Monday, November 19, 2012
Now Playing: Dangerous Calling
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Episode Eight concluded with:
Fargo’s laugh became louder. “Abner, you are--”
“Call me Reverend Goodman. Remember, I am Reverend Jim Goodman!”
“Yeah, Fargo, it would be a real shame to mess-up Abner’s scheme!” A large burly man walked into the church. “You forgot to close the door completely after ya watched the mayor ride off. Guess you’re not use ta dealin’ with church doors, Abner. Course, ya don’t want the good folks of Antioch knowin’ that.”
The newcomer remained on his feet with one hand not far from the .44 strapped to his waist.
Coogan stared at the vaguely familiar face. He needed a few moments before he could say, “Chet Wooster.”
“That’s right,” Wooster replied. “Been a while, huh?”
“Yeah, about three years.” Abner Coogan remembered Wooster from a bank holdup. Back then, Coogan had worried about Wooster’s drinking, but Chet Wooster’s problem had been under some control.
That control now seemed to have become weaker. Wooster’s nose was a collection of red veins. Weight had dropped from his medium frame, apparently because he now drank a good part of his diet. He wasn’t drunk at the moment, but his hand was trembling. He appeared to be having the shakes.
“How long have you been in town, Chet?”
“Long enough to hear ‘bout all the money bein’ saved for a new church. Long enough to be in the café when ya tole the mayor you was a sky pilot. I guess the real Reverend Goodman is coyote food.”
Abner kept his voice friendly, “What have you got in mind, Chet?’
“You, Fargo and me pulled off that bank job pretty good. Reckon I’ll help ya with this job. You’re cuttin’ me in, Abner. If not, I go to the mayor and tell ‘em who ya really are.”
Coogan slowly got up from the pew. As he did, Wooster’s hand moved closer to his gun. “Sure, Chet, I’ll cut you in. Reckon you can be a big help.”
Wooster’s eyes fastened on the gun which was still in Coogan’s hand.
Abner saw the distrust in the face of his former cohort. He opened the six gun, rodded out the bullets and handed them to Fargo. “Put those back in your gunbelt.” He then handed his partner the gun. “And you can holster the gun. This is a time for a little celebratin’.”
He turned back to Wooster. “I have a bottle in my saddle bags. What say the three of us step outside and have a little drink to celebrate our new partnership?”
The caution vanished from Chet’s face. “Sounds good.”
As the three men left the church, Coogan shot his partner a quick glance. Fargo understood the meaning: be ready for anything.
“Got my horse tied up over there,” Coogan said. The three men walked to the grove of trees across from the church. Abner opened one of the saddle bags, pulled out a bottle and handed it to his partner. “Open that up, Fargo, but let Chet have the first sip. After all, he’s our new partner.”
“Sure!” Fargo took the bottle and walked toward the horse’s head. Chet’s desperate eyes followed the bottle. Wooster now had his back to Coogan, his attention centered fully on the treasure in Fargo’s hand.
Abner Coogan smiled inwardly. This was almost too easy. He removed a large knife from his saddle bag and rammed it into Wooster’s back. He clasped a hand over the outlaw’s mouth as he fell, and then Coogan slowly laid Chet Wooster face down on the ground.
“Help me carry him into the trees,” Abner whispered to Fargo.
The two men carried their latest victim far into the grove until they reached an area wide enough for a grave. They dropped Wooster onto the ground. Coogan placed two fingers on his neck.
“Is he still alive?” Fargo asked.
“Not by much. He’ll probably be gone by the time we dig a hole for him.”
Fargo chuckled, “I almost hope he ain’t.”
“Ain’t never buried no one alive before. Might be kinda fun.”
Tomorrow: Episode Ten of Dangerous Calling