Good Guy or Bad Guy?

By Anaya Blank

 This story comes to us from a fan in New Zealand! Welcome to the "club" of writers. 

At least Jase’ll live. Ty Walker stepped out of the doctors office. All I have t’ worry ‘bout now is not gittin’ us caught, which could be harder then it looks. He glanced around the dusty streets of Fresno, California and sighed. His brother had been shot. Ty had patched up more then a few gunshot wounds in his twenty five years but this one was pretty bad. The bullet had entered to the right of Jase’s chest, broken quite a few of his ribs, which punctured a lung and came out his back, just missing the left shoulder blade.

Ty went over to the hitching post. His black horse, Rango whickered a greeting. A stallion wasn’t ideal for a riding horse but Ty had gotten him and his brothers two geldings very cheap. “That’s a good looking hunk of horse flesh.”

Ty turned around.

“He yours?” A dark brown haired man asked.

“Err yes,” Ty replied. His eyes fixed on the shiny deputy’s badge pinned to the man’s vest.  

“You new round here? Haven’t seen you before. Well, insaying that I haven’t been round here very long m’self. Sorry,” The man grinned. “Didn’t introduce m’self. Names Rob Stringer.”

“Ezra Trent,” Ty said.

Rob nodded and gave Rango a friendly pat on the neck. “What do you use this big fella for?”

“Saddle horse mostly,” Ty answered.

Rob ran his eyes over the horse. “He’s got good blood. Reckon he has good cow sense. Have you ever worked cattle on him?”

“No,” Ty said. “But I wanna. Reckon he’d make a good cow horse.”

Rob glanced up at the sun. “Have to be going. Nice to meet you, Ezra.”

He was friendly. Probably gunna go check his records then come an’ arrest me. Ty swung astride Rango and pushed him into a easy lope, that took him across town to the mercantile, where he brought some stores and some more ammunition. He grabbed a handful of the rounds out before stuffing the sack into his saddlebag. Ty pushed them into the leather loops of his gun belt, drew his Colt 45. reloaded it then slid it back into its holster. He turned and collided with a blond haired girl. “Hey watch where yer goin’ mister.”

“Macy?”

The girl froze. “Ty! What ya doin’ here? Ain’t ya ment t’ be in prison?”

“Yeah. Got kinda sick of it, though. An’ m’ names Ezra.”

“What?”

“Nobody knows we’re here yet an’ it’s better t’ keep it that way,” Ty said.

“Well they do now I’m tellin’ the sheriff.” Macy turned to leave but Ty caught her shoulder.

“Ya ain’t really gunna turn us in are ya?”

“Yeah I am now. Let me go.” Macy pulled away from him. She looked just a little bit surprised when Ty instantly released his grip. “I reckon if ya have left town by noon I might not say anythin’.” Macy walked off.  Ty watched her go. I hope ya were jus’ bluffin’. ‘Coz’ there ain’t no way Jase could leave.

 

 Eight days later

How on earth did I get us into this. Ty glanced over at the sheriff, the Carters and some other men. The bank had been robbed the day before by a gang called the Black River boys and somehow Ty and Rudy had ended up on the posse. They were following some tracks to the northeast of town. Ty over heard one of the men complaining to the sheriff that, “this trail is too easy to follow.” He agreed but said nothing. No point attracting unwanted attention.

 Next morning everyone was up a hour before dawn. It was around noon when the trail started to give out and by night fall it had given out completely. The sheriff decided to make camp where they were since it was too dark to look for the trail that night. Ty awoke the next morning to the sound of horses squealing. Rango! He thought and got up. What? Where are the other horses? He could only see Rango, Lightning, a buckskin, a sorrel and two bays. Rango whinnied and loped over. What in the world? Ty studied the rope which had once hobbled his horse.

“What in tarnation happened here?” Chad’s exasperated shout made Ty jump.

“Someone cut the horses loose,” he snapped.

“What?!”

The sheriff came over. Ty looked down, he doubted he would get recognised just then but he still didn’t like to take chances. “What happened?” The sheriff asked, surveying the remaining horses- then Ty and Chad.

 “Somebody cut the horses loose,” Chad said, shooting Ty an accusing look.

“Well… why don’t you two and who ever else has a horse here, go find the other horses,” The sheriff said.

Mitch, Justin and another man went to the north of their camp and Ty, Rudy and Chad went to the south. They rode for awhile then all of a sudden a paint horse came crashing through the brush. It turned sharply on its haunches to miss a tree but the rider kept going straight. Chad drew his pistol and swung down. The man looked to be no more than sixteen or seventeen with dark blond hair and green eyes. “Throw it down,” Chad ordered, when he reached for the gun at his side. Reluctantly the man obeyed, throwing his pistol down at Chads feet. Suddenly he looked around. “Where’s m’ horse? I need t’ git him afore he runs back t’ the others.”

“What others?” Rudy asked.

“Who are you?” Chad asked.

“Jesse Younger.” 

“What are you doing here?”

“Nothin’.”

Chad raised his pistol.

 “I cut yer horses loose,” Jesse blurted. “Was partta Robert LeRoy’s gang. They’re camped east o’ here.”

 “Robert LeRoy?” Ty said. He exchanged looks with Rudy. They had worked with an outlaw by the name of Robert LeRoy a few years back, who was the leader of a gang. Ty, Jase and Rudy had left on good terms with him.

“Robert LeRoy,” Chad said. “What’s he got to do with this?”

Ty didn’t hear Jesse’s answer.

He pulled Rango around the way he’d see Jesse’s paint go and found it grazing by a stony outcropping. Ty caught the gelding and took it back to Rudy, Chad and Jesse then they all started back to their camp.

Mitch, Justin and the other man where already back with the horses.

 “Who’s this?” Mitch asked.

“Jesse Younger. He cut the horses loose. Says it was LeRoy and his gang that robbed the bank, reckons there are camped east of here,” Chad said.

“That so?” The sheriff eyed Jesse then turned to two of his men. “Can you two stay here and watch him?”

