Utah Terror : Utah Terror (9781101606971) (10 page)

BOOK: Utah Terror : Utah Terror (9781101606971)
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18

The Henry held fifteen rounds. Sixteen, if Fargo had a cartridge in the chamber when he reloaded the tube magazine.

There was a saying to the effect that you could load a Henry on Sunday and shoot it all week. It lacked the power and range of a heavy-caliber Sharps, but when it came to spraying lead, it was the best rifle out there.

As the Tong from the Pagoda reached the near side of the stream and brought their hatchets out, Fargo commenced to do just that. He shot the first four, working the lever as fast as he could work it. At each blast a man in black tumbled.

The hailstorm broke the rest. They stopped in consternation, then sought cover.

Zhin stayed frozen but the Tong in front of the House of Pleasure didn't.

Fargo spun and shot the first one who came at him, shifted, shot the second. A third man raised his hatchet and screeched in fury and Fargo shot him smack between the eyes.

The pair who were left should have sought cover, too, but they didn't. He shot them dead.

Madame Lotus blurted an exclamation in Chinese, her hand to her throat.

Zhin bubbled with rage, and for an instant Fargo thought he would come at him.

On both sides of the stream, people were running and shouting and a few women were screaming.

“Hell in a basket,” Fargo growled. Tong would come from all over now.

Stepping past Madame Lotus, Fargo slammed the Henry's stock against Zhin's temple. Zhin sank to his knees, and Fargo slammed it again. Stepping over the sprawled form, he raced into the House of Pleasure.

As luck would have it, the Tong who had gone after Mai Wing was just returning with her. They'd stopped at the blasts of gunfire, and on seeing Fargo burst in, the Tong yelled and flourished his hatchet and attacked.

Fargo couldn't help thinking that anyone who brought a hatchet to a gunfight was a jackass. He shot the man through the head, ran to Mai Wing, and grasped her arm. “Can you run?”

“Yes,” she said brightly, her eyes glistening. And then, “You came for me. Again.”

“Later,” Fargo said, and hauled her out into the sunlight.

Madame Lotus hadn't moved. Only now she held a slender silver dagger. “I will not permit you to take her.”

“Get the hell out of the way,” Fargo snapped. He could see Tong off up the street, in both directions.

“I must show my master I am loyal to him,” Madame Lotus said. “If I kill you, he will be pleased. If you kill me, he will be pleased.”

“You're loco, lady,” Fargo said, and smashed the Henry's barrel against her chin. He might have broken her jaw or a few teeth but she had it coming for being a party to forcing girls into the life of a pleasure maiden.

“Oh my,” Mai Wing said as the exquisite China doll crumpled.

Fargo grabbed her hand and ran. They made it to the stand of trees, and shoving the Henry into the scabbard, he swung aloft and lowered his arm for her to grab. Once she was behind him with her arms wrapped around his waist, he quickly reloaded the Henry and resorted to his spurs.

Hunan was in an uproar.

Fargo galloped west. His intent was to rejoin Bannon and the others. Checking on the O'Briens would have to wait.

A pair of burly Tong appeared at the end of a side street and moved to cut him off. Shouting defiance in Chinese, they threw themselves at the Ovaro, their hatchets gleaming in the sunlight.

“Goddamn idiots,” Fargo growled. He shot both, the two cracks almost one sound, and shoved the Henry into the saddle scabbard to free his hands for riding.

Soon they reached the end of the canyon, and Fargo looked back.

Three Tong were after them on horseback.

“Son of a bitch.”

“Sorry?” Mai Wing said into his ear.

“Hold on tight.” Fargo reined to the north. He wouldn't risk leading the Tong anywhere near Bannon and the others. He would shake them off first.

It was a hard ride, but his confidence in the Ovaro was boundless.

For the next hour Fargo used every trick he knew. The Tong were surprisingly persistent. He was over five miles from the camp, deep in the mountains, when he finally lost them.

By then the Ovaro was lathered and in need of rest.

The next clearing Fargo came to, he drew rein. “We'll stop here for a while,” he announced.

Alighting, Fargo held up his hands and Mai Wing slipped into them. As he lowered her, she pressed her body against his.

“Thank you for saving me,” she said, “a second time.”

“What are friends for?” Fargo joked. He let go of her waist but she didn't move. She was so close, her warm breath fanned his neck. “How are you holding up?”

“I am fine.”

