Monday, September 3, 2012
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Episode Seventeen concluded with:
Paul Edwards’ eyes had been open, but he suddenly appeared to be seeing the people around him for the first time, as if returning to consciousness. “Bret. It’s a trap. We were ambushed. The rest…dead. They thought I was…I held on, wanted to warn…” Paul Edwards closed his eyes. He wouldn’t open them again.
Running footsteps sounded before Paul Edwards died. Dehner turned around in time to see Rip Gowdy running into the cabin. A shot fired from the cabin window, missing Dehner by inches. The detective returned fire. A loud screech of pain followed.
War cries came from the surrounding hills, followed by gunshots and a fast stream of flying arrows. Dehner and his three companions hit the ground. Bret drew his six gun and fired at the attackers on the hill. “Paul was right,” he shouted. “We’ve got the Macklins behind us and the renegades on the hill. We’ve ridden into an ambush.”
“Rip Gowdy betrayed us!” The marshal spoke as he also fired at the attackers on the hill. “He murdered six fine men. Men who trusted him, like we did.”
The horses had taken off, but not gone far. They were grazing behind the cabin. From the corner of his eye, Dehner saw the look of panic in the eyes of Tully Jones as he watched his buckskin hurry away, the jug almost coming loose from the horse’s saddle. A look of relief came over Tully’s face as his horse and jug halted safely near the other horses.
Dehner suddenly understood. He spoke hastily to Reverend Nate and Brett Carson. “Give me the best cover you can. I’m going back to the horses.”
“We’ll need our rifles!” Nate shouted as he fired his .44 toward the hill while glancing backward at the cabin.
“Maybe I can do better than that!” Dehner jumped to his feet, stooped into a jackknife position, and ran for the back of the cabin. He grabbed Tully’s jug from the saddle of the buckskin and rifles from the remaining three horses. He could hear the gunfire stop and Akando’s voice thunder. “You will hand over to us the man you call Tully Jones!”
“Of course,” Dehner whispered to himself. “That’s why their shots were so wide. They didn’t want to kill Tully.”
Dehner walked from the back of the cabin toward his three companions who were still lying on the ground. Tully was between Reverend Nate and the marshal. The detective held up the jug and yelled toward the hill. “I have something here that might interest you, Akando!”
“You will hand over to us the man you call Tully Jones!” Akando repeated.
“Why bother with Tully?” Rance yelled back good naturedly. He dropped the three rifles and kept walking until he was even with the other three men who were watching him curiously from the ground. “Look what I have for you here!”
Dehner smashed the jug on a stone. Paper money scattered about with the broken shards from the jug. Akando signaled his braves who began to advance down the hill. Rance quickly took a match stick from his pocket, lit it with one hand, and picked up the money with another. “Stop Akando, or I’ll burn the money!”
Tomorrow: Episode Nineteen of Ultimatum