Last night, after over a month of inactivity, I opened this document. My plan was to force myself to write something in it. I started correcting grammar and punctuation mistakes and before I knew it this part was nearly finished! :) Yay! That (and Bethany R.'s contest ;D) has given me some new inspiration for this delightful little story. So, there will be more regular posting of this story from now on. ;)
And now I'll leave you with Part-4.....
As the trio set out down the well traveled road, the sky darkened and it began to rain.
By the time Andi, Mitch, and Peter reached the outskirts of Breakwater Canyon darkness had fallen and the downpour had lessened, but they were saddle weary and chilled to the bone. Soaked, as well, despite the ponchos they wore.
Deciding to 'chance it' and get out of the weather long enough for a bite to eat at Breakwater Café, Andi, Mitch and Peter dismounted and left their horses at the hitching rail.
"Mother will skin me alive if you catch cold," Mitch teased.
They sat at a small table near the fireplace. In spite of the fact that it was summer, the heat felt good on this dreary night.
After ordering their dinner, Mitch and Peter fell into conversation concerning what they were going to do next. They couldn't sleep under the stars in this weather! Even if the rain had stopped by the time they'd eaten, everything would be a muddy mess.
Andi felt eyes boring into the back of her head. Turning to look over her shoulder, she spotted a mysterious man watching them from across the room. When he saw her studying him, he turned his head and walked off. She brushed it off. Probably just someone being nosy.
Trent Porter tried to circle around the room unnoticed. If I could just get a good look at his face I'd know for sure, he thought. Sure wish that kid would quit lookin' at me.
He wasn't paying attention to where he was walking and he tripped over a chair. It made an awful racket, clattering to the floor.
When Mitch turned to find the cause of the noise, Trent quickly replaced the chair under the table and hurried out of the restaurant.
After making sure no one was watching him, Trent stepped around the side of the building and into the shadows. "It's him alright."
"You best be sure," the man who had been waiting for him smirked. The light spilling from the café window glinted off of the deputy badge pinned to his vest.
"I'm sure. It ain't your place to question me anyhow," Trent growled.
"You ain't seen him for what, ten years?"
It was more than ten years, but Trent wasn't going to tell the deputy that. It ain't any of his business. "Just do your job if you wanna get paid."
The deputy snorted his opinion of that and left to make his arrest.
Supper was interrupted by a stranger walking up and slamming his fist onto the edge of the next table.
Andi was startled. She glanced over her shoulder to find a tall, bearded man glaring down at them.
"Can I help you?" Mitch asked.
"Sure thang," the man grinned. "By comin' along with me real peaceful like."
Mitch and Peter exchanged a concerned glance.
"Why would we do that?" Mitch's voice and expression revealed no emotion.
Andi's heart was pounding so hard that she was sure the man must be able to hear it.
He pulled back his overcoat and uncovered a shiny star pinned to his vest. "'Cause I'm the law 'round here and I say you are under arrest."
As he stood Mitch muttered to her under his breath. "Get to the horses." He jumped up, "now wait just a minute. You can't arrest us without reason!"
Andi noticed another man standing in the shadows off to the side. Oh, no...
"Let's just say I'm arresting you for peculiar behavior," the so-called deputy smirked. "Now do as you're told and there won't be any trouble." He tapped the ivory handle of his pistol.
"Give me a hand, Clint," he called to the man Andi had spotted.
Clint sauntered over, two pairs of handcuffs dangling from his hand. "Need a hand, Jansen?"
"This two fellows would like to wear them wrist decorations you're a totin'."
Mitch looked at Andi. Now, he mouthed. He turned to the two men. "I'm afraid we must be going now. Maybe y'all will find some other poor soul to play your games on."
They started to walk away until they were stopped by Clint. "That's where you're wrong, stranger."
He and Jansen stepped forward, handcuffs held out. Mitch and Peter resisted and a fist-fight ensued.
Andi took off for the door but was soon caught by an arm around her waist. It just figures that the owner of this crumby establishment would agree with those men.
After pulling guns on and handcuffing Mitch and Peter, Clint and Jansen had a good laugh over the sight of Andi dangling, kicking and screaming, from the restaurant owner's hold.
Jansen came over and took her by the arm. "Come on, kid. You're going too."
They led the three outside, around to the back of the café and down a dark and deserted alley. There a wagon was waiting. They climbed in, Clint and Deputy Jansen took the seat, and they drove away into the darkest night Andi had ever saw.
Andi finally gave up trying to remember and count all the turns they made and any landmarks they passed.
The wagon creaked one last time before coming to a halt outside a large gate in a barbed wire fence.
"It's us, Jeremy," Deputy Jansen called out to an armed man that stop nearby.
The gate was opened, the wagon pulled inside, and Andi, Mitch and Peter found themselves in a prison.
It was hard to make out much of anything in the black darkness, but there was one thing Andi could see very well. The moonlight revealed a T-like post in the center of the yard. A shiver ran through her at the sight of it.
"Mitch," Andi whispered.
"What's that?" Andi was pretty sure she already knew the answer.
Mitch looked in the direction she pointed, and drew in a deep breath. "I'd guess that's their idea of punishment, little sister."
The deputy brought the wagon to a standstill in front of a run-down building. There were bars on the windows and a large padlock guarded the only door.
"Welcome to your new home," Deputy Jansen joked. He jumped from the seat and came around to the back of the wagon where three armed prison guards stood looking over their newest captives.
"Got three for you this time, Jeremy," the deputy addressed the lead guard.
The one called Jeremy nodded. "It's too late to bother boss with them tonight. He'll go over their charges in the morning."
Deputy Jansen didn't argue. "Whatever you say," he turned to the wagon. "Get out."
Breakwater prison's three newest captives did as they were told. Andi stuck close to Mitch. These men and this dark, gloomy place frightened her more than she cared to admit.
"Inside," the guards barked. Mitch, Andi, and Peter waited while the guard, Jeremy, pulled a string of keys from his pocket and fumbled to unlock the door.
They were shoved inside and Andi nearly tripped on the threshold.
The walls of the compound were lined with bunks, but only four of them were occupied. There were no windows, making the door behind them the only possible escape. Their fellow prisoners looked up when they entered.
"This one isn't full as you can see but we guard it just as well as the other one," Jeremy informed them after removing Mitch and Peter's handcuffs. "Warden Jones will look y'all over in the morning." With that he left and they all heard the key turn in the lock.