Fronteir family adventures
| CHAPTER 4
Michael was really furious by now he knew that those masked men were Jasen and Stephen, but he didn’t know why they would do this to him. Was it not him that got them out of their mess’s when they got in trouble, anytime they were in jail he was always there to get them out. Why would they tie him up like this and leave him? Michael was so busy wondering why Jasen and Stephen would do this to him; he didn’t see the buggy heading his way.
Kimberly Barton was heading to go see some friends the Johnson family when she saw a man hanging by his feet in a tree she stopped the buggy instantly and got down she said “oh my goodness, are you alright sir?”
Michael looked up at the woman and said “your might beautiful today Ma’am.”
Michael wasn’t thinking straight he was up side down and the blood was not circulating right, not that she didn’t look beautiful though, she had beautiful long blonde hair, and her crisp dress hung snugly against her nicely shaped figure. She was probably around medium height, he really couldn’t tell hanging this way, but she could not have been as tall as Ma. He guessed maybe he could think better if he got down.
By now he wasn’t even thinking of Jasen or Stephen, all he was thinking of was this must be an angel. He was talking out loud, and didn’t realize it until the woman answered him.
The woman giggled and said “Sir I assure you I am no angel, but thank you anyway that was sweet of you to say that. I’m sorry I don’t usually carry a knife with me or I would try to cut you down, but here comes a gentleman maybe he will have one to let you loose.”
Todd couldn’t believe his eyes, there was Miss Barton talking to a man hanging upside down, his coat was hanging over his face and Todd couldn’t see who it was, he was tied to a tree limb. He looked again at the man since the woman turned him around to see what she was pointing at. He recognized him now and hurried up to where they were. He jumped off his horse, he walked past Miss Barton and said “good day Miss Barton.”
She smiled and said “It’s a good thing you decided to come by this way and thank you Todd for stopping to help.”
Todd cut the line and helped Michael down it was a good thing he was not as small as his Pa or his other brothers, it was true he was taller than William but not as heavy. For Michael was about 6'1"and weighed about 180 pounds and William was 6', he was about the same height as Todd and weighed about the same too. Todd had no problem getting him down from the tree.
Todd asked his uncle, “Are you ok Michael?”
All Michael could see was the beautiful angel in front of him. Todd asked his uncle what had happened.
Michael said “Two masked men was waiting on me and held me up, they tied me up so I couldn’t tell anyone.”
Miss Barton looked around the trees and said “Oh that’s terrible.”
Then Todd said “Where’s your stuff, didn’t you bring anything with you?”
Miss Barton said “I am so silly; we will look for your stuff if you think it is still around and those bandits didn’t take them.”
Michael said “Well as a matter of fact Ma’am my stuff should be back in Ikeville by now, the horses were let go along with my stuff, I’m sure they are back in town by now.”
She got in her buggy and mentioned to Michael to get in beside her. She said “let’s go find it.”
Michael climbed up and got in the buggy and without another word, they left.
Todd smiled at the two as they were leaving. Neither one even noticed he was still there so he got on his horse and headed on back to Hollom to help the family.
They all rode up next to the Sheriff's office in Hollom. Stephen, Jasen, William, Matt and four other riders. William opened the Sheriff's door and found Travis and his deputy getting two rifles off the shelf and then reached into the desk drawer for their ammo. Travis asked the men “do you have your rifles and plenty of ammo?”
All of the men told him they had enough.
William looked at Travis and asked him “how many men are in this posse?”
Travis shrugged and said “so far we have 12 guys counting the deputy and me and how many do you have William?
William replied, “we got eight men raring to go and when Todd gets here that will make it nine.”
Then Travis started towards the door then turned around and said “That’s good, Thank you all for responding so quickly, I see Stephen and Jasen are here, good I’ll go ahead and start getting ready.”
Jasen said “first how about telling us what happen.”
