Three more bullets kicked up dirt – still a hundred yards short – and were followed seconds later by sharp little cracks from the top of the mesa.
He shoved the huge cartridge deep into the receiver with his thumb and closed the breech by bringing the trigger guard back up. He flipped up the hinged Vernier sight mounted on the top of the rifle’s grip and slid the aperture all the way up, then pulled the Sharps’ hammer back to full-cock. With the big rifle resting across his saddle, he hunched down and put his eye to the peepsight and there was the faint, sweet smell of gun oil. “Easy, big boy,” he whispered to the bay.
He sighted on the chest of the man with the red bandanna, who was inexplicably holding his Winchester straight up and over his head. Factoring the uphill trajectory, the vast range, and the weight of his bullet, Matthews figured a three-hundred foot hold. Moving his rifle up into empty blue sky and aiming just under a thin wisp of cloud, he pulled the set trigger, then put just a hair’s pressure on the main trigger...
The Sharps. Great rifle. Still loved and respected today.