Author's note: This story is the third in my "Cheaters in" series. The first was Cheaters in Space. Cheaters in Time was the second. My point in doing this series is to occasionally explore the concept of infidelity during different periods in time as opposed to the typical "I came home from work and there was a strange car in my driveway, so I got a PI" scenario. All of these stories have no actual historical value and are done just for fun. So if I got the years or the guns wrong, please forgive me. If you don't like it, don't worry, next week I'll have another strange car in the driveway. Also MOPAR guys I'm only joking. I respect your cars too, just not as much.
The scenery in the windshield went by at an alarming rate, as I passed cars like they were standing still. One of the few pleasures I had left was driving my silver 08 Mustang GT at just slightly past the legal 70 mph speed limit. Just slightly meaning under 110. I heard a chirping sound that I knew wasn't the car. I knew every single throb and ping that the Mustang's engine, tires and suspension made. I also knew every crease in the "Whore Red" interior's leather. I looked over into the cup holder to my right and saw the screen of my iPhone light up. I also saw the smiling face of my just recently minted ex wife. Just recently minted meaning we had our day in court only 3 days ago. And ex meaning if the bitch was on fire, I wouldn't piss on her. But in that wonderfully naive way that only children and extremely beautiful women could manage, here she was calling me, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
I breathed a sigh of relief as the phone stopped chirping after a few moments. I started cussing inside as it started up again after only seconds. I slowed down to a more manageable 80 mph and answered the phone in the most cheerful voice I could muster.
"What the fuck do you want, you skanky whore? You already have half of my money and my house." Okay so maybe I wasn't very polite, but I really was trying.
"Well, I'm in the emergency room, Craig beat me up. And I need someone to come and get me and a place to stay until he calms down." she said.
Craig of course being the guy she'd been screwing around on me with, and the cause of our divorce and the end of our 8 year marriage.
"So why are you calling me Carla? You clearly preferred Craig's presence, Craig's personality and Craig's dick to mine. So your right to call me and tell me about your fucking problems ended 3 days ago."
"I keep telling you the same thing over and over again Michael James Dansen. Craig was only sex, it had been almost 10 years since I'd been with anyone beside you, and I was just curious. The first time with him wasn't good at all, but I thought that maybe it was just because he was nervous or something. My body does that to boys you know. You remember how quickly you came the first time that you and I did it?"
"Carla, I was 19!" I reminded her.
"Whatever," she snapped. "Anyway he convinced me to give him one more chance at my pussy, and you caught us and threw me out. You never even gave me a chance to explain anything. Just threw me out of the house that I picked, and I decorated, and I made into a home for us like I was yesterday's garbage."
"Yeah Carla, you did everything in that house except pay for it. You sat there every day on your perfect ass, while I worked myself silly trying to provide for both of us and keep you happy. And as soon as your cut throat lawyer got that injunction allowing you to stay in the house because you were basically homeless, you moved Craig into my house. If it was only sex why did you need to move him into my fucking house?"
"Because I've never been alone in my entire life," she cried. "I moved from my parent's house into our house. I don't know how to be alone and you left me. And all Craig does is sit there and leave his mess all over the house. He messes it up faster than I can keep it clean. And his nasty friends keep coming over and they won't leave. And there's no food left in the house, so I was going to call and ask you if you could possibly send next month's alimony payment earlier."
"Fuck No!" I snapped. "I could but why would I want to do it? You already got a lump sum payment for half the balance of my savings account. I sent it to you before we even went to court since the terms had already been agreed on. There's simply no way you went through $65,000 in 10 days. It's just not possible."
"Craig bought a very expensive motorcycle," she sniffled. "He also got it customized with several one of a kind parts. I thought it might be good for us and we could take it out on little road trips. It probably wouldn't have been as fun as when you and I went out in the Mustang but I was hoping that since you no longer wanted me, that maybe Craig would start treating me better."
