The scenery in the windshield went by at an alarming rate, as I passed cars like they were standing still. One of the few pleasures I had left was driving my silver 08 Mustang GT at just slightly past the legal 70 mph speed limit. Just slightly meaning under 110. I heard a chirping sound that I knew wasn't the car. I knew every single throb and ping that the Mustang's engine, tires and suspension made. I also knew every crease in the "Whore Red" interior's leather. I looked over into the cup holder to my right and saw the screen of my iPhone light up. I also saw the smiling face of my just recently minted ex wife. Just recently minted meaning we had our day in court only 3 days ago. And ex meaning if the bitch was on fire, I wouldn't piss on her. But in that wonderfully naive way that only children and extremely beautiful women could manage, here she was calling me, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
I breathed a sigh of relief as the phone stopped chirping after a few moments. I started cussing inside as it started up again after only seconds. I slowed down to a more manageable 80 mph and answered the phone in the most cheerful voice I could muster.
"What the fuck do you want, you skanky whore? You already have half of my money and my house." Okay so maybe I wasn't very polite, but I really was trying.
"Well, I'm in the emergency room, Craig beat me up. And I need someone to come and get me and a place to stay until he calms down." she said.
Craig of course being the guy she'd been screwing around on me with, and the cause of our divorce and the end of our 8 year marriage.
"So why are you calling me Carla? You clearly preferred Craig's presence, Craig's personality and Craig's dick to mine. So your right to call me and tell me about your fucking problems ended 3 days ago."
"I keep telling you the same thing over and over again Michael James Dansen. Craig was only sex, it had been almost 10 years since I'd been with anyone beside you, and I was just curious. The first time with him wasn't good at all, but I thought that maybe it was just because he was nervous or something. My body does that to boys you know. You remember how quickly you came the first time that you and I did it?"
"Carla, I was 19!" I reminded her.
"Whatever," she snapped. "Anyway he convinced me to give him one more chance at my pussy, and you caught us and threw me out. You never even gave me a chance to explain anything. Just threw me out of the house that I picked, and I decorated, and I made into a home for us like I was yesterday's garbage."
"Yeah Carla, you did everything in that house except pay for it. You sat there every day on your perfect ass, while I worked myself silly trying to provide for both of us and keep you happy. And as soon as your cut throat lawyer got that injunction allowing you to stay in the house because you were basically homeless, you moved Craig into my house. If it was only sex why did you need to move him into my fucking house?"
"Because I've never been alone in my entire life," she cried. "I moved from my parent's house into our house. I don't know how to be alone and you left me. And all Craig does is sit there and leave his mess all over the house. He messes it up faster than I can keep it clean. And his nasty friends keep coming over and they won't leave. And there's no food left in the house, so I was going to call and ask you if you could possibly send next month's alimony payment earlier."
"Fuck No!" I snapped. "I could but why would I want to do it? You already got a lump sum payment for half the balance of my savings account. I sent it to you before we even went to court since the terms had already been agreed on. There's simply no way you went through $65,000 in 10 days. It's just not possible."
"Craig bought a very expensive motorcycle," she sniffled. "He also got it customized with several one of a kind parts. I thought it might be good for us and we could take it out on little road trips. It probably wouldn't have been as fun as when you and I went out in the Mustang but I was hoping that since you no longer wanted me, that maybe Craig would start treating me better."
"In other words since you couldn't get your husband back, you wanted to make your boy toy into husband material. That didn't work though did it? Carla sell the fucking bike. Call the police and have Craig and his friends evicted, and find yourself some nice sucker that you can control," I said.
"Well I can't sell the bike, because he wrecked it. And the rest of my money went to pay for part of the damages he caused in the crash. I still owe about $8000. The police won't come, because the neighbors have called them so many times already that I don't think they'll listen to me. Basically I'm just begging you to come back. You're the only man I love. I keep telling you Craig was only a diversion, just an experiment that went terribly bad. None of our friends want to have anything to do with me. They treat me like I'm some stupid whore with the plague. Even my parents look at me like I'm stupid for letting you go. I just want for us...,"
"Carla, I think I'm getting out of range, I'm going through a tunnel, you're breaking up," I said as I laughed and ended the call. For the first time in weeks I felt really good. A lot of my tension seemed to vanish as I laughed.
