Outlaw Exits – Escaping the Machine. - Richard K. Morgan Brent DeBoer never meant to turn road agent, I swear. I knew that man better than anybody alive, and he had a heart bigger than the motherlode at Tombstone. But it’s hard on a man, coming up the way he did, all hardscrabble and hand-to-mouth from just about the time he could walk. He wasn’t no more than a boy, really, when he worked his first round-up over in Lincoln county, but he came back a man, and I should know, I seen enough to know the difference. That round-up put dollars in his pocket for the first time in his life, and more than that, it got him a reputation around the other cowhands.
I don’t know what he did in those weeks exactly, but there was a new Colt on his hip at the end of it and something different in his face, and when he took his shirt off that night upstairs at Meg’s Place there was a scar went right across his chest like lightning in a Wyoming sky. I didn’t see a lot of him after that – he was on cattle drives and working the ranches all across the territory. But I heard the stories just like everyone else, and I didn’t want to believe them, but I could see why they might be true. He’d come see me sometimes, when he had the money for it. He never went with any of the other girls, at least not the ones in Meg’s Place, and he’d always treat me real nice, so no matter what stories they told, I knew there was that little part of him hadn’t changed. But then, when the range war came, he went with the Regulators, and that turned his heart just about black.
I could feel it in him, one time he sneaked a visit, it was like range wire strung tight through every muscle in his body. Anyhow, after the army came to Lincoln in the summer and the Regulators scattered, Brent got out with the Mexicans and I thought I’d never see him again. But he sneaked back one last time to see me in the Autumn. Garrett and his murderers were still chasing Billy McCarty and Tom O’Folliard and some of the others, but I think they’d forgotten about Brent. That made it easier for him, and so did the storm there was that night, beating rain like Noah’s own flood and lightning like that scar on his chest. He had this wild look in his eyes the whole time, and he was talking strange, wouldn’t tell me what his plans were, just kept saying over and over that he’d “found some people” and he was “headed for the pines”.