Mike quickly calmed down, as Jake holstered his pistol.
"Look, I'm sorry, but we've got this gold to look after."
"We can always ride into town and make like Sherman, burn the place down, that should keep them occupied and off our backs," I exclaimed. That idea horrified the others.
"O'Rourke gave us plenty of leeway getting this gold to Cheyenne, I added, We'll be heading for Fort Laramie anyway, if they have a telegraph, I'll wire him."
Jake was really working on Emma using things none of these men had ever seen before, but all watched, as he dug a bullet out of her.
"Small caliber round," observed Jake, "No damage to her vitals, damn I wish I could give her blood, she's lost a lot, but I've cleaned out the wound, she's going to make it." Once Jake felt she was out of danger, we moved her to the wagon, placing blankets under her and shading her with a rigged up canvas cover.
"I'll ride in back with her," said Jake, "Sorry Mark your going to loose a spotter."
"Don't worry Jake, you saved her life, that's what's important," I replied.
One of the men knew a trail to the fort, cutting way right and south. Because Emma was riding in back, we took it easy, I would ride a mile or so ahead and carefully scan with my binoculars. Around mid afternoon I spotted a group of men riding my way, but by the way they rode, I knew they had to be a Calvary detachment. I waited until they came up on me then gave them my snappiest salutes.
"Gunnery Sergeant Mark Cummings, late of the United States marine corps at your service lieutenant. The troop came to a halt as the officer looked me over,
"What is the marine corps doing way out here Mr. Cummings?" I chuckled,
"The same as we've always done lieutenant, keeping the trade lanes open. I'm working for a man up in Lead, Michael O'Rourke. Currently we are transporting a shipment of gold down to Cheyenne.