"In other words since you couldn't get your husband back, you wanted to make your boy toy into husband material. That didn't work though did it? Carla sell the fucking bike. Call the police and have Craig and his friends evicted, and find yourself some nice sucker that you can control," I said.
"Well I can't sell the bike, because he wrecked it. And the rest of my money went to pay for part of the damages he caused in the crash. I still owe about $8000. The police won't come, because the neighbors have called them so many times already that I don't think they'll listen to me. Basically I'm just begging you to come back. You're the only man I love. I keep telling you Craig was only a diversion, just an experiment that went terribly bad. None of our friends want to have anything to do with me. They treat me like I'm some stupid whore with the plague. Even my parents look at me like I'm stupid for letting you go. I just want for us... ,"
"Carla, I think I'm getting out of range, I'm going through a tunnel, you're breaking up," I said as I laughed and ended the call. For the first time in weeks I felt really good. A lot of my tension seemed to vanish as I laughed.
After 5 more minutes of laughing so hard I could barely steer the car, I left the freeway and slowed down to a nearly pedestrian 30 mph for the drive through the streets. My Mustang tended to get a lot of attention from the cops and my insurance premiums were high enough. My premiums went up when I got the supercharger even though I hadn't reported it to the insurance company. I think they have psychics working for them. One smart cop had also busted me when he looked under the car and discovered my illegal off road X-pipe. Leave it to me to find the one cop in Michigan who was also a hot rod fan. There was also the fact that certain cars like my Mustang and the Camaro actually looked like they were moving when they were standing still. It was a problem the Chrysler Muscle cars didn't have. The Charger and the Challenger were severely horse power challenged, and so heavy and boat like, that they simply weren't competitive. MOPAR did after all stand for Mostly Old People And Rednecks.
I went into a large office building and stopped at the information desk. The building was huge and I didn't want to get lost. The first meeting I had with Stephen Atherton had been in my condo. The guard at the desk pointed me to a bank of elevators in the rear of the building, and I made my way towards them. I stepped into a waiting elevator car and pushed the button for the 7th floor. Just as the doors started to close I heard a voice asking me to hold the elevator.
The elevators doors stopped closing as I thrust my arm between them. What happened next was one of those moments that you have to be there to truly appreciate. The first thing I saw was a tiny foot in an open toed shoe. The nails on that foot were painted that same shade of red as my Mustang's Interior. If that wasn't a sign I don't know what was. Just seeing that foot, got a rise out of me, though I don't remember ever having a foot fetish. I was already imagining myself massaging that foot and possibly kissing it, when it was followed by the most beautiful leg I'd ever seen. It wasn't thin and angular like my ex wife's legs it was shapely and rounded with a good sized calf. That leg was followed up by an even sexier thigh that was unfortunately cut off by a skirt that ended about 2 inches above her knees. At that moment my concept of heaven had a lot to do with being squeezed between those thighs.
Well rounded hips led to a slightly rounded tummy which itself supported two massive breasts. She was wearing a short suit coat that matched the skirt to form some kind of women's version of a business suit, but I could only imagine the kind of business she'd conduct in that suit. Long, foamy Black hair with just a touch of a wave to it, turned under at the ends, framed a face that while not classically beautiful, was awe inspiring. Her complexion while tan showed a smattering of freckles around her nose. I instantly wanted to kiss those full red lips and probably never stop. Her eyes were a deep shade of brown and I was imagining myself getting lost in them until I realized that she was calmly watching me stare at her. She didn't appear to be put out by my attention at all. In fact she looked at me with a bemused expression on her face.
"So did I pass?" she asked.
"Uhm ... Uh ... what?" I managed to sputter out. My shock at being caught only seemed to amuse her more. My face had to have gotten at least a couple of shades redder, which only made her smile deeper.
"I'm really sorry," I finally managed to get out. "But you're so pretty..."
"For a fat girl, you mean," she interjected.
