Author Topic: At Wit's End  (Read 58138 times)

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #80 on: April 19, 2010, 10:38:19 PM »
Scarlet, Jimmy and Bo exchanged concerned glances as they rode up to the corrals. Tied to the hitching rail were horses they’d all used as back up mounts on a regular basis, groomed and ready for saddling.

“It’s more than a coincidence those three are tied there.” Bo said pulling his horse to a stop next to them.

“No doubt we are in for another ride somewhere.” Jimmy said stepping off of the horse he had ridden back.

One of the hands came around the corner “Wire came in to have ya’ll go back to town; we were just coming out to meet you with some fresh horses.” He said.

“See if you can find out what this is about, gear up my horse please, I want to talk to Ella before we go.” Scarlet said to Bo and Jimmy.

Scarlet knew she only had a few minutes before Bo and Jimmy showed up at the infirmary. She was glad she didn’t have to look far for Ella.

“I was hoping I could sit down and talk to you over some lunch but I’ll be riding back to town in a couple of minutes. Dr. Alan told me he would be here tomorrow to take the bullet out of Archie. Is there more that I should know now or can it wait until I get back here?” Scarlet said as she approached Ella.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #81 on: April 19, 2010, 10:58:13 PM »
Ella said, "Once Bobby and I identified most of the men we had seen, I sent a report on the bank robbery to Deputy Hayes, as a way of telling him I had seen Perry without Archie. I sent Hayes another wire later, letting him know I had Archie and asking him to visit. The first reply I got said he would see us at the Southern Star Thursday evening. Then I got another wire from him, telling me to conceal and protect Archie from Phillips. Did you know that Phillips has told Tink to let him know about anyone sending telegrams to the Houston Marshals office?"

Scarlet's smile made Ella draw two conclusions: first she knew and second Phillips was only finding out things that were meant for him to know or general business of the Marshal's office. There was a sly tone to Scarlet's voice when she said, "I guess if you want something sent you don't want Phillips to know about, you send it to somebody making it personal instead of just the office."

"I think Phillips's order applied to anything sent to anyone at the Houston Marshals office. Of course, if you use the key yourself instead of having Tink do it, Phillips's order doesn't apply. At least, the message wouldn't show up in Tink's log book that way."

"Oh, I wonder if Tinker knew that's what Phillips meant. I guess I will just send anything from the Starr or use the key myself before Phillips gets more specific."

"I really doubt that Tink actually intends to comply with Phillips's wishes. But it seems wrong for Phillips even to think he can issue that command without a court order." Ella reached into her pockets. "Oh, here's the spare key to the desk in the office. I pocketed it instead of putting it back in the bookend to make sure Eddie wasn't going to try to sneak in for another look at the key book we found. He probably wouldn't think about the window from the office looking into the window in Phillips's bedroom! One specific story in a homemade collection of Old Sleuth stories is the key to the messages that Phillips sends. The incoming messages must be coded with a different story. However, Phillips had left the decoded messages in the book, so we know they said 'Monday siesta' and 'no resistance no harm'. Eddie is supposed to ask the barber for back issues of the Fireside Companion, so that he can try to duplicate the key book."
Elegant Ella

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #82 on: April 21, 2010, 11:12:56 PM »
Scarlet pocketed the key “I will put this in the office at the Ace. In case one of us needs it again.” She said as she walked over to Archie.

She put her hand on his, leaned down and whispered something, Archie’s hand slightly moved under hers.

“Let’s ride!” Jimmy’s voice came from outside.

Scarlet looked at Ella and took a deep breath “I try to find reasons not to hate Phillips, but it seems to be a losing battle at every turn.” She commented walking out.

“What do you know?” She asked.

“Message was from Fritz to have you and your brothers come back.” Bo replied as she swung on her horse.


"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #83 on: April 21, 2010, 11:53:47 PM »
Plans all made, Morgan turned to leave, and almost bumped into Marshal Phillips who was entering with a large leather-bound book under his arm.  "Who's this?" Phillips demanded.

Fritz performed introductions, "Raymond Morgan, lawyer, meet Isaiah Phillips, Marshal. Mr. Morgan will be representing the prisoners at their trial."

Morgan thought, "Some Yankees are more Yankee than others", while saying, "Pleased to meet you, Marshal."

Phillips grunted, "Likewise." Once Morgan left, Phillips asked, "Where's Deputy Washington?"

"I sent him home to get some rest, since he's got midnight duty."

