The calm progress of the post coach was suddenly disturbed when the driver shouted down to the passengers “Highwaymen, hold on tight” and cracked his whip. The horses were still reasonably fresh from the last change so the coach rapidly picked up pace, but not quick enough. A shot was heard and the guard tumbled off the coach and moments later a face leered through the window, only to have the door thrust out at him by Ilse.
Looking back she could see the rider lying in the road, but at least another ten riders were in pursuit. Without thinking Ilse just swung out and climbed up alongside the driver. “Do you have any weapons?”
“Yes there is a carbine and pistol under the seat, you had better be a good shot as they are gaining on us” Grabbing the weapons Ilse turned, the Highwaymen were getting very close but the jolting of the coach would make any shot difficult. Gently squeezing the trigger on the carbine she took aim and fired. The lead highwayman’s horse crumpled, it was a shame but she had to aim at the bigger target.
Ilse then started to reload while keeping a carefully eye on their pursuers. She hadn’t finished by the time a pair came alongside so she shot one of them with the pistol and aimed the carbine at the other.
The highwayman veered away and then the remainder seemed to lose interest and halted their chase. Ilse rammed the charge down in the carbine and then started reloading the pistol.
“That was close, thank you Miss, we’ll be in Tonclot in a few minutes, it’s only a league away.”
Ilse pondered about the highwaymen, there were so many of them and dressed strangely. Also the Freistadt rarely suffered this problem. Something wasn’t right.