They were laying for Clay Belden when he came out of the pass into the Wildhorse Valley. He didn't see them. He didn't know they'd be there. He didn't think they would remember him.
But they were waiting, with their rifles neatly trained from the rocks, and their fingers tight on the triggers.
The first shot was a warning. The second sent Clay rolling on the ground looking for cover.
The third shot was Clay's. And though he never saw at whom he was shooting, he knew then it was to be war to the finish. War between one lone drifter who didn't know his enemies - and a raft of sharp-eyed triggermen who kept his features neatly framed in the long-range sights of their saddle-guns.
by Louis Trimble
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