The door of the shed opens and closes. Slick waits confidently for Stella to appear around the intervening wall of barrels and crates.
But he’s looking too low. Mal steps into view, the big Henry rifle in his hand. Slick’s eyes widen, but he gets control
quickly and rises, trying to gauge Mal’s attitude.
Mal looks from Rae to Slick and back to Rae.
I’m glad you’re here, Mal. I’ve been watching her, but she needs a doctor.
He looks at Slick as he leans his rifle against the wall. Slick looks at the rifle, then at Mal. Mal seems to
concentrate on Rae and makes a move that way. When he is past Slick, Slick makes the peculiar, chopping gesture of
his left forearm that snaps the derringer into his hand.
Mal has been waiting for something and is already turning into Slick. Before Slick can raise his gun hand, Mal has
Slick’s wrist in a vise-like grip. Mal’s other arm encircles Slick’s torso and crushes him against Mal’s body. Two strong
men strain against each other.
The cocked derringer wavers perilously toward the sleeping Rae. Suddenly, Mal twists Slick around, banging his hand
into the wall, and the derringer fires. Slick lets it clatter to the floor.
Rae wakes with a start and watches the combatants in terror.
The men’s eyes are only inches apart. Something flashes through Mal’s and he loosens his embrace. Instantly, Slick
dips to the right, lifting his boot to his hand. But his dagger is not there.
Slick’s surprised look is answered by Mal’s tight grin.
Looking for this?
Their bodies jerk as Slick gets his last surprise and goes limp in Mal’s arms.