Travis sat down and looked at the men and said “I think it started back yesterday. Jasen remember yesterday when you and Stephen helped us with dealing with that crowd, so we could take the prisoner in. Well everything was fine and dandy until about 9:30 this morning and then some of that same crowd showed up again, and started the same thing, they were talking of hanging the prisoner and when we went out to talk to them there was about thirty guys including the red bearded guy. All of a sudden the bank clerk comes running out hollering that the bank had just been robbed. Well I then left the deputy there, but before I left I told the deputy that if this is a trick, get word to you two, that I would need you all here. Well I went in and looked around and then took statements and then decided to send Clyde to get you all over here anyway. That’s when the deputy asked me if I ran the crowd off, I told him no and he said they’re nowhere to be found so it had to be part of a plan. I went in and questioned Eric about it and he knew nothing, of which I expected that much. They used this situation to rob the bank.
Jasen asked “how much money was in that safe?”
Travis said “About $35,000 the reason so much was there the miners were getting ready to get paid. Wells and Fargo just delivered more money, so we’re looking at around $25,000 more.”
Jasen whistled, “$60,000 nice little penny.”
Stephen said “what do you think Jasen, inside work?”
Jasen looked at Stephen and said “yes, seems to be without a doubt.”
Travis said “I also was thinking the same thing there too.”
They all walked outside and started getting on their horses when Todd rode up, he went over to William, and said “Pa I found Michael.”
Jasen and Stephen inched closer acting innocent while Todd kept on talking “Michael said “Two masked men jumped him, and then tied him upside down on a tree limb.”
William asked “where is Michael now Todd?”
Todd said “Michael left with the school teacher Miss Barton, she was there when I found him, after I cut him down he got into her buggy and they went to find his luggage.”
William was looking at Stephen and Jasen and said “you two was sent by Ma to get Michael, how come you didn’t find him?”
Stephen said “we never saw him; I guess he could not wait and left before we got there.”
William said “Well at least Michael is with the school teacher, Sharon and I have always been fond of her.”
Todd said “And she is a very beautiful woman, Pa, Michael was calling her an angel.”
Jasen and Stephen looked at each other then Stephen asked William “so the school teacher is a looker?”
Matt said “I’d say she is!”
Jasen said “one more word and I will report what you say to that pretty little waitress over at the diner.”
Matt asked stunned. “You met Virginia?”
Jasen smiled and said “yes I did and she wants me to take good care of you.”
Stephen said “Ain’t it always our luck we run off when Ma is trying to set us up with a pretty one.”
Jasen said “yes usually they’re unspeakable to talk about.”
Stephen said “oh yes I know what you’re talking about.”
Travis said “fellows, I hate to interrupt, but we need to get headed towards the tracks, and that is why I ask for Stephen, everyone knows he is one of the best trackers ever.”
Stephen looked at Travis and said “tell that to Jasen back there when I have to track for him I get nothing, but if he hires a man with half my skills he gives him a handsome sum.”
Jasen said “you’re my brother it is your duty to help family.”
Then Travis said “Stephen, just point us in the right direction.”
With that said Stephen glanced down from his horse and said “it doesn’t take a fancy tracking man to figure this trail, it is so simple and he headed towards the east.”
There were a lot of tracks so that told Stephen it was a lot of men, not just a few this made it was really easy to follow this trail.
“They’re not even in a hurry, they’re taking they’re sweet time.” Stephen hollowed over to Jasen and said “we’re about 3 hours behind them.”
Todd and Matt was looking at all of them, they’re not even worried about catching up with them or what will happen if they double back. They were calm as if nothing had happened; in fact the only two that was nervous was them. They was thinking with all these tracks they had to be well over thirty men and these guys that are suppose to be protecting them, they seem to not care. The young men were still talking very low about all this when all of a sudden they heard a gunshot,
One of the guys that rode in front of the young men was shot off his horse and everyone then high tailed it towards the rocks for cover
Stephen was hollering “do you see them?”
