GENERAL TOPICS > Saddlebag Tales

Sneak Peak at a short story I'm writing.

<< < (2/2)

The Trinity Kid:
And here's part three of the story ;D

"        Mrs. Farley stormed through the front door, throwing rather than handing her expensive hat at the colored servant to be hung up.
   “George!”  She screeched, calling for her husband.   After a moment, her portly spouse came rushing down the spiral staircase that rose from the middle of the large foyer of their illustrious home.
   “What is the  matter dear?”  he asked gently.  He noted the anger on her face and the way her scarf had fallen down from around her neck.  She only allowed that to happen if something was really upsetting her.   Cordelia Farley ran forward and whispered into her husbands ear the story of the failed attempt to bribe the sheriff and release Foster.  Mister Farley wiped his soft hands on his very ample belly and called for one of the servants to fetch him his top-hat, cane and gun belt.

   Inside the sheriffs office, Joe Smith paced back and forth across the newly scrubbed floor.
   “I can't believe she tried to bribe us Sam, I just don't believe it!”  he said, his voice still holding the angry timbre.  The deputy didn't say anything.  He just leaned up against the wall of the office with his right foot up on a crate of Winchester ammo.  “Why that little.... I ought'a spread the story all across town!”  the sheriff said to himself.  He than turned and went out the front door saying to his deputy as he went,  “Sam, I'm going down the the Ace High, I've got somethin' that needs doin'.”

   George Farley reined up his black trotting horse in front of the Ace High Saloon.  After asking around town, he discovered that the sheriff had gone into his business premises.   It was better than he had expected.  With the sheriff being in his saloon, he could gun him down and his employees wouldn't tell a soul.......

   “I demand to see Mr. Farley!“  Sheriff Smith boomed at the scared-looking bartender.  His plan was to tell Farley about his wife's attempt to bribe him in order to get his prisoner out.  He was still curious about her motives.  Why would the mayors wife be so interested in getting a killer out of jail, one that was arrested in a saloon other than her own?  Everyone in town knew of her dislike for the other saloon owner's wife, not that she didn't feel the same way about most of the other women in town.  But Smith intended to get everything straightened out.
   “M-m-mister f-f-f-far-ley isn't h-h-ere r-r-right n-now.” The bartender stuttered, fear too obvious on his pale face.  Smith, being a shrewd judge of character, could tell the man wasn't lying.
   “Okay than, sorry I bothered you.”  He said, much quieter this time.  The bartender gulped down a dry spot in his throat.  He had deduced by the number of hard-looking men his boss frequently called into his private office that the Farley's were involved in some sort of illegal activities, yet he had never been involved with it more than informing the hard cases that they were being summoned, so he never worried about it.
   “No problem sheriff, can I get you something?”  he asked, hoping his voice didn't sound as pitiful to the sheriff as it did to him.
   “I guess I couldn't argue with a big cup of Arbuckle's. *(The coffee produced by the Arbuckle brothers was the best known in Texas, and any coffee was usually referred to as “Arbuckles.”) The Sheriff said.  As with most saloons, the Ace High kept a pot of coffee boiling all day for the staff that stayed up late and for a customer that wasn't in the mood for anything stronger. 
   The bartender gave a nervous smile and pulled out a ceramic cup and filled it with steaming coffee.  Passing a nickle over the counter, Joe grabbed the coffee and walked over to a table facing the bat-wing door. 

   George Farley pushed through the door of the saloon and saw the sheriff sipping on coffee and reading a newspaper.   That was normal for Sheriff Joe Smith. He always had a cup of coffee and read the weekend newspaper at three o'clock on Saturdays, just usually in his office, not the Ace High.
   “Good afternoon sheriff.”  Farley said.  Smith looked up from the paper and set down his coffee.
   “Afternoon Mayor, could I speak with you, in private?”  There was an underlying tone of something less than friendly in the sheriff's voice.  The portly Mayor didn't like it, yet he was confident in his ability to handle the sheriff.
   “Of course, sheriff.  Please, step into my office.”  He said.  He motioned down a hall with his buckskin-gloved hand. 

