Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Now Playing: The Witch of Cooper, Arizona
New to these parts? To start the story from the beginning, click

Episode Eighteen of The Witch of Cooper, Arizona

Episode Seventeen concluded with:

            A sudden wallop hit Lucky from behind. The outlaw stumbled outside of the building as Judy’s voice shouted, “Now, Vicki!” Lucky was hit by a second impact, this time directly to the head. Counterfeit money began to rain over Lucky as the second sack to hit him split open.
            Lucky could hear the two women running off. He spotted them through a multitude of red blotches and raised his gun for a shot. He’d show those…
            Dehner’s fist slammed into the outlaw’s face. Lucky fell onto a sack of money; the sack which Judy had hit him with, the sack that didn’t break. Beside the unconscious outlaw lay the second sack which Vicki had applied to his head. A breeze now played with the contents of the open sack as well as the bills that lay on the ground.
            Dehner did a quick survey of the people around him. Except for Zack and Lucky, everyone seemed okay. But the entire scene was oddly subdued. Everyone remained quiet, almost frozen, as they watched an array of ten dollar bills dance playfully over the barren landscape.

Episode Eighteen:


            Sheriff Stephens and Reverend Martin stood outside the sheriff’s office, joking with Rance Dehner as he mounted his bay.
            The sheriff was almost gleeful, “You’ve made this small town lawdog a hero, Rance. Them outlaws are blabbing plenty. That counterfeiting operation in Tombstone is being closed down.”
            “Careful, Buck,” the pastor laughed. “Next time Rance is in town, he’ll expect to be paid for doing deputy work.”  Martin’s demeanor suddenly changed, “Rance, there is one thing you need to remember.”
            “Uh, oh,” Dehner smiled from atop his horse. He was trying to maintain the light mood.
            David Martin looked at Rance intensely. “You were right, a lot of our citizens were acting like wild animals when you rode into town. But many of those same people are going to help Judy and me build onto our house. Vicki and her aunt will be able to live with us. Many folks have pledged to help provide food and clothing for Ruth and Vicki. Don’t just remember the bad stuff, Rance.”
            Rance broadened his smile. “As sermons go, I guess that wasn’t so bad.” He gave the men a two fingered salute, then turned his mount to ride out of town.
            The trail was dusty and lonely that day, giving Dehner plenty of time to think. He had wanted to ask Reverend Martin about Vicki. The girl had been born…well…different. Why? The kid would probably never live anything close to a normal life. Why did a thing like that have to happen?
            Of course, he had heard folks try to explain such matters. Some of those explanations made sense, but meeting someone like Vicki made it personal and hard to understand.   
            Dehner laughed quietly at his own reticence. David Martin had suffered through a lot in his life. He may have been able to provide some good insights.
            “Guess I can’t blame the man for not answering a question I didn’t ask,” Rance said to his horse.
            The restlessness stayed with him for the whole journey.  Rance Dehner wasn’t content until he was back on the trail with another case.

Tomorrow: A new Rance Dehner western adventure,
The Robin Hood of the Range
Don’t Miss It!