Sunday, October 22, 2017

Shiloh, Rough Draft Chapter 5 "Friends"

Friends,


Michael felt cool water bathing his face, as the dream fading, he finally opened his eyes to brightly lite room and a soft hand caressing his face.
Looking around his eyes finally adjusted and he saw a beautiful Blond woman bending over him...

"Your finally awake," she said to him
It took a minute for the words to have meaning to him and with a scratchy voice he said "Ya"
"Well you've been in and out for a few hours, first we had to sitch up that nasty cut on your head and then we had to break the fever.
Michael just stared at her, trying to remember what had happened.
The Doctor said you looked like you'd been through hell and back."
"My horse, Sheol"
'He is fine, he is at the livery stable" She said
As she talked she stroked his forehead with the damp rag as if she had been doing it forever.
"My name is Michael"
"I'm Gabriel"
Michael laid there for a minute before it registered ..."Gabriel"
Michael all of a sudden felt out of place...
Trying to sit up brought the feeling he was going to throw up...
Gabriel pushed him back down "Michael if you must get up do it slowly the Doctor said you might be dizzy at first"
Michael laid there for a minute before trying again slowly.
"Thanks, Gabriel"
Michael finally was able to sit up by himself.
Closing his eyes to chase away the dizziness he finally said.
"Do you a Ben"
A shadow felt over Gabriel's face... "Yes, Why?"
Michael wished he was anywhere but here...
"Ben came to my place badly beaten and gunshot"
Gabriel's hand went over her mouth as she gasped "Oh no"
"I helped him get better but when I was in town, some Men came and, well... Ben is gone Gabriel, there is no easy way to say this but those Men called themselves his brothers.
Gabriel burst out crying "Nooooo"
"I'm sorry," Michael said
"I should have known those men would be back"
Choking back a sob "Michael no one knows that"  Gabriel said.
She leaned into his chest sobbing more
Michael felt awkward but put his arms around her as she cried
Finally pulling back from her, Michael said, "Now they are after you"
Gabriel said, I don't care anymore, Ben was my life.
"Michael I don't think I can go on anymore without him."
"Gabriel you have too, we need to finish what he starts, if not for him then for you, this is what he would have wanted."
Gabriel looked up at Michael's concerned face, searching for some kind of hint finally she asked
"We?"
Michael looked away for a minute trying to hold back the fury he felt for those men who killed a mere boy and a brother.
Turning back to her he said "I made a commitment to help you get settled on the land that's on that Deed"
Gabriel gasped "That was his plan, he said he would give me a home"
"Yes, Ben was on his way back from Idaho City assayers Office with the Deed his mother had left for him when his so-called brothers caught up with him"
"What about you Michael, how did you get that cut to your head?"
"I was grazed by a bullet on the way here, some of the General Whitaker boys caught up to me"
"There is something I need to tell you, Michael"
Touching his head Michael felt a little woozy
"Are you ok?" Gabriel asked
"Yea, I'm just a little light headed"
"You were saying?"
"It's probably nothing but a few nights ago I saw a cowboy watching my room from the street"
Michael thought for a moment "It's probably the one they sent ahead to watch you"
"Watch me?"
"Yes they want to end it here, and get the Deed from us," Michael said
"Where is the Deed?"
It was in my saddle bags,"
Michael was concerned and started to stand
"Hush Michael sit, the bags are safe"
"Where are they?" he asked
"At the front desk they have a safe and they are in there with a bag," She said
"Thank God, Michael whispered"
"Why?"
"The Deed and some personal stuff are in those bags"
"Do you want me to fetch them?" She asked
"If you could Gabriel, Thank you"
While she was gone Michael did an assessment of the room, Checking window, field of vision, hallway for escape routes.
The old habit was hard to break and it felt good to exercise them again.
Michael was laying down again when Gabriel got back with the saddlebags and the front desk clerk was helping with everything.
Michael could tell the boy was smitten with her and who wouldn't be the girl was very pretty in the raw sense of the word, you could some hardline that you would see in any woman that grew up in the west as she had done.
As he watched her he felt guilty of even think what he just did...but she was beautiful.
After the boy had left, Michael opened the saddle bag that should of contained the Deed. 
               

Friday, October 13, 2017

Shiloh Rough Draft Chapter 5 "Hard Ride"


Rough Draft..  Hard Ride

Michael's head felt like it was made of lead, he had to stop several times to throw up.
Sheol kept moving as if he knew where he was going.
Michael faded in and out as he rode drooping over the saddle horn, several times he almost toppled out of the saddle.
He had lost track of time, until the night started to give way to dawn and on the horizon Michael saw the outlines of buildings against the dawn sky.

