of things. He hoped to get to the wine cellar before Maria saw it, and to the worst of it in the great room. He and Jelly had made a quick survey of the damage to see what needed repair or what to replace. Jelly had moaned about all the clean up needed, but Murdoch hadn’t heard most of it once he’d seen the bullet-ridden adobe wall. There was something about it – the way it looked. It didn’t make sense until he traced the pattern of the bullet holes. Pot shards were all over the ground with the exception of a small bare patch close the wall.

Murdoch wasn’t sure how long he stared at the wall until he was pulled away by Jelly’s angry recitation of all the work that would take days to complete.

He would have Jelly, if he was feeling up to it, start repairing the wall in the morning. If he wasn’t up to the task, Murdoch would assign someone else to do it. If need be, he would do the job himself; but that wall wasn’t going to last long as one of the reminders from this awful day.

He quelled the sudden urge to ride into town and demand to see the men who had attacked their home, who had…

Scott--bruised, and more than a bit battered-- saying he was Johnny Madrid

Murdoch shook the memory away.

Johnny had argued, or not so much argued as stated, he would bring the money to Lancer. For that brief moment Murdoch had wished that his younger son hadn’t arrived in town just in time to hear what was planned for the tax money. 

Murdoch needed to know at least one son was safe.

Johnny went. 

End result was one dead man in their home and Drago’s men in custody. Drago and the girl had escaped, but it was debatable for how long. Money was recovered, and Murdoch had entered the kitchen to find his boys arm wrestling.

Arm wrestling on the kitchen table: a table that held new scars.

Scott didn’t acknowledge his presence – at least not enough to notice. Something was… off with his older son. A disquiet that Murdoch didn’t understand, nor did Johnny from what he had said.

“Scott isn’t quite himself.”

No, Scott wasn’t himself. Who would be after facing…

Think of the ranch. Set it to rights. Think about posting guards. The hacienda had been invaded too often since his sons had arrived home. Don’t think about what could have happened. Just don’t.

Laughter drifted out from the kitchen.

Murdoch ducked around the corner of the house - and hid.

Laughter. His boys were all right.

He allowed himself to start shaking, and listened as they walked past him. Johnny accused Scott of cheating; Scott denied it and suggested that Johnny should do more strenuous work: Build up more muscle.

Murdoch listened as their deep voices trailed away and took a deep breath, stiffened his spine. Willed the tremors to stop.

His sons were all right.

Murdoch had hoped, but realized he hadn’t expected that.

 

~ end ~

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