I'm on vacation so this is being posted a little later than normal. Oh well. I didn't really think anyone would mind. :)
I have been busy even if I am on vacation. Yesterday I played two rounds of ping-pong (three games each) with Grandpa, drove for three hours, made corrections and worked on The Unexpected Request and did some other things that need done before I can publish this book. Today I'll go to a used book store with Mom! I love used book stores.:) Who knows, maybe I'll find some really fun, exciting books. I don't mean the stories are exciting but the fact that we found them. But anyway, that is today!
Quick question: Do you think The Unexpected Request should have chapter titles? Please let me know what you think! Thanks!
I hope you all have a delightful Wednesday and stay cool! (If you can!)
Ty and Carson waited until Sally had disappeared around the corner before turning and entering the jail.
Sheriff Owen was seated behind his desk with a steaming cup of coffee in his hands. “Morning,” he greeted them.
Ty only nodded while Carson returned the greeting and asked about the prisoners.
“Oh, they’re still there. A pretty silent lot, though I think there’s one of them that might crack if we pressured him some.”
“That’d be Shorty,” Ty put in, glancing about the office casually.
“Well, you two gentlemen go ahead and take seats. You might as well get comfortable. You see, I’m eager to hear why those four yahoos attempted to murder you, how you got them and who that pretty gal was with you last night. Who’s talking?” And the sheriff looked at his visitors.
“I reckon,” Carson began seating himself on a chair and crossing his arms, “that Ty ought ta tell, seein’ as they’ve been after him fer years now. An’ that gal, that were Ty’s sister.” He looked at his companion who had remained standing and now had his back to them. “Ty,” he called, “get yerself a seat an’ let’s get ta the story.”
There was no answer from Ty.
“What’s he lookin’ at?”
The sheriff leaned over. “Just the wanted list. Maybe he knows one of them. I checked it last night but none of those rowdies were listed.”
“That’s cause he ain’t with ‘em.” Ty’s voice was low but distinct.
“What’s that?” the sheriff started up and with a stride was beside his young visitor. “You know one of them? Who?”
Ty pointed. “Bartram. They,” and he jerked his head in the direction of the cells in the back room, “work for him.”
“You don’t say,” whistled Sheriff Owen in surprise. “Bartram has a three hundred dollar price on his head. You think he’s around here?”
Ty shrugged and turned away. “Hard ta tell. I reckon not. They want me, an’ want me bad, so I kind’a figure if’n Bartram were here, he’d a been there last night too.”
The sheriff nodded. “What did they want you for?”
For several minutes Ty sat in silence. At last he spoke. “I reckon I still ain’t sure on some things. But now I know Bartram’s an outlaw, things seem ta be fittin’ better. Ya know if’n Bartram’s wanted in any place else?”
“Sure. It seems like he’s wanted every place west of the Mississippi and south of the Missouri. The U.S. Marshall mentioned him last time he was through here.”
“The U.S. Marshall!” exclaimed Ty, and he looked a little startled.
Sitting down, one hand on his holstered gun, eyes gazing vacantly at the floor, Ty thought. Slowly the pieces of the puzzle which had caused him many sleepless nights were beginning to fit together. He still didn’t have all the pieces, but perhaps the sheriff could help. And there was always Shorty. He’d talk if they got him away from Mason and Poker.
The sheriff waited patiently. He could tell Ty was trying to make sense of something. All was quiet in the room as the two men waited for Ty to speak. At last, with a shake of his head, he looked up.
“I still ain’t sure how it all fits together, but I’ll tell ya all I know. It were ‘bout three years ago an’ I were out trappin’ back in the mountains where we live. Bein’ used ta the woods an’ the ways and sounds a the animals there, when I heard a sort a other sound, I reckoned I ought ta go see what it were. Well, I come to a rocky side a the mountain an’ see them snakes and Bartram pilin’ rocks up ‘fore what used ta be a cave as though they was hidin’ somethin’. Well, I jest stood an’ watched ‘em an’ then I heard Bartram say, ‘When things die down we’ll come an get--.’ An’ then he stopped. I knew they weren’t up ta no good. Never did trust Bartram. Wasn’t sure if’n he saw me or jest stopped. The others promised ta guard whatever it were an’ then I must a shifted my foot or somethin’. Anyhow a rock moved an’ every one jumped ‘bout a mile an’ all looked right scared fer jest a second. Then they saw it were me. I reckon they’d a shot me then an’ there, only I had my hand already on my six-shooter an’ I’ve beat ‘em all at the draw ‘fore . . .”
“Well,” Sheriff Owen pressed as Ty left his sentence to die in the air. “I know you got away, but how?”
Even the rumble of thunder and the first spattering of rain on the roof wasn’t noticed by Ty who sat as one lost, remembering a time past, unaware of his surroundings. It wasn’t until Carson shook his arm that Ty was brought back to the present. “Finish the story, Ty,” Carson ordered him.
“Ain’t much left. I drew my gun, an’ backed inta the woods. I knew I couldn’t take on five a them at once ‘less I had ta. Once under cover I jest disappeared. They all tried ta shoot me, but since they didn’t know where I were, they jest wasted ammunition. An’ some a them sure were jack asses. I could’a shot Shorty, Duffer an’ Poker when they were chasin’ me.” Ty looked disgusted. “ Bartram an’ Mason though, they ain’t so reckless. But I heard Bartram tell Mason that they had ta silence me. Weren’t sure how much I saw. An’, I reckon they didn’t want no trouble. I went back ta the cabin an’ found Carson there. Jest told Pa an’ Sally I had ta leave for a while since some were set out ta shoot me or string me up. Carson an’ I set out that night for the Colorado Territory. Weren’t till earlier this year that we got back.”