The Writer's Corner
Chapter 120 - The Assignment
Written by Deanne Bertram
The McCains made their way to the Mallory House and entered the
lobby to be greeted by Reese Randall, “Well, if isn’t all my
buckaroos!” Not seeing a smile on the faces of the younger
McCains he asked, “Why so glum?”
“Our other grandparents left us,” Josh answered.
“The President said they had to leave us…” answered Zach.
“Now, they didn’t leave you… Look at it this way… they’re going
on a grand adventure. You should be happy, my my my, none other
than the President of the United States requested none other
than your Grandpa. Don’t you know how many other grandpas are
out there who didn’t get chosen…”
The manner in which Reese spoke drew the young children to him.
“You know where they’re going?” asked Eli.
“Why sure I do. Won’t be but a day or so ride away by train.
It’s not like the President ordered your Grandpa back to the
Curiously, Josh asked, “The Capital?”
“Washington,” answered Myra.
“Oh, that’s a lot farther away…”replied Zach.
“Still, Grandpa won’t be at the Marshal’s Office,” stated Josh.
“And Grandma can’t bake us cookies…” Zach offered.
“No, but your PaPaw Micah will be there, and I’m sure your Mama
and Grandma Milly will be baking you cookies…”
Their faces weren’t ecstatic, but the boys did enter the
restaurant with a smile.
Four days after Seth and Lilah’s departure, Martin, the
assistant telegrapher ran into Marshal’s Office declaring
outlaws had just robbed the ticket counter at train depot.
Johnny Drako ordered Martin to send someone after Mark and tell
him to watch the town, declaring he and Reese would secure a
small posse to trail after the outlaws.
Two hours out of town, the posse arrived at a fork in the road,
and halted as Reese examined the horse lying on the side of the
road, “His leg’s busted.” Without any hesitation, he pulled out
his handgun and fired point-blank, putting the animal out of its
Before he could climb back into his own saddle, another shot
rang out and ricocheted against a nearby boulder.
The posse fervently ran for cover and returned fire. Ten minutes
into the gunfight, Drako timed his shot, afterwards he hollered
out, “Hold your fire!” upon hearing a man’s scream, and saw the
man fall down the face of the outcropping.
Slowly, the posse approached the prone figure lying sprawled on
the ground. With the toe of his boot, Drako turned the man over.
“Anybody recognize him?” Reese asked, returning his gun to its
“Dohrn,” Johnny replied.
“Dohrn?” murmured through the posse.
“Tecumseh Dohrn, didn’t know he and his band of outlaws were
operating in this part of the territory,” stated Johnny.
Looking back to the posse, Johnny called out to Nils, “Help me
sling him over your saddle. You and John can back track to North
Fork and take him to the Undertaker’s. Reese and I’ll continue
“Just the two of you?” John Hamilton asked as Nils tied the dead
outlaw to his saddle.
“It would be better that way; two can sneak in quieter than
four. Tell Lou I’ll wire when I can.”
“But this is Dohrn’s gang!” Nils declared, his plea ignored, as
Johnny and Reese rode away.
Several days later, the people of North Fork stood and stared as
a single rider rode into town, each wondering, ‘Was this the
The rider, dressed in black, rode through the middle of Main
Street, before stopping in front of Sweeney’s; where he
dismounted his horse and tied him to the hitching rail. The
stranger stepped to the boardwalk, paused, and looked up and
down the street, before he sauntered into the saloon.
“Marshal, he’s here!” young Corey Hannebury yelled out as he ran
into the Marshal’s Office.
“Who’s here?” asked Mark as he finished spooning sugar into the
cup of coffee he’d poured for himself.
“Tecumseh Dohrn’s brother.”
“Are you sure?” asked Mark.
“Cain’t be nobody else.”
“Is he causing any trouble?”
“No, but just him being here. I know he’s gunning for the
“Corey, you don’t know that.”
“Go back home, Cory,” stated Mark with a stern voice.
Mark watched as Corey left the office, complaining that no one
took him seriously. Nevertheless, Mark did take him seriously,
he knew of Hallelujah Dohrn’s reputation; how he was fast with a
gun and how he always managed to escape from the custody of too
many lawmen, including the U.S. Marshal Service. Mark decided he
wouldn’t go courting trouble, if Dohrn was there seeking
vengeance on his brother, ‘let him come to me’.