After 5 more minutes of laughing so hard I could barely steer the car, I left the freeway and slowed down to a nearly pedestrian 30 mph for the drive through the streets. My Mustang tended to get a lot of attention from the cops and my insurance premiums were high enough. My premiums went up when I got the supercharger even though I hadn't reported it to the insurance company. I think they have psychics working for them. One smart cop had also busted me when he looked under the car and discovered my illegal off road X-pipe. Leave it to me to find the one cop in Michigan who was also a hot rod fan. There was also the fact that certain cars like my Mustang and the Camaro actually looked like they were moving when they were standing still. It was a problem the Chrysler Muscle cars didn't have. The Charger and the Challenger were severely horse power challenged, and so heavy and boat like, that they simply weren't competitive. MOPAR did after all stand for Mostly Old People And Rednecks.
I went into a large office building and stopped at the information desk. The building was huge and I didn't want to get lost. The first meeting I had with Stephen Atherton had been in my condo. The guard at the desk pointed me to a bank of elevators in the rear of the building, and I made my way towards them. I stepped into a waiting elevator car and pushed the button for the 7th floor. Just as the doors started to close I heard a voice asking me to hold the elevator.
The elevators doors stopped closing as I thrust my arm between them. What happened next was one of those moments that you have to be there to truly appreciate. The first thing I saw was a tiny foot in an open toed shoe. The nails on that foot were painted that same shade of red as my Mustang's Interior. If that wasn’t a sign I don’t know what was. Just seeing that foot, got a rise out of me, though I don’t remember ever having a foot fetish. I was already imagining myself massaging that foot and possibly kissing it, when it was followed by the most beautiful leg I’d ever seen. It wasn’t thin and angular like my ex wife’s legs it was shapely and rounded with a good sized calf. That leg was followed up by an even sexier thigh that was unfortunately cut off by a skirt that ended about 2 inches above her knees. At that moment my concept of heaven had a lot to do with being squeezed between those thighs.
Well rounded hips led to a slightly rounded tummy which itself supported two massive breasts. She was wearing a short suit coat that matched the skirt to form some kind of women’s version of a business suit, but I could only imagine the kind of business she’d conduct in that suit. Long, foamy Black hair with just a touch of a wave to it, turned under at the ends, framed a face that while not classically beautiful, was awe inspiring. Her complexion while tan showed a smattering of freckles around her nose. I instantly wanted to kiss those full red lips and probably never stop. Her eyes were a deep shade of brown and I was imagining myself getting lost in them until I realized that she was calmly watching me stare at her. She didn’t appear to be put out by my attention at all. In fact she looked at me with a bemused expression on her face.
“So did I pass?” she asked.
“Uhm…Uh…what?” I managed to sputter out. My shock at being caught only seemed to amuse her more. My face had to have gotten at least a couple of shades redder, which only made her smile deeper.
“I’m really sorry,” I finally managed to get out. “But you’re so pretty…”
“For a fat girl, you mean,” she interjected.
“No, I meant period,” I said seriously. “No asterisk needed. And you’re not fat. At least, I don’t think you are.” At that point I was becoming even more embarrassed. I think she sensed it, because she let me off the hook.
“Well it’s nice to be admired,” she said smiling, and then turned towards the front as the elevator got to my floor. She got off there too, but thankfully she went in the opposite direction from the one I took. I couldn’t help it. Even though I’d already been caught staring at her once, I turned and watched her walk away. I found that her ass was just as incredible as her breasts. As I watched her walk away all of my blood quickly switched from one head to the other. Unfortunately she turned back when I wasn’t expecting it and caught me looking again. I just waved goodbye to her and headed for Atherton’s office.
I went in and Atherton’s secretary pointed towards a chair. She was a slim older woman whose facial expression gave me the impression that being a secretary was just a sideline for her. From the look on her face I was sure that she made her living as a professional lemon sucker. She spoke into a phone on her desk and then looked at me. She made an extreme effort and the outside corners of her mouth lifted a fraction of an inch for a millisecond, it was obviously an attempt at smiling. She wasn't very good at that smiling thing though, and it just made her seem even more creepy. Then her mouth opened and in a voice like fingernails on a chalk board told me that Mr. Atherton would see me now.
