Part 6

Kiari, Brisco, and Bowler reined their horses in and stopped. Brisco and Bowler dropped their charges down first, rightly guessing that Oscar and Eddie would probably run off with their horses. Autolycus kept himself snuggled against Kiari.

"Autolycus, you can get off now," Kiari grinned.

He tightened his arms around her. "Later. I'm just enjoying the fact that I'm not dead."

Kiari laughed. Brisco and Bowler exchanged a look and shook their heads. Oscar and Eddie exchanged glances, then started to run.

"Oh no you don't!" Bowler and Brisco had them by their collars before they got two feet away.

"This isn't fair," Oscar said. "It should've worked."

"Well, maybe if you had picked a different town, it would have," Autolycus said.

"Who is this guy?" Bowler asked.

"Later," Brisco answered as Kiari and Autolycus got off their horse.

Since Oscar and Eddie were wanted men, it was decided that Bowler would take the duo into the next town to hold in the jail. Luckily they thought of getting a wagon before rescuing the thief and his kidnappers. That still only left Kiari, Brisco, and Autolycus with two horses since Bowler was hitching his horse up to the wagon.

"Why don't we take the wagon?" Autolycus asked.

"Because Comet doesn't like being hitched to a wagon," Brisco said. Comet neighed his agreement.

"Geez, just like your Comet," Auto commented to Kiari.

"Yes, one of those cosmic mysteries," Kiari said, nuzzling Comet's nose.

Bowler was all set. "Okay, Brisco. We'll meet up in San Francisco?"

"Sounds good." The two shook hands.

Bowler tipped his hat to Kiari. "I apologize for my rather ungentlemanly behavior when we first met."

"No worries," Kiari smiled. "I understand. I suppose it would be strange to find your friend in the company of a strange woman so early in the morning."

"Exactly," Bowler smiled back. He took her hand and kissed it. "Until we meet again, Miss Kiari."

"Take care, Lord Bowler."

He glanced Autolycus, then turned away.

"Hey!" Autolycus said.

Hands tied and sitting in the back of the wagon, Oscar and Eddie managed a wave.

"Maybe another time!" Eddie called out.

Oscar hit him on the head. "We're caught. There won't be a next time!"

Autolycus gave them a jaunty salute. "Thanks for breakfast, guys!"

With that, Bowler rode away.

Brisco was staring at Autolycus. Yes, the king of thieves looked a lot like him. In fact, they could be twins, although the thief looked a bit older.

Kiari giggled. -Don't tell Autolycus that.-

Brisco raised an eyebrow. -Oh, listening to my thoughts, are you? Not fair.-

-Well, such is life, Brisco County Jr.-

"Is something going on here?" Autolycus asked, eyeing Kiari, then Brisco.

"Yeah, we're off to find the Orb," Brisco announced.

"And just how are we going to do that?" The thief asked.

They both turned their dark eyes to Kiari...

Kiari almost laughed at the identical looks on the faces of Brisco and Autolycus. She was saved by Comet.

"What?" Brisco turned to his horse.

Comet neighed.

"Oh, so the horse knows where to find the Orb is. Why didn't I guess?" Autolycus said.

Brisco threw him a frowning glance. "You can understand him?"

"One of the benefits of being with Kiari," the thief smiled fondly at the priestess.

Comet snorted.

-I think we should trust Comet,- Kiari said to Brisco.

Brisco raised an eyebrow at her. -Twice in one day. I am touched, Kiari. This is weird.-

She smiled.

-So why trust Comet? Not that I don't already, but he is a horse.-

-He was the one who brought Autolycus and me here. I think it fits that he would know where the Orb is.-

"Okay," Brisco said aloud. "We follow Comet's lead."

Autolycus' eyes narrowed. He missed something.

Brisco mounted Comet as Kiari and Autolycus did the same on their horse.

"All right, what was that all about?" The thief asked as they began their trot.


"The silent communication between you and my lookalike. Oh, don't tell me, he's one of your siblings?"

"Gads Autolycus! Not at all."

"Well, you only do that stuff with the gods or Ped. And since I know he's not a god, well..."

Brisco glanced back at them, a little unnerved by the resemblance between himself and the thief. He noticed the familiar way Autolycus held Kiari and felt a strange pang. ~Dixie,~ he told himself. ~Think of Dixie.~

Kiari caught his glance and a bit of his thoughts. -Dixie?-

Brisco faced forward without answering.

"See, you're doing it again," Autolycus said, nudging her.

"You know, I could do it with you too. I don't think you'll like it though," Kiari grinned at him.

"Try me," Auto challenged.

-It's far more than exchanging words silently,- Kiari said to him.

Autolycus' eyes widened. -Ohhh, that's weird.-

-I can hear all your thoughts, even the ones you think you're hiding from me.- Kiari probed deeper into his mind. -And you're jealous!-

"All right, quit it!" He said. "I prefer mystery when it comes to me. Besides, you've got too much information in that pretty head of yours."

She chuckled.

"So," Autolycus whispered in her ear. "You think he's cute, eh? I don't wonder why. He's a handsome fellow. Kind of reminds me of someone we both know..."

"Autolycus!" She elbowed him.


Kiari laughed and they continued their ride in the sun...

Someday, I will finish this story.  I just don't know when!  Hmm, maybe I should go watch some Brisco County Jr. for inspiration, eh?

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