well here's chapter 2. hope you like it. please read and review an if you like this story, try reading my other western stories. and ofcourse if you do please review. Thanks, enjoy.
It was a sunny morning, though a bit windy, when Arizona and Bullet arrived on the ridge that over looked the start of the Circle K range.
"Half a day's ride and we'll be home, boy," said Kit, rubbing the stallion's neck. Bullet nickered in answer, as though to say he couldn't wait. And with that they continued on at a lively lope.
It was late afternoon when they rode through the ranch gate and up to the bunkhouse. So far Arizona hadn't seen a single person and that bothered him, there should have been hands out with the cattle or at least lazing about outside the bunkhouse. There was a strange solemn silence about that the place that filled him with dread. Something bad had happened in the months that he'd been gone, something terrible. All of Arizona's nerves were on edge and that riled him for he hadn't survived this long in the wild country without learning to trust his instincts.
"Curly! Tex! Brazos! Where the hell are ya! It's Arizona!" he yelled. But he received no answer. When he made his way to the barn he noticed that all the horses were gone.
"Everybody must be in town. Can't think a what fer though, ain't no holiday. Come on Bullet we best go find out what's goin' on 'round here."
When Arizona reached town he immediately recognized most of the Circle K horses tied outside the saloon and the buckboard down at the Livery Stable by the railroad station. And he was suddenly very curious as to why J.B. was allowing the boys a day off on a Thursday. He tied Bullet outside the Silver Steer Saloon and walked towards the doors when he collided with a man exiting the saloon.
"Watch where yer goin', ya st… Well now if ain't the rather belated foreman a the Circle K! Never thought we'd see ya 'round these parts again Kid, figured since ya'd run off with old man Taylor's money ya wouldn't be comin' back. Well I guess ya heard he'd cashed and figured it was safe ta come back. Ha ha ha…" laughed the man.
"Shut yer trap, Gattlyn, fer I shut it fer ya. What's that 'bout J.B. cashin'?" Arizona replied.
"Ha! Ya don't know! Well I ain't tellin' ya! Go find out fer yerself!" Gattlyn sneered. And with that the wiry, foreman of Three Rivers Ranch continued across the street towards his brother's hotel to spread the news of Arizona's return.
Arizona walked into the saloon where he saw several of the boys at the bar, including Curly Jones and Tex Riley. As their backs were to the door they didn't notice who had entered.
"Hands up, Riley! The game's up!" Arizona bellowed.
" Awright, but I got a right ta know who it is pointin' their hardware at me." Riley replied in a disgruntled voice as he complied with Arizona's order.
"It's the Law, Riley, reckon that's all ya gotta know." Arizona growled menacingly. "Now tell yer pals ta get their hands up too, and not ta turn around less they wanna get shot."
"Better do as he says fellas. One question, what in the hell am I bein' arrested fer?"
"What in the hell fer? Fer having all these boys in town on a Thursday, ya great idjit!"
"Arizona!" cried Tex whirling around. "By golly, it is you!"
"Yep, Now what in the hell's…"
"Never thought we'd see alive again, Arizona. Ya had us all worried sick when ya didn't come back last month. We thought fer sure, somebody'd finally got the drop on ya. And what with old J.B. dying and leavin' the ranch to his daughter…" Curly stopped at the look on Arizona's face.
"Ya mean ya didn't know?"
"What happened, Curly?" asked Arizona sorrowfully. Old J.B. Taylor had been like a father to him and he was suffering form the hard shock of losing the old man. Who really hadn't been that old to start with only about fifty.
"Well it was about three weeks after you left, he was over at the Gattlyn ranch with the Doc fer dinner and he had a heart attack. Least that's what the Doc said. We tried ta wire ya but you'd already left Dodge. The funeral was about a week later when you was due back but you never came. We didn't start ta worry 'til you was a week late. Anyway Dal Gattlyn, bein' the only lawyer here 'bouts read us all the will and it gave everything to J.B.'s daughter, Lily, who's live out East with her Aunt. So we contacted the Judge Hanson over in Big Rocks and he sent East fer the girl. And that's why we're all here. She's due on the five o'clock train today, so we're all here ta meet her."
