Western Gunfighters #2 featuring Red Wolf

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Western Gunfighters #2 featuring Red Wolf

Post  Nik Havert on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:39 am

"I want that damn redskin strung up!"

Red Wolf looked up from the coup stick drawing he'd made in the dirt floor of his cell at the Sheriff's office. They had taken his totem of Owayodata, god of the hunt and protector of the Cheyenne, but the drawing of a stick with a feather on each end served as a totem for prayer.

A man with a white beard and rich garments was red-faced as he yelled at Sheriff Lynne.

"My boy is laid up with a broken nose and eye socket and..." His voice lowered. "Other injuries that Doc Earl says may last a long time. I want him hanged for heinous assault."

Sheriff Lynne held up his hands. "Mr. Chupp, I understand you want justice done, but we need a trial and - "

"No, we don't," Victor Chupp said. "I bought the roof on this building. I bought all of you new horses when those nags you were riding could barely carry you ten miles. Judge Hollowell's cattle graze on land I rent him. You three witnessed the whole thing, and that's all the trial we need." He pointed at Red Wolf. "That injun hangs tomorrow."

"And will your son hang next to me?" Red Wolf asked.

Silence fell onto the room like a landslide. Sheriff Lynne winced. His deputies, Gordon and Mason, stood from their chairs. Mason, the younger of the two, looked worried. Gordon snarled and then took a step forward before Victor's red face burst with anger.

"I'll shut him up, Mr. Chupp," Gordon said as he yanked the cell keys from their hook on the wall.

Victor put his hand on Gordon's chest. "No. I want to hear this." The rich man stepped forward until his large belly almost touched the bars of Red Wolf's cell. "Why should my son hang?"

"He was raping a woman," Red Wolf said, looking dead center into Victor's eyes.

Owayodata had blessed Johnny "Red Wolf" Wakeley with the ability to run like a wolf, track like a wolf, and fight like a wolf. He could also stare like a wolf. It was this predator stare that he gave Victor Chupp. The rich man's pride began to crumble and his fingers trembled at his sides.

Victor turned away, laughing to disguise his shaken confidence. "There was no woman there."

"Her name was Suzy Lee," Red Wolf said.

"Suzy Lee Flowers?" Mason asked, his voice laced with worry.

"Her father was recently injured at the mill," Red Wolf said.

Mason grabbed his hat from a wall hook. "That's Suzy Lee Flowers! I'm goin' to check on her!"

"Mason, wait!" Sheriff Lynne called for the young man, but he was out the door before he'd finished speaking.

Victor poked a thick finger into the Sheriff's badge. "See that it gets done tomorrow morning, Sheriff. We'll make a show of it. The town needs to know that you do not mess with me or my son."

"Don't you worry about it, Mr. Chupp," Gordon said.

"Thank you, Gordon," Victor said. He looked back to Sheriff Lynne. "That young man has a bright future, Howard. l can see him taking your place someday."

He walked out, leaving a frowning Lynne and a grinning Gordon behind him.

"Go find Mason," Lynne said.

"He'll be back," Gordon said.

"We don't need him out stirring up trouble. Go find him and bring him back."

Gordon huffed, but grabbed his hat and walked out the door. Lynne sat on the edge of his desk and looked at Red Wolf, who hadn't moved from his cross-legged seated position the entire time.

"Victor Chupp is a rich and powerful man," Lynne said. "There are a lot of natural springs around here. The railroad relies on the waters from those springs. Chupp owns most of the land where the springs are, so he controls a lot of the water around here. He and Big Mike Rogers are bitter enemies. Big Mike owns the mill and employs most of the people around here. Rogers needs some of Chupp's water from time to time and he gets charged an arm and a leg for it. Chupp keeps trying to buy Rogers out, or at least make things uncomfortable for him to get him to cave in, but I gotta hand it to Big Mike. He's standing his ground. Chupp's boy, Kenny, is a damn louse. He's a spoiled rich kid who knows he can get away with anything because his father owns most of the town. He's beaten up whores before at the hotel, and I think he raped and killed a Mexican woman down in Tucson, but I could never prove it."

"Why are you telling me all of this?" Red Wolf asked.

"I thought you should hear it, since you're to be hanged for heinous assault in the morning."

The office door burst open. Lynne spun from the desk and grabbed his gun, nearly drawing on Mason.

Lynne let out a deep breath. "That's a great way to get shot, Mason."

Mason was almost out of breath, and he held an envelope in his hand.

"Suzy Lee told me everything, Sheriff. Kenny Chupp did try to rape her. He and Billy Connors and Lee Gomez."

"You heard Victor. You know how this is going to play out." Lynne eyed the envelope. "What's that?"

"A messenger gave it to me on my way back here. He said he was from Big Mike and to give this to the guy with the wolf head."

