Friday, August 24, 2012
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Episode Eleven concluded with:
Sahale mounted his horse and began to drink from the jug. He nodded toward two of the other braves. A spark suddenly glowed in the hand of one of those two braves.
Dehner laughed inwardly. “Talk about white man’s ways,” he whispered to himself. “Those guys are using match sticks.”
The detective’s amusement was short lived. The brave next to the one with the lighted match was preparing his weaponry. He was going to send a flaming arrow into the cabin.
Dehner stood up and shouted. “All of you are under arrest. Throw down your weapons and put your hands up!”
A brave immediately beside Sahale lifted his rifle. Dehner’s first shot knocked him off his horse; the man yelled in pain as he hit the ground. Sahale threw away his jug and slid off his horse. He grabbed the Henry from his fallen comrade. Sahale’s first shot missed. Dehner returned fire and also missed.
Sahale ran toward the cabin, motioning for the other braves to join him. The cabin would provide shelter and hostages. Rance levered the Winchester and was ready when one of the braves fired in his direction. Dehner aimed carefully and brought the shooter down.
Reverend Nate provided the shot that ended the gunfight. He hit Sahale, who tumbled to the ground before reaching the porch of the cabin. With three of their companions now down, the remaining two Braves stopped and raised their hands.
Dehner shouted to the two Indians to remain still, then quickly looked all around the hillside. “I’m going down first, I want the rest of you men to cover me.”
As he moved down the hill, Dehner spotted Reverend Nate. He couldn’t be sure but he thought the pastor was stifling a laugh.
Sahale was dead. The two Indians Dehner had shot were wounded but they could ride. Rance and the pastor had tied the hands of the two others behind their backs. Dehner and Reverend Nate knew they needed to return to Hardin, but there was business that required immediate attention. Both men kept an eye on the four Indians, who were sitting in front of the cabin. The detective and the clergyman were standing on the large porch of the cabin they had just saved from being burned down.
Standing beside them were Ferlin and Irma Barstow. Ferlin was tall but stoop shouldered with only a modest scattering of teeth in his mouth. Gray had overwhelmed most of his once black hair and his forehead seemed to be growing upward. Irma was a bit shorter than her husband with gray hair, a long neck and a flat, broad face.
The shooting that had just taken place made both Barstows mildly irritated, as if clouds were threatening a picnic. Ferlin’s voice sounded pious as he talked to Rance and Nate. “Ya can ask the marshall. He tole me it was okay ta sell tanglefoot as long as I don’t git too big for my britches. Been sellin’ here for ten years or more and none of it never killed no one.”
“That is encouraging,” Reverend Nate said.
“Ferlin never took to farmin’,” Irma added.
“Pap tole me farmin’ was the best way to go,” Ferlin sounded as if he were still angry with his father for giving bad advice. “He said a farmer is workin’ for the good Lord. Well, I’ll tell ya, the good Lord ain’t always such a good boss. You plant and sometimes the stuff grows and sometimes it don’t. Ya got no problems like that with makin’ tanglefoot. It comes out good all the time.”
“That does raise some significant theological issues,” Reverend Nate seemed to be enjoying himself.
Dehner needed to move the conversation onto a more pragmatic track. “Do you ever sell moonshine to the Indians?”
Monday: Episode Thirteen of Ultimatum