Fargo knew better. She must be hurting like hell from all her bruises. “Have a seat,” he suggested. He chose a grassy spot and sank down, and a moment later she sank down next to him. Fact was, she almost sat on top of him. He moved a little to give her room and she moved so her side was against his. He wondered what she was up to and then saw the look on her face.

“Oh, hell.”

“Sorry?” Mai Wing said sweetly.

“You can't be thinking what I think you're thinking,” Fargo said.

Mai Wing smiled and kissed him on the cheek. “I am very grateful.”

“There were no strings attached,” Fargo informed her. “You might want to get some rest.”

“I do not need any,” Mai Wing said. “They put me in a room and left me, and I have been sleeping ever since. When that Tong arrived, I thought they were going to take me down and torture me more.”

“We couldn't let that happen,” Fargo said with a grin.

“You couldn't,” Mai Wing said. “You put your life in danger once more to rescue me.” She paused, then stressed, “I am very grateful.”

“This isn't the time or place,” Fargo said.

“Why not?” Mai Wing kissed him on the mouth. Not a quick peck but a soft, tender kiss that lingered. When she drew back, she asked, “Did you like that?”

“It was nice,” Fargo said. He figured that would be the end of it. In her condition she was in no shape for the other.

Mai Wing looked him in the eyes and put her hands on his shoulders and kissed him with more passion. The tip of her tongue rimmed his lips. This time when she broke the kiss, she asked, “That one was better, was it not?”

“I forgot you were female,” Fargo said.

“I do not understand.”

“I wouldn't know where to touch you,” Fargo tried to explain, “not without hurting you.”

“Here is fine,” Mai Wing said, and taking his hands, she placed them on her breasts.

“Watermelons, by God,” Fargo said.

“I beg your pardon?”

Why not? Fargo reflected. They were safe enough and it would be half an hour before the Ovaro recovered. And her antics were stirring him down low. It had been a while, and if there was anything on God's green earth he liked more than making love to a woman, he had yet to make its acquaintance.

“Why do you just sit there? Don't you find me attractive?”

“Hell,” Fargo said, and squeezed her tits.

Mai Wing groaned and kissed him.

Fargo sucked on her tongue and pinched her nipples through her shirt and she moaned deep in her throat. He didn't touch her body. Not with her wounds. But he recollected that her legs were untouched, and dipped a hand between her thighs.

Mai Wing pressed close. “You have wonderful fingers,” she whispered in his ear.

Fargo caressed higher and she melted into him, kissing his cheeks, his eyebrows, his nose, of all things. His hunger grew. He smothered an urge to press her flat on the ground. It might hurt her.

They sat kissing and caressing for a long while. Then Mai Wing pulled back, smiled, and stood. Fargo figured that was that, but, no, she set to removing her clothes. She didn't take them all off; she bared her legs as high as her hips.

She had a small silken thatch. When Fargo cupped it, she sank onto his legs. He had to raise her up again to undo his belt and his pants and slide them down around his knees. He wanted to push them lower but Mai Wing couldn't wait.

To his considerable astonishment, she gripped his iron-hard pole, straddled him, and impaled her womanhood as neatly as you please.

Mai Wing gasped and arched her back. She said something in Chinese and switched to English. “It is like the morning dew.”

Whatever the hell that meant. Fargo grunted. He had a lump in his throat and a keg of black powder about to go off between his legs.

“I have never made love to a man like you before,” Mai Wing said.

“An American?” Fargo guessed.

“A man with a beard.”

Fargo put his hands on her hips. Her sheath was moist velvet and gripped his member like a glove.

“Do I feel nice to you?”

“You talk too damn much,” Fargo groused.

“I do more than talk,” Mai Wing said, and gripping his arms, she commenced to pump her hips. Slowly at first, with languid ease, teasing him, tempting him, arousing him, and then faster as she stimulated his need.

Fargo had to hand it to her. She knew just what to do. He was fit to explode.

Mai Wing abruptly stopped and locked her eyes on his. “One thing,” she said with the utmost seriousness.

Here it comes, Fargo thought. She was going to say how fond she was of him, and did he have any interest in being with her from then until forever.

“I do not love you.”

“What?”

“I do not do this because you have claimed my heart,” Mai Wing said. “I do not do this because I want to be your wife. I think of you as a friend. Nothing more. Does that hurt your feelings?”

“Not a whole lot,” Fargo admitted.

“Good. I do this to thank you for saving me, and for one other reason.”

“I'd be curious to hear what it is.”

“You will think I am silly. Or immodest.”

