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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: back to civilization 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Lucky Irish Tom
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« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2009, 09:10:35 pm »

The pair of gunshots sounded as if they had come from the vicinity of the stable.  Cyrus holstered his 58 Remington, that he had just finished cleaning, and put a round in his Sharp's.  He ran down the staiars and out into the street heading in the direction of the stable.

He noticed that there was a pale horse tied up out front with no saddle.  He also saw Lily running from a side street toward the stable.  They both met near the horse, who didn't seemed nervous about the recent gunfire.

"Lily, you stay here and let me check this out!"

She replied, "Leo, rode up here to get a shoe fixed on this horse.  He went around the side and then I heard gunshots."  She looked scared and worried.

Cyrus cocked the hammed on the Sharps and began to slowly approach the stable doors.

The big doors started to swing open so Cyrus crouched behind a water trough and sighted down the barrel.  As the doors swung wider he noticed a very scared looking stableboy and Leo pushing open the doors. 

After waiting a moment to make sure that they weren't being held a gunpoint, Cyrus uncocked the Sharps and stood up.

At the sight of Leo, Lily began to run toward him.
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Lily Lockwood
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« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2009, 12:36:58 am »

     "LEO !," she cried out as she ran to the entrance of the stable.  After slowing down to a mere walking pace and looking back and forth between the boy and Leo she continued, "You two bout scared me ta death, you mind tellin' me what happened here?"

     As she asked, Leo pointed over to the body lying on the ground near the rear stalls and said, "guess my timin's still good," and he looked over at the stableboy who quickly went on to say, "this here man saved my life and stopped that there horse theif all at the same time Miss Lily!"

    She then looked at Leo and with a smile she nodded and then looked back at the boy.  She stepped closely to him to quietly say, "Why don' ya go on, change yer clothes and pull yerself togeather quickly so ya can fix the grey's shoe before it all hits ya, is that alright?  I think this gentleman has earned that much don't you?"  The boy agreed and told Leo he would be right back to tend to the horse, then ran off.

     Leo stood looking at Lily and with a certain feeling of pride for how she handled the boy and waited patiently to explain what had happened.  After the boy was gone she went over to him calmly as not to show any weakness, yet in reality she was quivering inside.  It was important for her to show not only Leo but the townsfolk that she could handle any situation so she didn't get taken for granted as the owner of a business that saw it's share of roughness and at the same time she didn't want anyone thinking she was gonna be soft while the men were gone.

     Cyrus was now beside her ready to here what had transpired from Leo and then he meant to look over at the dead man to see if he could recognize anything about him.  Leo told them as well as others that had gathered exactly what had gone on.  When he was finished Cyrus said to Leo "I'm glad were on the same side, this town sure has it's share of excitement!"  and he walked to the back of the stable.
     
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Just a lil ol' southern gal....gone out west   Smiley

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Lucky Irish Tom
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« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2009, 05:39:24 am »

Cyrus walked to the back of the stable and stood his rifle against a post. He then squatted down and examined the body.

He knew the man wasn't on one of the wanted posters he carried, but something about the crescent shaped scar on the man's left cheek tugged at somthing in Cyrus' memory.  There was a single wound in the man's chest and it appeared the bullet either hit the heart or a major artery since there was a large pool of blood that had formed around the body in the short time it had lain there.

The flies were already becoming a major problem, so he quickly finished his examination and then found a peice of canvas to wrap around the body.  He paid two townsfolk to help him and then to move the body to the cool house, he would bring it back to Prescott for an attempt at proper identification, and to see if the death resolved any known crimes. The pistol was a Harrington and Richardson model, it appeared that one round had been fired.  Following Leo's description of what had happened he found the lead ball stuck in the doorframe where Leo had entered.  Judging the height of the bullet in the frame and looking over at Leo had the shot been a couple of feet to the right it would have caught Leo in the belly.  Leo was either damned quick or extremely lucky, maybe both.

When the stableboy returned Cyrus asked him a few questions and made some notes for thr report he would make upon his return to Prescott.    Leo was seeing that his new horse was attended too, so Cyrus took the moment to speak with Lily alone. He quickly set forth his idea that Leo would be the logical choice for the new Town Sheriff. He asked Lily if she could speak to whoever the decision makers in the town were and give him an answer before he and Leo left for Prescott in the morning.
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« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2009, 02:40:37 am »

     Leonard turned away from the livery with his head down and began walking back towards the hotel.  “I need a bath” he said to no one in particular.  He did not like killing.  Cyrus called to him, but he just kept walking.  Lily ran up to him and wanted to hold him, but Leonard brushed her off and kept walking.  He needed to feel clean.  He didn’t like doing this to the girl, but it was time to be alone.  He thought of the story his mother had told him about the man who saw a spot of blood on his hand every time he looked at it and couldn’t scrub it out no matter how hard he tried.  “Out dern spot” she would say, not to cuss in front of her son or anyone else.  As silly as it seemed, he missed his mother and those simpler days.
   
     Lily Lockwood was not one to be put off.  She caught up with Leonard and grabbed the back of his overgrown hair.  “Hey!” she said.
     He turned and looked at her and replied, “you don’t know how it feels”.  She saw the look in his eyes and let it go.  She wanted to tell him that she knew all about death, but he was right, she didn’t know how it felt to deal it.
     He spoke again as he walked, “ask that marshal if there’s any way I can get that gun the man had.  It was mine once”.  Lily nodded. 
     “Kind of a prize I guess you could say” he continued, “from awhile ago.  I never should’ve let it go I guess.”  As Leonard approached the hotel, he felt like he was marching again and heard the dry beat of the drum in his head.  There was a word for that his mother had taught him, but he couldn’t bring it to mind at the moment.  Thrap thrap thrappa tat a tat.  A bath would be good now, and some time with the lady, if she could forgive him.  He had been callous.
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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


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« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2009, 01:18:06 am »

      "I believe this town has a bit too much excitement lately, don't you Sadie?"  Lily asked as she walked back into the Goose after her slow walk back from the livery.   Suddenly, she was bombarded by all of the gals speaking at the same time in quite a titter to find out what had transpired down the street, Sadie shushed them harshly.  "Ladies! hush now and lets remember our manners, I believe I was being addressed, I'm sure everythin’s alright and you'll know in a moment."  She then motioned to Lily to sit at the table with her and said.  "Now take you a breath and tell me what in blazes got you so upset." 

     Lily wasn't usually riled up easily so she knew it was personal.  "I'm fine thank you Sadie"  she spoke quietly "Leo just had a run in with a horse thief and had to shoot him dead down at the livery.  When I heard the gunshot I felt my heart drop right out a my body.  I mean It ain't nothin' new a course seein’ death and all but this time was different.”

     “I do believe ya got it fer this man Leo” Sadie stated.  Lily nodded and finished telling her what had happened and when she was finished she went upstairs to collect herself.

     When she came back downstairs she ran into Cyrus.  He told her his plans about the Sheriff position and she mentioned to him that she wasn’t going to talk to anyone about Leo until she had asked him if he was interested first.  But, not to throw suspicion his way she added that it was the proper thing to do in her eyes but that if he agreed, she would gladly go to talk to the townspeople.  Then she remembered what Leo had requested.  “Cyrus may I talk to ya bout somthin’ else?”  He said that would be alright so she went on to say, “I wanted you to know something about our friend Leo.  Right before he came into town he spent the night in a broken down old barn.  It had been a long while since he’d been under a roof in the rain, you know how it is at times like that don’t ya?”  Lily wanted Cyrus to get a feel for the situation, after all she did know how to handle men by this point.  And Cyrus answered “oh I have had my share of evenins like that.”  And Lily went on to tell him the story of the two men who met up that night and that they seemed to part on good terms.  And of the promise that Leo made to the man if he did anything bad with the gun he so kindly gave to him.  She made it a point to clearly state that this was the first and last  meeting between Leo and the stranger until the livery stable.  Then she ever-so-gently finished the conversation with the fact of how sentimental this gun and belt was to Leo from his harsh past.  That is when she informed Cyrus that Leo wanted to have it back, in keeping with his promise he had made to this underestimated man.  Lily also told Cyrus that Leo could describe the gun and the belt to him in detail if he wanted to be sure he was telling the truth.  She knew how much time Leo had spent with his firearms and he would know every scratch or dent they may have had.  Cyrus then told Lily that he appreciated her coming to him and that he would speak to Leo about it as soon as he saw him next. And he excused himself.

