Western Gunfighters #1 featuring Red Wolf

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Western Gunfighters #1 featuring Red Wolf

Post  Nik Havert on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:38 pm

Johhny Wakeley did not fear death.

The man known across the West as Red Wolf was to hang in the morning for what Sheriff Lynne of Bellemont, Arizona told him was a "heinous assault" on a man named Kenny Chupp. Red Wolf thought Kenny Chupp's assault on the woman was a worse crime, but he knew the sheriff had a duty to uphold.

And he knew that, once he had passed from this world, he would hunt alongside Owayodata - god of the hunt and protector of the Cheyenne. He had been chosen by Owayodata to be his champion in this world. The wolf-headed god had come to him in a dream when he was a teenager. He blessed him with the ability to track like a wolf, run like a wolf, and fight like a wolf.

The sun had barely set when he came into town to trade rabbit pelts for chicken soup. He tended to stay away from towns, but there were times when he longed for chicken soup. It was one of his fondest memories of his white parents. He'd tried to replicate his white mother's recipe using game and wild herbs, but he could never get it right. He'd been adopted by whites when they found him as an infant alongside his Cheyenne parents who had died of cholera. The Wakeleys raised him without predjudice, taught him their language, and some of their customs until they were killed. They had been in a wagon train that was raided by Cheyenne warriors. The warriors, seeing a Cheyenne pre-teen boy with whites, thought the Wakeleys had kidnapped him. They killed his white father with a buffalo's jaw bone and shot his white mother with a Winchester repeater rifle as she ran for the hills. Johnny Wakeley pulled the warrior down from his horse and beat him to death with the butt of the Winchester before the other warriors subdued him. He was raised as Red Wolf by his native people after that. He kept the Winchester. He had taken the task of bringing peace between the Cheyenne and the whites, and righting injustices done by both sides.

He heard the woman's pleas from behind the blacksmith's shop as he reached the edge of town. He moved through the shadows and saw a young woman on the ground, trying to crawl backwards as a man with a handsome face and fancy clothes tore at her hand-me-down dress. Two other men stood behind their rich friend. They were all laughing and they were all drunk. They all wore guns on their right hip.

"Come on, Suzy Lee," the rich man said as he opened his pants. "You just let me and I'll give you some money. I know you need it since your old man got that cut on his leg at Big Mike's mill. He can't work, and I'm guessing those supplies you just bought are only going to last you a month."

The woman stopped her crawl for a moment. Red Wolf could see her weighing the options in her mind.

She slapped the rich man. Red Wolf smiled.

The rich man shoved the woman to the ground. He snarled down at the woman as he ripped open her undergarments. "Stupid, Suzy Lee," he said. "Real stupid." The rich man's friends laughed louder. The first rubbed his hands together like he was anticipating a hearty meal. The second man rocked back and forth on his feet, anxious to have his own fun.

Red Wolf moved as quiet as his namesake, coup stick in his hands. The coup stick, a six-foot staff with hawk feathers tied at each end, was a totem of Owayodata. The feathers represented the snout and tail of the wolf and the staff the wolf's body. He had the coup stick, a tomahawk on his belt, a bone knife tied to his left mocassin boot, and a one-shot derringer hidden in the armbands on his python-like left forearm. He'd buried the Winchester at his camp outside town for safekeeping until he returned. He figured the coup stick would be enough.

He swung the stick up between the first man's legs. The man dropped to his knees and gasped for breath. The second man grabbed his gun, but froze when he saw Red Wolf. Red Wolf had seen this fear many times in other men. They did not know how to react to a man with a tanned wolf's head, ears, upper jaw, and teeth atop his head. Many thought Red Wolf was Owayodata himself - a man with the head of a wolf. The man finally drew his gun, but Red Wolf swatted it away with the coup stick and then brought the same end back across the man's face, knocking a rotten tooth across the alley.

