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Fifty-nine

In Denver at the foot of 17th Street in Union Station at track 7, Wyatt leaned with his arms folded against the marble wall and waited for Josie Marcus to arrive. She got off the train with her flowery suitcase, wearing a silk dress from San Francisco, her face a little flushed with excitement.

My God!

He took her bag with his left hand and opened his arms, and she seemed to jump into them, pressing herself against him.

My God!

He carried her suitcase in his right hand and held her hand with his left as they walked up 16th Street toward Larimer, to his hotel at the intersection. Josie talked. About the dress she was wearing and the train ride from San Francisco and the way the troubles in Tombstone were being written up in the San Francisco papers. Wyatt listened without exactly hearing what she said. He was listening to her voice, the way he might listen to music, and what he felt, as he heard the voice, made the content irrelevant. At the Broadwell Hotel, they had tea sent up to the room. They drank the tea as Wyatt listened to the music of her voice. Then the music modulated slightly.

Is it over? Josie said. You and Johnny and the cowboys?

Almost, Wyatt said.

The Examiner says you killed Curley Bill.

Yes.

And somebody named Cruz.

Wyatt nodded.

It said in The Chronicle you killed at least four others.

Papers say a lot of things.

Josie knew that the conversation should go in a different direction.

Have you seen Johnny?

Behan?

Yes.

Saw him at Hookers ranch. Him and his posse.

What happened?

What do you think happened, it being Johnny and all?

Josie sipped some tea and paused to add sugar and sipped it again to see that shed added enough.

Nothing, she said.

Wyatt smiled.

Thats what happened, he said.

Josie knew better than to press the point, and she didnt want to spoil the moment, but she couldnt let it go.

You didnt exactly answer my question.

I said almost.

Is it Ike Clanton?

Ikes all gas and liquor, Wyatt said. He never shot any of us.

So you dont care about Ike?

Somebody else will shoot him soon enough.

Who, then?

Ringo.

Why? Josie said. Was he involved with Morgan and Virgil?

Dont know, Wyatt said. But he was close with Brocius. He said hed kill me for shooting Bill.

Maybe he was just talking, Josie said.

No. John doesnt do that, except when hes drunk, and he wasnt drunk. Says something sober, he keeps his word.

He wont find us, Josie said.

Wyatt was quiet. He drank the tea the way he drank coffee, holding the cup in both hands, his eyes very still, over the rim as he looked at her. His big revolver lay on the night table near the head of the bed. It looked so strange in the chintz and linen room.

Well, he wont.

Wyatt nodded.

When the tea was gone, Josie bathed. When she was finished bathing, Josie came naked to the bed.

Youre going to go and find him, arent you? Josie said.

Josie, Wyatt said, youve been talking since you got here.

Do you think its time for me to stop?

I thought so a while back, Wyatt said and opened his arms.

Josie hesitated for a moment and then let it go, and put herself into his arms and closed her eyes and kissed him with her mouth open.


Fifty-eight | Gunman`s Rhapsody | Sixty