Later that afternoon, Mark left the Marshal’s Office to walk the
town, double clutching his rifle in his right hand as he asked
God to look out for North Fork. With nothing out of the ordinary
found, Mark decided to eat his supper at the café, across the
street from the office.
Hearing “MARSHAL!” caused Mark to stop and slowly turn around,
“Can I help you?” he asked of the man pushing the swinging doors
open from Sweeney’s.
“Help me? You want to help me? If you wanted to help me you
wouldn’t have killed my brother,” the man yelled.
“Killed your brother, just who was your brother?” asked Mark,
“My brother was Tecumseh Dohrn!”
“And you are?”
“Hallelujah Dohrn,” the man answered. He stood squared and
“Then you should know your brother was killed after firing upon
the posse that was after him for committing a robbery,” Mark
replied, as he raised the barrel of his rifle and clasped it
with his left hand.
“That’s what he does,” sneered the man.
“And just to set the record straight, I didn’t kill him.”
“You’re the marshal; I heard tell it was the marshal who pulled
“Then you’ve not paid attention to my badge, I’m a U.S. Marshal,
this town’s marshal is out tracking the other three who rode
with your brother.”
“A chicken wearing a badge… You shoot a man in the back, but
when it comes to facing a man, you turn coward by blaming
“Your brother wasn’t shot in the back. You can ask the
“Coward!!” yelled the Hallelujah.
“I’m standing here in front of you aren’t I? I wouldn’t call
that being coward,” replied Mark, watching the man’s right hand
as he held it calmly over the butt of his still holstered
handgun, his left hand held his coat tail behind his back.
“Besides, ask anyone in this town how many marshals she boasts.”
All along the boardwalk, the people of North Fork ran from the
street, seeking shelter inside the buildings, out of harm’s way
from any stray bullet, yet… they couldn’t stop watching the
events unfold, by watching out the windows, or peeking from
around the doorframes.
“Then why ain’t you out after them too?” Hallelujah asked.
“I wasn’t in town when the robbery occurred. The posse was
already gone when I was requested back to town.”
Mark watched the man as he continued to stand in the street.
Dohrn moved his hand, Mark reacted by yelling, “Don’t do it!”
and somersaulted sideways. As he came to a kneeling position he
shouldered his rifle, but he didn’t fire; Mark saw something in
Dohrn’s face, that, and he had barely cleared his gun out of his
holster. Allowing his gun to slip back into its holster, Dohrn
raised his arms.
After Mark stood and walked over to the outlaw, he took the
man’s gun, Dohrn asked. “Why didn’t you come looking for me when
I got here?”
“No sense courting trouble,” replied Mark.
“You didn’t fire when I called you out.”
“I didn’t take it as you calling me out.”
“But you knew who I was…even before I told you. No doubt you
know my reputation.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard of you,” Mark replied, his rifle still aimed
at Dohrn, confused at how he could have gotten such an easy drop
on the outlaw.
“We need to talk…” Dohrn quietly spoke; he turned and walked to
the Marshal’s Office.
The citizens of North Fork talked amongst themselves as to what
they witnessed; one of their own bested a gunfighter with a fast
reputation. North Fork had bragging rights that two of her own
bested Buffalo Bill and matched Annie Oakley shot for shot, in a
shooting match, but that was for show. This was life or death
bragging rights for the citizens of North Fork. News spread like
wildfire through the town and to the outlying ranches; and for
those who hadn’t seen it for themselves they shook their heads
in disbelief upon hearing the news. Later that night, Sweeney’s
would be full of activity as the encounter was retold and
Upon shutting the office door, Mark heard Dohrn ask, “How’d your
marshal get the drop on my brother?”
“He didn’t. Your brother’s gun misfired…” Mark honestly
answered, but still, he grew wary that Dohrn was attempting to
“The gun’s over at our gunsmith’s shop. He’s trying to figure
out what happened. Believe me, had your brother’s gun not
‘exploded’ our marshal or any member of the posse would have
been seriously wounded, if not dead.”
Still trying to figure out the man’s motive, Mark asked, “Just
what happened out in the street? I know your reputation; I’m
good, but not that good…” Mark motioned the outlaw to the cell.
“Let me start by saying I’m pleased to finally get to meet The
Lawman,” stated Dohrn as he complied with Mark and walked to the
cell. “Maybe this will clear up some of your confusion.”
“Please to meet me?” an even more confused Mark asked.
Dohrn set his foot to the bunk and raised his pant leg. Mark
elevated his rifle, fearing the man was pulling a hidden weapon.
