"What do you mean, I can't bail him out? I've got the money right here to do it," Martha Harper baulked as she glared at the sheriff.
"You heard me. The judge said no bail this time. He's had enough! As the charges include attempted murder, he's keeping your boy, so he can't intimidate the witnesses like last time," Leo Tanner replied.
"He has no right..."
"Mrs. Harper, the judge is the one who does have the right. The law gives him that right. Now I think you need to just git on home. And go straight home. I don't want to be putting more of your family behind bars for violating any restraining orders. That means no going to Calloway's store, Miss Mason's place or any of the other half dozen places that don't want you there!"
"I'll go where ever I damn well please and no judge can tell me otherwise!" Martha yelled at the man.
"Then when people call me to tell me that you are violating those orders I'll put you in a cell right next to your boys! Do you understand me Mrs. Harper?"
Mrs. Harper glared at the man before her, then turned on her heels and left, followed by the rest of her family that had come in with her.
Leo counted to ten after the Harpers were gone then let out a big sigh.
"She ain't gonna just sit back and let you put her boys away again, boss," said one of the two deputies.
"I think she's gonna be a big problem. When she gets a burr under her butt there just ain't no stoppin' her sometimes," continued the other deputy.
"I know. With two of her boys in here, she's not going to sit back and let the others handle things like in the past," replied Leo.
"You know, boss, you should call that there Mason lady. Give her some warning," stated the first deputy.
"Might be a good idea at that," Leo agreed.
"You might just want to take a drive up that way. It's a nice looking area after all," added the second deputy. He had a silly smile on his face.
"That's true, that's true. And it has been a bit since I did a thorough checking of the area. I've heard tell there's been some heavy poaching in that area ... yes, I'll just take a trip up to that area and check that out," Leo said with and equally silly smile.
That was too much for all of them and they cracked up laughing. When it was over Leo slapped his men on the back and walked out of the office.
Linda had just returned to the house after another circle around the clearing. She was even thinking about calling the lawyer to find out if they had hired people that liked to trap as there were so many snares around.
That was when she saw Trap's ears twitch then she heard the calls of other wolves. The first was far off put then another howl was closer.
"Damn, who ever they are, they're coming fast. Trap stay in the house or go out the back. I don't want you to be seen, Ok?"
Trap just growled and stood next to the door. Linda knew he wasn't going anywhere.
Linda grabbed her rifle and walked out the door as the large truck came to a stop with men from the back and a woman from the cab piling out.
"That's far enough!" yelled Linda.
"You BITCH! You got my sons arrested! You're going to go with us and drop the charges so I can..." Martha started.
"Lady, I'm not going anywhere with you! I take it your Mrs. Harper? Well as my father once told old man Harper many years ago," Linda's voice grew louder, "Stay out of the forest and STAY OFF MY LAND! From this point on I will shoot any of you I catch trespassing or poaching!"
Martha Harper sneered, "You think I'm scared of your little threats missy. This is my territory so get the hell out of here while you can still breathe!"
Linda heard a growl behind her and then Trap walked out to stand next to her.
"WOLF!!!" yelled everyone. All the men jumped back into the bed of the truck and several came up with rifles in hand.
Linda quickly had her rifle to her shoulder where she fired three times, each time hitting just above the trigger on the body of the rifle or just in front of where the hammer would strike.
"Drop them. My next shots will be between the eyes of everyone holding a weapon."
"There's a fucking wolf next to you!" yelled one of the men.
"Be glad he's not next to you. I don't think he could resist the urge to rip out your throat."
Martha glared but remained still, "Well you just gave me what I needed to get rid of you. Keeping a wolf is against the law."
"So's trespassing and violating a restraining order. But as to my friend here," Linda chuckled, "I'm not keeping him. He's as free as anyone, even more so. This is the wolf your boys trapped the other day. He came by to say thank you to me. However, I don't think he's the one you should be worried about."
Martha cautiously looked around to see two of the biggest wolves she had ever seen standing to either side of her.
"Mrs. Harper, these are the owners of this territory. I'm sure they're tired of trying to stay out of the many traps that your family has placed over the years. I, like my father will not allow any more poaching. Stay off my land and out of the state forest. If I find any more traps I'll take them to the sheriff where I'm sure DNA and prints can be found.
"So to be kind, I'll give you this chance. Have your boys toss out all of their weapons from the back, and I do mean all! Then get in the cab and leave! Now!"
Trap growled and barked a little and the two big wolves closest to Mrs. Harper backed off.
Martha started moving slowly to the door.
"The weapons!" Linda said.
Martha turned and was going to say something when she heard a growl come from way too close for her liking.
"Toss um!" Martha ordered.
The men looked at each other then out at the wolves. Finally they dropped several rifles and a few pistols out on to the ground next to the truck.
"Now drive out of here slowly and when you enter the woods, floor it and don't come back," Linda said.
Martha got into the truck and it started out making a loop then headed out, all the while glaring back at Linda.
Linda stood there watching and listening as the truck drove down the drive. Then she watched as several of the wolves headed off into the woods and a few others went down the road. That was all Linda could take and she moved to the steps and sat down.
Trap came up to her left side and leaned into her. Linda nelt and draped an arm over him.
"Damn, I don't want to go through that again. That was just too close," Linda said after taking a deep breath, "Trap, I hope you tell the others thank you for me."
Trap brushed his head against the female to reassure her. He could feel the fear that was coming from her and he didn't like it. Just as he was thinking of calling a thank you to the others, he heard another of those horseless conveyances. Trap gave a growl to let his female know just as one of his brethren howled. Linda quickly stood.
"Shit! Not another one. I just hope it's not those idiots. Trap you should hide, just in case."
Trap did move but it didn't matter anyway as the sheriff's SUV came to a stop and he got out.
"LINDA! You ... HOLY SHIT! Linda don't move! I'll..."
"It's alright sheriff. He's a friend. Now to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?"
Leo swallowed but didn't move, "What if he bites you? He might have rabies."