19th Jan 1857, Jefferson City, Missouri
The German kicked open the door to be greeted with Frank Waterman pointing a double barrelled shotgun at him, balanced on his right forearm with a bloodied bandage at the stump.
“Help you with sumthin?” asked Waterman as he tried to remain steady. He was using a shotgun in his off hand, balanced on his damaged stump of a right arm and reeling from the hit of morphine he’d just had before this giant bearded axe wielding idiot kicked in his door.
“Vhere iz zee morphine!” growled The German.
“Best you be seein’ Doc Jensen,” Waterman replied. “Coz this here's mine.”
The German scanned the room and sat heavily in the rocking chair by the door. “Zat is better.”
There was an odd uncomfortable silence as the pair looked at each other across the small room. “What happened to your leg?” Waterman asked nodding at the wet slick on the Germans thigh.
“Schaizer!” The German swore. “Zat butcher didn’t sew it up.”
Waterman lowered the shotgun. “Drink?”
Waterman tossed a bottle of whiskey across which the German caught and took a hefty swig from. “Vhat happened to your hand?”
“Varmint named Morgan Fogg,” snarled Waterman as he caught the returning bottle.
“Iz he a rotskin?” The German pondered his own words hoping the translation worked.
Waterman nodded. “Yeah, he’s one of them half-breed Injun sonofabitches!”
The German stood and buried the hatchet into the armrest of the chair. “Zeems we have a mutual enemy mein friend. Zee man who took your hand also shot me. Klaus Mannheim.”
“Frank Waterman.” Frank tossed his final vial of morphine over to him.
“We have much to discuzz.”
27th Jan 1857, Fort Smith, Arkansas
Morgan answered the rap on his door and was set upon by two pairs of large black hands; one around each wrist, one on his throat and the other on his shoulder. Before he knew it he was up against the wall, a good two feet in the air staring at two of the largest blackest men he’d ever laid eyes on.
“I have rules in my bordello,” came a voice from behind the wall of black muscle. “Now seeing as you’re one of them painted people, I’ll talk slowly in case you’re slow.” The large black men parted slightly to reveal a wiry little man in an off green suit, spectacles and a finely trimmed moustache. “No fools. No morons. No touching the girls. No trouble.”
“I…” wheezed Morgan as he tried to breath and speak but it was going to be one or the other.
“Clementine ain’t prone to lyin’ and I’ll take her word over a red savage any day. Put him down boys but don’t let him go.” Morgan came back down to the floor and began sucking up oxygen.
“My name is Jeremiah Hatton and I own this here bordello.” The man tweaked his moustache. “I’ll have no trouble or my Blackouts will pitch you off the roof. Do you understand me?”
“Yes,” coughed Morgan.
Hatton paused. “Yes, what?”
“Yes, I understand.”
Hatton looked at his Blackouts and simultaneously they whumped Morgan in the stomach with their big fists. “Yes, what?”
“Yes…sir,” groaned Morgan as he doubled over.
“Better. Now I hear you want to speak to my star Tiger Lily. Why?”
“Personal matter,” Morgan coughed.
Hatton nodded and again Morgan received a walloping. “I can do this all day.”
Morgan writhed in pain. “I…was hoping to…”
Hatton pinched the top of his nose. “What is it with that woman? Another suitor. Five dollars, no you might have the cholera, fifteen.”
“Fifteen dollars!” Morgan exclaimed “I want to bed her not buy her!”
Hatton smiled. “That is the meeting fee. It’ll be another ten if you want to...unload.”
“Highway robbery,” muttered Morgan. “If your apes wouldn’t mind letting me go, I’ll get your fee.”
Hatton nodded and they released him, though they did take his gun off him as a precaution. Morgan unruffled himself as he stared at the Blackout with his weapon. “Just to let you know; you touch my gun again and I…”
“Enough with your jabbering!” snapped Hatton clicking his fingers. “Let us conclude our transaction.”
Morgan grabbed the ever lightening sack of the Chinaman’s money from under the bed, peered into it then handed it all to Hatton. “Should be all there.”
Hatton poured the coins into his palm as he quickly counted them up. “You are…short for a full show.”
“Then just meeting her,” sighed Morgan holding out his hand.
“We’ll see.” Hatton smiled and pocketed all the coins as the Blackout slapped the pistol back into his hand and dropped the bullets onto the floor. Hatton as he exited the room closely followed by his muscle. Morgan gathered up the bullets and quickly loaded them back in.
“Seems we’re going to do this the hard way.” Morgan spun the chamber of his Colt Paterson and snapped it shut.
Morgan walked into the Fort Smith blacksmith shop with his horse in tow.
“I help you there?” said the blacksmith as he dumped a red hot iron bar into a barrel of water making a cloud of steam.
“I need you to take the shoes off my horse,” said Morgan.
Morgan shook his head. “No, I just need them.”
The blacksmith scratched his head and pointed at the wall. “I’ll sell you a brand new set.”
“How much to rent them?”
Morgan marched back into Hatton’s bordello with a burlap sack over his shoulder. He moved quickly past the bar and down towards the stage. A Blackout stepped in his halting his entrance to where the acts came on. Morgan looked the large black man up and down; he was as high as an elephants eye and just as wide.
“You want to move?” asked Morgan.
The Blackout shook his head in the negative. Morgan smiled. “You’re one of them eunuchs, right? No balls, possibly no pecker either.”
