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 Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart

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Sir_Easy

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PostSubject: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:53 am

Based on true historical facts with some accuracies off a tab. Overtures of romantic notations included.





Chapter 1
The Way of the Wild Heart

Quick shot, Ethan 'Tumbleweed' Dawson, a loner, tracker, and range-harden rancher, with his sidekick, Jake Brennen figured a way to make a living by driving cattle across the Arizonia Territory and sell it at a fancy price to the wealthy bankers in Coyote Hills. Once he gets his herd to his destination the Coyote River, his plans are to move to the way of the wild west coast.

His partner, Jake Brennan goes ahead to make the deal with the bankers and never returns. Knowing something has happened to his partner, Ethan decides to go and investigate. He leaves the herd with three trusted cowpokes and rides on stopping in Shady Gulch first for some supplies before continuing on to Coyote Hills east of Shady Gulch.

Stopping in at Sally's saloon, Ethan sips his rum and overhears about his partner being gunned down the day before by three dunken hoodlums. Ethan turns around to see the comment made by a fella in a tall black hat sitting with a bottle at the table, cash in front of him , playing cards. The fella hasn't shaved in a while and stinks. He's got a badge on his shirt that surprises Ethan as he knows there's no lawman in this part of Arizonia for nearly 60 miles.


Ethan turns back to the saloonkeeper and quietly asks, who is that? The saloonkeeper replies why thats Mr. John McIntire hoodlums, they own the town. Ain't noone brave enough to take him on. Ethan comments, "there was a fella that came in 'bout four days ago...kind of short, heavy set had a strange limp...Oh that fella was gunned down by his henchmen, day before last."

Ethan stands up and finishes his rum...thank ya... and begins to walk out of the saloon when one of John McIntire's goons blocks the door.

"Mister you ain't wantin no trouble so just stand away from that door...I'll git on my horse and ride away, Ethan says.

Ethan sees at the corner of his eye as the man begins to draw his gun...seeing the glass window Ethan draws both guns and slams into the window, crashing through it as the man in the doorway...tumbles backward into the steet...and doesn't move a muscle. The shooter in the tall black hat jumps out the same window that Ethan jumps through and Ethan points and squeezes the trigger, gunning down the drunk hoodlum in self-defense. Looking down the street and now in fear, for his life, Ethan escapes into the Arizonia desert.


This is one conflict Ethan knows will continue another day with the local self-appointed lawman, John McIntire and his claim-jumping henchmen that owns the town of Shady Gulch. Ethan has heard of him, and that iron wagon he runs to and from Shady Gulch but he didn't know that John McIntire also a theiving cattle baron...runs the town. Inside the ironclad stagecoach is the gold mined in Shady Gulch worth thousands.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:30 am


Sandy stretched out across his bed and delighted in the comfort of it. He was a tall man for the time and the heels of his boots hung over the end but he didn't care. After three weeks of sleeping in the 'starlight hotel' he would have been content to sleep on the floor as it wasn't just a matter of treating his backside. The Utah and New Mexico territories were a far cry from what he was used to. Stifling days followed by cool nights that could chill one half to death and a wide open landscape that played with a man's mind if they weren't used to it — and Sandy wasn't. Of course, try as he might to deny it the man from the Canada's had been softened somewhat by his time in the East. There were times as he listened to the coyote's cries while sitting before a crackling fire that he missed Quebec city with her shops and modern conveniences but then he never felt alive there. With a population of fifty seven thousand people, he at times felt as if he couldn't breath but by contrast returning to the wild turned out to be lonelier than he had remembered and was happy when he finally made it to Shady Gulch.

Riding in from the north on his dark chestnut quarter horse he passed by the boarding house and kept on until he found the Fallon Hotel south of town just past Washington street. Sandy was surprised to find such a grand place in a small town, but then as he had learned it was not uncommon for these boom towns to go all out on accommodation and recreation. It was the perfect place to sort his life out, or so it seemed. After his run in with the law in Oregon city he had just ran, and kept running all the way down to the New Mexico Territory where rangers weren't likely to pursue him. Not that they were. After three weeks on the trail, Sandy had realized that he could probably could have stuck it out in Utah, but he had thought it best to play it safe and so carried on until he happened upon Shady Gulch.

Fully clothed, the dust from the road still covering him, Sandy decided to catch a few winks during the height of day before venturing out into the town. He had no idea what to expect, but first things first was resting up, then a meal and possibly a bath.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:52 am


As the sun set slowly over the hills forty miles south of Shady Gulch, a coyote yipps then holws, shorthly after that a second answers. Several minutes latter a whiporwill calls. Crawling slowly away from their hobbled horses Goyahkla and four Chiracahua Apache warriors crawl across the ground silently towards the two unsuspecting cowboys, sitting by the fire eating. The raiding party splits up as two of the warriors make for the cowboys horses and Goyahkla and two of the warriors crawl to the edge on the camp.

The two warriors cut leads fron the picket line of the horses and lead them silently away to where the Apache had left thier horses. They then crawled to where a lone cowboy sat on his horse smoking and watching the herd of cattle. One warrior knelt, unslung his bow, fitted an arrow to the string, pulled the string tight and loosed the arrow, killing the lone cowboy instantly as the bolt stuck him in the head. The cowboy fell to the ground, where the Apache ran up, taking the cowboy's gun belt and stripping off his trousers and shirt. The second Apache led the fallen cowboy's horse away silently.

Meanwhile at the camp site, one the warrior with Goyahkla drew his bow string back and loosed an arrow striking one of the cowboys at the camfire in the chest. The second Apache warrior did the same. Goyahkla stepped into the fire light with his Colt pistols drawn, one of the cowboys reached for his gun, Goyahkla shot him in the head, then aimed at the second cowboy and shot him in the chest. Goyahkla, then whistled like a whiporwill and the rest of the raiding party began to gather the supplies from the chuck wagon and strip the cow hands of thier clothes. The two Apache with the horses led them to the camp and they packed the supplies of food, ammunition, cooking pots, whiskey, guns and blankets onto the extra horse. They then smashed the remaining water casks.

Goyahkla then turned to the warriors and told them to take three of the cattle and stampeade the others. As the warriors went off to complete this task, Goyahkla, knelt beside the fire, picked up a stick of wood that was burning on the end and tossed it into the ramsacked chuckwagon, it began to burn. ....... The Raiding party then rode off into the night with thier plunder, across the rolling hils and into the mountains
,firing thier guns in the air, stampeding the remaining cattle

After the raiding party had ridden off, one of the cowboys by the fire moaned, broke the arrow shaft off and bleeding from arrow wound and gunshot wound in his chest, he started crawling off in the direction he had watched his boss, Ethan Dawson, ride.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:59 pm

Madison had spent all day in the small town of Shady Gulch with Pokey, the cook for the ranch hands of her parents' ranch the Circle M, named after her. It was a 1000 acre horse ranch where they caught and broke mustangs for the army back east. They were popular with the military for the fact that they didn't break the horses' spirits when they broke them to ride.