“Sure thing”

“Good.” The sheriff split the rest of the men into five groups. With Ty there was Rob Stringer and three other men named Jim Fisher, Luke Bevitt, and Aaron Walsh.

After half a hour of riding through thick scrub it started to thin out. “Wait up Rob,” Jim Fisher called. “I’ve found something.”

They all dismounted as he picked a clasp knife. 

“Somebody must’ve dropped it,” Rob said, taking the knife. Suddenly a explosion of gunfire shook the air. “We’ve been ambushed,” Luke yelled and swung onto his horse but was shot down a moment later.

“Get to some better cover,”Rob shouted, spurring his horse towards the thicker scrub.

Not bothering to get on his horse Ty made a run for a grove of small birches. He felt a couple rounds whiz past as he slid to the ground behind the trees. He heard some gravel crunch as if stood on and spun around. He caught sight of someone coming towards him and threw himself down. Two bullets went through the tree behind him. He jumped up, reaching for his pistol.

“Throw it down or yer dead,” a tall, brown haired man threatened. Ty let the gun drop from his hand and studied the man. “Cole? Cole James?”

 “Walker?” Cole holstered his revolver. “What ya doin’ here?” He pulled a large Bowie knife from his belt. “Reckon this is yers?”

  Ty took it. “Yep.” It had been his father’s but he’d given it to Ty before he died. “Where d’ya find it?”  

“Rock Canyon,” Cole replied. Suddenly he scowled. “What ya doin’ with the sheriff?” His Colt. 45 slid from its holster and its hammer pulled back.

“Don’t ya worry I ain’t part o’ his bunch,” Ty slipped the knife into his belt. “Fooled ‘em all. Think I’m this Ezra Trent.”

Cole relaxed. “Same ol’ Ty.”

He led the way through the darkening trees. They rode into LeRoys camp and a man came over. “Cole,” he ordered. “Take some others and go after Jesse.” Cole nodded and rode off.

 Ty swung down. “Wheres Roy?”

The man wrenched Ty arms behind his back. “What d’ ya care?”

Ty swore and the man chuckled. He tried to pull free as the man tied his hands behind his back but it was no use. The man disarmed him and jerked him over to where the sheriff and all the others were tied. It was a long uncomfortable night. Nobody slept a wink. In the morning Cole came over. Ty glared at him. “Ya took ya time.”

Cole grunted a reply. He sliced Ty’s rope and yanked him to his feet. They started towards a rough cabin. “What are ya, Cole? Some sorta traitor? Throw down ya gun belt.” A man ordered.

Cole scowled. “I ain’t no traitor, Scott. I’m takin’ him t’ Roy.”

“Throw it down,” the man growled and slid his pistol from it’s holster.

But before he could blink. Ty drew drew Cole’s pistol and shot the gun out of his hand. He was only standing a few meters away. Ty grabbed the man’s arm and twisted it up behind his back. “Cole go find Roy.”

Swearing, Scott thrashed trying to get free. “Stay still,” Ty growled and twisted his arm up higher. He yelped and stopped moving. Ty winced as he felt a pistols barrel being shoved into his back. “Let him go or your dead.”

Ty relaxed his grip on Scott. Scott grabbed up his gun and pointed it at Ty chest. “Can I shoot?”

Robert LeRoy withdrew his pistol from Ty’s back and stepped beside Scott. He spun the gun and shoved into it’s holster. “Why not. They’re all gunna die jus’ the same.”

“Don’t ya dare shoot him,” Cole said, rounding the corner of the cabin. 

“Shut up, James,” Scott growled. “He’s nothin’ but a dirty stinkin’ lawmen.”

“I ain’t no lawmen, am I Roy?” Ty said. He took his eyes off Scott to look at LeRoy but only for a second. Roy ran his eyes over Ty. “Well I’ll be blowed. Leave him be Scott.”

Scott swore. “What? Ya said we’re shootin’ the sheriff an’ all his men an’ he’s one a ‘em.”

“No he ain’t. He’s Ty Walker. So leave him be.”

Scott glared at Ty and slammed his pistol into the holster. “I’ll be watching you.” He stalked off.

Roy and Ty went into the cabin. Roy slammed the door shut behind them. “What in tarnation are ya doin’ with the sheriff?”

“Long story but I ain’t helpin’ any o’ ‘em.”

Roy scowled. “Go shoot one of ‘em then.”

Ty swore. “I ain’t shootin’ nobody.”

“So ya are in cahoots with ‘em.”

“No I ain’t.”

“Prove it, go shoot one o’ ya own men.”

“Where’s m’ gun?” Ty asked.

Roy picked out Ty’s gun belt from the pile on the floor and tossed it to him. Ty buckled it firmly around his hips.

 “Don’t back out now,” He warned as they came out into the sun.

“Ya ever heard of a Walker quitting?” Ty raised his pistol Bang! Bang! Two men lay groaning in the dirt. “Good enough fer ya?”  

“Mebbe. Mebbe not,” Roy turned and walked off.

Ty holstered the pistol and followed. Roy stopped by a black horse that was tethered to a tree. “Who’s owns this? The Carters?”

“Nah,” Ty replied. “Me.”

Roy whistled and surveyed the horse. “He’s got good blood. Did ya steal him?”

 “Mebbe.”

Roy chuckled and went over to a rope corral strung up between a couple trees. A impressive looking golden chestnut stallion came over. “This here’s m’ horse.”

 Ty nodded. “Sure is a beauty.”   

A loud shout broke the air. Ty and Roy looked up. One of Roy’s men rode up on a bay and beside him was a large paint horse and a pale Jase Walker.

Ty studied his brother. “Ya look a bit better.”

“Yeah,”Jase replied. “These blasted ribs git annoying though.”

“How’d ya know where we were?” Roy asked.

“Everyone round these parts know, don’t they Tom?” Jase said, turning to the man on the bay.

“Yep,” he agreed.

“What!” Roy swore.

“Nah,” Tom smirked. “I told him. Ran in t’ each other in town.”