      Lily told the bartender to give him one more drink on the house as she went back to the kitchen.  She had just thought of the perfect afternoon and evening for her new beau after such a long day.  She couldn’t wait to see him walk through the doors, she was worried but knew he just needed his own time, then he would come back to her.  No matter how long it took, she would be waiting for him.
   
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« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2009, 11:40:29 pm »

    Leonard walked past the entrance to the Grey Goose and proceeded to the adjoining bath house.  He had seen the attendant duck back in as he began walking up the road.  Upon entering the man asked, “can I help ya?”  He was another nervous one. 
     “Do ya keep water on the boil or is there gonna be a wait?” Leonard asked.
     “Oh, the boss always insists that it be available fer the ladies”.  He said this with pride and then his face cringed as he looked at the floor.  It was apparent this man was still having trouble accepting that “the boss” was dead.
     “Good then”, Leonard replied, “I sure could use a warm soak.”  The attendant reached under the counter and procured a towel, a brush, a dipper and a well worn hunk of lye soap.
     “That’s fer men folk” he said.  “Save the parfumed stuff fer the ladies.  Lest ya want it that is”  The man threw in that last as if he had just realized he had made a grievous error.
     Leonard regarded him with a patient stare and said, “no, that’ll be fine”.
     “Well then come right on through here an we’ll getcha takin care of”.  Leonard stepped through a curtain and began to disrobe while the attendant fetched after the water.  The little man returned and dumped the first pot into the cold bath.  He started ta speak, “ That’ll get ya goin…”  then he saw the wound on Leonard’s hip.  “Mister, I don’t know if ya wanna be soakin that just yet.  Least ways not submersifyin’ it.”  Leonard couldn’t help a chuckle, “I’ll take good care of it.  Thanks”.  The attendant ducked out of the room and the tired ex soldier proceeded to place himself into the tub on his knees.  Not comfortable, but it would keep the stitched hole in his leg above the water line.  The warm water felt good as he splashed it on his face.  In less than 30 seconds the water was almost black.  He looked down at it and out of nowhere he looked up and said, “tattoo”.
     The attendant poked his head in through the curtain and said “beg pardon sir?”
     “Tattoo”, Leonard repeated.  “That was the word Mother used fer the sound a the drums.”  He seemed lost in thought.  “Couldn’t bring it ta mind a bit ago, just remembered.”
     The little man nodded and pulled his head back out of the room muttering to himself.

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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


Lucky Irish Tom
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« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2009, 06:01:36 am »

Cyrus finished his talk with Lily and decided now would be a good time for a bath, in the morning he and Leo would be on the trail and there was no way of knowing how hectic things would be back in Prescott.

Cyrus walked out of the Grey Goose and went next door to the bathhouse, as he entered he heard the word "Tattoo". A moment later a very nervous man stepped through a cutain from the back, when he saw the Marshal he became even more nervous, if that was possible.

"I'd like to get a hot bath." he said to the fidgiting clerk.

"There's another feller back there right now an I'm not sure if he wants company, elseways i'd be offering ya one of the other tubs."

"Well your mouth doesn't appear to be broken, why don't you ask this other feller if he minds having someone else back there?"

The clerks eyes got even larger than they had been as he replied, "Y-y-y-yes S-sir!"

At that point he disappeared through the curtain again and Cyrus could hear muffled voices from the back.
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« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2009, 12:56:28 am »

     The attendant walked back into the tub room, completely this time.  Leonard said, “need ta change the water.  Kneelin’ in this is makin’ me dirtier than when I come in.”
     “Yes sir, of course… but there’s somethin’ else…”
     “There always is” was the dry reply.
     “Well” an now he lowered his voice, “there’s another feller out there that would like a bath too.”  Leonard looked at the other two tubs in the room.
     “And?”
     “He’s that” his voice got even quieter to where he was almost mouthing the words, “he’s that marshal”. 
     The man kneeling in the tub couldn’t hold back a one cornered grin at this.  He spoke.  “That man prolly needs a bath worse than me.”  He doubted it, but it was amusing to see the change of expression on the attendants face.  “Change ma water an set ‘im up”  Leonard pulled the drain.  The confused little man handed him his towel as he stood up and felt the desert air.  The attendant poked his out of the curtain, this time facing the counter and told Cyrus, “be ready fer ya in a jiffy marshal”.  He worked the pump on each tub until they were half full and said, “I’ll run an git the hot stuff now”.  Leonard nodded and the man hurried out.  He stood there with his back to the doorway looking at the cold water thinking it might be nice to just get in it that way.  While he was contemplating this, the attendant and the marshal came in. 

     The first thing Cyrus saw was a man’s back covered in an array of scars.  It was like looking at one of the territory maps that had been drawn up by the government.  He said, “Hope we didn’t startle you Leo.”
     Leonard turned his head and replied, “I wasn’t worried, I knew it was you out there.  Just waitin’ on that hot water.”
     “You takin’ care of that hip.  We need it to be fit.”
     The little clerk chimed in out of turn, “He’s takin his bath on his knees, ya can ask me I saw him, he…”  Cyrus’ glare was not lost on the man.  He silenced himself and went back to the counter.
     “I’m lookin’ out fer it,”  That was all that needed to be said.
     “Good, we really shouldn’t put this off any longer.  Riding across the desert with those  bodies is not going to be pretty.”  The attendant returned with the water and was very quiet on this trip.  After he had spilled it in and left, the two men settled into their respective baths, Leonard again in that penitent kneel.  He began splashing off the dirty water that had started to dry on his face.
     Cyrus, looking up at the ceiling tried to open conversation, “Looks like ya seen some hard times Leo”.  Now, with a sideways glance he caught a hint of the scars on the man’s chest that were at least enough to match the ones on his back.  “ I know ya already told me about some of ‘em, an I just saw some proof.”  He waited for a response.  Nothing but the sound of splashing.
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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


Lucky Irish Tom
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« Reply #58 on: February 05, 2009, 06:23:40 am »

Before he had settled into the water Leonard had noticed a long pale scar that ran from Cyrus' left hip up to a point just below his right shoulder.  Near the end of that scar was a scar that appeared to be a bullethole, and two more lower on his back.  All of the scars showed signs of doctoring.

"I've suggested to Lily that you would be a good candidate for Sheriff.  You are quick and accurate with a gun, but you are also level headed enough to know when not to pull it.  There aren't many in Town that can handle a gun and most of them would likely be killed within the first month on the job."

"Being a lawman is more than just being a gun hand. Leanord you seem to have sense enough to know when it's better to diffuse a situation than to just pull a gun and to try forcing people to obey. You also seem to have the respect for people that's required of the job.  When you faced down the mob in the Grey Goose I could see that you were sizing up the crowd to determine who was most dangerous and which ones were likely to just throw down their guns and run if shooting started.  You kept your voice at a steady even tone and you made it clear that you were not going to back down from a situation that appeared to be wrong."

"This Town needs someone strong to stand up for them, you are in a part of the Territory that makes this a good place to hide.   It's easy for a man to get lost in an area where men come and go trying to strike it rich.  It didn't hurt that Lou turned a blind eye toward men on the run, as long as they didn't harm his girls, or the the townsfolk."

With that Cyrus grew silent and began to liberally apply the soap, then settled back in the warm water letting it soak into his aching joints.
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2009, 02:36:34 am »

    In the meantime Lily was back at the bar taking care of the business at hand.  New and old customers all gathering, talking, bragging like people do while relaxing after a good long work week at the mines. 

     Tomorrow will be Langley and Lou’s  burial  day.  “I s’pose they’re all comin’ in fer the funeral don’t ya think Clara” Lily spoke in a whisper. 

     “I speck so, I heard the old preacher man from down yonder way will do their presentin.'” Clara answered while pointing to the outskirts on the side of town.  “Seems he was a friend of the both of em’ when they all started this here settlement.”

     “I think it only fittin’ to invite the people to come back to the Goose for a drink in honor of those two fine men.  It’d be the way they woulda like best fer a send off  I reckon.”  Lily felt good about her decision as she and Clara finished making the plans. They then made sure the rest of the staff were prepared to work a long day and be ready for anything.

