by Tonny


This story is a bit of an experiment. I was wondering if it’s possible to tell a whole story in dialogue. Well, after testing it on the BnB list it seems to come across, so I decided to send it out in the webworld. Hope you enjoy!


“Shit, Vin, what did you think you were doing?”

“Covering yer b… back.”

“Walking in front of a bullet ain’t exactly the smartest way to do it, you know.”

“Didn’t know another idiot w… was sitting behind that b… boulder. Too many boulders h… here! God, it hurts!”

“Yeah, bullets mostly do. NO, DON’T YOU MOVE! Stay down, stupid beast!”

“I ain’t g… going anywhere! And who ya c… calling a stupid b… beast anyway! Riding out splash in the… the middle of those buffoons.”

“I got them scattered, didn’t I? Anyway, wasn’t talking to you, was talking to Pony.”

“Good horse. At least he st… stayed put. Peso ran off? AAH! Guess I sh… shouldn’t move either. SHIT!”

“Easy Vin, easy. Here, I’ll put my coat under your head, hope it helps. Yep, Peso ran off. That’s a smart horse, smarter then his master. Knows when to take a hike. Pony here had no choice. He had me hanging on his reins. Damn, here they come again.”


“You g… got any of them?”


“Next time. C… Chris?”


“Ain’t gonna happen ya kn… know. Ain’t leaving ya when they come af… ter ya. N… never.”

“Fuck you, Tanner! I don’t want another dead on my conscience! Sarah and Adam… well, they’re enough to carry around, don’t want your death hanging on me as well!”

“So it’s alright fer you ta jump in and w… watch my back, but not fer me to do the s… same?”

“Tanner, you can watch my back all you like, as long as you do it from behind sufficient cover! Shit, here we go for another round.”

“What was that? Chris? Did I hear a y… yell?”

“Yeah, I got that piece of shit! Only three more to go. OH NO, PONY! YOU STAY PUT! STAY DOWN! Now, easy, I’m only getting Nate’s med kit from the saddle bag. Have to bandage that idiot tracker.”


“Don’t think he… he is impressed with yer glare, Cowboy. How… how many of those bastards we got?”

“I got one now and we got two in the first round, including the one who shot you.”

“Knew I g… got him!”

“Yeah well, you’re lucky he wasn’t a better shot. It’s the three that’s still alive and laying in waiting that worry me. Lay still!”


“I’ve gotta stop this bleeding pard, you know that.”

“Hey, aren’t they c… coming?”

“Shit, Vin, don’t even joke about that! I’m keeping an eye on them, don’t you worry. Alright, I’m going to bandage this for…. Damn, I guess not. Can’t they wait even for a moment?”



“Vin? Vin, you hit?”

“Rock sp…splinter I think. In my ch… cheek. Hey Chris, yer head’s bleeding.”

“Rock splinters as well. That last bullet nicked the top of the boulder.”

“Chris? That nearly got into yer eye.”

“I know. I’ve had enough. I’m going after them. Now, Pony, I’m tying your reins around this rock and you better not try and leave.”


“I mean it! Don’t make me shoot you!”

“Chris? D… don’t do some… thing stupid!”

“Who? Me? Hell no, would I do that? Here, that bandage should stay put for a while. I’ll leave you the rifle as well, with your mare’s leg. Bullets are here. Shoot at everything that tries to get past these rocks, except me that is. I’d like to come and get my horse back later on without getting shot. It’s a son of a bitch, but I’m used to him.”

“You’re all… all heart, Cowboy.”

“Yeah, I know.”


“Jack, I h… hurt.”

“That ‘ll teach ya ta stand up. Why did ya stand up, you idiot?”

“AAH! I thought you had the b… bastard!”

“Yeah, thought so too. But then he got Pete, so I guess we were wrong.”

“Wh… why are we coming h… here?”

“That’s the boulder we thought we had Larabee pinned behind. His friend must still be there. We haven’t seen anything of that guy anymore, guess Johnson got him good. Let’s just hope he’s still alive.”

“W… why?”

“You always that dense, or did getting shot make you more stupid then usual? When we got his partner, we can make Larabee give himself up.”

“Larabee’s one cold b… bastard. He ain’t g… gonna give himself up fer someone else!”