Her and Pokey had come into town to get supplies and she wanted to look over some things for her mother's birthday which was just in two weeks. As she walked down the makeshift sidewalk, she saw the glares, the looks and heard the whispered comments. She just smiled and walked on by the townsfolk for she was used to it. Sometimes, they could be extremely cruel, especially about her Indian heritage, but usually Maddie just ignored them. Maddie was Irish/Scottish/Shawnee and she wore pants or split skirts, flannel shirt, cowboy hat and had a six shooter strapped to her hip. Most of the ladies in town found her to be a disgrace while the men found her to be a joke, until they made her angry. Then they found out that Maddie could hold her own and usually did. She was quick to temper but just as quick to lend a helping hand. Her long raven's wing black hair trailed down her back in a long pony tail today that trailed down to the small of her back and her light blue eyes stood out against her golden skin. She only stood 5'3" and weighed about 130 pounds, but she was mainly muscle with curves in the right places. She could sit and ride a horse just as good if not better than most men and could shoot a gun or bow and arrow with deadly accuracy.

Seeing Pokey finish up at the general store, she waved to him as she stepped inside the dress shop to see how her mother's dress was coming. Once done and pleased with the progress, she exited the dress shop and headed for the general store to speak to Pokey who was waiting outside.

"Hey Poke. Why don't you head on back to the ranch. I have to take care of a few more things here for Pa and then I'll be home."

"Awwww....now Miss Maddie, you know your pa will skin my hide clean off of my bones if'n I left you here by yerself. You go on 'head and do what you need to do and I'll head over to the saloon to wait fer ya."

"Fine, Poke but no getting drunk like you did the last time. I'm not draggin your sorry butt all the way home again only to have you singing at the top of your lungs all of the bawdy songs you know."

She gives him a bright smile that melts the old man's heart as she heads for the stables to talk to Jeth about a new horse he got in. Pokey heads for the saloon to get a saspirilla to drink, hoping that he has the strength to stay away from the rum this time.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Judge not nor fear that or those which you do not understand, for it or they may be someone or something that will aid you in the trials of your life.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:29 pm

Maddie made it to the Fallon Hotel to check on her best friend Allison who was the cook for the small restaurant attached to the hotel. Seeing her, she followed her back to the kitchen where they chatted for a few minutes regarding Maddie's mother's birthday. Afterwards, Maddie said good-bye to her friend and headed back out to the livery stable to pick up her black and white painted mustang mare, Jasmine. As she was leaving the hotel, she spotted the tall man heading upstairs to a room. Maddie wondered who he was before shrugging her shoulders and heading for the stable.

Once she was saddled, Maddie swung up, thanking the young boy who had cared for Jasmine before she left the stables. She headed for the saloon when Jasmine reared up as a man came crashing through the window 5 feet in front of them along with one of McIntire's men, old top hat himself. Maddie watched as the stranger took off for the desert while the other lay there, the red stain growing in the middle of his shirt. Tieing Jasmine off at the hitching post, she gave 'Top Hat' a wide berth as she entered the saloon to collect Pokey.

She found Pokey ducked behind the bar with the barkeep. Shaking her head, she leans further over the bar tapping Poke on the shoulder causing him to jump.

"Sweet Jesus, Maddie!! Yer've done an' gone scared 10 more years off of my old life."

"Yea, well sorry about that, Poke but I'm ready to go and Jasmine is getting nervous at the smell of a dead man in the street. I really wish we could get this town cleaned up and get rid of McIntire's men."

Pokey agreed as he stood, finished his saspirilla in one gulp and headed for the general store to collect the buckboard with the supplies. Maddie mounted Jasmine turning her to head west out of town. It would take them a little while to reach the ranch, it being 8 miles west of town and they would take their time not being in any hurry. They knew about the Apaches that were around but weren't too worried about them as her father and mother always helped them when they could. Of course, the townsfolk didn't realize that they helped them, giving them a cow here and there for the meat, making sure that they had what they needed so that they, especially the children, wouldn't go hungry. And they made it so that it wasn't charity to them, taking beadwork, handmade knives, bows and arrows, etc. as payment. But, even though the Apache were peaceful towards the Keegans, it wasn't the same for others. Ian, Abigail and Maddie though, turned an eye to it so long as women and children weren't hurt in the process and it wasn't on their ranch.

Maddie rode silently next to Poke and the buckboard, one hand on the scabbard of her rifle. Even though she didn't worry about the Apache, she did worry about bandits.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Judge not nor fear that or those which you do not understand, for it or they may be someone or something that will aid you in the trials of your life.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:48 am


When Sandy next opened his eyes he was surprised to the vibrant orange hues of the setting sun painted across the wall of his room. 'Dammit, if'n he hadn't slept away the afternoon!' His body must have needed since he now felt refreshed and energetic, but above all hungry and thirsty.

Leaving only those items he could stand to lose back in his room, Sandy picked up his rifle and strolled down stairs to the lobby. At the bottom of the stairs a fresh faced young girl was lighting the lanterns, her blonde tresses tied back into a tight bun, but few spilled out along the nape of her neck. She smiled shyly as the stranger walked past her.

"Evening madame." he said with a warm grin, his accented voice deep and mellow.

The girl stammered out a response but before she could finish her reply a stocky man with thinning hair and thick red mutton chops came round the corner and shooed her away.

"There's more lanterns in the parlor, Allison." he said, pushing the girl along with a wave of the apron he had slung over his shoulder. He then looked up at the taller man and grinned. "Good evening, Mr. Wilken. How is your room? Will you be needin anything?"

"The room's fine, Mr. Fallon." Complimented Sandy, "Just headin' out for a little stroll. Where's the nearest saloon?"

"Oh, well, that would be Wild Cody's, but you don't want to be headin' over there. Up main street, you'll find Sally's on yer left. We calls it, Sunset Sally's, since she has the perdiest whores in the territory. I figure you might be wantin' some company after yer long ride down here."

Sandy's face hardened when the inn keeper speculated on where he was coming from, and the man cowered, sensing that he had crossed a line. The last thing he needed was people prying into his business, but seeing as how his accent and mannerisms would have lead the man to his conclusion he left him alone. In actuality his was pleased not to be exchanging racist comments with the inn keeper who obviously of Irish heritage. Back home, and in the states further to the East, there was still a lot of animosity between the English and Irish, but here at least people were for the most part trying to put their ethnicities behind them.

"Thank you, Mr. Fallon." Said Sandy, his face softening. He then made his way out of the hotel and headed up Main Street, bathed in the amber light of the setting sun.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:39 pm

Halfway home, Maddie and Pokey were joking around. Pokey driving the buckboard and Maddie riding her painted mare alongside. The sun was setting but the two weren't overly worried as both were well armed and familiar with the area. Maddie turned around, hearing a rickety noise coming from the wagon and noticed that the left wheel was loose right before it fell off, sending Pokey tumbling off the seat and into the dirt. The bay horses spooked, talking off dragging the one-wheeled buckboard behind them with the supplies. Spurring Jasmine into a hard run Maddie caught up with them in no time, reaching over to grab the harness of Bud, one of the bays and pulling him to a stop with a firm hand and soothing words. She looked behind her and saw Pokey doing a funny kind of fast trot up to her, cussing up a storm until he got to her.

Gall-durn thing!!! I tolt Jimmy ta fix this here wheel an' he tole me he dun it!! I'll skin his hide, I will!!"

Maddie simply sat astride Jasmine until Pokey got done ranting, holding back a giggle. He was a sight to see when he was riled up with his hat off. His round face was red as a beet and his brown eyes were spitting nails. His sparse, gray hair was standing straight up, giving him the look of the leprechauns her pa had told her stories about. All he needed was a green suit and hat and funny little shoes. Pokey glared up at her, seeing that she was trying to hold back a giggle and finally he split a smile himself.

