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Judge Not episode #17

Jas received a telegram of a job offer in Forth Worth. He needed to find a ride to Fort Worth, the stage has already left town several hours earlier. He asked the guy at the blacksmith if he could loan him a horse and ride with him so he could catch the stage, for a fee. The blacksmith agreed. They did catch up with the stage and Jas asked if they had room for one more, and that he needed to get to Fort Worth fast. The stagecoach driver told Jas they had a full load, but if he could squeeze in he could ride along.

As he stepped into the coach he heard a woman say....."Jason McCord." It was Laura Rock. She was an old flame of Jas's. She was traveling with her husband, Major Tom Rock. The major was present at Jas's court-martial hearing and also cast one of the deciding votes on his discharge. There also was a Texas Ranger by the name of Tuttle. He was taking a prisoner, Perce Clampett, to be hung.

"Jason McCord.....yellow-belly who got kicked out of the army and I have to set on the floor," said Perce. Jas asked Tuttle if he was Frank Clampett. He told Jas it was Perce, Frank was his twin brother and that they were as much alike as two peas in a pod. "Except in brains.....his brother is still running around free," said Jas. "I'll get free yellow-tail.....Frank will get me out of this," said Perce. Tuttle told Perce that Frank was going to let him swing so he can clear his own record. Perce told him he can think that, but not to be surprised if Frank was out there waiting on them.

Laura told Jas it was nice to see an old friend. She hadn't seen Jas since Tom sat in on Jas's hearing. She told Jas she never thought he was guilty. Perce thought this was funny. "Well ain't this a pretty wagon load of hate we have here," said Perce. Tuttle told Perce to shut up. Tuttle didn't get those words out of his mouth right when they heard shooting. It was Frank and his gang coming for Perce. Jas, the major and Tuttle all started shooting back at the cowboys. Tuttle got shot, while the others kept fighting. Next to get shot was the man riding shotgun. Jas told the major he was going to go on top of the stage and to cover him. Jas managed to get two members of the gang. The stagecoach driver got shot next. Jas grabbed a hold of the reins and managed to drive the stagecoach into the relay station. Potter the station master helped Jas get everyone off the stage. "You better help him (referring to her husband).....he put up a great fight!" Said Laura sarcastically. She had a low opinion of her husband and was not afraid to show it. Tom got off the stage and went over and grabbed his wife by her arm. "Laura.....I did my part." "Yes.....you shot the sky just full of holes," said Laura sarcastically. Jas started to take the handcuffs off of Perce, when Perce stuck a gun in Jas's face. In all the commotion, Perce managed to get Tuttle's gun without anyone noticing. "Now just back out quiet," said Perce to Jas as he took his gun. Potter was so busy telling what all he had learned about bad men and what he would do, that he didn't notice Perce holding a gun on Jas until it was too late.

 Perce tied the men up and gathered up all the guns and ammunition he could fine. He took the ammunition out of Jas's gun belt and put it in a sack and threw it out the window. Perce then walked over to Potter and grabbed his handkerchief that was around his neck and started twisting it, he wanted to know what Potter would do to bad men. Perce told Potter he had been out here too long and that he had been reading too many dime novels. "You turn me loose and I'll show ya'," said Potter. Perce then got a bottle and a glass and poured Laura a drink. Her husband asked her not to drink with Perce. "What makes you so pure and holy?" Laura asked her husband. Perce chime right in and asked him the same thing and reminded him that he had been on the stage with them and he was a coward. Perce then forced whiskey into Tom's mouth. Laura got upset. She kept looking at Jas, but there was nothing he could do. She had to do something. She ran over to Jas and said....."Jason, you missed it.....you were on top of the coach.....but...but...but Tom, he was scared right out of his wits!" "He's just a desk soldier.....never in a real gun fight." All the while Tom was watching and listening to his wife degrade him. "And yet he sat in judgment of you and branded you a coward! "Do you know why Tom voted against you?" Asked Laura. As she pushed Perce away from her husband. "Because we once loved each other." "And I turned my back on you because I thought he was a man with a future." "Oh so honorable and upright and virtuous!" "All I married was an empty uniform!" She walked over to the table upset. Perce walked over to her and said....."You sure know how to pick 'em lady.....first ole yellow-tail here and the fancy soldier boy." He then offered her a drink. She told him she'd like to go outside to get a breath of clean, fresh air. As they started out the door, Perce warned no one try anything or she would get it.

