Friday, April 13, 2012
Now Playing: The Robin Hood of the Range
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Episode Eleven concluded with:
The girl suddenly stopped. For a few minutes, she stood still in the barn. A cacophony of sounds came from outside as night critters made their customary noises, but Cissy Runyan heard none of them.
She turned back and returned to the outlaw. This time, his eyes didn’t open when she stood over him. He appeared to be in a deep sleep. Cissy placed the lantern nearby and crouched over Ricky Cates. She gently kissed him on the forehead.
“You’re the first boy I ever kissed, Mr. Cates.”
She picked up the lantern and this time went directly to the other side of the barn and her bed of hay.
Cissy Runyan awoke at dawn. Instinctively, she crossed the barn to check on the Robin Hood of the Range. He was asleep.
She wanted to pretty up as she had promised her pa, but not in order to sell a horse. The girl picked up the book that lay beside her makeshift bed and stared at the drawing of Ricky Cates.
How could she be so blessed as to be able to help the Robin Hood of the Range? Would he ask her to go with him when he got better? “I want that more than anything,” she whispered reverently to the dime novel.
Hoofbeats sounded from outside. Cissy put the publication down and cracked open the barn door. She immediately recognized one of the two riders approaching their house. The wiry man wearing a brown shirt and a white Stetson had to be Sherriff Tom Laughton. His aquiline profile was apparent even at a distance. Cissy had seen him in town a few times. The lawman had nodded, smiled politely and put two fingers to his hat. She had smiled and nodded back. That’s as far as it went.
The other man was a stranger, at least to her. He was probably part of the posse that Laughton must have headed up: the posse that killed three innocent people and wounded Ricky Cates. Ricky had taken care of four of those trigger happy fools. Maybe she could outsmart the two who were left.
The girl slipped out of the barn as she heard Tom Laughton shout, “Hello the house!” Her mother stepped timidly onto the front porch. Cissy couldn’t hear exactly what the sheriff said next but from the few words she could pick up, he was apologizing for coming by so early. Cissy knew what the next question would be: Laughton would ask if he could speak to her husband. The girl also knew her mother’s response, “He’s not feelin’ well at the present, is there anything I can do?” Cissy had heard those words many times before.
As the girl got in close range of the house, the two men, still on their horses, turned to face her. Her mother raised her voice in a cheerful manner, “This is our daughter, Cissy. Cissy, this is Sheriff Laughton and…”
Laughton spoke up quickly. “This here is Rance Dehner. He’s a detective with the Lowrie Agency. They're sorta like the Pinkertons.”
Both men seemed so…nice, Cissy thought. Maybe they believed they were doing the right thing when they opened fire on the Bolgers. Still, they were dangerous. She had to be careful. “Nice to meet both of you. Ma and me would be pleasured to fix you some breakfast.”
“Thank you, Miss Runyan,” the sheriff spoke as he patted his horse, “but we hav'ta keep ridin’, see--”
“What’s goin’ on?” Dencel stumbled onto the porch and viewed the newcomers with hostility. “What’s the law doin’ here? I ain’t done nothin’ wrong.”
“I’m sure you haven’t, sir,” Dehner felt sorry for Iola. He had spotted the look of tension and fear on her face when her husband barged out of the house. He could only turn around and glance briefly at Cissy. Her reaction was harder to gauge. “We’re tracking a killer--”
“A killer!” Cissy’s voice was almost a scream.
Monday: Episode Thirteen of The Robin Hood of the Range