Mightier than the Sword — episode #19
While on his way to Joplin, Missouri, Jas thought he
stop by a see an old friend, Adam Williams, and his
daughter, Ann Williams. It was nice to see Jas after
all this time, too bad it wasn't under better
As Jas arrived into town he started for The Banner
to see my father and I. He didn't even make it to
the door when he saw a cowboy, Trask, rough up
another cowboy and throw him to the ground. Jas went
over to help the cowboy lying on the ground when he
heard someone calling for help from inside of the
newspaper office. As Jas approached the office,
another cowboy walked up to see what was going on.
Trask warned him to get away and keep away. The
cowboy ran off. Trask told him to keep moving. Jas
opened the door and looked inside. There was a man
inside named Deke, tearing up the place. I (Ann) was
lying on the floor while Deke was roughing up my
worker, Mr. Anders. Trask grabbed Jas and they
started to fight. Jas knocked him to the ground and
came in and grabbed Deke and threw him out into the
street. Deke started for his gun. As Jas went for
his gun he said....."Try it.....just give me a
reason!" Both of the cowboys took off.
Jas hurried inside and went straight for me, I was
crying as Jas started to help me, I thought it was
Deke coming back to hurt me more. I started to
scream and hit Jas over and over again. I was
relieved, and glad to see Jas. As Jas helped me up,
Mr. Anders walked over to us taking off his
printer's apron and said....."Miss Williams.....No
more for me.....no more.....I've had enough!" "I've
got a wife
and kids.....I can't take this!" "I'll
pick up my pay later!" He told me he was sorry as he
Mr. Anders had no reason to be sorry. I should have
quit a long time ago and told Jas that. Jas walked
over to me and asked me where my father was. Jas
didn't know that my father had passed. We walked
over to the cemetery. I told him my father died in
his sleep about a month ago. Jas was saddened by the
loss of his friend. I told him how my father and I
both believed he was innocent and that he stated so
in the newspaper, The Banner. The Banner stood for
Adam's way of life.....was his
life.....Truth.....Honor and Integrity. I told Jas I
was selling The Banner and getting out.
I started back to town. It wasn't long after that
when Jas followed. He helped me clean up the office.
"This is the way Paul Mandell gets what he wants!"
Jas asked who he was. I told him that Mandell runs
the town and that nearly everybody owe his
investment company for one thing or another. He also
owns the freight service.....nothing comes into the
town or out without passing through his hands and
pockets. Jas asked why would he ransack The Banner?
I told Jas that the newspaper is the one who finds
you guilty before the verdict goes in and that makes
you powerful and important. Mandell wanted The
Banner to back and endorse him. He was interested in
a political appointment from Washington. I told him
that my father refused to back him, and that he
disliked Mandell for the way he got control of the
I told Jas that my father had been digging up
information on Mandell and was about ready to go to
press with it when he died. Jas wanted me to finish
what my father had started. I was scared, I had no
protection, Mandell owned the law too. "I can't
fight him anymore Jason.....he made me an offer last
week to buy me out and I refused him.....I won't
refuse him again!"
Just then a Mandell's girl entered my office. She
asked Jas if he was the man that is giving Mandell
all the trouble. Her name was Teddi Stafford and
Mandell sent her to tell Jas that he wanted to see
him. Mandell thought that Teddi would be more
persuasive then his men. Teddi was Mandell's girl. I
told Jas it wouldn't do any good to talk to Mandell,
but he wanted to try.
"Your name and face are well known in this town Mr.
McCord." "During your court martial that was all we
read about in The Banner." "Too bad old man Williams
couldn't influence your judges to be
as.....understanding about you as he was," said Mandell. Jas asked him why he sent for me. He
motioned for Teddi to leave us alone. He asked what
brought me here. I told him I came to visit an old
friend, but now it was too late. It was just a
visit, but when Jas got here and saw what was going
on, that changed everything. "It seems you like to
beat up women," said Jas. He laughed....."I don't
like to beat up anyone Mr. McCord, I'm a business
man." "I want the goodwill of the people in this
town." "I want their respect.....their
confidence.....their support," said Mandell. Jas
told him he could start by telling his men to stay
away from Ann.....Williams and her newspaper office.
Mandell then walked over to a map he had hanging on
his wall and said....."Very soon Washington would be
opening up this territory to settlers." "Congress
will appoint a man to head the entire
operation.....I intend to be that man!" Said Mandell
with a big smile on his face. He felt no one else
around here was even close to being qualified, as he
was. He knew the people and their problems, but he
needed The Banner to make it happen; he wanted it's
endorsement. "Even though
old man Williams fought a
loosing cause in your behalf.....The Banner is still
read and highly respected in Washington, It could make my appointment, certain," said Mandell. He told
Jas that like my father I chose not to endorse him
either. He told Jas that he made me a generous
offer to buy me out, but I refused. He wanted to
take advantage of the reputation and the integrity
of The Banner to endorse himself. Mandell said he
hoped that I would accept his offer. Jas asked him
what would happen if I didn't. Just then a fly
landed on his desk, he killed it and brushed it off
of his desk without a word, as if to say this is
what would happen to me.