"No, I meant period," I said seriously. "No asterisk needed. And you're not fat. At least, I don't think you are." At that point I was becoming even more embarrassed. I think she sensed it, because she let me off the hook.
"Well it's nice to be admired," she said smiling, and then turned towards the front as the elevator got to my floor. She got off there too, but thankfully she went in the opposite direction from the one I took. I couldn't help it. Even though I'd already been caught staring at her once, I turned and watched her walk away. I found that her ass was just as incredible as her breasts. As I watched her walk away all of my blood quickly switched from one head to the other. Unfortunately she turned back when I wasn't expecting it and caught me looking again. I just waved goodbye to her and headed for Atherton's office.
I went in and Atherton's secretary pointed towards a chair. She was a slim older woman whose facial expression gave me the impression that being a secretary was just a sideline for her. From the look on her face I was sure that she made her living as a professional lemon sucker. She spoke into a phone on her desk and then looked at me. She made an extreme effort and the outside corners of her mouth lifted a fraction of an inch for a millisecond, it was obviously an attempt at smiling. She wasn't very good at that smiling thing though, and it just made her seem even more creepy. Then her mouth opened and in a voice like fingernails on a chalk board told me that Mr. Atherton would see me now.
Atherton on the other hand was friendly, animated and outgoing. He got up as I came into the room and shook my hand vigorously as if he expected me to rescue him from his secretary, or take her with me when I left.
"Mike Dansen," he said to me, as if I either didn't know my own name, or he needed to recite it to jog his own memory. "Do you want anything to drink? How about some coffee?" he offered. I told him I was fine and just wanted to find out what information he had for me.
"Well like you thought, it is a very valuable piece. I believe that we can make a great deal of money from it at a Firearms Fair or a Gun/Knife show. But there might be a way for us to make even more money, if you're willing to look at other opportunities," he looked at me as he said this. I got the impression that he was trying to read me, and would tailor his pitch to what he thought I wanted to hear. I didn't know if he was trying to come up with the best possible plan for my interests or his own, but either way I wanted to hear both versions and make my own choice of action.
"I'm open to all possibilities, so let's hear both plans," I said.
"Well we need to wait for... ," he began before he was cut off by a chirping from his intercom.
"Mr. Atherton, your second client has arrived," shrieked the secretary through a speaker on Atherton's desk. I wondered how he could stand that woman. Working with her would drive me crazy.
"Send her in," he said sharply into the speaker.
The office door opened and Atherton again rose to meet the new entry. I was sure that the look on my face and the sound of my jaw dropping to the floor was noticeable. The woman from the elevator walked into the room and sat down in the chair next to me. She looked over at me with that same mirthful expression, before turning her eyes towards Atherton and shaking his hand.
"Mike Dansen, allow me to introduce Ms. Samantha Chavaria," said Atherton. It was an extremely formal introduction. Atherton was obviously very old school.
"We've met, briefly," I said extending my hand. She took my hand and shook it gently, leaving me to marvel at the softness of her skin, and the warmth of her body as she looked into my eyes. I found myself wondering if the rest of her body was as warm, because if it was I'd never be able to let her out of bed. Suddenly, I realized that she was talking to me.
"I was just saying that you can let go of my hand any time you'd like to," she said smiling at me.
"Sorry," I said. I was glad that at least she hadn't caught me staring at her breasts again.
"Okay, let's get to it then shall we," said Atherton. "Mr. Dansen, the piece that you'd like me to liquidate for you has drawn a lot of interest from many different quarters. You Have many different possibilities of what you could do with it. Ms. Chavaria represents one such interest, and has a healthy stake in it herself. She has decided to withhold her preference until you've heard the other offers."
As Atherton spoke I heard cash registers ringing in the background. Having to give my skanky cheating whore of an ex, half of my net worth and my house had left me feeling like I needed a quick infusion of cash to start building my retirement nest egg all over again.