     Business will be very good for the next couple of days, thank goodness, Lily thought to herself.  She knew that keeping busy will make the time go by faster while Leo was gone.  Life is much different and it was easy to get used to not being a “working girl” any longer.  It was about time she began to earn back her self respect, and there was no doubt that this was the right time for it.   Although she knew there would be some people who would try and keep her the way she was, she knew she had to be stronger than ever to make it work.

     Now, knowing that Leo has had a bitter-sweet day, and that there was just a few hours of daylight left,  she thought of just the thing to help him feel better if he were up to it.  It would be special and not too time consuming so as he could still finish getting ready for his trip.  After changing into some riding clothes she made her way down to the kitchen to put together a beautiful picnic for two.  It had been a long time since she had attempted to make her mothers fried chicken but it all seemed to come together well.  She had fresh biscuits and of course a nice blanket to set it all on.

      Her plan went off without a hitch.  She had asked the boy at the livery to have her horse Lucky and Leo’s horse Boy saddled and ready to go and he agreed.  He had even offered his own saddle to Leo to use until he returned from Prescott.  Lily knew that this young man was a good boy and that he would always look up to Leo with nothing but respect from now on.

     Just then she noticed a georgeous man resembling Leo coming out of the bathhouse and walking toward the bar.  She rubbed her eyes and looked harder and walked faster now to catch up to him.  “Oh My! It is you,”  she tried not to stare but couldn’t help herself and  with a big loving grin on her face she said, “I hope ya don’t mind me sayin’ ya sure do clean up handsome.  I’m a very lucky gal.”   As she gave him a peck on his newely shaved soft cheek.

     All Leo could do was give her a sly happy grin as she took his arm.  “Would you like to go somewhere with me away from town for just a short while,  I have a special place I’d like to show ya.”  Lily asked in a sweet voice.

     “I’d like that very much, you just show me the way, darlin’ and I’ll follow you anywhere.”  Leo replied happily.

     She picked up the small picnic basket and blanket from just inside the doors of the Goose and said, “right this way”.  Leo took the basket from her and they strolled down to the livery and he saw that the horses were all ready.  He noticed the saddle, spoke to the young man and thanked him as he succured the basket on his horse.  Looking over at his girl he said, "you sure did think of everything Lil."

       They mounted and rode off to the west of town, down a beautiful trail for a few miles until they came to an absolutely beautiful large brook with a slender waterfall pouring over large rocks surrounded by gently swaying trees and grass.  There was the perfect spot to set out the food under a tree near the water.  The horses were very content with fresh greens to nibble on.  Lily broke out the food and they shared the next two hours in their own world.  They spoke of their future and how the life they planned could be, as husband and wife.   Soon enough sunset came and it was time to go back, It couldn’t have been a more perfect afternoon. 



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Just a lil ol' southern gal....gone out west   Smiley

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« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2009, 07:32:15 pm »

     While Lily unpacked the food Leonard told her about his meeting up with Cyrus in the bath house.  “Did he want to question you?” she asked.
     “Na, he just wanted ta clean up before we set out.  He did say he wanted me ta sheriff the town after this business in Prescott is over.”
     “What did you tell him?” was her next question.
     “Didn’t say nothing at first.  He leant me his shaving kit,”  here Leonard rubbed at one of his bare cheeks and chuckled, “and while I was usin’ it I told him I had plenny a time ta think on it tamarra.  Then he asked me about that Reb gun the other feller had.”
     “I mentioned it to him after you walked off” Lily said.  “Just like you asked.”
     “Thank ya,” he thought for a moment, “I told him I’d made a bad desision, but it was important that I get it back.  As far as he knows, I just want all the help I can get on our ride.  He offered ta bring it ta me when we meet in the morning but I told him I needed it tanight and why.”
     Lily gave him an odd look at this.  “You don’t think you’re going to need it so soon?”  The concern was obvious.
     “Yeah, I am.”
     “But whatever for?”  She looked half passed panicked now.
     “Cause it’s gonna take a little time ta show ya how ta load it, silly.” 
     The look on her face changed when what he had said sunk in.  Now it was mock anger.  “You!”  she began, “I do declare Lenard James Tanner, why do you do that to me.”  She swatted at him in very lady like fashion.  He caught her wrist and stole a kiss.
     “Let’s eat some of this fine cookin’,” he said.  And fine it was.  It was similar to the food he had grown up with on the farm, but it seemed that it been made for pure enjoyment and not just to fuel a long day of work.  This was true southern cooking.  He had heard about it, but the only food that had entered his mouth during his time across the Mason Dixon line had been salt pork, beans and hard biscuits.  Leonard made an oath to himself right then and there that he would return safely to this woman no matter what odds he might encounter on his impending journey.
     
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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


Lucky Irish Tom
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If I can't see the targets neither can the spotter


« Reply #61 on: February 26, 2009, 05:52:17 pm »

Cyrus was finishing up the last of his packing, he want ed to get an early supper and a good night's rest.  He had seen Leo and Lily leave on their picnic and hoped they had a good time, the next few days would be a little rougher on the trail.

Cyrus heard a commotion downstairs, and he moved quietly to the railing.  Down in the Saloon a trail dirty man had Clara by the arm hollering, "Wher'es Lou, he owes me money and I want it now."  Clara was trying not to cry as she told him Lou was dead.

The man hollered louder, "Well then who's goign to get me my money?"

Cyrus had his pistol out and cocked, and fortunately the man was making enough noise that he hadn't heard Cyrus on the stairs.

Cyrus nodded to Clara who kept her head long enough to reply, "I can see if it's behind the bar."

The man pushed her away and said, "More 'n likely you're gonna pull out a scattergun.  Ya aint gonna pull a trick like that on me."

At this point the man went for his gun, Cyrus had no other option than to fire.  The ball caught the man in his right shoulder with enough force to spin him so he was now facing Cyrus.

The man moved his left hand across his body like he was reaching for another weapon, but by then Cyrus had closed the distance between them and hit the man in the head with the butt of his pistol.  The man crumpled to the floor.

Cyrus looked at Clara and asked if she was alright, whe she replied in the affirmative he said, "Please go fetch the Doc, and see if you can get someone to go upstairs and bring me some manacles from my saddlebags. Oh and please ask them to fetch the rolled up wanted posters that are with them. "

Cyrus removed the man's gunbelt and quickly searched him.  He found a small holdout pistol in the lining of the man's duster and a throwing knife in a sheath under his arm, one of these was what the man had been going for.  He also found a Bowie knife on his belt and another throwing knife in the man's left boot.  He put all these behind the bar and then removed the man's duster and propped him up in a chair, by this time one of the girls he didn't know by name had brought him his saddlebags.

He placed the manacle on one wrist and wove the cuff and chain through the chair slats and then locked it to his other arm.

The man was slowly coming around as the Doc showed up.

After examining the wound the Doc said, "I need to bring him over to my office, the bullet in his shoulder didn't go deep, but it shattered the bone.  He won't have much use of that arm in the future."

Cyrus looked up from the posters he had been reviewing, "His name is Lyle Johnson, he is wanted for three murders! One of those was a child, I only need him well enough to take back to Prescott to be hanged!"

The probing from the doctor and the mention of his name brought Lyle around enough to hear the marshal's statement.

"You have to live long enough to get me to Prescott lawman."  Cyrus watched as Lyle's left hand slid into his boottop, then smiled as his eyes widened.

"I took the liberty of checking you for weapons while you were out."  A string of curses followed the proclamation from Cyrus.

Cyrus escorted the doctor and Lyle back to the doc's office and stood guard while the doctor treated the wound.  Lyle passed out during the process, but the doctor managed to extract the lead ball and several slivers of bone, "he'll probably be out for several hours Marshal."  The doctor then dressed the wound and strapped Lyle's right arm and shoulder in place to his side.  When the doc was done Cyrus shackled both of Lyle's legs to the bottom of the bed and his left wrist to the upper part.

"I'll be back to check on him later, and I will most likely spend the night here if you don't mind."

The doctor said he didn't mind and would be in during the night to check on his patient.

Cyrus headed back over to the Grey Goose to get his gear and some supper before he settled in to watch his prisoner.

