Author Topic: back to civilization  (Read 46936 times)

Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2009, 06:32:15 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.
     
"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"

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Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #61 on: February 26, 2009, 04:52:17 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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Offline Lily Lockwood

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2009, 11:44:46 PM »
     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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Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2009, 08:01:22 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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Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« 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. 
   
     .
"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"

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #65 on: Today at 08:34:38 PM »

Offline Lily Lockwood

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Re: back to civilization
« 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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Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« 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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Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« 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.
"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.

Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« 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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Offline Willie Dixon

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Re: back to civilization
« 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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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #70 on: Today at 08:34:38 PM »

Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« 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.   
"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"

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Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« 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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Offline Lily Lockwood

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Re: back to civilization
« 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.
Just a lil ol' southern gal....gone out west   :)

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Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« 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.
"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.

Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« 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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Offline Willie Dixon

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #75 on: May 03, 2009, 12:14:42 AM »
~meanwhile, back in Prescott~
Frank looked at the other and just grunted.  "Then I guess you aren't playing, no matter what kind of money you gots."

"Really?  Do the others coincide with your thoughts?  Oh, I am so sorry, apparently your vocabulary only includes up to two syllables and that of what? 'Youngster' grade level?"  The sailing cowboy retorted, lifting up his hat.

Funny thing was, that was an insult, which usually gets people upset but besides the barkeep who just smirked, no one else knew what the stranger was saying.

"Judging by your smirk, stranger, I gots'ta'ben thinking you're making fun of me."  Frank answered, leaning forward.

"Well, depends on if you get insulted by someone telling you my horse has more brains than you."  The white-hat sailor retorted.

Frank then stood up, and everyone behind both him and the stranger got out of the way.

"Look, I dun't gett yor problem, but it's getting on my nerves."  Frank added, stuttering.

"Well, stop stuttering and get to work.  You notice," just then the stranger lifted up his jacket slowly to reveal no guns, "I'm unarmed, so if you'll be murdering me, then get to it."

Frank just looked shocked, and didn't know what to do, he looked around the bar trying to see what the others opinions were.

"Look Frank, it's simple, I just wanted to play, but if you'll be sending me eight feet down, then get to it."

"Eight, don't you mean six, stranger."  One of the other players asked.

"Nope, six isn't nearly deep enough for me to be peaceful."  Then the stranger's whole look got fearsome, his mouth showed a smile, but in his eyes was anything but happiness.  "Get to work, Frank."

"Well, you're unermed."  Frank replied.

"Yes, I am, and if you want to live it better stay that way."

Frank then just got a complete look of fear in his eyes and started to think about drawing his pistol.  It was too late.  The stranger kicked the table into him, knocking him in the groin area.  By the time Frank even knew what was going on, the stranger was up and behind him, bashing his head into the bar, and knocking him out cold.

"See, told you."  Was all the stranger said, looking down at the slumped miner.  "His pelvic bone is probably broken now, the cartiledge holding it all together probably snapped, that wasn't the table you heard.  Get him to a doc and don't let him walk for a week."  The stranger said as he was rifling through Franks pockets.  "No I'm not stealing nothing, just checking for anything to prove his name was Frank."

"We all knew him as Frank."  The barkeep replied.

"Yeah we did, thanks stranger, we all didn't like him either."  The second guy at the table said again, getting up and walking over.  "No wonder you want eight."  He then shook the strangers hand.

"You don't like him huh?"  The stranger said as he took the gunbelt off, noticing that there were a pair of badly used and rusted 1858 Remingtons in the holster.  "Then let's get rid of him then."  Then the stranger, who didn't look that big, picked up Frank over his shoulders, which brought Frank out of unconsciousness and had him wailing because of both his broken cheek and groin.

The stranger went outside the bar, and the others followed behind him.  "Well, rumor has it these people don't like you, surprise, surprise." Then he tossed him out into the street.  "See, and I thought it was just me."  Then the stranger un-holstered one of Frank's pistols.  "Damn good thing you didn't try using these, she would have blown up in your face.  That's not a nice thing to do to a not-even ten year old pistol.  Fine pistols too."