Dohrn retrieved an object from his boot, and with his hand out
flat, he handed it to Mark.
“Special Agent, Secret Service?” incredulously asked Mark as he
returned the badge to Dohrn.
“Yeah, my cover gets help here and there by having Tecumseh as
“Having an outlaw for a brother… helps you…as a lawman? Seems to
me it would make people more suspicious of you. I don’t get it…”
a confused Mark spoke. “Out on the street…”
“You might call it a test… to see if I could trust you.”
“A test…to trust me?” Mark retorted angrily. “I don’t appreciate
strangers coming into my town, calling me out, and…and…”
Dohrn didn’t let Mark finish his statement, “Tom Benton informed
me you were a different kind of lawman. I’ve run into too many
bad lawmen in my day. But dang, if I didn’t figure you out
wrong,” stated Dohrn.
“Why the charade? Why not come to me right away?” asked Mark.
“Especially if Benton…”
“Well, I’ve created a ‘reputation’ and most folks would expect
me to come after the lawman that killed my brother; so I kind of
had to play my part.”
“Play your part! I could have killed you!”
“It was a chance I had to take, to trust what Benton had to say
“Just what did Tom have to say about me?” asked Mark.
“That you’d prefer to see me in a cell than in a pine box; you
don’t take for granted the opportunity to kill a man just
because you wear a badge.”
“Tom had a lot to do with my training… But I still don’t
“McCain, I’m on a case and it’s a case that too many Secret
Service men have struggled to crack.”
In an attempt to let go of his frustration at the turn of
events, Mark set his rifle on his desk and walked over to pour
himself a cup of coffee.
“Listen, I’m sorry about your brother, he was buried two days
ago in our cemetery on the edge of town.”
“I knew he’d meet a rotten end, but still… I’ll see to it that
your undertaker is paid for his services.” After accepting a cup
of coffee Mark handed him, Dohrn continued, “I can understand
you getting the drop on me, but it doesn’t explain your marshal
getting the drop on my brother.”
“From what I was told when they brought his body to town, his
gun either jammed or misfired…” replied Mark.
“He trusted his gun like no other, I can’t see his gun jamming
“Angus, our gunsmith, is examining it. They found it next to his
body after he died. He did manage to get off a couple of shots
at the posse. Nils, our blacksmith, stated there was plenty of
time for him to get off more shots and there were still three
bullets in the chamber and plenty in his holster.”
“I’ve heard rumblings of bad ammunition. Similar to what
happened with the Navajo’s, crooks sold them rifles with bad
ammunition…” mused Dohrn.
“But the Navajos aren’t near hear, they’re in Arizona
territory.” Scratching his head Mark stated, “I still don’t
understand what brings an agent of the Secret Service to North
Fork… I mean… if you’ve talked with Benton, why didn’t he alert
“Marshal, I have a reputation to keep up, but now that Tecumseh
is dead… Listen, in the past, whenever my brother and his gang
pull a robbery, they don’t get away with all the money…at least
that’s the way it first appears.”
“You said at first. They come back after the law’s been drawn
away from town and hit the bank?” Mark inquired, an uneasy
feeling settling in the pit of his stomach.
“Nah, just that upon closer examination of the remaining money,
the outlaws did get away with everything, the money that was
left behind was…”
“You got it,” Dohrn stated.
“It still doesn’t make sense, your allowing people to think
you’re an outlaw…”
“I guess it wouldn’t but… years ago, my brother and his gang
pulled a robbery in our own home town. I saw my folks and their
friends struggle in the aftermath. I swore I’d get my brother
and make him pay. The only agency that would accept me was the
Secret Service. It took a while for me to earn the trust of my
superiors and… well… when my first case started going south and…
We just kinda decided to let my reputation play out. It worked,
I got the outlaws and the reputation… and others get the
“And every time you’ve escaped…”
“It’s been without any bloodshed and with the full cooperation
of the law.”
“And just how do I cooperate?”
“I need to resolve this counterfeit case; I’m the closest any
one has ever gotten. If I don’t crack it, our whole fiduciary
system will be in peril, if people won’t trust the banks.”
“I’ve read in the papers about account holders demanding their
money back from banks, back East,” responded Mark.
“Yeah, and the banks can’t do that. The money they keep on
account, they pay the depositor interest in order to allow them
to use that money to make loans for mortgages and stuff, but not
all of the money that is deposited is actually kept in that
particular bank. I’ve seen a couple of runs on banks in small
towns… It ain’t pretty.”
