Phyllis is an enthusiastic researcher, reader, and writer of history. Historical fiction based on actual facts is her expertise.
Ruby Valley, Nevada, is a Large Section of Jimmy's Route
Part four continued from Jimmy Evans: Memories of Mountain Meadows Massacre Surface
Rode Like the Wind
Jimmy rode like the wind was carrying him. He was anxious to get back to Egan Canyon to be with David and Mat, but he was still very alert to his surroundings. He saw one Paiute warrior on a distant hill in Ruby Valley, but there was no trouble and the rest of his ride was uneventful.
A small group of Calvary came by the station and stopped just long enough for coffee and to feed their horses. The Captain told Tom, the station manager, the Paiutes were stirred up again. "So, check your weapons and ammo. Tell your men to do the same and make sure you are prepared for any trouble. We'll be patrolling the route and hopefully there won't be any trouble."
United States Cavalry, Late 1800s
Letter to David
Jimmy had one day to rest at Dry Creek Station before the return trip and wanted to write a letter to David in time for the rider heading that way left. He asked Tom, the station master, to write the letter for him.
"Howdy, David. I never had any schooling, so Tom is writing this for me. I been thinking a lot bout things you told me and you are right. I am not running away from, but running to something and that is God and the answers He can give me as to why my family was killed. And more than that is why was I not killed? I have the answer to the second question and it is cause I had to find some truths within myself. Truths like faith in God and myself. I also realize my life did not end at the massacre because I was to meet you and Mat. I know now that my most important truth is to admit I am just a kid and need love and a family. I hurt bad inside, David, cause I have no one and feel the need to have you and Mat in my life. You are the closest person to me now and I would like to ask if you can be my Pa. That is all I have to say for now, except see you soon."
David's heart nearly burst with pride when he read Jimmy's letter and he felt tears building up. He was filled with sadness for Jimmy's loneliness and pain, yet felt overwhelming joy how Jimmy felt. Mat saw the tears and was concerned.
"Something wrong, David?"
David handed Mat the letter and pulled off his neckerchief to wipe his eyes and stood up.
David found it hard to speak at the moment but managed to say, "I thank God Jimmy is going home with us when we finish this assignment. I gotta go out for a walk."
Mat understood David had to be alone so turned his attention to the letter.
Jimmy's Return Trip
Jimmy was just entering Ruby Valley when he saw a small war party watching him from a nearby hill.
"Hell's bells! I sure don't need that welcome party!" Jimmy snapped his holster flap up and pulled out his Colt 1851.
"Sure as hell they gonna be on our tail soon, fella," he bent low and patted his
horse's neck. "You keep runnin' to deliver the mail and find David. I'll tend to the Indians." He had six bullets loaded in his Colt and one extra cylinder of six in his shirt pocket. Looking over to the war party just coming down the hill he counted six Indians.
"Well, ain't I lucky. Six bullets and six men. Gotta make ev'ry shot count cause I may not have time to reload!"
The war party was riding hard now to catch up to him and they were within range to shoot arrows. Jimmy kept low. His horse whinnied in pain and began to slow down. Jimmy looked back and saw two arrows in the horse's rear then looked ahead for a place to run for cover. Just ahead were some boulders not far up the hill. He could make it by foot.
"You go on without me, fella, you ain't got far to go and those arrows ain't too deep, but you can't carry me further. You get the mail to the station and the men there will take care of you, they'll fix you up right fine!" He swung his right leg over the saddle horn and jumped off. Jimmy was very athletic and took the jump easy by rolling forward and landing on his feet. The warriors were close but he got up behind the largest boulder just in time, ready to shoot the first one that came up the hill.
When Jimmy saw them coming, memories of the massacre at Mountain Meadows filled his head and for a moment he was scared. That fear turned to anger when he saw two of the Indians approaching and ready to shoot arrows at him. He started shooting with a clear head and straight aim.
Ruby Valley Station
Johnny, the station master, was holding the reins of the fresh horse for Jimmy to transfer to. Two stock tenders, Gabe and Al, were ready to grab the reins of Jimmy's horse to slow it down and stop it.
They all saw the horse come over the rise at a fast run, but Jimmy was not on it. Johnny yelled into the station, "Charlie! Ride!" The two men managed to stop the frightened and wounded horse.
Without asking questions Charlie, a fill-in rider, ran out, got the mail pouch off Jimmy's horse, threw it on the fresh horse, mounted and rode off at the fast pace all riders kept.
"Easy, fella," Johnny spoke softly as he examined Billy's horse. "Get him in to the stable and Ol' Jake will take good care of him. Then you boys saddle up and go look for Jimmy," he shook his head sadly. "This don't bode well, fellas."
Gabe and Al got ready to ride out and look for Jimmy but Johnny convinced them to wait till early morning. It was shortly after dusk. "It will be too dark in just a few minutes and you won't find anything out there now. Indians may have captured Jimmy."
"Paiutes don't capture," Gabe said gravely. "Jimmy is out there somewhere." With hands on hips he looked down and shook his head in resignation.
"Two riders coming in fast!" Al yelled and pointed. They all drew their guns. Attacks on two stations had happened recently.
To be Continued
To be continued in part five 'My Boy is out There'.
© 2020 Phyllis Doyle Burns