Alright now Miss Maddie. You've had your chuckle now you ride on back to town and let Ian know what's happened so that he can bring out a new wheel in the morning. This one here is clean cracked and no good. From what I can tell, the bolt is the new one, but Jimmy didn't tighten it down properly. I'll camp out here til yer all git here in the mornin'.

"No, Poke. We'll load up Bud and Susie with the supplies and we'll both head back to town. Ian will store the supplies in his barn and then I'll get us rooms at Fallon's."

Pokey saw the stubborn set of her chin and knew that there wouldn't be any arguing with her. Not with that Irish stubbornes as work. Sighing dramatically, he helped her tie off the bags of salt, sugar, flour, coffee, etc. onto Susie's back after unhitching her and Bud from the wagon. Using the long reins to guide Bud as he swung up onto his back, Maddie then handed the rope that was now tied to Susie's bridle, double checking to make sure everything was tied down tight to the horse's back. Then, she swung up onto Jasmine and the two of them headed back to town, leaving the broken down buckboard behind.

*******************************
A couple of hours later, Maddie and Pokey rode into town. The sun had now set and the street lanterns had been lit. Sally's was beginning to bustle with the cowpokes and ranch hands from neighboring ranches. The Circle M was the largest right now and her pa was in the process of making it bigger.

The headed straight to Ian's Livery, being lucky enough to run into Ian Kirby as he was closing up.

"What 'appened ta you two? Where's the wagon?"

As Maddie explained what had happened as Ian reopened his stable for them to put away their horses, he also showed them where they could store there supplies where they would stay dry and varmit free. Once he had helped them bed down all 3 horses, he clapped Pokey on the shoulder and offered to buy him a drink over at Sally's. Poke looked over at Maddie who smiled at the two of them. Ian was a large brute of an Irishman, but he had a heart of gold and the personality of a teddy bear....until you got that Irish temper of his riled up.

"I've got a hankerin' for one of Sally's whiskies myself, so I'll join you two and then I'll head on over to Fallon's."

Awwww...now Miss Maddie, you know yer pa don' want you going into Sally's anymore and if'n he finds out that you did while with me he have my hide."

"Pokey, if I want to have a shot of Sal's good whisky I'm going to have one of Sal's whisky's. Besides, it's early enough that trouble hasn't started yet. I promise, one good shot and then I'll head for Fallon's and visit with Allison."

Pokey shook his head and looked helplessly at Ian who just shrugged his massive shoulders, knowing as well as Poke did that the girl would do what she wanted and deal with the consequences later. Nodding his head, the 3 headed for Sally's.

Once inside, most of the men hollered to Maddie and Pokey saying their hello's. Some of the whores, like the women of the town, looked down their noses at Maddie but knew better than to be caught by Sally herself. Sally had a soft spot for the girl who had grown to be an independent young woman. The buxom older lady left the poker game she was involved in with a couple of ranch hands from the Circle M and hugged Maddie, her strong perfume almost choking the girl.

"Maddie, what in tarnation are you doing here at this time of the evening? You know your pa would be having a fit if he knew you were in here."

"Sal, I missed seeing you too. I just want a good shot of whisky before it gets rowdy in here and say hi to you. Then I'll head for Fallon's"

Hugging the buxom woman back, not caring that she was the head whore of the establishment and owner, Maddie grinned at her. Sally hollered at the barkeep to set Maddie up with a shot of the best whisky they had and ushered her over to a barstool. She looked up at Marcus, the barkeep and told him to keep an eye on Maddie until she left and to make sure that she got to Fallon's safely, then she gave the girl a peck on the cheek and went back to her card game after making sure that Pokey and Ian were set up as well.

Maddie sipped her whisky, enjoying the smooth burn of it as it trailed down her throat, looking around the room. She saw the stranger from the hotel and gave him a friendly smile before finishing her drink. Once she was done, Pokey was over to her in an instant.

Okay Miss Maddie. You've had yer drink now scoot! Get to Fallon's before someone sees you here and reports back to yer pa."

"Okay....okay, Poke. I'm going."

Maddie laughed, giving Poke a peck on the cheek, making the old cook blush furiously. She knew he hated it when she did that to him in public and that's exactly why she did it. She slid off of her barstool and before she left, she. She spotted Jimmy and told Pokey watching as Pokey's round face turned a splotchy red as he saw the young 18 year old. Jimmy was a red head with freckles, tall and lanky, not having filled out yet. She told Poke to go easy on him and maybe the best way to punish him would be to send him back to the ranch to let her ma and pa know what had happened. By the time he got back to the ranch, it would be too late for him to come back to town. Poke smiled at her, telling her what a cruel steak she had in her, knowing that it burst the young man's bubble of having himself some fun tonight, but he liked it and headed for Jimmy. He wanted to get the talking done and out of the way before he started drinking his rum and took one of Sal's girls to a room upstairs for the night.

Heading out the swinging doors, Maddie waved at the ones who hollered at her and she headed for Fallon's, noticing that one of Sal's men was following her, making sure that she made it to the hotel safe and sound.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:14 am


Sitting at a corner table, the tall, lean man threw back a shot of 'Old Oak'. The corn whiskey, went down like liquid fire, but the first always did. Sandy filled up his glass again, placed the bottle back on the table and surveyed the pub. He had made sure to keep his back to the wall. just in case some rowdy up and decided to take a poke at him. There were a lot of drunk panhandlers about, spending their earnings from the few ounces of gold dust they accumulated over a few days. Most were harmless, just wanting to have a good time and share in a song or two, good, honest, hard working men. There were a few snakes in the crowd, however, Sandy could always spot them and so he kept and an eye on them while he listened to the conversations about him.

He had never made it to what Fallon had referred to as 'Sunset' Sally's. When he had reached Fulton street, he came upon a saloon to his left as the inn keeper had instructed only it was a place owned by a Mr. Jack Douglass. A smooth talking Easterner, that saw more profit in selling booze than panning or digging for gold, and Sandy was inclined to agree with his logic. They had hit it off straight away when, Jack recognized his accent and learned that he was from Upper Canada, even sat with him for a spell and filled him on the dynamics of Shady Gulch. Sandy learned as much as he could in the ten minutes before Jack was stolen away by some of the other patrons, and was just as content to lean back in his chair and listen to the piano player.

Jack Douglass had only been in business a year, and was not as established as the other two in town, and it had become a haven for newcomers, especially the panhandlers. He was still in the process of decorating the place but already, Sandy found the saloon very welcoming.

There was a roar of laughter from the front of the saloon that drew Sandy's attention. From what he could see from his corner was a dark skinned man with long black hair, dancing in front of a group of drunk miners. Sandy recognized the man's style dance and new he was native. He would dance for a while like a performing fool, then the men would give him a shot of whiskey.

Sandy's eyes found Jack Douglass who stared back at him in a disconcerting manner. It was apparent that he could do little to stop the demoralizing act. Sandy understood the man had a business to run and just about every one of his patrons shared the same ignorant attitude. Defying one, meant defying them all. Sandy himself knew there was nothing he could do, for the same reason. The Apache had chosen the path of the drink and even his own kind shunned him, as the looked down on those weak enough to become a slave to the white man's drink. Sandy just poured himself another shot and averted his eyes, closing his ears to the dispirited shouts and saddening song of a once proud man reduced to entertaining drunks.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:43 am




Ethan headed back for the herd and his men. He galloped out on his horse, Lightening. As he approached, he could see buzzards flying in circles overheaard...Shit...trouble! a as he came over the ridge, the cattle were missing and his men were nowhere to be found.

