Monday, August 27, 2012
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Episode Twelve concluded with:
“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?”
“A mite,” Ferlin answered. The injuns hunt ‘round here some. They’re not supposed ta, but it don’t bother nobody none. Huntin’ can give a man a thirst. Now and agin an injun or two will stop by.”
Rance fell silent for a moment as his mind scrambled with a variety of notions. The detective then spoke abruptly as if an idea had just occurred to him. “Do you folks know Tully Jones?”
“That fool!” Irma spoke with contempt. “Tully and his big dreams. He comes ‘round her sometimes with one of his nutty schemes.”
“When was the last time you saw him?” Dehner asked quickly.
“Oh…maybe a year…no…probably not that long. He stopped by here tryin’ to pull us into one of his crazy plans.”
Dehner tried not to sound anxious. “What was this crazy plan all about, Mrs.Barstow?”
“I didn’t pay him no never mind, can’t remember much. Some injuns had died from bad tanglefoot. Tully thought he could make money off that somehows.”
“I remember!” Ferlin shouted. “He was gonna set him up a business with the injuns. Sell them tanglefoot that he’d promise was good.”
Irma began to laugh. “Tully can’t lace his boots right. We wouldn’t go into no business with him.”
“What happened when you turned him down?” Dehner asked.
Ferlin joined in his wife’s laugher. “He got madder than a rabid dog. Said if we didn’t want to get rich, he’d go to the Macklin brothers. They live on the other side of Hardin.”
Now it was Reverend Nate’s turn to shout. “Of course! The Macklins!”
“You know them?” Rance asked.
Nate gave a whimsical laugh. “Not really, but I’ve seen and heard them around town.” He paused for a moment. “I’m sure that was the voice of one of the Macklins I heard tonight while spying on Akando and his braves.”
“The man who was making all those demands on Akando was a moonshiner.” Dehner’s voice was toneless. He wasn’t asking a question.
“I’m sure of it!” The clergyman responded. “The Macklins are named Lester and Karl. I don’t know which one it was--”
“We need to get back to Hardin,” Dehner interrupted. He took a coin from his pocket and handed it to Ferlin.
The moonshiner’s eyes went bright. “How many jugs ya want?”
The detective smiled and shook his head. “None. That is for the information and I do have a favor to ask.”
Dehner nodded towards Sahale’s corpse which was lying in the front yard. “Would you bury the body?”
“No trouble attall,” Ferlin spoke in a neighborly fashion. “I’ll plant him in the back. He might make them bushes grow a few more berries. Only there won’t be no marker or nothin’ like that.”
“Ferlin and me never took much to readin’ and writin’,” Irma said.
Tomorrow: Episode Fourteen of Ultimatum