Jed saw two men, one mounted on a clocksprung horse and the other trying to mount up—
he thumbed the vibro-blade’s switch to on and hurled himself through the air.
Hummmmmmmm, sang Sam Colt’s deadly blade.
Jed landed in the empty saddle of one of the horses. While the man whose mount he’d boarded cursed and reached for a pistol, Jed swung the vibro-blade in a neat arc—
slicing through the head of the other horse—
and cutting off one leg of its rider.
Jed wasn’t used to fighting with knives that met no resistance, and his own blade pulled him forward and off the horse. He scrabbled with his free hand at the sculpted metal saddle horn and missed, tumbling to the ground and narrowly avoiding impaling himself on his own humming weapon.
“Aaaagh!” the mutilated rider screamed, and fell backwards onto the ground in a spout of red blood. The horse kicked aimlessly with its back feet, then kicked again, and again, trampling its own severed head with its razor-sharp metallic front hooves. Jed rolled, narrowly avoided being crushed by the clocksprung horse, and then the other cavalryman got a bead on him with his pistol and started firing.
Jed threw the vibro-blade. It wasn’t meant to be a throwing weapon, it wasn’t especially balanced and it wasn’t weighted in the tip. But Jed was a carny who had done his time at every conceivable kind of joint, including throwing knives at beautiful girls, and Jed knew the secret of throwing any kind of knife at all, even one that would chop your finger off if you so much as touched its tip.
Jed threw the vibro-blade by the handle, overhand, so the blade launched out from his shoulder in a straight line, and not tumbling like a weighted knife. He let his extended index finger drag along the knife’s hilt as he threw, truing up his aim at the center of the cavalryman’s chest by simply pointing at him.
Pain lanced through Jed Coltrane as a bullet hit him in the stomach.
The vibro-blade slammed straight into the center of the man’s gray-breasted uniform, punched a hole right through his entire chest, and hurtled straight away like a perfectly pitched baseball, into the air.
“Aaaagh!” One-Leg kept screaming, thrashing around in a growing puddle of his one arterial spray.
The standing soldier dropped his pistol, stared down at the bloody hole in the middle of chest, looked at Jed with something that was half-accusation and half-puzzlement and then toppled forward, crashing face-first into the grass.
Jed grabbed the dropped pistol and turned on One-Leg.
“Shut up!” he yelled, and put the man out of his misery.
* * *
Okay, Sara, did I get the knife-throwing right?