Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jack in Great Bend, Ks.

September 1872 Indian Territory

Jack knelt down just below the ridgeline of the hill, few trees and brush helping to breakup the outline of him and his horse. As Jack surveyed his back trail, he saw the men who had been chasing him for three days. He had worn out his welcome in the Texas panhandle when the buyer of the cattle he had rustled gotten greedy and began to try to renegotiate the price of the herd. An argument had ensued and the man went for his gun. Jack had not beaten the man to the draw, but the fellow's first bullet had missed. Jack took steady aim and put two rounds in the man's chest.

Having ridden up into Indian Territory, Jack had thought the three men would have given up the chase, but this little posse was like a dog with a bone. They were not about to give it up. "Well Jack, only one thing left for you to do." With those words Jack took his bedroll and unwrapped the double barrel shotgun. Kneeling down he checked to make sure both barrels were loaded. Pulling his pistol from its holster, Jack laid it on a rock next to his knee.

The three men rode along slowly looking for any sign. They moved to within 20 yards and Jack fired a barrel at the lead man. The horse reared and took off at a dead run. Immediately Jack fired the other barrel in the general direction of the other two. Dropping the shotgun Jack grabbed his pistol and fired two quick shots at his pursuers. Both men dug their heels into their horses to get out of range. Jack watched as the men rode hard and fast after their companion. Jack reloaded all his weapons then slowly, his eyes flicking here and there to watch for a return of the posse, he moved to the trail and saw some blood. Which ones were hit and how bad, he had no idea, but with wounded to tend to, he had bought himself time. Remounting his horse, Jack kicked it into a trot and rode north.

May 1873 Great Bend Kansas

Jack walked into the Town Marshalls office, which was empty of furnishings save for a table, two chairs and a heating stove. A man sat at the table, a coffee mug and a hat with a red star drawn on it sitting at the edge of the table. Looking up at Jack he said, "I'm Marshall Gainsford. What can I do for you?" Jack pushed his hat back off his forehead as he replied, "I'm Jack Landar. The hotel manager said you might have need of a deputy." Gainsford studied Jack for a moment, "That your willing to do the job says a lot. You have any experience as a peace officer?" "No sir", Jack said, "I don't, but I'm willing to learn." Gainsford nodded once, "Alright, get yourself some red paint and draw a red star on your hat. We don't have any badges. I reckon you could cut one out of tin can, but I find this works just as well."

July 1873 Great Bend Kansas

The sound of a gunshot followed by several more shattered the night air. Jack took off at a run in the direction of the shot and coming up to the Long Horn saloon, he saw 5 men one of whom, a cowboy from the look of him,was sitting in the street, blood oozing from a wound in his leg. The other two cowboys were holding pistols leveled at two buffalo hunters, who in turn had their own weapons leveled at the cowboys. Jack leveled his shotgun in the general direction of all 5 men. "Drop your guns boys. Do it, do it now." One of the hunters turned toward Jack, "Stay outta this deputy. We're gonna teach the goddamn Texans they can't come round here and order everbody around." Jacks eyes narrowed, "Bill Carter, you just settle yourself down. Now all of you drop your guns on ground right now." All 5 men looked one to another then at Jack and the big barrels of the 12 gauge shotgun pointed in their direction. Slowly they all laid their weapons down. "Thats better", Jack nodded to a man who was watching from saloon door. "Jim, you come on out here and pick up these weapons. Now you 5 start walking down the street, I'm going to let you all cool off in the jail. Just so you know, anyone tries to run, I'm going to start shooting and this scatter gun will get the runner and several of the rest of you." With their heads down the 5 began trudgng down the street.

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