As soon as the door was shut Jas tried to break loose. "McCord, what she said....." said the major. "Forget what she said.....she's giving us a chance to get loose.....use it!" Potter managed to get free.  He said it was a trick he learned from the Indians as he untied his legs. He then headed to the fireplace where he had a gun hidden in the stack of wood. Jas told him to untie them, but it was too late, Perce walked in. He yelled for Potter to drop the gun. He showed Laura and said....."I thought the little lady was being nice too fast!" Potter told him that Laura didn't know anything about him getting loose, but it was too late, Perce killed Potter. Perce turned to Jas and said.....Ya know.....he talked so much that he talked himself to death," said Perce. As Laura kneeled down beside Potter, she saw his gun lying next to him. She picked it up and walked over to Perce and told him to drop his gun. She then went to untie Jas. Just then one of the member of the gang shot the lamp inside the house. It was Frank and the gang, they came to get Perce. She held a gun on Perce while the others figured out what to do.

They had to try something. They didn't have enough ammunition to fight them off. If only they could get to that sack of bullets that Perce threw out the window. The major yelled out the window....."Hey out there.....this is Major Thomas Rock.....US Calvary.....I wanna talk to you!" Jas yelled at the major and asked him what he was doing. Frank told him to get rid of the gun and come out. As Tom started out the door, Jas told him he was making a mistake. Laura turned to Jas and said.....:Maybe he can do it!" Just then Perce went to the window and yelled that there was only one left. Jas hit Perce and knocked him out. Major Rock went oldside with his hands out to his side. Frank shot him.
"They killed him! They killed him!" Screamed Laura. Jas looked out the window. the major was still alive. Laura was crying, she asked Jas not to leave her husband out there. Jas tried to comfort her. He told her to get the gun that was on the floor and to stay low. She gave Jas the gun, now that left him with two guns. She was still crying begging Jas to help Tom. Jas knew he had to get that sack of bullets.  He slowing opened the door, ran and grabbed the sack of bullets and headed for Tom who was now hiding behind the wagon. The bullet had grazed Tom's head, but other then that he was alright. "Why did you come out here?" Asked Tom. "We needed the bullets and another gun.....if you can use it!" stated Jas. Tom then took the gun from Jas. "This is your chance to even the score," said Tom. Jas told him that Laura asked him to come after him. "Now if you want to find out why.....lets start working together," said Jas. Jas covered Tom as he ran for the house. After he made it, Jas ran for the house also. Now they were both inside. Tom walked up to Laura and told her....."That was a brave thing that you did, picking up the old man's gun." "It was a brave thing Jason did.....going after you," said Laura. "He said you wanted him to," said Tom.

 Just the Perce came to. He picked up an iron from the fireplace and started for Jas. Tom saw him and stopped him. The he hit Perce again and again and again. The gang started to rush the house. Tom went over to help Jas, when Jas said to him.....Any orders major?" He smiled at Jas and said....."Fight at will.....captain!" "McCord.....about your court-martial....." Jas told Tom to forget it. "My personal feelings about you and Laura.....had nothing to do with my decision." "I voted with the majority because I honestly believed the evidence.....you offered no defense....." Just then Frank yelled.....
"I'm coming in to get you Perce!" As Frank ran towards the house, the major shot him in the shoulder. He kept running and headed for the water trough, but before he could make it, he was shot again, this time he was killed. When the other men saw that Frank was dead they high tailed it out of there.

Perce slowly started for the door when Jas stopped him. "He's my brother....." The two men stood there looking at each other. Without having to say another word, Perce went out to see his brother. He cradled his brother in his arms and cried. They buried Potter and Frank. They had to get going if the wanted to make Sara Blanc before sundown.



"I wonder if the old man ever did those things he boasted about?" Asked Laura. "I don't know.....but if he died the way he talked.....he knew one thing that some people never learned.....you come into this world with nothing.....and that's the way you go out," said Tom. "And in between coming and going.....you ought to appreciate what you've been given," said Laura as she looked at her husband.

As the major and his wife started to get on the stage Perce asked why he had to ride up there with Jas when there was plenty of room for him with them in the coach. Jas looked at the two of them and then at Perce and said with a smile....."No there's not."


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