"Miss Jefferson, take this message to the telegraph office."

Lily checked the clock, to make sure she could run the errand and be back to cover the office at 2:00pm, then took the message and left.

"I didn't give any orders about allowing a lawyer to talk to the prisoners."

"With all due respect, sir, we don't need orders to follow standard procedures. Before lunch tomorrow, the court clerk is going to be over here asking if the prisoners have hired a lawyer yet. If the answer were no, the court would assign Thaddeus Penderghast, and our nice clean case would be choked with thorns of legal obstruction. Morgan plays fair as long as we play fair. He does the best he can for his clients, and can win when our case is weak. Penderghast doesn't really care whether his clients are guilty or not, he just turns every case into a attack on the Marshals office. If you have any secrets in your background, Penderghast digs them up to use in an attempt to discredit your testimony. It doesn't matter how many times prosecutor objections are sustained, Penderghast's attacks do have an effect on the jury."

Phillips was silent a moment, then asked gruffly, "Where are the standard procedures documented?"

Fritz pointed at the framed signs on the wall of the outer office and said, "There should a folder in your desk, with the procedures as they stand now, as well as what they used to be." 

Phillips retired to his office to find out what "standard procedures" might have been acted upon already.
Elegant Ella

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #84 on: April 22, 2010, 09:18:55 AM »
Hank raised an eyebrow as the three cowboys came through the batwing doors and took a seat by the window, no doubt so they could watch the Marshal’s office; it had been a popular table lately. He heard them place an order for something to eat that wasn’t cooked by one of them. They rarely blew into town, he was glad they were eating before they started on the whiskey. There were few that could handle them when they’d had too much to drink.

Hank walked over to the table “Here for pleasure or business?” he said making note the men were armed, as usual.

“We’re hoping for pleasure.” One of them replied.

“You boys have met Mr. King haven’t ya?” He asked.

They looked at him wondering why he’d ask such a thing.

“I was just wondering if he’ll recognize you when he comes through here.”

“He may, may not, it’s been sometime since he’s seen us and we’ve only been formally introduced once.” One of the men replied.

“There’s no contract on him so we are of no concern.” One of them slightly laughed.

If it had been another day Hank would have had a good time pointing them out to Fritz as armed men and watching how they handled one another. Fritz was a tolerant man but things had been tense recently and he didn’t want to make any enemies so he decided to let the opportunity slide.


Scarlet noticed the three unmarked horses tied in front of the Ace as they rode in. She doubted it was coincidence the men had shown up in town early in the day. They spent most of their days riding the line, came to town occasionally to blow off steam after they’d been out for a lengthy spell. She figured Johnny had cut them lose early in the day to be in town in case there was trouble. She’d like to be able to tell them they could buy a bottle and stay in town, but that determination was yet to come.

Scarlet wondered what waited for them as she opened the door to the Marshal’s office.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Advertisers

  • Guest
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #85 on: Today at 03:57:37 PM »

Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2010, 12:00:18 PM »
Lily was seated at the desk, working through the stack of telegrams she had picked up. "Mr. Fritz left a note for you," she said, handing Scarlet a folded sheet of paper. When Scarlet looked up after reading, Lily continued, "Mr. Morgan will be here with his carriage soon. Eddie is at the barbershop, watching the bank so he can warn us when Phillips heads back here. If someone will go with me, I'll get Pole ready for transport."
Elegant Ella

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #86 on: April 23, 2010, 11:15:14 PM »
Scarlet was less than impressed as she read the note. It wasn’t really that they wanted to move Pole out to the Southern Starr, it was probably the right thing to do. It wasn’t that Hayes was coming, it was the fact he had informed them he was coming to the Starr, much like she’d been informed Phillips was coming, combined with the fact she’d had just about as much of this entire deal as she was willing to stomach.

She mumbled something under her breath that Lily couldn’t quite make out but she was sure it was not meant for her.

Scarlet turned on her heel and went out the door. Bo and Jimmy just exchanged glances as she came out and swung up on her horse. The horse spun around, Scarlet handed the note to Jimmy. “Help Lily please.” They both recognized the irritation in her voice.

“Where you going?” Jimmy asked.

Scarlet leveled her gaze at him. “You know you’re not going to do that as much as you want to.”  He said as if he could read her mind and knew she wanted to say going to find a good spot where Phillips will never know where the bullet came from.

“Talk to Morgan.” She said ridding off.