 
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« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2009, 12:44:46 am »

     The afternoon seemed to slip by quickly especially after the long first half of the day.  On the ride back they watched as the sun was just beginning to set over the hills.  The first colors were beautiful shades of pink, then oranges, but then along with the cloud cover thickening the sky earily turned into a thick blood red.  It brought a chill with it that felt as though something was wrong.  Leo and Lily didn't have to say anything, they just gave each other the same look of wonder. 

     When they entered the goose they noticed Clara and Sylvia cleaning what seemed to be blood off of the floor.  Leo looked at the girls and back at Lily and nodded his head.  "This place always this lively?" he stated in a quiet tone.  Then he noticed Cyrus at the bar so he joined him for a drink and to hear the details.

     While Clara told Lily all that had transpired Sylvia finished straightening up the room.  "Thanks be that I wasn't here this time round I just don't think I could have taken any more today.  My goodness Clara, I jus couldn't be more proud of how ya handle thin's round here when I'm gone.  I sure come to depend on you quite a bit lately, I hope ya don mind?"

     "Thank ya Lil" Clara stated with pride.  "We have to look after one 'nother in this here town.  I know'd you'd do it fer me"

     "Well since everythin's back to normal here I do believe we'd best be gettin ready for tonights crowd, business ought to be pretty good tonight with all these people in town.  Watch out fer the newcomers after a day like today ya never know whats gonna happen."  And the girls went upstairs to change.
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« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2009, 09:01:22 pm »

Cyrus quickly briefed Leo on the incident with Lyle and apprised him of the fact that now they had a live prisoner to bring back with them.

Cyrus looked at Leo, "One more thing, Lyle has been known to have accomplises on most of his jobs, most likely he was here to meet up with them!"   "We could very well run into them on the trail, or it's possible they could show up here after we are gone."  "Tell Lily to be careful while we are gone, and to be very wary of strangers, oh and have her tell Bill not to confront these men. They will most likely be hardened outlaws that will kill if provoked."  "If they find out we are headed for Prescott with Lyle in custody they will most likely pursue us."

Cyrus then sat down to eat, when he had finished he asked the cook for another meal, and asked for it to be cut up.  He took the plate of food, two cups of coffee, and headed off for the Doc's office.

Once in the Doc's office he put the food ond one cup of coffee on a small table next to the bed.  He unshacked Lyle's good arm and told him, "Eat!"

Cyrus moved to the doctor's desk a good ways from the bed and sipped his coffee while he covered Lyle with his pistol.  When Lyle finished Cyrus instructed him to extend his arm and then reattached the shackle.

Lyle looked at him with hate in his eyes and said, "You know my boys will never let you get to Prescott!"

Cyrus looked back at him with a cold stare and replied, "That may be so, but before they get to me I'll carry out the sentence the judge won't be able to by putting a bullet between your eyes."

Lyle just laughed, "You don't scare me Marshal, I aint afraid to die. How about you?"

Cyrus just let it go, with the nearly useless arm Lyle's days of intimidating people were pretty much over.  Even if the men that rode with him were able to free him from the Marshal and Leo, Lyle would only live long enough to show them where he had put the gold or whatever other items they had stolen.  Crippled up men were a liablity to wanted men on the run.
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« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2009, 02:13:59 am »

     Leonard walked into the Grey Goose with Lily and knew something had gone wrong.  His shoulders slumped as he saw the girls cleaning up the blood.  More trouble.  It was starting to feel like there was nothing he could do to avoid it.  It seemed like since the war death and violence followed him everywhere.  He saw Cyrus at the bar and walked to him, knowing that he was the only one who would know the whole story. 
     “Another shooting?” Leonard asked.
     “Yep”, Cyrus replied, “but this one ain’t dead”.  The marshal relayed the story quickly and finished with, “I guess we have our hands full”.
     Leonard looked at him gravely and after what seemed to be consideration offered, “So now we don’t just have a pile of buzzard food but a wounded piece of manure to haul back?  Why didn’t you just kill ‘im?  Never understood the ceremony of a hangin’, dead is dead no matter how ya get there”.
      Cyrus took a drink and said, “Leo, that’s the law, I’m the law and if you don’t like it so much you best run down Mexico way and let me do my business”.
     “No,” was the quick reply.  “It just seems like this little trip is getting more and more complicated by the minute.  I swear, if this Lyle Johnson is any trouble getting me back here there won’t be a hanging unless a bunch of folks want to waste their time stringing a dead man.  There’s going to be more killing, his people will be looking for us now once we’re out of town an in the big nothin’.  I’ll get the drunk his money an get mine but I’m all out of patience.”  Leonard looked at the law man with a desperate stare.  He was about to say more and then heard a man laughing from one of the card tables.   He knew that laugh well enough and excused himself from his company.  The marshal saw that something had lightened in Leo and stood up as well, throwing two coins on the bar and headed off to see to his prisoner with no worry that more trouble would occur.  As he walked out of the place he heard Leonard say heartily, “Dodson! You mangy dog, what the hell are you doing here?”
     The story of Three Fingers Dodson was one of those too strange not to be true.  He and Leonard had grown up together in Kansas, and after USA training one had been detached to fight the Rebs, and the other had been sent west to fight the Indians.  The two had no illusions of ever seeing each other again.  The nights they had spent discussing the mysteries of women while drinking home made rye whiskey were too many to count.  The summer the mean dog on Gentry’s spread had terrorized them until Leonard’s father sent him back with a loaded flintlock to deal with cur after it had bitten him (his first kill),  The time that Three Fingers became forever known as just that, and the way he would hide his injury by wearing a glove that had two of the fingers stuffed with cattails to mask the truth.  The sound of the man’s unmistakable laughter brought it all back.
     “Leo?  Is that you?” was all the high roller could say.
     “Yep.  Got business in the morning, but if you plan on stickin’ around a few days I’d love ta talk.  Looks like yer havin’ a good time here, I just can’t believe it’s really you.”  Leonard regarded his old friend and wondered how they could end up in this place together after all the time gone by.
     Dodson looked about ready to fall out his chair.  “Well much congratulations on the way THAT war's going.  The one with the redskins may take a bit more time.”
     “We're winning huh"?
     “Don’t you know?” was the startled reply.
     “Do now.  I kinda left it behind.  That’s great ta hear Dod.”  The ex soldier thought for a moment and then said, “I’m going to make sure you are comfortable here until I get back, I have an in with the owner.  Let me go talk to her.”  Dodson’s eyebrows raised at the mention of “her”.
      “You’ll see, it’ll work out good fer all of us.  My Lord it’s somethin’ ta see you again Dod.  Let me straighten things out, and we’ll catch up in a weeks time or so.”  With that Leonard headed up the stairs.  Nobody had seen him speak so much since he had arrived.  The patrons of the Goose that night decided that it might be a good idea to give Three Fingers Dodson a little respect. 
   
     .
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« Reply #65 on: March 17, 2009, 12:14:54 am »

     Leo slowly made his way back upstairs stopping at the top of the rail to take a good look at the activity and his old friend down below before going to the room.  He grinned and walked on.

     There was a slight knock on the door as to simply notify Lil that he was coming in as to not to startle her.  "Hey there Sugar"  Lily smiled and continued to dress.  "Don' mind me, I'm jes finishing up gettin' ready to make my appearance downstairs.  I hear theres gonna be quite a few folks comin' to town fer the funerals tomarrow.   Some are gettin' here early so I spect this ta be a good chance to promote the New Grey Goose.  Hopefully people will feel more comfortable comin' in now that it'll be a site more friendly round here, don't ya think?"

     "I magine ya ta do well this weekend"  Leo said as he pulled his gun out of it's holster and sat down on the side of the bed.
 
     "Have a drink and relax if'n you like, Theres a bottle on the table with two glasses."  As she pointed over to the table, Lily smiled at him once more,  "I'll have a sip with you if'n ya don' mind, I'll be right there I'm about done over here."   Leo went ahead and poured the drinks.  As she finished her primping she joined him at he table to have that drink togeather.

     Leo told her about Three Fingers Dodson and filled her in on their history and asked her about making sure he could get a room so he'd be apt to stay till after the trip, he also mentioned how the man liked to drink and play cards so he could be a good customer as well as a trusted friend.  Lily could see how glad Leo was to see a familiar face.  She could see that this reunion was good for him and he deserved every bit of happiness he could get right about now.  Also, she knew it would  be one more thing that he'd come back for.  "Do you want to do the introductions or should I go on ahead and introduce myself?"  Lily asked.