Atherton on the other hand was friendly, animated and outgoing. He got up as I came into the room and shook my hand vigorously as if he expected me to rescue him from his secretary, or take her with me when I left.
“Mike Dansen,” he said to me, as if I either didn’t know my own name, or he needed to recite it to jog his own memory. “Do you want anything to drink? How about some coffee?” he offered. I told him I was fine and just wanted to find out what information he had for me.
“Well like you thought, it is a very valuable piece. I believe that we can make a great deal of money from it at a Firearms Fair or a Gun/Knife show. But there might be a way for us to make even more money, if you’re willing to look at other opportunities,” he looked at me as he said this. I got the impression that he was trying to read me, and would tailor his pitch to what he thought I wanted to hear. I didn’t know if he was trying to come up with the best possible plan for my interests or his own, but either way I wanted to hear both versions and make my own choice of action.
“I’m open to all possibilities, so let’s hear both plans,” I said.
“Well we need to wait for…,” he began before he was cut off by a chirping from his intercom.
“Mr. Atherton, your second client has arrived,” shrieked the secretary through a speaker on Atherton’s desk. I wondered how he could stand that woman. Working with her would drive me crazy.
“Send her in,” he said sharply into the speaker.
The office door opened and Atherton again rose to meet the new entry. I was sure that the look on my face and the sound of my jaw dropping to the floor was noticeable. The woman from the elevator walked into the room and sat down in the chair next to me. She looked over at me with that same mirthful expression, before turning her eyes towards Atherton and shaking his hand.
“Mike Dansen, allow me to introduce Ms. Samantha Chavaria,” said Atherton. It was an extremely formal introduction. Atherton was obviously very old school.
“We’ve met, briefly,” I said extending my hand. She took my hand and shook it gently, leaving me to marvel at the softness of her skin, and the warmth of her body as she looked into my eyes. I found myself wondering if the rest of her body was as warm, because if it was I’d never be able to let her out of bed. Suddenly, I realized that she was talking to me.
“I was just saying that you can let go of my hand any time you’d like to,” she said smiling at me.
“Sorry,” I said. I was glad that at least she hadn’t caught me staring at her breasts again.
“Okay, let's get to it then shall we,” said Atherton. "Mr. Dansen, the piece that you'd like me to liquidate for you has drawn a lot of interest from many different quarters. You Have many different possibilities of what you could do with it. Ms. Chavaria represents one such interest, and has a healthy stake in it herself. She has decided to withhold her preference until you've heard the other offers."
As Atherton spoke I heard cash registers ringing in the background. Having to give my skanky cheating whore of an ex, half of my net worth and my house had left me feeling like I needed a quick infusion of cash to start building my retirement nest egg all over again.
"One of the guns you found in your attic has been authenticated, and did as you've claimed belong to your great, great grandfather Samuel Dansen, he was the one time sheriff of a small town in Texas. That was the 1874 SCHOFIELD .44 CALIBER REVOLVER with the ivory grip. It would normally bring perhaps 40 to 50 thousand dollars on the open market."
My heart sank, it was good money especially since I wasn't into guns and it would nearly recoup the amount I'd lost to Carla, but not quite. Also the fact that only one of the guns was valuable hurt a bit. I'd believed that one of the guns was Great Great Grand Dad's working pistol and the other was his special occasion gun.
"The other is actually more valuable because it belonged to your Great Great Grand uncle Jack Dansen. Smiling Jack was an Outlaw who eventually became sheriff of the same small town. That is the matching 1874 SCHOFIELD .44 CALIBER REVOLVER with the polished ebony grips. Together though the guns are nearly twice as valuable. because of the odd circumstances of the brothers lives. And the rarity of their situation. If we sold them to a private collector, we might get as much as 200 thousand dollars. I feel strongly that our best advantage though would take a bit longer. We could wait until the militaria and firearms auction next month and put the pieces up for auction. That does carry a considerable risk but on the other hand, in a full out bidding war you could walk away a very wealthy man." Again his eyes followed me and I wondered whether he worried more about me getting rich or himself. His cut would be substantial either way.
