Andi went the long way through town, hoping to avoid anyone she knew, but pretty soon she heard a couple horses come up behind her. She tried to ignore them, but the riders wouldn’t let her.
“Andi, I want to say I’m sorry.” One of the riders, Cory, came up beside her.
Andi looked over at him. “Why did you throw the snake?” she asked.
Cory hung his head sheepishly. “It was supposed to be a joke, I didn’t think Taffy would bolt.”
Andi looked at him with some disbelief in her face. “A joke? That was a pretty nasty joke, Richard Blake.”
Jack came up on the other side of Andi. “He told me it was meant to be a joke, Andi. I believe him.”
Andi glowered at Jack. “Yeah? Well, your horse isn’t lost.”
Cory burst in before he could reply. “That’s why we came!” he said excitedly. “We want to help look for your horse, you know, as a way to say sorry.”
Andi looked from Cory’s face to Jack’s face. She was grateful for the help, especially with the new complication she had come up with the creepy customer. She nodded. “Alright, I could use your help. There’s something going on other than just Taffy being lost.”
Cory and Jack both perked up, their interest arrested.
“Something going on?” Cory asked eagerly.
Andi nodded, telling them about the man’s words. The two boys were thrilled, and eagerly questioned Andi on what she was planning. She thought for a moment, thinking over her plans.
“I’m starting by following him at a safe distance, and finding out exactly what he’s running from, then I think I’m going capture the man and bring him to the sheriff.”
The boys’ eyes were shining with anticipation, and they consented to her plans readily.
The three started out again, and thankfully, the man had stopped by a saloon on the way out of town, so they didn’t lose him while talking over plans. He soon left town, always looking over his shoulder nervously, making it impossible for the three to use the road he used.
They silently followed him over miles of terrain, and Andi was more grateful than ever to have the assistance of the two boys. They were a great support to her; she never was able to stay mad at Cory for long. His easygoing, always willing spirit was such an encouragement to her, and, after a day’s worth of travel, as they were sitting in the dark night, Jack’s pistol close at hand, and the other man’s fire within view, she turned to him.
“I’m sorry Cory.” she said towards his silent silhouette.
His voice had surprise in it when he replied. “For what?”
“For yelling at you, and saying I’d never forgive you.”
Cory gave her hand a tight squeeze in the dark. “You know I didn’t believe you. You can’t ever stay mad at me long.”
Andi gave him a grateful smile, although he probably couldn’t see it. “Thanks
They sat in silence and watched the other man’s fire die down and go out. This was what they had been waiting for. Andi, Cory, and Jack with their horses silently crept up to the camp of the suspect and sat behind a log conveniently placed a few yards away from the sleeping convict. Spy, ever alert, was uneasy, and Andi could feel him tense at every noise. Cory noticed the horse before Jack or Andi did.
“That’s the wild black!” he said to Andi in a barely audible whisper. “I’d recognize him anywhere!”
Andi silently nodded.
The silence was suddenly broken by the whinny of a horse, and the three kids froze. The convict jumped to his feet, a wild look in his eyes, and his hand darted to his holster.