"One of the guns you found in your attic has been authenticated, and did as you've claimed belong to your great, great grandfather Samuel Dansen, he was the one time sheriff of a small town in Texas. That was the 1874 SCHOFIELD .44 CALIBER REVOLVER with the ivory grip. It would normally bring perhaps 40 to 50 thousand dollars on the open market."
My heart sank, it was good money especially since I wasn't into guns and it would nearly recoup the amount I'd lost to Carla, but not quite. Also the fact that only one of the guns was valuable hurt a bit. I'd believed that one of the guns was Great Great Grand Dad's working pistol and the other was his special occasion gun.
"The other is actually more valuable because it belonged to your Great Great Grand uncle Jack Dansen. Smiling Jack was an Outlaw who eventually became sheriff of the same small town. That is the matching 1874 SCHOFIELD .44 CALIBER REVOLVER with the polished ebony grips. Together though the guns are nearly twice as valuable. because of the odd circumstances of the brothers lives. And the rarity of their situation. If we sold them to a private collector, we might get as much as 200 thousand dollars. I feel strongly that our best advantage though would take a bit longer. We could wait until the militaria and firearms auction next month and put the pieces up for auction. That does carry a considerable risk but on the other hand, in a full out bidding war you could walk away a very wealthy man." Again his eyes followed me and I wondered whether he worried more about me getting rich or himself. His cut would be substantial either way.
"How much do you know about the history of your ancestors?" he asked.
"Well not very much at all," I said.
"And that is one of the ways that Ms. Chavaria can help us because you see she, like the fourth partner in our little syndicate is sort of related to you." He shook his head at the shocked looks on both of our faces. "If you go back far enough in time I suppose everyone on the planet is vaguely related to someone else," he added. "We have just enough time before our dinner meeting to begin this story, we'll probably have to finish this up next time." He went to a cabinet and extracted three old books. Though the leather on them was faded and cracked, they seemed to be in very good condition."
"I've marked certain passages in each book, so that when read sequentially you'll get the entire story without having to hear all of the events from different and confusing viewpoints," he said. And then he began to read. # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Samuel Dansen's Journal excerpt. May 4, 1875. I arrived in Navarro Texas this morning, tired and hungry from the long ride. It seems to be a pretty good town, but I'm not too sure I'll stay here for long. It doesn't seem to be the kind of place I can settle down and make a life for myself. The misunderstanding this morning in the town square only served to prove to me that I have more to run away from than just Arabella's refusal to marry me. Jack's reputation has extended this far into Texas and several of the townspeople thought that I was him and were immediately fearful of me.
The Sheriff in the town came right up to me and tried to arrest me. I had to show him the letter I got from the US Marshall's office, and signed by the local Judge explaining that Jack and I were twins, and that I had never robbed anything or stolen anything. I don't think he really believed me but he recognized the Judge's signature and decided to take it at face value. That was, provided I didn't make a fool out of myself or cause any ruckus in his town while I'm here. He emphasized "While I'm here."
The countryside around the town seems pretty enough, and there don't seem to be any problems. This might be a nice place to settle down if Jack hadn't gotten to the region before I did. The biggest problem for me is that I'm running low on cash and there don't seem to be very many jobs around, unless you fancy working in the Whorehouse or the Saloon. I wouldn't want to do either. None of the bigger ranches in the area are hiring right now so I'll probably be moving on tomorrow.
Samuel Dansen's Journal May 6, I might be staying here for awhile after all. Yesterday I was coming out of the boarding house I've been staying at when I saw the sheriff talking to a bunch of shady looking hombres. I started walking in that direction in time to see one of them try to circle around behind the sheriff. The one in front of the sheriff started mouthing off and went for his gun. The sheriff plugged him in the shoulder, but the one behind him was going to shoot the sheriff in the back. I had no choice so I pulled my piece and shot him first. It was a good clean shot and a difficult one from that distance. I managed to just shoot the galoot in his hand. He'll live, but he's never going to be able to use that hand for too much anymore. I truly regret maiming the man, but I didn't have a choice. It was either that or let him shoot the sheriff in the back and in cold blood. I guess that's the biggest difference between me and Jack. Jack just does whatever it takes to get what he wants no matter who it hurts. I'm just not strong enough or focused enough to hurt someone just to make myself happy.
