Callie's Heart

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Authors: Cia Leah
Texas, 1800’s
    Chapter I
     
                Callie
McCade squeezed tighter against the side of the stagecoach as the heavy-set man
beside her slumped against her and began to snore loudly.   She also tried to keep her eyes lowered as
the two women seated across from her kept staring at her with undisguised
snobbery.
                Callie
knew that being dressed in buckskins and a cowboy hat with a set of six guns
strapped around her hips wasn't the way a lady should present herself, but it
was the only clothes she had and the way her uncle had raised her.   Of course, she really didn't want to be
dressed like them, she thought.   They
had to be roasting to death in this Texas heat, and their corsets had to be
sucking at least two inches of their waistlines in.   She didn't know how on earth they were breathing dressed the way
they were.   When the man seated on the
other side of them looked at her and winked, Callie didn't know if he was
flirting with her or if he was trying to make her feel better.   He was dressed in a fine suit with vest and
jacket.   He looked to be in his thirties
and was sort of portly, but not fat.   He
had slicked back brown hair and friendly brown eyes.
                "Where
you from, Miss?"   He asked, smiling
congenially.
                Callie
looked at him again, making sure he was talking to her as the two women stuck
their noses up in the air as if offended he had even attempted a conversation
with her instead of them.   "Kansas."
                "You're
a good ways from home.   What's your
name?"
                "Callie
McCade."
                "Nice
to meet you, Callie McCade.   My name's
Darrell Ansten.   I'm a writer and I came
out west to write stories.   I'm from
Boston Massachusetts.   The west holds
lots of excitement for the reader's back east and my family owns a large
newspaper there.   I'm going to get those
stories to take back with me."
                  Callie smiled.   "What kind of stories will you write?"
                "People
back east want stories of outlaws, Indians, and just about anything that goes
on out here.   It's wild and
untamed.   You wouldn't happen to have a
few stories in that pretty little head of yours, would you?"
                Callie
blushed, as the two women gasped at what they assumed was an inappropriate
remark.   "I've always lived in the
west.   I don't know anything about back
east.   Maybe sometime we can swap
stories."
                "I'm
going to hold you to that, Callie.   Where are you headed?"
                She
was about to reply when gunshots sounded from outside and the driver yelled at
the team of horses to git up.   The man
leaning against her awoke with a start and started cussing, then apologized to
the women.   "Looks like you're
going to get that story right now Mr. Ansten," she said.   She pulled her gun out of her holster and
checked the ammunition as another series of gunshots sounded.   "I suggest you ladies get down."
                Callie
stood up and grabbed hold of the sides of the window and eased her head out as
another bullet whizzed by.   She ducked
back in, holstered her gun, then slipped through the window, and climbed up
atop the stage.   She about fell off when
the driver hit a hole in the road and the fast careening stagecoach bounced and
swayed.
                Holding
onto the luggage, she made her way to the front where the driver whipped the
horses faster.   "There's only one
man shooting at us!   Don't you have
someone riding shotgun?"   She
yelled as a bullet slammed into the luggage right behind her.
                "Yep
I did but he toppled over the side a ways back," he said, taking a quick
look at her.   "You any good with
those guns?"
                "Pretty
good," she said.   You want me to
shoot back?"
               

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