Signs of trouble were everywhere. The herd took off down that ravine and stampeded. Broken arrows...burning of flesh...blood...Thats when he spotted Marcus...the kid hadn't even turned 20 yet, he laid in a pool of cold blood. He found the other cowpoke, a new fella Jimmy Joe...he had been dragged down the side of the hill and buzzards were eating his flesh. The third of the party was nowhere in the vicinity of these two.

Ethan looked for signs and figured this had to be a raiding party...must be apache renegades...He determined they were at least a half days' ride ahead of him and he wondered how many of the herd was taken.

Ethan got off his horse and looked for horse huffs to determine how many of them were there and which way they went. He had been a tracker for most of his life...hunting with his pa in the old days before taken captive as a slave by the mexican outlaws named the Commacheros. Living with those bad men over the years, he learned alot about tracking and shooting both left and right handed.

Now Ethan was in a bit of a jam, his cattle were stolen, four good men of his were dead, two henchmen of that bastard John McIntyre were also dead and no telling if a possee was being mounted ta chase him down. He needed to git to Coyote Hills and found the US Marshal and tell his part was in self-defense before an award was put out on him.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:18 am


Sandy finished off his meal and pushed his plate into the center of the table. He poured himself one last shot and corked the bottle which was over three quarters full. When he was a younger man he had let the drink get the better of him or more than one occasion and that combined with his short temper was a bad mix. He had been happy to see the Apache clear off, and the sounds of the saloon had returned to a normal level.

"Hey! You joinin' in the posse? Thar's a reward ya know?" Said a man to his friend standing at the end of the bar. Sandy who is was sitting only a few strides away couldn't help but over hear the conversation and listened intently as the two men conversed about the happenings, earlier that day.

Sandy learned that two of the local 'war lord's' men were gunned down at Sally's Saloon. Seemed that a cattle ranger had come into town looking for trouble, or at least that was the story that John McIntire was feeding everyone. The man's name they had learned was Tumbleweed Dawson. His partner Jake Brennan, an amiable and gregarious man, had threw around the name a few times and it clung to people's ears. One of the men at the bar had actually met him before he was gunned down.

"That bastard, McIntire is damn liar!" Argued the second man, lowering his voice at the last word and looking around nervously to make sure no one had paid any attention to his outburst. "I y'eard that ol' Tumbleweed had come into town lookin' fer his partner. Ya remember?" he continued in a lower tone, "He wasn't a lookin' fer no trouble."

"Well it don't matter to me any how." Said the other man, "McIntire's put seven hundred on his head. If'n ya don't want a piece of it, thar's more the rest of us."

The man threw back a shot of whiskey and grabbed his rifle. "We're meetin' at the old jail and headin' out." he informed his friend.

"What? At night? With that damn Apache, Goyahkla out thar! I swear those bastards see's in the dark! Splittin' a bounty more than ten ways isn't worth bein' skinned alive, Walt."

"Ah!" Spat back the man, and strode out of the saloon. He met up with a few others who were waiting for him at the door and they headed to the old jail.

Sandy stood up, threw a few coins on the table and grabbed his glass and bottle. He walked up to the bar and placed the whisky in front of the remaining man at the end of the bar, popped the cork and filled his empty glass. The man's eyes lit up and he licked his lips. "Why thank ya, kindly thar, young fellar." he said, raising his glass.

Sandy raised his glass and they both drank their shot. He then refilled both glasses and pushed the bottle in front of the man, gesturing that it was his. "The name's Wilken." he introduced.

"Pete." Offered the other man, extending his hand with a wary look in his eyes. A few more drinks, though, and old Pete couldn't shut up. He went on and on about Shady Gulch. About McIntire and the posse that was aiming to collect the bounty on Tumbleweed's head.

"If'n he's smart. Tumbleweed 'll be headin' for fer Coyote Hills, they's got the only law around these parts, but it won't do 'em much good." Pete commented with a laugh.

"Why's that?" Inquired Sandy.

"Cause'n they don't have enough men ta stand up ta McIntire. He'll cut them down! Just like he does ta anyone who crosses him. Besides ol' Tumbleweed won't get very far. If'n the posse don't get em, the Apache sure will. He's a ridin' straight into thar country. It's the shortest distance between Shady Gulch and Coyote Hills."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:48 am

Goyahkla , led his raiding party, the stolen horses packed with supplies and the three Mexican steers up a rocky trail to thier stronghold in the mountains. They entered the encampmet of one hundred and seventy-five men, women and children. A few dogs barked excitedly as women, old men, children and other wariors geeted them joyously. There would be fresh meat, warm blankets. amunition, guns and other supplies of food for a while. The fresh meat was a welcomed sight, something many had not had since before they had been placed on the reservation. The racid meat, weavil infested flour and poor provisions were only one of the things that had forced Goyahkla to lead his people off the reservation and into the mountains, the murder of the medicine man known as "The Dreamer" was another.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:02 pm

As Maddie neared the hotel, she saw Keruk (Bear in Apache) leaving Jack Douglass' saloon, stumbling around with a bottle of whiskey in his hand. She knew that he'd once again been dancing foolishly for the bottle he now held and it made it her heart ache to see the once proud warrior reduced to this. Turning angry eyes onto Jack's place, she stormed over there, throwing open the swinging doors. Spotting Jack behind the bar talking to his barkeep she ignored the stranger and Pete and headed straight for him.

"Jack!! Damn you!!! Why do you keep allowing these good for nothing drunks treat Keruk like they do?! This is your place.....you could very well put a stop to it even it means not allowing him in here anymore because he's Indian!!"

Jack looked at the small spitfire and grinned at her, shaking his head. This wasn't the first time they'd exchange words over this and it probably wouldn't be the last.

Now, Maddie.....you know that if I do that then I'll lose at least a quarter of my business from the miners and I'm trying to keep with Sally let alone the other saloon in town. Besides, they don't hurt him any, just have him dance a little."

"It's humiliating Jack, and you damn well know it!!! Ban Keruk from here so they can't do that to him anymore!!!"

"Well, Maddie...you know, if I ban Keruk, then wouldn't I have to ban you as well?"

Jack hated playing that card, mainly because Maddie was different from other women. She was independent and knew it, but this wasn't the first time for this and he was plainly getting tired of it. Besides, eventually she would come in here while Keruk was dancing for the miners, open her mouth and be in a world of hurt. He didn't want to see that happen to her. He hated seeing the hurt look in her eyes before they turned an icy blue, reminding him of her father's eyes before he would lose his temper.

"Go...to...Hell, Jack."

Maddie turned and stormed out, stomping to the hotel. Once there, she went inside and found Allison finishing up cleaning after the dinner rush. Helping her out, she said hi to Allison's father, Mr. Fallon and told Allison what had happened. Allison listened with a sympathetic ear, but said little knowing that Maddie just needed to vent a little and then she would be back to normal. She'd already heard about the wagon wheel and had Maddie's usual room ready. Once Maddie was done, her and Allison had everything cleaned up and ready for the breakfast rush in the morning. She also helped Allison set out little sandwiches and cookies for snacking if anyone came in late. They were kept on ice to keep them chilled back in the sink.

