He had me dead to rights.
I cocked the pistol in my right hand, turned my body to the left – presenting him with just the side of my body – and began to raise my right hand to fire.
Caleb, in a lightning-quick movement, pulled his knife from his boot, and from his position on the floor, stabbed Seaborne Gill in his right thigh.
Gill screamed in agony. He fixated on the knife sticking out of his leg and forgot all about shooting me.
I jumped at the sound of his shriek, but calmly pulled the trigger of my Colt. My aim wasn’t too good due to the pain, but my bullet hit him in the abdomen.
I cocked my Colt and fired again. This time I got more of a reaction as he was lifted off his feet and crashed backwards on the plank floor of the hallway. He didn’t move.
I dropped my pistol to my side and just stared at the crumpled dead man. Caleb got his mother to her feet and held her as she sobbed into his shoulder.
“It’s okay, Ma. He’s done for and we are safe,” Caleb reassured her.
I felt kind of woozy and abruptly sat down with my back against the wall. I finally dared to look at my left shoulder. There was blood barely trickling down from a tear in the shoulder of my coat. It must not have been too bad a wound if the blood flow was this small. Next I unbuttoned my coat with my right hand and looked at my chest. There was a red stain on my shirt from just above my left pectoral muscle to my just above my right pectoral muscle. It was beginning to hurt and burn like the dickens. I laid my head back against the wall and just sighed.
Caleb turned to me and said, “Thanks again for saving our lives.”
I smiled and retorted, “If you hadn’t have used that big pig-sticker of yours, we’d all be dead now. I believe I need to thank you for saving our lives.”
He grinned and nodded toward me.
The shooting had raised such a ruckus that townspeople were coming up the stairs to see what was going on. Caleb got me to my feet, and with his help, I made it down the stairs.
Mrs. Throckmorton followed us and began to tell the crowd what had happened.
Marshal Gill suddenly appeared at the bottom of the stairs and registered a surprised look, once he saw me in one piece.
I grinned and said, “Your cousin is upstairs.”