Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Now Playing: The Songbird of the West
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Episode Nineteen concluded with:
“Well, well, Deputy,” Streeter smiled at the newcomer who had been directly outside the room. “Remember what I taught you about makin’ an arrest.
Weldon’s voice almost broke as he said, “Take off your gunbelt slowly and then hand it to me, Sheriff. No tricks.”
The sheriff unbuckled his gunbelt and held it out. The deputy cautiously approached his boss, who handed him the gunbelt and then quickly jerked the .44 from Weldon’s holster and pointed it at his chest.
“You still have some learnin’ to do, Deputy.” The sheriff turned to Rance. “Put your hands up Dehner, or this boy dies right now.”
Rance spoke as he lifted his hands. “Don’t be a fool, Streeter. You’ll never escape.”
The laugh that came from Tal Streeter reminded Rance of Holt Conley. “Who said anything about escapin’? I just got me a chore to do before I meet the devil.”
Streeter guided his captive to the doorway. “This may be my last night on earth, but I’m goin’ out in a blaze of glory. Don’t try to stop me, Deputy. That goes for you too, Dehner.”
The sheriff pushed Weldon to the floor and then, almost as an afterthought, shot him. Streeter ran as a bullet from Dehner’s gun flew inches over his head. Gun in hand, the detective hurried over to Curt. “I’m okay,” the deputy’s face was creased with pain. “You gotta stop the sheriff!”
Curt Weldon was right. Dehner ran through the hall and out through the open door of the doctor’s house. Once outside, he picked up speed as he headed for the Silver Crown. He was certain that was Streeter’s destination.
As he got in view of the saloon, he could see the sheriff hopping onto the boardwalk in front of the Silver Crown. A rotund man was about to enter the saloon. He spotted the gun in Streeter’s hand and started to say something. The sheriff pushed him aside and ran through the bat wings.
That incident gained Dehner another step or two on his adversary. The detective barged into the saloon as Bruce Patten was speaking from the stage. “Tonight, the Songbird of the West, is appearing here in response to an invitation, I…”
The extra tables set up in the Silver Crown were obstacles for the sheriff. He needed to get a good shot at the man he hated. When Dehner spotted him, the lawman was pushing tables aside as he plowed his way toward the stage. A number of men were cursing him as a few tables went over and drinks were spilled onto the floor.
“Drop the gun, Streeter!” Dehner yelled as he lifted his .45.
The sheriff turned and aimed at Dehner. Dehner’s shot entered Streeter’s forehead. Tal Streeter went down without firing his weapon.
“What’s going on?” Patten shouted from the stage.
Dehner made his way to the fallen sheriff and hastily examined the body. He then shouted back to the stage. “This man plotted the kidnapping of Miss Whiting. I had to kill him, he--”
“Are we here for a show or some fool lecture!” The loud words came from somewhere in the crowd. A large number of voices were raised in agreement.
“I hear you, gentlemen!” Patten declared from the stage as he turned to Felix Murphy, who was sitting at a front row table. “Mr. Mayor, help Dehner lug that body out of here. We’ve got a big night ahead of us!”
Dehner stifled a laugh. Carrie Whiting was right: “The West is a tough, brutal land.”
Tomorrow: Episode Twenty-One, the conclusion of The Songbird of the West