“Ya two a gunna git int’ big trouble one a these days,” Roy growled.

“Hey Roy?” Ty asked. “Ya got any better shot since Silverton?”

“What d’ya think? That was over three years ago.”

“That don’t mean nothin’.”

“That a challenge?”

“Guess so.”

“Well, your in fer a surprise,” Roy smirked. “Reckon I’ll beat least one a ya.”

“Ain’t got no gun,” Jase said.

“When’s that stopped ya,” Roy answered. “Grab one o’ those spare gun belts, Tom.”

                                                   *****

Ty swung off Rango. The sun was sinking below the horizon. “Ya have gotten better since Silverton.”

“I reckon I woulda almost beaten ya an’ Rudy if I’d hit m’ target,” Roy said.

“Nah ya wouldn’t of. Ya bet Jase pretty well though.”

“Yeah,” Roy let his horse go in the makeshift corral, grabbed his tack and went into his cabin.

Ty glanced around none of Roy’s men were about. He went over to Rob.

Rob looked up. “Why’d you shoot two of our men?”

“Had t’. It’s only a shoulder wound they’ll be fine.”

“Do you know what LeRoy’s planning to do with us?”

“Yeah.” Ty sat down and lent back against the trunk of a small oak. “He’s gunna shoot ya all.”

 “Great.”

 Jase came over. “Hey Ty.”

Ty jumped up “Shut up. Ya…” a string of swear words followed.

“Ezra!”

“Who’s Ezra?” Jase asked.

Rob nodded at Ty. “Him.”

“He ain’t no…”

Ty glared at Jase, who took the hint and walked away.

“You’re Ty Walker ain’t you?” The sheriff said.

“Mebbe…” Ty scowled. “Yeah I am. An’ I reckon y’all jus’ lost yer only way of gittin’ outta here alive.” He turned sharply on his heels, grabbed Rango and in a fast lope left the camp behind him. He came up the side of a ridge and glanced back. He could make out a horse and rider in the falling light. Ty halted Rango at the top. I’ll reckon he’s followin’ me. Probably one a Roy’s new men. Ain’t seen him afore. When the horse and rider caught up. Ty rode over. This man looked familiar. “Why ya followin’ me?”

The man looked up. “Howdy Tyler.”

“How d’ya know m’ name,” Ty asked uneasily.

“‘Coz’ I gave it t’ ya.”

“What’s that s’posed t’ mean?” Ty eyed the man.

“Exactly what I said.”

 “Who are ya?”

“I go by Clint Bevan,” the man replied. “But ya know me as Clint Walker.”

Ty swore. It couldn’t be. His pa had been shot over ten years ago. But yet this man had the same dark hair and the same dark eyes that gave away nothing. Ty yanked Rango around. He left him in a cloud of dust. His pa couldn’t be alive, could he? A lot of old memories came flooding back. He pulled his horse to a stop out of sight further up the ridge and gazed out over the surrounding country. The setting sun had lit it afire with its golden rays. 

Ty slid the large Bowie knife from its sheath at his waist and fingered the letters ‘C. E. Walker’ which were carved in the handle. Where had his pa been all these years. Why was he showin’ up now? Ty scowled and threw the knife. It quivered and stuck. The blade embedded halfway in the ground.  Why would a former army scout be with Robert LeRoy?

“Ya still have that?”

Ty spun around, Clint stood watching him. “Yeah, why wouldn’t I?”

“I reckoned ya had forgotten ‘bout me.”

“Course I ain’t. Neither have Jase an’ Rudy.” Ty went over and grabbed the knife. He held it out to Clint. “it’s yours.”

But Clint shook his head. “No it ain’t, I gave it t’ ya.”

Ty slid the knife back into it’s sheath. “What ya doin’ with Roy? How’d ya know him?”

“I could ask ya the same thing. Met him a couple months back. Me an’ that Jesse Younger came ‘round the same time.”

“Jesse Younger. How’d he manage t’ git hired?”

“Dunno. Ya met him?”

 “Yeah. Dark blond hair, green eyes an’ a twit.”

Clint smirked. “That’s the one. Roy threatened t’ put a bullet in him if he ever saw him again. Ya know what he’s planin’ t’ do ‘bout the sheriff?“

“He’s gunna shoot ‘em.”

“What!” Clint swore. “That would be cold blooded murder.”

“I know an’ there ain’t nothin’ ya can do bout it.”

They both looked up at the sound of hooves. Jase pulled his paint to a stop. “Ty.” He fought for each and every breath. “We need t’ git Rudy… an’ git outta here…” He eyed Clint uneasily. “Who are ya?”

“Clint Bevan.”

“No. Walker,” Ty corrected.

“Shut up, boy” Clint growled.

“Ain’t no boy.”

“Who d’ya say he is?”Jase asked.

“Clint Walker.”

“Clint Bevan,”Clint snapped. “Who are ya?”

 “Jase Walker.”

“Jase,” Clint gasped.

Ty chuckled at the surprised look on Clint’s face. “He’s grown up a bit since ya saw him last, ain’t he.”

“So who are ya?” Jase asked again.

“Clint Ezra Walker”

“What!” Jase swore “but that’s…”

“Yes,” Ty said. “Where’s Rudy?”

“Tied up with Cole, Roy an’ the others. That’s what I was tryin’ t’ tell ya. The sheriff has caught all of ‘em. We need t’ git Rudy an’ git outta here or we’re done fer.” They rode down the ridgeline into the gully below.

“Ya got a price on yer heads?” Clint asked.

 “Yeah,” Ty frowned.

“Fer what?”

“For rustling cattle, stealing horses and attempted murder,” a voice from behind them said. Ty, Clint and Jase spun their horses around. They could make out the sheriff and six of his men in the half light. “Throw your guns down.”

Nothin’ doin’. Ty spurred Rango into the dark trees. Clint and Jase followed. There was a couple gunshots but none came close. They kept up a breakneck speed, ducking between the trees for at least ten minutes then slowed to a lope.

