“Daddy! wake up!.. I see lights in the distance..” Clara says as she shakes her father from his bead.
“Listen dear, there has not been anyone out this way for months… Hold on… your right… Wake the others, and tell Sam to get my Rifle.” Jonathan said as he leaps to his feat, his wife Beth stirred slowly, she would rise in time.
His daughters clambered about the house gathering clothing and their equipment trying to stir the sleep from their eyes. While Max, his nearly blind dog followed at his side.
“Good boy… hopefully we wont have to fight tonight..”
Max Whined at the comment.
Its been along time since the two of them had to defend the ranch, and Max the faithful blood hound was getting bored.
Hearing the scuffle in the house as the light approached Jonathan knew his family was not ready yet.
After a brief discussion with the Travellers he discovered one of them was injured from a Scorpion, Beth has tended many stings in her time.. she could help this man and he would surely die with out aid.
Reluctantly he let the injured one into his house.
Apparently this band had come to the ranch to aid them, they received word of a raider attack on the ranch, and even had a bloody journal with them. If this was a plea for work and food, it was the best Jonathan has seen in his 30 years on this ranch.
“Either this is some joke… or we are in serious danger…” Jonathan latter confessed to his wife as the bedded for the evening.
“I’ll offer them work for food, and if this attack rings true, hopefuly they can use those weapons as well as they carry them…”
“All right, I’ll check on the injured one in a few minutes, hopefully the poison does not take him.” Beth said calmly.
“So what do you plan to do” Jonathan asked plainly in the morning, surly a group this size coming to hunt bandits must have a plan to dispatch them…
Apparently not… But at least what they came up with suited Jonathan fine, his family safe shooting from the bedroom windows.. while he and the new comers take the risk of fighting below.
Clara was as quick as she was quite, she would be a good scout, and he could trust her to warn him of coming danger… Jonathan hated the fact he was looking at his family as soldiers in this, he was no longer a military man.
Margaret bless her, took after Jonathan in almost every way, he was sure by now she was a better shot them he. She and the others worked the farm, while his other children and Beth prepared meals.
the girls seemed to be getting friendly with the travellers.. he had to admit, even he was starting to enjoy their company… A smile cross his lips, perhaps these raiders will never show.. and we will finally have some decent folks out here to work the ranch…
The smile faded quickly as he watched Clara running towards the group. only three days has passed the the raiders were already here.
“Pa! there are mend coming from the ridge!” Clara yelled.
“To the house!” one of the travellers yelled. Jonathan was prone to agree, and they all broke into a run to fortify their postion.
Less then 30 minutes passed and the men were nearly at their door step. The one in Green Armor, who Jonathan almost mistook to be a man, until she spoke went ahead to take point.
It seemed even with this group and his family they were out numbered.
The raiders swooped in like a pack of wolves, Max, his old friend was the first to fall, and one of the travellers Allen died soon after. The battle lasted just a few minutes, but the after effects were devastating, no one escaped injury in the fight, and the homestead was riddled with bullet holes.. but his family, and cattle were safe.
Who in town could possibly worth with a bunch of roughnecks like this… Jonathan thought as he thanked the surviving travellers. Beth and his daughters tended to their wounds, bandaging what they could. and Jonathan offered them the use of their barn until they were well enough to travel.
He could sense a wander lust from his two eldest, Jonathan would not stop them if they chose to leave this life style. but hoped they would embrace peace over fighting.
Beth decided it was time to break into the reserve rations of the old vault. Tonight their new friends would dine on the best calf in the barn, and drink wine from the cellar, accompanied with some of the canned food.
Beth and his daughters were good cooks, Jonathan was thankful for that.
Sam took upon the task of burring the dead. the old graveyard must be getting pretty full by now… he thought…
“War… War never changes… " he murmurs to him self