“Hush up!” he instructed in a whisper. Justin left the bag under the tree, remounted his horse, and rode off.
“Well now, let's wait a few minutes, to make sure he's gone, and see if he did as we asked.” Andi's outlaw brother in-law got up, and grasping Andi firmly by the arm, made his way over to the tree.
Then they heard a thud from nearby. One of his men rode up a minute later. “Boss! Back here! This guy was hiding back here, watching. Jim hit him over the head and knocked him out.”
“You two take him then, and bring him back to the hideout. I’ll be along in a bit.”
The two men dragged a still form out from behind the bushes. Andi opened her mouth to cry out, “Justin!” but Troy quickly shut her up.
After the men dragged Justin off, Troy called to another man. “You know what,” he said. “Take her and bring her back, too. She's been enough trouble already. I can't risk her blowing our cover.”
The man nodded and grabbed Andi. He tossed her onto the back of a horse, and they rode off, arriving soon at the hideout. Andi saw a wagon driving up to the cabin also, but she was quickly pushed inside and untied, then thrown into the back room once again.
A minute later the door opened again, and Justin was pushed into the room. He was still unconscious. Andi crawled over to him. “Justin!” she cried. “Justin, please wake up.” she begged her brother, gently shaking him.
Justin's eyes slowly opened. He groaned and looked up. “Andi! he exclaimed, sitting up.
Andi threw her arms around her brother. “Justin! Are you okay?”
“I think so,” he said, rubbing his head. “What happened?”
Andi explained everything. “I'm sorry, Justin,” she finished.
“It's not your fault, honey,” Justin said, pulling her close and hugging her again.
“But now what will we do?” Andi asked, looking worriedly into her brother’s eyes.
“I'm sure Chad and Mitch and the sheriff will find us. Don't worry about it. We'll be okay, honey,” Justin said. “For now, you just try and get some sleep. I still feel a bit dizzy.”
Andi sighed and leaned her head against Justin's chest. With her big brother there with her, she quickly fell asleep. Only a couple of hours later, Andi was jolted awake as she heard yelling coming from outside. Andi slid off Justin's lap. “What’s happening?” she asked.
Then they heard a yell. “Get your hands up! We’re coming in!?”
Andi gasped. It was Chad’s voice she heard.
The door to the room burst open, and Troy came in, shutting the door behind him. “Great. Figures your nosy brother would come and butt in,” he muttered to himself. He whirled on Andi and Justin. “And you two stay quiet! You give away my hiding spot and, well . . .” He pulled his gun out of the holster.
Andi shrank back behind Justin. She heard the door to the cabin burst open, and someone came up to the door. The handle rattled, and Andi heard a thud as the door was kicked by someone.
“I know you’re in there!” a voice said. “Come out before I have to make you!”
Troy remained silent.
The door rattled again, and it suddenly came open. Troy stuck the barrel of his gun out of the door. “Drop your guns!” he yelled at Chad. “And you, stop what you’re doing,” he said to Mitch, who was busy trying to tie the other men up. “I’ve got your brother and sister in here, and they’ll pay if you don’t.”
With no choice, Chad and Mitch did as they were told. “Now get over there,” Troy said, jerking his head towards the wall. He was still standing in the doorway.
Andi suddenly had an idea. A risky idea. She got up, ignoring Justin’s shaking of the head. She snuck up behind Troy and dived at him. She hit him in the back of the legs, causing his knees to buckle, and he fell over, pinning Andi to the ground.
After that, several things happened at once. Troy shouted. His companions jumped forward. Chad reached for his gun. The sheriff and several deputies busted into the room.
“Nobody move!” the sheriff roared.
Everyone froze. The deputies quickly started handcuffing all the bad guys, and Chad and Mitch rushed over to Andi. Chad yanked Troy off of his sister and pulled Andi to her feet. “You okay, little sister?” he asked.
Andi flung herself at Chad. “Chad! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m so sorry about the other day. It was wrong of me.”
Chad laughed as he untangled Andi’s arms from around his neck. “I forgive you,” he said. “I’m just glad you’re okay. Let’s go check on Justin, now.”
They walked over to where Mitch was helping Justin stand. “Are you okay?” Mitch asked Justin.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” Justin replied. “Just a little dizzy from getting hit in the head earlier.”
The four siblings went outside and saw Troy and his companions being loaded into a wagon. The sheriff motioned to the horses that stood nearby. “You guys can ride on back home. I’ll check in with y’all tomorrow.”
As they climbed on the horses, Andi asked, “How did you find us, anyway?”
“Well, the sheriff was delayed a bit, and so were we. We started off a bit later than Justin, and by the time we got there, he had already been discovered. We saw a man riding off and figured he had something to do with it. We followed them and made it to the cabin. We didn’t know there were more men than we could handle, but the sheriff showed up just in time. And now he can put them where they properly belong--in jail.”
The next day as Andi led Taffy out of the stables to go riding, Justin rode in from town.
“Well?” Mitch asked.
“They're in jail,” Justin said. “Troy was finally captured, thanks to Andi.”
“But I didn't much to help,” Andi said.
“Andi, if it hadn’t been for you knocking Troy over, it most likely wouldn’t have ended well,” Chad said.
Andi grinned. “I'm just so glad to be back, I would do anything for y'all.”
“Good! Then how about starting on mucking the stalls?” Chad said with a smile playing on his lips.
Andi groaned, and they all laughed.