Outlaw’s Delight – Dahlia Rose

Inside the courtroom it was sweltering, yet the entire town seemed to have crammed into the small area to hear his sentence. Outside he could hear hammers and saws working to build the gallows. It seems I’ve been found guilty even before the judge makes his ruling, he thought. He glanced over to the seats next to him where Mari Donahue sat wiping her eyes and giving the occasional sniffle. She had given the damning witness statements for the crime he didn’t commit, crying—bawling practically—until she had to be carried off the stage in a flurry of petticoats and blue silk fabrics. It was a pity since not one tear had dropped since the proceedings began and a cold gleam was in her blue eyes. Next to her was his accuser, the man he had thought was honorable but turned out to be as cold and callous as any murderer, William Bonaparte. He owned the town, and every damn man on the jury was in his back pocket. The trial was fixed, and it would be no surprise when he heard the word “guilty.” He was expecting it and wished the damn judge would just hurry up so he could get back to his cell and wait for the noose around his neck. Simon Boothe had been the sheriff of Silver Springs for five years until one month back. That was when the shit hit the proverbial fan, and the flames of his destruction began to burn at his feet. It was a really nice town when he took over being sheriff after the previous one met his death at the point of a bullet. But then William Bonaparte and his crew moved in, and slowly things began to change. Simon thought he had it all under control, thought he was his own man and didn’t give favoritism to one side or the other.

He came to find out how wrong he was, and being on the wrong side of Bonaparte’s anger meant that he was no longer useful. Simon’s attention turned from his inward musings when the judge in his old black robes shuffled back in and banged the gavel on the poorly made wooden desk. How many criminals have I brought in front of this man thinking he was just? Simon nodded when he gave him a pitied look. It wasn’t the old man’s fault. He had to look out for himself in a town where he could be shot in his bed, replaced, and no one would bat an eye. “Simon Boothe, I find you guilty of murder.” The old judge’s voice shook as he spoke. “Bullshit,” Simon snapped. “You find me whatever Bonaparte told you to.” The people in the room roared with opinions for or against him, but Simon didn’t care.

Anger infused him until he had to breathe through his mouth to calm down. They were lucky his hands were shackled to his lap and his feet to the floor. No one would have stopped him from going over the table and snapping Bonaparte’s neck. If he was going to go down for murder, he’d make sure he killed the right person. “Order in the court!” The old man’s voice hardly carried over the noise of the crowd. A bullet shot in the air by one of his nemesis’s henchmen stopped the flow of words from everyone’s lips. “The judge said shut it.” The voice came from Bonaparte’s second, Jace Dawson. He’s the next one that’s gonna meet his death by my gun, Simon thought. He was making his list, even if it meant he had to come back from hell to do it.

“You’re sentenced to hang, Simon Boothe, tomorrow at sunset, and may God have mercy on your soul.” The judge hung his head low. “My soul is fine. It’s the rest of them you gotta worry about,” Simon said clearly. “Y’all can live in fear from him and his crew for the rest of your lives, or you can stand up and run them outta town. If I die or not, you’re stuck.” “Be careful, Simon, or you might not get to meet those gallows, as much as I’d love to see you swing,” William said casually, but his eyes were deadly. Simon met his stare. “Why wait for the gallows? Let’s go outside, and someone gimme my guns, and we’ll settle this right now. But you’re not going to do that, will you.

William. You’re a coward and you love other people to do your dirty work for you. Take me back to my cell. Sitting here with this sad, stinking excuse for a man makes me want to hang myself.” No one said a word as he was led outside by another of William Bonaparte’s men. This one would be taking over as sheriff, and his boss’s hold on the town would be complete. He saw a few faces in the crowd who he knew, and their eyes held sadness at his fate. Sam, one of his deputies, moved to stand in his defense, but Simon shook his head quickly to let him know he should stay seated. He had a wife and young baby who needed him. Simon couldn’t live with another death on his behalf.

He’d see this one through alone, no matter how it played out. Outside the sun beat down furiously on the dry, cracked earth. Simon took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet smell of sage grass mixed with the scents of the small town: bread coming from the hotel restaurant, horses tied up outside the saloon, and a hint of rain. A storm would be coming tonight, and it would cool down the weather, even if only for a little while. Back up the wooden steps to the jailhouse, through the door, and he was back at his home, the small cell with only one cot. The new sheriff sent him behind the bars with a hard shove. “Enjoy your last night, Boothe.” “Fuck you, Boyd,” Simon said and sat on the cot. He took off his boots and laid his head back and put his hat over his eyes. “Don’t forget dinner is at six.