Jimmy looked at the note then handed it to Bo.

They both went into the office and greeted Lily.

“I’m guessing no of the others know where Pole is headed, and we best be careful to keep it that way.” Bo said to both of them.

Morgan was climbing in his carriage when Scarlet’s horse slid to a stop next to him. She dismounted and stopped in front of his office door.

Morgan raised his eyebrows and shook his head as he climbed down and followed her. He unlocked the door and motioned her to enter.
"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2010, 10:57:39 AM »
“Coffee?” Morgan asked as he walked towards the pot.

“No Thank you.” She replied.

Morgan smiled Scarlet had a way of being very curt, yet polite at the same time. Her mother had taught her that. She was definitely not here for social hour.

“Morgan, why are we moving Pole.” She asked.

He was really waiting for her to start in on “are you crazy, taking prisoners out to the Southern Starr…who had that half wit idea?” but she hadn’t gotten there yet.

“He’s willing to cut the Marshal’s a very good deal in exchange for some protection.” Morgan said in a matter of fact tone.

“There a fewer horses on the Southern Star than times I’ve heard prisoners claim they were afraid of someone behind a badge, then there are the ones who have tried to tell the women they come in contact with what kind of wonderful life they could lead if she would just help them escape. ‘With a woman like you I could be a good man’.”

Morgan sat down and looked at her. “I know. I know the Starr is private property and I know you speak for your father when you tell those men to keep somebody off the place too. I know the only law out there is Johnny’s law and those men follow it to the letter, damn the badge and damn the army. By God it’s the best place to be if you don’t want somebody to find ya and still have a roof over your head.” He followed the last statement with a grin.

“Does Pole know your planning to send him to me?” She asked.

“No, he wanted protection and he’s afraid Phillips can’t protect him.” Morgan replied thinking that might get her attention, but it didn’t or she already knew. “Did your people fill you in on what was talked about?”

“Yes.

I’m not so sure Pole will want to be in my care. You ask him if he’d prefer staying in the El Paso jail or if he’d like to entrust his life to me.”

Morgan grinned a little wider “He see that southern charm of yours shine through out there on the trail Ms. Scarlet?”

“Jimmy and I make a real charming couple. Pole wants to cut a deal, it best be worth my time, because your right about the Southern Starr. If he agrees that he’d rather be with me and Jimmy than in Phillips jail, you tell him if he runs he’ll most likely die doing it. If he’s lying about what he knows I’m bringing back to Phillips.”

“I’ll tell him. I’ll also advise him if he’s lying information will probably be leaked back to his boss that he tried to cut this deal.”

“I didn’t say that.” Scarlet replied.

Morgan smiled. “I will advise my client he can be moved, you and Jimmy will be the ones protecting him, if he tries to run the deal is no longer good and he will be considered a fugitive. If he’s lying he will be returned to the El Paso jail.

Just what happened on the trail that Pole is going to be concerned about you for?”

“Ask him then I’ll verify if he’s telling the truth.”

“Scarlet, just between me and you, who is the Marshal of El Paso right now?”

Scarlet looked at him and drew a deep breath. “The man just wears a badge Ray, I don’t respect it. This is my home; I don’t want my friends afraid to walk the streets at night, but I really don’t know what’s keeping me from riding into Houston and shoving this star right up somebody’s.”

Morgan started laughing “If you go Scarlet can I escort you. It would be one hell of a thing to see.”

“Are you saying it would take two lawyers to get me outta jail?” She half smiled back.

“I’ll have another talk with my client and tell him the terms.”

Scarlet moved towards the door, Morgan hurried and opened it for her.

She looked at him again. “Tell me something Ray, between me and you.”

“What do you want to know?”

“What’s the word around town about me being Marshal?”

“You mean besides the bets if a woman can do the job or not?”

“Yes.”

“You’re not afraid to bring justice Scarlet. That’s what they admire about you. Scott Hart was a good Marshal; he followed the letter of the law. Jon Ross was not afraid to bring justice here, swift and hard. You know what’s right and wrong, you’re fair, much like Ross. You know when you’re not being fair and you let somebody else step up. At least that’s what we see going on with Phillips, except now I know you just lack respect for the man. Law abiding citizens like a Marshal who will do right by them. Some of the men don’t like it because they think you belong in a dress at home, but the women are excited. Except for the one’s that think you should be at home in a dress too.”

“As a lawyer advise me if you need to escort me to Houston.” She smiled again.

