Other chapters and other Wild Western titles located here: http://www.comicvine.com/profile/cbishop/blog/wild-western-roundup/103567/
** 4th March 1857, Jefferson City, Missouri
Black Snake Betty looked at the newspaper that declared ‘James Buchanan Sworn In’ and shook her head “Another old stupid white man in charge”.
Sheriff Jonas Ross coughed in dissention but didn’t actually say anything. Betty was one tough hombre and getting on her bad side led to trouble. He really wished she’d leave town because with her here hanging around it made his life difficult. It was bad enough she was a woman barking orders at people, even worse she was a black woman!
“Don’t you have someone to catch?” Ross asked.
“Oh I’ll catch Morgan Fogg,” Betty said as she folded up the paper “But I ain’t running from town to town to catch him like a headless chicken. From here I can head back to Leavenworth or down into Texas territories by train or stage. Besides that supposed gang of his has been making a beeline towards Utah hitting small towns along the way which really doesn’t sound like Morgan Fogg the bounty hunter, now does it Jonas?”
The sheriff nodded, not in agreement but as habit as he tried to process the information.
“Besides, Utah’s a s#!t#o!e!”
4th March 1857, Hampton (formerly Bleach), Utah
“We rode all the way across the country for this?” Frank Waterman stated as he looked at the town of Hampton that had a nicely carved wooden sign swinging in the light breeze. “I thought you said that this place was called Bleach?”
“It is,” moaned Ellison Quimby as he scratched his head as he saw the old sign lying at the base of the new one, the word Hampton carved into it over the faded paint of Bleach. “Least it was.”
“This town looks like every other cow town you dragged us through,” growled Remus Supple, the newest member of the Morgan Fogg gang.
“Got us a darn sight more money than ole hook hand did from that job in Fulton!” replied Ellison matter-of-factly.
“Whole buncha heat too,” said Waterman derisively.
“That’s because he,” Ellison waved a finger at the big bearded Prussian. “Keeps hitting people with that darn hatchet like he’s a lumberjack!”
“Zis town smells like someone has put flowers on a steaming pile of schaiser!” spat Klaus Mannheim as he spat on the ground as Remus pulled his bandana up over his nose.
“Let’s find this cousin of yours,” said Waterman as they rode into town.
Hiamovi swung the metal hatchet at Morgan’s head. He wasn’t playing, he was out for blood. Morgan watched his cousin, reading his movements. A foot feint but Morgan didn’t go right but left and was in perfect time to catch Hiamovi’s wrist with his right hand and slam the stone tomahawk into the soft flesh of the thigh. Hiamovi yelped and jumped away.
<I drew blood, this is over> said Morgan pointing at the wound.
<Not until you die Red Bear> rasped Hiamovi as he crouched low like a puma.
Morgan tossed the stone axe at Hiamovi’s feet <When we were children you were always a bit of a…> Morgan switched to English “Prick, yeah a goddam prick.” <And now as a man not much has changed. I don’t want to fight you, don’t want to kill you, I really don’t even want to talk to you. I won, you lost.>
Morgan turned his back and walked off. Hiamovi let out a howl <COWARD! WHITE COWARD!>
He saw his aunt who was part of the tribal circle, arms folded, staring at him coldly. Morgan rolled his eyes and as he exhaled he saw the expression on her face change slightly. Quick as a jackrabbit he ducked as the hatchet sailed where his head would’ve been. Morgan leapt back and charged his cousin tackling him to the ground; pinning him. He drew his gun and jammed it into Hiamovi’s mouth.
<You attack me from behind like a dog> yelled Morgan as he pulled back the hammer. <Let me show you how I deal with dogs!>
CLICK! Morgan grunted in frustration as Hiamovi panicked.
CLICK! He paused, remembering he’d used all his bullets putting that werewolf in the ground. Suddenly several pairs of hands grabbed him and hauled him off Hiamovi, as several braves helped him up.
“I gotta fight all of you now too?” Morgan seethed as he struggled against them. Hō-hăn-ĭ-no-o′ stepped forward, grabbed Morgan by the ear and also Hiamovi and dragged them together like children as braves held their arms and shoulders.
<You have broken the tribal circle! You have let your bad blood spill instead of settle>
<Give me a bullet, I’ll end this right now!> winced Morgan in the vice-like grip of the tribal elder.
<You Red Bear, refuse to fight and then use a forbidden weapon in the sacred circle. And you Whirlwind. Your anger has cost the tribe dearly.>
<What are you talking about?> yelled Hiamovi. Hō-hăn-ĭ-no-o′ pointed as several braves and sqaws parted revealing Honiahaka lying on the ground; a steel hatchet embedded in her face.
<MOTHER!> shrieked Hiamovi. Morgan looked on stunned at the body of his aunt lying prone on the ground with a thick oozing blood pool about her head.
<You both have broken sacred laws> Hō-hăn-ĭ-no-o′ decreed <The tribe will punish you since you...children, could not settle your squabble. Take them away!>
4th March 1857, Hampton (formerly Bleach), Utah
As the quartet rode through the town that smelt like ammonia mixed with rotten meat they spied six preserved corpses; one headless, in pine boxes, standing like a grim warning outside the saloon that had a fresh lick of paint on the sign calling itself Irwin’s. They stopped their horses and strode into the saloon where nine patrons and one dog were drinking.