Once everything was finished, Maddie gave her friend a hug and headed off to her room, knowing that tomorrow would be a busy day.

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Judge not nor fear that or those which you do not understand, for it or they may be someone or something that will aid you in the trials of your life.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:40 am


Sandy looked to the other end of the bar and watched as Jack and the young woman exchanged words. He wasn't able to make out most of what the owner of the saloon was saying but the girl's shouts were crystal clear. She was quite passionate about the humility of the alcoholic Apache but Sandy sensed that her fieriness wasn't only fueled by sympathy; the reason definitely hit closer to home in her case.

"Who was that?" Inquired Sandy, as Jack came strolling back his way.

Jack tipped back his bowler hat and placed his hands on hips then gave a look over his shoulder to make sure Maddie was gone before he answered, "Madison Keegan. Her pa's the owner of the Circle M, eight miles west of town."

"She's got spirit." Commented Sandy.

"Yeah, well I got another name for it." Mentioned Jack, then he waved to the bartender to pour him a drink.

Sandy smiled, neither openly agreeing nor disputing the man's assessment of the girl.

Jack tossed back his drink and sighed. "I'd stay away from that one, kid. She's bad news." he advised.

"Not the kinda woman I'm lookin' for friend." Sandy replied. "Don't need anymore complications in my life."

"Amen to that." Agreed Jack as he leaned against the bar next to the weathered wayfarer. "So, I'm surprised you're not joining the posse. Kinda figured you for a bounty hunter when I first saw you." he said eyeing, Sandy's rifle.

"Not really my line of work, Jack."

"So what is?" The Easterner quickly countered.

Sandy grew quiet and stared hard into the man's eyes. He didn't much like where the conversation was going but immediately sensing that he had somehow intruded, Jack retracted his question. "Sorry, Sandy. Didn't mean to pry. You see I've been looking for someone to enforce the rules round here. I need a man I can trust, and all the gunfighters in this town are either in McIntire's pocket or scared of him."

Sandy nodded as he considered the man's offer. He had more than enough money to by himself a claim and try the prospector's life if he wanted but he really didn't know if that was the life for him. He'd never worked as a hired gun before neither, but somehow it seemed to fit him better.

"Let me think about." Replied Sandy.

"Fair enough." Said Jack, "In the meantime, order yourself another round. It's on me."

Jack left to mingle with his patrons leaving Sandy alone to his thoughts. It was a big decision, and one he didn't want to rush into. Picking up his rifle, he strode out of the saloon and decided to take a stroll around town.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:28 pm



Bones' head was down as he rode into town, he was fighting fatigue and a wicked bout of the shakes, it had been a full day since the last town, a full day since he had eaten anything and a long full day since he had had any whisky. Bones' long thin fingers were barely holding his pony's reigns as he entered Shady Gulch town limits, or so the sign said.

The sun was high in the sky as Bones Brown rode past the land title and claims office, some folks around here were panners and prospectors, simple folk who hoped to strike it rich. Bones wondered if Sandy had stopped here searching for a simpler life, a life apart from the way of the gun.

Bones looked down at his guns, they were snug in their holsters at his waist, one on each side. Bones Brown had a rare talent, he could pull and shoot his two guns faster than most men could pull just the one. Bones was a fair shot too, even if he was drinking.

The ashen faced gunslinger steered his pony towards the first saloon he saw, Bones had a few coins in his duster still and was aching for a belt of whisky. Bones tied his horse up, kicked the dust off his boots and walked slowly into the saloon. There were a few patrons in the place, they took notice of the thin, spooky looking cowboy as he walked straight to the bar.

Bones was focused on getting some whisky, he was not aware of how he might appear to the patrons of the saloon. Bones' long hair hung in his face, his worn and tattered long coat was caked in mud and dust from his ride. Bones looked like a ghost from a pulp book as he placed a few coins on the bar.

"Whisky..." Bones said in a voice that sounded like rusty hinge.

The barkeep brought Bones a small glass and poured the amber colored liquid into it, Bones snatched it up before the man was finished with the pour and drank it down.

"Again.." Bones croaked.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:46 am


Sandy walked up Main Street as far as Parrot's smithy, pausing when he heard shouts in the distance. Just beyond the livery stable he could make out the posse, riding out of town after the man they called, Tumbleweed Dawson and it brought back bad memories. Sandy knew what it was like to be pursued by a horde of relentless blood hounds and felt for the wrongly accused man. The thought of it brought on a chill and he buttoned up his three quarter length buckskin jacket to ward the cool night air.

A bright full moon rose into the night sky providing more than enough light to see by. It was bad luck for Dawson, as it allowed the posse to make up for lost time by riding through the darkness. Poor bastard. Sandy tried not to think about it and turned his thoughts back to his own problem, which was deciding whether or not to accept Douglass' offer. By the time, Sandy's feet found their way back to the saloon he had yet to make up his mind and thought he might ask Jack if he could sleep on it. After all, he would eventually need to find work, but at the moment was quite comfortable and would be for some time since he wasn't fool enough to gamble his money away like so many others.

Stepping back into the saloon, Sandy's eyes were drawn to the stark figure hunched over the bar and literally thought the dead had rose from the grave! Not moving, he stared hard making sure that what he saw was real and when he was satisfied made his way slowly toward what by all rights should be an apparition.

The bar tender was growing impatient as Butch 'Bones' Brown rummaged through his pockets for a few more coins to pay for another glass of whiskey but it was quickly becoming apparent that he was out of money.

"Looks like yer plum outta cash there feller." Said the barkeep who quickly moved on to tend to another customer, "Mind steppin' away from the bar and let some payin' customers through, partner."

Jack Douglass, the saloon owner was already closing in 'Bones' to ensure that he didn't cause any trouble when a strong hand gripped is arm holding him in place.

"I say —!"Exclaimed Jack, then held back his profanities when he saw it was Sandy, "Oh... Sandy. Good to see you've come back. I was just about to deal with this man..."

"I'll deal with him." Sandy interjected as he brushed past, Jack who smiled pleasantly, believing that he decided to take the job he had offered.

Sandy cautiously approached Butch, remembering well how fast the grave digger was on the draw. He moved alongside him and stared into his dark, deep set eyes in his haggard sallow face. The last time he has seen the man was in Oregon city, where Sandy had done a lot more than just have an unfortunate altercation with a drunk in a saloon. Truth was, he and Bones had road together for a spell and it was a time he was trying to forget. Anger had gotten the better of him, and the two men had done some terrible things which had eventually caught up with them. Things went bad for them quickly and during a shoot out they were separated. Sandy escaped and he had believed all this time that Bones and Jessica had never made it, but now seeing Butch Brown in the flesh he began to lament the woman he preferred to always believed got away.

"Bones." Acknowledged Sandy with a nod, "That was some bad luck in Oregon city. I thought you were dead; how'd you ever find me?"

Sandy slapped two bits down on the bar and signed for a couple of drinks to the bartender. The man promptly came over, placed down a couple of glasses before the two men and filled them. Sandy picked up one, turned to face Bones and held the glass before him in the manner of a toast.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:05 am



Bones took a look at his old friend, they were friends weren't they? Bones hoped that despite the past and it's ugliness that he could still call Sandy Wilken a friend. Sandy seemed well, his hair was still long and hell, he was still alive.

Bones watched his much younger friend raise his glass in friendship. Bones took the glass in his shaky hand and held it high.