“Yes ma’am.” He said pulling the door closed behind them. 

"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #88 on: April 25, 2010, 02:11:35 PM »
Lily left her gun belt on the desk, then picked up the transport chains. With Jimmy covering her, she let Pole out of his cell and chained him - chains between ankles and wrists, and a chain between keeping his hands down to waist-level.

He asked, "Where am I going?"

"For a ride with your lawyer," was all she would answer.

When Morgan drove up his carriage, Jimmy and Lily walked Pole out and loaded him into the back.

Morgan gave Jimmy a minute to mount up, then drove away from the jail.

"Before I take you to the other location, I have to tell you that Scarlet King and James Bradbury will be your guards there. Do you have a problem with that?"

"Those are a couple of scary folks."

"You can have them as your jailers, or Marshal Phillips."

"I'll take them. I don't want Phillips as a jailer, because I think he's going to be ordered to silence me, and he'll do it. He might not wait for orders. Those others threatened to cut heads off of the dead, but I think scaring all of us was just a side-effect. They did make Phillips back down. So I would rather have them between me and Phillips."

"If you try to run, you will be considered a fugitive, and you will not make it off the ranch. If you are lying about having worthwhile information, you will be returned to the El Paso jail. Is that understood and acceptable?"

"Will you be there when I tell what I know?"

"Yes."

"Then I agree to the terms. Those two are scary, but up front about it."

Elegant Ella

1stSgt Fritz King

  • Guest
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2010, 07:56:31 AM »
“Deputy King,” Phillips said, “you may go.”
 
Fritz couldn’t believe his ears.  He’d been dismissed!  It was obvious that Phillips wanted the interview to himself.  Fritz moved to the back of the crowd so he could listen.  The comments would have been amusing if they hadn’t been so insulting.

He didn’t like reporters, but he didn’t like liars much either.  And Phillips was a liar.  And though he wanted the glory, Phillips wasn’t prepared for the questions they asked.  Such as, “why did it take so long for you to respond to the bank robbery?”

Phillips’ first excuse was that he didn't want it to turn into a hostage situation, but that didn’t explain why he wasn't in place to do anything when the robbers left the bank.  Next, the reporters asked why Phillips didn’t know how his own posse knew which way to head out of town. They’d already interviewed the barber and tried to interview Ella, but she wasn't home.  Fritz left before he said something he’d regret.  He turned away and walked quickly back towards the office.   

 “Sonofabitch,” Fritz muttered to himself.  He was not a happy camper.  He was tempted to stop by the Ace first to get that shot Hank offered, but Fritz still considered himself to be on duty.  He’d settle for a cigar and a cup of coffee, once he got back to the office.

Advertisers

  • Guest
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #90 on: Today at 03:57:37 PM »

Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #90 on: April 26, 2010, 10:58:52 AM »
All was quiet at the office. Lily was reading at the desk in the front office. She took one look at him, then closed her book and stood up. She reported, "All is quiet. Your wife was here and left again. I'll come back when dinner comes and cover the office this evening. The coffee's fresh and hot, Mr. Fritz."
 
He poured himself a cup and sat down in the chair behind the desk.

Lily went over to the barber shop to find Eddie, but met him coming towards the office.

"Phillips is on his way to the office, and he sure looks mad," Eddie reported.

"It's just as well I'm not there to rile him more."

"The barber has every issue of the Fireside Companion that's ever come out! He says he hates to throw away reading material, but all he can do with it is store it in boxes, so he's happy to give it away! There's three big boxes!"

"Let's borrow a hand truck from the Ace, and get them home."

A couple hours later, they had the floor of the parlor covered with the papers they were sorting. There was a knock at the door that Bella answered. Eddie and Lily could barely hear from the parlor, but Phillips's voice was easy to recognize.

Eddie and Lily looked at each other in dismay, then swept up the copies of the Fireside Companion in a hurry. They had them back in their boxes, the boxes under a table and hidden by the tablecloth just in time to grab books to be seen reading when Dr. Alan brought Phillips into the parlor.

"Marshal Phillips will be staying for dinner," Dr. Alan told them. Bella came in then, with sherry and light refreshments.

Lily and Eddie left with Bella. It was almost time to take dinner to the prisoners anyway.




Elegant Ella

Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #91 on: April 26, 2010, 11:38:04 AM »
By the rhythm of Archie's breathing, Ella knew he was awake and conscious. She took a cup of water over to his bed, and said, "Welcome to another life. You're among friends, Marshal Witts. Deputy Ambrose Hayes is expected to arrive in a couple days."

