Guy Jarret and his younger brother Carl had made it, thus, halfway without getting caught yet, although the law had been on their backs for some time and deftly approaching just miles away now while Carl aside his older outlaw brother Guy, lain away on his horse from the last robbery and bleeding in his side from his gunshot wound with his head drooping and tucked into his kerchief, but Guy mainly leading the pair up in front.
Guy and Carl as it was had been robbing and looting banks or others on their way, and up and down the whole western parts for a time but had botched the last robbery and were presently on the loose waiting for the law to capture them, either dead or alive, but Guy knowing he had to get to a Doctor soon before his brother would lose too much blood which he was now by the minute.
It was winter then in the Nevada territory they were residing although Guy knew the terrain well enough having worked in an old mining town during his younger days, and knew of an old Boom Dock town not too far off and that was still around, although the mining had already abated with just a few old Griff's or stray's about to hold up the tawdry man's drinking Saloon that was still about.
Shortly though even amid the cold and flurrying wind and snow coming down Guy could make out from a distance the town coming up, or what was left of it, hardly the appealing site he knew, but the chance of a Doctor being around, or either finding where one could be encouraging for him and hoping his younger brother could still be helped, as he would continue leading himself and Carl down the towns mudded road or to where the Saloon was at its far end.
Parking both Carl's and his horse in front then, he went on inside to ask around or see where a Doctor might be though leaving his brother on his horse even in the cold to do so knowing he could not get him down or up easily with his wound, as Guy upon coming through the saloon doors was met by a mellowing and lackluster bunch once inside, either smoking or drinking at their tables in the dim setting with one or two men up at the bar, and even a big old fat bartender behind it just then pouring himself a drink and seeing Guy standing there. Even he could recognize the outlaw though as he knew him to be Guy Jarrett, bank and side coach robber of the west without any sign of his brother anywhere but Guy promptly speaking up as he just stood there looking back.
"Any Doctor around, here?" he asked out loud while the bartender put down his bottle and some of the others took notice.
"Well, no . . . " he answered Guy after a moment, but the outlaw still not satisfied as he look around.
Suddenly though one of the old bar stools with his drink talked up looking over to the outlaw as he listened.
"I know of one . . . " he said. "A Doctor Wilhelm, way up on the Thomsen's Mountain near Sands Creek. Lives in some cabin, retired now."
Hearing this Guy without even paying any regard just went to turn around back through the pair saloon doors, though the bar stool talking up again shortly as Guy barely glanced back to listen.
"You'll have to get their quick though, if you want to make to the Doctor's cabin before the pass caves in this time of year." Guy though not even saying anything nor wasting any time just continued his way out, swinging through the saloon doors to where his brother was still up on his horse but further stooped over now as Guy mounted up on top of his own to get on with their journey, but knowing they would have to make it fast to the Doctors Cabin, or as he had just been told by the man inside.
After a good hour ride, however, but finally reaching the Sands Creek just where he had remembered it even in the blistering cold weather upon them and getting worse, Guy would make his way with Carl then up the steep mountain embankment and wend through whatever trees and obstructs looking out for the pass the whole time and hoping it had not already caved in, but proceeding on not only for help with his brother but to escape the law he knew was still on their backs, or head Marshal around those parts, gaining in on them no doubt with only the mountain and themselves separating one another.
Eventually as the two proceeded Carl's brother, or Guy, could spot the pass that he had been forewarned about as looked up around him and to the side of the mountain where a thick wall of heavy snow and tumbling ice had built up ready any moment to collapse in the harsh winds and snow still coming down upon them as he halted for a second with Carl to take a brief break before making the summit knowing he would not have much time to get across.
Taking hold, then, as he held Carl's reigns, though his brother was hardly even awake enough to see, he gathered what nerve inside him to make the pass as he shoveled through taking with him his younger brother and taking caution where he could to get on.
