Poke leaned hard in the saddle. I could see his face was chalk-white underneath the beard and sunburn.
“You don’t look so good, pard,” I said.
“Don’t feel so good, neither. That goddamn bitch with the scattergun.”
“You can’t say I didn’t warn you. You had plenty of time to shoot her.”
Poke looked annoyed, as he always did when I pointed out his errors. “Didn’t want to shoot no woman, Cal.”
“But shoot her you did.”
“Only after she shot me.”
“She’s dead all the same, but now you’re gut-shot in the bargain.”
He grimaced. “I got my principles, Cal.”
We rode on for a while, him sighing now and again. I trotted up beside him and pulled open his coat. “Goddamn, Poke. You’re bleeding like a pig. Let’s stop so I can get a look at that.”
“Not yet. We need to put some distance between us and them.”