I’ll be hungry by then.” Boyd gave an incredulous laugh. “You’re either stupid as hell or you got big brass ones in your pants. You’re gonna die tomorrow, and here you are ordering me around like I’m your maid.” “Your boss is going to get what he wants, so why should I bother?” Simon replied. “Tell you what. I’ll act real, scared when the time comes.” “Don’t do me any favors. I get to see you hang,” Boyd replied. “Nobody’s going dare try to save you.

” Simon knew he was right but didn’t say a word and pretended to be asleep. Unless a miracle happened between the evening and noon the next day, he would be dancing at the end of a hangman’s noose. But he swore he would never let them see him squirm. * * * * His nose was never wrong, and by eight o’clock that night, the rain was pouring down outside the jailhouse where he was imprisoned. He could hear it hitting the dry ground, hoping to soak through the dirt. Simon knew that soon the entire area would be a soupy, muddy mess. One thing about Silver Springs, when it rained, you could have a flood one second, and by morning the area would look like nothing had ever happened. Boyd had long gone, not wanting to spend a rainy night in the jailhouse with him, but rather playing poker and drinking. He would end up falling into bed with one of the whores at the saloon and would drag his half-drunk ass back through the door in the morning. Great sherif .

At least he would have some kind of quiet for the rest of the night. He gave a sardonic laugh. Hell, he’d be having an eternal rest come noon the next day. “Sheriff!” He heard the whisper from outside in between the sound of the pelting rain. He closed his eyes, thinking it was his imagination, until he heard the whinny of a horse and yet another urgent whisper. The window was tall so that no one could use it as an escape route, but for his six-two height, it was pretty much an easy thing to pull his boots on and look out into the night. Sitting on a horse was Sam, his deputy. The rain had soaked his trench coat until it looked black and slick. He held the reins of another horse, and Simon recognized the markings of his own animal. “Sam, what the fuck? Are you crazy?” he said out into the night.

“If one of Bonaparte’s men sees you, they will kill you on the spot. Shit, think about Susan and the baby.” “I ain’t letting you die in here, Sheriff. I talked to Susan. We’re not staying in this town either. It could be any one of us next,” Sam said. “They already saw us pack up and leave the homestead we were renting. Told them we’re going back to California, where her parents are at. She’s on the train heading out. I doubled back to help you.

” Hope mixed with doubt filled his chest. “Sam, I sure do appreciate it, but I don’t want you killed because of me.” “Come on, Sheriff, gimme some benefit of the doubt. The rain will wash away any tracks by morning, you’ll be long gone, and I’ll be on a train heading to California.” He moved the horse up closer to the window and handed Simon a set of keys and grinned. “You remember you gave me a set of keys for the jail when you were on a manhunt? They be useful now.” “Wait right there,” Simon ordered. He strode over to the cot and took up his hat. “Fuck this town,” he muttered and reached his hand through the bars to use the keys. He pocketed them and walked out of the jailhouse like a man of authority, not a prisoner who had escaped.

I’ll be back for you, William. He made the silent promise as he jogged around the side of the building to where Sam waited with the horses. His deputy threw his long trench coat to him. “You better put this on, boss, before you get soaked through. Your saddlebags are packed, and you can head straight into Mexico.” Simon walked up to his horse and rubbed its muscled neck. “Hey fella. Sam’s been taking good care of you, huh?” With an easy move he was on the horse and felt completely at home. “I’m not hiding out like a criminal for the rest of my life.” Sam stared at him in shock.

“Who’s the one looking to get killed? You can’t go up against them by yourself.” “I’ll stay hidden until I get a plan together, but I’m not backing down from this. William is going to pay for what he’s done. Then this town will see my back as I leave it,” Sam stated flatly. “We should get out of here before someone sees you. I’m not worried about me, but I need you on that train to California.” Sam shook his head. “I can’t talk you out of this, can I?” “Nope.” Simon took the reins of his horse tightly. “Let’s ride.

” The horses took off in a gallop, out into the dark night, as the rain fell in droves. Soon the lights of the town were gone, and the only thing around him was open space. A sense of freedom filled his chest until he wanted to roar. Two hours later, they rode into the city, where the train whistle blew impatiently. He shook Sam’s hand as he stood on the steps of the railcar. “Thanks, Sam. Maybe when this is all over, I’ll come see you guys in California. It sounds like a nice place to settle.” “You do that, Sheriff,” Sam said solemnly. “I can’t talk you out of it but burn ’em good.