The stranger was walking over to his horse as he did this, drawing up his cutlass scabbard and grabbing his Spencer Carbine.  "Now these are in fine order, time for you to leave now."  The stranger added, walking up to Frank with his cutlass unsheathed, gleaming in the torch-lights of the street.  "Understand?"
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Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #76 on: May 03, 2009, 09:07:58 PM »
     Leonard had a deep desire to walk over to Chulo’s refuge and shoot him as well as the man that had saved him, but that would be foolish.  There were at least three more out there hoping for such a thing.  More shots came from the rock that the Mexican had been pulled to.  The ricochets sounded like angry wasps flying over head.  Leonard could count the men he had known that had died due to stray bullets, and he was getting uneasy.  He looked over at Cyrus and asked, “Can you cover me?”
     The marshal nodded and prepared to level the buffalo gun.  Leo went on, “We got three out there, four if one of ‘em’s tricky.  Gotta get the man behind yonder rock, I figure he’s in my range.”  Cyrus had already made the same conclusions.  He was well seasoned to say the least.  Leonard waited for the next shot and as it came he stood and fired.  The Sharps followed a second later as the other bandits made their positions known.  One of them was knocked back off his horse as if a broom had come down from the heavens and swept him away. 
     The two leaders of the ugliest funeral procession Leonard had ever seen hunkered back down as a new rain of gun fire came down upon them.  They could hear gurgling noises coming from behind Chulo’s posisition and the Mexican swearing in his native language.  Cyrus saw Lyle fall back.  His eyes were open but so was the large hole in his head.  A pair of men left in sight turned and ran as if they were following a cue of some sort.
     Things got quiet the way they do after a skirmish.  Leonard and the tin star looked over at Lyle whose eyes were staring directly into the sun.  Leonard hoped in some way that the dead man was able to feel the burning pain.  A ruthless thought, but it felt right.  Chulo had quit his sniveling and the man with him had quit making those wet noises.  All that was left was the soft groaning of the rider who had taken the secondary blow from the marshal’s rifle after it had passed cleanly through the original target.
     Cyrus had reloaded and Leonard asked him to cover him again.  Cyrus nodded and Leo left cover to walk over to the rock embankment that Chulo and the other had hidden behind.  No gunshots came until the ex-soldier disappeared behind the rock.  There were two, and immediately afterward Leonard poked his head up and said, “They’re dead, do we have ta drag them back ta Prescott too?”
     Cyrus’ answer was short, “Not just yet, I have some business with that man over there.”
     Leonard saw that he and his partner had more in common than he had expected.  “You go right ahead, but if there is another one out there an he shoots me, I’ll be a little put off”.   Cyrus didn’t laugh, he just said, “now you cover me”.   
"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."
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Offline Lucky Irish Tom

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2009, 05:12:08 PM »
Cyrus moved over to where Leonard was and handed him the Sharps, in case any of those that ran off decided to return.  Cyrus didn't expect that to happen, if Lyle knew where the money was he couldn't talk about it now so the others probably figured it wasn't worth their skin to to fight it out.

Cyrus moved out into the rocks, there was one more dead man and the signs where at least three riders had headed out. It looked like the fight was over, but instead of heading over to where Leonard was he went to the two men that had criss crossed earlier at the start of the fight.  His initial hope had been to take out one rider and hope that as he went down he would trip up the other horse and cause the other rider to fall maybe breaking his neck.

The bullet had entered the first rider about the middle of his chest, penetrated through and came out at a slightly higher angle.  The secong man had a graze mark across his temple where the exiting bullit had struck him.  That man's left arm was bent at a strange angle so most likely it had broken in the fall. 

Cyrus rolled the unconcious man over and drew in a sharp breath, he knew this man, in fact he had been searching for him for quite some time.  Cyrus splashed some water from his canteen itnto the man's face and he began to come around.  As the man's eyelids fluttered open the first sight that registered was the gun pointed at his head. His eyes got much wider as he realized who was holding the gun. 

"Well should I call you El Tigre as you like your men to call you or Juan Alvarez the name you went by years ago in Prescott?"  The man didn't answer he just stared at Cyrus with hatred in his eyes.

"I don't suppose you would like to tell me where the half-breed, Red Hawk, that rode with you back then is, would you?" Alvarez spit at the lawman, "I will never tell you, just take me back to your jail lawman."

"Jail is too good for the likes of you, I was thinking of carving you up piece by piece until you talk." to emphasize this Cyrus pulled his knife from his scabbard and sliced one of Juan's palms.

"Even if I knew where he was I wouldn't tell you", he hissed through clenched teeth.

Cyrus made another cut. "Next I'll see how bad that arm is busted up, looks like it could be painful." to make his point Cyrus put some pressure on it with his boot.

"He hasn't ridden with me in several years, he was loco, he is the one who killed your wife and son!"  Juan had already come the the conclusion that he wasn't leaving here alive, and decided on a desperate plan. He looked directly into Cyrus eyes, "Your wife enjoyed our time together, I showed her how it feels to be with a real man."

Cyrus recoiled in shock at the statement and Juan made his play as he reached for the derringer in his boot. Cyrus recovered before Juan's hand had managed to pull the gun free and shot him throught the heart and with tears rolling down his cheeks he emptied the remaining rounds from his revolver into the body.

Leonard had heard part of the conversation and at the gunshots he came around the rock.

Cyrus was standing there with the gun levelled at the man on the ground, pulling back the hammer and letting it fall on the already fired chambers.  When he finally stopped he looked up and saw Leonard, "He went for a gun." was all Cyrus said.

As he walked back toward their camp, he looked over his shoulder and said, "None of these have any wanted bills on them, let's put Lyle's body over the mule and head on in to Prescott."  "You got any questions to ask you can ask them on the trail."
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Offline Leo Tanner

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #78 on: May 18, 2009, 10:48:18 PM »
It was like the war all over again, but somewhat different this time.  The killing felt the same, but the feelings that remained were different.  There was vengeance here.  Leonard had his with the fat Mexican and the marshal had his with the other.  He stood there wondering just how odd it was that they had all come together in this place, and in a way, had sorted it out.  He wondered if this type of occurrence would ever stop happening and how it would affect Lily if it never did.