"How much do you know about the history of your ancestors?" he asked.
"Well not very much at all," I said.
"And that is one of the ways that Ms. Chavaria can help us because you see she, like the fourth partner in our little syndicate is sort of related to you." He shook his head at the shocked looks on both of our faces. "If you go back far enough in time I suppose everyone on the planet is vaguely related to someone else," he added. "We have just enough time before our dinner meeting to begin this story, we'll probably have to finish this up next time." He went to a cabinet and extracted three old books. Though the leather on them was faded and cracked, they seemed to be in very good condition."
"I've marked certain passages in each book, so that when read sequentially you'll get the entire story without having to hear all of the events from different and confusing viewpoints," he said. And then he began to read.
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Samuel Dansen’s Journal excerpt. May 4, 1875. I arrived in Navarro Texas this morning, tired and hungry from the long ride. It seems to be a pretty good town, but I'm not too sure I'll stay here for long. It doesn't seem to be the kind of place I can settle down and make a life for myself. The misunderstanding this morning in the town square only served to prove to me that I have more to run away from than just Arabella's refusal to marry me. Jack's reputation has extended this far into Texas and several of the townspeople thought that I was him and were immediately fearful of me.
The Sheriff in the town came right up to me and tried to arrest me. I had to show him the letter I got from the US Marshall's office, and signed by the local Judge explaining that Jack and I were twins, and that I had never robbed anything or stolen anything. I don't think he really believed me but he recognized the Judge's signature and decided to take it at face value. That was, provided I didn't make a fool out of myself or cause any ruckus in his town while I'm here. He emphasized "While I'm here."
The countryside around the town seems pretty enough, and there don't seem to be any problems. This might be a nice place to settle down if Jack hadn't gotten to the region before I did. The biggest problem for me is that I'm running low on cash and there don't seem to be very many jobs around, unless you fancy working in the Whorehouse or the Saloon. I wouldn't want to do either. None of the bigger ranches in the area are hiring right now so I'll probably be moving on tomorrow.
Samuel Dansen’s Journal May 6, I might be staying here for awhile after all. Yesterday I was coming out of the boarding house I've been staying at when I saw the sheriff talking to a bunch of shady looking hombres. I started walking in that direction in time to see one of them try to circle around behind the sheriff. The one in front of the sheriff started mouthing off and went for his gun. The sheriff plugged him in the shoulder, but the one behind him was going to shoot the sheriff in the back. I had no choice so I pulled my piece and shot him first. It was a good clean shot and a difficult one from that distance. I managed to just shoot the galoot in his hand. He'll live, but he's never going to be able to use that hand for too much anymore. I truly regret maiming the man, but I didn't have a choice. It was either that or let him shoot the sheriff in the back and in cold blood. I guess that's the biggest difference between me and Jack. Jack just does whatever it takes to get what he wants no matter who it hurts. I'm just not strong enough or focused enough to hurt someone just to make myself happy.
Anyway I expected to get thrown in jail or at least run out of town, seeing as how it is unlawful to discharge a firearm inside of the town limits, but the people in the town seemed to think I'd done a good thing and the Sheriff agreed with them. I offered to surrender my pistol until I left town, but he told me that if I hadn't been wearing my piece when it happened, that he'd probably be dead. And he asked me if I'd be interested in helping him out as his deputy. When I agreed, he gave me a shiny new badge and a big thick law book. The money's not great but it'll keep me here, and also let me save a little until I can afford a spread of my own.
Samuel Dansen’s Journal June 6, haven’t written much because up until now it’s been pretty boring around here. I do the same thing every day it seems. I move drunks from the Saloon to the jail where they can sleep it off. Then get them to pay their fines the next morning and let them go. Sometimes it seems like the same guys get drunk every night, and their fines are more like rent so they can have a roof over their heads while they sleep. Lord knows the fine is cheaper than either the boarding house or the hotel, so I might have to take up drinking myself. Something interesting is going on though I don’t know how serious I should take it. One of the women working at the boarding house seems to have taken a liking to me. She’s a really pretty Mexican woman with long dark beautiful hair and pretty brown eyes. I might like her too, except for the fact that I’m really not sure how I feel about women after all of that shit I went through with Arabella. One thing is for sure though, I haven’t thought about Arabella in weeks so maybe I am getting over her.
