“Come on boy, get off that horse.”
Ezra cursed himself for a fool as the two men grinned evilly at him. He should have expected something like this from his uncle with that devious mind of his. He sighed inwardly as he dismounted and stood waiting for what was expected of him next. The men quickly dismounted and approached him and his horse. He snickered when his temperamental mount tried to bite the cowboy that reached for his bridle.
The man snapped his hand back towards his body with great speed avoiding the beast’s snapping jaws. He pointed an aggravated glance to the smirking boy before he once again reached toward the horse, only to watch the dang critter take off at a dead run back towards the town they had left earlier. With a look of disgust at the departing animal he brought his attention to the boy they had been hired to kidnap. The boy would just have to ride double with one of them. “You think this is funny son?”
Ezra grinned wider at the idiot before replying, “I’m afraid sir, my steed has exceptionally judicious tastes when it comes to the company he entertains.”
“You have a really smart mouth kid,” the cowboy glared at him in disgust.
“Yes sir, I have been informed a time or two about that.” Ezra hoped to waste enough time that his horse would make it back to town and alert his brother of his disappearance. He knew he would get an earful from his brother on his lack of sense in following two complete strangers out of town and away from the protection of the others. Anything that Chris would provide for punishment was preferred to spending even a few moments in his Uncle’s possession.
“Enough already Brett, we gotta get outta here for them town folk coming searching for this kid.”
Brett nodded at his partner before grasping the boy’s arm and moving him towards his own waiting horse. The boy naturally struggled in the hold and he landed a quick swat to his rear. “Now knock that off boy, we don’t want to hurt ya none. Just got us a job to do and get you to your Uncle.”
Ezra rubbed his bottom before glaring at the man that hit him. “I would suggest for your continual wellbeing that you return me back to my brother.” His words though fell on deaf ears as he was hoisted into the saddle and promptly ignored.
Chris lit the end of his cigarillo as he stepped down from the boardwalk after leaving the saloon. He looked around the small town full of strangers and hoped they and the herd they were driving would leave the area soon. He had kept his distance from Ezra most of the day as he felt his temper running short with his little brother. Now though he wanted to check up on the boy and wondered where to check first, Ezra had an interesting habit of disappearing and showing up just when he would start to get worried. He figured today’s location would be the livery with that damn horse he seemed so attached to. He knew it was a waste of time arguing with the boy over the horse, knowing in the end he would relent and accept Ezra’s choice of that cantankerous beast.
“Glaring at the livery ain’t gonna solve your problems pard.”
“Buck,” Chris acknowledged while continuing to stare at the aforementioned building.
“He still arguing for that crazy ole horse still?”
“Yep, you should hear some of the things he comes up with in his arguments.”
“Yea, he has the gift of gab alright.”
Their conversation was halted as the heard the fast approach of a horse through town. They both sighed in disgust thinking it was another of those damn cowboys coming in. They were both prepared to educate another of the idiots when they recognized the rider less horse and felt their hearts constrict.
“Shit” Buck cursed as he went to try and get the horse to settle down. He soon heard Vin by his side softly crooning to the horse that was so obviously apprehensive about trusting another person.
Once the animal was calmed, Chris quickly started to look him over and clenched his jaw when he saw one of Ezra’s playing cards strategically placed just under the back housing of the saddle. He glared at the two of diamonds before swiftly turning on his heel and heading towards the livery to prepare his own mount.
The others quickly followed, everyone thinking that Ezra was in the clutches of his evil Aunt and Uncle.
Ezra found his journey over sooner than he expected. He was a bit surprised to find his Uncle had stayed so close to Four Corners, but the man was often misjudged and used that to his advantage. He unconsciously leaned back into Brett’s hold as his Uncle made his way towards him.
“Well boy you certainly have caused more trouble than your worth.”
“I’m sorry sir,” he answered demurely and felt himself instantly ripped from the saddle and dropped to the ground by his Uncle’s strong grip.
The two men that had brought Ezra to his Uncle felt decidedly uncomfortable with the interaction between the man and his nephew. They shared a glance and quickly left with the payment for bringing the child to the man. Both felt a measure of remorse for what they had done, but did nothing to help the child as they rode out of view.
Ezra felt a chill run down his back as he focused on the maddening gleam in his Uncle’s eyes. He didn’t think he would go without injury before his brother found. He didn’t even want to consider that his brother wouldn’t be able to find him.
Olivia heard her husband return into the shack they were currently taking refuge in. He had been gone for a longer time then she had expected him to be for settling the boy into the small cellar behind the place. She sighed as she figured Matt was just reminding the boy of the rules, she only hoped he hadn’t damaged the child too badly.
“Matt is our dear nephew settled in for the night?”
Matt grinned evilly, “oh he’s all settled for the night, went out like a light.”
“Have you thought about what we are going to do with the boy?”
“Figure we can sell him for a good price, little bastard deserves at least that for all the trouble he has caused.”
“But what about the money Matt? How are we going to get Maude’s money?”
“Figure he’s going to have to be considered dead, then as Maude’s only living relative they’ll have to release all her fortune to me.”
Olivia smiled at her husband as she thought of all the new dresses she would be able to order when they returned to their home.