"To leaving the past behind Sandy, and to old friends..." Bones drank the whisky , it was warm and strong going down.

"I wasn't sure I'd find you at all Sandy, I took a chance. I remembered you were always threatening to give up your guns and strike out to the hills to root for gold. Yep, when things were bad you were always sayin' how you were gonna leave it all behind and become a panner or some such damn thing."

Bones eyes met with Sandy's searching to see if the English gunslinger was truly happy at all to see him. Sandy was always friendly, perhaps it's the English way but the young man was capable of shooting you dead while smiling the whole time. Hell, it was something that Bones always liked about Sandy, polite to the end.

"That business in Oregon City was a rough patch, things could not have gone much worse..."
Bones looked at the bar for a second, his hand was still clutching the empty glass in anticipation of another drink.

A bit of shame ran up the thin gunfighter's spine as he spoke to Sandy again.

"Jessica got loose from it but just barely, I don't know where she went but she's alive, or at least she was after Oregon City anyhow."

Bones pushed his filthy hair from his face and tucked some of it behind his ears.

"Shady Gulch is a town full of fool panners and diggers and I thought I might find you digging in the earth and sporting a long greasy beard and talkin' to yerself here. Looks like I was right..except for the beard."

Bones smiled, it was a weak smile but it was as good a one as the man could offer.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 am


"To old friends starting anew." said Sandy politely acknowledging his old friend's toast and watched as Bones belted back his drink in what would take the younger man three swallows, his quivering hand steadying somewhat as the alcohol seeped into his sickly liver. His complexion had worsened over the past year, and Sandy knew without a doubt that Butch hadn't visited a doctor like he had advised. Of course his life was his own and Sandy wasn't about to try and tell the man how to live it, still Bones has proven himself a good friend and he sure as hell didn't want to see him drink himself to the grave.

Sandy reminisced about those those late nights round the fire dreaming about a simpler life. Bones had a way of knocking the romanticism out of things, but then again who was, Sandy kidding? He for damn sure wasn't no prospector. "I reckon our view of things change with our perspective, Bones." Sandy pondered, reciting knowledge common to all men of Butch's years, but the woodsman was young yet and hadn't yet accumulated the wisdom to learn from all his experiences.

When Sandy learned that Jesse was still alive he didn't know what to say at first. He suddenly felt more guilty than ever for leaving his companions for dead but at the time he just couldn't believe anyone could have survived that ambush. It was only pure dumb luck that saved him when they were driven into the mine shaft. When a shot grazed his head, spinning him into the mining cart he tripped the break and rolled to safety leaving, not by his choice, Bones and Jesse to fend off ten angry trappers.

Sandy had been thrown into the river when the cart derailed and battling against unconsciousness and the current he managed to pull himself to the far shore and safety. Since then, he had blamed himself for ever involving the two in his vendetta against Hudson Bay Company. Intercepting their shipments and stealing HBC money had made them targets and when a band trappers finally caught up with them the fight was heartless.

"Damn, I'm sorry I didn't go back for you Bones. I should of." expressed Sandy, his head hanging low with regret. At that moment the bartender returned to refill their glasses but Sandy ushered him away with a staying hand.

"Why don't you let me buy you something to eat, for old times sake." Said Sandy when he saw the disappointment in Bones' eyes and the craving. "Some food will do you good."

Sandy guided Bones to the table he had been sitting at previously, which conveniently was still vacant. He leaned his rifle against the nearby wall just within his grasp and waved over the barkeep. After he ordered his friend a meal and himself another nosh, Sandy filled bones in one the job that the owner of the saloon, Jack Douglass, had offered him.

"I'd keep the peace around here, and I wouldn't have to grow that greasy beard." Joked Sandy, "I just don't know if its me, Bones. You were right, I'm no panhandler, but that's not what brought me to Shady Gulch in the first place and I can't help but feel its a sign running into you."

The food came and Sandy grew quiet until the server went on their way. He grabbed one of the cups of coffee and placed it front of Bones. "Give that a try." he said, then he continued on with why he had come to Shady Gulch.

"There's an iron wagon that runs to and from Shady Gulch, owned by the self proclaimed marshal of the town, a man by the name of John McIntire. I admit that I did come to this town with the best intentions, but hearin' about that wagon sparked some interest and now running into you after all this time seems like fate. I figure all we need is a few more guns and we can knock over that wagon. What d'ya say, Butch?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:02 am



Bones took the hot cup from Sandy, the coffee was surprisingly good. Bones was suddenly very aware that he had not eaten in a day and was looking forward to the meal Sandy was providing. Bones took another long sip of the coffee and as he did so his mind drifted back to the year previous, He and Sandy and Jessica were riding through the hills outside of Oregon City with a gang of angry men at their heels.

The trappers were out for blood because the three of them had stolen a months worth of Hudson Bay greenbacks and damn it if those grubby skinners didn't want their money back! It was raining hard that day and the horses were slow going through the hills, a stretch of sticky clay and dangerous open mine shafts. If it weren't for the damn rain Sandy, Bones and Jess would been a territory away before those smelly skinners knew they had been cheated out of their pelt money.

But the three friends had to take a stand in the mouth of an open mine and they gave those trappers hell before Sandy was shot and disappeared into the dark mine. Bones and Jesse could not look for their friend until they ran the trappers off or killed them outright, so they continued to shoot it out with the band of angry men.

When the shooting was done Bones and Jesse looked for Sandy, they traced his movements to the river before they lost all sign. Convinced that no one could have swam the river with a bullet in their ear they gave up hope.

"Jesse was mad as hell when you got shot, she put down 4 of those skinners with a twinkle in her eye. I got 2 or three of 'em, I'm pretty sure. There was a lot of killin' done that day, it's funny how killin' folks becomes so easy at times and then again you never forget it."

Bones ate the food before him and listened to his friend talk about McIntire and the iron coach. As bones ate he kept one eye on the doorway, it was habit after all the things he done and enemies he had made in Oregon and California. Finishing a big fatty piece of bacon and in his best fake English accent he gave his answer.

"I'm currently between vocations Sandy and am happy to lend a hand."
With his belly filling with the warm drink and good food the thin gunfighter was getting some good color back in his face, Butch Brown had not felt this good in a long while.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:30 pm


Sandy was thinking about Jesse when Bones poked fun at his accent and British mannerisms and that brought back more memories. It felt like old times, back in the days when people knew him as 'Red Coat' and he tore into anyone who crossed him, but he had changed and long since lost the red jacket he had been known for.

Sandy smiled at Bones. "Well your English is improving. You used to say, 'vacations'." he quipped. Then he stood up, tossed a Seated Liberty dollar and a couple of Jefferson nickels on the table, grabbed his rifle and headed for the door. As he passed by Jack Douglass, he nodded to the man and said, "Thanks for the offer, but I have to decline. Be see'n you around."

Stepping out into the lamp lit street, the full moon was bright and one could easily make out the fine details of the buildings across the way. Sandy motioned southward. "I'm stayin' at the Fallon, there's a stable just down the road from it where you can keep your horse." he informed his friend.

Sandy then paused before walking back to the hotel and dug a few coins out of his money belt. "Here." he said to Bones dropping three rare, three dollar coins and Liberty dollar into the man's hand, "Ten dollars should keep that belly o' yours full, I know you're good for 't. Just don't go losin' yourself in a bottle, eh?"