   The office was well furnished, with thick carpeting and well stained mahogany desk, chairs and grandfather clock.  In one corner was a hat rack, and one peg had a dusting of red dirt on it.  The sheriff didn't fail to notice it either.  In order to get a closer look, he walked over and placed his hat on the peg right next to it.
   “Well Sheriff, what did you want to talk about?” The mayor asked from behind a cigar that he pulled out while Smith wasn't looking. 
   “It's”  The Sheriff said, scratching his whiskered jaw.
   “It's about your wife.”
   “What about her?”
  There was silence for a moment while Joe thought of a way to say what was on his mind.  Farley reached under his desk and pulled out a crystal brandy bottle and poured two glasses.  The sheriff took one and downed it all.
   “Well Mr. Farley, your wife came in to my office this morning and showed me that telegram you got.”
  A nod.
   “ to bribe me and my deputy into letting one of the prisoners go.”  The sheriff said, feeling much better now that he had said it and got it off his chest.
   Farley didn't show any emotion through the whole thing.
   “Yes Sheriff, I've heard already. I can explain it, if you'll just bring me that big book entitled 'Up From Texas'.”  The mayor said, pointing to a shelf directly behind Smith.
   The sheriff shrugged and turned to a bookshelf, looking for the book.  He looked for about ten seconds before hearing the ominous click of of a handgun hammer.  On the shelf was a little glass ring case.  In the glass, Smith saw the reflection of Farley inching a Colt Lightning revolver up towards his back.  That really set the sheriff off.  Another time the mayor had insulted him within the hour.  That put the sheriff over the edge.  He drew his gun.
   After the sheriff turned his back, Farley reached into his hidden shoulder holster and pulled out the little .38 Colt.  There was a loud click when he pulled back the hammer, but he was fairly certain that his hired peace keeper – that was how he viewed the sheriff – had bad hearing.  He underestimated him.  He figured that out when the .44 bullet smashed through his fingers. *(The .44 Remington cartridge was actually .46 caliber, but referred to as .44)

   The Mayor screamed in agony, holding his hand as blood dripped down, staining the carpet.  The middle finger was missing from the second knuckle.  Not only did the mayor underestimate the sheriffs hearing, but his ability with a revolver.  On the floor sat the mangled Colt, bent beyond repair.
   “Mister Farley, I'm arresting you for attempted murder and assault on an officer of the law.”  Smith said.  The sheriff pinwheeled his revolver back into the holster and grabbed his hat, using it to direct his prisoner out the door and into the main bar room.
“What happened?!”  The bar tender yelped from his position of hiding behind the bar.  After hearing the shot, the bartender had ducked behind the thick wooden bar, grabbing up the shotgun as he went, just in case something happened and he was forced to defend himself.  When he looked back on the situation, it wouldn't have been needed.  If the sheriff shot the mayor, he would be out of work, but in no way in mortal danger.  If his boss won – he was certain that was what his boss was going to try to do, due to the fact that he never allowed anyone in his office unless it was one of the hard-cases – he would have nothing to fear. In fact, he would be given a bonus for keeping quiet.  By the looks of things, he was out of a job.  The sheriff confirmed his thoughts.
   “Our dear Mister Farley here tried to gun me down, so he gets a free trip to the juzgado.”  "   

More tomorrow night, when I write it.


The Trinity Kid:
Next part.

"  On the street, he got many questioning looks, yet no one asked about it.  The town doctor saw the blood dripping, caught a slight jerk of the head from the sheriff and began following.

   “Oooh boy, mister Mayor, did you get in a fix this time!”  Sheriff Joe Smith whooped.  The incident in the Ace High had taken place four days previous, and Farley still had bandaging on his finger.  However, that was not the only change in his appearance.  He now wore a black and white stripped prison outfit instead of his normal fancy suit, and his mustache had not seen any wax since his arrest.  His normally jovial smile was replaced by a sullen frown and his pompous air gave way to anger.
   “Huntsville won't be able to hold me for long.”  He said defiantly to the sheriff.  They were walking out of the court house after the trial, where Farley had been sentenced to twelve years in Huntsville Territorial Prison on the charge of attempted murder of an officer of the law. 
   “Shut yer' yap bub, or I'll turn ya' right back afore the judge for...”  The sheriff paused a moment, thinking of a charge.  “Err, thinking about a jail break.”   
   “Remember sheriff, you have to hold me for two weeks.  A lot can happen in that time.”

