by Hugh Wesley
Every legend is backed by a grain -- or two -- of truth.
And nowhere in Moccasin County fit that bill better than the sandy dunes running alongside Bobcat River.
It wasn't that the river itself was treacherous or that the sand scratched and clawed at your ankles, threatening to drag you into the drink.
No, what made the locals nervous was the legend of Kintati, an Indian boy who had been drowned in the Bobcat at the hand of an early white frontiersman. Didn't matter that no one could remember the white man's name or find any record of the incident.
What mattered was that Kintati waited there in the river and stowed away on the boats of settlers and prospectors who passed by, then drowned them a ways down the line.
It was all nonsense, of course, but the locals took the story as gospel, and that included the sheriff and his men. That fact worked to Marcus's benefit when he planned his bank heist.
That, and the friendship he'd struck up with a Koso named "Pete" he'd met at the saloon. Together, they cooked up a scheme -- Marcus would knock over the bank while Pete dragged a canoe onto Bobcat Beach. In the event the bulls gave chase, they wouldn't follow Marcus to the river.
And it all worked like a machine, though Marcus was surprised at how fast and determined the lawmen were. By the time he stumbled across the sand, his lungs were on fire.
Pete had come through, though.
In front of Marcus, Pete's footprints led up to the canoe and then disappeared in the forest to the west.
Then, Marcus went cold.
A second set of prints emerged from the water -- and stopped at the canoe.