Smitty laid there looking up at the gray sky, "What the Hell"
Feeling his head his hand came back bloody.
Son of a Bitch dam near took my head off.
Turning over onto his stomach, he tried to raise to all four, but fell over from the dizziness
Trying again he made it to his knees, wavering in place Smitty moaned as he got to his feet, :Son of a bitch I'm going to kill that farmer.
Finding his Winchester he climbed the embankment to where Jake waas laying, "The farmer must of laid him down" Smitty thought.
He had some explaining about Jake but he would just lie and say the Farmer killed him.
Something was bothering him...a name that the Farmer had said...Michael, mmmmm
Smitty tried to shake the cob webs from his brain but all he got was a sharp spasm that almost but him on his knees.
Walking down the trail to where he had left his horse, was like walking 10 miles with his headache and to find his horse gone only made him cuss  even more.
Smitty yelled to nobody as he shook his hand to the heavens, I'm going to kill you
Farmer.
Smitty had walked about an hour when something hit him.
D'Angelio... Thats it Michael D'Angelio.
Smitty stopped in his tracked, No way, No how can that farmer be Michael D'Angelio, no way!
I must of misunderstood, I mean I was hit in the head pretty hard and my eggs must of got scabbled. Smitty thought
But I feeling of dread seeped into his thought and he found himself trying to figure out a way to just hit the trail and forget Horseshoe Bend...Placerville, General Whitaker, hell even Idaho.
The more he thought the better he liked the idea of Texas but he needed a horse and the closes town was Horseshoe bend.
I get in and out and no one will see me, make tracks to the livery station buy a horse and ride out of town, no one the wiser.
By the time Smitty got to HorseShoe Bend it was getting dark and he was thristy, no harm in a little drink he thought.

Sheol, took him as far as the hotel, Michael tried to ease himself down off the Sheol but he fell in a heap.
There was was rustling around him and then darkness.

Michael was swimming, he and some friends had grabbed their fishing poles and had rode to the lake to swim and fish, Ma always like fresh fish Michael thought.
They had swam for a while and finally the boys had colapsed on the wild grass laughing and telling stories, of course girls always came up and that talk make Michael nervous, girls where a strange breed that he hardly understood.
He liked that they always smelled nice and seem to like his shyness
As they laid on the dock with the sun high above them, they heard some horses approach.
Jimmy Michael's friend said "dang Michael it's that Thomspon Boy"
Michael didn't like the bully and he always tried to avoid him but it was going to be hard today.
Billy Thomspon was there with a chip on his shoulder, you could tell that by the way his face was screwed up into scoul.
D'Angelio, Hey D'Angelio I'm talking to you.
Michael laid there another minute before replying "What do you want Billy?"
"I want you to stay away from my girl"
"Who is your girl" Michael asked
"You know dang well who she is D'Angelio"
Billy spit his tobacco plug onto the ground and swung down from the saddle.
"I'm at a loss Billy, I didn't think any girl wound have you" Michael said
Jimmy let out a gasp and said "Michael shooosh, Billy will stomp you into next week"
Michael held his ground as the older boy walked up to him and punched Michael in the mouth.
"Don't back talk me boy"
Tasting the coppery blood taste in his mouth Michael spit out a mouth full of blood he said "I don't know anything about your girlfriend"
Billy looked up at his friends and then over to Jimmy and Randy, smiling he kicked Michael in the stomach.
"Boy I told you don't back talk me"
Holding his stomach Michael managed to say "I'm going to kill you"
That brought laughter from Billy "Yea well it's going to be pretty hard while your laying on the ground Boy"
"Come on Billy leave us alone we ain't done nothin'" Randy said.
"Shut your hole before I kick the shit out of you" Billy replied
"He is right Jimmy said"
Jimmy had brought out his pocket knife and was fliddling with it.
"What you going to do with that" Billy asked
"What needs being done if you don't leave Michael alone"
Michael was on his feet by then and before Billy had noticed him, Michael hit him hard in the back of the neck and Billy went down like a sack of potatoes.
Jimmy and randy hoop and hollared with excitement.
Michael spit more blood into the dirt and told Billy's friend to pick him up and get outta here.
That was the last time he let anyone touch him.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

SHILOH...1st. Draft Chapter 5 "Hunted"


First Draft...always looking Beta Readers

Hunted

Smitty said, "come on Boy show yourself, I know your down here"
Smitty moved causally  down the shore line using the moon light once his eyes adjusted to not having the fire light, he could actually see pretty good .
His foot hit something soft but giving Smitty reach down touching a hat.
Bringing it up to see it closer, It was wet with blood.
I got him, Smitty smiled, as he yelled again "Farmer give yourself up we only want the Deed, once I have that I'll let you go.
Smity was checking the underbrush as he went looking for any signs of blood or something being dragged.
"You've got my word on it Farmer"
The night had a chill to it, Michael laid there half in and half out of the water.
Touching his head he felt a long deep gouge where the bullet just about blew his head off.
It sure didn't feel like a close call, he thought
The water was starting to put his legs a sleep with the cold.
Michael was about ready to drag himself out of the river, when heard crash of something coming down the embankment.
Michael froze, whoever it was, they were mumbling to themselves.
Michael knew his head felt like it was on fire but he had to get to Horseshoe Bend before before Noon, So he could save Gabriel's Life..

