“It’s junk,” one of the bandits cried, after sifting through the cart. “Ide beads and a heap of rocks!”

The leader, Hart, looked at Jacob and Virgina. “What kinda pea-brained, lily-livered Prosperity Falls asshole puts four guards on a cart full of rock and Ide art projects?” he cried.

“The same kind of pea-brained, lily-livered asshole who’d attack a cart guarded by Rangers, I’d reckon,” Jacob said.

Hart flicked his revolver at one of his men–finger still on the trigger. “Go on up.” The second flick pulled the trigger back enough to fire, and the bandit Hart had been pointing at emerged with a hole through his slouch hat.

“How are you still alive, if that’s how you handle your shooting irons?” scoffed Jacob. “I swear, I’m beset by utter morons at every turn.”

“Take their horses,” Hart said to his lieutenant with the still-smoking headpiece.

Virgina’s hand crept around to the Remington nestled safely in her duster. “You need a new recruit there, Mister Hart?” she said. “Maybe somebody with no fingers so they can’t accidentally shoot you in the ass?”

“For riding,” Hart said. “Back to the camp, at least. Then we’ll have ourselves a nice feast.”

Virginia saw Jacob’s hand tighten on the mare’s leg in his hip holster. “You’d go to all the trouble of robbing the Prosperity Rangers just to end up eating a pair of $50 horses?” he laughed. “You’re about as good a rustler as you are a shootist.”

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