By Don Kenton Henry
He rode high in the saddle on his seventeen-hands tall black stallion, Lincoln, as he came out of the chaparral into the dry gulch. The silver conchos on his hatband bounced the sun’s rays onto the red rock cliffs of the ravine while his eyes remained fixed on the path ahead. His buckskins concealed that every inch of his six-foot-four frame was crisscrossed and wrapped in a barbed-wire taut web of ebony muscle and scars. They hid the tale of the whip and chains from which he’d won his freedom with the end of the war. A Colt Dragoon he had taken from a Confederate soldier was holstered on his side. Now no man was his master. His chiseled face glistened like an onyx statue in the scorching Texas sun.
He noticed a twitch of Lincoln’s ears and saw they turned back toward some sound behind them. He turned in his saddle to see three Comanche braves on his trail. One raised a rifle, and the chase was on. He spurred his horse through the creek bed looking for an exit onto the flats where he thought the half of Lincoln’s blood which was thoroughbred would allow the stallion to outrun the surer-footed Indian ponies. There was a path up through the rocks and he took it at a full gallop when Lincoln stumbled, fell, and rolled back over him into the red silt of the bed. When the horse rose it was on three legs, the other raised in the air. The warriors were bearing down on them. In one swift movement, Bass pulled his Henry repeating rifle from its scabbard, shot Lincoln in the head, and took cover behind him as the horse landed in the shadow of the two of them. A shot from the Henry hit the first warrior square in the chest blowing him backward off his steed. He jacked the lever of the Henry and put another 45 in the chamber before it took out the second. Before he could sight the third, a war lance whizzed past his ear and penetrated the clay behind him. A moment later the lone brave dove from his pony and came down on Bass knife in hand. Bass pulled his Colt from its holster with one hand as his other caught the knife hand of the Indian. One shot against the ribs blew a hole in the red man through which you could see half of Texas.
He reloaded both guns, took the saddle off Lincoln, threw it over his shoulder, and walked up out of the gulch into the flats. It would be a long walk to Abilene if he couldn’t find one of those Indian ponies. That was one damn fine horse he thought as he turned and gazed at the spot below where the buzzards were already circling. “You saved my life one last time, you big black stud,” he said as he gave a nod and a small tug on the brim of his hat before turning back into the setting sun. He shook his head. He couldn’t believe he had shot Lincoln.
Now that you know him – you won’t forget him! He’s black … he’s back … he wears chaps … and he’s badder than ever! He was long before “Shaft”! He’s one bad Mandingo Cowboy! He’s Bass. Bass Reeves … And he’s coming soon to a theater near you!
(Waaa waaa wa!!!!)
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