Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sixteen (Continued)

Will spent the next hour in a state of increasing agitation. Although he tried to concentrate on making charges and attaching fuses, his mind drifted. He should've never let Diana go to San Eusebio. It was his job to protect her, and Amalia knew it. Why had she allowed Harley to assign him here while Diana was exposed to the dangers of town? He wouldn't let it happen again. But then, Coyote hadn't said the problem was in San Eusebio, had he?

"This thing that went wrong—where is it?"

Coyote looked up and frowned as if it hadn't occurred to him to wonder before now. He tipped his head to one side like a dog listening to a voice only he could hear. "West," he finally said.

"Are you sure, or are you just guessing?"

"It’s definitely to the west."

"Have you. . . well, have you sensed anything else?"


Will stood up, struggling against the sense that the mine was too small, the air too thick to breathe. He needed to clear his head or he would go mad. "We should take these down to the tracks, don't you think?"

"Yeah. That's about the last of the powder." Coyote looked at the work they had done and grinned. "This is going to make a great explosion."

"I thought you said we would wait for orders."

"Orders are on their way."

"From who? Diana?"

"I'm not sure. I don't recognize the horse."

Will had picked up a flat wooden box, but now he threw it down in disgust. "Damn it, you do know more! Why won't you tell me?"

Coyote turned wild, confused eyes on him. "I don't always know it before I say it. I swear! At least as far as what's in my head, I've told you everything."

"Well maybe you should just keep talking, if things come out when you don't expect."

"No way. Then they'd take over. They scare me."

It crossed Will's mind to ask who "they" were, but he had a feeling he didn't want to know. "Fine. Let's just go place these."

"We'll need to take the tools, too. And we'll take those spikes we collected when we tore up the mine rails. I have a system."

"Maybe we should get Cordelia. That's a lot to carry just between us two."

"Only if you think you can get her out of the corral without anyone noticing."

Will considered. "No, I guess we can take it in several trips. It won't kill us."

As it turned out, they might as well have risked getting the jenny because Ikea came into the mine looking for some obscure ingredient in the food wagon and caught them walking out with boxes of explosives. "What are you doing?" When the young men stuttered their weak and incomplete excuses, she pounced. "You're on your way to blow up the train, aren't you? Damn it, we don't have orders for that."

"We will," Coyote said.

"That's a cute thing to say, but wait until Galileo hears." She turned on Will. "I'm surprised you’re going along with this. You've usually got sense."

"How do you know he’s wrong? Have you forgotten the hangings at the lake? Besides, I'm only keeping an eye on him. I'll make sure he doesn't set anything off until we have orders."

"Seems like you'd stand a better chance of keeping him from blowing things up if you wouldn't help with the powder."

"Oh, what do you know?" Coyote said. "Why don't you grab some tools and make yourself useful?"

"You think I'm going to help you?"

"You might as well. You'll just end up down there later, when the rider shows up."

She looked from one to the other in confusion and something in Coyote's eyes and Will's solemn bearing convinced her. "Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to go down the hill and look at the rails, since you're going to be down there anyway. Someone needs to make sure you don't blow up the train without permission."

"Good." Coyote pointed to some tools. "Bring those."

"You know, as soon as we get down there, Tiffany will see us from her post."

"Sounds like it's about to be a party," Will muttered.

"That's okay," Coyote said. "We'll all end up down there within the hour, no matter what we do."

"Is there anything we should do to prepare?" Ikea asked, now almost as much under Coyote's spell as Will.

"Just make sure there's enough food for an extra person tonight."

Ikea glanced at Will. "If the potatoes cook properly, it shouldn't be a problem."

Coyote picked up his box of charges. "Let's go get things ready, then. We should do as much in advance as we can."

1 comment:

Alice Audrey said...

I love that little bit about the potatoes.