     "Well," Leo looked down at the floor for just a moment then back at Lily, "I'd be needin' ta get my things together fer the trip and seein' how yer goin downstairs soon I expect you to see him first and I already told him I'd catch up with him when I got back if he was still here.    If ya don mind Lil I'd appreciate it if you'd take good care of him.  But I'll warn ya his stories do have a tendancy to run on and don't you believe everything he say's!   You'll like the old hound and I know he's gonna get a kick out of you! 

     "Alright, I'll make sure he stay's put Leo, any friend of yers is welcome here.  Plus I think I'd feel a bit safer while yer gone knowing you had someone here to watch out.  I know theres a chance for more trouble from the friends or family of the men your takin to Prescott.   But I'll pray it stay's calm for the both of us and the time passes quickly.  You can count on me Sugar."

     Lily gave him a kiss and told him she'd be back after working for a while or if he felt up to it to come down a have a nightcap.  It had been a very long and busy day, they both knew they needed to have some time to blow off steam and relax before his leaving in the morning.  And with that said Lily made her entrance down the stairs to a busy palace floor.

     


     
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« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2009, 03:39:28 pm »

Lyle tried once during the night to use his fork to pick the lock on his shackles, his injured arm would not cooperate.  He never noticed that Cyrus had a gun pointed at him the entire time, or that Cyrus had awakened at the first rustling noise on the bed.

Cyrus woke as the sun was just cresting the horizon.  Lyle was sleeping soundly after several failed attempts at freeing himself.  Cyrus gathered his gear and headed to the livery.  He saddled his and Lyle's horses, and then rigged the gear on the mule that would carry the two bodies.  He walked the horses and the mule over to the hitching rail outside the Doc's office and then headed to the Grey Goose to get breakfast.

Cyrus had a strong cup of coffee and enjoyed some eggs and bacon, he wouldn't be eating this good for a couple of days.  When he finished he asked for a plate for Lyle.  He also asked if somebody could arrange to have the bodies moved from the cold house and strapped to the mule.  He paid for the meals and left some extra money for whoever would move the bodies.  As he was leaving he heard Leo's voice from upstairs, he knew Leo would be ready to move out by the time he had Lyle outside.

When he got back to the Doc's Lyle was still asleep.  Cyrus put the cup and plate on the small table by the bed.  He unshackled Lyle's legs from the end of the bed then shackled the walking chain to them.  Then he unshackled Lyle's good arm and kicked the bed to wake him up. 

"Time to eat, then we need to head out."

Lyle didn't have any smart responses this morning he just scowled at Cyrus while he ate. Once Lyle finished, Cyrus backed away and drew his pistol, "Time to go Lyle!"

They headed outside to where the horses were waiting.  Leo was already mounted and drew his gun to cover Lyle while Cyrus helped him mount.  The bodies had already been strapped to the mule so once Cyrus was mounted he picked up the lead and they turned to head out of Town.

Lyle looked at Leo and said, "If yer siding with the Marshal you are buying into a whole mess of trouble, the best way for you to stay alive is to just leave when my friends show up, or you'll be buzzard bait just like the Marshal."

Leo just smiled at Lyle and then gestured toward the third body strapped to a pack mule that Leo was leading.  Leo saw something in Lyle's eyes, at first perhaps a hint of recognition, then a look of cold fear.  Lyle knew something of the man on Leo's pack mule, that much was obvious.  Leo decided that he would take a little time on the trail to try and learn more about the man he had been forced to kill.  A man that Leo had shared a smoke with, and briefly trusted, barely a week past.

Lyle fell silent as the trio moved slowly out of town towing their grim cargo.  There were only a few folks out and most didn't even look up as they passed.

Leo glanced over at the Grey Goose as they went by.  At one window was Lily, that brought a smile to his face and flooded his mind with warm feelings.  At another window stood Three Fingers Dodson, he had kind of a funny look on his face as he watched the procession move by.  The sight of him brought back childhood memories and the realization in Leo that he knew very little of the man who looked down on them now.
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« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2009, 03:12:25 am »

     Here was quite the parade.  Leonard wondered how he continued to find himself in these odd circumstances.  Three dead men who would smell to high heaven by nightfall, a federal marshal and a prisoner who seemed to have no lack for words.
     A look up as they passed the Goose showed sweet Lily waving from window.  He had wasted the last night he had with her before leaving drilling her on loading the H&R.  He wanted her safe.  Then there was Dodson three windows to the left.  Leonard looked forward to seeing him again, but something had changed about him since they had last met.  Then again, much had changed in Leonard since then to. 
     The man called Lyle began babbling on from the minute they had set out.  Something had slipped his nerves.  He was quiet as the procession strode through town but became more and more vocal as the structures thinned and the desert opened upon them.  As annoying as it was, Leonard thought it was good.  The man would talk, and give information after a mere few hours out here.  That information could save Cyrus and himself.
     The talk went on and on about how Lyle’s friends would come and how they would pay and so on and so forth.  Then Lyle made a grievous error.  In the middle of his goings on he said, “You two don’t know nothin’ bout death.”
     Cyrus and Leonard both brought there mounts to a halt at that.  They both regarded the prisoner with a stare no one would ever want to be met with.  Cyrus spoke first.  “Son, you are gonna swing at the gallows in Prescott and we’ll all know a bit more about death when that happens”.  He looked at Leonard who was just setting his horse with a completely blank expression on his face. 
     He snapped out of it and asked quietly, “You ever been ta the war?”  Lyle shook his head and mumbled something about prison and heading west.  Leonard looked at him in a way Cyrus had never seen one man look at another before.  “So your gonna say a fool thing like that huh?”  His revolver was drawn now and the hammer clicked back.  The sound was loud out here.
     Cyrus instinctively put his hand on the grip of his pistol.  “Now Leo, don’t let him get to you” he said.
     “He ain’t,” Leonard said absently.  Then he continued grilling the prisoner in that mild tone.  “You never picked pieces of another man’s bone outta yer hair?  Been splashed in blood you couldn’t wash out fer weeks?  Been in a turkey shoot where fancy gal’s was sittin’ on a hillside eatin’ cucumber sandwiches while our boys died?  And yer here ta tell me about death?  Let’s move” Leonard said as he holstered his old friend, “I hate this”.
      Lyle was quiet after that, but as the men rode on Cyrus had some questions of his own to ask.  It seemed his partner in this expedition had the potential of being a loose cannon. 
       That could be for the better or the worse.
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"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
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« Reply #68 on: March 24, 2009, 03:26:57 pm »

Things remained quite as they rode through the day.  After Lyle's initial outburst, and the confrontation with Leo, he took to muttering to himself.

The group stopped briefly at midday for a bite to eat, but when evening set in they were still only slghtly more than halfway to Prescott.  Cyrus found them a place to camp near a bluff that protected them on three sides, the only way someone could come at them was straight on.  Of course several men with guns could also pin them in this area, and given enough time someone might be able to work their way above them.

The area Cyrus picked was just off of one of the Stage routes so even if they did get pinned down it couldn't be for more than half a day before a Stage passed in one direction or the other.  There was a small spring at the back of this small area carved out of the bluff and a few decent boulders to use for cover.  As they set up camp Cyrus and Leo discussed setting a watch.  Cyrus explained he was always up early to watch the sun rise so if Leo didn't mind he would take the second half of the watch.

One the horses were hobbled and watered Cyrus set to fixing a campfire and cooking up some beans and bacon and coffee.

Leo took responsibility for getting Lyle secure in an area were they could watch him and the area outside the camp.  This also provided Leo a chance to talk with Lyle alone, out of the Marshal's hearing.
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« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2009, 10:13:13 pm »

It was starting to rain in Prescott, Arizona, and people who didn't need to work in the fields, mines or streets headed in.  It was getting late anyways, the sun was just over the rolling hills and bluffs on the western side, the sunset lighting up Thumb Butte and turning it a beautiful red through the rain. There was a lone rider coming up into the city limits, half asleep but also having one hand on his reigns and the pummel of his cutlass and the other hand resting on his Spencer carbine resting on his lap.