In the Moon light Michael could make out a lone man about 75 feet up river...
The shooter, Michael Thought.
Brings back old memories, that he just as soon forget.
Finally after listening to the night noise for a few minute Michael felt he could pull himself from the small sand bar onto the shore without being detected.
Waiting for the rhythm of the night noises to continue, before he tried to stand.
He heard the shooter yelling more about letting him go.
Yea right, Michael thought.
Pulling himself to his knees, a dizziness took hold for a minute but soon his head cleared.
"Hey Farmer come out now and we can discussion a reward for that Deed, I'm sure you could use some cash to rebuild your home"
Smitty laughed at that.
Smitty plowed ahead figuring maybe the Farmer had got to the river and floated down stream.
Picking his way along the rocky shore he thought he heard a splash up head.
"Is that you Farmer?"
God dam bastard better come out soon or I'm going to start blasting away, Smitty thought
Michael grasped a short log that was about 3 inches around and about 3 foot long.
Still unsteady,  he moved into the brush that lined the narrow shore line.
He could hear the clicking of the shooters boots as they searched for a foot hold on the rocky surface.
Come on Farmer I know your close, come out and we can talk about this.
I didn't mean to shoot you, I thought my partner was going to kill you, I was trying to shoot him.
The shooter shuffled past Michael swinging his rifle back and forth in front of him.
After he had pasted Michael stepped out from the brush.
Smitty's hair raised up on the back of his neck as he felt the breath of death.
Swinging his Winchester in a wide arch, Smitty heard and felt the crunch of the log as it knocked him to the ground.
Somehow he lost his rifle and most of his senses but not enough to deaden his instinct to live and he pulled his Long knife, trying to fend off the attacker as he tried to wipe the blood from his eyes that was pouring from the head wound.
"Son of bitch you want to play that shit, I'm going to cut you into dog meat" he raved
Michael stood back watching the shooters feeble attempts to stab him.
Michael thought "In his mind he probably think he is on his feet and fighting off a 100 men"
But Smitty was barely poking at the air as his brain tried to catch up from the brian bruising it got from the short log Michael held...
"My name is Michael D'Angelio"
With that said, Michael turned and left.
Climbing the embankment was just about all Michael could muster.
Feeling his head, his hand came back with cloded blood and it was tender to touch"Probably an concussion" Michael thought
Reaching the top, he walked over to the cowboy that had sat back down before he died.
The front of his shirt was soaked with blood.
He was dead, Michael didn't expect anything different.
The night was quiet again, it was like the darkness could surround anything, taking into it's arms until there wasn't anything left.
Except for quiet.
He wished he had time to bury him, but he couldn't waste a minute getting to Gabriel.
Michael said a prayer for Jake and whistled for Sheol.
The horse came from the treeline, Stopping in front of Michael shaking it's head up and down.
Michael patted his head and said I know boy, Let's get going.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shiloh... First Draft...Chapter Four "Attack"

