Clay Nash sat back in his chair, dropped his hands to his knees, and studied Coe’s expression.
“I want an assistant. Someone to help me. But he must be the toughest, meanest son of a bitch this side of the Rockies. I don’t mean no trigger-crazy killer. I mean a real ornery bastard—but one with brains. He’s got to be a good shot and not afraid to get a little blood on his hands—if he has to work in close and use a knife. He’s got to know how to survive in rugged country, mountains or desert, afoot, without food or water to weigh him down. And, when he does have a hoss, he’s gotta be able to ride like the wind, just by his knees while he works his shooting-iron, or with the reins in his teeth. Most of all, he’s gotta be operatin’ pretty close to this neck of the woods. I’ve only got a few days, mebbe a week at the outside, to find him.” He paused to let his words sink in, then added: “Know anyone who’d fit the bill?”
Coe reached for his whisky and tossed it down in a single gulp. “Hombre you want is Shell Shannon.”
“Where’ll I find him? I don’t have the time to do much huntin’.”
Coe smiled thinly. “Won’t have to. He’s in jail.”