A couple of days later I made my way to the office. I wanted to have a long talk with the guy who assaulted Candice. Inside I found an empty jail. I asked Jack, “ok, where’s the guy?” He said, “the guy was wanted by the Apache. He had defrauded them of some silver posing as an official with the reginal government.” I asked, “and you just let them take him?” he said, “there was two of us and fifty of them. Also, it’s not like the reginal governor would have done anything. It’s almost legal to steal from the nations.” He isn’t wrong. It has been open season for people trying to defraud the nations. Jack then said, “if given a choice I would side with the people over the US Government any day.” Many of the locals have come to call the Indian nations the people rather than Indians. I imagine somewhere out in the desert there is one sorry white guy stretched out and staked to the ground.
Over the next could of weeks we started to hear about other such robberies happening in other towns. Most of them talk about the dangerous savage Indians. I went to speak to the Chief. I said, “something is wrong. This all seems too coordinated to be a random.” His reply was stunning, “I have spoken to the other chiefs. They think this is a movement to allow direct action by the blue coats. They and I think the army is coming and soon.” He went on to say most think this is a way to start a war for land and to wipe out the nations once and for all. When I heard blue coats I immediately thought Yankee and back to my days with the army of Virginia. He said, “many of my people are packing up and moving. They want to be far from here if or when the fighting starts.” He said the figured they could ride the war out in Mexico and return when it was over. I asked, “are you going?” He said if he left then his people would lose their claim to the land.
From there I went to speak to the mayor. He had some good news. He said, “we have the route. The work on the train line will snake its way here within the next two years.” I said, “I bet that’s why they are preparing for war with the nations.” The mayor just looked shocked. I explained to him what was happening in other towns and the talk of the army moving west. He thought it was because of the news. I said, “armies don’t just move all at once. They need planning for such an action. They planned this long before we heard about the train.” I left him to think about that.
As the sun set I was in my office reading some warrants that came in with the stagecoach. Outside I could hear a commotion in the street. In what has become a new habit I grabbed my new gun and went to see. Some men were dragging out the chief from his shop. One of them had a rope. I shot in the air and yelled, “stop right there or fall where you stand.” One of them said, “this isn’t any of your business law dog we are here for justice.” I shot into the air. The men leading the crowd all reacted the same way. They reacted liked trained solders to gunfire rather than civilians who would have just run away. As we stood each other down my three deputies came up from opposite sides then a couple of locals with rifles walked up. The men looked around and assets their situation. Like solders again. Their leader said, “why are you defending this Indian. His kind tried to rob your bank. They steal and kill for fun.” I pointed to the cemetery and said, “the bank robbers are in the ground and as white as you or me.” He looked stunned. They just looked at each other and tried to walk off with the Chief. I shot into the air again. I said, “one more step and it will be your last.” I looked directly at the chief he nodded.
The one with the rope dropped it and brought his hand to his side. They looked at each other again then went for their guns. The chief dropped to the ground. None of them made it to their guns. By then there was seven of us all armed and firing. The chief was safe and they were all dead. Searching them we found they all had military issue weapons. They also had military issue saddles, horses and equipment. That night we helped the chief board up his shop. He and his family went to his nation to stay with them for now.
We buried the bodies and sold the horses to a passing wagon train. We buried their tac and guns in a separate location from the bodies. In a meeting with the mayor we planned to change the face of the town. We would take all the no carry signs down. All saloons will be open all the time. The mayor will request a marshal from the territorial government. Me and my deputies will step down with the Fritz brothers and I going into hiding. This would prove to be a good idea. About a week after a we went into hiding the Army arrived with a new order and arrest warrants for me and my deputies. I had my first deputy David Wednesday stay behind and claim he was fired long before the events of that day. He would stay with Candice and act as her pressman and more important act as a body guard.
Candice met me in the street. She said, “you can’t tell me what to do. I have as much to fear from this as you.” I kissed her in the street. She gazed into my eyes and knew she needed to stay. I wanted her to come. I want to be the one who stands beside her. If I did she would become a target. Here she could do more here than on the run. It would be harder for the army to remove the press from the town. Or so we thought.
These stories will be based in the old west and an attempt at a modern western (later on).
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