“Try me,” Fargo said.

“I am not sure you can understand.”

“Damn it, woman.”

Mai Wing smiled and kissed him on the mouth and looked down at where their bodies were joined. “I had an itch.”

19

For a woman who had seemed painfully shy, when it came to lovemaking Mai Wing was anything but.

Fargo let her ride him to her heart's content, and ride him she did. For long minutes she rose up and down, her eyes slits, occasionally gasping or sighing or uttering a soft moan. Now and then she kissed him or nipped his ear or bit his neck.

All Fargo had to do was lean back and enjoy. Usually he ran his hands and his mouth over every square inch of a woman's body but her wounds kept his hands off most of her.

The feel of her wet sheath, the warm sun on his face and back—he could feel the tension drain out of him.

He'd been a bundle of raw nerves the past few days, what with so many people out to make worm food of him.

Mai Wing huskily said something in her native language as she dug her nails in deep.

“What was that?” Fargo asked.

“I said,” she replied, and swallowed, “you are so big, and so hard, you excite me greatly.”

“You're not half bad yourself.”

Unexpectedly, Mai Wing stopped pumping. “Hold on. Half bad? Does that mean I am only half good?”

“No,” Fargo said, chuckling. “You're plenty good. If you were a pleasure maiden, you'd have men lined up around the block.”

“A pleasure maiden,” Mai Wing said in disgust. “A woman should have the right to say who will and won't touch her. Is that not so?”

“I'm glad you gave me the right,” Fargo said to flatter her.

Mai Wing tilted her head. “Something tells me, handsome one, that women do that a lot.”

“There's been a few.”

“Am I one of the best?”

Fargo thought back to some of the wild and lusty ladies he'd frolicked with. “You're up there,” he tactfully replied.

Mai Wing smiled. “Good.” She closed her eyes and pumped. “I want you to remember me as I will remember you.”

Fargo let her do as she pleased. He wasn't in any hurry. He figured to return to Bannon and the rest after dark and then to go see about the O'Briens. And sunset was hours off yet. Plenty of time for him to enjoy himself.

He'd never had any woman ride him as long as Mai Wing. Most liked to get it over sooner. Not her. She pumped and squeezed and pumped and squeezed but somehow never quite brought him to the brink, as if she had perfect control over her pussy. It was remarkable.

Finally, though, Mai Wing cried out and moved faster and harder. She held on to his shoulders, her mouth wide, making sounds that a blacksmith's bellows would make.

Fargo grasped her hips and concentrated on not sliding out of her.

“Yes,” Mai Wing said. “Yes, yes, yes. I am almost there.”

Fargo pinched a nipple.

“Ahhhh!” Mai Wing exclaimed. She threw back her head and gushed with a violence her small frame belied, slamming against him as if she were trying to break him in half.

All Fargo could do was hold on for dear life and ride out the tidal wave. When at long last she subsided and collapsed, he brushed a bang from her eyes.

“Thank you,” Mai Wing breathed.

“We're not done yet.”

“Excuse me?”

“My turn,” Fargo said. Firming his hold, he rammed up into her.

The whites of Mai Wing's eyes showed and she groaned loud enough for them to hear her in Hunan. “You have a magnificent pecker. Is that the right word?”

“It'll do,” Fargo said, “and my pecker thanks you.”

She laughed.

Fargo let himself go. He thrust harder, faster, his pleasure mounting with each stroke, the friction and the wetness stoking his inner fire hotter and hotter until the keg of black powder detonated.

Afterward, it was his turn to collapse onto his back and smile. “Not half bad at all.”

With him still inside of her, Mai Wing eased her breasts onto his chest and rested her cheek on his shoulder. “You are the best I have ever made love to.”

“Had a lot of men, have you?”

“Only two, counting you.”

Fargo looked down at her.

“There was a boy in China,” Mai Wing said. “I was in love. I thought that one day I would be his wife. But my father disapproved and would not allow it. And then my father and mother and grandfather decided to come to your country.” A tear trickled. “I will never see that boy again.” She sniffled. “Or my parents.”

“You might want to get some sleep.”

“I wish they had never caught sick on the crossing. I wish they were still alive. I miss them so much. Now that my grandfather has betrayed me and sold me to Master Han, I am all alone in the world.”

“Why did the old goat do that?”

“It is common. All the girls in the House of Pleasure were sold to Master Han as I was.”

“Why do the other Chinese stand for it?”

