I never did hanker for peace and quiet!
“Our time’s runnin’ out, so we can’t waste any of it arguin’. I’ll give it to you straight, Perry. We got just one chance of livin’ through this ruckus. I’ve schooled your boy. Couldn’t teach him figures and letters and scripture, like your wife wanted, but I sure taught him plenty about trackin’ and huntin’ cover and stayin’ outta trouble. I’m tellin’ you, he could make it outta here through that back window. Then he’d go to ground, crawlin’ the way I showed him. He could get outta sight of ’em before the shootin’ starts. He could find his way to Ten‑Bar and tell Miley to bring help.”
“Sí,” Ventura nodded. “No other chance for us!”
Perry eyed his ramrod, aghast.
“But, Hank . . . if they see him . . .!”
Blair rose to his feet and matched Perry’s stare.
“You listen to me now, amigo. If we keep him here, he could lose his hair. If we send him out, he’s got better than an even chance of reachin’ Ten‑Bar alive. Believe me, Perry, the boy’s our only chance!”