01/18/21 Snippet, THE FALL OF THE KINGDOM of COAHUILA.

Trash-talk!

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Bailey spent a bullet trying to spook out the soldiers before the wounded one broke cover and ran for the horses. Bailey put him down without a qualm. The fella wasn’t running away; he was running for help. But it took another shot to do it, and now it was just the last soldier and him.

“You want time to reload, Yankee?” came the cry from… over there, somewhere. Bailey couldn’t be real sure where without looking, and for damned sure he wasn’t gonna stand up to check. “Give you more of a sporting chance, hey?”

“Wouldn’t say no!” Bailey shouted back. “Tell you what. Let’s stand up, have ourselves a proper duel. Like gentlemen!” He then moved a bit, because he figured the soldier wanted an idea where he was, too.

That got a no-fooling raucous laugh. “Ain’t no gentleman here but me, boy. I don’t duel Yankees anyway. I whup ‘em, just like I would a slave.”

“You think you’re tough enough, runaway,” Bailey said with as much scorn as he could manage, “why don’t you come on over and try?”