Pacific Union Railroad Camp
Armadillo - At Twilight
The journey was an uncomfortable one for the fugitive named Hubbard. His leg felt like it had been broken but there was no bone poking through. Savage didn't seem much concerned about it. Then again, Savage didn't seem overly concerned about much. They talked little during the ride to the Union Pacific cam,p. Eventually they did arrive to the small collection of wooden buildings.
A few people eyed Savage warily as they rode in. One of them, a deputy, touched the brim of his hat and called out to him.
"Looking worse for wear. Old man give you some trouble?"
Savage didn't like to advertise his weakness but there was a clear hole in each sleeve and a small but ragged tear on the back of his duster.
"Damn near had to break his leg to get him to come along," Savage called back, smiling. "He's wily for an old guy."
"What happened to the others?"
At this point, the deputy began to walk to keep up with them. Savage squinted for a moment then turned to smile back at him.
"Four of you went out to get him. Where are the other three?"
Savage shrugged then said, "Do you remember what happened to them, Hubbard?"
The fugitive tensed up and took in a breath. He looked at Savage then lowered his eyes, not meeting the law man's gaze. After a moment, he said, "We got ambushed on the way out... When the others went down, he got me on a horse and we got away together."
"Oh yeah," the deputy said, raising an eyebrow. "How come he was the only one able to get away, huh?"
"I don't know," Hubbard snapped. "Got my horse shot out from under me twice! Broke my damn leg in the fall. I'm just happy to be alive."
"Leave him alone," Savage warned. "He's mine until I turn him in."
"Sure," the Deputy said, shaking his head. It wasn't clear if he bought Hubbard's story or not. "So, where did you guys find him?" Hubbard glanced nervously at Savage.
"Tall Trees... on his way North toward Strawberry. Said he was going home." Hubbard relaxed and lowered his head again. "See you later, Deputy."
The lawman smirked and shook his head. He stopped following them, though. Not long after that, Savage dismounted and tied up the horses by a trough of water. He helped Hubbard down and, while keeping a firm hold on his still bound hands, helped him to walk to their destination. The fugitive seemed surprised when they turned away from the little building the Sherif was using as a base.
"It's been a long ride," Savage said, a sly smile on his face. "Now it's time to scratch your back a little before turning you over."
This confused and intrigued the man long enough for them to reach the back of a different building. By then, he seemed to realize something was really wrong.
"Hey, wait... This is-"
"Relax," Savage said before knocking hard on the door. When it opened, the man that they saw made the old fugitive yell out and try to pull away. Savage chuckled and held him fast until a burly fellow came out of the buliding, grabbed Hubbard and slammed him against the wall. He shut the man up with a hand against his mouth.
"Oh, I've waited for this," said the first man they saw, an older gentleman who very clearly worked for the rail company. "Take him inside."
"Hold on there," Savage snapped, hand reaching reflexively for his gun. "You're not abiding the deal." For a moment, the three men near him froze and tensed, ready for the dramatic twist. "Payment first."
The old man laughed and said, "Wait right here." He stepped into the building and, after a moment, returned with a roll of bills fresh from the mint. He handed it to Savage and asked, "Satisfied?"
Savage nodded to the man and slipped the money into an inner pocket on his duster then turned to leave. Hubbard tried to yell hateful things at his back but his voice was muffled. He vanished into the building a moment later.
On his way back to the main road, intent on having something to drink and eat and finding a place to rest, he saw the deputy standing by his horse. The sherif was standing at the other side of the road, just watching them.
"Where'd Hubbard go?"
"Who," Savage said, turning instead to untie then mount his own horse.
"Don't play games with me, son. What did you do with him?"
"We're not related."
"Where is he?"
By now, the deputy was once again walking to keep up with him.
"And just where are you going?"
"Am I under arrest?"
"That depends on how you answer me. Hold up!"
"No. I'm under arrest or I'm not. I don't feel like talking now."
"H-hey! Stop, I said-"
"See you around!"
The deputy continued to yell into his dust as Savage rode away at a stiff pace, making for the river crossing. He was in a bit of a bad mood. His arm still hurt and he needed more provisions but the lawmen were getting too nosey for his liking. So he would make for a place where people didn't ask so many questions.
He made a stop at MacFarlane's ranch and bartered for a night of rest, supplies and care for his horse. He was tempted to pay for two nights but his instincts told him to ride on a bit farther. If he wasn't in such a need for supplies he would have rode wide around the ranch so as not to leave so much of a trail. Nothing really happened and in the morning he set off into the desert.
Night was fast approaching by the time he saw the dusty boomtown of Armadillo. Just before that, however, he heard the report of gunfire. This earned a soft 'hum' from him. The town never seemed to change. The sun would be just about to set by the time he made it to the town proper, which was fine for him. The fading light did funny things to people's eyes. Hopefully he would be seen as just another nobody drifting in on the winds. Of course, he would be angling for the saloon once he dismounted...