1st Draft

Attack

Smitty and Jake saw the fire light bouncing on the side of the mountain.
It was coming from around the next bend.
Smitty held up his hand,
"What is it" Jake asked
"It looks that farmer made camp" Smitty replied
'Leave the horses here, we'll go on foot.'
It was as dark as molassses which made it twice as hard not to make noise but they move slowly
Smitty told Jake to hang back, "Jake your as nosey As a bear in brush"
The night was too quiet and Smitty didn't want any nose echooing through the canyon.
"Give me 5 minutes and then come on in" Smitty said
"You going to take him all your lonesome Smitty" Jake asked
"Hell no, your the bait, I'm going to get set up down wind of him with my Winchester"
Jake looked as if he was going to argue but had a second thought.
"So you want me to sneak up on him?" Jake asked
"Yep and when it's time I'll blow his head off" Smitty replied
"Why kill him?, we could just rough him up and convince him to hand over the Deed if he wants to live"
"Because I owe him one, He made me look silly in front of that whore of his, I won't let any man do that to me"
"What about Big John?" Jake said with a smirk
Smitty stared hard at him and said "You want to die tonight also?.
Jake bit his lower lip and said "Smitty I was only funin"
 I can tell Big John the farmer got you before I killed him?"
'Ahh come on Smitty" Jake was worried now, Smitty was known to bebe haot head adnd he  heard stories about people he had killed.
"OK Jake don't worry, I need you now" and he laughed
"Goddamit Smitty I'm sorry"
"Jake your fine but let me tell you something that Big Johns time will come sooner then later"
"Ok Smitty I'll hang back for 5 minute and then I'll move in"
"Good, OK I'll climb up that ridge over there to get a better view of the camp site" Smitty said
Jake shook his head ok and Smitty took off for the ridge.
Jake sighed with releif after he left.
"Shit he thought how in the hell I'm I going to know when 5 minutes are up, I don't have no watch and I couldn't read it if I did"
So Jake started counting the only numbers he knew since he had no formal schooling.
1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5-7, and he figured he'd do that until he was tired of it.
Smitty found a nice little spot that he could as a shooting bench, It was a perfect sized rock with a flat top.
Smitty laid the Winchester across the top of it as he warmed up his hands from the night chill
Pulling a piece of jerked meat from his pocket he scanned the camp site as he chewed on the jerky.
Laying next to the fire was a bed roll, laying on the bed roll was nothing.
"Holy shit" he thought as he scanned the rest of the camp site for the Farmer Michael.
"He must of taking a Pee or something he thought"
1-2-3-4-5, 1-3-5-4-7, Shit I'm tired of this crap Jake thought.
It has to been 5 minute he thought.
Better a little longer he thought.
Jake heard a boot scape dirt behind him..
He frozen for a just moment before his instinct kicked in, pulling his Colt as he whipped around.
The next thing he knew he was eating dirt mixed with a coppery taste of blood in his mouth.
Trying to push his self up into a on all fours position he heard movement behind him.
"Where is your partner" Michael asked
"I don't know what your talking about"
"Boy, there are two horses here"
Jake shook his head again trying the clear the cob webs
"I don't know he mumbled"
"You best do some talking before I hit with this here Springfield again"
Jake spit out a glob of blood on the ground and said, "He went to scout your camp site"
"Why did you stay behind?" Michael asked
"I was too nosiey" Jake replied
"Yea you both were" Michael said
"And now what Farmer?"
"Now we go back to my camp site and wait for your partner to show his face"
"He won;'t Farmer"
"THe name is Michael D'Angelo"
D'Angelo... The name sounded familiar to Jak
"Did you say "D'Angelio"
"Yes"
"It can't be, Michael D'Angelio died in a gun battle in Tucon is what I heard"
"Your mistaken"
Jake wanted to be gone, he wanted no part of this killer, this man call D'Angelio is Satan's right hand man is what the rumor said... Nobody that has faced him has lived to tell about it..
"Look mister D'Angelio just let me go, You will never see me again, I promise"
"Not yet but if you play your cards right you might live"
"OK, OK anything you want"
"Michael had no intentions of killing the kid, he was just in the wrong place the wrong time"
"So where is your friend?"
I'm not sure, he said he was going to take a look at the camp to see if it was you" Jake said, as he looked everywhere but into Michaels eyes.
"OK Jake have it your way, we'll just go back into my camp and wait him out"
"Come on Mr. D'Angelio whay not let me go, I promise you won't see me again"
"Because I need you to convince your partner to show hid face and you can explain to me why your following me"
Back at camp Michael asked him again,
"Why are you following me?"
"Because of the Deed"
"Jake it's only land and I'm sure Ben's wife would be open to shared water rights and whatever your employer Big John wants"
Jake laughed, "Boy your lost on so many levels, I don't even know where to start"
"How about the first" Michael said
"OK, First off Big John isn't the Big Boss, he is the son of General Whitaker, He is the big boss"
Michael sat there for a minute..General Whitaker he remembered him from the war.
"Jake went on "Second Who is Ben"
"Ben is the kid you killed at my farm and I guess he was a brother of Big Johns"
Jake swollowed hard "That was Smitty not me"
"You were there" Michael said
"I didn't know he was family, that is plain wrong no matter what"
Michael moved the conversation on... "Next"
Jake just shok his head
"Jake" Michael insticed
Smitty could see the two talking and it looked like Jake was spilling all the beans "Goddam Jake shut the hell up" he whispered to hinself
As the minute slowly drifted by Smitty got madder and madder, he was sure the kid would tell where he was hiding.
"Mr. D'Angelio I'm only a hired hand, I got no say in any matters"
"Jake whats number three?"
"I'm not talking anymore" Jake said as he shook his head no
"Jake if you want to live this night out"
"Ben's wife will be killed at anytime"
"What?"
"They have a man in HorseShoe Bend watching her, waiting for the word"
Michael noticed Jake kept glancing at the ridge above them
"What word Jake"
"Whether we got the Deed or not, If we don't get back to town by noon tomorrow Big John will telegraph his man"
"And if you do?" 
"Means we killed you and have the Deed"
Michael thought for a minute, turning he looked up to the ridge and yelled
"I've got your partner here come on down"
"That sonofabitch Smitty muttered as he pulled the trigger"
Jake jerked, and started to stand up as he looked down the front of his shirt.
Blood seeped through the shirt the red spot grew and grew.
Jake looked up at Michael and toppled over the log he had been setting on.
Michael ran for Sheol.
He felt something slam into him tossing him over an embankment on the edge of the camp site where Sheol had been eating grass.
Michael rolled and rolled until he hit water.

