Each weekday on this blog you will find an episode of a western short story featuring Rance Dehner, a detective who operates in the old West. When the story concludes, it will be archived for those readers who prefer to read a story from start to finish.
New to these parts? To start the story from the beginning click Last Job 1
Episode Four of Last
scanning the mountainside from behind a boulder when he heard gravel
scattering above him. The detective turned to spot the blur of a terrifying
force charging at him. The sound of Rance’s rifle fire blended with the
mountain lion’s roar. The lion twisted backwards, then straightened for another
attack. Rance levered another shell into the chamber of the Winchester. His
second shot brought the cat down.
The detective breathed heavily as he approached the beast, which was defeated
but still alive. A third shot killed the lion.
Dehner felt hard iron pressing into his back. “Good shootin’, Rance. I always
admired the way you could handle a gun. Now, toss the rifle and put your hands
what he was told. He kept his hands very high. Brooks had the barrel of a
pistol pressed into Dehner’s back and didn’t seem too concerned about the Colt.
45 tied to his right leg. Dehner wanted to prolong the indifference. He spoke
in a casual, friendly manner. “You’re a hard man to spot, Tully. Where were you
trees behind the rocks,” he gave a light hearted chuckle, “I spotted the cat,
but the cat didn’t see me. No, she had her eyes on you the moment you started
up the mountain. I thought I’d hang back and enjoy the fight.”
disappoint you with the outcome.”
“A man must
always fight to win.” Regret edged Tully’s voice. “Sorry Rance, gotta--”
arced his back and smashed his head into Tully’s face. The outlaw’s arms
splayed out and his pistol fired. Dehner felt the heat from the shot as his
entire body collided with Tully Brooks.
skidded down the slope. Dehner palmed his Colt and smoked a shot into Tully’s chest
seconds before the outlaw collided with the boulder Dehner had been crouched
Brooks dropped his gun; a second explosion from Dehner’s pistol landed near the
fallen weapon. The detective hurried onto his feet and retrieved Brooks’ Smith
and Wesson. “You won’t be needing this anymore, Tully.”
you’re right.” The outlaw leaned his upper torso against the rock, then closed
his eyes and slid downwards.