Josh had a ten-minute head start on him, but he’d be easy to track with the blood trail. From the amount of blood intermingled with the horse’s hoofprints, Cliff expected to find him dead. He grimaced at the thought. He’d never gotten used to the killing.
At the edge of the tree line, he kept to the scrub trees as much as possible, searching the area for a rider. Then he spotted him. He was still in the saddle.
Slowing, working his way to within twenty yards of the horse and rider, Cliff dismounted with rifle in hand. The rider didn’t appear to notice him as his horse slowed to a walk.
Slipping from the saddle in slow motion, the outlaw pitched sideways, hitting the ground with a dull thud. Cliff approached him cautiously. The body lay motionless, face down in the Arizona dirt. Aiming his rifle at the outlaw’s head, he toed him with his boot. No reaction. He rolled him over. The bandanna still covered the outlaw’s face, but the hat fell away.
Stunned, he stared at long, cascading auburn hair. Cliff’s mind raced. Kneeling, he removed the bandanna. Unconscious, Jenny’s face was pale and still. He felt for a pulse. Faint, but it was there. Lifting her to a sitting position, he pressed his kerchief against the wound in her shoulder. He had to keep her alive.
The second in the series, Forbidden Quest, will be available soon.