Smitty hightailed it down to the camp site.
Passing Jake as if he was just a bag of potatoes, he made his way down the embankment until he came to the small clearing on the side of the raging river..
Nothing, he found nothing but then it was pretty dark down here out of reach of the camp fire.

  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Shiloh...1st Draft Chapter 4 "HorseShoe Bend"



1st Draft

Horseshoe Bend

Michael wasn't happy about it but he needed to get to Ben's wife before they do.
Michael touched Hedi's hand, she turned and looked up to him, Michael winked and took off out the back of the restaurant.

Sheol was already loaded and ready.
Michael had planned to leave town in the dead of night, so no prying eyes would be the wiser.
He had planned to eat with Hedi before riding out but with that idea down gone he just needed to ride and Sheol sensed the urgent mood when Michael rounded the corner of the Restaurant at a full run.
"Sheol like the wind" is all Michael needed to save to send Sheol into a flat out run.
The more distance he put between him and the Sheriff the better, he would come back in a day or two and by then the Sheriff would of talked to Tom and his wife.
Michael felt something was wrong, but to put a finger on it wasn't going to be easy with what he had laying ahead.
So he let Sheol stretch out and run, until he was ready to slow down.
By then a good couple of miles lay behind them and Placerville and the Sheriff.
With the late start Michael figure he would camp at a spot he knew about, it was a nice spot with a little stream running through it.
He would ride into Horse Shoe Bend by mid-morning, find Gabriel, Give her the Deed and be on his way.
As he rode his thoughts went to a little soul searching..a little what else is bothering him moment.
Michael dug deep to try and find the answer, to why he is risking everything to help.
It was question that was a deep as it could go, He wasn't sure it was all because of Ben, Hedi or Gabriel.
Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't but something else was involved also and thats what Michael was worried about the most.... His Past.
Letting the cold air flow through his hair, he closed his eyes, Tears wetted his face As he listened To his inner voice, Finally he said.
It's time, and I'll be Ready.

Rounding a bend on the trail, Michael pulled up next to ta a pine tree.
The river was to his back further into the tree's along the trail
Pulling the saddle off sheol Michael rubbed him down with grass and gave Sheol some oats he had in his saddle bags.
Good boy he told Sheol as he rubbed him behind his ears.
Michael never tied Sheol up, he let him wander so that he always had a choice and that seemed to work for the both of them.
Michael set to work on the camp, getting a fire going so that he could have some coffee.
He enjoyed being out in the open, listening to the night slip in, pushing the sun out of the way and how the noises changed as the darkness fell.
The once noisey birds, quieted down as the darkness fell, since they didn't fly at night only if a predator was close and even then the chances off death was always the highest, So they sat queitly.
After a dinner of jerked beef and coffee Michael laid awake for a long time thinking of Ben's wife Gabriel.
What kind of girl she was, how she would take the words he had to say about Ben.
Michael hadn't know Ben for all that long, but the boy had staying power, that beaten he had taken from Big John and his boys would of killed a lot of men.
And the thought of Ben's own brothers finally killing him for a Deed.
Killing family brought back old memories that Michael just as soon forget.
Ben proved that he was more then just a boy.. He was a doer and Michael was going to help no matter what.
"I guess that would attest to when a man makes a promise almost nothing would stop him from keeping that promise this side of death" Michael thought
The stars overhead where bright and he could see each one clearly.
 He found himself counting them until he had no numbers left in his head to count with.
Michael had come to a decision, He would ride this trail to the end, He would Help Gabriel secure the land and whatever else he could do for her.
 Yep he wanted that boy to fulfeel his promise no matter what so if the his widow needed help to get to Idaho City he would take her.
When he was done he would go back and make Hedi his wife... Michael smiled,
It's time he quit hiding from his past and just embrace it, he didn't have a choice anyway in the matter,
Michael felt a weight lift off his chest as he fading into a deep sleep.







Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shiloh....1st Draft....Chapter 4 "Frank"

1st Draft


Frank

Frank walked down the board walk in the general direction of the little restaurant he had noticed on the way into town.
The air was crisp and the sky was clear, away from the lights of town Frank always marveled at how many stars you could see on a clear night like tonight.
Touching his Colt 45 that hung from his hip, it was a habit Frank did quite often.
The touch of the pearl white grips gave him comfort, he had them custom made for his special Colt.
Frank like to edge the bets in his favor, it wasn't because he wasn't fast with the gun, it was more of an ego booster to know his Colt was one of a kind, "The Quicken" the gun smith like to call it.
A fanning hammer was installed, the trigger was adjusted for a pull of less then 6 ounces, the frame had been lightened where it could without sacrificing the integrity of the structure.
The barrel had been cut down to 3.5 inches, so that it could clear leather faster and his holster had the front cut away in the shape of a horseshoe... faster yet...
"The Quicken"  Frank was smiling to himself as he reach for door of the restaurant.
Stopping mid way, Frank listened to the voices.
"Shit" he thought
Finally he turned the handle and went in...

After running off the cowboy, Michael didn't want to leave Hedi unattended at the Cabin.
So they rode into town for a hot meal and he would leave in the Morning For Horeshoe Bend.
Before they left, Michael told Hedi to wait as he dismounted and went into the cabin for a few minutes..
He came back out with a oil skin bundle.
Hedi looked at him "Whats that?"
"Old Memories" Michael replied
Hedi could tell Michael didn't want to talk about it, so she left it alone.
Michael was sort of a mystry to her, He could be hard one minute and the most loving man the next.
She always felt that inside him was a torment that he fought dialy, Michael was a man who was running from his past and she wanted to help him, to love him, if he would ever let her.
Old habits are hard to break, and this one Michael was glad to have, with his back against the back wall, he saw the Cowboy enter the room.
Hedi whispered, "Isn't that one of the men?".
Not taking his eyes off him, Michael replied "Yes, it's one of the brothers"
"Brothers?" Hedi said as she looked my way.
"This one is Frank and the big one is Big John"
Michael watched as Frank talked to the waitress and how he slipped something to her.
Frank looked over at them and smiled.
The waitress went into the back and Michael heard a door slam somewhere in the back of the building.
"Hey dirt farmer, how is your whore?"  Frank said
The room went quite.
Hedi put her hand on my arm "Please Michael, don't"
He felt that old feelings start to well up inside of him...boiling over as Michael kept telling himself, He was not like that anymore...He had changed..
The idiot started walking towards us, saying things that wasn't registering anymore....
Michaels hands gripped the edges of the table as they shook with rage...
Frank was still taunting him as he stood over Michael..
Com'on boy, you lose your nerve maybe your whore there needs a real man.
A calm came over Michael, it felt like an old friend that he hadn't seen in years..
Kicking the table into Frank, Michael grabbed his gun hand before he could grab his Colt.
The bones in his hand ground together as he let out a screamed that sounded like a wild animal caught in a trap.
Michael slapped him hard, lifting him up and over the table that had been behind him.
People scattered, trying get out of the room before gun fire erupted.
At that moment Big John with those two other cowboys, Jake and Smitty came running into the restaurant, Big John's Colt was in his hand and he was pulling back the hammer when Michael heard a voice behind Big John say "That will be enough"
Sheriff Allen had a double barreled shot aimed right at his back..
"Sheriff look what he did to my brother"
"Well what I heard was he was trying to start a fight with an unharmed man"
The Sheriff looked around the room, there were some nods from what people couldnt get out of the room.
Big John noticed he was out classed so he slowly put his Colt away.
About that time Frank, the idiot Michael slapped over the table was pulling himself up from the floor as his gun hand hung limp at his side.
Rubbing his jaw, He gave me the best I'll kill you Look I've had for a long time.
"Well Sheriff I'm glad your here, I'd like to make a complaint about that Farmer over there" Big John said
"My name is Michael" he said
"Whats your complaint" the Sheriff asked
"That farmer stole a deed from our brother"
"What that hell I thought "Brother?"
"Michael can you explain?"
Michaels jaw dropped and his eyes widened as he let that sink in
He stood there for a minute before he could muster a shocked reply
"Sheriff those men killed their so called brother..Ben"
The Sheriff looked hard at Big John and Frank "Is that true?"
"Hell no Sheriff that dirt Farmer killed him for the Deed and set fire to his own place to make it look like someone else did it"
"Michael is that true your farm is burnt down"
"Yes sir, early this morning but if you remember right, we had a conversation before I left town"
"I do remember Michael but that doesn't mean you couldn't of started it after getting home"
"Tom Stevens was fighting it when I got there, he is my witness"
Big John whispered something to Smitty and Jake.
"Sheriff my boys are dead on their feet, can they get out of here to get some shut eye before we hit the trail?"
"Yea get out of here and stay out of trouble" the Sheriff yelled after them
"Sheriff you shouldn't of let them out of here" Michael said
"Son you have more to worry about then, them"
Big John smiled at Michael.
"Michael I know your a good man but if I didn't lock you up until I can verfiy your story with Tom Stevens, Well I wouldn't be a good Sheriff"
Big John started laughing "Serves you right going and sticking your nose where it doesn't belong"
The Sheriff nudge Big John again the shotgun bringing a flinch from the jolt to his spine.
"Shut the hell up Big John before I lock you and your brother up just for fun"
"You wouldn't"  Big John was getting tired of this
"Like hell I wouldn't" and the Sheriff shoved him with the shotgun.
"Well you old fart" Big John said as he turned on the Sheriff.
The confusion from the hard slap and the tumble over table had Frank in a daze.
Finally the dazed cleared and he started to reach for his Colt.
One of the Sheriff's Deputies hit him in the face with the butt of his Winchester, knocking a couple of teeth loose and smashing his lip.
Blood poured from the gash as he stumbled backward, trying to find some kind of purchase to regain balance.
Stunned by his brother's blow, Big John hesitated and The Sheriff shoved his shotgun hard into his gut, bending him over.
Ok Boys, thats enough, The Sheriff said..
Smirking he said.. Deputies take their guns and put them in the cell.

