Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Now Playing: One Arm Lightning
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Episode Five concluded with:
The saloon owner busied himself a bit more with the smoke before answering Buck’s question. “Rob Laverty is going to be across the street from Oliver’s General Store on the roof of the Rome Saloon. Ed Horton will be inside the saloon. I will be on the roof of the General Store. Stanley will be in the alley between Blake’s store and the gunshop next door. We’re going to ambush your brother.”
Buck looked around the room with scorn. “Aren’t you gents brave!”
The sheriff again pointed a finger at Buck. “Look here, Torveen. You gotta live in this town. You hafta get credit from Oliver, use names as references for a loan at the bank, and get along with most ever body. Your brother is a killer. Sooner or later, he’s gonna get gunned down. Tomorrow is gonna be sooner. This whole town will rejoice. We can manage this without you if need be. Are you with us or not?”
Sheriff Laverty lay on the roof of the Rome Saloon and quickly checked his timepiece. Buck Torveen and his brother should be driving into town on a wagon any moment now. The plan had been worked out carefully last night and everyone was in their places.
Laverty was tense, and not only because he was about to ambush a man. A man he couldn’t face in an honest gunfight. There would be four guns firing at Wes Torveen on this morning, but Sheriff Rob Laverty had to be the man who got the credit for bringing down One Arm Lightning. The sheriff craved recognition and fame. Now was his chance.
Of course, he couldn’t get what he wanted by telling the truth. No writer would make him look good for pulling off an ambush. He had already concocted a good story. Getting the others to go along might be difficult, but he’d think of something.
A wagon began to move slowly but steadily toward Oliver’s General Store. There was little in the way of clattering; the wagon was new and well cared for. Buck Torveen and his sister had made a success of what had once been a hardscrabble ranch. Laverty was relieved when Buck agreed to play a role in his brother’s ambush.
As the wagon stopped in front of Oliver’s General Store, Laverty noted something odd about Wes Torveen. The gunfighter looked relaxed and, yes, even happy. Laverty couldn’t remember ever seeing Wes Torveen look content. As a boy he had been fearful and sad, and as a man, he was…well…One Arm Lightning.
Buck Torveen stopped the wagon in front of Blake Oliver’s store and applied the brake. He and his brother were laughing about something as they quickly jumped off the wagon and entered the store. So far, matters were going as planned.
A few minutes later, Buck came out of the store carefully carrying a long but very light box. Laverty figured that had to be the dress Wes had been jawing about the previous night. Buck placed it under the seat of the wagon and then returned to the store.
When he appeared again, he propped the door open with a block of wood Blake kept at hand for such a purpose, and again exchanged laughter with his brother. Wes Torveen stepped out of the store and onto the wagon where he stood on the bed. The gunfighter gave his brother a friendly shout. He obviously expected Buck to toss him some items from the store.
The sheriff smirked as he aimed his Smith and Wesson. Wes Torveen was showing off what he could do with just one arm. Rob Laverty would remind the gunfighter that pride comes before the fall.
Laverty squeezed the trigger of his.44. Wes Torveen jerked violently and staggered, but remained on his feet. He drew his pearl handled six shooter and returned fire. The bullet hit close by Laverty, forcing him to roll as he got off a second shot which went wild.
From inside the Rome saloon, Ed Horton fired twice in Wes Torveen’s direction. Torveen jumped off the wagon as he sent a red flame into the saloon. Horton spun, stumbled out onto the street and collapsed. Wes took cover under the wagon as Stanley Wiggins fired from the alley beside the general store.
Laverty cursed from his position on the roof of the Rome saloon. Fenton Goulding was still on the roof of Oliver’s General Store clinging to his Winchester, but not firing it. He had his head low as he watched Ed Horton bleed to death in the street. Goulding looked terrified and reduced to being a bystander.
Wes Torveen was under the wagon. The gunfighter knew where two of his ambushers were located. Goulding was now useless as was Ed Horton, who was dead or dying. What had been intended as a quick ambush could now turn into a long standoff.
Tomorrow: Episode Seven of One Arm Lightning