reloaded, and took a quick swig from the canteen.
His partner Wilson half stood and let loose with
the Winchester, then fell back as an arrow struck
him in the left eye.
McCullough eased his head
over the rock. The remaining Comanches were
maneuvering for the kill. He fired and another
fell. Now there were three Indians against one
He wanted to sleep, but
scarlet circles danced before his eyes, blending
with the silence of the desert and the ache in
With a finger and as much
spit as he could muster, he opened a blood
encrusted eyelid enough to glimpse the sky. Even
viewed through a slit, it was blue and immense.
Ive still got my
scalp, so the Injuns mustve scarpered in a
mighty hurry to try n catch the wagons.
The ache in his head had
eased but his chest hurt like hell and there was
a sharp pain in his back. Moaning, he eased
himself into a sitting position, and discovered
hed been lying on his canteen. He drank a
mouthful, then collapsed, the canteen falling
from his hands, spilling onto the sand.
He was not fully
unconscious, rather in a feverish, delirious
state. Shadowy figures seemed to flit about,
squabbling over him, then fading away. A crack
opened in a boulder, a face appeared and shot an
arrow into his face. Then he was a boy again, in
bed with his mother bending down to kiss him, but
her hair turned into the headdress of an Indian
chief whose hands held him down and ripped the
hair from his head as he screamed and struggled
The late afternoon sun was
warm on his face when he awoke.
If this is dying, it aint
such a ding hard thing. And I reckon we saved the
wagon train. Wouldve been too far ahead for
the Injuns to catch it.
A feeling of contentment
came over him. Tuffs of cloud wafted across the
The sound of cheering made
him leap to his feet.
The desert in front of the
rock was now a paved street lined with women in
broad hats and flounced dresses, and children
waving flags and revolvers.
Dangling between two poles
on a grassy area was a sign emblazoned with the
words McCullough City. Pop 156,000.
Renactment Day 2016
The words meant nothing to
McCullough jumped up as a
war party of Indians thundered into the town,
bows drawn, tomahawks and knives ready for a good
Women screamed and clutched
their children. Men in spurred boots and leather
chaps burst out of buildings, guns drawn and
Yee haw! McCullough ran
onto the street, pulled an Indian to the ground,
grabbed the mans tomahawk, then leapt onto
his horse and tore through the war party, hacking
He killed about a dozen
Indians before uniformed men poured out of small
metal carriages with flashing lights and filled
him full of lead.