     Leonard considered the marshal closely.  He was crying.  When a man feels that deeply, it’s best not to ask questions.  All he could say to Cyrus was, “The only question I got is how in the hell we pulled that off?”  Cyrus broke camp as Leonard looked out at the horizon.  No signs of activity out there.  He determined that those who had got away would be hunted down by the man who was currently packing his kit.  The law was different out here, and it certainly worked to his advantage.  He had a glimmer of hope that things just may work out after all.

    When the marshal was ready to go and there was no evidence of activity in that expanse of the Arizona desert, he went out into the clearing and went over the bodies.  Leonard understood that he was looking for clues, this was not the kind of man that would pick one over for a nice pocket watch or even coins.  He was a man obsessed, and from what Leonard had overheard, he had good reason. 

     Lyle had been thrown over the back of his own horse and the two men continued on their way to Prescott.  Even if Cyrus had brought a shovel it didn’t matter, the rest were left to the elements.  As they headed out, the old marshal said, “If the Good Lord wants them buried he can blow some dust over ‘em, there’s plenty around.” 
"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"

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Offline Lily Lockwood

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Re: back to civilization
« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2009, 11:46:42 PM »
     The bar was full of patrons after the service; they all seemed to be in good spirits having a loud yet friendly celebration of friendship.  The stories of Lou and Langley were running rapid one after another with no end in sight.  We all thought we knew them well enough but after hearing some of the tales we really didn’t know many sides to these two men and their associations together.  It seems they had both lived very colorful, dangerous and full lives.  But now as we say goodbye to them a new time is quickly being ushered in rather quickly.

     The hooch was flowing, cards were being dealt, the girls were entertaining, and business seemed to be very good. 

     Just about everyone had wished me well in my new venture and was, for the most part, very supportive.  After all it had been a very small town for quite a while now and most everyone looked out for one another.  Also, now that the copper mine was doing well again we had all hoped to see this town flourishes once more.  New comers were being invited in as regulars and hopefully their loved ones would find our little town and want to call it home.  However, along with good fortune, comes greed and temptation as we all have experienced in life.


      Lily looked around at all the life in the Grey Goose and tried to take it all in.  This was her responsibility now and that prospect was frightening to her, all she could think about was how soon Leo could get back so she could feel safe again. 

     “Lenny,” she cried out, “ the house is buyin’ a drink for everyone so we can toast our friends and say our last goodbye.  So fill em’ up!!”  Everyone yelled and whistled at the thought of getting a free drink! “Drink up everyone, cuz’ generosity is bad fer business!!”  Everyone laughed and thanked her and carried on.

     As the afternoon turned to evening the bar thinned out a bit.  The people that were still there were pretty much in the bag.  The stories were getting pretty blurry now and some men had fallen asleep at the tables but they were quickly ushered out by their friends.  Lily had a few moments to briefly talk to Leo’s old friend so she sat next to him at the bar.  “Hello again Mr. Dodson I’m Lily and I sure hope yer havin’ a good time, I’ve heard good things about you from Leonard.” 

      He looked over at her half drunk, put his had out as to shake hers and said, “I allow my friends to call me Three-fingers and I sure would consider you a friend Ms. Lily. If’n ya don’ mind havin’ another one.  Any gal who catches Leo’s eye is sure good enough fer me.”

       Lily smiled, shook his hand and said, "always nice to meet a new friend but please call me Lil, and if you need anythin' ya jus need ta ask."

      He leaned over to her and said “Everone else can call me Mr. Dodson,” as he began to laugh. 

     “I sure hope you stay long enough to see Leo when he gets back, I know he’s lookin’ forward to catchin’ up with ya.”  Lily stated as she began to stand back up. 

    “I’d like that, plus I told him I’d look after ya while he was away and I wouldn’t want anythin’ ta happen to ya. Why he’d have my hide!!  So don’t ya worry Lil, I’ll be right here.”  Lily thanked him and excused herself, “I’ll leave ya with Sadie, that way yer in good hands as well!!”  She said as she walked away. 

     As the night was winding down, Lily noticed a handsome young man walk thru the doors that had just rode into town.  He looked as if he’d come a long way and was pretty tired.  She walked over to greet him at the bar as he was ordering a drink.  He inquired about a room for the night and if there was a bath-house nearby.  He was in luck, there was still one room left to rent so she said he could stay.  He thanked her and drank his shot.  He wasn’t in the mood for conversation which was fine for Lily who was ready to call it a night.  She Looked over at Clara and noticed her staring at the newcomer, Lily motioned over to her to come over and maybe talk to the man.  Clara looked at Lily and actually began to blush, she checked her self in the mirror and wandered over to him to say hello.  By the time she got over to him he grabbed his gear and began walking to the stairs.  Lily saw this and called out to him, “why don’t you let Clara show you to your room?”  He shyly nodded and said "alright" and she caught up with him.

     And with the close of the evening, Lily asked Lenny to lock up and went upstairs, it had been a very long day.
Just a lil ol' southern gal....gone out west   :)

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