The painted mare appeared to know where she was going.  Truth be told, the horse and rider had never been to Prescott, the horse just knew that if it lead the rider to a pub, bar, or tavern, she'd get an apple out of the deal.  People in town noticed the smart horse and half asleep rider.  He was hard to miss, even though he was only 5'6", he had a broad build and had a sailor's winter frock coat on.  The coat also had gold bands around the arms, signaling that whoever was the original wearer was a Lieutenant.  A rain drop landed on the horse's back, and causing the horse to slap it with her tail, also hitting the back of her asleep rider.

"Awh, man!  Harriet! Why did you do that?"  The rider chuckled, as he leaned in to the horses ear and lay down against her neck, rubbing her behind her ears where she liked it.  "We aren't near the post yet... I had at least another thirty seconds of rest left."

The rider then leaned back in his saddle and stretched out.  The people around really took notice now as the horse hardly moved and kept heading right to the saloon, without reigns, without any prompting.

"Good girl, Harriet."  The stranger said as he got out of the saddle and stretched his legs.  The horse grabbed onto his hat.  "Hey! Give me that, or you don't get your apple!"

The horse conceded and let him have his cream colored Stetson back.  "See, now look what you did, you added a bite mark to a sweat stain!  What am I going to do with you? Huh?"  Then he headed to the back of his saddle and got out the apple and handed it to the horse as he tied a clove hitch around the post.

"Hey stranger, that's some fine mare you got there!"  A teenage boy said as the stranger started for the saloon door.  "She sure is smart."

"Yes, she is," The newcomer said as he continued for the door, "smart enough that if you try to steal her, she'll just kill you and come running back."  It was all he needed to say as he entered the saloon.  Luckily no one in the saloon had really taken notice of him, besides the jacket.  He casually walked up to the bar to order a drink.

"What can I get you stranger?"  The barkeep asked.

"How about some coffee to start with and maybe some rum too?"  The stranger asked, causing the barkeep give him a look.

"Rum huh? This here is 'Whiskey Row.' as in we sell 'whiskey.' I can get you the cawfee though no problem, rum huh?  What do you think you are, a sailor turned cowboy?"  The barkeep asked, testing the strangers calm.

The stranger just chuckled, "Something like that, here, I'd like some rum, please."  He then tossed a gold coin over to the barkeep, a doubloon.  "Don't worry, it's real.  Again, I'd like some rum."

"Not a problem, just thought it was funny is all.  Got a thing against whiskey?"  The barkeep chuckled.

"No, just like rum."  The stranger winked.

"You like rum huh?  What are you a foofoo cowboy?"  A miner asked at a card table, playing Pharoh.

"Well, I like rum, but I'm not a boy, and I don't like cows, except for eating... so I guess that means I'm not a cowboy though."  The stranger replied.  "Mind if I join you?"

"Sure, you're more than welcome seeing as what you paid for your drink with.  Didn't know that rum was so expensive," then the miner started to chuckle, "or is that for the cawfee."

"Oh don't worry, he just paid himself through the weekend, and that includes boarding too, stranger."  The barkeep said after realizing it was a true doubloon.

"Say, my name is Frank, and your name was?" The miner added, while shaking the newcomer's hand as he sat at the table.

"Nice to meet you Frank, and I didn't say my name."  The newcomer replied back.
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« Reply #70 on: April 07, 2009, 05:38:47 pm »

     Leonard secured the prisoner and threw his bed roll at him.  Lyle saw blood in his captor’s eyes and thought franticly of how to turn things in his favor.  He knew it wouldn’t be long before he was rescued, and didn’t want there to be any chance of him dying before that could happen. 
     Lyle ended his silence and voiced, “so is that why ya walk funny?”  Leonard was in the process of rolling a smoke when this came and stopped short.
     “What?”  The response was curt.
     “Led me ta believe ya were in the war.  Just askin’ if that’s why yer leg is messed up.  No harm meant, just conversatin’”
     Leonard knew the man was ready to talk.  “What’s it ta you?”
     Lyle took his chance, “well, you’d fit in right good with ma boys.  I’ll give ‘em the signal so when they get rid of the marshal there, they’ll leave ya be.  Unless acourse ya get rid of him yerself.  Yer a killer, I kin see it.”
     Leonard finished rolling and reached for a match.  “Why would I do a thing like that fer a piece a trash like you?  You said I walk funny, imagine how funny it’ll be when I’m walkin’ around with ma right foot stuck in yer…”
     “No, no, no” Lyle tried to regroup.  “We’re a good outfit when it comes ta getting rich.  Join us an ya can give that whore a yer’s everythin’ she ever wanted.”  He suddenly wished he had bitten his tongue off before he said that last bit.  It was most certainly the wrong thing to have said.  He now knew that he just may well be dead long before his companions arrived for the ambush.  He didn’t look over at Leonard, he just waited to here that clicking noise again.  The marshal wasn’t here to stop it this time.
     Instead of the sound of a revolver, what Lyle heard next was the ex soldiers voice.  “You remind of someone.  Someone in Texas who is now helpin’ a patch a daisies grow.”  The prisoner looked over now and Leonard was alternately studying his cigarette and staring into the horizon.  “Funny how there’s things ya just as soon never talk about, then in the right place at the right time ya tell em ta someone who’s mouth ya wouldn’t spit in if their tongue was on fire.  But I got a strong notion yer about at the end a yer days Mr. Johnson.  Say a prayer fer yer friends too if they do show.  See, me an that law dog over there got an important unnerstandin’.” 
     Lyle’s hopes faded rapidly, but he was fascinated to hear what the cold man had to say.
     “So before I fetch you a plate a that hot food over there an most likely spill it in yer lap, I’ll let ya in on something.  You can think about it when it’s your turn ta go.  And Leonard proceeded to tell a tale that left the prisoner baffled.  It was a tale of his weakness, about mid way through, he got the point which disheartened him even more.

     “Ya see, I got a condition,” Leonard began, “the doc had a name fer it back home but I can’t remember it.  Sometimes, but not much, when I see somethin’ move real fast I go inta a fit.  I hit the ground, wave ma arms an try ta swallow ma tongue.  Matter of fact it happened ta me once down there in Texas.  Worthless little town like the one ya were just in.  Stopped there figurin’ I could get a good night’s rest and bleed on some fancy sheets instead of the dirt fer a change.”  Lyle did not interrupt; he was starting to believe he was in the presence of a mad man
     “The only thing this town had ta say fer it’s self was a man who said he had just returned from the war.  He was made out ta be a hero.  He talked a lot, an it didn’t take long ta see he was fakin’ the whole thing.  Guess I started starin’ at him the way I stare at folks I don’t like.  Didn’t realize I was doin’ it, but I musta been.”  Leonard cocked his head and looked off in another direction.  To the prisoner it looked more like he was looking through something than at it.  “After a spell of drinkin’ he come over asked me if I had somethin’ on ma mind.  I told him he was a liar.  He got mad an’ I left when someone went for the sheriff.  He said no one was gonna get away with callin’ him a liar and that he knew Robert E. Lee personally.  So I slept with ma horse that night outside of town.” 
     At this point Lyle had begun quietly muttering to himself again.  Leonard pitched his smoke and continued.  “Next morning, I headed out.  Decided ta go through town and spare ol’ Lucky the nettles as much as possible.  Figured I’d just move on with no trouble.”  Now the man lowered his head as he went on.  “Right there in front of the mercantile was that lyin’ SOB getting a picture made with some of the selectmen.  I couldn’t take ma eyes off him, I hated him.  There was a big bright poof from the camera an I fell right off Lucky.  Had one a them fits ya could say.
     Lyle made a minor interruption and asked, “is that Lucky over there?” 
     Leonard looked at him with an annoyed glance and said, “naw, Lucky’s dead, don’t matter.”  And he continued while shifting his attention back to the horizon.
     “Laid there jerkin in the street til the toy soldier come upon me.  Bastard stuck a broom handle in ma mouth an made it look like he was helpin’.  What folks didn’t know is that he was shoving that stick down ma throat, he was tryin’ ta kill me an’ look like a hero doin’ it. Guess he thought I had it in mind ta tell folks he was a fake. That about made me wake up quick.”  Now he turned his head directly towards Lyle.  “That man was standin’ directly above me an I shot him in a place no man ought ever be shot.”  The prisoner winced at this.
     “I picked maself up and waited fer hell.  Town hero was layin there screamin’ an’ holdin on ta his manly parts.  But nothing happened.  Just a lot of folks starin’ at me.  Thought I had the devil in me er somethin’.  Rode outta that town just as perty as ya please.  Just a crazy Yank killin’ a Reb off the field I guess.  Way them folks looked at me was somethin’ else.”
     Lyle spoke again, “Yer gonna talk at me all night so’s I’m tired in the mornin’.  I know what yer doin’.  I ain’t a fool.”
     Leonard spoke quietly, “maybe, but you should consider that the fella I’m draggin around on that mule weren’t tired.  He’s dead anyway.
     
