Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now Playing: The Robin Hood of the Range
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Episode Ten of The Robin Hood of the Range

Episode Nine concluded with:

Cissy stood and watched her father until he made it inside the house. What would she have done if her lies had failed? The girl didn’t know, but she did know this much. She would never have let her pa get past her and find Ricky Cates.

Episode Ten

Cissy ran back to the barn. She retrieved a bag of clean rags that could be used as bandages, and a few clean tools, including a bucket. The girl stepped outside the barn where there was a pump and filled the bucket about a quarter full. She then hurried over to the outlaw, whose face remained pale.
“This is gonna hurt some, but I’ll have you fixed up soon.”
Cates’ voice expressed anger and disbelief. “What do you know about doctorin’?”
A lifetime spent with Dencel Runyan had inured Cissy to harsh words. She accepted the mockery in Ricky’s voice as her rightful due. “I’ve been brought up on this hardscrabble ranch.” The girl spoke as she undid Cates’ makeshift bandage which came from a ripped, dirty blanket. “My pa likes his drink. All sorts of ugly things happen around here. I don’t have much book learnin’, but I’ve still learned a lot. Had to.”
The outlaw became more cautious. He realized, once again, that this girl could help him.  His voice became friendly. “Nobody could accuse you of braggin’ on your family.”
“Nothin’ much to brag on; my ma is a fine woman, but…” Cissy held the lantern closer to the wound. “Not too much buckshot there. You must have been movin’ pretty quick.”
The killer caught the strong element of hero worship in the girl’s voice. “There were…six men in that posse.” He started to say a dozen but realized Cissy lived too close to Grimsby and the real world to believe that. “They were all armed with shotguns or Winchesters. I wounded four of them. Figured they had it comin’ for what they did to the Bolgers. Simon, Elsie and Isaiah, why, they were just hard working, poor people.”
What followed was painful for Ricky Cates, but he remained stoic as the girl removed the buckshot and cleaned the wound. He had to keep the image of the Robin Hood of the Range alive in order to keep himself alive.
Cissy concluded by locating a ladle, putting fresh water in the bucket, and making her patient take several drinks. She held the ladle in one hand and lifted Cates’ head with the other. “You’ve lost a lot of blood. You’re gonna be weak for a spell.”
“Guess so…thanks for all you’ve done.”
Cissy allowed the outlaw’s head to gently return to the ground. She withdrew her hand slowly, allowing it to caress Cates’ cheek. The girl looked confused and upset. She started to speak, then stopped and began again, only this time on a different track. “I’m gonna  give Sherwood a rub down, then put him in a back stall, where he won’t be easy to spot.” 
The girl tended to the horse, then with the lantern in hand, she quietly went back to her patient. Ricky Cates was sleeping but the light woke him up. As his eyes opened, he smiled at the pretty face which hovered over him.
“I’m sorry I woke you.”
“I’m not.”
The girl’s body trembled; in her nervousness she forgot about the first name arrangement with her hero. “Mr. Cates, there’s somethin’ I gotta say to you.”

Tomorrow: Episode Eleven of The Robin Hood of the Range