“Where’s Wanton Quimby?” whopped Ellison “Where you hidin cousin?”
The bartender waved them over as he tossed his checked rag over his shoulder. “You looking for Wanton Quimby?”
“You deaf?” quipped Ellison.
“No sir, not deaf.” The bartender replied “So you ain’t heard what happened then?”
Frank Waterman lashed out with his hook, catching the bartender around the neck and hauling him over the bar so he was nose to nose with Ellison.
“Wanton Quimby is dead!” gulped the bartender. “Irwin Hampton killed him and his gang right here, see!”
They looked down at the bloodstained wood where the bartender was pointing. Waterman shoved him back as then grabbed Ellison by the collar. “You dragged us all this goddammed way to view your cousin’s corpse?”
“Zis iz not what you told uz,” added The German.
“I’ve joined a pack of morons,” muttered Remus quietly under his breath through the bandana.
“Excuse me gentlemen!”
The quartet turned to see a man in the saloon door way, flanked by four men holding blunderbusses. He smiled and walked towards them.
“You Hampton?” snapped Ellison.
“Oh no, my name is Meryl Freely and I’m the mayor here in Hampton. Mr Hampton comes and goes as he pleases. Now I hate to send money away from Hampton and I saw on the way in you have quite a haul in your saddlebags, but you gentlemen are trouble. We’ve had our fair share of trouble and frankly, we don’t want no more. So before Mr Hampton gets here and let me assure you, you don’t want that; you will have to leave town.”
“Really?” sneered Remus. On cue the patrons all brought up a variety of revolvers and knives as the bartender poked Waterman in the back of the head with a rifle muzzle.
“We don’t want any more trouble in Hampton,” said Mayor Freely. “Took us a long time and we’re gonna keep it that way. So please gentlemen, for your sakes, you’re going to have to leave Hampton.”
Ellison started to speak when Waterman clamped a hand over his mouth and drew him in close. “Shut your mouth! We’re out gunned and we’re cornered! You and your stupid plan!”
“We could take’em,” suggested Remus quietly.
“You want to fight,” Frank said as he threw his hand and hook up “You go right ahead. Me, I’m leavin’” And with that Frank Waterman marched himself out to the horses, tipping his hat to Mayor Freely on the way. The German grunted and followed suit leaving.
“Last chance gents,” said Mayor Freely. “Please, lets be sensible.”
Ellison spat on the floor and marched out leaving Remus alone and surrounded. He licked his teeth. “Just letting you know, you’re lucky the suns still shining.”
“You’re lucky Mr Hampton is out of town,” replied Mayor Freely. “He’ll be back at sunset if you want to…have a word with him.”
Remus crossed the room and looked deep into Meryl’s eyes “You’re lyin!”
Meryl gulped but held his ground and stare nervously. Remus shoulder bumped him, joined his gang outside and they rode off out of town. Meryl and the townsfolk breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“Suppose we should get an actual sheriff,” said Freely as he exhaled.
Morgan Fogg looked at his cousin. Each of them had been strapped to large trees, bound with untanned wet leather straps to the neck, wrists and ankles. It was an Indian torture technique Morgan remembered from when he was a child. As the sun dried the leather it pulled it tighter until it strangled the victim or pulled a limb off and they bled to death. Or something ambled along and ate them. Or they died of starvation. It was not a pleasant way to die.
<You made me kill my mother!> wheezed Hiamovi as he tried to get free.
<You threw an axe at me and missed> Morgan replied quietly <Always said you were a terrible shot>
<I will eat your heart!> screamed Hiamovi as he thrashed against the tree.
“Good luck with that,” sneered Morgan “At least I won’t’ have to listen to you whine like an ugly whore.”
He looked up and saw the sun was on the way.
5th March 1857, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
“What exactly am I being accused of?” snapped Jeremiah Hatton as he stood in from of Sheriff Wallace.
“Seems Mr Hatton,” Wallace said “That one of your boys,” He motioned at the two large black men flanking the little man in the green suit. “Did rough up Leroy Baker last night.”
“That’s preposterous!” shouted Hatton. “You know as well as I do they both stood behind me all night during the poker tourney and never left my side.”
“Well, Leroy said a large bl…”
“Are they the only two blacks in town? Mmm? Well?”
Wallace inhaled “No, but…”
“I found Mr Baker’s outlandish accusation offensive!” yelled Hatton, stamping his foot. “How dare he?! And after he won all the money from me! You were there!”
Wallace rubbed the back of his neck. It all did seem a little strange. Leroy cleaned up last night and left with his winnings long before Hatton had left the hotel. “I was just making inquires Mr Hatton.”
“I can see that Sheriff, but to be slandered,” Hatton tweaked his moustache “I have a good mind to find him myself and demand satisfaction.”
“Now, don’t be doing that,” Wallace moaned. “’That only makes it worse. I’ll handle it Mr Hatton.”
The little man formerly of Fort Smith extended a hand “I hope so! Good day!”
To be continued…