Tuesday, September 4, 2012
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Episode Eighteen concluded with:
“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!”
Akando stopped and held up his hands for his men to do likewise. Several moments of uneasy silence followed, during which Nate and Bret Carson got to their feet and took out match sticks. Akando finally lowered the Winchester he was holding and shouted, “We will talk!”
Rance’s smile was almost benign. “I thought you might be in the mood for a bit of conversation.”
Akando called out the name , “Enyeto.” Enyeto also lowered his rifle. The two Indians walked cautiously down the hill. As they did, Rance handed the money to Bret Carson. “Keep them talking as long as you can.”
Both the marshal and Reverend Nate nodded their heads. Dehner spoke in a loud voice as the two Indians arrived. “You can talk with Brett and Reverend Nate. I’m checking Tully’s saddle bags. There might be more money there.”
Rance headed toward the back of the cabin. At the side, he paused and drew his .45. He again assumed a jackknife position as he cautiously stepped onto the cabin’s porch. Luck was with him. The cabin had only one side window and it was located at the other side of the door.
The detective glanced at the powwow going on several yards in front of him. Reverend Nate and Bret Carson were talking intently with Akando. Nate had picked up one of the rifles and held it in one arm pointed toward the ground. His other hand still contained a matchstick, which, at the moment, was the weapon his opponents feared the most. The Indian who had accompanied Akando was standing behind him and far to his left side. Enyeto was a guard, not really a participant. Tully wasn’t participating either. He was still lying on the ground with his hands covering his head.
Of course, all the Indians could see Dehner. That fact didn’t bother the detective. The Indians now cared nothing about the people in the cabin. Their only concern was the money which Bret Carson held in his hands along with another threatening match stick.
Rance advanced slowly toward the front door. He didn’t want a loose board to betray him. He paused briefly at the door, then barged inside.
Tomorrow: Episode Twenty of Ultimatum