Suddenly a few pads of snow underneath his horse almost seemed to give way as the horse nearly stumbled, but then, hearing the sounding roar of the pass overhead he decided to make a quick and hurried dash for it with Carl taking the two across the ridge at a fast trollop until finally making it to the other side, and just as the thundering slope began to fall and crust off, nearly taking him and Carl down with it, but the two left intact, nonetheless, and the law who had been on their backs well out of their hands now, hardly within their grasp for the time being.
Guy though knew that there would most likely be no way of getting out or off the mountain from any other side, however, as his face could show a little tension and almost looking back to the now broken pass, or just before shoving off again with Carl to make their way to the Doctors home wherever it would pop up.
He knew that it could not be too far, however, as he continue leading Carl now further slumped over and soon to be on deaths door if not treated quickly, but Guy completing the journey, regardless, and determined just to get to the old Doctor's cabin. Shortly after beginning again though the image of a log built structure would come into view covered in a white sheet of snow on top and with a thin and slithery line of smoke coming out from its small tin capped chimney, while Guy signaled slightly to his younger outlaw brother in back and still holding onto his reigns.
As soon as reached the cabin, then, Guy would dismount from his horse and go to get Carl down from off his as Carl slavered onto him while Guy held him up and slung his arm over his shoulder though Carl fraying a bit as he did this, and limping with him as Guy opened the cabin door without any heed of warning, of course, but just going on in to get Carl inside.
Just then, the Doctor, a furrowed crinkly man with delicate sheet white hair and smoking a pipe of some sort had been sitting in his rocker near the heartily wood burning fire trying to get warmth, but seeing as he looked back the two burst in as he quickly got up and went over to the two not even bothering to ask of anything and seeing Carl badly in need of attention to his wound.
"Bring him in here, up on to the table," the old man said as Guy helped slab him on top of a solid oak table in the adjoining Cabin's room on the other side, while Doctor Wilhelm scrappily went over to get down a small lantern and match to see better at Carl's wound, Guy undoing his shirt and sweater to get to where he had been shot.
Bringing over a lantern then, the doctor would shine the apparatus around Carl's side and seeing the bullet hole that had gone in knowing he had to get the piece of round out before losing any more blood with not a moment to waste as he told Guy to keep holding the lantern for him while he went and got some of his medical tools, or whatever needed to pry out the bullet.
As to this he went to get his medical bag, an old black sack of a thing, from underneath where he had absolved the lantern and sitting on the shelf as he set it up on the chair next to Carl to begin the surgery while telling Guy to be careful with the light as he did his business, but without an anesthetic or any sedative for Carl, though he was out like a light by now and hardly conscious to even know it.
As for the Doctor he performed the procedure with his nimble older man's fingers and in the dimmer light of the lantern just as proficiently as any other Doctor could do around those parts, removing the cartridge from Carl's side with his pair of tweezers, and, thereafter, to see if it was intact by holding it to Carl's underclothes, though telling right off that it was and reassuring Guy that the bleeding would stop. After this he would stitch him up with some string he had and spare needle as Guy watched from the side.
It would not be certain, however, as he went on to say the possibility of Carl coming down with a fever in the duration, in which case they would have to wait it out to see if he would come through and that it would be fifty-fifty if he did, but that from the looks of it so far he was doing alright.
As for Guy he just reassured the Doctor that he would come through it insisting that he had been through tougher things before, but looking to his younger brother's face with hid vigilante outlaw face almost as if knowing Carl knew had to get better.
As they stood around some more the Doctor eventually checked Carl's forehead, though, and could feel an impending fever telling Guy aside him that his temperature was rising, but went ahead and got a wood bucket full of some spare water he had poured and just told Guy to keep wetting Carl's head to reduce the fever which after a little while seemed to work as old man Doctor Wilhelm stood by. Nevertheless, suspecting that the two had come to him by foul means he would speak up as Guy answered his questions to him, though not believing any of his answers despite, and having heard of the two brothers even himself at one time after having kept this to himself the whole time so far.
"You boys coming from somewhere?" he asked as Guy look to him.