” Simon nodded and rode off, holding the reins of Sam’s horse. When he was sufficiently out in the open plains, he took the saddle off the horse and let it go. By that time the rain had slowed to a slight drizzle, and he was able to hide the extra saddle in an outcropping of rocks and cover it with the branches of thorny burr bushes. With his work done, and carrying a few extra scratches, he climbed onto his horse and galloped off into the darkness again. He had no clue where to go, but he knew that self-preservation was key. He had to get out of sight quickly until he had a plan. He had heard of a place where outlaws hid and where lawmen like him never dared go. He was no longer a lawman, and now it was a fight for his life. Simon turned his horse and headed north, farther away from Silver Springs, to where nothing grew except cactus and if you got lost you could die from thirst. He rode throughout the night, until he got to the mountains, and then slowly his horse came to a stop.

He saw the small opening between the large rocks and one lone rider come out from the entrance. It was the place, the one outlaws called home. He nudged his horse forward, moving toward the den where thieves and murderers thrived. Simon moved through the rocky entrance so small only one horse with a rider could pass at a time and found a city hidden away from the world. He looked around as he entered the clearing and surveyed the hidden town. The sound of breaking glass caught his attention. He saw a man tumble through the window, with his assailant coming at his face with deadly intent. He heard a few shots fired and saw women openly showing their breasts from the balcony of a building, offering their bodies. Open fighting in the streets and the sweet smell of opium in the air, it was a place of degradation and no law. His skin itched to arrest them all for the number of infractions he saw, but the man he had been died in Silver Springs.

He kept his hat low and looked around for a place that he could get a room to sleep. At the far end of the street, he saw one place that stood out as quiet among the rest. Copperhead Bar, Rooms for Rent. The sign was painted in elegant script, which seemed unusual in the sloppy mayhem around him. He clicked his tongue softly and headed his horse in the direction of the bar. He shook his head and gave a small smile. He’d arrived at Desert Gulch. * * * * It was only six in the morning, too early for him to be up, and certainly to be fixing the ineptness of the people who worked for him. Mari was still warm and naked in bed. He had fully intended to wake up and fuck her some more before watching Simon Boothe hang in the afternoon.

The short fuse of his temper had been lit instantly when one of his boys came knocking on his door to tell him Boothe was gone. How the fuck could that have happened? One word, Boyd, he thought grimly. His boots echoed hollowly on the wooden floorboards covering the dank cellar when he entered the jailhouse. He thought of making some of the men dig a grave under there and bury Boyd alive. But could one really do that to a relative? William could see no problem when it came to such conflicts, especially when it came to his business. He always had to be in control. Nevertheless, he would hear what the screwup had to say. Of course, Boyd was sitting with his head in his hands and a sorrowful look on his face when he looked up. William threw a glance heavenward, asking the good Lord for patience. After all, God had to be watching over him since he’d gotten this far in life.

The way things were going when he was growing up, he thought he would be dead before twenty-one, and here he was now forty-five years old, ruling and building an empire. William looked at Boyd with disdain—rumpled clothes, red nose, and blotchy face showing he’d spent too long last night drinking rotgut whiskey and fucking around with Lola’s whores. Instead of doing his goddamn job! In a fit of fury, and without even waiting for Boyd to say one word, William backhanded him across the face and sent him sprawling onto the floor. When Boyd got up, his cheek was bleeding from the ring on William’s finger. “Explain to me how this happened,” William said with calm that belied his earlier action. “Don’t know, boss. I was gone just for a little bit, and when I got back, he was gone,” Boyd stammered. “So you trying to tell me that Boothe has only been gone for, what, one, maybe two hours?” William asked. “If you and a few men ride out now, you’ll find him?” “I ain’t saying that. Boothe can be quick when he wants to be,” Boyd answered hesitantly.

“Because you left him all night, you blasted fool!” William roared. “He’s probably long gone and hidden by now!” “He’s not going to come back, boss. He’s a wanted man,” Boyd said with a smile. “What I don’t get is how he got out. The cell is still locked.” William felt a fit of fury pass over him and raised his hand to hit Boyd again, but restrained himself as the man cowered in front of him. “Men like Boothe take honor seriously. He’ll be back to try to take me down, and he’ll die for it. I don’t care who got him out. You get your ass out there and try to find him.

Of course, you won’t, but I want you out in the hot sun until your face peels. Then we’ll wait for him to make the next move.” With those words William turned on his heels and headed back out the door. Men and women passed him and crossed to the other side of the street in fear. He loved that he elicited such a response from the people of the town. The game was on with Simon Boothe, and William had to admit that it excited him. It had been too long since he’d had a good rivalry. He had no doubt who would win. Boothe would try to come at him with righteous anger and be cut down in the street. Oh yes, that’s what I need, a good fight .

William smiled and hooked his hands in the small pockets of his waistcoat and strolled down the street. Even though the gallows stood empty, he was not disappointed.

.

PDF | Download



Thank you!

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chapter1.us © 2018 | Descargar Libros Gratis | Kitap İndir |
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x