Samuel Dansen’s Journal June 16. Everything changed today. My life is going in a completely different direction than I’d envisioned. One of the duties the Sheriff assigned to me was the task of meeting new arrivals from other places. When the stage comes in I meet them and help them figure out where to go, to get settled in. One of the new arrivals today was a Miss Constance Farmwell. She’s going to be the new school teacher at the church school. She’s 22 years old, and has blond hair and blue eyes. She’s very slim and tall for a woman and must be the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. She’s the kind of woman I’d marry. The problem is she looks just like Arabella. She might be a bit taller, and a bit smaller up on top, but other than that they could be twins. Maybe all women with those characteristics look alike. Unfortunately, though I spent a great deal of time carrying and fetching for her, far beyond what I do for most new arrivals, even the women; She didn’t seem to notice me at all. She kept forgetting my name, and accidentally bumping into me. Perhaps romance might not be in my future after all.
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Constance Farmwell’s diary. 16 June 1875. I arrived in Navarro Texas early this morning to start my new life. Leaving the east was the best thing for me, since my family’s reputation had been utterly destroyed by my father and brother’s penchant for episodes of public drunkenness and gambling. After Dad lost the family home in a card game I had no other choice but to seek my life elsewhere. The kindly priest in our neighborhood parish knew of a priest here in town. The priest here, Father Thompson seems to be starting a school, as this tiny little town labors and stretches towards becoming a legitimate city. As my prospects back east were severely limited, this may be a great fit for me.
I or we, the passengers on the stagecoach were met at the station by the most extraordinary man, I’ve ever seen. He’s the Sheriff's deputy and his name is Sam Dansen. The first time he looked at me my heart started Dansen, or dancing really. He is a tall slim good looking man, with eyes the color of steel, and a truly helpful disposition. I did everything I could to keep him around me today long after he was done helping the other passengers. I even pretended to be a little addled just to keep him around me. I wish sometimes that I was a man so I could be more direct, and stop playing these ridiculous games, but that’s what society expects of the modern 19th century woman. As he guided me around town I did notice that a dark haired floozy who works in the boarding house didn’t take too kindly to me spending time with him. I’ll pray for her though, because he isn’t married to her and he may soon be to me if I have anything to say about it. I wonder what kind of house we’ll build and where. Exactly how much money does a Deputy make?
18 June. I finally moved into a room at the church today. I couldn’t stay in that boarding house another second. Everything there seemed to be working against me. From the very first day I had problems with the staff there. Especially that little Mexican woman. When I first got to my room I needed a bath to soothe my back and aching muscles from that awful stagecoach ride. I swear it felt like my entire undercarriage and all of my feminine parts would be shaken loose from all of the bumping and jarring. After the women had brought the tub to my room and filled it with hot water, complaining and whining the whole time mind you, I started to disrobe. Once I stepped into the tub I noticed that for some reason they had filled the tub not with warm water as I’d requested but with nearly ice cold water with suds over it. The water was also somehow not fresh. It smelled as if fish had been cleaned in it. I was so tired that I didn’t realize how cold the water was until I’d sat down in it, only to practically leap out of it as my hind quarters and nether regions nearly froze on contact. Unfortunately just as I stood up, my door blew open mysteriously. It was extremely poor timing that a group of gamblers were just passing my room as I stood up stark naked with my door open. They whooped and hollered and ogled me until I covered myself and closed the door. I had to scream downstairs for a basin of fresh water to wash the fish stink off of me. And naturally it took hours for them to bring the fresh water. For the past 2 days everything in that boarding house just went wrong for me. My accommodations here at the church are much more comfortable, and my luck seems to be improving.