     Desert lightening began to flash in the sky followed by the sound of thunder. The prisoner could not recall ever feeling this uncomfortable and did not have a restful evening.   
Logged

"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


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« Reply #71 on: April 11, 2009, 10:01:52 pm »

The food was ready, not much really, beans and bacon and some biscuits with hot coffee to wash it down.

Cyrus took note of the fact that Lyle was very quiet during the meal and kept glancing over at Leonard as if he thought the man would jump him at any minute.

Leonard made some small talk with Cyrus during the meal, but he mostly kept his eyes on Lyle.  It was obvious that something had happened, and Cyrus figured that Leonard would tell him in good time.

Cyrus and Leonard discussed standing watch and Cyrus insisted on taking secong shift as he told Leonard, "I'm up early anyway, I like to watch the sun rise."

Lyle broke his silence by saying, "Enjoy it Lawman, it'll probably be yer last one!"  He quickly fell silent  again as he saw the look that Leonard was giving him.

Leonard got another cup of coffee and arranged his position so he could watch the prisoner and the area leading up to the camp.

Cyrus settled in to get some shut eye.

About two hours after Cyrus had settled in Leonard noticed him twitching a little in his sleep!

While Cyrus was sleeping the memories came.

He had been riding for two days when he came upon the small town.  He decided to stop and get some supplies since he didn't know what direction the trail he had been following would take him. After going to the General Store and getting what he needed he decided to have a drink and see if the bartender had seen anyone come through lately.  Covered in dust from the trail, wearing a duster and with his hat pulled low even some of Cyrus' closer friends wouldn't have recognized him.  It was early and the bar was failrly deserted, just three rough looking fellows in one corner playing cards. Cyrus ordered a whiskey and slipped the bartender a bit extra as he quitely asked if he had seen any strangers around town, or passing through the last couple of days.  The bartender said six men had ridden in a day and a half before, but only five left. The other one said he was going to hang around and try his hand a minig up in the hills, then he said that he was the fella at the back of the card table playing in the corner.  Cyrus didn't even act like he had acknowleged the bartender's words, but his eyes rose enough to see the man in the mirror over the bar.  Cyrus' eyes got slightly wider, it was Roland Jarrett who had worked doing odd jobs at the livery in Prescott, he heard him drunkenly telling the men that he woudl play a few more hands then he needed to head out to his claim.  Cyrus realized that he hadn't showed up for work in the days following the Sheriff rounding up the gang that had caused all trouble in and around Prescott. Cyrus gave no outward sign that he had recognized the man, and it wasn't unusual for a drifter to work for a while in a Town and then wander on to find his fortune elsewhere, still there was something that made the hair stand up on the back of his neck that told him it was no coincidence.  Cyrus finished his whiskey and nodded to the bartender than he went out and mounted up, it was already dusk and the shadows were starting to lengthen, all thought of spending the night in a nice warm bed were gone. About an hour later Roland came out and mounted up, it was apparent that he was deep in his cups as he loudly sang a rather racouos song as he rode out.  It was dark enough now that Roland never noticed as Cyrus moved his horse out of the alley and began to shadow him. Roland's claim was about an hour and half's ride out of town.  Cyrus secured his horse in a copse of trees and slowly crept up to the camp, Roland seemed to be the only one about, then he went into his tent and seemed to be talking to someone Cyrus moved around to where he could see through the tent flap and was quickly filled with anger, as any doubt was dispelled.  Hanging on the post in the middle of the tent was one of Margaret's dresses, and Roland was talking to it as if a woman still wore it. What Cyrus heard next chilled his blood, "Hey pretty lady did you enjoy it when me and my buddies had ou rway with you, I bet you did."  Cyrus was now in an almost blinding rage, as he burst into the tent and struck Roland with the butt of his pistol knocking him to the ground.  Roland rolled on to his back and his hand went for his pistol, Cyrus shot him in the hand, the light within the tent allowed Roland to see the man's features and recognition dawned on him and the sudden chill that coursed through his body di a great deal to sober him up. "Deputy they made me help, and they made me join in, but I didn't kill her or the boy, they would a killed me if I hadn't gone along."  "After we rode out they decided to dump me here in this town said I wasn't tough enough to ride with them, n that's tha God's truth too."  Cyrus looked at the pathetic man, Who were they?"  Roland looked into eye thats glittered like crystals of ice, and yet burned with an all consuming hatred.  "Well I don't really know their names."  The gun in Cyrus' hand was cocked and he shot Roland in the right knee, "Names" was all he said in a cold dead voice. Roland screamed,  "I can't tell you they will kill me if they find out."  The hammer was drawn back, the cylinder revolved and when the hammer fell Roland's left knee exploded in shower of blood.  Roland passed out.  Roland came suddenly to as water was thrown in his face, his hand hurt, and both knees gave force a seering pain.  "NAMES!" was all he heard.  Roland began to cry, It was Little Billy, Reggie White, Harold Sumner, the Mexican, and the Half Breed, I don't know their names."  Roland broke down into a sobbing heap at this point.  Cyrus looked at the dress and a tear rolled down his cheek, he screamed out his wife and son's names as the hammer fell a final time and he shot Roland Jarrett in the head.

Leonard had watched the Marshal's dream go on for quite a while, when suddenly Cyrus sat bolt upright and screamed, "MARGARET, JACOB" suddenly Cyrus was wide awake with his gun in his hand. It slowly registered where he was and he noticed Leonard and Lyle looking at him, and from the look on their faces he began to realize that he must have actually called the names out loud at the end of his dream.

Leonard immediately went back to watching the surrounding area, Lyle muttered something about a crazy man, but laid back down.  Cyrus got up and stoked the fire, then heated the coffee.  He checked his pocketwatch and walked over to Leonard, "Why don't you get some shuteye?" Leonard replied, "You still got about an hour and a half before you're supposed to releive me."  Cyrus just shrugged and said, "I'm awake now, might as well let you take advantage of it."

Leonard could see there was no point arguing so he went over to his gear and settled down.  Everything remained quiet until shortly before dawn.  The slight graying of the sky from the predawn light provided just enough contrast for Cyrus to notice a shadow detatch itself from one outcropping of rock and then move towards another. Cyrus kicked Leonard's  booted feet and whispered, "We've got company!"
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Lily Lockwood
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« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2009, 12:54:39 am »

    As the men rode out of town all Lily could do was hope the time would go by quickly and while she was still alone in her room peering from the window she whispered a small prayer for the safe return of her beloved.

     The town was quickly waking to what would be a busy day.  The business owners were preparing to open a bit early today with the anticipation of new customers and old friends all gathering for a double funeral.  Bill was busy sweeping off the front walkway of the general store, Joe was bailing hay and cleaning stalls for new arrivals and George already had coffee and breakfast for anyone who was ready.

     George, who most people called cook, was a kind hearted older man who always seemed to be the first person in town to be settin’ on the front porch at the of the Goose at the crack of dawn with a hot cup of coffee in his hand.  He had to have his own calmness before getting busy with the customers.  But today he cut his ritual short and began cooking early.  Langley was about the best friend he had ever had and together they both put up with Lou as a boss, tyrant and friend.  They had all three lived in this dried up old town since it began.  They had watched it grow from the ground up then they watched as the town almost died, yet they stayed, and now that the town was finally coming back to life again both of his long term friends were dead.  The morning coffee wasn’t the same without his friends.  However, his pride was strong, he would never let anyone see his sorrow, so he dove right into his work.