"Yeah," he answered him. "My brother and I, matter of fact, just comin' in with a cattle drive supposed to be getting' in tomorrow far side of country. Just happens three or four guys ransacked takin' our cattle and shootin' at me and my brother tryin' to get em' back. My Brother here Carl got it the worst though." As the doctor glanced at him he would finish and say, "Almost got caught in the pass just before cavin' in comin' here."
Shortly after though the Doctor prompted Guy asking him to get some fresh snow from outside of all things, or which could be used to cool him down as they wet Carl still burning up, but Guy accepted the task without quiver of course and went out with the bucket to do this, now that nearly all the water had been used up for such.
After going out of the cabin door though, Guy could see his horse next to Carl's being blown about in the wind as he took both over to the other side where there less wind, although the snow continued to pour down with the intense and bitter winds as Guy went to fill the bucket with some sloshy snow that had fallen next to the cabin.
Looking out straight ahead then toward where they had approached the cabin Guy suddenly thought of the lawmen who had been chasing them prior, but knew they would have no way of getting to them although for the time being it would remain unsure or at least to himself how he and Carl would get off the mountain hardly confident that he could by other means, as his attention was shortly beamed on the money or loot he had stolen during the last robbery and that was still in his satchel as he eyed the saddle of his horse where it still was and without thinking twice decided he would bring in the money into the cabin for safe keeping.
Taking it in one hand then and the bucket in the other he went around the side to go in the Cabin opening the door after putting down the satchel to enter, but upon coming in was met with a nasty surprise as the Doctor was in back now holding up a double barrel shotgun to him and had been waiting for him to come in all the while only using the excuse before with the snow to get the upper hand knowing the outlaw he was.
"Put those things down . . . " he demanded unto Guy still holding the satchel of money and bucket as he had both arms slightly raised in the air. Pausing, though, for the briefest moment he suddenly began to put his arms down as he lowered both of what he had in hand to the cabin floor and setting them down like he had been told, but upon doing this in an abrupt motion he went for his gun just as he let go and turning around to fire as he shot off a hastened round from his gun just brazing the doctor nearly wounding him in his arm as the old Man plummeted to the Cabin Floor and dropping his shotgun while Guy stood there looking. He could tell though the Doctor had not been wounded, and instead, had just fainted to the Floor while Guy continued to stand there, although could hear then the faint and weakly sounds of Carl in the other room still up on the table where he had been left as Guy peeped down his head to listen.
"Stop it, Guy . . . " Carl told him in his sluggish speech though Guy kept concentrated down at his brother.
Suddenly then, standing in back from him was the Doctor up again and with his shotgun cocked like before pointing it at Guy as the outlaw could sense him up again. By then he had put his gun away back in his holster but before he could take it out to do whatever, his brother Carl spoke up again telling him not to.
"Stop," he said. "Told him everything before you went out."
To this Guy just sort of gave him a quizzical look as the Doctor kept his shotgun pointed at him, but trying only to appease his brother and knowing he didn't have much choice Guy turned around without saying anything and carefully took out his weapon to toss it over to the Doctor or onto the Cabin floor in front of him as the Doctor moved it out of the way with his foot while holding his gun.
"You don't have to worry 'bout me Doc," Guy said as the Doctor kept standing there.
"Alright," the Doctor replied as he went for the gun lying on the floor, and lowering the shotgun, finally, almost sure he knew Guy was telling the truth.
Just then Carl began to move again squirming in his face and sweating still though the fever had begun to break after all, as Guy looked down at him.
"You just keep wetting his head with the rag while I go get some more water," the Doctor said noticing Carl himself and hearing his moaning.
Going back over to where guy had set down the bucket and his satchel in front of the cabin door the Doctor stood a moment before taking the bucket, though deciding to peep in the satchel and seeing the luscious amount of money inside as Guy kept at his brothers side in the other room waiting for him to come back.