"Where am I?"

"My infirmary at the Southern Starr, outside El Paso. It's a ranch owned by Johnny Longknife. He recognized you, so I assume you know him. You were found by the man scouting the robber's camp and taken back to town by my husband, Dr. Coatsworth. You've given us a great deal of worry, but you are on the mend now."
Elegant Ella

Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #92 on: April 27, 2010, 12:51:35 PM »
As soon as Bella called Phillips, Dr. Alan and Jimmy in to eat dinner, Eddie moved the boxes from the parlor to his room.

He soon had "Old Sleuth, Badger & Co." together, and tested his new key on the message Lily had taken to the telegraph office that afternoon.

HAAL HADD HAAM HAAGZ DAAH DABG DABCY DACV DAAJ DAAP DACFZ DAFG DAFD DAAD DAMC DAKB DADG DADH DAAC DBCYJZ FADC FAAC FAAE FADD FAAB FABC FAKLZ FAEHY FAAP FALKZ FAAK FAAY FAAGY FAAS FAFFZ FAFU FAFW FAFV FAFY FBMCZ FAGL FAGG FAFF FABDY FABSZ LAHBZ MAWHZ STOP
LBJFZ MAAHZ

The key worked! The message translated to
pole collins rodriguez sanchez cox evans perez brown in custody STOP
others dead

He went to work putting the other stories together.

Jimmy found Eddie asleep at his desk and shook him awake. "Come on, walk with me to the office so you can walk Lily home."
Elegant Ella

Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #93 on: April 27, 2010, 01:18:32 PM »
Wednesday morning, Lily headed for Tink's office while Eddie and Bella were packing up breakfast for the prisoners. She caught up with them at the office. After the prisoners were fed, Jimmy went home with Eddie and Bella.

Lily looked through the stack of telegrams. One she put on the Marshal's desk in the inner office before she started a fresh pot of coffee. Ella had given her a lot of advice on dealing with Phillips, as well as showing an example when Phillips had come to dinner.  

When Phillips came in, Lily greeted him with, "Good morning, sir. The coffee is fresh and hot."

"What are you doing here? Where's Deputy Washington?"

"He's off duty and gone home to get some sleep. I came to help with breakfast. I'll leave after Deputy King gets here."

Phillips poured himself a cup of coffee and retired to the back office.

When Fritz came in, she handed him a decoded copy of the telegram she had put on Phillips's desk.

FEDERAL PROSECUTOR MORDECAI POWELL ARRIVING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON STAGE STOP
BOOK USUAL ROOM STOP
MEETING TEN AM THURSDAY STOP
FEDERAL JUDGE LAFAYETTE CARTER EXPECTED MONDAY

"We haven't had a federal prosecutor or judge since I've been here. Where do they usually stay?" she asked.

"At the Ace. Tell Hank they're coming. Powell will want to talk to Mrs. Coatsworth and other witnesses after he talks to Phillips. Send a message to her. Have you got the wanted posters on the prisoners?"

Lily pulled a fat folder out of the desk and handed it to him.

Fritz looked at the contents. "You are doing a good job."

"Thank you, Mr. Fritz. I'll be back to help with lunch."

"You need more time than that away from here," he told her, in a serious tone of voice. "I don't want to see you back until dinner time."

"I'll be back in time to cover the office when it's time to meet the stage."
Elegant Ella

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #94 on: April 27, 2010, 10:29:25 PM »
“Marshal Witts” Scarlet said greeting him as she approached with something Ella had concocted for his breakfast.

Archie smiled at her. “Mrs. Coatsworth told me I was at the Southern Starr, is that true?”

Scarlet softly chuckled as she sat next to him. “Here try this.”

Archie eyed the bowl she held “What is it.”

“Something good for you I’m sure.” She said looking at what somewhat resembled runny grits.

“Ella tries to make things taste good but I’m not going to guarantee anything.” Scarlet said holding the spoon to his lips.

Archie swallowed it “I’ve eaten much worse.” He said relaxing a bit “I would have never in my wildest dreams bet I would be lying in a bed at the Southern Starr being nursed by you. I would have more likely bet I’d be face down in the dirt with the barrel of that horse pistol in the back of my head.”

“You never gave me a reason to kill you Archie.”

“Will I be allowed to leave here?”

