The Suggs brothers, with a reluctant Jake Spoon, ambush Wilbarger.

Lonesome Dove: The Suggs Brothers Ambush Wilbarger

The Suggs brothers, with a reluctant Jake Spoon, ambush Wilbarger.

He took the rifle and walked off. Jake and the others followed. There was no sign of a campfire, no sign of anything but plains and darkness. Though Frog Lip had said the men were close, it seemed to Jake they walked a long time. He didn't see the horses until he almost bumped into one. For a moment he thought of trying to grab a horse and run away bareback. The commotion would warn Wilbarger, and maybe one or two of the Suggs boys would get shot. But the horse quickly stepped away from him and the moment passed. He drew his pistol, no knowing what else to do. They had found the horses, but he didn't know where the camp was. Frog Lip was near him, watching, Jake supposed. When the first shot came, he didn't know who fired it, though he saw a flash from a rifle barrel. It seemed so far away that he almost felt it must be another battle. Then gunfire flared just in front of him, too much to be produced by three men, it seemed. So much shooting panicked him for a second and he fired twice into the darkness, with no idea of what he might be shooting at. He heard gunfire behind him — it was Frog Lip shooting. He began to sense running figures, although it was not clear to him who they were. Then there were five or six shots close together, like sudden thunder, and the sounds of a running horse. Jake could see almost nothing — once in a while he would think he saw a man, but he couldn't be sure.

Photos: Carla Dyck

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