RUGGEDLY SILENT – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Tuesday – RUGGED and FOWC with Fandango — Silent

Rugged and silent, the Superstitions loom over the bleak desert near Phoenix, Arizona

Following them … and not by much of a distance, either … were a mixed bag of posse wannabes. A few professional lawmen, a clutch of bounty hunters, and anyone else that had a gun and a horse and could be drug up by the sheriff and the railroad people.

A cactus sunset near the Superstitions

The horses were exhausted and it wouldn’t be long before they collapsed unless they were allowed to stop, rest, drink, eat. For that matter, it wouldn’t be much longer before they, themselves, collapsed.

Whose idea was this, anyway? They could have hit a bank or a Wells Fargo shipment. Hell, they could have hit half a dozen stagecoaches without setting off this kind of frenzy. It was those railroad guys. They really didn’t like bandits. Which they were. Damn.

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

It was getting dark, now. The sun was setting over the mountains. Where could they go? Ahead were the Superstitions … and there was nothing up there but jagged rocks. Where was water? Some grass for the horses and a place to lay themselves down and breathe.

In the distance, they could hear the hoofbeats of oncoming horses. They looked into the fading sun and they knew.

It was over. For good, this time.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

19 thoughts on “RUGGEDLY SILENT – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Love it. I really feel for the horses. The riders seem oblivious to how tired their mounts are and just keep whipping them with their reins. How would they like it if someone whipped them with reins as they gave pursuit?? There’s that scene in “The Professionals” when Robert Ryan tunes up a guy for mistreating a horse. I love it.

    On, WILDFIRE, On!!!

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      1. Gotta track down Waco Johnny Dean and Dutch Henry Brown. “Dutch, mind if I call you ‘Matthew’, your real name. Pa always said you were rotten;”. I want my Winchester ’73 back, now.

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  2. Paladin (remember him? he lived near you … ) used to kill off his horses regularly. They would just drop dead under him. Then he’d have to haul his saddle and gear to town. You’d think these guys would notice that the horses DIE in that heat.

    Yeah, I watch westerns too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this, Marilyn! Mistreatment of horses (any animal really) is one of the most disgusting things a human can do. They are as helpless as babes and rely on humans for sustenance care and love.grrrr

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    1. I always watch westerns and think “But the horses! Who is taking care of the horses?” The good news, most of the horses you see in the movies are extremely well cared for. And most of the stars who ride bring their OWN horses.

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        1. There are a lot of laws protecting the animals. Also, the guys who do serious riding (not the stars, their riding doubles) have their OWN horses. They wouldn’t attempt those tricks on a horse they didn’t know well. It was not always like this, but for at least the past 25 years, there are a lot of laws protecting the animals. You can’t make a movie without statements that no animal was injured in the making of the movie.

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