There was an angry whine from the rock face above them, and then the crack of a rifle.
As one man, the posse scattered for shelter, whipping rifles from their scabbards. Hardin swore, and Kimmel wormed his way to a better position.
Short had left the saddle in his scramble for shelter, and his horse stood in the pen, the canteen making a large lump behind the saddle. Suddenly the horse leaped to the solid thud of a striking bullet, and then followed another crack of the rifle, echoing over the mountainside.
Short swore viciously. "If he killed that horse . . ." But the horse seemed uninjured.
"Hey!" Kinsey yelled. "He shot your canteen!"
It was true enough. Water was pouring onto the ground, and Short started to get up. Sutter grabbed his arm.
"Hold it! If he could get that canteen, he could get you!"
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