“I’m goin’ t’ try git the others,”Clint said. “How many of the sheriffs men are still there? Five?”

“Yeah,” Ty said. “But I’m comin’ with ya. Jase, keep the sheriff on yer trail ‘till Coal Stream, then go up through that gully an’ come back.”

“Ok.” Jase glanced back. “Ya two might wanna git goin’.”

Ty and Clint pushed their horses into a gallop but slowed again at a dry stream bed which they followed up a bit. After that is was a smooth ride over rolling hills. They stopped in the brush near the camp and looked around. They could see some men sitting around a dying a fire. “Git behind the cabins. See what t’ do from there,” Clint ordered.

Ty scowled. He didn’t like people bossing him but it was a good idea. They slipped behind the cabins. A couple of the men around the fire looked up. But then went back to what they were doing. “Ty come here,” Clint called quietly. Ty went over and helped Clint cut Roy and the others free.


    Jase’s pov

Jase glanced back. His horse was tiring, his ribs, chest and shoulder were throbbing and the sun had disappeared from the sky. He was nearing Coal Stream though, though he would lose the sheriff and head back to camp. He slowed Storm when he reached the stream and followed along it. He entered a sort of gorge with steep rocky sides and a waterfall at the end. Where was that gully Ty was talkin’ ‘bout? It had been at least two years since he’d been up here. 

Jase looked hurriedly around and spotted an opening between the rock wall and a steep ridge that came down into the gorge. There it is. He had hardly gone five hundred yards when the gully split into two. Glancing around he nudged Storm towards the right pass. But it wasn’t long before he came to a dead end. Jase swore. Shoulda gone the other way. He pulled Storm around and froze. Seven men were blocking the entrance. “Get off your horse and take off your gun belt,” one ordered.

Swearing, Jase did as he was told. Chad dismounted and walked over.

“Where’s your brother and that other one?”

“Ain’t gunna tell ya,” Jase snapped.

“I reckon you should ‘coz’ if you don’t you might be very sorry.”

“Are ya threatening me?”

“No, he’s just suggesting you should talk,” Mitch said.

Jase scowled. Ty and Clint shoulda gotten t’ Roy by now. Might as well tell ‘em somethin’. “They took off when we were in the trees. I’s playin’ decoy fer ‘em. Was plannin’ t’ lose ya in here an’ meet back up with ‘em somewhere far away. But…” Jase swore. “I took the wrong pass.”

“What ‘bout LeRoy won’t they go back an’ help him?” Another man asked.

“Why would they? Ain’t no point in riskin’ everythin’ jus’ t’ help someone.”

“Is that the truth?”

“Yeah it is ,”Jase said.


Ty’s pov

“Why are you doing this?” Rob asked as Ty jerked his arms behind his back and tied them there. “I thought you…”

 “Keep yer mouth shut,” Ty growled. “Or Roy might give ya a bullet t’ talk t’.” He shoved Rob down with the rest of the sheriffs men and glanced around. Jase better hurry…oh no! Ty swore.

 Clint looked up. “What’s…” He swore. “Roy take the money an’ git outta here. Me, Ty an’ Rudy’ll give Them somethin’ t’ think ‘bout.”

Roy mustn’t of been listening properly to what Clint was saying for he rounded on him. “Shut up Bevan! I’m givin’ the orders. Ya say anythin’ like that ‘gain an’ yer dead.”

“Hey Roy,” Cole called, throwing a saddle on the back of a grey. “He’s right. Lets git outta here while we still can ‘coz’ I don’t think they’ve noticed us yet.”

Roy spun round. He swore when he saw what Cole was looking at and quickly threw his saddle onto his horse. The moons silvery glow was just bright enough to show eight men riding towards them. Roy swung astride his horse. “If we git away clean it’ll be one I owe ya, Walker.” He jerked his horse around. “Let’s git outta here!”


Jase’s pov

Finally. Jase managed to work his hands free of the rope that tied them to the saddle horn. He glanced around. They were nearing camp. Other then the glowing embers of a fire there was no sign of either Roy or the rest of the sheriffs men. A horse whinnied nervously. Then there was the thunder of hooves. “The horses must of gotten out,” somebody yelled.

“Me and Cody’ll take this Walker into camp the rest of you go after them horses,” the sheriff ordered. They rode down to the camp. Keeping one eye one the sheriff and Cody, Jase reached back, opened his saddlebag and pulled out a Colt.44. It glinted in the moonlight. Next time ya might wanna check the saddlebag, he thought and cocked the gun. Cody and the sheriff whirled around. “Let go-a m’ horse and take off yer gun belts,” Jase ordered. “Or I shoot.”

“But we can’t do that,” Cody said. His eyes were fixed on Jase but his hand was moving ever so slowly towards his gun.

Jase swore. I can’t shoot ‘coz’ the others’ll hear it. An’ he knows it.

“I suggest ya do as m’ brother says an’ be quick ‘bout it or…” there was a sound of multiple guns cocking in the darkness beside them. Cody froze but then quickly unbuckled his gun belt and threw it down as three men with a Colt in each hand stepped out of the shadows. The sheriff threw down his gun as well. “Git off ya horses,” Rudy ordered.

Ty, Rudy and Clint tied the sheriff and Cody up. Then they and Jase waited for the Carters and the other two men that were with them to come back. They managed to catch them without much more trouble. “We stayin’ here fer the night?” Jase asked.

“Yeah, might as well,” Ty replied.

Jase undid the cinch and pulled the saddle off Storm. The blanket was drenched in sweat and so was his horse. He gave Storm a good rub down then let him go in the makeshift corral.


Ty’s pov

 Ty made sure Clint and his brothers were fast asleep before going quietly out the rough cabins door. The moon was bright. “Rob?”

“Yes?”

Ty crouched down beside him and slid his hunting knife out of its sheath.

“What are you doing?” Rob asked.

“Can I trust ya?”

“Maybe. Why?”

“If I gave ya a knife,” Ty said. “Can I trust ya t’ only cut yer self free when we’re gone?”