“You are a guest here. You will be allowed to go when Ella says you can, not before.” Scarlet teased.

He smiled at the remark.

“Deputy Hayes will be here soon. Do you want to see him?” She asked.

Archie raised an eyebrow. “I trust Ambrose. You don’t?”

Scarlet grinned. “It’s true ain’t it?”

“What’s that?”

“Once you’ve studied someone close enough you don’t forget how to read them.”

It was his turn to grin.

“Can I have coffee with cream and sugar and steak for lunch?” he said as he finished breakfast.

“I’ll  see if Ella can disguise this as a steak.” She smiled as she got up to leave.

“Why Scarlet?”

She looked at him questioningly

“Why did you bring me here?”

“Ella brought you here Archie.”

“Longknife let me stay.”

“When Jimmy found you you asked to be taken to Ella. She felt the safest place for you was here. As far as I’m concerned, well all those nights out on the trail when you were tracking me, you weren’t the only one learning about someone.”

“What did you learn about me Scarlet?”

She smiled “You’ll eat fish, but you have to be put near starved to do it.” She said with a wink as she left the room.

Archie looked surprised, she had been a lot closer to his camp than he realized.

Scarlet enjoyed her own quiet breakfast before saddling up and heading back to town. She looked forward to seeing Fritz more than just in passing even if it was work related.

 



 

"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #95 on: April 29, 2010, 11:03:07 AM »
Back at home, Lily found Eddie preparing the carriage for a trip to the Southern Starr.

"I'll ride with Dr. Alan, Eddie. I've got a message for Mrs. Ella. Could you please put her saddle in the back of the carriage?" She saddled her own horse.

At the Southern Starr, Lily relayed the message about the prosecutor and Thursday morning meeting, then went to watch the horses being trained until Dr. Alan was ready to go back.

"Marshal Witts, this is my husband, Alan Coatsworth."

"Thank you, sir. I understand that you are responsible for my survival."

"You are welcome, although you made your survival possible by hanging on to life. I'm going to take the bullet out of your shoulder this morning. Do you want to be chloroformed, or would you rather put up with the pain? It should not take very long, but it will hurt like the dickens."

"I can put up with the pain."

Dr. Alan had a couple of the ranch hands help move Archie to the surgery. Ten minutes later, with Archie's left shoulder feeling like it was on fire from the cleaning out of the abscess that had formed around the bullet, the same hands helped put him back to bed.

Once there, he asked Ella, "Can I have coffee with cream and sugar and steak for lunch?"

"You can have almost anything you want to eat and drink. I would advise against whiskey, though," she replied. "I'm going to have to go into town early tomorrow morning, so I'll ask Rose and Patches to keep an eye on you and feed you."

"Thank you for bringing me here, and everything."

"You're welcome."

She went out to show Lily and Alan the foal that Ruth had delivered, a bay filly.
Elegant Ella

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #96 on: May 01, 2010, 10:05:42 AM »
Scarlet rode the young Medicine Hat, whose name she had changed a dozen times and finally decided to call Spirit. He was half brother to Lucky and their mother had passed many similarities to both colts that she liked. Spirit was a little shorter and heavier muscled than Lucky but he was fast and athletic like his brother. He was spirited but willing to let most anyone ride him and enjoyed going.

Things seemed quiet in town as she rode in. She hoped it stayed that way, at least for a few days. She rode past the Marshal’s office intending to go to the Ace and see if she could find out where Fritz was, she didn’t want to go it if Phillips was there alone for any reason.

“It’s been a few days but I still recognize you.” She heard Fritz’s voice call after her.

She grinned as she spun Spirit around and rode back. “Even on a different horse, you’re good.” She chuckled.

“There are two horses I’ve seen marked like that and if Black Wolf rides into El Paso all hell would be breaking lose.” He said patting Spirit’s shoulder.

Scarlet dismounted and gave him a kiss. “Been missin’ you Sugar, so I thought I’d come and see if I could help you with anything.”

“I’m on duty ma’am.” Fritz said with a sly smile making Scarlet laugh.

“How is your guest?” He asked.

“Oh our guest has been very polite. I think he thought we’d throw him in a hole and he’d be lucky to get bread and water if he was lucky. Bo was over there when I left.

“What’s going on here?” She asked.


