I Killed Jason McCord — episode #20
Jas was on his
way to Saddle River when he came across a river
bed. He had quite a ways to go, so he stopped to
fill his canteen. The last thing he remembered
was looking up and seeing a man
a big rock coming at him.
When Jas regained consciousness, his horse, gun,
hat & coat and a letter addressed to Jas was
gone. He was left with just his canteen and the
man's hat. There was nothing left for him to do
but to start walking.
When he got into town he saw his horse tied up
outside of the saloon. He checked through his
saddlebags and his other belongings to see if
anything was missing. It sounded like they were
celebrating in the saloon. He grabbed his rifle
and walked into the saloon. He wanted the man
who did this to him. "Who's riding that paint
that's hitched up outside?" Asked Jas. No one
paid any attention to him so he asked
louder....."Who's riding that paint
got their attention. Everyone stopped talking
and all eyes were on Jas. "What do you want him
for?" Asked Tuck. "That's my business!" Stated
Jas. "Whatever your business is mister, it's
over," said Tuck. Tuck then told Jas that the
cowboy was dead. Jas was puzzled. "Dead!" Said
Jas surprised. "Yeah.....shot by Tuck here,"
said Matt Hawley. "He did the whole country a
favor.....he was Jason McCord," said Carter. He
then asked Jas if he ever heard of him.
Jas told them
that he had heard of him and asked where the
man's personal things were. Tuck told him the
sheriff took everything except the broken saber.
He said he was keeping it as a souvenir. Jas
told him he'd take the saber. "I'll take that!"
"It belongs to me.....I'm Jason McCord!"
Everyone was shocked as they stood and looked at
each other. Tucked asked
Jas how could that be when he just killed Jason
McCord. Carter told Jas that the man Tuck killed
had bushwhacked him outside of town and he
followed him there. Tuck called Jas a liar. Jas
looked at Tuck and said....."I'm not asking
you.....I'm telling you!" "Give me that saber!"
Jas held out his hand. "Why don't you try and
take it!" Said Tuck. Jas took his rifle and
flipped it Rifleman style. The sheriff had
slowly eased his way into the saloon. He went up
to Tuck and told him to give him the saber. He
told Tuck if Jas was lying he would give it back
to him. Tuck handed the saber over to the
sheriff. The Sheriff then walked over to Jas and
told him to go along with him; he had some
explaining to do.
The sheriff gave Jas his things back. He told
Jas he believed him all along, no other man
would claim to be a coward, except Jas himself.
The sheriff asked Jas if he has any idea who the
bushwhacker was, but Jas had no idea. As Jas
started to put on his gun, the sheriff asked Jas
to let him keep his gun for him until he was
ready to leave town, maybe that way there would
be no trouble. Jas agreed.
Just then Bert the undertaker stopped by. He
said he heard that the man he had in his parlor
was not Jason McCord.
the sheriff that he had something interesting to
show him, it had to do with the stiff that was
thought to be Jas. The marshal picked up his hat
and started for the door. Jas asked if he could
go along. The marshal thought it was a good
idea, maybe if Jas got a good look at the man it
might jar his memory.
Bert lifted up the sheet and asked the marshal
what he thought. The man's legs were raw
if he could have had leg irons on recently. He
could have escaped from the Yuma Territory
Prison. The prison was only a two day ride from
where Jas was bushed whacked. Apparently he had
been in jail for a long time and hadn't heard of
Jas before. Anyone else would have thrown the
letter away. There wasn't anyone that would want
to be taken for Jason McCord.
Archie Fletcher, one of the biggest ranchers in
Saddle River, had a son killed at the battle of
Bitter Creek, he was only 18 years old. He even
was excited when he heard that Tuck had killed
Jas that he came into the saloon and shook Tucks
hand and gave him his own personal reward of two
hundred dollars for killing Jason McCord. He had
wanted to see Jas dead for a long time. Fletcher
also offered Tuck a job at his ranch as his
foreman. Now Tuck had to go and give Fletcher
the bad news.
Fletcher was upset. He told Tuck the only reason
he gave him that money and the job was because
he killed Jason McCord. Fletcher told Tuck if he
wanted to keep the money and the job, he would
have to kill him.
Tuck went into town and headed straight for the
saloon. He had some thinking to do. The men in
the saloon were making fun of Tuck. They told
him they hadn't bought him drinks for killing a
cheap old bushwhacker. "Too bad Tuck (the
cowboy's laughed).....you almost became famous
for killing Jason McCord!" "He's as good as dead
right now!" Said Tuck. They just kept laughing.
Lorrie, Tuck's girlfriend who worked there in
the saloon overheard what was going on. She
walked up to Tuck and asked him what that was
supposed to mean. "Just what I said.....Mr.
Fletcher wants him killed!" "Do you have to do
Mr. Fletcher's dirty work for him?" Asked
Lorrie. Tuck asked Lorrie is she knew what this
meant to him and to them. Lorrie didn't want any
part of this, not that way, not if he had to
kill a man for it. He asked
the problem was. She didn't seem to care when he
killed the bushwhacker. She felt he had cause,
it was kill or be killed. Jas had done nothing
to him. Tuck told Lorrie, she knew him better
then that, and that he would give Jas a chance
to go for his gun. She couldn't understand, Jas
meant nothing to him. Tuck wanted the admiration
and respect of the town and it's people. But
with the respect Fletcher would give him they
could finally afford to get married. This would
be Lorrie's passport out of the saloon. "I'll be
known as the man who killed Jason McCord. the
coward of Bitter Creek!" Said Tuck.