“I reckon so.”

“Good.” Ty pushed his knife into the ground behind Rob.

“Thanks. Who are those other two that are with you and W—”

“Rudy,” Ty said. “Ones m’ brother, Jase an’ the other I think is m’ pa.”

“What do you mean you think he’s your pa?”

“He supposedly died. That ain’t nonna yer business.”

“Reckon it ain’t,”Rob said.

Ty stood up. “I’m turning in. Reckon I won’t see ya again.”

                                                   *****

The next morning they got up had a quick breakfast and started saddling their horses. Clint came over. “Ya got yer self a nice lookin’ horse there. He branded?”

“Yep,” Ty slipped on Rango’s bridle. “Ain’t seen it afore though .”

“Ya sure ‘bout that?” Clint asked, running his hand over the wagon wheel brand. “This here’s the Rocking R brand change. Ya can tell ‘coz’ it ain’t quite flush.”

“Yeah, I know,” Ty snapped. “But I ain’t the one who done it. What d’ya know ‘bout brands an’ changing ‘em, anyway?”

“Learnt a few things at Fort Worth.”

What were ya doin’ at Fort Worth?”

“Nothin’.” Clint turned away sharply and mounted his blue roan.

“Ya ever gunna tell us what ya been doin’ all theses years?”

“Mebbe.”

“Why’d ya bother comin’ back?”Ty scowled. “We’ve been jus’ fine without ya.”

Clint glared at Ty. “I shouldn’t’ve bothered finding ya. Yer jus’ a buncha worthless, no-account outlaws. I reckon I’ll jus’ leave.

Go ahead we don’t care nothin’.”

Swearing, Clint yanked his horse around and galloped off.

“Why’d ya go an say that fer?” Jase asked.

“Shut up.”

“Who was he?” Rudy asked.

“Clint Walker.”

“Who?”

“Long story, tell ya later,”Jase said.

“What d’ya mean?” Rudy asked.

“Shut up both-a ya,” Ty mounted Rango. “We’ll aim fer Maple Ridge but we might b’able t’ git t’ Stoney Creek afore nightfall.”

“What ‘bout Clint?”Jase asked.

“Shut up, Jase,” Ty growled.

They were able to get to Maple Ridge before the sun started to even dip behind the horizon. So they continued on towards Stoney Creek. I shouldn’t-a said what I did t’ Clint. Ty thought. It woulda been nice t’ have him ‘round again. He sighed. They had been pretty close before Clint ‘died’. Ty happened to glance over to his right. He caught sight of a blue roan horse just as it and its rider disappeared from view behind large rocky hill.

“Ya two carry on t’ Stoney, I’ll meet ya there later.”

“Why?” Rudy asked. “Were ya goin’?”

“Jus’ checkin’ somthin’ out.” Ty pulled his black around the way he’d seen the horse and rider go. He glanced around. There wasn’t even the slightest hint that anyone had been there.

“Ya lookin’ fer me?” a voice asked.

Ty whirled. Clint rode over to him.

“Why ya followin’ us?” Ty asked.

“Ya seemed t’ know theses foothills mighty well an’ I don’t,”Clint said. He looked away . “I reckon I shouldn’t-a said what I did ‘bout ya ‘coz it ain’t true.”

“Why’d ya say it in the first place?” Ty snapped then he sighed. “I didn’t really mean what I said either. But I wanna know where ya been all these years an’ why ya didn’t come back earlier.”

“‘Coz’ I couldn’t,” Clint said.

“Jus’ why couldn’t ya?” Ty demanded.

“I’ll tell ya if ya tell me why yer wanted?”

“Reckon that’s a fair deal.”

“Ya remember that Warwick Able?”

Ty nodded. “He’s the one that told us that a Yankee shot ya in the back.”

“Yeah, well he asked m’ t’ do somethin’ fer him. But when I told him I ain’t doin’ it he got mad an’ shot me. Then I guess he went an’ told ya that I was dead.”

“That don’t explain why ya ain’t came back earlier,”Ty said.

“Shut up, boy I’m gittin’ t’ that.”

“I ain’t a boy,” Ty growled.

“Well jus’ shut up! I ended up down Fort Worth with Warwick an’ a few others. He got int’a fight with someone by the name of Brett Henderson an’ killed him. Then”—Clint swore—“he blamed me fer it. I got twenty eight years but I only served nine afore Captain Robert Prescott got transferred t’ Fort Worth. He managed t’ git m’ released January last year. Ya met him back in ’72 didn’t ya?”

“Think so. Don’t he have a son couple years younger’n Rudy?”

“Yep Riley,” Clint said. “So how’d ya know Roy?”

“Met him in Utah couple years back. Why were ya with him?”

“Lookin’ fer ya. Yer wanted fer stealin’ horses, rustlin’ cattle an’ attempted murder, right?”

“Yeah.” Ty scowled. “Never planned on bein’ outlaw. But we started rustlin’ ‘coz it’s good money an’ we needed it. The Carter girl found out an’ let the horses we stole loose.. We found her an’ I don’t know what I was thinkin’ but we planned t’ git ridda her but the Carters an’ a couple other ranchers caught us.”

“Ya did what ya had t’ but I ain’t thought ya would go so far as t’ try kill somebody.”

Ty looked up in surprise. He’d expected Clint to be mad that they were outlaws.

Clint chuckled. “Sometimes ya have t’ break the law even if ya don’t wanna.”

 “Yep.” Ty nudged Rango forward. “Told Jase an’ Rudy we’d meet ‘em at Stoney Creek so we’d better git goin’ if we wanna git there b’fore nightfall.”

“We?”

Ty grinned. “ I ain’t talkin’ t’ m’ horse.”

The sun had been long gone from the sky when Ty and Clint arrived at Stoney Creek. Jase and Rudy were already there.

“So what’s the plan?” Jase asked the next morning.

“Reckon we’ll ride int’ town, git supplies, find Macy an’ leave.”

“Macy? She musta grown up a bit since I last saw her,” Clint said.