   Sheriff Joe Smith rode along the street towards the edge of town.  He had been cooped up with the ex-mayor in the jail for the past four days without venturing farther than the back-house.   He needed some fresh air, some wide open fields to himself.  The jails cellar was getting empty, winter was coming and the ranches around town were complaining about the silver-tip grizzly bears attacking their stock.  With weights of around a thousand pounds, especially when they were fattening up for winter, a grizzly would fill the cellar nicely, and the skin could be sold for five dollars to some traveling eastern dude.  Being as the surrounding country was brushy and not open, he had elected to bring his Winchester Model of 1876  “Centennial Rifle” in place of his telescopic-sighted Remington 1871 Rolling Block. 
   “Thank goodness ole' Winchester made that .45 cartridge of there'n, eh ole' horse. I'd sure hate to be stuck with the Rolling Block with a silver-tip a-chargin'.”  He said to the Chestnut gelding between his knees.  The horse whinnied and tossed it's head. The sheriff was referring to the .45-75 cartridge, which is much more powerful than the standard .44 WCF cartridge.     *(Winchester had attempted to make a lever-action repeater in the .45-70 Government cartridge, but due to issues in action length and strength, it was not accomplished until ten years later when John M. Browning invented the Model of 1886.  Instead, Winchester developed the .45-75 WCF, which was shorter than the .45-70) + (In the 19th century, cartridges were designated by caliber followed by  standard powder charge.  Therefore, the .45-70 is a .45 caliber bullet with 70 grains of powder.  Occasionally the bullet weight is mentioned as well, such as in the .50-100-450.  .50 caliber bullet, 100 grains of powder, and 450 grain soft lead bullet.) # (The designation WCF stands for Winchester Center Fire.  The .44 WCF, also known as the .44-40, was the first popular center fire cartridge.)

   The dust on the distance was not raised by any cowboys driving cattle.  The sheriff was sitting on the rim of a small hill overlooking the western trail into Buford's Ford, cradling his Winchester and watching the dust cloud get bigger.  His hunting had been interrupted by that dust, so he was going to stick around and find out what it was.  At first He had thought it was some cowboys or something of that sort, but there was less dust than any cowboys would raise.  If it was cowboys on the trail, they would most likely be headed to town to spend a month's pay, and be in a big hurry to do it.  They would be totally careless about the dust they raised.  Also to be considered was that each ranch hired more than eight men. This cloud looked more like five or six men trying not to raise suspicion. If that was the case, they were doing horribly.
   “Likely some dudes out on a hunting trip an' tryin' t' act tough 'n mean.” Joe said to himself.
   Smith waited for fifteen minutes before he got a glimpse of who was making the dust.  It turned out to be three wagons, each pulled by two horses.  The first wagon was an open box type wagon with crates stacked up four feet above the rim, driven by a blond youngster.  He was about six feet tall, and wore an old gunbelt with a Colt .45 Artillery in the holster.  The second wagon was a covered Studebaker driven by an aging man with a sawed off shotgun across his knees.  The covering said in big red letters:
      Smith & Wesson
   The third wagon was identical to the second, but with two men on the seat.  One was around thirty, with a Smith & Wesson American revolver in his cross-draw holster, dressed like a standard western bull-whacker.  The second said city dude as plainly as if he had a billboard proclaiming it.  His bowler hat, though dusty, was brand new. His mustache was perfectly waxed into a handlebar, and his face was pale.  His clothes were of highest eastern fashion and quality, with a gold chain hanging from one pocket to another. Around his waist hung a black bascudero  *( Bascudero: Name for a belt with two holsters) gun belt around his narrow middle.  Both Holsters were filled by brand-new Smith & Wesson.
   “I was right, eastern dudes.” Smith said.  He was standing up to get back to his hunting when he heard the shot.

   “We're gettin' close, Mr. Biggs.” The driver of the third wagon said to the easterner.  Mr. Fredric Biggs reached into his pocket and pulled out the gold watch, reading eleven o'clock.  He then pulled the right revolver out of the holster, revealing that it only had a four inch barrel.  He lifted the lever at the top, breaking the revolver open and inserted five .44 caliber bullets that he had pulled from his pocket.  He than put the right revolver away and removed the left revolver, revealing the eight inch barrel and repeated the loading process.
   “Why would anyone want to live in such a hot, primitive place?”  The dude asked as he wiped sweat from his brow with a dusty cloth.  The driver next to him gave a grin.
   “Ain't ne'er figured that one out myself.”