"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


1stSgt Fritz King

  • Guest
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #97 on: May 04, 2010, 01:11:56 PM »
“What’s going on here,” Fritz replied.  “Let’s see.  On Wednesday, Phillips asked me what happens to the money claimed as bounties on outlaws.  I’d figured he’d read at least some of the procedures, but wanted to hear what I knew.  I told him that the money goes into an account at the bank and spent on equipment and supplies, like bullets.  I didn’t tell him that he hasn’t been given access to it.  After all, he's only going to be in place for three months!”

Scarlet chuckled.  “I’ll bet that didn’t go over well, did it darlin?”

“No ma’am…not at all.  He asked me how many bullets we needed.  Then he said that a hundred rounds a year should be plenty.  I told him that one part of the reputation of the El Paso Marshals office that keeps more outlaw gangs out is that we are all dead shots.  It takes practice to maintain that skill.  Each deputy can draw up to a hundred rounds a month to use for practice.  I added that some of the deputies also reload, and need supplies such as powder and lead."

Scarlet could imagine that Phillips thought such use a waste.  Then again, he’d been a sailor.  She asked “Is there more?”

Fritz nodded.  I told him that the account also pays for telegraph office fees, the photographer for his services, and the undertaker for his services.  Phillips found it hard to believe that those gentlemen expected to be paid!”

Scarlet replied, “Did you tell him that the fund also pays anyone who rides with us who is not on the regular payroll, and covers medical care?”

“I think that his brain was buzzing by that time.  He walked away muttering “that’s what taxes are for!”       

Offline Scarlet Angel

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1153
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #98 on: May 06, 2010, 10:16:20 PM »
“It’s good for him.” Scarlet grinned.

“The Federal Prosecutor will be here on the stage this afternoon, I asked Lily to let Hank know. Judge Carter will be here on Monday” Fritz said.

“Powell and Morgan always challenge each other. Mother will want to know Judge Carter will be in town.”

“How does Rose know Judge Carter?” Fritz asked knowing most of Johnny’s friends had fought in the wars with him, as far as Fritz knew neither man had served.

“There’s a judge in Houston that is a good friend of the family, they met at one of his parties. He’s fair and I think he’s good at his job. Others don’t always share my opinion because he is fair. He doesn’t tolerate how does he put it…oh yes, conniving misconduct in his court room.”

Fritz half smiled “Sounds like there have been some interesting cases.”

“There’s been a few over the years. He put Marshal Hart and Morgan behind bars once because they starting yelling at each other in the court room. Carter said it was time to pen up the rosters because he was not here to judge a cock fight.”

“It will be interesting to see how Phillips handles all of this.” Fritz replied.

 “No doubt.” She said “I’m going to go put Spirit up and I will be back.” She said picking up the horses reins.

Fritz was going through the wanted posters when Scarlet came back. She refilled his cup, poured her own and checked on the prisoners. Fritz could hear one of the prisoners complaining about the medical care. Then there was silence. He could only imagine the cold, unimpressed look Scarlet gave them.

“Any trouble?” He asked when she came back out.

She tilted her head and gave him that innocent look that he’d learned was not really all that innocent.

“I told him I could dig around and look for fragments that Dr. Coatsworth may have missed. He shook his head no. The bandages are not bloody and he didn’t ask for anything else so I figured he could wait for Dr. Alan to come back.” She replied.

Dr. Alan walked in just as she finished her sentence. There were no complaints heard when he went to check bandages and redress wounds.

Scarlet enjoyed working with Fritz, it seemed like the days went by faster when she worked along with company she enjoyed, especially his. Dr. Alan had come and gone, lunch had been served to the prisoners with no complaints and now Lily was coming through the door to remind them the stage would be there shortly.



"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain


Offline Elegant Ella

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: At Wit's End
« Reply #99 on: May 06, 2010, 11:48:14 PM »
Lily had a stack of telegrams in her hand, including one in an envelope. She dropped the loose ones on the desk, then knocked on the door frame before carrying the envelope into Phillips's office. She didn't linger, but came right back out. Tinker had included a copy of the message Phillips had received in that stack of loose telegrams.

"I'll order prints from the photographer tomorrow," she told Scarlet and Fritz. "The last requests for proof of Jackson's death should show up by morning. I've received over a dozen so far. There have been only two requests on Barnes, and none on Rico or Thomas."

Fritz looked at the clock, and said, "Time to go." Raising his voice, he called, "Marshal Phillips? It's time to meet the prosecutor at the stage."

Phillips stayed in his office, and called back, "I'm busy. Take care of it."