“Yeah. She’s a lil’ rough round the edges. We ain’t good at raisin’ no girl child,” Ty said. “What ya plannin’ t’ do?”

“Dunno,” Clint replied. “Thinkin’ ‘bout findin’ work at one a the ranches ‘round here.”

“Ya might not wanna ‘less ya change ya name,” Rudy said.

“Why?”

“Well we kinda got the name Walker a bad reputation here. People’ll git suspicious if yer workin’ on a ranch ‘specially when the sheriff gits back.” Ty glanced into his cup before tossing the rest of the coffee onto the still hot embers. “We’re plannin’ t’ leave here an’ git us a spread in Nevada or somewhere. Ya can stick ‘round if ya want.” He stood up. “C’mon Jase let’s git these horses saddled.”

They packed up the camp. It took about four hours to get to town. “Jase ya ride out t’ the Circle C an’ find Macy,” Ty ordered. “Me, Rudy an’ Clint’ll git the supplies.”

“Okay.” Jase pulled his horse around but then stopped. “Hey Ty, she’ll be in school.”

Ty swore. “Forget it. I’ll go git her.”

It was a five minute ride across town. He tied Rango up near the school house and went inside. His thick leather boots clomped against the hard wood stairs. Everyone in the classroom room looked up when he came to the top.  Macy jumped to her feet. “What are ya doin’ here?”

“Sit down Marcella,” the teacher ordered. “What is the meaning of this interruption? Who are you?”

Ty ignored him and walked over to Macy. “C’mon we’re leavin’.” He grabbed her by the shoulder.

“No I ain’t.” Macy balked.

“Hold on you can’t just come in and make Miss Walker leave with you.”

“I can’t? Too bad ‘coz’ I am. C’mon girl.”

The teacher stood up. “If you make her go, you could be accused of kidnapping.”

“That’ll be somethin’ new,” Macy muttered.

“Shut up,” Ty growled. “I don’t reckon I would ‘coz’ she’s m’ sister.”

“Your sister!” There was startled gasps from a few of the desks. The teacher stepped in front of Ty, blocking the stairs. “I can’t just let…”

“Jus’ shut up an’ git outta m’ way.” Ty ordered. “I don’t want any trouble if I can help it.”

“Ya probably wanna do as he says,” Macy scowled. “‘Coz’ Ty ain’t got patience fer tomfoolery.”

“Yep.” Ty drew his pistol. “So git outta the way afore somebody gits hurt.”

Reluctantly, the teacher moved out of the way. They went quickly down the stairs and outside. Ty mounted Rango. He pulled Macy up behind him.

“Ya got a horse here?” He asked as they rode to the other side of town.

“No.”

“Who’s that with Jase an’ Rudy,” Macy asked a few minutes later.

“Err someone,” Ty replied. I think I’ll let Clint help m’ explain this one.

 Jase, Rudy and Clint looked up as they rode over.

“Howdy Macy,” Jase said.

Macy glared at him and slid down off Rango. Clint studied her. “Ya‘ve sure grown up since I last saw ya.”

“Who are ya?” Macy asked.

Ty glanced at Clint. “This is Clint Walker, our pa.”

“Our what!” Macy stared at Clint then turned on Ty. “Why ain’t ya told me? Ya said our pa got shot by a yankee. Your nothin’ but a dirty rotten liar Ty!” She stormed off.

  That little… I had the feeling she’d do that. Ty followed after her. He grabbed her arm and jerked her around.

“Lemme go,” Macy growled and tried to pull away.

Ty tightened his grip. “I ain’t no liar, Macy. Not ‘bout things like this. We only jus’ found out yesterday that Clint’s our pa. Said he’s been tryin’ t’ find us.

“Then why ain’t he came back earlier?”

“He couldn’t,” Ty replied.

“Why couldn’t he?”

“Accused of murder got twenty eight years but walked free after nine.”

“Great. So I’ve got outlaws fer brothers an’ a father.” Macy ripped her arm free of Ty’s hold. “I don’t care what ya say or do but I ain’t comin’ with ya.”

“Macy.” Ty grabbed her by the shoulders. “Yer comin’ with us.”

“Hold it right there.” A pistol cocked and Ty spun around. A man with a shiny six pointed star on his shirt was holding a gun on him. “Who are ya?” Ty asked. How many blasted deputies does this darn town have?

“Meet deputy Phil Cosson. Deputy Cosson this is my brother Ty Walker.” Macy said. Ty glared at her. Shut up ya little, double crossin’ skunk.

“Ty Walker?” The man looked a little surprised. “You’re under arrest. Throw down your gun belt.”

Ty didn’t move. He could see Jase coming up behind the deputy.

“I reckon ya should be the one throwing down yer gun,” Jase growled as he brought the butt of his pistol down hard on Phil’s head. He crumpled to the ground.

“What’d ya do that fer?” Macy demanded.

 “Shut up.” Jase gave the man’s gun a hard kick that sent it sliding through the partly open door of the old warehouse they were standing in front of. Then they started back towards where Clint and Rudy were with the horses.

“Not so fast boys.” Ty froze. It was a voice he knew all too well.

Jase swore. “How in the blue blazes did they git here so fast?”

The sheriff pulled his horse to a stop. “Drop your guns. We have you covered.”

Ty swore. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a man strike a match but instead of lighting a cigarette, he bent and lit something in his hand. There was a hissing and a cracking of the fuse as he tossed it at the feet of the sheriffs horses.

 “Dynamite!” One of the men yelled. They pulled their horses around and bolted. There was a small explosion. The force of it threw Ty to the ground but it wasn’t big enough to do to any harm. He looked around. Jase lay groaning in the dirt where the shock wave had put him.

“What’s the matter with him?” Macy asked. She didn’t get a reply.

“Ya right?” Clint asked as he and Rudy walked over.

“Yeah,” Jase moaned and pulled himself to his feet. “These doggoned ribs are killin’ me.”

“Where’s the horses?” Ty asked.