"All a ya? Where's Brazos, Jesse, and Cookie? The only ones I see are you, Tex, Jake, Rick, and Arkansas" Arizona asked.
"Jesse's over visitin' his gal, Kate and Cookie's over at the general store getting' all our supplies." Curly replied evasively.
"Where's Brazos?" asked Arizona sternly.
"Um. He's in jail. He got into a fight with Ben Gattlyn over a card game. You remember him; he's the gambler. Anyway Brazos accused Gattlyn a cheatin' and Gattlyn tried ta get with 'is derringer but Brazos shot it outta 'is hand. Then they started fightin' and tore the place apart. Gattlyn got beat up pretty bad, you know how Brazos is when he's riled. Anyway they took Gattlyn over ta the Doc's ta get patched up and Craven threw Brazos in jail.
"That was last night, and Craven still hasn't let 'im out. You know Craven's bought and paid fer by Dal Gattlyn, so they're tryin' ta hold Brazos on some trumped up charge fer attempted murder. 'Course Brazos didn't make things any better by assertin' that it was a case of attempted murder on Gattlyn's part and only he was only guilty of attempted manslaughter. But he said if he ever got his hands on Gattlyn he reckoned there'd be murder but with no attempted attached to it." Tex answered.
"We been trying ta figure a way ta get him out all day but ain't hit on a good idea yet." Arkansas Jack piped up.
"Well, I guess I better go get him then. Can't have Miss Taylor arrive and find one a her boys in jail." Arizona sighed, walking out the door towards the jail.
"Yee haw! I gotta see this, come on boys!" yelled Curly.
"Yeah, if Arizona ain't careful with Craven, he might shoot him!" laughed Rick Benson.
"Wouldn't be such a bad change 'round here if ya ask Me." said Jake Johnson.
Meanwhile Arizona had entered the jail where he confronted the honorable sheriff of Two Springs, Miles Craven.
"Hear ya got one a my boys in yer jail, Craven." He said.
"Ahh, Arizona so nice of you to drop in, when'd you get back?" answered Craven in a slightly sarcastic tone.
"About an hour ago, now about the man in yer jail."
"Oh yes. Brazos Smith, I believe. I don't suppose you know why he's in here. He tried…"
"I know what happened, Craven and I'm here to collect Brazos." Arizona cut in.
"Well I'm afraid I can't let you do that. You see Smith is charged with the attempted murder of Ben Gattlyn." Craven said in an authoritative tone.
"I know and if you don't take those keys and unlock that door, I'll do it myself." Arizona said coolly.
"You can't do that! I am an officer of the law in Two Springs, you do what I say!" exclaimed Craven, outraged.
"Oh really, well if you don't get movin' by the time I count to three yer gonna be a dead officer." Arizona replied evenly. Craven was beginning to annoy him.
"That is a threat to a peace officer! I can have you jailed for that!"
" One… You know, Craven, yer really beginin' ta try my patience, which I don't seem to have much of ta begin with. " Arizona growled.
"You can't do this! I'll…"
"Two…better get movin', Craven, 'less yer fixin' on havin' a new button hole right over that phony tin badge a yers."
"I'm goin', I'm goin', but you'll never hear the end of this Kid. This time you've gone too far…"
"Ha, somehow I don't think Arizona has much ta fear from a four-flusher like you, Craven." Brazos laughed as the sputtering sheriff found himself locked in his own jail cell.
"Thanks, Arizona. I owe ya one, pard. Reckon it's about time ta meet the train, come on." Brazos said as the exited the jail and headed down the street.
When they reached the platform they saw that the train had already arrived. And Upon they glimpsed a beautiful young girl with golden hair and violet-blue eyes. She had to be Lily, for her stubborn chin was J.B.'s and her eyes, fine boned cheeks, and delicate mouth they had all seen in a picture of J.B.'s wife. There could be no doubt. But unfortunately their revelation of seeing an angel was marred by the fact that the man whom she was conversing with was the devil himself.
It was Dal Gattlyn.