Jas came back to see me. I asked him what he
thought. Jas said he thought that Mandell had to be
stopped. "I think he's a dangerous.....ruthless man
who will bleed the territory. I told Jas that my
father and I were both aware of that. Jas asked me
about the information my father had on Mandell. I
told him that my father had what he called, a lot of
damming evidence against Mandell. Jas wanted me to
publish this information and let the people in
Washington know about it. I reminded him that I was
frightened and that I just wanted to get away.
"You'll be running out on your father," said Jas. He
reminded me that this newspaper was my father's
memorial. Not the gravestone at the cemetery. Jas
then took a letter off the wall that my father had
received and read part of it to me.....
Washington, August 23,
so old friend.....tho we fought for
different beliefs.....I never at anytime
considered you as my enemy. Now the war
is over, a difficult task lies ahead.
People have to understand that we are
striving for a United States of America.
Where we can live in peace, you Adam can
help. Your goodness and courage to fight
for others to follow.....let the torch
of The Banner be that light.....until we
meet again my friend,
may God bless you....."
I listened to Jas read the letter and remembered how
proud my father was when he received it.
"Ann.....don't let Mandell put out that torch."
"Stay.....fight him!" Said Jas.
He was right, I couldn't run out on what my father
and I believed and worked so hard for.
Jas and I worked together on getting the article on
Mandell to print. It was worth all the work, I had a
good feeling about it as I read it....."In 1861 Paul
Mandell paid his way out of the Union Army for
$60.....paid to one Cylis Holland to take his
place.....came to this town and was star supporter
of the confederacy.....formed a partnership with
head of Marsh of New York.....this unholy alliances
desperately needed arms and supplies, he sold to
both the north and the south. A man who fills his
pockets and profits from the misery and desperation
of others. Such a man is Paul Mandell." I was
pleased with the article. I told Jas that I was glad
he was here. I thought about him so much, I missed
him. He walked over to me and we embraced. Just then Deke forced the office door open and began shooting.
Jas and I fell to the floor and hid behind the desk.
Jas shot Deke and killed him. As Jas approached Deke
I saw Trask slowly opening the back door and could
see the shadow of his gun. I shouted out. Jas turned
and shot him. They were both dead. Jas helped me up.
I was upset. "He'll never stop.....he'll never stop
until he gets what he wants," I said.
Jas was angry, he took a couple of the newspaper and
headed for Mandell's office. Mandell wasn't going to
get away with it anymore, not if Jas could help it.
"The Latest edition of The Banner, Mr. Mandell,"
said Jas as he laid it on his desk. "Copies will be
on there way to Washington in the morning." Mandell
wanted to make a deal. He told Jas to name his
price. "You can't pay it!" Said Jas. "I don't finish
that easy," said Mandell as he crumbled the
newspaper in his hand.
"Go ahead.....Print your
story! But I still own everything and everyone in
this town!" Jas challenged Mandell to come out from
behind his desk. Mandell slowly came out from behind
his desk while Teddi tried to talk him out of it. As
Jas turned his back to put his gun on Mandell's
desk, Mandell took advantage and hit Jas
unexpectedly. Jas was on Mandell's desk, with
Mandell trying to stab Jas with a paper pick from
the desk. Jas forced him away with his feet, pushing
him through the door of the office out into the
street. They continued their fighting in the street,
in front of the whole town with Jas getting the best
of Mandell. I heard the commotion and decided to see
what was going on. Every time Jas would hit Mandell,
he would get up, but wouldn't get a punch in. He
finally threw a hard punch which knocked Mandell off
of the porch of the saloon and ending the fight. Jas
went and helped Mandell up as he said to the town
folks....."Take a look at him.....remember a man is
only as big or as small as other people make him!"
Jas then pushed him into the horse's trough. "Take a
good look at him!" Said Jas. I took this opportunity
to pass out The Banner, with Mandell's story, this
was perfect timing. Teddi walked up to Mandell in
the trough and said laughing....."Will you look at
him.....and I was afraid of that!" "I've seen
rummies on the Barbary Coast better then him!"
Slowly the crowd broke up and Jas and I went back to
Things were working out for The Banner and Mr.
Andres came back to work for me. It was time for Jas
to leave, I knew I would miss him. But I also was
thankful for what he had done for me and The Banner.
My father would have been pleased, for he would have
known Jas would help us no matter what, he was a
I asked Jas where he was headed. He told me Joplin,
Missouri, that there was a new bridge was going up
and they needed engineers. "Do you think you'll find
what you're looking for there?" I asked Jas. He
laughed and said he might, he always thinks that.
"Ann.....about the other night....." I looked at Jas
and said....."Jas I know.....it was a moment. A
wonderful moment.....but.....only a moment."
"Well.....we have a newspaper to get out, thanks to
you!" We then kissed goodbye. As he got to the door
I called to him....."Jason.....Take care of yourself
and think about The Banner once in a while, will
you?" He looked at me and said....."I will." I know
I will miss Jas, maybe.....just maybe someday he
will make his way back here and decide to stay.
Thanks to Jas "The pen is mightier than the sword."
around The McCain Ranch