“He did ride right into the open to get his friend out, so I figure he will.”

“J… Jack? Is it still f… far? I don’t feel… so… good.”

“Bob? BOBBY! Fuck you Larabee, YOU’RE DEAD! First I’ll get yer friend and make sure you hear him squeal and then I’ll kill you!”


“Oh… shit. I knew I’d hit you, I knew it! This time you’ll stay down, you bastard! This t….”

“That’s six.”


“Vin? I’m coming in.”

“Thank God!”

“Christ, Vin, that grin is gonna split your face in two!”

“H… hello to you too, you asshole. Chris, y… yer not shot, are ya?”

“Do I look shot to you?”

“Do look like a gh… ghost though, all grey instead of black.”

“Yeah, well, crawling on your belly in all that grime and dust does that to you. Anyway, you’re not one to talk ‘bout appearances right now, Tanner. How you feel?”

“Very tired of waiting. What t… took so long?”

“There’s about a thousand boulders out there. Damn, it was like searching through a maze.”

“And ya didn’t g… get lost without me? Hey, k… keep that glare to yer… self! You got them?”

“Yes, all of them.”

“Some… thing w… wrong?”

“No. Just… some were really young Vin, still kids.”

“They were t… trying to kill ya, Chris. Jist fer yer n… name. They got it coming in m… my book!”

“Guess so. Still…. Oh hell, let’s just get you out of here. We need a place with water and wood, so I can take better care of that wound.”

“Thought you b… bandaged it? So I guess we b… better get to Four Corners.”

“Don’t think you can make it for two days with a bullet in your chest.”

“OH NO! Y’ ain’t a doctor! Man, y’ aint even been a stretcher bearer like Nate! You ever took a bullet out before? Jist git me ta Nate!”

“I haven’t even looked at your wound and you start griping already. Yes Pony, you can stand up now. Just stand, idiot beast and stand still! I have to put Vin on you. Oh, damn. Vin, give it a moment, Pony seems to feel a need to stretch his legs.”

“N… never saw a d… dancing horse before. You t… teach him that?”

“He ain’t dancing!”

“Should ‘ve kn… known he didn’t get it from y… you. You don’t know a d… dance if ya saw one.”

“I’ll have you know Sarah and I danced a lot! Shit….”

“Chr… Chris? Chris, are you alright? Damn, I’m sorry. Didn’t m… mean anything by that. Didn’t mean ta git y’all upset.”

“I know, Vin. Don’t worry ‘bout it. It’s no big deal. Hard to say what will trigger a memory. Come, let’s get you on board.”

“Right, that’s why yer eyes are shimmering.”

“What? You say something?”

“Nope, jist h… help me up. NO, NOT THAT ARM! O God….”

“Vin? Vin? Shit, you have to pass out now, while I’m trying to get you on Pony, don’t you! AAAH! Stand still, Pony, he’s heavier than he looks! OOOOH! That’s not gonna work.”


“You’re right, better not waist any t… time. Just… give me a minute. OW! Think I better do something about this first. Where are those b… bandages? Shit, shit, shit….”


“Just… just give me a… a minute. God, I feel sick! Alright, think I can do it now pal, please stand still while I get Vin on you, I ain’t my best right n… now. That’s a good boy….”


“I know, I know, I don’t like it you have to carry double either. Got no choice though, I have to get Vin back to that stream fast. You can rest there.”


“Ch… Chris? W… why am I on your bedr… roll? OUCH, I HURT! And wh… what are ya doing?”

“You got a bullet inside you, remember? I’ve gotta get it out.”

“Whe… where’s Nate?”

“He ain’t here, remember. It’s just the two of us. I’ve gotta use your knife Vin, don’t think mine would cut it. Right, sorry, bad joke. Oh shit!”

“Chris? Why you doubled over? Are you g… getting sick? Hey, is th… that whiskey? Gimme!”

“Need it to clean your wound first, Vin. Put this piece of wood between your teeth. Here you go.”


“Easy Pony, easy! Good thing I hobbled him this time. Tanner, why don’t you just pass out? Wait, first I’ll put some on the knife. Alright, now you can drink. Just not all, need some for later on.”