The rich man, still on his knees, drew his gun and fired. Red Wolf had already moved behind the rich man, however, and the shot only struck a rain barrel at the corner of the alley. Red Wolf cracked the man's hand with the stick. He dropped the gun and his cry of pain was cut short as Red Wolf struck him across the face with the coup stick, swinging it like an axe. The man fell back, clutching his broken nose and screaming in pain. Red Wolf spun the stick in a backward circle and slammed it into the man's exposed genitals.

The first man had regained enough breath to reach for his gun. He stopped when he heard the growling behind him.

Owayodata had sent many wolves to watch his champion. Some would lead him to good hunting grounds and then disappear. Others, like Pinebark, would stay with him a while. Pinebark had strolled into his camp, sat down across from the fire, and stared at him without blinking. Red Wolf gave him one of the rabbits he'd caught. He named him Pinebark because his fur matched the color of the pine tree bark in that part of the state.

The first man made the grave mistake of trying to outdraw Pinebark. The wolf latched onto his forearm and dragged the screaming man to the ground. The man tried to get out from under the wolf who weighed almost as much as him as it scratched at his back and bit the back of his neck.

Red Wolf smacked the rich man's groin again with the coup stick. The man tried to crawl sideways, but Red Wolf hit him again, causing the man to curl up into a ball.

"You will not rape again," Red Wolf said as he hit the man a fourth time. He wound up for a fifth stroke.

"Drop the stick, redskin!"

Red Wolf turned to see three lawmen behind him. The one with the sheriff's badge pointed a double-barreled shotgun at him. The two deputies held revolvers at the ready.

Red Wolf looked to his right and then his left. The first man was a bloody, whimpering mess. Pinebark had disappeared. He was glad for it. Whites tended to shoot wolves on sight. The second man hadn't moved since he had lost his tooth.

"They were raping this woman," Red Wolf said.

The sheriff seemed stunned by his command of English, but kept the shotgun aimed at him. "What woman?" The sheriff asked.

Red Wolf turned around and saw the woman had fled during the fight. He imagined that she had been terrified enough during the near-rape and then more so when a shirtless Cheyenne warrior with a wolf's head atop his stepped from the shadows.

The younger of the two deputies ran to the rich man. "Sheriff! This is Kenny Chupp!"

The sheriff frowned. "Damn." His fingers flexed on the shotgun and he looked like a father trying to hold back screaming at a child. "Damn...You're coming with us, injun. Gordon, get his stick and tomahawk. And take that damn wolf hat off him so I can see his face."

The other deputy stepped forward. His gun hand trembled. Red Wolf handed him the coup stick and then held up his hands. The man, Gordon, took the tomahawk from his belt. Red Wolf felt a hand on his left ankle. He looked down to see the younger deputy pulling the bone knife from his boot.

"Don't forget this," the younger deputy said as he handed the bone knife to Gordon.

"Thanks, Mason," Gordon said. He yanked the wolf head off and stepped back to look at him. He chuckled. "Just another injun."

Mason put shackles on Red Wolf's wrists behind his back. Red Wolf grinned.

Gordon stepped forward, much braver than before. He jabbed the barrel of his Colt under Red Wolf's chin.

"What's so damn funny?" Gordon asked.

Red Wolf said nothing, but he was bemused by the fact that Mason had missed the derringer in his armbands.

TO BE CONTINUED!

Nik Havert

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Re: Western Gunfighters #1 featuring Red Wolf

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:58 pm

I've always had a soft spot for Marvel's "forgotten," or rather neglected Western heroes, even more than DC's. By doing Red Wolf an injustice, you have done him justice, my friend. Hopefully one day you'll do Ghost Rider as well.
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Paul E. Schultz

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Re: Western Gunfighters #1 featuring Red Wolf

Post  AndyWright on Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:38 pm

Great start. Definitely have me sucked it!
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AndyWright

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Re: Western Gunfighters #1 featuring Red Wolf

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