Chapter 10, part 1
The sheriff was talking to a man about a horse. This man had left his horse outside tied up at a hitching post with the saddle on all night. The sheriff said, “sir you are responsible for your horse which includes its care and excrement.” Behind and underneath the horse was a pile of horse crap. The man looking indignant said, “nobody told me I had to do something with my horse.” The Sheriff fronded then said, “and nobody told you that you had to breath. It’s common fucking sense you ridiculous stupid shit. Now clean that up or I will arrest you for littering and neglect.” The Sheriff told the man that horse neglect here in the territory was in some cases a hanging offence. Instead of taking the shovel the sheriff had in his hand the man went down on his knees and started to clean up the crap with his hands.
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As the sheriff watched the man go arm deep into horse feces he saw in the distance a woman in white and blue. It was his wife Candice. She was back from San Francisco months early. She was dressed in a frilly ruffled white dress with blue ribbons. The dress was slightly dirty on the bottom from the trip. The sheriff leaned in to the man and said, “there’s a shovel next to can dumbass.” They met in the middle of the town square. Candice said, “I wanted to come home. I never want to leave again.” Edward went to kiss her but stopped short so he wouldn’t get her dress dirty. Candice leaned in and while caressing his knife on his hip said, “don’t worry about the dress I’ll want you to cut me out of it back home.” Edward smiled and nearly picked her up in his arms as the embraced. They left the man who ended up nearly cleaning the entire street before he realized he was alone.
Back at home, the dress laid in tattered ribbons all over the room. Allen bought her that dress and she was glad it was gone. They lay on the bed spent, after a whirlwind of cutting and making love. Candice had a few cuts from a very sharp knife that slipped a little. Edward’s clothes were also in rags cut from his body. Only his hat, boots and holster remained uncut. As they lay together Candice stared at the holster with the gun she had made for him. His Joleen. He had told her that he felt her by his side as he wore the gun. Looking back, she wondered how she could ever had mistaken his love as a weakness. She thinks about how condescending he was when the met. As they came together they grew to understand each other. Unlike many men she knows, Edward treats her like an equal. Like a partner not just a wife. She would have never had any of that back in Baltimore or in San Francisco.
They remained this way for two days. Making love, sleeping, eating then making love again. Eventually Edward had to go back to work. As he got up he saw his badge on the floor. It was attached to a ribbon of material that was his shirt. Candice watched him stare at the ribbon. She said, “is the big bad lawman unhappy is favorite shirt is gone.” The then noticed the ribbons color and realized she also liked that shirt. She would sometimes ware it to bed at night. She said, “oh shit I liked that shirt.” The two laughed together. In the light of the morning she could see the remnants of the scares on his back. A visual reminder that as a child Edward was willing to take a beating rather than give in to something he fond wrong.
Edward asked if she was going to the paper today. She asked, “do you mean the print shop?” He replied, “no that guy you hired to run the place while you were gone shut the shop down and is just printing the paper.” This was a stunning turn of events. The paper was printed once a week. More of a magazine with news rather than a daily paper like back east or west. Edward said, “he prints a new paper every day and has so almost for three weeks now. David and Pauleen moved three of the presses to another building so they could run the print shop.” As Edward strapped his gun to his side he handed Candice a copy of the paper from three days ago.
Candice spent the rest of the day reading every copy of the newspaper Edward had in the house. She realized he saved them in order so she could read them when she came home. At first, she was angry. She hired William Franco to come and run help run the print shop while she was away. He agreed if he had control over the newspaper. He wasn’t given control over the shop. The problem was that he was a good writer. He somehow found information she knew was right but not obvious. He got people to open like she never could. Yes, she was angry but her anger was abated by the fact that he turned her simple newsletter into an actual newspaper. Then she got angry again when she was the line, William Franco Editor and Chief.
These stories will be based in the old west and an attempt at a modern western (later on).
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