Shortly though he would return, or the Doctor, but by then Carl had already gone out again and was well asleep with just him and Guy standing there although the Doctor told Guy they could wait now in the other room and that there was nothing left to do as Guy followed him in, even holding the shotgun and his sidearm the Doctor now had on him, but following him as the Doctor, or old man, sat down near the Fireplace where had had been earlier as Guy would wait there with him for the remainder of the night. Guy was nevertheless, his old cocky self but tried to be as honest with the Doc as he could as they would exchange a few words before the night was through while the Doctor sat in his rocker and smoking his pipe and listening for the most part.
* * *
"You don't have to by worryin' 'bout me," Guy said seeing Doctor Wilhelm with his shotgun laid on his lap.
"I owe it to you on savin' my brother's life, now," he finished as the Doctor blew out his smoke. Only turning then to him again as the light shined on his face from the Fire Guy spoke up again.
"There, uh, wouldn't be any way off this mountain, other than the way we came up?" he asked as the Doctor looked at him.
"Nope," the other said hardly thinking about it. "The way you came is the only way of gettin' here and off, as far as I reckon."
Guy's face just shined of the burning flames and grinning again trying not to show his fear.
"Well, that's what I thought . . . " he said almost sure the Doctor knew what he was talking about, but knowing the law would be waiting for him on the other end just as certain.
Suddenly Guy's eye caught a book on the Fireplace mantle or just a sledge of wood as he took it in hand and opened it up to read it while the Doctor could see him.
"You read these books?" he said as the Doctor sat there not saying anything.
"Never learned to read myself really," Guy went on putting back the book onto the shelf as the Doctor lowered his expression slightly.
"Carl knows how to read though," he went on. "Some woman taught him after our mother and father got killed by Indians out here."
"I could teach you if you like," the Doctor spoke up again though Guy's face almost looking entertained by the proposition.
"Ah, wouldn't do me any good," he said almost dumbfounded. Sharpening up then, he spoke out, "Carl on the other hand is much smarter than me. I reckon save the readin' for him. Me on the other hand I'm just good for hold ups and gun draws," he went on strolling away sort of. "Never cared much for readin'."
"Uh huh," the doctor said without replying.
"Yep," Guy continued, "I reckon' the law be waitin' for us soon though as the snow melts up and they can get through.
The Doctor still did not say anything as Guy stood by having some apprehension in his face.
"The Law?" the Doctor asked from his seat. "They's were chasin' you' here?" he went on as Guy stood there in front.
"Chasin' us from here all the way up through Colorado and Nevada. Been chasin' us forever . . . "
The doctor did not say anything as Guy waited though turning soon to him to ask him something.
"Don't supposin' any of that money in that satchel interest you in helpin' us out?" he asked as the Doctor rock away in his chair.
"No, can't say it would," he said as Guy eyed it or the satchel from his standpoint.
To this Guy didn't say anything at first although sort of frustrated looking.
"Well, what about Carl in there," he said looking at Wilhelm but the Doc just sitting there.
"What d'you think they're going to do to him," he said as he continued to listen while guy turned away.
A moment went by but then the Doctor stood up as he put his shotgun against the side of the mantle and went to put more tobacco in his pipe from a pouch on top.
"Well, I don't know," he said as Guy turned to him while Doctor handled his pouch.
"Well, they'll just hang him up like they will of me," he said to Wilhelm as he put his pipe to his mouth and lit it from a splinter in the Fireplace.
"Seems to me you got two choices," he said sitting back down in his rocker as Guy listened to his slow paced voice.
"Yeah," he said almost sounding interested but wasn't sure.
"Well," the Doctor spoke up again, "Either you can turn yourselves in as you said."
Waiting a moment Guy asked, "Yeah?"
"Or," the Doctor went on almost, hesitatingly, "You could turn yourself in and let you brother stay here."
"What d'you mean?" he asked still unsure.
"Well," pausing, "Maybe say he went over in the avalanche," the Doctor went on as Guy kept listening.
Getting up then Guy looked back away from the Doctor as he spoke.
"And hand myself in?" he asked seeming amused by the idea. "Well, I'd never do that," he went on almost just as sure he was telling the truth.
The Doctor though just sat there saying nothing for a moment, but then would speak up again.