Anyway I expected to get thrown in jail or at least run out of town, seeing as how it is unlawful to discharge a firearm inside of the town limits, but the people in the town seemed to think I'd done a good thing and the Sheriff agreed with them. I offered to surrender my pistol until I left town, but he told me that if I hadn't been wearing my piece when it happened, that he'd probably be dead. And he asked me if I'd be interested in helping him out as his deputy. When I agreed, he gave me a shiny new badge and a big thick law book. The money's not great but it'll keep me here, and also let me save a little until I can afford a spread of my own.
Samuel Dansen's Journal June 6, haven't written much because up until now it's been pretty boring around here. I do the same thing every day it seems. I move drunks from the Saloon to the jail where they can sleep it off. Then get them to pay their fines the next morning and let them go. Sometimes it seems like the same guys get drunk every night, and their fines are more like rent so they can have a roof over their heads while they sleep. Lord knows the fine is cheaper than either the boarding house or the hotel, so I might have to take up drinking myself. Something interesting is going on though I don't know how serious I should take it. One of the women working at the boarding house seems to have taken a liking to me. She's a really pretty Mexican woman with long dark beautiful hair and pretty brown eyes. I might like her too, except for the fact that I'm really not sure how I feel about women after all of that shit I went through with Arabella. One thing is for sure though, I haven't thought about Arabella in weeks so maybe I am getting over her.
Samuel Dansen's Journal June 16. Everything changed today. My life is going in a completely different direction than I'd envisioned. One of the duties the Sheriff assigned to me was the task of meeting new arrivals from other places. When the stage comes in I meet them and help them figure out where to go, to get settled in. One of the new arrivals today was a Miss Constance Farmwell. She's going to be the new school teacher at the church school. She's 22 years old, and has blond hair and blue eyes. She's very slim and tall for a woman and must be the prettiest thing I've ever seen. She's the kind of woman I'd marry. The problem is she looks just like Arabella. She might be a bit taller, and a bit smaller up on top, but other than that they could be twins. Maybe all women with those characteristics look alike. Unfortunately, though I spent a great deal of time carrying and fetching for her, far beyond what I do for most new arrivals, even the women; She didn't seem to notice me at all. She kept forgetting my name, and accidentally bumping into me. Perhaps romance might not be in my future after all. # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Constance Farmwell's diary. 16 June 1875. I arrived in Navarro Texas early this morning to start my new life. Leaving the east was the best thing for me, since my family's reputation had been utterly destroyed by my father and brother's penchant for episodes of public drunkenness and gambling. After Dad lost the family home in a card game I had no other choice but to seek my life elsewhere. The kindly priest in our neighborhood parish knew of a priest here in town. The priest here, Father Thompson seems to be starting a school, as this tiny little town labors and stretches towards becoming a legitimate city. As my prospects back east were severely limited, this may be a great fit for me.
I or we, the passengers on the stagecoach were met at the station by the most extraordinary man, I've ever seen. He's the Sheriff's deputy and his name is Sam Dansen. The first time he looked at me my heart started Dansen, or dancing really. He is a tall slim good looking man, with eyes the color of steel, and a truly helpful disposition. I did everything I could to keep him around me today long after he was done helping the other passengers. I even pretended to be a little addled just to keep him around me. I wish sometimes that I was a man so I could be more direct, and stop playing these ridiculous games, but that's what society expects of the modern 19th century woman. As he guided me around town I did notice that a dark haired floozy who works in the boarding house didn't take too kindly to me spending time with him. I'll pray for her though, because he isn't married to her and he may soon be to me if I have anything to say about it. I wonder what kind of house we'll build and where. Exactly how much money does a Deputy make?
