Chapter 46 continues

The story so far: Katka tests her marksmanship skills.


Sandinski, who had been holding onto Anton, let go of him. He ran to help Moose Jackson. Lily sat up in a daze, pulling her bloody clothes back over her body. Katka’s bullet had missed her completely. “Where’s my baby?” she said in a voice so small it sounded as if it belonged to someone else.

With his head, Samo motioned to the back. “Old Joe slipped him out.” Lily limped out of the tavern as quickly as she could, holding her broken nose.

Moose Jackson moaned like a bull. “Am I going to die?” he asked Deputy Sandinski.

“I ain’t no doctor, Moose, but I ‘spect you’ll live.” Moose moaned again. “Men,” Sandinski said, “get some more law in here. And get Doc Payne so Moose don’t bleed out.” The redhead left. Deputy Logan stationed himself next to the door, his pistol drawn.

“Don’t worry, Moose. She’ll pay for what she done,” Sandinski said.

“Listen,” Moose said, his voice raspy, “I don’t want no one knowing.”

“Knowing what?”

“That I got shot by that woman.”

“But you did get shot by that woman,” Sandinski said.

“No. You didn’t none of you see that. I will not have people saying some immigrant female shot me. I won’t have nothing if people think that. Won’t be able to show my face. Anton did it, understand? Tell ’em Anton did it.” He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out several bills, waving them toward Eli Sandinski. “Promise me.” As he tucked the stained bills into his own pocket, Sandinski promised.

Sandinski turned to Anton. “Apparently you shot a deputy. Paddy wagon’ll be here before you know it. If your girl give us her weapon, we won’t tell no one she had a part. And we’ll leave your wife alone, too. Sorry about that part, Anton. I ain’t a fan of that, I ain’t.”

“We are not going anywhere,” Katka said. “There are witnesses. Everything done here was in self-defense. It will hold up in the court system. And I didn’t kill him. I could have, but I didn’t.”

“You’re saying you missed killing him on purpose?”

“I did.”

Sandinski laughed. Then he gestured toward Deputy Logan stationed at the door. “Disarm Annie Oakley.”

“Drop your gun, Miss.”

“No.” Logan fired his pistol at Katka. Katka ducked. A man’s voice rang out. “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!”

It was Moose Jackson. He had been shot in the back. “Bullet must have ricocheted off something,” Sandinski said. He walked over to Moose and turned him over. “That’s a life stopper,” he said. “Looks like you’re going to die after all.” As Moose’s blood ran steadily from his body, Katka untied Andy, who helped untie the others. Then they heard the siren and the roar of the police wagon. Reinforcements had arrived.


Tomorrow: Chapter 46 continues.