“WOW! N… never seen a b… burning knife before! Whiskey sure g… gives a gr… great effect in fire. That flame a… almost had ya, Cowboy.”

“Stop calling me that! Guess its sterile now. Give me that bottle, I’m gonna do it.”

“NO! J… jist bring me to Four Corners! Nate ‘ll d… do it!”

“Vin, I don’t think you’ll survive if I took you there with that bullet inside you. I don’t like the fact it’s so low in your chest. It was horrifying enough that I had to move you so much to get you here.”

“Aw hell, Chris.”


“Don’t want you doing this, Cowboy.”

“Vin, look at me. LOOK AT ME! Vin, there’s no choice.”

“What if I… if I….”

“Damn, Vin. You’re not gonna die when I take the damn thing out, you’re not! And why would that be harder for me then when you die on the way to Four Corners and I haven’t even tried to save you?”

“Shit! Didn’t th… think ‘bout that.”

“Thought so.”

“Chris, ya didn’t put that bullet in me. And whatever ya do, y’all be doing yer best, so ya shouldn’t blame yerself fer anything that ‘ll happen.”

“Those men were there for me, Vin.”

“There we g… go again!”


“You t… taking the world on yer sh… shoulders. Can’t believe yer still walking straight up!”

“Shut up, Tanner! Now drink some more of that whiskey while I put this knife back in the fire for a while.”

“Chris? W… why ya staring at yer h… hand?”

“Nothing. You got that piece of wood between your teeth? Here it goes.”


“Oh God…. Don’t look at me like that Tanner, I know what I’m doing. Seen Nathan do it plenty of times. Just have to feel…. Shit, I feel it, that’s gotta be it!”


“Vin? What?”

“H… hurtssss….”

“I know, I know, but I got it. It’s out, Vin, it’s out.”

“What… what now?”

“I’m sorry but I have to cauterize the wound.”

“OOOH! St… Stop!!”

“Vin? Vin? Thank God, you’re out. P… Pony, come, come here boy. H… help me up and away a bit. Need to have some d… distance. Oooh….”

“Chris? Chris, what…? Whadda ya doing? Was I sl…sleeping?”

“Sssh, I’m gonna p… put a bandage on.”

“You were… p…. puking Chris. Saw ya.”

“Sssh, sleep.”


“No, no, Saraaah! Aaadam! NOOOO!”

“C… Chris?”

“Sarah, please, Sarah....”

“Chris, wake… up! Please!”



“God, wh… what?”

“N… nightmare. You h… hurt? Ya screamed somewhat fierce when I t… touched yer side.”


“Chris, s… say some… thing.”

“Sick…. Sorry, need a m… moment.”

“Yer h… hurt.”

“I’m alright Vin. Just the nightmare. Oh Hell, fire’s ou… out.”

“Ssss… Shaking. Yer s… shaking.”

“Just the c… cold. You hungry?”

“Only f… fer water.”


“Where… are we?”

“You don’t remember? I got the bullet out and let you rest a while. Then we got on Pony and rode till dark. When we stopped you were unconscious. Gonna get Pony.”

“Chris? I eh… I gotta… you know….”

“Damn. You’re not gonna pass out on me again, are you?”

“Whadda ya mean?”

“Oh, eh…, nothing. Come on, I got ya, get up.”

“AAHG! W… wait a m… moment, are you spinning me ‘round or s… something? WOW! Alright, I c… can walk, I think. And wadda ya mean a… about passing out?”

“Well, last night you needed to get rid of some whiskey, but when I got you up and out of the camp you started snoring again. There I stood with you, you’d just opened your fly and yep, snoring.”

“Yer lying! I would never do that!”

“You calling me a liar? Hey, you can turn a nice shade of red.”

“Drop dead, Lar’bee!”

“You about done? We better get going, back to Four Corners.”

“Yeah. And next time I f… find all them blankets on me, I’ll shoot ya!”

“No, you won’t. You need me to get you home. Alright, let’s turn back to camp.”

“Yeah… Aaah!”

“Vin? Vin, what’s wrong?”

“That awful sun just shone in my eyes. Owowowow! My head! I ain’t shot in the head as well, am I?”

“Nope, that’s called a hangover. Vin? God, Vin, you suddenly see real white, pard.”

