The scraggly group made it's way across the shallow stream and headed toward their destination, a little farming camp located out in the middle of nowhere. Supposed to be a lot of chicks and Lenny, the leader of the group was into finding a lot of chicks. His guys were getting hard to control and they needed the release of having a regular woman. A bunch of farmer chicks would be just the right thing. Good workers and hot in bed, or at least that is what he envisioned. The direction s they had gotten off of a kid they beat up back at the last little burg they raided said they had about 3 or 4 miles to go after they crossed the creek. Lenny called a halt and told everyone to eat if they had any food and get some rest. They would probably fight that day.
Since it was supposed to be 3 or 4 miles form the farmer encampment there was no light discipline, at least as far as smoking cigarettes was concerned. Most of the crew just flopped with their woman, if they had one, and the rest just flopped. There was some small talk and some smoking and then they were all asleep. They had ridden 10 miles that day and they were not used that kind of physical exertion. Lenny's gang was not into training and neither was Lenny.
A mile and a half away, on a slight rise in the otherwise flat, rolling prairie, lay a group of three men, peering through a set of binoculars and a spotter scope. They had been watching the cigarette lights of Lenny's camp.
"Can't tell how many there are but I would say around 20 counting the women. No fires so they are not cooking food. Smoking a few cigarettes and that is about all. Looks like they have turned in for the night. Must be pretty tired. No tents, no cooking, and no guards. We could roll over them in a couple of minutes, maximum."
"Aww, let's take the word back to the camp and tell the Farm Manager what we found. He can make the decision."
"Sounds good to me. The Boss thinks about how to handle shit like this all the time. He will have something up his sleeve, for sure."
The men walked down from the little rise they were on and mounted horses they had waiting. They rode the short distance to their camp and stopped their horses in front of a cabin not much different than all the other cabins in the area. Th leader of the trio, a man called Sam, walked up and knocked on the cabin door. His knock was answered almost immediately by a heavy set man of about 6'1".
"Come in, gentlemen. What can I do for you this evening?" said the Camp Boss.
The three men gave their story of what they had observed and what they thought it all meant. The Camp Boss sat in his chair for a moment and looked of into space. Then he focused on the three men and told them to get the men up, as it was almost sunrise, and tell them to get armed. This was accomplished is a very short amount of time. The newly awakened men grouped in front of the Camp Bosses cabin and he came out to speak.
"Men. Last Sunday morning a group of Freebooters captured the town of Wheaton, about 12 to 13 miles from here. They took the people while they were in church. Nobody thought they would get hit early on a Sunday morning. They tied up all the men and locked the children in a shed. The women were forced to serve them and then some were raped. One old man, Luke Symington, was sick in bed and heard the commotion. He came out of his house with a rifle in his hands and the Freebooters saw him first and he was killed on the spot. Now they are on the way here to do the same to us. They are about 3 miles form us and when they wake up they will be coming this way. I got this story from a farm hand who happened to be passing through and saw some of what went on in Wheaton. I think we will have to destroy these men. There are some women with them and they can be run off to forage as best they can. We can hit them just past the old hay barn on the South range. Get your horses and guns and mount up.
They hit the trail about 10 minutes later, with one man riding point a quarter mile ahead. After about a mile they started walking their horses so the hoof beats wouldn't resound too loudly and give them away. The lead man finally waved and they came to a halt. The Boss had them tie their horses in a little declivity and they walked to a slight vantage point. There they waited. Pretty soon the Freebooters appeared, riding in a disorganized clump. The Boss Man had his men on a line and told them how to take their first shot. The farmer on the left took the man on the left of the Freebooters and so forth. The farmers were 14 in number and so were the Freebooters, leaving out their women. The farmers waited until the Freebooters were so close it made their hearts beat loudly. The the Boss man said "Fire" and the farmers cut loose with a well aimed volley. Almost all the Freebooters were killed in the first shot. All were hit and two had to be dispatched when the farmers got up to them. The Farmers were rounding up the women to turn them loose when one of them spoke and said, "I am a prisoner. They captured me at Wheaton and made me go with them. Can I go back to Wheaton?" A few questions readily showed that the girl was telling the truth and they gave her a horse from of the
Freebooter's and let her ride home. The remaining women were let free to walk away, as long as they did not walk toward the farmer village or Wheaton. The women started walking and the farmers mounted up and headed towards their home, leading the extra horses they had captured. As they rode away, Buzzards started circling over the bodies of the Freebooters. Nature wastes nothing.