All that Hoot dared allow himself to worry about right now was the field dressing he had applied to the wounded trooper’s gut, imagining that it was leaking blood faster than a duct tape patch on a dimestore air mattress.
Backup and medical aid was another half-hour away. Maybe more. Bad guys holding the high ground. No available cell phone service out here so deep into the rainy backside of hell. And, adding a little spice to the situation, there was no way to get back to the vehicles and their long-range two-way radios without significant exposure across open ground. The trooper had gone down trying to do exactly that, leaving no way to send word any farther than you could yell it. Real bad deal. Oh yeah…
Goddamned hick hoodlums, he thought, always eager to make a desperate last stand somewhere out in the sticks. Hoot had seen more than enough deep-in-the-trees-and-undergrowth action in the jungles of
back in his Army days. Had learned since
to prefer urban showdowns, the action going down where backup was nearby. Where a man had resources at his disposal. Where there were civilized bars with happy