Straining his eyes through the dusk, Saul crept forward, every sense alert for the slightest sound or movement. He caught a glimmer of light from the left and froze in place, turning his head to look that way. He could see the dancing flames of a banked fire and moved toward it. His heart pounded against his ribs and he fought to keep his breathing soft and light as he crept closer to the campfire.


It was a small camp. There was a rough shelter constructed with the branches of eucalyptus trees and draped with old flour sacks. A fire, banked to reduce smoke, and a couple of horses picketed amongst the trees made up the rest of the camp.


Saul's eye fell on the grey colt and he drew his lips into a thin line. It was that animal that had brought him here. Midnight Blue, Saul's champion racehorse, had been stolen practically under his very nose three days before. Crouching beside a burned out tree stump, Saul watched the camp, trying to see how many men were living there. He frowned, craning his neck to better see and then froze when something cold touched his temple and a metallic click told him that he was held at the business end of a pistol. Saul closed his eyes.


"Aye, saying a prayer now might be the way to go," a soft voice spoke beside him. "Bring your hands where I can see them now. Slow and easy, if you please."


"I am unarmed." Saul raised his hands either side of his head. "I did not come here to fight. Only to retrieve my horse."


A laugh greeted that. "I suppose I must forgive a man for being a fool, when he's a brave fool." A nudge to his shoulder brought Saul to his feet. "Walk. Don't try anything more foolish than you've already done."

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