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Fulton's Fury

A Predatory Excursion - To Ravage …. Fury
Spirit To Texas — Chapter One
Written by Frank Charles aka weinerdawgy

After the excitement of the gun play in Santa Fe, Will Fulton and Ann Bard wanted some peace and quiet. Jack Donaldson’s antics were just enough to make it hard to sleep for a while. None thought that he would resort to such a serious crime, one that could have involved murder. Ann felt mostly relief in that Jack could no longer bother them, but Will was still upset because he knew that Jack was about to kill him. It made him very mad that his wife to be had to get involved with a gunfight too. But it was Ann’s sharp thinking as well as shooting that wound up saving everyone involved.

Lucas did his best to talk to Will, reminding him that danger knows no gender or family ties. Ann had to grow up that day and now knew that she could take care of herself. This, in fact, was a good thing. He told Will that he should be thankful that his girl is one tough customer! Lucas was thankful that it didn’t turn out worse and maybe cause him to decide to quit the gun show idea. It wasn’t easy, but Will agreed to settle down and look forward to other things.

The gun show was a complete success. Will and Bat enjoyed more time together and Ann loved Bat’s charm. She also learned a great deal spending time with Emma. This gave her plenty of ideas to improve her character at the equestrian events. Now she had some new cowgirl outfits to shop for in Dallas. Spring was not so far off and soon she would be taking Flash out on the circuit full time. Emma taught her some finer points about singing also. Ann loved the choir at church and couldn’t wait to get home so she could show off her improved voice. Bat and Will took lessons from William Brighton on handgun spinning and quick draw. Lucas joined in at times also. He was getting the message that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have one and to acquire that skill from an expert. It would also help fill in at the demonstrations when it was only Bat and him present. John Browning was very impressed and wanted the idea to grow and improve as long as they were willing to continue. He wanted to send another man to join with them in Dallas, one that could represent the company and handle the sales on the spot. William Brighton was satisfied with everyone’s skills and friendship. John offered to send him to Dallas, or at any time they felt he could be of help, but it was decided that he should go home for now and be of more use at the factory. John didn’t want him to get too involved or he might not ever come back!

The Santa Fe marshal took statements from everyone involved with the Jack Donaldson case. It would be a long time before a trial could be held. Will agreed to check back on his way home and Lucas would keep watch for any telegrams. Micah offered to make an appearance if necessary. Jack was slated to spend a number of years at hard labor in the Santa Fe prison one way or another. The charge was attempted murder and kidnapping. There was no compelling reason to return to North Fork right away, so the thought of going to Dallas to follow Bat Masterson and Emma Walters seemed appealing. Lucas was very agreeable to take the trip by train and for the prospects of another shooting demonstration. Sam and Micah wanted to return to North Fork. They left a day after the show. Lucas let Micah ride Razor along with Sam and the wagon home. Spirit and Flash were to ride the train as the travelers took the rail onwards to Dallas. Among those travelers was one new member. Aubrey and Lucas agreed that taking a trip together would help both of them decide if they really desired to be together. They both wanted to explore Dallas and it would take some time to develop interest in the gun show. Lucas knew that Will and Ann would want some time to share alone and so it made sense that Aubrey and Lucas could have plenty of time.

Sam and Micah took three days to get back to North Fork. Micah stayed on the Bard ranch for a few days to rest up from the long ride. Micah suggested that he and Sam should ride out to the Donaldson place and inform Walt of what had happened. Sam knew this would not be a happy chore. Walt was already having a bad time and Sam knew he wouldn’t want to ask for help. Now that Jack would be out of the picture for some time, it could only be worse. Sam and Lucas already came to an agreement while in Santa Fe that they would try to help Walt. It was a cold clear afternoon as the two men rode up to Walt’s house. Sam knocked on the door and Walt came out onto the porch, tired from a long day.

“What can I do for you two? I’m about to put on some supper, want some coffee?”

“Walt, before we come in, we have to tell you something. It’s about Jack.” Micah knew it would be better to be up front.

“Well, out with it old boy, is he dead?”

“No, Jack is in jail in Santa Fe. He tried to kidnap Will Fulton and took shots at us in the attempt. There was nothing we could do to stop him.”

“I suppose he won’t be coming home then.” Walt turned to walk back into the house.

“Come on in guys, I know it ain’t your fault.”