The Blackout snarled and moved forward to forcibly move Morgan into the floor when he took a step back and let fly with the sack. There was a sickening metallic thunk as a dozen or so horseshoes wrapped in hessian cracked against the side of his head sending him to the floor. Morgan stepped over the unconscious lump and headed back stage hotly pursued by the three other Blackouts. Spying the one door with a star on it he jumped in startling Jeremiah Hatton in the midst of being orally serviced by one of the burlesque girls. Hatton tried to escape but in his precarious position had nowhere to go as the bag of metal whumped him in the chest knocking him clear across the room.
“What the &^%^%$!” shrieked the woman.
Morgan ignored her and jammed a chair under the door handle then dragged her to sit on the chair. “Don’t move! Now where’s Tiger Lily?”
The stunned woman pointed at the paper dressing screen. Morgan crossed the room, kicked Hatton in the ribs for good measure and flung back the screen to see Tiger Lily in the undress taping up her male genitalia. The door shuddered loudly as the Blackouts thumped it.
“I got a message from your father son,” said Morgan flicking the oriental scroll at him. “Time for you to come home.”
“NO!” Tiger Lily screamed grabbing a robe to cover her shame. “My place is here.”
Morgan watched the door splinter. “You can play dress ups back in Jefferson.”
Tiger Lily slapped Morgan hard across the face. He rubbed his cheek before thumping her back with a closed fist. “Normally I don’t hit ladies. But boy, you ain't a lady. Now get up!”
Morgan grabbed her by the hair and hightailed it up the stairs to the stage as the door burst open. Tiger Lily kicked and screamed. Jeremiah scrambled after them and caught hold of his star attraction.
“You’re a dead man!” rasped Hatton clawing the robe.
“Let me go!” yelped Tiger Lily squirming like a snake over a fire. Morgan spun the sack of horseshoes over his hand to make a large glove and pulled Tiger Lily hard making Jeremiah stumble up the stairs only to collect a punch full of metal. The owner of the bordello collapsed like a fallen tree. Tiger Lily broke free and headed for the stage.
“Oh no you don’t!” Morgan cried as he dove to tackle her but only caught her tattered robe. Tiger Lily spun like a top and ended up centre stage stark naked showing a room full of customers that she wasn’t a she at all.
“WHAT THE &^%$!” came a cry from the back of the room.
“SHE’S GOT A PECKER!”
The crowd erupted in fury, Tiger Lily stunned by aggression directed at her when merely minutes ago she was the toast of the town.
“I can explain!” yelled Tiger Lily ducking glasses and projectiles that flew her way.
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
Tiger Lily hit the floor in a hail of bullets. At least four men from the audience opened fire on her probably as they’d all fallen for, or more likely slept with the exotic dancer. Hatton’s was chaos. Morgan pulled his gun as the Blackouts began to charge up the stairs.
“Easy fellas,” said Morgan cocking the hammer. “Don’t do anything stupid. I’ll be on my way shortly. You just take your boss off to bed.”
The trio of large Negro eunuchs grunted between themselves before taking Morgan’s advice. Morgan Fogg watched from the wings of the stage as the patrons tore up Hatton’s like a tornado through a cornfield.
9th February 1857, Jefferson City, Missouri
Morgan Fogg rode into town; the body draped over the back of his grey mare and several wolf pelts. The journey back to Jefferson had been arduous with nature and the weather conspiring against him. He wanted nothing more than to crawl into a warm bath and then into a large bottle. He held his gaze at a man who was having a one sided conversation with a woman near the undertakers.
“What you looking at maize muncher?” snapped the man.
Morgan pulled his mare to a stop. “What did you say?”
“You deaf too hatchet packer?”
Morgan drew like lightning and pumped a shot into the man’s knee, sending him to the ground. The woman ran off screaming echoed by the man screaming. Morgan dismounted and stood over the writhing man.
“You know who I am?” squealed the man. “I’m Ellison Quimby.”
“That suppose to mean something?” asked Morgan.
“My cousin is Wantom Quimby!”
Morgan shrugged “Is he the President?”
“No you stupid red sonofabitch! He’s the meanest gunfighter in Utah! He runs the town of Bleach. When he hears about what you’ve done to…” Ellison stopped talking and began screaming again when Morgan stepped in his fingers.
“Utah’s a long, long way from here boy,” Morgan reminded him as he put his full weight down on the fingers. “Now, I’ve just ridden nearly two weeks from Arkansas and you’re the first person I’ve come across. And you want to start trouble.” The long barrel of the Colt Paterson hovered over Ellison’s temple.
“Oh please, please don’t kill me!” whimpered Ellison.
Morgan cocked the hammer back. “That ain’t a good reason.”
Ellison began wailing like a baby. Morgan watched in disgust before kicking him square in the mouth, knocking him cold. He stepped over him and mounted his mare.
“God help the next person who gets in my craw,” he said to his horse as he headed into to town.
28th Jan 1857, Fort Smith, Arkansas
Jeremiah Hatton looked in the mirror at the ugly bruise forming on his face from where he’d been hit with a sack full of horseshoes. “That red bastard will rue the day.” He turned to his four Blackouts. “And you four useless sacks of black ^%$#! Why do I even bother keeping you around? My bordello, ruined! My reputation, shot! My star attraction, dead!”
“We got his name boss,” said the one with the sizeable lump on his head from the same bag of horseshoes.
“Well out with it you stupid &^^%!” snapped Hatton.
To be continued…