“D… don’t feel to good…. Oooooh….”

“HELL! You almost threw that up over my boots. Vin, don’t keep hanging like that, I can’t hold you! I can’t…. Damn, told you!”

“Mmmmm. Hey Chris, why we on the ground?”

“Just resting, pard, just resting.”

“Hey, is that blood? You dripping blood, Chris?”

“Nobody’s dripping anything. Can you get up? Oh, don’t bother. Just wait here, I’ll bring Pony over. Gotta break up the camp first though. You alright here for a moment?”

“I’m o… kay. I’ll wait here fer ya. Won’t g… go anywhere.”

“Smartass. Pony, come, let’s get your tack on.”


“Hey, stop nudging, I’m moving again, I’m moving. God… Hold still for a moment longer, Pony. Have to c… catch my breath. Alright, I can do it now. Vin? Vin, wake up!”

“Nnnhg, lemme be.”

“Sorry, no can do, pard. We gotta go, try and get to Four Corners.”

“To N… Nate?”


“Don’t wanna. Don’t want his t… tea’s.”

“Get up Tanner, before I throw you over Pony belly down!”

“Grousy, grousy. Ya should l…laugh more, Lar’bee.”

“Just get your foot in that stirrup!”

“Aiaiai BOSS! Damn, did I m… miss?”


“That why we’re on the gr… ground again? Hey Chris, you look p… pissed.”

“Get up and let’s try again. SHIT!”

“Hey, I was jist grabbing on so’s I won’t fall again. Yikes! Yer shirt’s all sticky! What’s that?”

“Tanner, get up!”

“I’m c… coming, I’m coming. Chris, is that bl… blood? Are ya bleeding? Damn, why didn’t ya t… tell me?”

“Tanner, there ain’t nothing to tell! Now, don’t miss again. Here, I’ll guide yer foot this time. Feel the stirrup? Yeah? Right, up you go!”

“Don’t t… talk to me like that!”

“Like what?”

“Like I’m Billy! Ouch, shit! Chris? I… I don’t think I can hang on….”

“Wait, I’ll be right up. Hold on just a bit longer! Got ya. Vin?”

“D… don’t feel so good, Chris.”

“Just hang back, I got ya pard.”

“Th… thirsty.”

“Here’s the canteen. Take it easy though, don’t drink too fast.”

“You… you take some too.”

“Ain’t thirsty right now.”


“Alright, alright. There, happy now?”

“Next time I w… won’t drink until you d… drank enough. God, Chris, think I’m gonna pass out.”

“It’s alright Vin, you can let go, I’ve got you. Pony ‘ll get us home, won’t you pard? Sorry, guess you’ve gotta carry us both again.”


“Yeah, couldn’t agree more.”



“V… Vin? You awake?”

“Nope, s… sleeping with my eyes open.”

“Funny, very funny. In case you don’t remember and you probably don’t, you’ve had your eyes open quite a bit this day without really being awake.”

“Are you alright? Yer not only talking nonsense, ya look like ya can hardly move.”

“Just stiff. And whadda you mean, I talk nonsense?”

“’Bout me having m… my eyes open and not being a… awake. And what’s this on my head? Is that a piece of yer shirt? L… looks dark e... nough. Yikes, it’s wet! Damn, I feel w… weak as a newborn kitten.”

“Guess that’s because you are. You had a fever, Vin. All day. You remember the times we stopped and I tried to cool you down? God, I think I must’ve seen every brook, creek and waterhole in these parts.”

“N… nope, don’t remember anything. Only that I h… hurt.”

“I bet you do. Here, take some water, you need it, a lot. Seems the fever is down, but that don’t mean a thing. Could come back again. You’re not exactly in tip top shape.”

“G… guess not. But I think you’re not either.”

“Nope. Baby sitting will do that to you.”

“B… baby sitting? BABY SITTING? Oh, you’ll pay fer that one, Lar’bee!”

“Am paying already. Have to listen to you, don’t I. You finally going to drink that water?”

“I’m dr… drinking, I’m drinking. Aw hell, yer in one bad mood.”

“Yeah. Come on, you go back to sleep. We still got a long ride tomorrow.”

“First you t… take a blanket!”