On the veranda of the Fallon hotel, Sandy waited for Bones to stable his horse. He sat down on a swinging chair and stared up at the stars wondering where, Jesse was at that moment. He was happy to hear she had survived and now that he knew she was alive he realized how much be missed the ornery woman.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:22 am

Goyahkla sat silently at the village fire, around the fire sat several warriors and village elders. As Goyahkla sat staring into the flames of the fire he called upon his power, the inner meditative spiritual place deep within his soul. As he meditated he passed into the "SPIRIT WORLD" First he came to a mulberry tree growing out from a cave in the ground. Before this cave a warrior stood gaurd, but when he approached without fear the warrior let him pass. He descended into the cave, and a little way back the path widened and terminated in a perpendicular rock many hundreds of feet wide and height. Directly beneath him he discovered a pile of sand reaching from the depths below to within thirty feet of the top of the rock where he stood. Holding to a bush, Goyahkla swung off from the edge of the rock and dropped onto the sand, sliding rapidly down its steep side into the darkness. He landed in a narrow passage running due westward through a canyon which gradually grew lighter and lighter until he could see as well as if it had been daylight; but there was no sun. Finally he came to a passage that was wider for a short distance, and then closing abruptly continued in a narrow path; just where this section narrowed two huge serpents were coiled, rearing their heads, hissed at him as he approached, but he showed no fear, and as soon as he came close to them they withdrew quietly and let him pass. At the next place, where the passage opened into a wider section, were two grizzly bears prepared to attack him, but when he approached and spoke to them they stood aside and he passed unharmed. Goyahkla continued to follow the narrow passage, and the third time it widened and two mountain lions crouched in the way, but when he had approached them without fear and had spoken to them they also withdrew. He again entered the narrow passage. For some time he followed this emerging into a fourth section beyond which he could see nothing: the further walls of this section were clashing together at regular intervals with tremendous sounds, but when he approached them they stood apart until he had passed. After this he seemed to be in a forest, and following the natural draws which led westward soon came into a green valley where there were many Indians camped and plenty of game. There USEN the one God that watched over all of creation stood and beckoned Goyahkla to step forward and walk with him.

As they walked Goyahkla heard a voice in his mind say “No gun will ever kill you,” it said. “I will take the bullets from the guns of the Mexicans and the White Eyes… I will guide your arrows and bullets. I give you N’daa K’eh Godih ( A prayer power that worked on the minds of Goyahkla's enemies to make their bullets miss their targets and turn into water. ) Goyankla now return to my people and lead them wisely...... protect my people and the lands I have given them .........” Then Goyahkla saw a vision of his wife, children, mother, sisters, all his people that had been murdered and all those warriors that had fallen in battle ................ Usen then said to him "Lead our people to the Sacred Mountains .... from there drive the Mexicans and White Eyes from Apache Lands." A vision of an iron coach drawn by eight horses appeared to him.

With a shower of sparks from the village fire Goyahkla stirred and returned from the Spirit World. He looked at those gathered around the village fire and stood slowly "I have used my Power and it has told me we are to leave this place. We go to the Sacred Mountains . From there USEN will aid us as we drive all the White Eye and the Mexicans from Apache Lands. USEN has given me N’daa K’eh Godih. Now go and sleep, tomorrow we leave this place." Goyahkla then turned and walked off into the darkness.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:28 pm

Maddie had spent the evening visiting with Allison and helping her get ready for the morning rush of miners, ranch hands, and others passing through. They giggled as only young women will do both covered with flour by the time they were done. Mr. Fallon came in and simply shook his head at his daughter and Maddie, smiling. No two girls could be more different the two of them. Allison was blond, blue eyes, pale skin and dressed in dresses. A true girl. Maddie was dark haired, golden skin, slanted bright blue eyes and dressed in pants or split skirts. A tom-boy through and through. And yet, they were the best of friends and he was grateful for it.

Ted Fallon remembered when his little girl sank into herself after her mother was killed by bandidos. He had just bought the hotel and was fixing it up, getting ready to open it to the miners. They lived just a mile out of town in a small 3 room cabin when the attack came. Ted was in town and found his wife lying in the yard.......dead. Allison he found later in the crawl space under the small cabin. She was 9 years old and scared to death. He moved them both into the hotel after that and a few years later, after the town had grown, he bought a small house for the two of them next to the hotel. It was then that Allison had met Madison Keegan and the persistant yet friendly girl brought Allison out of her shell and made her smile again. Ted would always be grateful to Maddie for that.

"Maddie, you're gonna have to bathe before you go to bed tonight. You look like a ghost with all of that flour all over you. So, go on. Get a change of clothes that you keep over at the house and I'll get the tub hauled in here next to the stove so you can clean up. Then Allison, you can clean up and both of you hit the sack."

Both girls giggled as Maddie headed on out to their house. Ted would never understand why Maddie wouldn't just stay with them when she had to stay over in town, but he didn't question her about it either and because she was Allison's best friend he only charged her half the room fee.

By the time she returned the tub was positioned in front of the stove. It wasn't a big tub, only 5 foot in diameter and about 3 foot deep, but it would get the flour off of her and out of her hair. The water was heating on the large kitchen stove in 3 large pots and as they heated, Allison poured them into the tub along with some cool water to cool it down a little. Closing the door behind him, Ted stayed out in the dining area while Maddie bathed and then Allison. Once clean, they hollered at him and between the three of them, they got the tub back outside and emptied.

"Well, I'm gonna head on up to bed. Thanks for the bath, Mr. Fallon...I'll see you in the morning Allison. Good night."

As Maddie made it to her room, she lay down unable to sleep as she thought about her encounter with Jake. She knew she'd been wrong in blaming him for the fallen warrior's humiliation and would apologize to him in the morning. Her pa had been telling her she needed to start thinking before speaking, but her temper usually got the better of her before that. She smiled to herself, closing her eyes, hoping that sleep would come as tomorrow would be a tiring day.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Judge not nor fear that or those which you do not understand, for it or they may be someone or something that will aid you in the trials of your life.


Last edited by SinTara on Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrections made to fit time of night for story)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:17 pm


The ornate blade glimmered in the moonlight. To pass the time, Sandy whittled a piece of wood with his old military knife, an antique, crafted in the year 1753. It was his grandfather's knife, and once upon a time it was bright red with the blood of Huron when the reputable British soldier single handedly killed five braves with it when their fort was attacked. Sandy had made peace with the blades history a long time ago, and since then he has used it on anything from four legs to two with no prejudice.

The patter of light foot steps caught his attention and glancing over his shoulder Sandy noted a pretty blonde haired girl running into a neighbouring house. He recognized the girl as Fallon's daughter, and also caught sight of three ornery looking men lurking in the shadows of a darkened porch across the way. Making sure his Remington could be drawn quickly if needed, he ensured the girl made it back into the hotel safely. The girl was coming age and it was only a matter of time before the dogs began to circle. He had seen that wolfish look in the eyes of men before, a sickening bestial stare. If Jesse were with him, she'd put them all out without so much a thought as one would to kill a wasp. Insignificant pests with stingers, that's all they were to her. Sandy of course saw her point, but he had always been the more cautious of the trio and just made sure to keep an eye on the lurking coyotes.

The lilting laughter of young woman echoed in the night. It might as well of been a dinner bell. Sandy looked over and saw the three men advancing on a young couple out for a night stroll and knew at that moment that before the night was done there'd be at least on less wolf in this town.

"Hey thar, perdy lady." Called one of the men.