Both men were facing the Sheriff, "Dammit you two I don't want to put a load of buckshot into you but I will"
"Sheriff you just take care that murdering farmer" Hold his stomach Big John said through gulps of air as he pointed in the general direction of where Michael had been standing.
The Sheriff glanced between Frank and Big John and said "Who"
Both men swung around "God dammit his gone"
Hedi stood there with her arms crossed and said "Yes and with good reason"
"Dammit Hedi I was just trying to protect him" The Sheriff said
"He's a murder Sheriff" Frank said from a bloodly mouth
"Michael is no more of a murder then the Pope" the Sheriff said..





Monday, September 25, 2017

Shiloh...1st Draft, Chapter 3 "Gabriel"


1st Draft......

Gabriel

Gabriel was worried  about Ben it had been weeks since she heard from him last.
It was a short telegraph that the bell boy brought to her room, Ben had said that he should be back soon to get her.
Horseshoe Bend, was a nice little town, Gabriel wasn’t sure why or how she had got there, I mean she stepped on a stage one day in King Hill, with just a bag and let the stage take her as far as the few dollars she stole from Charlie’s stash  take her.
Anything was better then being in the same house as Charlie, she was tired of his beatings.
At first she didn’t know better, barely a woman of 14 years when her parents unloaded her on Charlie and then they left to find their fouturne in gold.
At first Charlie was ok, he didn’t try anything with her, just treated her as a maid but when Charlie did little odd jobs around town and got paid he would drink, get mean and stare at her with this evil smile.
It made her skin crawl.
So she made a point early on to find a safe place to hide on those nights…
It was a little hidden spot at the base of a tall pine, two tree had fallen years ago and made a little boxed in place between them.
It was comfortable and hidden from the house, she could sleep safely under the stars.
She loved it there, but she only went even close to it when Charlie drank and no other times especially in the daylight, she never wanted him to find it, it was her spot.
One night Charlie was late.
Gabriel knew he was at the saloon drinking.
So she started packing up her bedding to go hide for the night.
Gabriel hadn’t even finished yet when Charlie came stubbling through the door.
She grabbed her bedding and tired to get past him.
“Where in the hell do you think your going”
“Out to check the hogs” Gabriel said
“With a bed roll?” Charlie replied
“Let me go” Gabriel managed to say as she try to twist away from him.
“Girl it’s time you started to be a woman”  and he hit her..