18 June. I finally moved into a room at the church today. I couldn't stay in that boarding house another second. Everything there seemed to be working against me. From the very first day I had problems with the staff there. Especially that little Mexican woman. When I first got to my room I needed a bath to soothe my back and aching muscles from that awful stagecoach ride. I swear it felt like my entire undercarriage and all of my feminine parts would be shaken loose from all of the bumping and jarring. After the women had brought the tub to my room and filled it with hot water, complaining and whining the whole time mind you, I started to disrobe. Once I stepped into the tub I noticed that for some reason they had filled the tub not with warm water as I'd requested but with nearly ice cold water with suds over it. The water was also somehow not fresh. It smelled as if fish had been cleaned in it. I was so tired that I didn't realize how cold the water was until I'd sat down in it, only to practically leap out of it as my hind quarters and nether regions nearly froze on contact. Unfortunately just as I stood up, my door blew open mysteriously. It was extremely poor timing that a group of gamblers were just passing my room as I stood up stark naked with my door open. They whooped and hollered and ogled me until I covered myself and closed the door. I had to scream downstairs for a basin of fresh water to wash the fish stink off of me. And naturally it took hours for them to bring the fresh water. For the past 2 days everything in that boarding house just went wrong for me. My accommodations here at the church are much more comfortable, and my luck seems to be improving.
19 June. The town faced a terrible tragedy today. The town doesn't really have a real bank yet, so until now all of the money that people want to save was kept in small deposit boxes under their names in the saloon. Construction on a bank and post office, that will also be the telegraph office was started last week. I guess some of the outlaws around here wanted to steal the money before it gets put into a safe. They robbed the saloon. Someone got to the Sheriff and he went over there. There were five armed men against the Sheriff and his Deputy. None of the Outlaws survived. The bad news for the town though, was that the Sheriff was killed by one of the gunmen. From what I understand he was the longest lived Sheriff that anyone can remember. He held the job for just under 10 months. There was a unanimous election less than 10 minutes after the fight ended. Sam was elected the next Sheriff. His first official duty was to bury the old sheriff. I'm afraid for him. As soon as I can get him to realize that he's meant for me, I have to get him to pick a different line of work. He's always reading that Law book and the town could really use a lawyer. Let some other fool be the Sheriff.
Another thing is that after the fight was over, my rival for Sam's affection ran her large hindquarters over to my man and pressed her voluminous bosom all over him. I might be forced to take a more aggressive stance in my pursuit of Sam Dansen. The danger of his current profession and the increasingly obvious attack by the competition, plus the fact that Sam is now the town's Sheriff, would seem to necessitate it. Add that to the fact that everyone looks up to the Sheriff as a man of authority rivaled only by the priest, in a town with no Mayor, and one can begin to see my dilemma. Every unattached woman in town, some of the married ones and even the whores in the bordello are after my man. # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Samuel Dansen's Journal April 4 1876. I guess considering all of the changes in my life over the past 8 or 9 months I really should have written more. But since I became the Sheriff things have been moving so fast I hardly have time to breathe let alone write. I have 3 Deputies now. All of whom are relatives of Maria Chavaria, that pretty little Mexican woman who used to work at the boarding house, and now takes care of the Sheriff's office and jail. No one wanted the job as deputy after the last Sheriff was killed last year, but she somehow managed to convince her cousins that it was a great opportunity. At first the townspeople weren't that set on it either, racial relations being what they are at this point in time, but since they value their safety, and none of them was up to the job, they grudgingly went along with it. Only a few more weeks left until my wedding. Strange to think that only a year after the debacle with Arabella, I'm again engaged to be married. Stranger still that I have absolutely no idea how it came about. I know things move quickly nowadays but damn. I love Constance far more than I did Arabella anyway.
