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Be careful what you wish for.

"Why use the flashers where there's no traffic?" asked Henry.

"That's just to show us that they're good guys coming to rescue us, so we don't hide from them or shoot at them."

"I wish we could turn on the Jeep's headlights to show them where we are."

"That's all right. They'll know about where I'd park, and we can get off a shot when they get close enough."

"A shot?"

"Yeah, it's a good way to signal. Just shoot up in the air. I'll show you when they get over here. Let's walk out into the open a little bit." The three vehicles were all visible now, sweeping a broad arc below before starting up the slope. Fern had her Glock out, and waited until she had a good head-on view of the lead truck. Then she aimed straight upward and fired. The sound echoed, and the muzzle flash was visible for a foot or two from the muzzle. Instantly the lead truck engine went silent and its lights went out, followed shortly by the other two. They were watching and listening. Fern fired another shot and then holstered the Glock. A spotlight stabbed out into the darkness, fluttered around a bit, and finally illuminated Fern and Henry. Then the three engines roared to life, headlights came on, and the three trucks converged on their grove.

Doors opened and men in khaki uniforms spilled out. A tall, dark-haired man came up first and gave Fern a hug. "You all right? Didn't fall and break anything, did you?"

"No, Bobby, I'm fine. Hey, Bubba, Lenny. Oh hi, Sheriff. Looks as if we've got a major crime sweep here."

The Sheriff, fifty-something, beefy but not blubbery, stepped up and the others fell back respectfully. "What's goin' on here, Fern? Jeep give out on you? What can we do for you?" He turned his head just enough to give Henry a good look up and down, and stuck out his hand. "I'm Sheriff Johnson. And you are?"

"Howdy, Sheriff. Name's Henry Grant. Fern and I teamed up in a gunfight at her place a few days back, and she's been showing me some of the local sights."

"Oh, you must be the 357 man. I looked over the bodies of the Baker brothers, the one Fern got with her nine and the one you rearranged with the revolver. Pretty good shooting by both of you, by the way. One shot kill for you, Fern. Why'd you take the head shot?"

"He was standing there, hardly moving, with his back toward me. I thought about his back, but I wasn't sure how the nine would do if it hit a shoulder blade, so I figured I'd better go for a sure thing. Rested solid on the bar, perfect sight picture, let the gun do the rest."

"That's my girl. When Doc told me that boy'd taken a nine to the head, we all knew who fired it and we were very proud of you. Now what's your problem here?"

Fern carried most of the narrative as they explained why they thought the Jeep could have a bomb in it, probably under the driver's seat.

The Sheriff looked at Lenny and got a thoughtful expression on his face. "Tell you what I'd like to try. I'd like to leave the Jeep right there, bomb and all, as bait. Three trucks came out of town, and three will go back in. Dark as it is, that's all that our bomber will see. He won't have heard anything go boom so he'll know he didn't blow you up. He may figure that we'd go out in daylight to bring the jeep in and look at his bomb, so I'd like to give him a chance to get here first and take it back.

"Lenny, Bob, Bubba, here's what I'd like you to do: Set up a little overnight bivouac here in this little grove.

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