"Well, I reckon you wouldn't," he said looking down. "But, like you said Carl won't be gettin' off himself. They'll be hanging the both of yous then."
Guy looked out again away from the Doctor turning around sort of unsure of what to do.
"You sure none of that money be interestin' you," he said as the Doctor kept his same gaze. Getting up then he would answer. "No," he said going over to fire to light his pipe again, "Wouldn't do me much good now that I'm old and don't care too much."
Guy still looked perplexed but eyeing the satchel from his place where he stood.
"Well," he said, "I'll let you have the whole thing. The whole ten thousand dollars in there."
The Doctor still did not turn away from the fire to answer.
"No," he finally said. "Means nothin' to me," shaking his head.
"What d'you mean mean's nothing to you?" Guy went on rampantly.
The Doctor though just sat back in his chair seeing that Guy was getting agitated.
"Well," he said looking of thought before carrying on. "I've seen more men perish because of money than any other commodity so far. Yes, sir, I've seen a lot now and I know that no money will help me the way things are. So, I much obliged but I see no reason to take your money bein' I'm set in my ways."
Just then Carl could be heard moaning again in the other room as Guy turned to him and the Doctor could hear too. Going inside as the two did Carl kept on moaning but the Doctor went to cushion his head some more with some of the clothes they had taken off of him as Guy watched from the side while Wilhelm patted his head with some of the rag like earlier on.
"What's the matter?" Guy asked unsure of it.
"Oh, just a bad dream he's haven'," he said.
Guy just continued standing there as the Doctor did not look to say anything at first although would speak up shortly as he tended to Carl.
"Well, I don't know . . . But if you come to be thinking any differently about my idea it might be something to consider. Seemin' it looks like you care about 'em so much."
Guy did not give any hint of concern, but just went back to his own thoughts about how he would get away but knew that with the Doctor present and with the law on their backs the way they were and going to probably attempt the pass at the first signs that they could get through he would have no chance at making his escape.
For a moment he thought almost of going back in and getting the shotgun, but the Doctor seeing his resistance in his eyes just lamented, "Wouldn't do you know good poppin' me off if that's what you're thinking. Like I said the way you came is the only way off and up to this here's cabin. I would know. Been here seven eight years goin' on," he continued without distress.
To this Guy didn't try to say anything, but just lowered his expression and promptly went out of the cabin almost in a hurried way as the Doctor looked up and could hear the wind howling through the door, not knowing where he was going off to. Guy was only making it to his horse though trying not to believe the Doctors words and about to get on his saddle when then his common sense hit him that the Doctor would only be telling the truth as he headed back in after a moment's thought, although hardly as enthused he was affirmatively knowing now he wouldn't be able to get off any other way as the Doctor said.
Instead, for now he knew he would have consider the Doctor's notion if he was to help his brother and the alternative he was given.
Seeing though the Doctor resume his place at the Rocker with his pipe as he stood by again upon coming in he knew just as assuredly his days were few so long as the pass held up, but with a fear and anxiety now within he could not relieve himself of, although still angry as he came in to the Doctor who looked now with his eyes closed not paying him any mind.
"Well, hell!" he shouted. "I don't care what you say about that pass. Gotta be some other way me and Carl can get out a here."
The Doctor just kept at his lightly rock as Guy kept talking.
"Aren't you listenin'?" he asked although the Doctor kept his eyes shut and as he had but then would say over to him,
"Sure I'm listenin'. But, you'll be here till March when the pass begins to give. Then that law been on your back should start creepin' in. Until then, though, you'll be stuck here so I think you'd better get used to it."
Hearing this Guy didn't do anything for a moment except go back to looking cool and calm while the Doctor kept in his chair as he had.
"Alright, Doc . . . " Guy said as he curtly stopped his rampant disagreeableness. "Sure. Whatever you say," he went on and laughing a bit as the Doctor just opened his eyes to see while Guy stood there looking back and laughing.