Red Wolf stood. Mason walked to the cell, and Red Wolf noticed he did not avert his gaze from the wolf's glare. Red Wolf held out his hand through the bars of his cell. Mason put the envelope in his hand.

"Thank you," Mason said. "I've always been sweet on Suzy Lee."

Red Wolf clasped the man's forearm. Lynne's gun hand sprang open near the handle of his Colt revolver. Mason gasped, but did not look away.

"You have strength within you," Red Wolf said. "Remember this as you seek justice for those you love and in your charge."

Mason, barely twenty years old, clasped the Cheyenne warrior's forearm. Red Wolf had seen the look in other warriors who became warriors first by circumstance and then by choice. They nodded once.

Red Wolf stepped away and opened the envelope.

"Do you need me to read it?" Lynne asked.

Red Wolf shook his head. The Wakeleys had taught him to read, write, and even how to do some multiplication and division.

"Big Mike wants me to meet him five miles west of town," Red Wolf said. "He says that he needs help or the mill will be closed and sold. It has to do with some men named Hahn and Akers." He held up three twenty dollar bills. "And there is money for you and your deputies to keep quiet about it, Sheriff."

"We can't just let you walk out of here and go after Hahn and Akers," Lynne said.

"Who are they?" Red Wolf asked.

Lynne pointed at two wanted posters on the wall behind his desk. One was for Floyd Hahn and the other for Peter "Petey" Akers, both wanted for theft, forgery, robbery, counterfeiting, fraud, and robbery.

"Do you think they robbed Big Mike?" Mason asked.

"If they did, why wouldn't he tell me about it?" Lynne asked. "Take the letter and put it with his belongings, Mason."

"What if he escaped?" Mason said, the young nervousness in his voice gone.

"Don't be stupid, Mason," Lynne said, although Red Wolf could already see the Sheriff thinking about something.

"Sheriff, you know it's wrong to hang him for givin' Kenny Chupp what he's had comin'. Big Mike's the only man holdin' Victor Chupp from ownin' everything in this town. If we've got a chance to help Big Mike, we should do it."

Lynne rubbed his chin. "How he's going to esacpe?"

Red Wolf pulled the derringer from the arm wraps on his left forearm. He pointed it at the two men. "Tell them I threatened you with this."

Mason's eyes widened. "How did I miss that?"

"You will not miss the next one," Red Wolf said.

Lynne unlocked the cell. "Mason, get his stuff. The derringer works for part of the story, but they'll ask why two men with bigger guns didn't shoot a crazy redskin."

"Of course," Red Wolf said. "You are right."

"Right about what?" Mason asked as he handed Red Wolf his wolf headdress, tomahawk, bone knife, and coup stick. Red Wolf tucked the knife into his left boot and the tomahawk into his belt. He put on the headdress and then punched Mason in the face and hammerfisted Lynne to the floor with the same hand. Mason fell to the floor unconscious. Lynne, clutching the side of his face, drew his gun and slid it a few feet away from him.

"That looks better," Lynne said.

"Sheriff, I can't find - "

Gordon had walked back into the office to see Mason knocked cold and Red Wolf standing over Sheriff Lynne. Red Wolf locked eyes with him. He saw the fear that the wolf's glare brought to many men. Gordon's bravado melted from him as his face turned white. He reached for his gun. Red Wolf threw the coup stick like a spear. It cracked Gordon in the chest and stumbled him backward. Red Wolf tackled him through the open door and out into the street. Gordon lost his breath and Red Wolf drew the deputy's gun to crack him across the face with the handle. Red Wolf emptied the gun, threw the bullets in one direction and the gun in the other, and then ran, leaving the unconscious deputy behind him in the street.

He went back to his camp. Pinebark the wolf was waiting for him there. He'd brought Red Wolf a rabbit to eat. Red Wolf scratched Pinebark's ear, skinned the rabbit, salted the meat, and packed it in leaves so he could roast it later. He dug up the Winchester rifle and then headed north to meet with Big Mike.

The man was at a small fire near a clearing in some pine trees. Pinebark circled one way while Red Wolf moved the other to check the area for any other men. When they found none, Red Wolf stepped into the clearing.

"You sent for me?"

The man stood. He was dressed in fine clothes, but his boots had bits of sawdust on them. The top of his head barely reached the middle of Red Wolf's chest.

"You are Big Mike?"

The short man looked up at him. "At your service. Ready to go to work?"

TO BE CONTINUED!

Nik Havert

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Re: Western Gunfighters #2 featuring Red Wolf

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:40 pm

You make it look so easy, man. You don't waste words and your plots just flow so naturally. If I didn't know better, I'd say you have a thing for Westerns.
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Paul E. Schultz

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Well done

Post  Mechajared on Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:34 am

I could literally see it all unfolding in my head, you really do know how to set up a scene.

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Re: Western Gunfighters #2 featuring Red Wolf

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