courageous man I’ve ever met or the biggest fool!
The voice came from the barn over to his right. It was a man’s voice, unfamiliar and very strange here, where the only voices ever heard were his own and the woman’s, but never the boy’s.
The stranger rode around the corner of the barn on the far side to the house. He was tall and rawboned and sat a long-legged horse. He had a big-nosed, backwoods look about him and carried a rifle which was now angled across the saddle horn and aimed squarely at Devlin’s belt buckle.
Instantly, Devlin knew it had happened. They had found him. This gaunt man with the look of a hunter in his eyes was one of them!
“Who are you?” Devlin demanded.
The horseman smiled crookedly.
“Me?” His voice gave way to the soft drawl of the South. “Why, I’m the feller who bagged the runaway killer, Mitch Devlin.” The smile vanished as though it had never existed. “Now git them paws in the air and slide outta that saddle real slow and easy, killer. Make a move for that rifle and you’re gonna have to get used to scratchin’ one-handed!”