Thursday, November 8, 2012

Now Playing: Dangerous Calling 
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Dangerous Calling 1

Episode Two of Dangerous Calling

Episode One concluded with:

Reverend Goodman’s horse nickered. He could hear movement from inside the grove. He had no choice now, “Hello the camp!”
There was silence then a voice shouted back. “Welcome stranger. Ride in. You’re welcome to a cup of joe.”
The voice was deep and the friendliness artificial. Goodman wanted to spur his horse and ride off. But if they were outlaws they could catch up with him easily enough. Besides, he was hopelessly lost. Maybe the Lord had guided him to some friendly strangers.
Jim Goodman gently spurred his horse and rode into the camp.

Episode Two

A narrow, twisting aisle ran between the trees. The pastor guessed that some people had gone to a lot of trouble to conceal their whereabouts.
Goodman tried to calm his anxiety as he rode closer to the fire. There was a clearing but it was very small. Still, there appeared to be only two men. Most of the owlhoot camps he had read about consisted of at least a half dozen outlaws.
As he approached the fire, a man holding a gun walked toward him. “Get off the horse!”
“I intend you no harm, sir! If you wish, I’ll gladly turn my horse around and--”
“Get off the horse! Then put your hands up.”
Goodman did what he was told. He faced a man about his own size, slightly under six feet, with a boyish face. The gunman’s brown hair was curly, making him look a bit like the drawings Jim Goodman had seen of angels. But the angels held harps, not six guns.
“Who are you?” The gunman snapped.
“Jim Goodman. Reverend Jim Goodman.”
The gunman’s face remained placid. “Fargo, check his saddle bags.”
            Goodman began to again feel hopeful. The man holding the gun seemed to be relaxing a bit. The look on his face now reflected curiosity more than antagonism.
            “Nothin’ much here, Abner,” Fargo shouted. “Jus’ a Bible and lots of papers. Some of the papers are letters.”
            “Where are you heading, preacher?” Abner still held the gun but now he was pointing it at the ground. 
            “Antioch,” Goodman replied good naturedly, or as close to it as he could get. “A town with a fine Biblical name.”
            “Watcha mean?” Fargo spoke as he moved back toward the fire. He was shorter than Abner and more than a few pounds overweight, with narrow eyes set in a pudgy face.
            Perspiration dotted Goodman’s forehead but he tried to sound light hearted. “Antioch is mentioned in the Bible several times. In Acts Eleven we are told that it was the first place where Christians were called…Christians.”
            Abner holstered his gun as he looked over the new comer’s clothes, including the black frock coat and black hat. “You’re a real reverend, ain’t you? Not just some guy who preaches in a medicine show.”
            “Yes!” Goodman’s voice was buoyant with relief. He was no longer looking at the front end of a gun. “I was educated in Boston. I just left a calling in Dallas. I’m now going to Antioch where the citizens are preparing to build a new church.”
            Abner’s voice was also buoyant. “I’m afraid you’re a bit lost, preacher. The best trail to Antioch is back a ways.”
            “Would you mind drawing me a map? I’m afraid I have lost my way.” He laughed nervously. “It’s not good for a preacher to lose his way.”
            Fargo didn’t laugh, but Abner did: that made Jim Goodman feel good. Abner appeared to be the leader of the two men.

Tomorrow: Episode Three of Dangerous Calling