The young man courting the woman, wasn't a gun fighter. It was quite evident that the gun on his hip was more for show and he'd most likely shoot himself in the foot or the fine filly he was with in the rump if he drew it. The couple simply tried to avoid the men, but they were quickly corralled, and Sandy knew that it was only a matter of moments before the young man got himself killed and the woman scarred for life.

"Your lady's very fine, my boy." Said one of the bandits to the young man, "Too fine for the like's of you". The pig eyed, grizzly faced bandit then turned his eyes to the woman, "Wouldn't you like to know what it's like to be with a real man."

"Real man? All I see is three dogs." Growled a voice with British undertones from behind them.

The three men turned to see a tall, long haired man in a buck skin jacket, his right hand brushing the pistol at his hip. Now, Sandy wasn't much of quick draw, he was a sharp shooter, but he just couldn't allow these pigs to get away with what they were about to do. He'd for sure get one, maybe two but after that he was a dead man. His only hope lied in the timely return of Bones.

"You must be tired of livin'." Said one of the men, while the other two laughed.

Sandy stood his ground, his expression calm, his body relaxed, while the couple made a hasty a get away, running into the Fallon hotel.

"You know who we work fer?" Shouted another man, "McIntire. He owns this town and we do what ever the hell we wants ta do. Ya understand that? Now since'n you had to go and play the hero, we're gonna have ta make an example of ya!"

The men exposed their side arms and Sandy prepared himself. Where the hell was, Bones?!
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:17 pm



Bones was smiling to himself as he tied his horse up, he was pulling his rifle and a change clothes from his saddle bags so he could take them up to the hotel if they had a room to rent. Bones could see that there were a few people walking about in the moonlight, a few cowboys and a young couple.

Bones could hear Sandy's hard boot steps coming off the porch of the hotel, the steps were quick and deliberate. "...three dogs..." Sandy called the men, they had identified themselves as men in the employ of this big hat McIntre, Bones Brown was already working on some deep dislike for this man he had never met.

Bones walked slowly from behind his horse and was now just as far from the three cowboys as Sandy but was a good 20 or more feet off Sandy's shoulder. Bones had put his gear down near his horse and walked towards the men with his raggedy duster pulled back behind his twin pistols, Bones' hands rested loosely on the guns, there was no doubt that the thin man was ready for a fight.

"It's been a while since I priced pine, but if I recall to build a box for a full grown man ran about 6 dollars. Does that sound about right Sandy?"

Bones smiled at his friend, his eyes still fixed on the three thugs.

"This big hat you work for is gonna be real sore about the pine money he's gonna have to pay if you pull those irons at your side."

There was not a hint of jest in Bones' voice as he addressed the men, his long thin fingers hung loose on the worn leather of his belt just above his guns.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:05 pm


"Damn old man, why don't ya crawl back into yer bottle before ya fall down." Jibed the youngest of the three hoodlums when the gaunt, thin man made his coffin comment.

A round of laughter then ensued at the expense of Bones, but one man was silent. The oldest of three, a gruff looking burly man with a thick black beard regarded the thin gun fighter, licking his lips as if trying to draw a stray memory out of the air. His eyes wandered between the two men for a moment, then in a low, rough voice called out to Sandy, "Tell me yer name stranger."

"Wilken." Answered Sandy in a calm voice, all the more relaxed now that Bones had arrived. He'd never seen the man out drawn and now that he was at his side he was as confident within as he appeared out.

The black bearded man's eyes flashed over to Bones. "Priced pine?" he repeated as recognition flooded into them and looked like someone walked over his grave, "Ya ever been through Oregon City?" he quickly asked Sandy.

When Sandy nodded, the man paled. "Red Coat Wilken." he announced, then his eyes shot over to the thin gun fighter, "That'd it make you Bones Brown."

"Well I'll be damned." Exclaimed another of three men, recognizing the names.

"Well I don't care who in the hell they are." Said the youngest, with a nervous smile, "This here's our town and they did cross us, and what happens when people done cross us, Wil?"

"They end up dead, kid." Wil answered, clenching his jaw angrily at the fact that Little Pete appeared to have more sand in his veins than he and Blackie, but the older man knew what they were up against. Wisely he closed his jacket and took a step back.

"Com'on boys, let's git outta here." Advised Blackie, but his two companions held their ground.

"You go tuck tail and run, Blackie. Me and Pete'll take of these two bit gunmen." Growled Wil.

He had so much as been called a coward, and Blackie fumed. He still continued to leave though, because he knew that if his friends didn't leave, Bones the grave digger would bury them both. They'd be lying in their grave and he'd be alive, and nothing they said would matter anymore. "Be see'n ya boys.", he said as he slowly backed away from the impending gunfight, turned and walked away.

"If I were you, I'd leave with your friend." Said Sandy.

"Shut yer mouth!" Roared Wil, "I'm not runnin' from the likes of you!" He then shot a look over to Pete, letting him know that he was going to draw on the grave digger.

The young boy swallowed hard and prepared himself to draw on the one called Wilken. It was obvious that he had never drawn on an experienced gunfighter and the boy began to perspire while, Sandy cooly awaited the boy to make his move.

"You can walk away kid. Nobody has to die this night." Sandy told the boy.

"Yer wrong! You do!" Screamed the boy as he reached for his pistol, unfortunately mis-gripping the handle. Wil, reached for his colt simultaneously, swinging his gun out of the holster toward Bones.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1 - SPURS N SIX GUNS - The Way of the Wild Heart   Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:50 am



The older cowboy called Blackie by his 'friends' had recognized Sandy and Bones and had wisely backed out of the inevitable gunfight. Bones listened to the taunts and empty boasts of the two remaining younger cowboys as they prepared their challenge. As the undisciplined hands of the tough talking men drifted to their guns Bones Brown already had a hold of his.

The sound of iron sliding against stiff leather sounded at Bones' sides as his twin long barreled Colt Dragoon pistols slipped from their holsters and into the night air. Old instincts took over as thin arms straightened out and long fingers pulled on triggers.

Bones always thought that a gunfight was a lot like getting your picture made, there was the flash of powder and a lot of smoke but unlike a picture sitting, a gunfight was over real quick and nobody was smiling at the end.

Powder flashed in front of Bones as his pistols sounded, temporarily paining his bloodshot, aging eyes. It made little difference however for the 44 caliber slugs were in the air now, 50 grains of powder pushing them at their target. Bones' shots landed near the waistline of the the thug called Wil. One slug struck the cowboy in the forearm as he was trying to level his gun, his ill nourished bones shattered like shortbread as the round struck him in the meaty part of his arm just inches below his elbow. The cowboy spun to his right, his weapon flew from his hand as a bolt of raw white pain traveled from his forearm to his fingers.

The second round entered the man's body just above his gun belt on that same right side, the slug bore at a slight diagonal through the soft flesh of the man's belly, coming to rest in his ill treated liver. The cowboy finished his spin to the right and fell hard to his side, he cried out as he rolled to his back. Blood as black as pitch was staining his shirt and dungarees on his right side as his liver began to give up it's dark humors.

There was a good deal of smoke lingering in Bones' line of sight but the thin man was more than a little sure he got his man, as he had many times before. Beyond the gray smoke Bones could just make out the man lying in the street. His cries brought Bones out of the fog of instinct, thinking of his friend, Bones spun and looked to his left to see how Sandy had met his own challenge.
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