     By late morning the rooms at the Goose were almost all full, only one remaining.  Business was good and calm for the moment.  Tonight would be a different story since the crowd was to gather here after the funeral as a send off for the departed friends.  Lily had planned on attending the funerals with most of her employees so she made arrangements to have Lenny only serve drinks during the hour they were to be gone,  no other services were to be rendered.  Artie would be there as well holding up the bar as usual.  Noticing that he wasn’t in the bag as of yet Lily softly said to him, “I’d appreciate it Artie if you can hold back somewhat until I return I sure could use another set of eyes around here while I’m gone and since you know this business better than most I could sure use yer help.  I’ll buy ya a real drink when I return if ya hold back with a draft for now, how’s that sound ta you?”  Artie shook his head up and down, “You can depend on me Miss Lily, I promise”  “I know I can, and If Lenny needs anything I know you’ll help so I’ll just say Thank ya Sugar” and she smiled and turned away. 

      After playing meet and greet to many new and old faces in the bar, it was time to get ready so she headed upstairs.  It wasn’t long before the girls were ready to go.  They all met up on the front porch to go down to the cemetery.  They began to walk slowly down the wooded walkways, passing the storefronts and eventually down onto the dirt roadway.  As they were coming up to the first houses on the side of town they could smell trouble.  Lily looked over at the girls and told them just to keep walking no matter what and not to stop.  Well, Mrs. Margaret MacIntire and a couple of her friends from the church were waiting for the girls to walk by.  “A bunch of old bitty’s just ignore them, ”  Lily said through her teeth.   “Where do you think your going?  You Whores are not welcome on Gods property, why don’t you just go back to where you belong.”  Mrs. MacIntire sneered at the girls and pointed in the direction of the bar. 

     “We have every right to pay our respects to our friends, however, you may stay home if you feel offended by our presence, I’m sure the Lord won’t mind!”  Lily spoke gracefully back at the ladies and kept walking.  “Now, you ladies have a nice day” She nodded and smiled as she and the girls passed right on by.

      The ladies just scowled and looked at each other in amazement. “You will all have such fates, you heathen devils!!”  Mrs. MacIntire yelled out as they continued to walk to the church yard.

     The service was lovely and not too long.  No one knew there would be so many people there, it was truly wonderful and nerve racking at the same time.  After the service was over Lily gathered Clara and the others to walk back together to said on the way, “With all these strangers in town we have to keep our guard up at all times.  There are wolves among the sheep and we have to be ready for anything.  Until Leonard gets back we are on our own.  Let’s get back quickly and everyone works tonight.  Sadie, you please pay attention to the man Leo called Mr. Dodson.  He is our special guest and I have a feeling if there’s trouble he’ll be a good one to have around.  If there’s anyone who looks like trouble or if ya hear anything you tell me quickly, and make sure ya all keep me informed of all going’s on tonight, that’s an order!  Do ya all understand?”  Swiftly they all agreed and went back to the Goose expecting a long night ahead of them.
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« Reply #73 on: April 17, 2009, 01:06:39 am »

     Leonard had lain there, not sleeping, but allowing himself to rest.  It was something he had learned to do in the Army.  He kept still and tried not to distract himself with fanciful thoughts.  He trusted Cyrus on watch but knew well enough never to put all ones faith in another’s hands.  He heard the marshal approach around sunrise and knew it was time.  He felt a kick at his feet and heard, “We got company”.

     Leonard opened his eyes and let the visions of Lily dissolve.  “Hope ya brought a shovel, I’d hate ta leave em fer the buzzards.”  They were odd words but sounded natural coming from this man.  Cyrus looked at his companion and wondered.  He wondered just what type of man he had involved himself with.  The thoughts processed quickly and he decided that right now he didn’t care.  If Leonard drew on him, Cyrus felt he was still fast enough to take him down.  But he didn’t think that would be the case.  He assessed that this man’s dark side was reserved only for those who deserved it, even if his dark side was his only side.

     Leonard stood and nodded out toward the desert.  “One rider ta draw us out”, was all he had to say.
     “Looked that way to me too”, Cyrus said.  “I think we should wait him out and see if he wants to bargain.  It won’t do him any good, but it will buy us some time with the others.  I’m guessin’ there’s at least five of them.  I think I know who they are.”
     “Well now” Leonard said, “I figure we just shoot ol’ Lyle there an draw em all out against their plan.”  Lyle Johnson hadn’t exactly been asleep either and turned his head with a start when he heard this.
     “You can’t kill me out here!  Yer the law!”
     Cyrus looked over at his partner.  Leonard looked back and asked, “Do ya see this is the only way?  They’re boxing us in an’ think they have all the time in the world.  Havin’ this one this close ta us adds another danger.  They’re just gonna kill ‘im once they hear what he knows.”
     “That’s not true!”  yelled the prisoner.  Those men would all die fer me!”
     “No doubt about that Mr. Johnson, that’s what they’re about ta do.”  Cyrus noticed that as Leonard said this, he seemed completely in his element.  Watching this, the temperature almost seemed to drop ten degrees or more. 
     The marshal suddenly jerked his head away from the other two and said, “Here comes the first.  Let’s see what he has to say.”
     Leonard looked up and saw the rider coming.  It was a portly Mexican who from this distance bore a striking resemblance to the brother of Hector Morales.  Another few paces and he was sure this was the man who had once referred to him as “El Muerte” out there in the Texas desert, not so long ago.

     As the fat man known as Chulo (it was a joke in his village) approached, he saw two men facing him.  This was how it had been planned.  They had weapons pointed at him, but he was holding his pistol as well.  Surely these gringos knew better than to fire on him.   At least one of them was a lawman and wanted answers more than death.  Harold had told him this is how it would be.  Crazy Harold always was right, almost as much as Hector had been  (Chulo liked the way the two names sounded similar).  But then something happened as he drew close to the three men in the bluff.  His heart felt as if it had stopped when his eyes connected with one of his prey.
     “Dios mio.”  Chulo brought his horse to a halt and crossed himself. 
     Leonard regarded him with cold eyes and raised his voice to cover the distance between the two of them across the desert wind.  “Ya mean ta tell me God loves me enough ta give me another crack at killin’ you!”  Then the gringo laughed and Chulo began to think that maybe Harold had been wrong about this plan.
Logged

"When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
     Tuco--The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"First comes smiles, then lies.  Last is gunfire."
     Roland Deschain

"Every man steps in the manure now an again, trick is not ta stick yer foot in yer mouth afterward"

religio SENIOR est exordium of scientia : tamen fossor contemno sapientia quod instruction.


Lucky Irish Tom
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« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2009, 08:00:38 pm »

Cyrus listened to the exchange between Leonard and the rider.  The man seemed to have gotten very nevouos when Leonard started talking.

Cyrus watched the rider and the area beyond him knowing that this man was just a decoy while the others moved into position.

The rider spoke, "Senors it would be best if you would give your prisoner over to us, we promise to just ride away, it would be the healthiest option."

Cyrus heard Leonard reply, "Chulo, death is ready to welcome you and your friends."

There was more movement in the rocks, as Chulo seemed to shiver at Leonard's reply.

There was a light whistle from out in the dark and Chulo looked at the two men, "It is a shame you will not listen!"

As if on cue a rider from the left and one from the right rode into view at a fast clip, firing as they came.  It was a classic ploy to try and get one of them to stand up to try and draw a bead on the fast moving men.

Chulo also began firing as he backed his horse away. Cyrus brought the Sharps 45-70 up and timed his shot for the point where the two riders would criss-cross.  Leonard fired and Chulo slumped and dropped from his horse, seconds later the Sharps spoke and the closest rider was lifted from his saddle, and as Cyrus hoped he struck the other rider knocking him off of his horse as well.

In the confusion someone had grabbed Chulo and pulled him back behind a rock, his pained voice called out a moment later, "Maybe death is not on your side today Senors!"

Cyrus listened to the statement while he loaded the Sharps.

At least one of their opponents was dead, and Chulo was injured, how badly they didn't know, but at least their odds were improving. The other rider appeared to be out cold.

"There's only two of em, come and get em boys", shouted Lyle.

Leonard looked at him and said, "Another word out of you and I'll put a bullet in that loud mouth of yours!"

Lyle could tell from Leonard's eyes that this was no idle promise, he hunkered down silently and prayed that one of his partners would shoot Leonard and remove him as a threat.

Several shots rang out and pinged off of nearby rocks, Cyrus and Leonard being seasoned fighters refrained from returning any shots without a clear target.

Cyrus looked at Leonard, "Well, there is at least one with Chulo, and one in the rocks to the right, did you make out any positions on the others?"
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