“So, how can I help you?” asked Mark.
“You get to help me escape tonight.”
“You know, the last time I helped an outlaw escape from jail,
Tom Benton almost had my head, and I was suspended for a two
“You were lucky it was a suspension. He can be a bear.”
Mark laughed at Dohrn’s description of Tom Benton, remembering
him roaring as he and Grid sat in their chairs, “But I do have
one problem with helping you escape… How do you get away?”
“We could stage a gunfight, after you bring me my supper. Make
it like I got the drop on you.”
“No one would believe your getting the drop on me.”
“We could fake your death for a few days,” Hallelujah suggested.
“Right now, this town wouldn’t accept my death and eventual
resurrection. They’d bury me alive;” Mark started to smile.
“I’ve burned that bridge one too many times.”
“I take you with me.”
“As a hostage?”
“You got any better idea?”
“Yeah, I force you to lead me to your brother’s gang… Your
reputation and all… And seeing as how I bested you out on the
street,” Mark stated with humor in his voice.
“That’s no fun…” teased Dohrn.
“With your brother dead, maybe now would be the right time to
come in out of the cold,” suggested Mark.
“What do you mean?”
“Dohrn, it can’t be fun having to watch over your shoulder every
step you take, even if it is in the line of duty. And, if your
parents are alive, I’m sure they’d appreciate knowing the truth…
That one of their sons was raised right…”
Dohrn finally gave into Mark’s idea.
The sun was setting when Mark slipped out of the Marshal’s
Office and made his way to John Hamilton’s residence. After
obtaining more information about the direction Drako and Randall
took, he explained he was forcing Dohrn to take him to the
outlaw gang. He asked John to wait until morning to get word to
Micah and to get a note to Hope and Lucas.
As Mark jogged away from his home, John opened and read the
“Hope/Pa, Don’t have time to explain, working with an Agent from
the Secret Service. Help Micah cover North Fork until Johnny or
Reese return. Will wire, when I can. Mark”
“Secret Service?” John asked as he looked in the direction Mark
Deciding not to wait until morning, John blew out the lantern,
closed the door behind him, and headed to the barn behind his
home to saddle his horse and ride to the McCain Ranch.
Under cover of darkness, horses saddled and loaded with
provisions, Mark and Dohrn left town.
“Our posse left here three days ago, how do you propose we track
the gang?” asked Mark.
“I know where they might be heading… And the information your
banker gave you, I’m positive we can catch and apprehend them.”
John knocked on the front door to Lucas and Milly’s home; he
looked back the way he came as he waited.
“John?” asked a sleepy Lucas.
“I’m sorry, but this couldn’t wait until morning…” he handed
Lucas the note and followed him into the home.
“Secret Service?” Lucas asked as he turned from reading the note
by the lantern on the front table.
“Lucas, he was almost in gunfight this afternoon. Hallelujah
Dohrn showed up in town, he called Mark out and Mark got the
drop on him. A few hours later, Mark’s at my home, asking me to
get that note to you.”
“And it’s just the two of them?” asked Lucas.
“As far as I know. Lucas, he didn’t want me to inform Micah or
you until morning. There’s no one in the Marshal’s Office…”
“Let me tell Milly and Hope, I’ll be in town within the hour.
Can you keep an eye on things until I get there?”
“Sure Lucas, anything you need. But Mark…”
“I have to trust him…” Lucas stated as he worriedly ran his
fingers through his hair.
The sun rose over North Fork when Lucas opened the door to the
Marshal’s Office and stepped out to see Johnny Drako and Reese
Randall return with three outlaws, two alive and one draped over
the saddle of a horse.
“Lucas, what are you doing in town?” Drako called out.
“Standing in for Mark, he… headed out overnight after those
three…” Lucas answered.
“He what?” Randall asked.
“Reese, let’s get these two inside, Lucas, will you take the
other over to the undertakers. I’ll expect to hear all about
what happened while I was gone… when you return.”
John Hamilton exited the bank as Lucas strode by, “Lucas? Is
“Yeah, and he’s wanting to know what happened while he was
gone,” answered Lucas.
“Guess I should tag along.”
With the door to the cell area closed, John Hamilton tried to
explain to the others what transpired the previous day, leading
up to his taking the note to Lucas.
“Mark left with Tecumseh Dohrn’s brother, and he claims… It
doesn’t make any sense…”
“Nothing’s made sense ever since the depot was robbed…” John
Hamilton stated, scratching behind his ear.
