"Lazy Creek outfitters, Matt Brady, may I help you?"
"It's me, Matt, Jerry O Leary. Hey, I've got something to run by you."
"It is a mad house down here in corrections. Federal judge Collins had just ruled that we must decrease our prison population by thirty-five percent in the next three weeks. It is a follow-up to his order of last year that the governor chose to ignore. This order has teeth. Every day that the state is over, he will fine the state one-hundred-thousand dollars. I just came from a meeting. The governor has told my boss that he will be dammed if he will just turn these people loose. They came up with a plan to place the class A and class B offenders, the non-violent ones, with citizens who will be responsible for their conduct, in exchange for the convict working for the person for nothing during the term of their sentence."
"Ha, ha, ha. You ought to put all those assholes on a chain gang working in Yellowstone park. Let them live in tents. If it is good enough for the US Army, it seems to me to be okay for some teen age asshole."
"No can do. We would have a thousand lawsuits from the ACLU. Look, the Attorney General has run this idea by judge Collins. Collins said that he would okay its implementation, with the understanding that he would review it in a year."
"The thought just crossed my mind, Jerry. Why are you calling me to tell me this?"
"When we last talked during that fishing trip, you said that you were having a hell of a time keeping wranglers to cook and watch the horses when you were out guiding hunters. I thought that you might be interested in one of these people?"
"How do I know that the son-of-a-bitch won't run off with my horses?"
"That would double their sentence, as well as be a jail break."
"How much control do I have over a guy while he is with me?"
"The orders say; the Convict Trustee shall have unlimited care, custody and control of said convict, including the right to inspect person, possessions, writings, and conversations."
"Well, shit, I'll give it a try. One last question. If I don't think that it is working, can I return him to you?"
"Okay, what do I do?"
"The new prison complex is across the street from the entrance to Warren Air Force Base, just north of Cheyenne, off interstate 25. Can you get here about eleven tomorrow. The people convicted of anything in court the day before arrive here at eleven-thirty. We can pick someone from the computer list. I'll cut the orders for you to pick the person up as they get off the bus, so that they won't even have to go through the prison processing."
"See you tomorrow."
Matt Brady and Jerry O Leary had both graduated the year before from the University of Wyoming with a criminal justice degree. Both had been on the judo team. Matt had spent his summers working for Lazy Creek Outfitters, a small outfit based at Riverton. Matt had fallen in love with the Shoshone drainage of the Wind River Range of the Rockies.
Old man Jake Johnston, who owned Lazy Creek, offered to sell it to Matt. He even carried some of the paper, so that the deal would go through. He liked Matt Brady, as did everyone who met him. A quiet, soft-spoken kid, who was always there when you needed him. Matt found a gem of humor in the most odd things, even cleaning out an outhouse pit. Jake saw something else in Matt. He had a wonderful touch with the mules and horses. He had an instinct as to how far to push a dude hunter, as well as where the game might be on a particular day.
Jerry knew that Matt was a go-to guy, that is why he phoned him.
Jerry handed Matt the computer list with twenty-one names on it. "Here, pick you poison. All we have are the names and ages. The sheriff who drives them here has their files."
The youngest person on the list was Sloan B. Woodman, age nineteen. Matt turned to Jerry. "Here, lets try this Woodman guy. Maybe his name will be a good omen?"
"I've got the paperwork all filed out, just have to fill in the name. There, take the papers with you to building C. Go to admitting. Show the papers to the guard. When the bus gets here, the guard will bring the prisoner to you, along with his papers. Your on your own then. In the papers, there is a sheet to show the prisoner. It explains your relationship. Give me a call in a few weeks to let me know how this is working for you. I could probably send two or three more your way if you want them. Good luck."
"Be in touch, Jerry."
The bus was a half hour late in arriving. It had both men and women prisoners on it. Matt was sitting sipping a Pepsi, with his straw hat tipped back on his head. A burly guard walked up to him. "Here is the folder on this one." Turning to the prisoner, "Woodman, this man is in charge of you now." He turned to return to processing the other prisoners.
Matt sat back on the bench. "There must be some mistake. I'm waiting for a Sloan Woodman. You're a girl."
With a frown, the girl said, "I'm Sloan Woodman. My folks kind of wanted a boy, so they hung Sloan on me. Where are you taking me?"
"Hell, I don't know if I'm taking you anywhere. You were assigned to me under this new program to get prisoners out of the prison. Instead, they would work for someone for the duration of their time. I'm an outfitter. I need a person to be a wrangler, which is to cook and watch the horses for hunting parties in the mountains. You probably wouldn't want to do that?"
"If I say no, what happens?"
"It is not quite that way. If I want to take you, you go with me. If I want to try someone else, you go sit in a cell until someone else wants you, if anyone does."
"How much control will you have over me?"
"Here, read this."
"Right to inspect person and possessions? Would you do that?"
Matt looked at Sloan with a big smile on his face. "You have never been in the mountains on a hunting trip. Let me tell you that the lady hunters want the guide very close by when they are doing their business in grizzly country. I've seen fifty pussies, so yours won't be anything new. As for jumping you to have sex, I give you my word that neither I, nor anyone in my parties will demand sex from you. I'll tell you one thing. When I am in the backwoods for a couple weeks at a time, I would love for someone to wash my back with some hot sudsy water once in awhile. I think that you would want the same. On second thought, I'd be less then honest with you if I were to tell you that I would not want to see you naked. From what I can see of you, in your baggy orange outfit, you are a good looking girl."
"I could not stand being in an twelve by eight cell with three other women. I'll go with you and try my best to be a wrangler."
Matt drove to a Wall Mart. Leaving Sloan in his Ford F350, diesel, crew-cab pick-up, he went in to buy her some clothes. On route 135, just outside Sandy Draw he stopped in a pull out.
"Change your clothes here. We aren't going to tell anyone that you anything but a friend of mine who signed on for the season."
With a puzzled look, Sloan replied. "Thank you for that, Matt Brady, I don't know if you're for real or not, yet, but I like what I see."
At the dinner table, Matt asked. "What were you convicted of?"
"Prostitution. But I am not a prostitute I was railroaded."
With his criminal justice background, Matt knew enough about the system to know that could happen, so he asked. "What happened?"
"I had gone to a photo shoot for prospective models. I became friendly with a girl by the name of Molly Palmer. A week ago, I saw her standing on a street corner. I could not pull over right there, so I parked down the block and walked back to speak with her. A car stopped right next to us. The guy asked, "So how much will it cost me for a half hour of straight sex?"
Molly said, "One hundred, fifty."
Two police cruiser pulled up. We were arrested. Both Molly and I told them that I was not working the streets. However, they found a list of men's names in my purse. All contacts in Hollywood given to me to try to find work. Also, they found my photo shoot album.
The prosecutor jumped on that. I had an indecency conviction a year ago in Florida. During spring break, I had gotten drunk. Like all the other girl. I flashed my breasts. I was unlucky and did it just as a cop arrived.
The judge gave me a year in the can, with a lecture that he would clear the streets of sinners like me. You know what the real irony is in all this? I'm a virgin."
"Ho, ho, ho, ha, ha. Jesus Christ, I've heard everything now. You know, I halfway believe you."
"Why should I lie to you?"
"I should check your pussy to verify your story. Ha, ha."
Getting very red in the face, Sloan angrily continued. "It is not funny. Those jerks have taken a year of my life. I want the dignity of at least one person knowing the truth. It might as well be you, since I belong to you for the next year. Here, God damnit. Look at my hole. I'm a Kotex girl. Not so much as a tampon has been in me, let alone some guy's peter."
.... There is more of this story ...