Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Now playing: Night Riders
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Episode Seven concluded with:
The young man lifted the bar and opened the barn door. Immediately inside was a saddled horse. The animal didn’t belong to the family, but it looked familiar. “This is Midnight,” Rory spoke softly as he petted the black gelding. “Sheriff Thompson’s horse, what’s--”
Rory spotted blood on Midnight’s saddle, then he saw the body on the floor.
“Sheriff Thompson!” Rory Kagan crouched over the body of the lawman. He felt for a pulse, but knew there was none. What lay in front of him was a pale corpse.
As he approached the Circle T, Rance Dehner could see a large herd of cattle spread over flat grazing land. From a distance they looked like a dark cloud stirring restlessly on the ground. As he rode into the ranch proper, he was received with suspicion. There were plenty of ranch hands around, all of them giving him hostile glares.
At the ranch house matters improved a bit. A large, broad shouldered man was talking with a very attractive young woman. The lady smiled at the newcomer as he approached. Her companion gave him an unfriendly glare, but at this point, Dehner was used to it.
“Good afternoon,” the detective said, “My name is Rance Dehner. I’m here to see Mr. Elijah Tantrall.”
The broad shouldered man continued to glare and the young woman continued to smile as she spoke. “I’m Lila Tantrall and this is Lem Donnigan, our foreman. You must be from the Lowrie Agency. I’ve never met a real detective before.” The woman’s voice exuded graciousness and a good upbringing. She wasn’t really all that impressed with Dehner’s occupation.
Lem Donnigan was even less impressed. “I’ve knowed a few detectives. They were all crooked men looking for a quick dollar.”
Rance replied in an easy going manner. “From what I hear about Elijah Tantrall, he can sum a man up pretty fast. If I’m the kind of detective you’re talking about, Lem, he’ll be throwing me out of his house in a few minutes.”
Lila saw Dehner’s reply as an opportunity to get down to business. “Please tether your horse and come inside, Mr. Dehner. Father ordered that you be brought to him as soon as you arrive.” The woman put an emphasis on the words “father ordered.” She seemed to be delivering a message to the foreman.
Dehner dismounted, tied up his bay, then followed Lila into the house. The young woman walked him through a large, attractive living room complete with plants and a painting done by a renowned western artist. Dehner figured that those touches came from Lila.
“I apologize for the way Lem acted. He’s usually welcoming to strangers,” Lila said.
“I understand how Lem feels, Miss Tantrall.”
They passed through the living room and started down a hallway. “I’m an outsider brought in to help. Whenever that happens, there is usually somebody who takes offense. Somebody who thinks he could have handled the job just fine.”
Lila looked thoughtful and paused a few moments before speaking again.” Yes, Lem has been father’s right hand for several years now. He’s the man father goes to when a special problem comes up. But Lem needs to realize that this problem is different. A lot different.”
Tomorrow: Episode Nine of Night Riders