Fritz and Scarlet shrugged. Fritz picked up the file of background information that Lily had assembled and Jimmy's account, to give to Powell to help him prepare for the depositions in the morning.

Phillips read the message he had decoded, wondering who Perry meant as "bounty hunter". "Doctor lady" had to be Mrs. Coatsworth. The rest of the message, about Ray not wanting Archie to talk to the law, caused a little thrill to run up his back. It was the first time he had been ordered to eliminate a threat. He was almost disappointed that nature had taken care of the problem for him, and maybe a little relieved. None of the others needed to be eliminated. He would send the message "Doctor buried him already", instead of anything that tried to claim credit for the death.

Ray probably had agents in town. Phillips winced at the thought of the report those agents would make about his failure to prevent a posse, but then realized that their report would make it clear he had tried to follow orders. Would Ray accept that the failure was his own fault for trying the bank robbery before Phillips had enough time to take control of the Marshal's office?

He decided to read the information he had received about Marshal Ross's deputies. He hadn't read it earlier, preferring to form his own opinions. The folder with that page was in the drawer with the code book. So, Mrs. King had been a bounty hunter, and Mrs. Coatsworth had been a deputy. His respect for Dr. Coatsworth increased, since he obviously had put an end to his wife's delusions. She certainly acted like a proper wife now. It was interesting that Marshal Ross had had two telegraph operators among his deputies, instead of just using the man in town. He needed to learn more about the local telegraph operator, to find out why he had been distrusted.

Before Scarlet and Fritz got back, Phillips came out from the back office, and handed Lily a piece of paper, "Take this to the telegraph office."

"Yes, Sir," she replied to his back, as he returned to his office. She quickly copied the message. When Fritz and Scarlet came back, she headed to the telegraph office. Lily carried both messages home and gave them to Eddie.

Eddie put aside the story he was reading. He tried to put each story aside as soon as he determined that it wasn't the key, but some of the stories just demanded that he read them all the way through. It was easier to avoid getting distracted when Lily was available to help. The two of them had gotten all the magazines sorted and the pages of the different stories marked with tabs of paper before Lily went to the office.

It was easy to decode Phillips's messages, now that he had his own copy of the key. This one read:
doctor buried him already.
doctor lady is not a deputy now.
does Ray want a doctor at the castle.

The latest incoming message was the longest one by far, and the first one that was from more than just CASTLE.
TO PHILLIPS
EL PASO
FROM PW
CASTLE
AAIAZ AALS AALR AALM AALM AAKCZ PBXAZ PBYBZ AAIN AAID AAOW AAKB AAII AAKCZ STOP
AAID AAIN AAKIZ BCOYCZ DCAYYDZ FAIYAZ AALHZ ECQYEZ ECRYAZ SBKYBZ STOP
AAOBZ AAICZ AALM AALS AAKIZ AALAZ AAWYFZ AAIP AALR AAOW AAIN AAJD AAII AALR AALHZ ABRAZ AAOW AAIN AALM AAJD AAIP AAKCZ STOP
DCAYYBZ DCAYYCZ DCAYYDZ FAIYAZ AALHZ ECQYEZ ECRYAZ AANA AALR AALG AALH AAJD AAKIZ AAKB AALG AALH AAJD AAKC AAIDZ FAHFZ AAOS AALR AAOW AAJD AALR AAIDZ AAIP AAIN AAOS AAKIZ STOP
AAEYCZ AAWYFZ GBMDZ GBTBZ GBCZGZ GBUEZ STOP
DCAYYBZ DCAYYCZ DCAYYDZ FAIYAZ GCCCZ GCCDZ AALR AALG AAJD AAIP AAIN AAKMZ STOP
RAAAZ RCJBZ DCAYYCZ DCAYYDZ DCPDZ

There were a lot of repeats in the spelled out words in the message, and repeated words. He thought book code was supposed to be impossible to break without the key book because you didn't have to repeat things. Patches said that patterns of repeating characters were the key to breaking substitution codes. Guessing that the first spelled out word was P O S S E, Eddie started deciphering, and ended up with:

X   posse   X X   archie
ray   X A B C D E X
X X   spy   X X   location   H   castle
F G A B C D E   bounty hunter   X   doctor lady
X X X X X X
F G A B X X X X X H   outlaw
X X G A X

He and Jimmy would look for the key book after dinner.
Elegant Ella

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk

© 1995 - 2020 CAScity.com