“Vin, sleep!”

“Here, take it. I ai… ain’t arguing ‘bout this!”


“Mean it!”

“Alright, thanks. Now sleep.”


“Vin? Vin, you gotta wake up. We gotta go.”


“You alright?”

“T… thirsty.”

“Here. You ready to eat something?”

“O God, don’t s… say any… thing ‘bout eating. Now you did it!”

“No, not on the blankets! Wait, I got you.”


“Don’t know how you can p… puke so much when you haven’t eaten all day yesterday.”

“Don’t t… talk ‘bout food! Oh, here I go a… again!”

“Ssssh, think it passed? Here, I’ll wipe yer face. Try and drink some water.”

“Damn, it IS part of one of yer b… black shirts. Don’t think I’ve ever been n… nursed with black cloths be… before.”

“Was one of my best too. You alright for a sec, pard?”

“Yeah, guess s… so. Chris? You look really wh… white, Cowboy. What ya gon… gonna do?”

“Call of nature.”


“Ow! SHIT!”

“Vin? What ya doing?”

“Was coming f… fer you. Thought ya might’ve passed out behind those bushes.”

“Come on, lay back down. I was fine, just have to break up camp.”

“But Chris, ya haven’t eaten anything yet! J… jist because I’m too sick don’t mean you can’t have something.”

“Ain’t hungry either. Here, let’s get you on Pony.”

“Right, I won’t m… make us fall this time. ARGH!”

“You alright?”

“Y… yeah.”


“Chris? Why ain’t ya coming?”


“Chris? Chris, please, yer sc… scaring me! Don’t jist st….stand there holding onto the saddle, say something!”

“I’m c… coming up. God….”

“Yer h… hurt, ain’t ya?”

“I’m good, Tanner. Let’s just go.”



“P… Pony? Why ‘m I on the ground? Where’s C… Chris? Oh, yer standing over him. Chris?”


“OUCH! Stop wh… whining Pony, I’m t… trying ta get there. Chris? Hey pard, w… wake up. Please? Wh… what’s wrong? O God, is that b… blood? That’s a l… lot of blood. Chris, please wake up!”


“Hey Cowboy, t… that’s right. Open those eyes. Come on!”

“V… Vin?”


“What h… happened….”

“Think you passed out as well. We’re on the ground.”


“Chris, yer bleeding an awful lot. C… can ya git Pony ta kneel, ‘cause I don’t think I can stand up fer them saddlebags.”

“Saddlebags? W… why?”

“Fer them bandages, idiot! H… have ta bandage ya!”

“Ain’t any l… left. Used the l… last one for you last night.”

“Spare sh… shirt.”

“Already used. Why yer opening my sh… shirt?”

“To have a look. Christ, that’s really bad. You bleed a lot, C… Cowboy. Why didn’t ya t… tell me?”

“No… point. Nothing ya c… could ‘ve done.”

“Yer burning up too. No, don’t pass out on me now. I need ta know, bullet still in there?”

“Y… yeah.”

“You sure? C… can’t roll ya over to check.”

“No, d… don’t roll me over. D… don’t! It’s in there, I f… feel it move sometimes.”

“O fuck.”

“Vin? Wh… what ya doing with th… that knife? Can’t just c… cut it out. Need fire and… and….”

“I know. Haven’t got the str… strength ta git wood fer a fire and there’s n…nothing left ta treat yer wound with anyway, is there? Ya used it a… all on me. I hate ya!”

“Vin? Yer c… cutting yer shirt.”

“No blood un the u… underside. Have ta stop your bl… bleeding with something!”

“God, hurtsss.”

“Can ya sit so’s I can bandage this in place? I don’t think I c… can keep pressure on it much longer.”

“Y… yeah. That was yer new shirt, Vin.”


“You c… crying?”

“Crying? Me? You want me ta hit ya, Lar’bee? Shoot, crying! Jist the dust in my eyes. Chris? Chris? DAMN YOU, CHRIS! God, yer sooo dead fer this when we make it, so dead! Chris, please!


“Sarah? Sarah, don’t go, don’t!”

“Hey pard, wake up. Come on, wake up!”

“V… Vin? She’s gone Vin, she’s gone.”

