<You always were bad at sneaking up on people, Whirlwind> Morgan Fogg said as he looked directly at his cousin Hiamovi who had an arrow knocked, the string pulled back and crouched about ten feet away.
<I will kill you Red Bear>
“What the hell for?” yelled Morgan as he moved towards his cousin. “Well, come on then!”
Hiamovi stretched the string back further as Morgan walked towards him. Morgan stood right in the arrows path so the point touched his chin, never taking his eyes off his kin.
<You want to kill me, go ahead.> Morgan said <But blaming me for your woman dying won’t bring her back!>
Hiamovi stared at his cousin look and hard. Much had changed since they were boys. Like a striking snake Hiamovi kicked Morgan in the guts sending him tumbling backwards. Pain washed over Morgan as his busted arm jarred and bounced. When he’d finished his rolling he scrambled to his feet but his cousin was gone.
“Seems we do it my way then,” grunted Morgan as he headed back to the tribe.
14th February 1857, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
Sheriff Abraham Wallace waddled his portly self over to Judge Horace Clemens’ court. It’d been just under a week since Clemens had hired that bounty hunter to bring in Morgan Fogg. He sighed knowing that Morgan had done the right thing but the wrong way and that Clemens would forgive him for the misunderstanding as soon as hell froze over. He flicked through the mail stopping on a letter for him with a postmark via Santa Fe.
“Well I’ll be,” he muttered as he tore it open and took out the piece of paper.
“Any news?” snapped Clemens as he appeared in the doorway causing Wallace to wobble like a bowl of jelly.
“My brother Judd wrote me from New Mexico,” Wallace said proudly. “Must be about seven, no eight year si…”
“Not of you and your kin!” Clemens snatched the letter from the lawman’s hands. “That red menace Morgan Fogg!”
“Nosir.” Wallace shook his head as Clemens retreated back into his doorway and slammed it shut. …Happy Valentine’s day”
14th February 1857, 10 miles south-east of Fulton, Missouri
“Two hundred dollars!” moaned Ellison Quimby as he looked at the loot they’d gotten from Fulton. “That doesn’t even split three ways.”
Frank Waterman picked up the boiling coffee pot off the fire with his hook. “It’s a start.”
“Now vas is das Morgan Fog gang?” questioned Klaus as he chipped his toenails with his hatchet sending large yellowed shavings into the air.
“Means that red bastard gets in trouble if, and that’s a big if,” chuckled Frank “We get caught. We just blame him. Might even bring him out of hiding so we can kill him.”
Ellison rubbed his head “Well not for two hundred dollars, and if you keep chopping people with your axe they’ll send that posse from Jefferson City after us.”
“Let zem come!” growled The German waving his hatchet like a savage.
“Isa thinking we head into Ashland in the morning and…what?” Waterman paused as he noticed his two compatriots looking at him.
Frank Waterman turned to see a man standing behind him. He looked like he’d been in a fight and come off second best. Klaus stood up with his hatchet as Ellison brought his rifle up.
“You got a death wish stranger?” Frank said as he brought his hook up menacingly.
The man smiled a smile that even unnerved the cold German. “You three stink of him.”
“I am just going to chop his head off,” Klaus declared as he started towards the man but he stopped as he was hit in the face with a ribbon. Klaus slowly pulled it off his face, angrier and insulted by the ridiculous attack.
“Read it, if you can,” growled the man.
Waterman snatched it from Klaus and looked at the stitched name on the hat band. “Fogg!”
Morgan crossed the tribal circle, pulled his gun and fired a shot into the air then levelled it at his cousin Hiamovi <WHIRLWIND!>
Hiamovi stood firm and glared at his cousin as the other braves drew weapons. Hiamovi stepped forward, arms out to shield his tribesmen. <Just like a white dog to…>
Morgan fired another shot in the air <Call me anything but my name again Whirlwind and I will end you right now. You, me, we settle this>
<Enough!> The booming voice of Hō-hăn-ĭ-no-o′ ripped through the camp as the chief made himself known. <You two children WILL settle, but not like this>
“Oh I’ll fight him right now,” Morgan said as he aimed.
<Next full moon you two will calm your bad blood,> He said as he stepped in front of Morgan’s gun <Unless you sort your squabble before that. Whirlwind!>
Hiamovi stepped forward <Yes Little Rock>
<You will let Red Bear heal.> The chief placed a hand on his shoulder. <There is no honour in killing a buffalo wounded by a mountain lion>
He turned to Morgan, placed his hand on the gun barrel and lowered it. <And you Red Bear, if by the light of the new moon you prove to be a child of Malsumis> Hō-hăn-ĭ-no-o raised a knife made of silver and waved it near Morgan’s nose. <We will ALL deal with you>
<You think I’m one of those things?> Morgan exclaimed. The chief nodded ominously. Morgan shook his head in disbelief, spun the gun and holstered it. <You better stay away from me Whirlwind or full moon comes early>
15th February 1857, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
Jeremiah Hatton stepped out of the stagecoach and stretched. He donned his green bowler hat and waited, hand extended. One of his Blackouts came from the back of the stage and helped him down as one would for a lady. Hatton rubbed his finely trimmed moustache as he looked around the town.
“What a filthy place!” he stated as he held his nose. He watched his other Blackout unload his trunks.
“Howdy!” said Sheriff Wallace as he wandered past.
Jeremiah smiled as he saw the tin star on the portly man’s chest. “Ah Sheriff. Could you direct me to the whereabouts of Judge Horace Clemens?”
“Happy to take you there sir, as I’m on my way there,” Wallace said. “Now I see you’ve got two coloured fellows…”
“I have all their paperwork!” Hatton quipped defensively.
“Don’t doubt that sir,” Wallace replied as he pointed at them “But he’s carrying a big ole knife.”
Hatton nodded “I understand Sheriff.” He clicked his fingers and the large Blackout handed the knife over to his master. Hatton stared at the knife then back at the large black man. The man gulped and turned to the Sheriff, bowed and held the knife up to him. Wallace hesitated before taking it.
“Lead on Sheriff!” declared Hatton.
To be continued...