Friday, July 6, 2012
Now playing: Night Riders
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Episode Fifteen concluded with:
“Yeah, that’s what I heard. Why don’t you toss down that gun and maybe we can figure out how to stop a bloody land war.”
Rory Kagan paused for a moment, then did what Dehner had suggested. “Look, Rance, I don’t want Elijah Tantrall to be the one behind all this, but it’s the only explanation that makes sense. Those owlhoots let Lila go. Even a no good wouldn’t want harm to come to his own daughter. And there’s the order to stay clear of the cattle…”
Dehner spoke as if his mind had been far away. “We’ll have to come back and bury this jasper later. Come on, we’re riding back to the Circle T.”
Lila Tantrall’s good upbringing abandoned her. She yelled at the people around her. “Hurry up! A man’s life is at stake!”
Lem Donnigan barked back. “We’re almost ready to go, Miss Tantrall. It ain’t easy to--”
“She’s got a point, Lem!” Elijah’s voice was almost a shout. “It’s taking too long to get the men ready. This ain’t no Sunday social.”
The ranch owner, his daughter, and the foreman were all on horseback, as were five ranch hands. They were waiting for another five who were still saddling their horses.
Lem appeared hurt by his boss’ remark. He was the ramrod: getting the men ready was his job. “Sorry, Mr. Tantrall, you see…”
“Someone’s coming!” Lila pointed toward a horseman approaching at a leisurely trot. He was riding past the barn and waved as he got closer.
Rance Dehner reined up and spoke in a jovial voice, as if they were, indeed, preparing for a Sunday social. “Good morning, everyone. Looks like we’re in for a beautiful day.”
“Where have you been, Dehner?” Elijah’s anger was now aimed at his most recent hire. “I couldn’t find you nowheres, some detective you are! Look, we gotta--”
“No, Mr. Tantrall, there’s no need to worry about Rory Kagan.”
“What do you mean?” Lila snapped.
Rance shouted out a friendly “Rory!”
A figure on horseback rode from behind the barn toward the passel of people. He moved steadily through a cascade of shadows being tossed about by the breaking dawn.
“Rory!” Lila started to ride toward the young man, but stopped when Dehner held up a palm.
Rory Kagan continued to ride toward the group, but he was not heading directly for Lila. He was making tracks to the ramrod. “Surprised to see me, Lem?”
“Don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”
“Rance interrupted your plans, Lem.” Kagan continued to ride slowly toward his prey. “Those thugs failed to kill me. Now, you’re going to die, Lem: at the end of a rope.”
Rance drew his Colt and fired as Donnigan went for his gun. The ramrod’s body jerked and fell to the ground. Dehner hastily dismounted and grabbed the six shooter Lem had dropped. He didn’t want to have to shoot him again.
Lem Donnigan twisted in the dust and brayed a string of curses. From the corner of his eye, Dehner could see that both Lila and Rory had dismounted and were in a tight embrace.
The detective gave Elijah Tantrall a fast glance. The man looked totally confused. Rance laughed softly to himself. He couldn’t tell if the rancher was more shocked by the fact that his ramrod was an outlaw or that his daughter was in love with the son of a man who hated him.
Monday: Episode Seventeen, the conclusion of Night Riders