“Banks are evil.”
Pete had only been working at the Idlegate blacksmith’s shop for a day, and he didn’t know much about the business. But Clyde Barton’s simple statement got Pete’s gears turning.
So Pete set about watching his boss until he understood the pattern — each evening, Barton stashed the cash he made into the stirrups of an old saddle. Finally, on the first of each month, he took the money to the general store to buy supplies.
Along the way, Pete crafted his plan, but he knew he’d need help. That’s where Hank Rogers came in.
The two men met at Tally’s Saloon, and Pete could tell right away Hank was smart. Just a few clues between shots of whisky and Hank started to pick up on the idea on his own. They schemed all through October and had their plan worked out with a day to spare.
So, on Halloween night, Pete waited around the corner until Clyde closed up shop, then sneaked back to nab the saddle. He carried the booty down an alley where Pete waited with two horses.
From there, they rode west toward Palecliff Pass. The plan was to cross the desert and let the night wind erase their tracks. They’d split their loot once they reached Thunder Spine, then go their separate ways.
Just as they cut through Palecliff, though, the air turned frigid, and a snow squall blinded Pete. His vision cleared just in time to see Hank snap to a stop up ahead.
Pete prodded his horse forward and, when he was close enough, Hank called out to him. “We have a problem.”
And indeed they did, for Hank’s horse stood up to his chin in snow, and the white stuff stretched as far and wide as Pete could see.