Jasen couldn't see anyone, he started looking around, trying to figure out the best way to the top of that rock. Stephen was working his way around the opposite side and William was going around the other way. We have twenty men with us after they just killed one. Travis was mad and disgusted at the same time, he lost one of his men, now he was going to have to go to that man’s house and let his family know. He hated that part of his job. He was getting a feeling that before the end of the day he might have to talk to a lot of families. But he had to admire the Weathers’ each one was on the prowl and they were getting up that rock all three was moving closer towards the top.
The bank robbers was on the top of the rocks, they was constantly shooting at the three men dodging in and out of rocks for protection, while Travis and the rest were shooting at the robbers and picking them off when they would come out of cover to shoot at the three men coming up the rocks. Travis tried to stop the three Weathers’ but trying to stop a Weathers when they sat their mind to something took only one woman who they would listen too. At least William made Matt and Todd stay there and keep them covered.
William thought to himself. Jasen and Stephen lived for this kind of excitement, but not him, he still hadn’t figured out why he ran out and started up the rocks, those two idiots was going to get him killed one of these days. Just because he was the oldest didn’t mean he could keep them safe. Ma probably would skin all three of them for this nonsense as she would call it. He looked back down at his son’s and then spotted the man laying there dead; he didn’t envy Travis his job especially delivering the news to the man’s family. He knew it took a special man for that job, and it sure wasn’t him.
Travis was worried about William because he had a family. And that family included his wife and children. Travis hollered up to William and told him “Stay there, William.”
William pretended not to hear him, he couldn’t let his son’s see back down, and he always told them to do what was right. Stephen and Jasen were his brothers and he would want his children to be there for each other too. Besides, William was tired of the boys always talking about Jasen and Stephen; he wanted them to look up to him too.
The posse was constantly firing so much at the bandits, they momentarily forgot about the three men climbing the rocks to get to them, but except the man that was shot out of his saddle nobody else had even a scratch, they had killed quite a few bandits.
Robert Timberwood, the man with the red beard looked down at the posse. He was thinking nine of my men are down now, so the posse and my men are just about even. Robert could not believe it; they had this all thought out. When they were watching the angry crowd, and saw they’re chance they helped feed the crowd with more negative words. Robert kept hollering at the Sheriff and his deputy making the crowd furious. By the time that US Marshal and his Deputy got there, he knew that he had said enough to get everyone fighting mad. He didn’t even know the guy they had as prisoner; he just wanted to cause trouble because he hated lawmen, any lawman.
That night he talked to a lot of people in the bar that was in that crowd that morning, he talked about getting the prisoner out and then stirred them up saying he should hang, and if they wasn’t careful the Sheriff would let him go, saying there wasn’t enough evidence, he kept kindling the fire all night. The next morning while his gang was robbing the bank, the crowd was being upset again. It was like a dream come true, but most of the crowd saw what was happening and then after the bank was robbed, most of the crowd jumped on their horses too, they felt they should get some of the share. Robert thought ok, they could fight off the posse, while his boys and he took off with the money. That was a terrific plan.
The plan was so simple and easy, the crowd were not fighting men, so they would get picked off and the posse were not fighting men most of them were business men except for the Sheriff and his Deputy, then the Sheriff had to bring his family in this to help, and everyone knew the Weathers’ were fighters, and they had nine they brought in and the Sheriff and deputy that made them eleven. And they were just sitting down there picking off this dream of his, man by man. These idiots were coming out from their cover to shoot at those men and getting killed. At first Robert liked the idea but now he was losing too many men and the posse wasn’t losing any.
Robert was bringing the money to Jack, because then Jack would respect him. Jack had always liked Red the best, he always said Robert was not the leader type but Robert would show him. Then the Weathers’ came into this situation and made it about even. Robert turned around he heard horses riding away, there was about nine or ten riders from his crowd leaving. Robert yelled "what are you doing? We get into a little bind and you want to leave. Come on isn’t $60,000 worth it, to you all.”
