This is a pretty picture

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View from Vulture’s Peak trailhead

I hate the desert. I also really like it sometimes. This photo makes me feel like I’m inside an old Louis L’amour story.

Chick Bowdrie rides through the pass on his strawberry Roan. He has been hard on the trail of the Rodriguez brothers for the last three days and is nearly wore out. He comes up over the rise and sees a little village. Seven or eight little mud-block buildings clustered together, split by a small creek running down from the hills. A woman looks up from her corn mill, immediately drops her pestle and turns to run inside one of the small buildings. She hesitates, catching the glint off the silver Star on Bowdrie’s lapel.

“Wait,” his voice is a baritone susurration. Powerful, yet smooth and reassuring. He has brought this voice to many a gunfight and walked away, subdued violent men with nothing more than a few well-spoken words. “Wait, ma’am. I need your help.” She is transfixed by the mystery of this weathered man on his horse.

“We don’t want no trouble Mister,” her voice slightly quavering, unsteady yet determined. “We ain’t got no qualms with nobody here.” She swells with pride, “Ain’t been no troubles here in Syndicate Creek since we ran off them old Hernandez boys some years ago.”

“No ma’am, I wouldn’t dream it.” She relaxes a bit as she sees he isn’t hostile. “My name is Bowdrie. You may have heard of me.”

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