Eddy lowered the binoculars. It would be easy, only one guard there at night. The equipment yard was huge, twenty acres he guessed, and the guard spent most of his time in the little shack by the gate. Once an hour, on the hour, the guard left the shack and walked along the fence for fifteen minutes, not getting even halfway around the perimeter.
Near as Eddy could tell the guard never even saw the south fence which was opposite the gate. He looked over at his partner. Steve was smoking and pacing. It was Steve’s first action and Eddy was not pleased. Nervous rookies made mistakes.
“Okay, Steve, it looks like a go. Put out your smoke and follow me.”
They set off across the dark range land. A gentle wind brought the scent of sage. Coyotes yipped and sang in the distance. There was enough light from the new moon to allow them to avoid getting tangled in the clumps of sagebrush. They stayed several hundred yards from the fence until they had passed the western boundary. Then Eddy angled them closer aiming for the center of the south fence.
At the fence Eddy knelt and started on the chain links with a bolt cutter. He looked over at Steve who was about to light a cigarette. “Christ, put that away. You want to get busted?” he hissed.
Five minutes later they were through the fence. They split up. Eddy headed for the diesel fuel tank. He had twenty pounds of sugar in his backpack. Steve also carried sugar. His was for the fuel tanks of the various pieces of equipment. They were no more than thirty feet from the fence when a dozen flood lights flashed to life. Both froze.
From behind them a voice called, “What you boys doin’ here?” They turned. A dark figure stood by the hole they’d cut in the fence, holding a long object that reflected the light. “What we gonna do with these trespassers?”
Eddy raised his hands. “We give up. Don’t hurt us.” This was the smart move, he knew from prior raids. If you’re busted, cooperate, don’t give them an excuse for violence. He hoped the new guy would follow his lead.
But Steve panicked. He took off running toward the front gate. He’d barely gone ten feet when two men jumped out from behind a backhoe. One tackled him and held him on the ground. The other raised a baseball bat.
The local Green Earth leadership committee huddled in a cheap motel room on the main drag into Bison.
“Eddy and Steve should have been back yesterday morning. Something bad’s happened.”
“You checked with the Sheriff Department?”
“Yeah, nothing. No arrests, no reports.”
“I drove past the site they were going to raid. No sign. It was business as usual, all the equipment was working on the access road. They didn’t get it done.”
“So what do we do?”
“Check with Denver. They’ll get word out.”
“What do you think?”
“I think it’s bad, real bad.”