   The wagons turned a corner in the trail, where brush was thick along the sides.  Being as none of the party were from Texas, but farther east, they were letting their guard down so close to town.  Had they been more alert, they would have seen the poorly hidden men in the bushes.  Unfortunately for Mr. Biggs' hat, they didn't.  "


The Trinity Kid:
Got around to writing another part..

"   The four easterners jumped at the report of the Winchester, and Mr. Biggs hat flew off his head and to the ground.
   “Now that we got yer' attention, get off the wagons and keep the hands clear of the fancy irons.” Came a voice from the bushes, the sound of a Winchester racking adding emphasis to the words.  Slowly the men on the wagons stepped down, keeping their hands shoulder high.  As soon as the dudes were down, five men stepped out from the bushes.  All were young, with everything matching, clothes and guns.  Green shirts, blue pants, brown gunbelts with Colt Civilian Peacemakers and Winchester model '73 rifles.
   “I'll have you know, my company will not stand for this.” Biggs said defiantly.  Only one of the outlaws spoke, apparently the leader.
   “I'm real scared.  Now hand over any valuables.” He said.  The outlaw reached into his pocket and pulled out a coffee sack.  Biggs reached into his pocket and removed his watch, handing it over.  The outlaw held out the sack.  Before the watch fell in, the outlaw was thrown down to the ground.  Through scared minds, the rest of the men, outlaw and dudes alike, heard the loud bellow of a powerful rifle.  Before there was any time to react, another outlaw fell.  Then it was like a cork, all the outlaws scrambled for the bushes.  Biggs took his chance and whipped out the little revolver in his right holster.  He than adopted the “target stance,” the right side of the body facing the target with the gun extended at arms length, the other hand on the hip and legs shoulder width apart.  He managed to get off one shot, but it was hastily taken and through heavy brush, and missed.
   Up on the hill, Joe Smith levered a fresh round into his Winchester Centennial Rifle and watched the eastern dude adopt his goofy shooting stance through a cloud of powder smoke from two shots of .45-75 .
   “You'll never hit him like that.” he said, and stood up.  He gave a shrill whistle and his horse wandered over.  Smith mounted, booted his rifle and proceeded down the hill.  He was half way down the hill before the dudes noticed him. 
   “Not a step closer, or I'll fill ya' full o' buck shot.”  The aging driver of the second wagon said, swinging his ten-gauge to line on Smith's belly.  The other dudes jumped and turned around to face the sheriff, Biggs pulling his revolver in to line.
   “You can put those away, I'm Sheriff Joe Smith.” Joe said, putting his thumb under his badge and pushing it forward.  The old timer lowered his shotgun and Biggs holstered his S & W.
   “Sorry sheriff, just bein' cautious.”  The wagon driver said, extending his calloused hand.  “I'm Wally Hertz, owner of “Hertz Freight.”
The sheriff took the extended hand.  Of the four men in the train, this man alone struck him as not being a dude.
   “No worries mister.” Joe said.  Biggs walked over than, and from the look on his face, the sheriff judged he was in for a lecture.  He was right.
   “Well Sheriff, fine job you're doing, keeping the law.  Why did you let those vicious men try to rob us?  You should have arrested them before we got here.  Why, they shouldn't even have been allowed to buy those guns.”  The man said raising his voice higher in pitch and volume as he spoke.  “Why, back in New York, we have policemen everywhere.  A criminal would be arrested before he was even able to set foot in a bank.  How can you southerners stay so barbaric? “
   Sheriff Smith found Biggs to be not altogether unlike the Farley's with his pompous manner, and found himself disliking him immediately. But it was the last comment that riled him. Despite the war having been over for the better part of sixteen years, there was still animosity between Northerners and Southrons.  Also, being a Texan and having his pride to deal with, Smith took it as a personal slight when Biggs called southerners 'barbaric.'  yet he still kept his temper in check. Instead of punching the eastern dude like his gut told him to, he answered the question with one of his own.
   “Mister, if you Yanks r' so high 'n mighty, why'd you let them jump ya' in the first place?” he asked, hooking his thumbs through his gunbelt.   Biggs put his hands on his hips and did his best to look commanding, though he failed in Joe's eyes.  "




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