“Smells like rain.” Vin Tanner commented to Chris Larabee as the two peacekeepers settled into chairs outside the Four Corners jailhouse. It was early morning and the growing frontier town was just beginning to come alive. The two men sipped their cups of strong coffee and watched as shopkeepers emerged from their stores and began setting out barrels and boxes of wares to lure citizens into their establishments.
Tantalizing aromas began to drift down to the two men from the hotel restaurant and the kitchens of the new boarding house and bakery in town. Before long either one of the other five men of the seven would arrive at the jailhouse to relieve them from their posts or send a waitress down from the restaurant with trays of food for them to enjoy.
Chris tilted his head back and squinted up at the brightening sky. “There’s not a cloud in the sky, Vin. You must be mistaken.”
“There’s three things a Texan knows well, Cowboy,” Vin said grinning at Larabee over the brim of his coffee cup, “How to love a woman; shoot a gun, and decipher the weather. Mark my words, we’ll see rain today.”
“Awfully cocky aren’t you?” Chris laughed as he took another sip of his coffee.
“Not cocky, just speakin’ the truth.” Vin replied.
By noon the bright sunlight of the morning was chased away by tattered soot colored clouds. A hard wind had swept up from out of nowhere, blowing things about, slamming doors, and causing hats to leap off of their unsuspecting owners as if they had wings of their own. The initial round of rain was heralded by the townsfolk as a welcomed relief from the horrible heat and drought the area had been under for several weeks, but it was slowly becoming clear to all that this was more than a usual summer storm.
“Guess you were right about the rain.” Chris said, holding onto the brim of his hat as he and Vin left the jail and headed to the restaurant to grab some food before they headed off to catch some shut eye. Buck Wilmington and JD Dunne had taken over for them a few moments earlier.
Vin cast an appraising eye up at the darkening sky and frowned. “This is turnin’ into a humdinger of a storm…I ain’t likin’ it Chris.”
Something in the Texan’s tone caused Larabee to abruptly stop and glance at the sky too. A shudder of foreboding swept over him. “Yeah…neither do I. As soon as we’re done eating, we’ll rally the boys to go spread the word around town for folks to hunker down in their homes and wait it out.”
Vin nodded and the two men kept walking toward the restaurant.
Two o’clock set in with the crackling arch of lightning, earth shattering boom of rolling thunder and a torrential downpour. The dirt streets quickly turned into muddy pathways, gusty winds were throwing anything about that wasn’t nailed down, and several windows were shattered by flying debris.
Though Chris and the other peacekeepers had done their best to spread the word for the citizens of Four Corners to take shelter from the turbulent weather, some of them were caught out in the torrential downpour, and had to be rescued. A harrowing forty-eight hours later; the heavens calmed, winds died down, and rains dried up. Slowly the residents of Four Corners emerged into the sunshine once again.
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