They went down a alley and found the horses tied behind the old warehouse. Ty swung astride Rango. The black horse balked as he pulled Macy up onto its back. “Hurry up,” He called to the others. “We ain’t got no time b’fore they see us here.”

“Y’all git outta here,” Clint ordered. “I’m gunna buy ya the time ya need. Meet back up with ya in ‘bout a day.”

 Ty nodded a replied and spurred Rango into a lope. They kept to the back alleys and side streets. “Where ya planin’ on goin’?”Macy asked.

“Up in the foothills,” Ty replied. “We’ll hideout there fer a day or two, see if Clint got away. Then head fer Nevada.”

“Well yer doin’ that without me,” Macy said, stubbornly. “I ain’t goin’ no where with a couple good for nothin’ rustlers an’ a murderer.”

Ty yanked Rango roughly to a stop and turned to face Macy. “You are comin’ an’ Clint ain’t no murderer if he’s anythin’ he’s more like an army officer .”

“Then why’d he git arrested fer killin’ someone?”

“Falsely accused.”

“Yeah right.” Macy muttered.

“Watch yer mouth, girl.” Ty dug his heels into Rango’s sides and the horse took off. When they caught up with Jase and Rudy, he slowed back to a lope. They rode as far up into the foothills as they could before the inky blackness of the night closed them in and forced them to stop.


Two days later

Ty stared into the glowing embers. We coulda gotten outta there without him doin that. Why would he choose t’ give up ‘bout everythin’ jus’ t’ give me, Jase an’ Rudy the time t’ git away. Ty stood up, a plan forming in his mind. “I’m turnin’ m’self in.”

Jase and Rudy jumped up, swearing. “Ya ain’t serious. Ya can’t do that.”

“Yeah. Well I am.” Ty grabbed his tack and whistled for his horse. He slung the saddle up onto Rango’s back and chinch it tight.

“Hold it there, Ty. Ya ain’t goin nowhere.” Rudy cocked his pistol.

Ty swore. “Jase…”

But Jase shook his head. “I’m with Rudy on this one.” He pulled Ty’s gun from its holster and tossed it on the ground. So much fer my plan. Ty thought. He saw Macy staring at the gun and caught her eye. Grab it. He silently ordered. But Macy looked away. Rudy shoved his pistol into the holster and pulled Ty’s arms behind his back. “Your gunna git tied up ‘till ya git that stupid idea outta ya head.”

Quick as a flash Macy snatched up Ty’s gun and pulled back the hammer. “Let him go an’ if either of ya make a move t’wards ya guns I’ll shoot.”

Rudy swore and let Ty go. Ty pulled Rudy’s pistol from its holster and shoved it in his own. “Don’t try that again.” Ty slid on his horse’s bridle and mounted. “Macy come here.”

Macy scowled but came over. Ty reached down and tossed Macy up behind him. He dug his spurs into Rango’s ribs. The horse took off at a gallop. Macy gripped Ty’s waist. “What did ya do that fer? Where we goin’?”

“I’m takin’ ya t’ the Circle C,” Ty said. “Figured ya wouldn’t want t’ stay with Jase an’ Rudy till I git back.”

“How long ya gunna be gone?” Macy asked.

“Day or two.”

“So ya ain’t really turnin’ ya self in are ya?”

“If it comes t’ it I will but I’ve got a thing or two t’ try afore I do.”

“Then why did ya tell Jase an’ Rudy ya were?“

“‘Coz’ I don’t want their help.”

“With what?”

Ty smirked. “Wells Fargo jus’ had a big shipment of gold come through an’ it’ll be easy pickin’s”

“What!” Macy made a grab for Ty’s gun. But he chuckled and put his hand on the revolver keeping it firmly in the holster. “Jus’ funnin’ ya Macy girl. There ain’t no gold. But even if there was I wouldn’t be stupid enough t’ pull a stunt like that with ya, Jase an’ Rudy, never mind by m’self.”

“Ya really takin’ me t’ the Circle C?” Macy asked.

“Yep.”

A few minutes later they came into sight of the large Spanish style ranch house. Ty pulled the horse to a stop. “Thanks.” Macy slid to the ground. “What should I tell ‘em if they start askin’ questions?”

“Whatever,” Ty said. “Jus’ don’t tell ‘em the whole truth.”

                                                   *****

Ty took a glance at the sheriffs office and dismounted. I hope this works. ‘Coz’ if it don’t I’m in trouble. He tied Rango to the hitching rail. Then stepped into the office. “Howdy.” The sheriff looked up. He stiffened and pulled a gun. “What are you doing here?”

Ty unbuckled his gun belt and tossed it and his Bowie knife on the desk. “Turnin m’self in.”

“Okay?” The sheriff lowered his pistol. They went through a door behind his desk. Clint glanced up and swore. “What the…”

Ty glared at him. Shut up. The sheriff opened the cell next to Clint’s and pushed Ty in. Then locked the door. They both watched him leave.

“What in Sam Hill are ya doin’ here?” Clint demanded.

“Gittin’ ya out,”Ty said and held a small knife out to Clint. “Ya picked a lock b’fore?” But he quickly hid it as a key turned in the door. One of the sheriffs deputies walked in and unlocked Clint’s cell. “Your free to go. Sheriff said…” he and Clint went out of hearing range.

Ty swore and slammed his back against the wall. I shoulda been more patient an’ waited another day. It’s gunna be hard t’ git outta here alone. I was countin’ on Clint’s help. He waited until it was dark then began on his cells lock. C’mon. He twisted the knife. The lock clicked and the door swung open. One down. One t’ go. He was just about to start on the door into the sheriff’s office when he heard someone coming. Ty swore and backed away as the door was pushed open. A man with a revolver walked through.  Ty made a reckless grab for the gun. But the man was too fast he spun around. Ty froze as the hammer clicked into place. “I’d had a feelin’ ya’d do that.”

“Clint?” Ty swore. “What…”

 “Shut up an’ git out.” Clint gave Ty a shove. He stumbled into the sheriffs office.

