The Cossack untied his own horse. He mounted, his pistol aimed at Nathan. “We have some distance to cover. Circle around the barn. We’ll ride through the woods to the north of the village then turn east to the road going toward the mountains. Ride slow, I don’t want to draw anyone’s attention. I’ll be right behind you with my pistol pointed at your horse. If you try anything, I’ll shoot him.”
For several minutes they rode through the trees. The firelight flickered on the trees, casting weird shadows all around. Nathan looked from side to side straining to see a friend, someone who might be able to help. It was eerie. The only movement were women mourning over their dead. On the north side of the village, Nathan turned his horse east. They came to the road.
The Cossack nudged his horse beside Nathan’s. Without warning, he tossed Nathan’s rifle into the air. Nathan snatched it with his left hand and held Aza’s reins in the other.
“Good reflexes.” The Cossack smiled. “You and your horse make a good team.”
Nathan looked away. He acts as if this is a game.