Gabriel shivered in the darkened hotel room even after all this time it was like it happened yesterday.
She wiped away the tears that had formed and now ran down her cheeks.
In frustration she picked up the over turned rocking chair and sat down.
“That bastard took away something that I will never get back, something I wanted to save for marriage”….
Shoving those thoughts from her head she thought of Ben
She is with Ben now thats all that matters.
She had been working at the restaurant in town and making enough to keep her alive, and she enjoyed it.
Anything away from Charlie was like heaven.
Ben walked in one day with his hat in his hand asking for a table.
She gladly lead the handsome man to a nice table by the window and she was about to turn to pickup an order that was ready he asked.
“Do you have a boyfriend ?”
Gabriel felt herself blush from head to her toes
“No sir I don’t” she finaly got between a nervous laugh
“Husband?”
Gabriel felt a flicker of a flame
“Now sir, if I ain’t got a boyfriend, what makes you think I’d have a husband?”
It was Ben’s turn to go red in the face
“Well I …I”
“You just stop right there Sir, I’m not sure what kind of girl you think I am but I think I’ll find you another waitress” Gabriel replied
“Please Miss, I didn’t mean no harm” Ben blurted
Gabriel noticed the room had got quiet and she took a moment to glance around
Jimmy the owner had a shit eating grin on his face and besides that he was shaking his head, like he was enjoying it.
Gabriel glared at him and Lily, which was the other waitress.
Lily turned to face the other way but you could see her shoulder go up and down in laughter.
Gabriel turned back to Ben “See what you’ve done? Everyone is laughing at me”
Ben faked a cough/laugh into the napkin
“What you laughing now Gabriel asked”
“Miss I just wanted to ask you out for coffee”

Gabriel remembered this so well now, how at that moment he said that, she melted.
That all happened months ago, they had courted for few months as Ben worked for a local rancher and finally married..
She had been worried about the honeymoon night, she worried she wouldn’t be able to fulfill her duties as a wife..
But Ben was so gentle and caring that all the past thoughts of Charlie melted and they made passionate love all night.
She was happy.
Gabriel rocked back in forth as she went through her memories, finally settling on Ben’s Mom..
Ben’s mom couldn’t make it to the wedding as she was ill at home in Crouch, it was a little mining town up north where Ben was raised.
One day Ben recieved a telegraph that his Mom needed him, by the look on his face, I knew he needed to go and fast.
We only had a one horse so I stayed home, not knowing, I would never meet her.
Gabriel mopped the tears from her eyes and she rocked in the dark hotel room.
She liked to remember things as it was her way of keeping Ben close to her heart.

When Ben got back he was a mess, he had buried his Mom and we both weeped.
Ben was finally able to tell her about a Deed his mom had given them as a wedding present…It was a mining stake by Idaho City.
You could see the glow in his eyes.. And within weeks he said he needed to go to Idaho City to get their new life started and he would send for her as soon as he could.
Gabriel knew this meant the world to him so she agreed.

But that was weeks ago and her money was running out, soon she would need to move from the hotel to a boarding house and and get her old job back at the resturant.
 Looking out the window she thought of the first days with Ben, his eyes in the sky attitude was contagious and she started dreaming of the mining stake that his Mother had given him on her death bed.
Ben didn’t like talking about that part of his life and she had passed before Gabriel had met her but she sounded like a fine woman.
The tree’s moaned outside from the wind that was picking up as the skies grew dark and heavy with rain.
It was nights like these that Gabriel missed Ben the most.
Lightening flashed in the distance and from instinct Gabriel started counting, one thousand one, one thousand two, boom .
Shaking her head from the trance she let herself fall in.
The rain starting pelting the window in a rhythmic fashion that almost lured her into another daydream.
A flash of Lightening again, only this was closer, Something caught her eye and Gabriel strained to make it out through the rain soaked window.
“A Man”
He sat on his horse at the edge of darkness between the bank and the land surveyors Office.
The glow of his cigarette lite the lower part of his hard driven face.
His face was covered with days growth of beard, it looked like he just rode in from the trail.
Gabriel thought “Why doesn’t he get inside?”  he is going to catch the death out there.
 Darkness fell again as the light from the lightening fizzled out and she lost sight of the lone cowboy.
Something was different about him, something menacing, something dangerous, but she couldn’t look away.
She strained to find the cowboy in the darkness, when the lightning struck again in the distance.
 The cowboy was still there but this time he was looking up at her in the window.
 Startled, Gabriel tripped over a rocking chair as she tried to get back from the window and fell to the hardwood floor.
“Shit she cried out”
 She covered her mouth with her hand, trying to muffle anymore noise for what good it will do.
Bruised from the fall Gabriel slowly raised from the floor.
It felt like she had twisted her ankle “Dam luck” She mumbled
 Gabriel slowly limped to the window.
Cautionally she moved the curtain back.
 Lightning struck again in the distance and the cowboy was gone, franically see searched the street below, up the street, down the street…nothing
He had vanished, was he just her imagination?, maybe the rain played tricks on her?
But she clearly saw the red glow from his cigarette, how it glowed brightly when he inhaled, how it almost went out when he didn’t.