May 15. I thought that my wedding to Constance would be the happiest day of my life. My parents would be proud that at least one of their sons was making something of himself. The town gifted me with a house and a hundred acres of land. Actually the land is pretty good and the former owner died and no one else had laid claim to it. So, I could have taken it anyway, but they decided to give it to me. Not that I see much of it anyway since I have to stay near town most of the time, but Constance can live there and I'll get a few ranch hands in a few months and start trying to raise a few cattle. Then in a few years I'll retire and run the ranch full time. Anyway my wedding day pleasure was far over shadowed by the bedding night. Constance came to bed with me a virgin, but she didn't shed many tears and by morning I was worn out and she'd tried every move in my repertoire of bedroom shenanigans, including a few I'd learned from the whores. Being married to her is never going to be boring, especially not at night. I did receive a letter from Arabella saying she'd changed her mind and wanted me to come back as soon as possible or send for her so she could join me. News of my success had obviously convinced her parents and her, to overlook the fact that my twin brother is a notorious horse-thief and bank robber. Apparently the news of my wedding hadn't reached her yet, and I can't say I didn't smile a bit as I drafted a rather mean spirited reply telling her that her ship had sailed and I was already married. Good riddance to bad rubbish. She broke my heart so she deserved to have me take a chink out of her pride.
July 8. I'm going to be a father. The words still sound strange even to me. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and find out that it's all been a mistake, but every day Constance gets a little bit bigger and I love her a little bit more.
August 12. I'm extremely glad to be writing this after the events of the last few days. Word had spread throughout the territory that a large gang of outlaws was in the area creating havoc. Until I knew better I ordered everyone in the area to sleep in town at night. And I organized scouting parties to patrol the area and keep a lookout. I needed to know how many men they had and what their intentions were. It would take too long to send for the Texas Rangers if we didn't know when the galoots were coming. Unfortunately they showed up long before we were ready for them. Six of the bastards just rode into town as big as you please and headed straight for the bank. They went in and took all of the money. When I ran into them they were riding through the streets of town. They weren't even trying to escape just galloping through town without a care in the God damned world. The guy in the front was riding one of those big fancy Arabian stallions. That horse was fucking beautiful. I say was because I stepped out of the alley and unloaded my shotgun into it. As it fell it tripped the two men on horseback directly behind it. I then drew my .44 and shot the two men who'd gone down on each side of the guy on the dead horse. Then I leveled my piece at him as he struggled to get up and blew his brains out as well. Served the bastard right. Not only for robbing the bank, but for riding that fancy dam horse. I never would have shot a good honest Mustang like that.
The remaining three gunmen all slowly drew their pieces and took aim at me just as another 10 or 12 of the varmints stormed into town. They were dragging 2 of my 3 Deputies behind them for sport. I thought at that moment looking into the barrels of three guns that my days were numbered. And that I'd never live to see the birth of my child.
"Shooting the lawman wouldn't be in your best interest Bart," said a voice. "Especially since before his body hit the ground, I'd shoot you. I'm thinking you'd best let me and the Sheriff here have a little talk. Meanwhile why don't you take the money back to the bank. I told you we were only coming here for fun, not to work."
If The man called Bart had any reservations they didn't show he immediately put his gun back in his holster, smiled at me and headed back to the bank with his three friends following him. The man who'd spoken to him before got down off of his horse and came over to face me. Even with the bandanna covering the lower half of his face, I recognized it. Especially since it was nearly identical to the face I saw in the mirror every morning. As he pulled the bandanna down and looked at me a smile broke out on my own face as people who were watching through windows or around corners were shocked into showing themselves. Even in these days seeing a pair of identical twins can be somewhat un nerving.
"Sheriff your wife is coming this way," screamed one of the townies.
"Jack help me play a joke," I whispered as we sat down across from each other in the saloon.
