Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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Episode Nine of Ultimatum

Episode Eight concluded with:

             Dehner shook his head. “Hardin is a town on edge. You can’t leave the place to Rip Gowdy. You’ve said yourself that he often falls down on the job.”
            Dehner was right, but the marshall hated to admit it. After a few moments of silence, Carson shrugged his shoulders and sighed. “Be careful. Especially you, Rance. You haven’t had much experience dealing with Indians.”
            “Not so, Marshall. I once spied on a band of Apaches who were planning to attack a Cavalry regiment.” Dehner gave the Marshall a two finger salute as he and Reverend Nate left the office.
            Outside, the detective and the preacher began to untie their horses from the hitch rail. “I didn’t know you outsmarted a band of Apaches, Rance.”
            “Didn’t say I outsmarted them,” Rance spoke in a low, conspiratorial voice.  “They caught me. Good thing the Cavalry regiment was near by.”

Episode Nine

Both men guffawed as they mounted up and rode out of town. They hadn’t gone far when Dehner spoke to his companion. “Bret told me you were adopted by a preacher and his wife when you were eight. Did you have much contact with Indians after that?”
            “Yes,” Nate replied quickly. “My parents did a lot of work with the tribes in this area, or as much as they could. My folks were very devout people who wanted to convert the Indians to Christianity.”
            “How did that go?”
            “They got a few converts. Not too many. But my parents also wanted me to understand where I came from. They didn’t want to cut me off from my heritage. I grew up knowing many of the Indians in this area. Still know a lot of them.”
            The two men became silent; they were starting to draw near the hill where the Indians were camped out. Dehner suddenly pulled up his horse and whispered, “Looks like someone has the same idea we do.”
            Both men watched in the moonlight as a rider started up the hill. He was riding fast and didn’t look in their direction. “I take back what I said,” Rance continued to whisper. “That man is no spy. He’s either expected or he knows Akando.”
            “He’s not an Indian,” Nate also whispered. “His horse has a saddle.”
            The newcomer was easy to follow. He obviously didn’t care if the hoofbeats of his horse were loud. Dehner and Reverend Nate rode quietly up the hill behind him. When the hoofbeats stopped, the two men dismounted, tied up their horses, and began to proceed on foot. There were enough trees to provide both good cover and an array of twigs on the ground which, if stepped on, could snap and betray their presence.
            Both men stopped and hid behind two separate trees as they got in range of a loud voice. The person talking was obviously not Akando and was obviously angry. “I don’t give a hoot ‘bout no big plans.  A deal is a deal and ya better do what ya said ya was gonna do, injun!”

Tomorrow: Episode Ten of Ultimatum