Lorrie didn't know what to do, she didn't want
to see the man she loved killed. Since she
couldn't talk any sense into Tuck she decided to
talk to Jas. She told Jas about Fletcher wanting
him dead and about Tuck, the man she loved. She
told Jas about the foreman job Fletcher offered
him if he would kill Jas. "Oh I see, sort of a
wedding present, huh?" Said Jas. Lorrie told him
that she didn't want that kind of wedding
present and that she wouldn't be there talking
to him if she did. Jas asked what Fetcher had to
do with all of this. She walked over to Jas and
as she looked at him she said....."His son was
at Bitter Creek!" "There's no place I ever go
without somebody's father or uncle or brother or
son being at Bitter Creek, or some young punk
wants to make the world cleaner by killing me,
or making me run." said Jas. She asked Jas if he
knew Bobby Fletcher. "I knew him.....he was the
youngest man in my command." "And maybe you know
how his father feels about you.....because his
son was killed while you....." Jas interrupted
Lorrie....."While I'm still alive!" They stood
there for a moment looking at each other. "Maybe
I'd feel the same way if I were the boy's
father," said Jas. She then asked Jas to leave
town. "You mean will I run?" Asked Jas. She
didn't answer; she just stood there waiting for
his answer. "No!" Said Jas. He then walked over
to the door and opened it for Lorrie. "Thanks
said Jas. As she stood in the doorway she
said....."Don't be a fool Mr. McCord," she then
turned and walked away.
Jas knew he could run, so he thought the best
thing was to go and talk to Fletcher and tell
him how his son died. Jas went unarmed. Fletcher
held a gun on Jas and shot at him. But as much
as he wanted to he could not kill an unarmed
man. He asked Fletcher to put the gun away. He
wanted to talk to him without the barrel of a
gun aimed at him. Fletcher did put the gun away
and then dismounted. He walked over to Fletcher.
"When the Apache attack came.....your son Bobby
was right behind me." "He was a good solider Mr.
Fletcher, a brave one.....I looked on him as a
younger brother." "I was hit and went down. The
wind was knocked out of me and I couldn't move."
"I saw the ammunition wagon running wild.....it
was coming straight at me.....the driver was
dead and the horses were half crazy with all the
shooting." "Your son Bobby leaped in front of
the wagon.....grabbed the reins and turned the
wagon aside.....the wagon buckled, rolled over
and blew up." "He might have been killed in that
battle anyway.....nobody will ever know
that.....but Mr. Fletcher.....I know that your
son saved my life!" Fletcher thought for a
moment. "Even if I believed your story.....am I
suppose to be consoled because he scarified
himself for you?" Jas told him there was no way
that any father could be consoled for the
sacrifice of his son. "I can't help but wonder
what Bobby would think if he knew that his
father wanted to kill the same man that he
sacrificed his life for.....it kinda makes
everything pointless, don't it?" Said Jas. Jas
then rode off and went into town.
He got his things together and as he was leaving
the hotel Tuck called to him. Jas told him he
didn't have a gun, that the sheriff had it. Tuck
told someone to throw him a gun. Tuck told Jas
to pick up the gun. When he didn't another gun
was thrown at Jas' feet. "Pick one of them up,"
said Tuck. They just stood and looked at each
other. "Pick one of 'em up or I'm gonna kill ya'
anyway!" Demanded Tuck. "I don't think you
will," said Jas. "So now you're gonna beg," said
Tuck. "Tuck that bushwhacker you shot was an
escaped prisoner from the Yuma Territorial
Prison. Jas got a telegram out of his pocket to
confirm what he just said was true. "$500 on his
head.....that's more then Fletcher put on mine,"
said now he could collect both ways. "It will
cost you.....you shot that bushwhacker in a fair
fight.....gun down an unarmed man and you'll
have a reputation just like mine," said Jas.
Tuck though Jas was beggin' off. Tuck then took
off his gun and told Jas he was going to kill
him with his bare hands. They started hitting
each other, with Jas getting the best of Tuck
when a shot rang out. It was Fletcher. Fletch
walked up to Jas....."Maybe what you told me
about my son is true and maybe it isn't.....I'll
never know! But in case it is true.....I don't
want your blood on my hands." He didn't do this
for Jas, he did it for Bobby. Fetcher told Tuck
that what he had told him before still
goes.....he can keep the money and the job was
still his. Lorrie looked at Fletcher and said as
she nodded her head....."He wants it!" Fletcher
then looked at Jas and started to
say....."McCord....." Jas interrupted....."Mr.
Fletcher.....everything I told you about Bobby
is true!" "Thank you," said Fletcher. "Thank you
Mr. McCord, thank you for the wedding present,"
said Lorrie. Tuck tried to apologize, but Jas
told him that it was okay; it wasn't anything
new to him.
Jas then asked the sheriff for his gun and left
town walking with his horse.
around The McCain Ranch