01/23/21 Snippet, THE WAR OF OLD MAN TYLER.

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All of this was assuming the scheme was on the up and up, mind. But Bailey didn’t figure Nacho for a Royalist stirring up the border, so that was out. Aside from the rest of it, Nacho had been locked up good and proper when Bailey showed up, which argued the man wasn’t some kind of faker. A spy, sure. He didn’t believe for a second that the Mexican hadn’t been sent north to make trouble for the Filibusterers. Trouble like getting the USA to attack? Bailey allowed as to how that would be a help to what was left of Mexico, but it was still blind luck that Bailey came across Nacho.

Besides, if you wanted to make sure the USA went to war with Coahuila, well, there were easier ways to do it besides get a Houston Ranger to go dry gulch a baron. There was gonna be a war. Everybody on the northern side of the border, from old General Kearny at the War Department to the rawest army private at one of the Gila River garrisons, knew it was coming. Coahuila claimed all of Texas, Sonora did the same with the Californias, and Durango… Durango sold the other two all the cheap guns and slave chains they wanted, which was a lot. Under the circumstances, ending Hampton was just getting your licks in early. And that was always smart.

Bailey figured he was just telling himself all this because — well, none of it was a lie. But he was going along with the scheme because it’d be reckless and fun. Bailey liked being either, and being both at the same time didn’t happen every day.

The Ranger chewed on his thoughts a little more, but tossed ‘em to the side as soon as he woke Nacho up and crawled off to sleep — not in the wagon — himself. They were good for keeping him awake, but now he needed his sleep. There was going to be a long morning’s ride, and a fight coming up sometime soon.