“The Tong,” Mai Wing said.

“There aren't that many of them. If all of your people rose up and fought, they could drive Han out or bury the bastard.”

Mai Wing let out a sad little sigh. “It is not in our nature. We are taught from an early age to always obey. Our parents. Our teachers. Anyone in authority. And the Tong have the authority.”

“You stood up to him,” Fargo reminded her.

“My father always said I was a rebellious child. I guess he was right.” Mai Wing closed her eyes. “Now if you will permit me, I am tired. Is it all right if I sleep a while?”

“Snore away,” Fargo said. He could have used a nap himself. Stretching his legs out, he drifted into a pleasant dream where every painted doll in the House of Pleasure took a turn riding him.

The raucous cry of a jay snapped him awake. He'd slept longer than he liked; the sun was well on its downward arc.

Mai Wing was still sound asleep, her lips fluttering with every breath.

Fargo shifted to relieve a cramp and she opened her eyes. “Rise and shine.”

“What time is it?” Mai Wing asked as she sleepily sat up and yawned.

“About four.” Fargo eased from under her and began to put himself together.

“I thank you again for sharing your body. You are a good lover.” Mai Wing set to dressing. “You dare not go back into Hunan. You know that, don't you?”

“I have to do it,” Fargo said.

“If Han should get his hands on you—” Mai Wing didn't finish. She didn't need to.

It was a long ride to the clearing.

Mai Wing was in a gabby mood. He learned all there was to know about her childhood and life in China.

“We were very poor,” she said at one point, “as were many in our province. There was little work, and the jobs that were to be had paid very little.”

“From what I hear,” Fargo mentioned, “the Chinese over here don't make all that much money either.”

“Ah. But a little here is a lot back there when the dollars are converted into our currency. It is why when my father heard about the opportunities America offered, he couldn't wait to come. It is why some villages send nearly every young man to this country to work and send money home. But the men cannot bring their wives or their families, so it is very sad.”

“They have to come whether they want to or not?”

“It is considered a great honor. No young man would refuse.”

“More of that kowtowing,” Fargo said.

“Sorry?”

“I could never be Chinese.”

“Why not?”

“All that bowing and scraping wouldn't sit right,” Fargo said.

“I think you have the wrong idea,” Mai Wing said. “My people bow to authority but they are not slaves.”

“Could have fooled me.”

Mai Wing fell quiet after that. Fargo sensed that he had hurt her feelings but he was only speaking his mind.

The sun was a golden plate on the rim of creation when they neared the clearing.

Fargo rose in the stirrups but didn't see anyone moving about. He cupped his mouth to hail them, and a premonition came over him, a feeling in his gut something wasn't right. He shucked the Henry.

“What is it?” Mai Wing asked.

“Don't know yet,” Fargo answered. “Hush.”

The morning's fire had long since burned down. Several figures were sprawled near it, and at first Fargo took them to be sleeping. Only when he emerged from the trees did he see the red splotches. He quickly drew rein.

“Damn.”

“Are they dead?” Mai Wing asked in horror.

“If they're not,” Fargo said, “they're wasting a lot of blood.”

Dismounting, he held on to the reins.

Arnold, Webber, and the Chinese men from the dungeon were all dead. By the looks of things, they had been beaten to death. Arnold's face consisted of pulped flesh and broken bone. Webber's throat was crushed.

“The Tong's handiwork,” Mai Wing said.

“You sure?” Fargo didn't see a single chop mark.

Mai Wing nodded and imitated striking her left hand with her right as if she were holding a hammer. “They used the flat side.”

Fargo didn't see Tom Bannon anywhere. He did find drag marks, and the hoofprints of three horses. “The Tong who were after us,” he deduced, “found them instead. Must have taken them by surprise. The poor bastards.”

“This is partly our fault?”

“Bannon and the others should have been on their guard.”

Fargo set about gathering firewood. When Mai Wing saw what he was doing, she lent a hand. Soon flames crackled.

As he was putting on coffee, Mai Wing folded her arms around her bent legs and asked, “What will you do?”

“Nothing's changed.”

“There is just you now.”

“It's never just me,” Fargo said, and patted the Henry.

“I advise you to forget about Han. Let's you and me leave this place. Later you can come back with the marshal you have talked about.”

Fargo grinned. “I've never been good at taking advice.”

“What can you do alone except die?”

Fargo shrugged. “We all do, sooner or later.”

BOOK: Utah Terror : Utah Terror (9781101606971)
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