“Hallelujah Dohrn has almost as bad a reputation as his brother
does… did, and he’s managed to escape custody… And now he’s
claiming to be an agent of the Secret Service?!” Drako stated as
he slammed his fist down on his desk.
“Johnny,” Lucas started to say. “We have to trust Mark and that
he knows what he’s doing. I’m sure if there were any doubt in
Mark’s mind that this was a trap, he…”
“He’d what?” dared Drako.
Twenty-four hours had elapsed since Dohrn and Mark rode out of
North Fork and even with darkness surrounding them, they
continued to ride choosing their path with caution, until they
spotted a campfire nearby.
“How do you know that’s not a trap by your brother’s gang?”
asked Mark restraining Rainmaker from following Dohrn’s horse.
“Too quiet, sides, you really think they’d have a campfire and
still be this close to North Fork?”
Since the new moon didn’t afford Mark any light to illuminate
the expression on his companion’s face, he reached for his
rifle, praying he hadn’t jumped in feet first into more trouble
than he could handle.
From within the camp they heard a graveled voice call out, “If
you’re gonna come in, come in, otherwise ride on and quit
disturbing my peace!”
“Well, I’ll be,” declared Dohrn as they maneuvered their horses
into the light of the campfire.
“Long time, Hallelujah…” the man paused, his eyes focused on
“Mark, I’d like to introduce you to J.B. Books,” Dohrn
“John Bernard Books?” inquired Mark, holding his rifle a little
tighter on his thigh.
“You have a problem with my name, boy?” the older man asked in
The man standing before him was an imposing figure, tall and
burly, yet Mark was sure that when necessary this man could move
fast. His face spoke of the rough life he lived; his eyes
appearing to pierce through a man, but for a brief moment, Mark
saw something else in the man’s demeanor.
“No sir, just inquiring if you were THE John Bernard Books, the
gunfighter,” answered Mark.
Using his hand holding his coffee cup, the man pointed towards
Mark and said, “Then you’d be Mark McCain, the Lawman,” his
other hand rested on his holstered gun.
“How’d…?” asked Mark.
“Ain’t too many lawmen made a name for themselves carrying a
rifle, I know your reputation. Son of the Rifleman, if I
remember, another ‘gunfighter’.” The tone of the man’s voice
indicated he didn’t appreciate the insinuation Mark made in
using the work ‘gunfighter’.
“My Pa only killed when he was given no other choice…” Mark
“And I never killed nobody who didn’t need killin’.” The tone of
the man’s voice was firm and calculating. “Sometimes a body can
choose their life, other times, life chooses them. Don’t call me
a gunfighter just because I use this.” The man patted the
holster holding his Colt single-action army revolver. “I’d
prefer never to have to use it again, but I ain’t gonna give no
man the chance to kill me, unless they damn well prove they’re
better ‘an me. Every man has a constitutional right to protect
themselves, and that includes me.”
Books turned around and walked to his bedroll, “If you care to
sheath your rifle, you can tie your horses over there with mine,
otherwise, you’ll have to shoot me in the back.”
Mark slipped his rifle into its scabbard before he climbed down
from his saddle, “Fairly gutsy move, turning your back on me.”
“Like I said, I know your reputation and… you’re riding with
The big man labored to sit down and stretch out his legs, before
leaning back against his upturned saddle, near the fire. He
grimaced after he drank his coffee, threw out the contents of
his cup, and poured himself another. Setting the cup aside,
Books removed his gun belt and placed it within easy reach.
“You two working together…?” queried Mark, trying to comprehend
the relationship between a gunfighter and an agent of the Secret
Service, if he really was.
“He’s helped my cover on occasion,” Dohrn replied.
“Occasion! I’ve saved your sorry ass any number of times,”
gruffed Books. “You can help yourself to some coffee… I’ll warn
you I don’t make the best pot.”
“So was this little rendezvous planned or circumstantial?” asked
“Kind of both,” Dohrn answered as he handed a tin cup to Mark
“Little rude there,” Books offered.
“You yourself said you don’t make the best pot…” Mark answered
“I’ll give you that one, boy,” laughed Books. “What causes a
U.S. Marshal to team up with the Secret Service? Or is it the
other way around?” asked Books.
“TrackingTecumseh’s gang,” Dohrn answered.
“Sorry, I heard tell he’d been killed. But how does teaming up
McCain get you in with Tecumseh’s gang?”
