Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Now Playing: Dangerous Calling
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Episode Fourteen concluded with:
She turned and began to angrily stalk off. She didn’t get far. A tight cloth suddenly gagged her mouth. Her head felt trapped in an iron vise, and she was dragged into the church.
The woman could see nothing in the darkness, but Amanda could hear Fargo’s screeching laughter. “Your plan worked, Coogan. Just needed a little fixin’ up at the end.”
“Call me Jim Goodman! Remember, I’m Jim Goodman!”
A leering face suddenly appeared in Amanda’s view. The cloth tied firmly around the woman’s head muffled her screams.
Saliva oozed from the side of Coogan’s mouth. “You were right, Fargo. She’s a right pretty woman. What say we have us a little fun before we kill her?”
Frank Dunning pumped his arms, his crutches sending up spurts of dust as he ran toward the church. He was grateful that it didn’t have a porch. His crutches would have made noise against the wood. Dirt provided no such problem. From a distance he had seen Fargo and the man he knew as Jim Goodman forcing Amanda into the ramshackle building.
He stopped at the church entrance and listened. The rotted wood of the church’s double doors provided holes from which the voices inside could escape.
“Let’s carry her down to the front, the carpet there is thicker. Make things a bit more comfy.”
Fargo’s high pitched laughter followed. “I guess you get to go first, Coogan.”
“Call me Goodman. Jim Goodman! Oh, yeah, I’m going first.”
Dunning had heard enough. He breathed deeply and tried to calm himself. He was a man with one leg. That wouldn’t stop him from helping Amanda Olson, but he’d be a fool to ignore his handicap. He needed to act wisely, but quickly.
He placed one crutch against the side of the church and kept one crutch under his left arm where it could compensate for his lost leg. Using his right hand he opened one of the church’s double doors, lifting it slightly, so it wouldn’t brush against the floor.
Peering inside he could see Fargo lighting a kerosene lamp which was attached to the wall near the front of the church. Fargo continued his near insane laughter. “Such a pretty lady, be a shame not to have a good view.”
From his position, Dunning could see that the additional light worked in his favor. Only one other kerosene lamp had been lit: the one on the immediate right side of the door. Frank eased into the church on the left side and drew his gun. He had a good view of both Fargo and the man Fargo had called Coogan. Both were at the front of the church, on the right side, between the altar and the front pew. But where was Amanda?
Coogan answered the question for him. The killer looked down toward the floor and spoke. “You know, girlie, you can make this a lot easier by just goin’ along. Hated to tie you up. I know you’d enjoy gettin’ to know me.”
Amanda was obviously lying on the floor, the view of her body blocked by the pews. Frank knew he had to act immediately. There could be no question as to what her two captors had in store for the woman.
The mayor took one step backwards, placing himself deeper in darkness. He lifted his .45. “Freeze!” he shouted. “Both of you!”
At first, the two outlaws obeyed the command almost completely. Only their heads moved as they tried to locate where the voice came from.
Frank again shouted. “Hands up!”
The two killers obeyed but the second order allowed them to place Dunning’s location. This time it was Coogan’s turn to shout. “Is that you, Mr. Mayor?”
Keeping his gun pointed at his prisoners, Dunning moved slowly toward them down the center aisle of the church. He had to be careful. The floor of the old church provided plenty of cracks and holes for him to stumble over. “You men have an appointment with the sheriff.”
“Anything you say, Mr. Mayor,” Abner Coogan responded. “But why don’t you let me free the young lady?” Coogan pointed downwards with one hand.
Dunning stopped and again raised the gun which he had lowered to hip level. The .45 was now pointed directly at Abner Coogan’s chest. “Hands in the air, Coogan, I mean it. I see that gun strapped to your waist. I should have trusted my instincts. You’re no preacher.”
Abner waved his arms as if in a friendly gesture. “You’re right, Frank. Still, you don’t want this nice young lady to be--”
The trick was old and Frank Dunning was ready for it. As Coogan tried to distract Dunning by moving his arms, Fargo went for his gun. Dunning moved his .45 a few inches and sent a red flame burrowing into Fargo. The man yelled and dropped to the floor. Frank swung his weapon back at Coogan.
“Good shootin’, Mr. Mayor!” Abner Coogan’s voice remained friendly but both of his arms were now lowered. “Why, you plugged that old owlhoot right in the chest.”
“Get your hands back up, Coogan.”
“Sure.” He raised both hands. “This high enough for you?”
Fargo buoyed onto his knees, gun in hand. He fired a shot. Dunning felt a horrible burn in his right arm and let his .45 fly off into the darkness. Fargo collapsed. He was losing blood quickly and no longer a threat. But Abner Coogan was. Dunning let go of his crutch and dropped to the floor. He began to pull himself in the direction of where he had inadvertently tossed the gun. He could hear Coogan’s footsteps moving toward him.
Frank’s right hand collided with the weapon. He gripped it and turned his head in time to see Coogan coming at him, gun in hand.
“Well, well, Mr. Mayor. I guess we got a stand off, here. Think you can fire that gun before I kill you?”
Tomorrow: Episode Sixteen of Dangerous Calling