19 June. The town faced a terrible tragedy today. The town doesn’t really have a real bank yet, so until now all of the money that people want to save was kept in small deposit boxes under their names in the saloon. Construction on a bank and post office, that will also be the telegraph office was started last week. I guess some of the outlaws around here wanted to steal the money before it gets put into a safe. They robbed the saloon. Someone got to the Sheriff and he went over there. There were five armed men against the Sheriff and his Deputy. None of the Outlaws survived. The bad news for the town though, was that the Sheriff was killed by one of the gunmen. From what I understand he was the longest lived Sheriff that anyone can remember. He held the job for just under 10 months. There was a unanimous election less than 10 minutes after the fight ended. Sam was elected the next Sheriff. His first official duty was to bury the old sheriff. I’m afraid for him. As soon as I can get him to realize that he’s meant for me, I have to get him to pick a different line of work. He’s always reading that Law book and the town could really use a lawyer. Let some other fool be the Sheriff.
Another thing is that after the fight was over, my rival for Sam’s affection ran her large hindquarters over to my man and pressed her voluminous bosom all over him. I might be forced to take a more aggressive stance in my pursuit of Sam Dansen. The danger of his current profession and the increasingly obvious attack by the competition, plus the fact that Sam is now the town’s Sheriff, would seem to necessitate it. Add that to the fact that everyone looks up to the Sheriff as a man of authority rivaled only by the priest, in a town with no Mayor, and one can begin to see my dilemma. Every unattached woman in town, some of the married ones and even the whores in the bordello are after my man.
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Samuel Dansen’s Journal April 4 1876. I guess considering all of the changes in my life over the past 8 or 9 months I really should have written more. But since I became the Sheriff things have been moving so fast I hardly have time to breathe let alone write. I have 3 Deputies now. All of whom are relatives of Maria Chavaria, that pretty little Mexican woman who used to work at the boarding house, and now takes care of the Sheriff's office and jail. No one wanted the job as deputy after the last Sheriff was killed last year, but she somehow managed to convince her cousins that it was a great opportunity. At first the townspeople weren't that set on it either, racial relations being what they are at this point in time, but since they value their safety, and none of them was up to the job, they grudgingly went along with it. Only a few more weeks left until my wedding. Strange to think that only a year after the debacle with Arabella, I'm again engaged to be married. Stranger still that I have absolutely no idea how it came about. I know things move quickly nowadays but damn. I love Constance far more than I did Arabella anyway.
May 15. I thought that my wedding to Constance would be the happiest day of my life. My parents would be proud that at least one of their sons was making something of himself. The town gifted me with a house and a hundred acres of land. Actually the land is pretty good and the former owner died and no one else had laid claim to it. So, I could have taken it anyway, but they decided to give it to me. Not that I see much of it anyway since I have to stay near town most of the time, but Constance can live there and I'll get a few ranch hands in a few months and start trying to raise a few cattle. Then in a few years I'll retire and run the ranch full time. Anyway my wedding day pleasure was far over shadowed by the bedding night. Constance came to bed with me a virgin, but she didn't shed many tears and by morning I was worn out and she'd tried every move in my repertoire of bedroom shenanigans, including a few I'd learned from the whores. Being married to her is never going to be boring, especially not at night. I did receive a letter from Arabella saying she'd changed her mind and wanted me to come back as soon as possible or send for her so she could join me. News of my success had obviously convinced her parents and her, to overlook the fact that my twin brother is a notorious horse-thief and bank robber. Apparently the news of my wedding hadn't reached her yet, and I can't say I didn't smile a bit as I drafted a rather mean spirited reply telling her that her ship had sailed and I was already married. Good riddance to bad rubbish. She broke my heart so she deserved to have me take a chink out of her pride.
July 8. I'm going to be a father. The words still sound strange even to me. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and find out that it's all been a mistake, but every day Constance gets a little bit bigger and I love her a little bit more.