“You know as well as I do, they need to be brought to justice
and we need to destroy those plates. If that money continues to
get passed as real, it can undermine the faith the American
people have placed in their financial institutions.” Looking at
Books doubting expression, Dohrn continued, “Well, I’m trying to
figure that out as we trail them”
“Damn you Hallelujah, I’ve warned you about riding in blind…”
“This is the closest I’ve ever come to them. I had to act fast
and the only way for me to get into jail was to call McCain
out,” Dohrn answered.
“And you’re still alive? Living dangerously,” Books commented.
“J.B., I’ve still a reputation to protect… But I had to find
some way to gain Mark’s confidence so I could see that money.”
“I hate to upstage you, but you’re gonna have to leave that
trail,” commented Books.
“Why?” inquired Mark. “He’s the perfect cover to meet up with
the gang and take them into custody.”
“One Agent and One Marshal…. It will never happen. Hallelujah,
I’ve heard rumors that take precedence over counterfeiters, have
you heard anything of bad ammunition making its way into the
“Bad ammunition? Is it that bad?” Dohrn asked.
“Dohrn, your brother’s gun…” Mark stated.
“Yeah, it’s that bad if I know about it. Right now, the Indians
are still on their reservations. But the first time a brave gets
killed while hunting… It’ll set them off sure as the sun rises
in the East.”
“If you’ve heard about the ammunition, have you heard who or
where?” Mark couldn’t help but ask.
“Down near the border. Boy, you best get rid of that badge
you’re wearing. I don’t care to get shot or shot at because some
fool mistakes this as a posse. We need to get in quiet and out
“And the bad ammunition?” asked Mark.
“If it is bad and it makes its way to any of the tribes, it
could cause them to bolt from the reservation. Worse yet, if any
of that ammunition makes its way into civilian hands, they
wouldn’t be able to defend themselves.”
“Who would be selling guns and ammunition to the Indians?” asked
“I’ve heard inklings that another tribe might be relocated out
this way. Not sure which tribe, but it wouldn’t surprise me if
some of them Indian agents pulling favors in Washington aren’t
setting two tribes against each other, or against the
settlers...” stated Books.
“Why would they put settlers at risk?” asked Mark.
“Pit two tribes against the other, let them fight it out and
hope they wipe the other out. Or, if the Indians start an
uprising against the settlers, the government would be forced to
send in the Army and relocate the tribe or tribes to new
reservations; possibly outside the swamplands in Florida. Either
way, the cattle barons of the territory swoop in and claim back
their land,” explained Books.
“The only reservation nearby is Fort Wingate, and I know the man
in charge won’t tolerate any black marketing,” commented Mark.
“One man, out this far, it’s a rarity to find an honest
commander at the posts now a days. Any more they’re all looking
to make money on the side to look the other way, realizing the
government ain’t paying them enough to risk their lives.
There’re plenty of cattlemen or land grabbers willing to pay top
dollar to stir up trouble and pay even more for the army to look
the other way,” scorned Books.
“Yeah, but not at Fort Wingate, Colonel Lane is above reproach,”
declared Mark, daring Books to go against him.
“Don’t know the man, but he must be on someone’s blacklist to be
posted at that hell-hole,” answered Dohrn.
“He was posted there to restore order to the command. Like I
said, no one can say anything against his reputation,” Mark
“You’re so sure? That’s how most of them work. Get the law to
trust them, and the law looks the other way…” Books answered.
“Not Lane, and not on my watch,” Mark boldly declared.
“And just how sure are you? Care to risk your life on one man?”
Books asked, unbelieving the gullibility of the young Marshal.
“I’ve done it before…he’s my father-in-law.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. Just that I’ve seen too many
commanders who choose to look the other way, all to line their
own greedy pockets or make a name for themselves,” Books stated
as an apology. “I suggest you get rid of your badge and get some
sleep. And Hallelujah, don’t get to preaching in the morning, I
wake up mean and get meaner when I hear any preaching.”
Books pulled his hat down over his eyes, pulled the sheet from
his bedroll over his shoulder, and within ten minutes was
snoring load enough to wake the dead.
“He always that hospitable?” asked Mark.
“Don’t let his demeanor fool you. He’s a pussy cat once you
really get to know him.”
“Just like Tom Benton is a bear?” asked Mark, raising an
Warily, Mark laid down in his bedroll, his mind actively
replaying the last thirty-six hours.
The Next Step — Parts Unknown
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch