“Hold your fire!” Suzie shrieked at the top of her lungs, and I’ve not been able to hear out of my right ear since.

I suppose that’s a mild exaggeration, but you’ll have to forgive me for it. At the time I would have sworn on Ben’s mother’s grave that was the truth - I certainly didn’t hear any of what was said in the following ten or fifteen seconds. All I can say for sure is that when Suzie dragged me to my feet, the barrel of her gun still trying to massage my brain, the shooting had stopped and every set of eyes in the place was turned in our direction.

“You’re part Banshee, I swear it,” I said, probably too loudly. Suzie didn’t bother replying to that; she just stomped on my toes instead. I was not having the best night of my life.

“I’m only going to say this once, so listen up!” She said it just loud enough for everybody to hear but I still winced. “Me and this muttonhead to my left are going for a walk and nobody is going to stop us. If anyone so much as breathes in our direction I’m putting a bullet through his miserable excuse for a brain.”

“And why on earth should any of us care if you did?” Jenkins demanded, hands on hips. I would’ve been hurt by his callousness, but to be honest I was wondering the same thing.

“Because he’s the only one who knows the current location of half the gold you stashed at my nunnery,” Suzie replied. It was an effort not to look as surprised as everybody else. “Red here moved it somewhere else and then torched the place to the ground.”

“That sounds like something he would do,” Nate muttered.

“So if he dies, he takes your precious gold to the grave with him.” Receiving no immediate reply to this, Suzie began walking us to the back door. Finally cottoning on, I caught Jimmy’s eye and did my best to silently urge him in Ben’s direction.

“Wait a second,” Jenkins said, his face scrunching up in thought. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but that expression made him even harder to look at. “You said Red knows where half of it is - what about the other half?”

“You look like a smart guy,” I replied, staring hard at Jimmy, “you figure it out.”

I saw the light bulb finally switch on behind his eyes and he drew his gun as he moved to where Ben was still hiding behind the overturned table. I released the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding as he drew his gun and jabbed it in Ben’s ear.

“That would be Mister Davis’ secret,” he called out as Ben got to his feet without any assistance. Once upright, he lit another cigar while glaring at Jimmy as though the kid had stolen a barmaid out from under his nose.

“If I let you walk out of here I’ll never know where the gold is anyway,” Jenkins said, levelling his gun at me before switching to Ben. “So I might as well just shoot the both of you right here and now.”

“You do that and all the nunnery gold is lost to you,” Suzie said, still edging us toward the back as Jimmy began doing the same with Ben. “If everyone leaves here with no extra holes on their person, you’ll get half of it back.”

“How do you reckon that one?” Jenkins swung his pistol back in our direction.

“I’m done with these lunatics,” Suzie replied, sounding like she genuinely meant it. “Once we’re on the other side of the horizon I’m getting these boys to tell me where they hid the gold. I’ll take half for myself, send word to you where you can find the other half, and then the race begins.”

“What race?”

“My dear, sweet, stupid Marshal,” Suzie said with a shake of her head as we reached the back door. She waited until our partners in crime - minus that rat Nate, of course - joined us before continuing. “There can be only one destination left for both sides after tonight. You’re all too bloody greedy not to go there.”

“What the devil are…” Jenkins trailed off as understanding came to him.

“We’ll see your ugly face at the platinum mine!” Ben shouted and the four of us turned and hightailed it out into the night.

The End

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