Robert thought fine let them leave. He will gather his men together and high tail it to the hang out where he knew all the gang together would put a hurting on this posse. This left around ten men including him from his gang; three of the ones from the crowd were left. Robert needed to go around to his men and secretly tell his crew to get ready to leave, when he looked up some of his own guys were leaving now, that meant only about four men left.
Robert revised his plan, now it was only his needs he was going to tend to. I need to get to the horses and ride out with the money; he had the money with him because he didn’t trust his men, then Robert looked towards his right. There was a big man walking towards him with buckskin’s on. It was that deputy guy with the US Marshal. Man was he big; he looked about the same size. Robert started towards the horses and saw the Marshal there. This whole thing was going sour; Robert wondered why he even bothered. Robert was thinking when this is over he needed to let Jack know about his precious men and they way they all ran out on him, they can not be counted on.
William had his guns trained on one of the three men that were left, Jasen had another and Stephen had Robert in front of him. As far as Jasen was concerned this robbery was over. These boys were going to jail.
Stephen looked Robert in the eye. “Where’s the money you stole?”
Robert smirked, “I don't know what you are talking about.”
Shaking his head doubtfully, Stephen balled his fist. “Maybe this will jar your memory.” and with that he hit Robert causing him to fall backwards on the ground.
Looking up at Stephen, Robert wiped the blood that was dripping from his lip. And he told him “So you want to have some fun huh? I haven’t lost a fight since I was a kid, so whipping you should so easy.”
Jumping up with the speed of a cat Robert lunged forward, landing his fist square in Stephen’s stomach. Stephen had been amazed at Roberts speed, seeing as he was such a large man. It had caught him off guard. He fell to one knee with the blow he'd received. But he would make sure he wouldn't be caught off guard again. Stephen grabbed Roberts’s legs and pulled them out from under him before he could finish his move to kick him. He swiftly jumped to his feet as Robert fell to the ground. But not before he slugged the man with a powerful right hook.
The big man moaned while trying to lift himself from the ground and failing miserably. He was light headed and the blackness threatened to overtake him. He had never had anyone hit him like that before. It was as though a mule had kicked him. He felt several pairs of hands on him pulling him to his feet. He could hear the Sheriff speaking to the others from the posse, but it was like he was in a fog. This couldn't be happening to him. After all, the chips had been in his favor. He should never have been captured. But by the time Robert was able to think clearly again, he found himself and the others being lead to their horses. Who cared about the money now? Looking for his opportunity to escape, it came quickly as he pulled a gun from an unsuspecting man's holster. Raising it to take aim he felt a bullet go deep inside him. His strength was leaving him fast and he was unable to hold onto the gun. It dropped from his fingers as he fell to the ground. A shadow cast over him and he found himself starring up at the large man that had been the first to beat him in a fist fight. He tried to curse him one last time but nothing came from his mouth. He could feel the life ebbing from him. His eyes closed ever so slowly while taking in the sounds around him. Funny, how the birds and even the wind was sounding louder to him today. Black started forming around his vision, then kept getting smaller, until he had breathed his last breath.
From another hilltop the rest of Roberts’s gang watched what was happening down below them. Ted clamped his mouth shut. He could feel his teeth grinding. “Jack isn’t going to like Robert not coming back with us. Especially, since he knew nothing about this robbery.”
Luke agreed sullenly, "yep," squirming in his saddle he leaned forward for another look.
“You see that big fellow draw? I never saw him pull his gun from its holster. It came out into his hand a blazing.”
Ted looked at Luke, “The Weathers’ can expect trouble now. First Red is murdered by a Weathers and now Robert too. Don't matter that a posse was involved. It was a Weathers’ hand that did the killing both times. And if I know Jack, he will not rest until every man; woman or child with that name is dead.