Stone forewent further loading and snapped the cylinder closed, hoping the hammer fell on a live round. By now, the man was closing in on him, his pistol pointed.
Having heard cannon fire on a few occasions, it seemed he heard it again as the outlaw was propelled back into the street, his midsection all but severed.
Recovering from astonishment and venturing a look around the corner, a cloud of smoke was dissipating from the porch. In the midst of the cloud was an old man with a towel draped about his waist and holding a 10-gauge double barrel Greener, or hand cannon if one preferred. The acrid smell of spent gunpowder permeated the air.
Still shaken, Stone holstered his pistol and stepped upon the porch. Hank leaned the Greener against the wall. With his wrinkled lips pursed, the old timer surveying the carnage.
"You'd think they'd soon learn not to fool with us, wouldn't you, son?" Hank stoically opinioned.
Stone begins this job from atop a stagecoach, posing as a shotgun messenger. Outlaws are robbing the Southern Colorado Stage and Freight Company of gold shipments. No one knows where or when they might strike. No one has a clue where they hide. This is driving the stage company to the brink of bankruptcy. Desperate, the owner wires Jake Stone.
Stone doesn't stay atop the stage long. Explaining why he is here to the tall, lanky, tobacco-chewing driver, he and the likeable old cuss formulate a plan. The plan works and he discovers the villains' hideout just beyond the Canyon of the Gun. Although he has no intention of confronting them until he can return with help, he is forced to kill several of their number before he can leave. Even more will die before Stone closes this case.
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