Sam and Micah took seats near the fireplace and gave Walt a minute to think. He paced a while then went to the stove to start the coffee.

“I guess neither of you have a son. You come to depend on a son. You want to see him grow up happy and be successful. We’ve had all of the blessings along the way, and yet…Walt slammed his fist on the table and all kinds of items jumped from their long held positions. “I’ll just never understand what makes that boy tick. I tried, I really tried to get through to him. All he had to do was to focus his mind on something else. Jealousy can be an overpowering emotion, he never learned to let go.”

“I’ve seen this kind of thing many times Walt. All I can tell you is try to not beat yourself up, you did what you could, everyone knows you are a good man, you worked hard all of your life. The people of North Fork will support you. I promise not to start any nonsense in town.”

“I understand Micah, you’ve always been a fair lawman and you didn’t have to come out here and attend to this nasty affair in the first place. Thank you, both of you. Sam, it has been a long time and you know I never held anything against your daughter.”

“That I do Walt, she has always been able to take care of herself. Will tried very hard to keep his composure this whole time as well. I’m so sorry. Forgive me for changing the subject, but how are you fixed for the ranch? I know you won’t want to ask for anything, but as long as we are being up front here, I may have an idea.”

“Well now, you bring up a tough subject. I suppose most folks know I have been having a bad time. I’ve had to let most of my hands go, Jack wasn’t any help of late, I’d say I wasn’t well fixed at all….. almost broke is more like it.”

“I understand my friend. What I am about to propose to you is not intended as charity. You know that Lucas McCain and I have formed a partnership. While it is true that I was doing alright on my own, it made sense for two old friends to form an alliance to better compete with the larger ranches. We are just getting started, but I think if we are patient, maybe we can all work together. Now I don’t want you to decide right away or think you will have to give up anything. All I want to do right now is to let you know that we are willing to go into partnership with you also. It might take a while to build things up, but we have most of the pieces to the puzzle. As our herds build, we can share resources, I can help all of us to improve our efforts with horses. I have some very good men working for me and we can hire some of yours back and give them better opportunities. With better methods come better product and ability to compete. Just give it some thought Walt, that’s all I ask.”

“That I will Sam. I may have no choice. If I don’t work with you I’ll probably wind up selling at a loss and moving on. I’m getting too old for that. Without Jack, this old man has nowhere to go. Are ya willin’ to work with me? Give me some time to get used to the idea?”

“Of course Walt. Like I said, Lucas and I are just getting started. He will be away for some time, maybe a long time. We figure your knowledge in overseeing cattle operations can be very helpful. Will is learning fast and is a hard worker. If things go well, us old guys can have some relief from the hard stuff and more time to enjoy the good life. I know that all sounds far fetched, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize. I want you to share in that with us, not become a slave to it. We can write up an agreement that you can become successful with or go back on your own if something happens that you don’t like.

“I can see some wisdom in your offer Sam, I have nothing to lose for trying. I’m very thankful that you guys came out here today. We’ll get them lawyer types in town to look things over and then we can decide for real. You guys up for supper?”

“If you have a shot or two to go with it, we can talk things over some more through the evening. And we have some stories to tell, Lucas did very well with the gun show in Santa Fe. And do you know who we met there?”

“Sam, everyone heard about Bat Masterson. I bet you had a grand old time chewing on his ear!”

“You bet I did! But after that, John Browning from the Winchester Firearms Company joined us and we made Lucas some really big deals. Why, he even had his number one shootin’ expert come along and give us some pointers. It was a magical time, it was!”

“Well Good for Lucas Boy….. he deserves it. I can’t wait to hear the details. And when you are ready, you can tell me the rest about Jack too. I better know what happened. That dern fool. Let me get the bottle, we got us some talkin’ to do.”

“I think we can make this visit much more pleasant over a meal then, you like that Micah?”

“You bet! It’s better that we can settle all of this out here and now than to have Sweeney listening in the whole time in town!”

“You know it. He would burst with all of this story at once and no tellin’ how it would come out after a night or two in his tavern!” Sam laughed.

“This is the kind of story that needs to brew a spell, let them all gossip a while. Hey! Speakin’ of brew! I left that coffee on the stove!” Walt rushed over and pulled the pot off the fire. “We’ll save this for supper, we need a drink.” Walt looked up on his shelf and pulled down a bottle of whiskey. This conversation was going deeper into the night.

Fulton’s Foray — Circle Complete

This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!

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