I quickly took his black hat and pulled it down over my face while throwing him my White Stetson which he quickly put on. Constance ran into the Saloon, forgetting in the moment that normally she'd never get caught dead in the place. She was very pregnant and still extremely beautiful and every man in the place looked at her with lust. She quickly waddled over to Jack, thinking he was me and kissed him full on the lips. Jack didn't know how to react.
"I just heard, I'm so glad you're alive," she said. "When you get home tonight, I'm going to show you just how glad I am."
"Wouldn't your husband object to that?" I asked out from under Jack's hat which was still covering my face.
"This is my husband," she snapped. Then maybe it was her female intuition or kismet I don't know, but she looked at Jack again. Then she took his hat off and looked closely at his face.
"Who are you?" she asked him. Jack and I both busted out laughing at the same time. I took Jack's hat off and gave it back to him, while Constance just looked back and forth between us. I don't think she enjoyed the joke.
September 6. I really must endeavor to write in this journal more often. Nothing much is going on. The town has gradually gotten used to the idea, that we have a notorious gang seemingly making their home in our small town. The reality of the situation is that after being separated for years I'm enjoying having my brother around. He makes sure that all of his men are on their best behavior while they're inside the town limits, but truth be told there have been several times when having them here has proven to be handy. Two weeks ago for instance we got word of a bunch of cowboys who'd just gotten back from taking their cattle on a long drive up to the railroad yard for sale. They were headed back home and had been hooting and hollering through every town they passed. I'm all for cowboys with their pockets full of money coming into town and spending it, and we all know that working cattle is rough work so they need to unwind a bit after weeks on the trail, but they'd torn up a few small towns and showed no signs of mellowing out. There were 25 or so of them, and there was simply no way that my Deputies and I'd be able to handle them. As usual by the time the Rangers would be able to send a few men to help us out they'd probably be gone.
So again as usual my Deputies and I set out to meet them before they got to the town. The four of us took a position on the path about a half mile out of town and waited. They pulled up when they got to us and asked us what our business was. We explained to them that our small town was a family settlement, and while we'd love to have them visit us, there were certain rules that would apply while in town. I began to outline the rules, which included surrendering all firearms when they entered the town. Their guns would be returned to them when they left. They calmly listened to me and I thought that everything was going fine until one of the biggest of them, said. "What happens if I don't give up my gun? What if I do want to get drunk and run around? What If I chose to fuck every whore in town in the middle of the street? Just what happens, Sheriff? What will you do?" He took a big puff off of a cigar and stared at me then stuck the stogie back in his mouth.
Before he even noticed that I'd moved I drew my gun and shot the cigar out of his mouth, leaving a frayed end very close to his lips. "I didn't get a chance to mention that there's no smoking around any of the children in town either," I said calmly.
"Well maybe you're pretty good with a hog-leg Sheriff," he spat. "I'm not denying that you could probably take me, or any of us. But your problem is that you're seriously out manned. And your Deputies look so nervous that I don't think any one of them is really ready for a gun fight over something so trivial as my boys and me blowing off a little steam. So we might get a little bit keyed up and rearrange your town a little bit. We'll leave you some money on our way out, and all will be well."
"Is all well in Pritchville?" I asked. "That was the town you rode through two days ago. The way I heard it, there were several women who weren't whores, who were raped. There was property stolen or destroyed. There were men jumped on and beaten just for standing up for themselves or their families or their friends. We don't need that kind of visitors, so you either obey my rules or you don't come into town."
"Once again Sheriff," he bellowed. "You don't have nearly enough firepower to stop us from going through your little town and doing whatever the hell we please so..."
Before he could complete his sentence we all turned as we heard the sounds of a group of riders approaching. Jack and his crew rode up right behind us.
"Sorry I'm late, did I miss anything?" asked Jack politely.
"Who the fuck are you?" sputtered the cowboy.
"That's fucking Jack Dansen, I've seen his wanted poster," said one of the cowboys.
"Holy shit it is," said another.