 “Here’s ya gun belt. Catch.”

“Jase?” Ty caught the gun belt that came flying at him.

“Yep. Ya shoulda told us what ya were really doin’. Rudy’s outside holdin’ the horses.”

“Rudy’s what?”

Clint chuckled and locked the door. “Holdin’ the horses. Ain’t too happy ‘bout it though.”

“Bet he ain’t.” Ty did up his gun belt. The rifles on the wall caught his eye. “Why don’t we…”

“No,” Clint said. “Ya ain’t stealin no guns.”

“I ain’t askin’ ya,” Ty snapped. “Jase?”

Jase looked at rifles. Then sighed and shook his head. “Leave ‘em, Ty. We don’t need no more trouble.”

They went out a side door and found Rudy with the horses. “Ya took ya time,” He growled and tossed Clint his reins. They rode for about a hour and came to a old lineshack where they stopped for the night.


Macy’s pov

Why would Ty turn himself in jus’ t’ break jail again. Macy glanced back. She probably would get into a little bit of trouble for playing hooky. But it would be worth it if she could find out what her brothers were planning on doing and why. She noticed a deputy fishing around in his saddlebag for something. But it wasn’t what he was doing that caught her eye it was the knife lying on the ground beside him. That looks like… “Hey Deputy Stringer can I’ve a look at that knife ya have?”

Rob looked up. “Sure. Why?”

“Jus’ ‘coz’.”

He handed it to Macy. She studied it carefully. Definitely is. “Where d’ya git m’ brother’s knife from?”

Rob stared at her. “Your brother’s? Who’s your brother?”  

Macy scowled and gave the knife back. “Ty Walker. So where d’ya git this?”

“Ty Walker.” Rob glanced around. “Why don’t you come into the office and I’ll explain.”

Macy stiffened but followed Rob into the sheriff’s office. “Am I in trouble? Does this have somethin’ t’ do with Ty breaking jail.”

 “Kind of. Macy, your brother’s a good man he’s just got mixed up with the wrong people.”

“I wish I could believe that,” Macy said. “But Ty lied a lot. He always told me he’d git us a spread somewhere. But he never did. They thrashed me if I didn’t do what they told me fast enough or for no reason at all. He, Jase an’ Rudy were always drinkin’. I was kinda glad when they got arrested. So how’d ya git his knife?”

“It’s kinda long story. You know that gang that robbed the bank?”

“Yeah. The Black River Boy’s or something.”

“Well it turned out to be Robert LeRoy and his gang.”

“Roy!” Macy gasped.

“Yeah. Your brother called him that. They know each other, don’t they?”

Macy sighed and nodded. “We were helping him a couple years back. It was always Ty and Roy. Jase an’ Tom were pretty good mates as well. An’ Cole an’ Rudy. I liked Cole he was nice t’ me.”

“That explains a few things,” Rob said. “The gang ambushed us and took us to their camp.”

“So Ty an’ Rudy did a double cross?”

“No. I don’t think they knew. LeRoy was planning to shoot us. Ty said he was going to try get us outta there alive. But Russ recognised him. He was pretty mad about that and rode off. We managed to get free and got LeRoy and all of his gang except one and Ty and your other brother, Jase. Russ, the Carters and three other men went after them. Somehow Ty and the other man managed to split up with Jase and come back to camp. They let LeRoy go and tied us up. LeRoy left and Ty, Rudy and the other man waited for Russ to come back. They caught them as well and tied them up. Then they turned in for the night. That’s when Ty gave me his knife. He made me promise to only cut myself free after they’d gone.”

“So Ty gave ya his knife then the next morning they left.”

“Yep, something like that,” Rob said. “Did you help your brothers much?”

“Mebbe. Why?” Macy asked, suddenly on guard.

“Just asking. You said before that you and your brothers helped LeRoy.”

“I didn’t really help. Are ya tryin’ t’ git me int’ trouble?”

“No. I’m just wondering.”

“Really, Rob? It sounds t’ me like yer tryin’ t’ find a reason t’ arrest m’ sister.”

Macy and Rob spun around. There stood Ty, Jase and Rudy Walker.


Ty’s pov

Rob reached for his gun. But Ty cocked his pistol and stopped him short. “Put it on the desk. The knife as well. Ya know how I shoot.”

Rob sighed and did as he was told. “I wasn’t trying to arrest your sister.”

Ty grinned. “I know. Macy go with Jase an’ Rudy, I’ll be there in a minute, Clint’s holdin’ the horses.”

Jase, Rudy and Macy went out the back door. “Sorry bout this Rob,” Ty said. “Had t’ do it.”

“That’s alright but I’m gunna have to put a posse on your trail though. You’re still wanted. Might as well take your knife while you’re here.”

“Nah.” Ty unbuckled his belt and slid off the empty sheath. “Ya keep it.” He grabbed Rob’s gun and the knife. “I’ll leave theses by the back door.”

“Thanks, Ty,” Rob said. “For everything.”

“First time I’ve been thanked by a deputy fer holdin’ a gun on ‘em.”

“I wasn’t thanking you for that.”

Ty chuckled. “See ya Rob.” He went out the back door.

“What took ya so long? Ya did anythin’ t’ him an’ I’ll kill ya,”Macy growled.

“Don’t worry Macy, I ain’t done nothin’.” Ty put the gun and the knife by the door and mounted Rango. “Let’s git outta here. Rob’ll have a posse together before we know it.”

“Are we really goin’ t’ git a spread an’ be real family?” Macy asked.

“Yeah Macy girl. We are.”

Comments

  1. Cool story does it take place after thick as thieves before she went to live with her aunt

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  2. So sweet! I'm glad her brothers and dad decided to do the right thing. You did a fantastic job Anaya.

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  3. Wonderful story.

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  4. Wow great story Anaya! I love how it is a longer fan fiction then usual 😃

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  5. Love having more fan fiction to read! Good job.👍

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  6. Great job, Anaya! Love reading new fan fiction!! :)
    -Stephanie

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