“I know. Chris, we’re running out of water and you got a fever.”

“M… me? Noooo, you g… got a feeee…ver.”

“Chris, don’t fall asleep again. LARABEE! WAKE UP!”

“OUCH! Don’t yell in my ea… ear like that!”

“Shit! I sc… scared Pony. Call him back Chris, hurry! Well, that wasn’t yer b… best whistle ever, but here he c… comes. Thank God! Here boy, here. Easy, ‘s all right, ever’thing ‘s alright. Cowboy, I’m sorry, we gotta git up.”

“Am n… noooo Cowb…”

“Please stand up, Chris. I c… can’t help ya much.”

“Stand, I can d… do that. See? OUCH! Vin, don’t you have to stand up as well? Here, gimme yer hand, I p… pull ya… up.”

“Aw hell! Chris, yer down again.”

“Sky’s getting d… dark. How? C… can’t be….”

“Chris, please! Git up!”

“Up…. I’m… up.”

“Yeah, ‘s better. No, I ain’t giving ya a hand again. Ya keel over fer sure.”

“No, w… won’t. Look, I’m holding t… to the… saddle. Will be alright.”

“Guess I got no choice if’n I w… wanna git up. Here, grab on, ya can pull now.”

“Good, foot in the st… stirrup.”

“You put yer god damn foot in the stirrup! Get on yer horse, Lar’bee!”

“You f… first. Need ya ta p…pull me up there.”

“Pull ya up? Guess that can work.”

“You alright there?”

“Yep, gimme yer h… hand. Whadda ya doing?”

“R… rope. Here. Vin, do it around yer waist, have to latch ya to the s… saddlehorn.”

“Makes sense. Good thinking Lar’bee. Alright, I’m hooked good to that saddlehorn. Can pull ya up now.”


“NOOO! Pony, stop! Noooooo! CHRIS!”


“Alright JD, I got him. You can cut the rope.”

“He looks really bad, Buck. Really bad. And Chris? Where’s Chris?”

“I know, I know kid. Don’t look good.”

“B… Buck? Buck, that y… you?”

“Vin, yer awake! What happened? And where’s Chris?”

“CHRIS! Oh God, Chris! Buck ya gotta f… find him. I think it’s b… bad. Real bad.”

“Oh no! Where is he?”

Road t… to Boulder P… pass. Am… bush. Didn’t wanna leave ‘m Buck, didn’t wanna! He sl…slapped Pony and y… yelled a command I think. Couldn’t stop that st…stupid horse! Tried, but couldn’t.”

“Vin? Vin?”

“Buck, what’s wrong with Vin?

“He passed out JD, he’s been shot. Get Nathan and Josiah and Ezra. We gotta ride, gotta ride fast!”


“Vin? How are you feeling, brother? Here, Nathan wants you to drink this. No, don’t turn your head away, it’s good for you.”


“They are on the trail, don’t you worry. They left directly after Nathan had examined you. They can return any time now. Here, drink.”

“Don’t wanna….”

“Listen, there’s someone coming. Maybe it’s our friends.”

“N… Nate? Josiah, it’s Nate, he’s back! Chris? Did ya find Chris?”

“We found him Vin and he’s still alive. Don’t know why though, he bled a lot. I got the bullet out and managed ta stop the bleeding. Here he comes.”


“V… Vin? Good, knew I could trust P… Pony.”

“Yeah, well, I’m really pissed that ya did that, you ornery, idiotic, stupid, hard headed fool! Why ya do it?”

“C… couldn’t get on Pony and I knew I c… couldn’t ride. Figured you’d make it to Four Corners with th… that rope securing you.”

“I did make it here and I got help for ya. I know, I know, it worked! Yer plan worked! But don’t ya ever do that to me again! Ever!”


“Ever! Promise!”

“When you promise never to jump before bullets again to guard my back!”

“Damn ya, Chris!”

“Hey Josiah, how come it’s suddenly so quiet in here? They fallen asleep?”

“No, brother Nathan, they’re talking.”

“Really? I don’t hear them.”

“Nope, but you can see. There they are, see for yourself.”

“Damn, they’re talking through their eyes again! You ever wondering what it is they’re saying when they do that?”

“Oh yes, all the time!”


The End