The night would go by despite and Guy resting a bit aside the fire until Carl would sound again a while later when the Doctor would go over to him and try to resuscitate him as best he could or continue to pat his forehead with the rag as Guy was already sound and out for the rest of that night. It would not but until the next day or two when his brother Carl would be up and about and slightly staggering and walking round the cabin, although as there was no place to go it didn't matter, of course.
As for Guy he would just stand by silent and not saying anything mostly knowing what would await him soon, but with Carl shot and wounded he knew he could not even attempt to make a futile getaway but would, instead, just wait the next weeks to come staying in the cabin with his brother recuperating from his wound and the nonchalant old man and Doctor helping him as he could while Guy thought about everything and growing more tense by the passing day.
Finally, though, Guy one night with his brother and the Doctor in front of the fire became suddenly uneased after listening to the two speak and with only thoughts of the cash he had inside the satchel, but unable to fend off the certain dilemma that would come regardless of what reverence he had for Carl and what the Doctor had told him that first night he had been there prior.
Fed up with his own contempt just after Carl had spoken he would tell Carl what he had in mind to save him from the law on the other side soon to break through any day now, although Carl himself was hardly agreeable to the idea but Guy only telling him there would be no other way for them to get off the mountain though Carl had not been told of this thus far, as the Doctor sat in his chair while Guy and Carl went back and forth until the younger could no longer challenge Guy, but not taking no as answer to his older brothers plans.
At this Carl asked the Doctor, or Wilhelm if it was true about the mountain they were on, but he only concurred and smoking his pipe like usual as Guy stood off in his own bereavement as to the situation and the shadow upon his head of the penult that awaited him.
Nothing much would be said after this though as Carl would not talk back to his brother and Guy just in his own kind of fixation but the next morning would prove to be the true test of what his brother had spoken or after having gone out the door to tend to the horses though a shot was fired next to him almost as soon he opened the door to go out and do this.
"Hold up there now!" Ned Kelly, or the head Marshal shouted from his crotched position with his other lawmen standing by and with their rifles up and pointed.
Guy only raised his hands, though, to the lawmen at first as he could see nothing but familiar Ned Kelly's brown leathered hat sticking out and his rifle pointed at him in the distance.
"Who you got in there?" Ned shouted to him again as Guy just stood there looking back and silent. Suddenly he would speak.
"Got no one in there . . . " he uttered more casually voiced, although the Marshal knew better seeing the pair of horses on the side, but just proceeded to go on to tell him to throw his gun out in front of him. Guy would just stand there for a moment before doing anything, however, although he had no gun on him or ever since the Doctor had taken it from him that first night and having no need as he saw it to wear it.
After a moment more the old man inside could no longer hold Carl though as he pushed Wilhelm out of the way and went for the door still having his own sidearm on him as he came through the front of the door in sudden surprise and went to unload his weapon on the Marshall and his men just as Guy turned to him to stop it, but not even squeezing off a round Carl went to fire as he was shot down dead in front of Guy on the spot and lain in the late February and early March snow.
Just then Guy Jarret knelt down to his brother as the red stained blood poured from out his body onto the white slush in front of the cabin door without saying anything.
"Stand up now!" the Marshal spoke from his position though Guy did not look to move at first.
Suddenly, however, in a quickened motion he went for Carl's gun on the ground next to him and stood up to fire a shot which he actually achieved but not after being shot a few times in the chest by the Marshal's men as he fell dead down to the ground next to Carl as the two lay side by side.
After this the Marshal would come out with his pod of men simply knowing no one would be left inside to retaliate, but stood there looking down at his two dead outlaws and holding his rifle.
Inside the cabin though was still Wilhelm, of course, as suddenly after a noise heard by the others the old man would duck his head out the door and holding the satchel of money in his hands while the others could see him.
Looking on with the rest he would search down at the two and then give over the money they had stolen in the satchel; but only to hand it back to the lawmen who would and had finally apprehended the two after their fating robbing spree. And, upon the mountain that had come to claim both despite, even having escaped the clutches of the pass, but, finally, to be left to itself as the two would be for now on—Unbroken