Monday, October 15, 2012
Now Playing: The Silent Child
New to These Parts? To Start the Story From the Beginning, click
Episode Five concluded with:
“Thanks for the information, gentlemen.” Dehner placed a couple of coins on the counter and took several pieces of rock candy from a jar. He tried to hand one piece to Pixie but she didn’t respond at all. Her hands remained at her side.
The detective felt baffled. What had the little girl witnessed and why were there people out to kill her?
Dehner dropped Pixie off at Harper’s Mercantile, then took a fast walk to the south end of Main Street and the sheriff’s office. As he entered, Sheriff Clint Bolger was talking to a nervous young man who kept working his hands and nodding his head. The tin on his shirt was shiny and looked like he had polished it that morning.
“One more thing,” the sheriff seemed to be coming to the end of a long list. “The ladies are having their weekly luncheon at the church today. Reverend Connors is out of town. If Jesse Larson shows up, get him out of there, but do it quiet like. If Jesse tries to go back, put him in jail for the afternoon but give him a warning first. Remember, you are dealing with Jesse Larson, not Jesse James.”
“Yes, Sheriff, I’ll remember that.”
Bolger gave the detective a quick glance. “Ah, Deputy Emory Logan, this here is Rance…”
“Dehner.” Rance shook the hand of a man who was probably a year or two shy of twenty. His long oval face was topped by sand colored hair which ended in a curl that bobbed over his forehead.
“We gotta be leavin’,” the sheriff said. “Try to see that the town is still here when we get back, Emory.”
“Yes, Sheriff.” Emory’s voice sounded contrite.
Detective instincts were not required to notice that Clint Bolger was not happy with his deputy. Rance waited until he and the sheriff had ridden out of town before asking, “Emory Logan not working out too well?”
Bolger began to talk in the fast, jerky manner of a man getting something off of his chest. “Emory is a good kid, but he reads too many dime novels. He wants to be Wyatt Earp. Emory treats jailing a drunken miner as if he had single handedly brought in the Dalton gang. Now, he doesn’t rough up jaspers unless it’s necessary, and he’s not trigger happy, I’ll give him that, but he needs to calm down …”
Clint continued to unload his frustrations as the two men rode out to where Rance had encountered Pixie earlier in the day. They had just passed the grove of trees where the little girl had emerged when Dehner changed the subject. “I was carrying Pixie in this direction when I was ambushed.”
Bolger nodded his head. “From what the Harpers say, you was probably takin’ the kid home, even though you didn’t know it at the time. The Thompsons probably have their ranch up ahead.”
Both men suddenly went silent, stunned by what they saw.
“Looks like smoke,” Rance said.
“Yep. Right where the Thompson ranch should be.”
Dehner and the sheriff spurred their horses into a fast gallop. The ears of Dehner’s bay went back and his mane began a wild dance. Landscape whizzed by. As their horses ate up the ground, the men could see a large ranch house being consumed by fire.
Tomorrow: Episode Seven of The Silent Child