Wynton was furious. “I told you not to injure them, and not to kill them.” “We didn’t kill them. How were we to know they would escape that way?” “It’s still your mistake. If you had gotten the snitch before they got to him, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“Can’t you get another meal ticket?” Strand spoke softly to control his anger. “For what I have planned, I need an honest man who trusts me. That balance is like walking a tight rope. You’re stupidity could easily turn it from a circus facade to a hangman’s noose.”
“What do you want me to do now? They won’t accept our help. They expect us to kill them.” Strand considered and discarded multiple possibilities in seconds, before deciding a course of action. “You do what you do best, nothing at all. I’ll handle this a different way.”
In the meantime, a lawman, three wolves, and a Mayor huddled together to stay warm. An hour in, they felt either safe, or desperate enough, to start a small fire. Each man took turns watching while the other slept.
Neither was sure what to do when dawn came. It was possible that their enemies were waiting for the same thing, with a different plan. Either way, the light was there only hope for survival. So they attempted to retain any heat they could, and prayed for day.
About an hour before the sun was to break, they could make out gun shots. They were in the distance, lasted for about ten minutes, and then faded away. The next thing they heard was Ed Trenton, a local store owner. “Sgt. Silver, Mayor, are you okay?”
“Over here Ed, over here. The Mayor and I are a little worse for it. He’s got a bullet in the leg, and me in the shoulder. My pack has cuts from the rocks. We could use some help.” “We’ll be right there.”
“Wynton Strand called you late last night. When your wife told him what you were doing, and that you hadn’t been back yet, he acted. Of course, he’s no lawman. As a matter of fact, he isn’t that good with a gun. Brave though, he was in front leading us all. Which is why we have to get to a hospital. He’s been shot, and it don’t look so good.”
Find out the repercussions of Strand’s actions in next week’s Alaskan Silver!