August 12. I'm extremely glad to be writing this after the events of the last few days. Word had spread throughout the territory that a large gang of outlaws was in the area creating havoc. Until I knew better I ordered everyone in the area to sleep in town at night. And I organized scouting parties to patrol the area and keep a lookout. I needed to know how many men they had and what their intentions were. It would take too long to send for the Texas Rangers if we didn't know when the galoots were coming. Unfortunately they showed up long before we were ready for them. Six of the bastards just rode into town as big as you please and headed straight for the bank. They went in and took all of the money. When I ran into them they were riding through the streets of town. They weren't even trying to escape just galloping through town without a care in the God damned world. The guy in the front was riding one of those big fancy Arabian stallions. That horse was fucking beautiful. I say was because I stepped out of the alley and unloaded my shotgun into it. As it fell it tripped the two men on horseback directly behind it. I then drew my .44 and shot the two men who'd gone down on each side of the guy on the dead horse. Then I leveled my piece at him as he struggled to get up and blew his brains out as well. Served the bastard right. Not only for robbing the bank, but for riding that fancy dam horse. I never would have shot a good honest Mustang like that.
The remaining three gunmen all slowly drew their pieces and took aim at me just as another 10 or 12 of the varmints stormed into town. They were dragging 2 of my 3 Deputies behind them for sport. I thought at that moment looking into the barrels of three guns that my days were numbered. And that I'd never live to see the birth of my child.
"Shooting the lawman wouldn't be in your best interest Bart," said a voice. "Especially since before his body hit the ground, I'd shoot you. I'm thinking you'd best let me and the Sheriff here have a little talk. Meanwhile why don't you take the money back to the bank. I told you we were only coming here for fun, not to work."
If The man called Bart had any reservations they didn't show he immediately put his gun back in his holster, smiled at me and headed back to the bank with his three friends following him. The man who'd spoken to him before got down off of his horse and came over to face me. Even with the bandanna covering the lower half of his face, I recognized it. Especially since it was nearly identical to the face I saw in the mirror every morning. As he pulled the bandanna down and looked at me a smile broke out on my own face as people who were watching through windows or around corners were shocked into showing themselves. Even in these days seeing a pair of identical twins can be somewhat un nerving.
"Sheriff your wife is coming this way," screamed one of the townies.
"Jack help me play a joke," I whispered as we sat down across from each other in the saloon.
I quickly took his black hat and pulled it down over my face while throwing him my White Stetson which he quickly put on. Constance ran into the Saloon, forgetting in the moment that normally she'd never get caught dead in the place. She was very pregnant and still extremely beautiful and every man in the place looked at her with lust. She quickly waddled over to Jack, thinking he was me and kissed him full on the lips. Jack didn't know how to react.
"I just heard, I'm so glad you're alive," she said. "When you get home tonight, I'm going to show you just how glad I am."
"Wouldn't your husband object to that?" I asked out from under Jack's hat which was still covering my face.
"This is my husband," she snapped. Then maybe it was her female intuition or kismet I don't know, but she looked at Jack again. Then she took his hat off and looked closely at his face.
"Who are you?" she asked him. Jack and I both busted out laughing at the same time. I took Jack's hat off and gave it back to him, while Constance just looked back and forth between us. I don't think she enjoyed the joke.
September 6. I really must endeavor to write in this journal more often. Nothing much is going on. The town has gradually gotten used to the idea, that we have a notorious gang seemingly making their home in our small town. The reality of the situation is that after being separated for years I’m enjoying having my brother around. He makes sure that all of his men are on their best behavior while they’re inside the town limits, but truth be told there have been several times when having them here has proven to be handy. Two weeks ago for instance we got word of a bunch of cowboys who’d just gotten back from taking their cattle on a long drive up to the railroad yard for sale. They were headed back home and had been hooting and hollering through every town they passed. I’m all for cowboys with their pockets full of money coming into town and spending it, and we all know that working cattle is rough work so they need to unwind a bit after weeks on the trail, but they’d torn up a few small towns and showed no signs of mellowing out. There were 25 or so of them, and there was simply no way that my Deputies and I’d be able to handle them. As usual by the time the Rangers would be able to send a few men to help us out they’d probably be gone.
So again as usual my Deputies and I set out to meet them before they got to the town. The four of us took a position on the path about a half mile out of town and waited. They pulled up when they got to us and asked us what our business was. We explained to them that our small town was a family settlement, and while we’d love to have them visit us, there were certain rules that would apply while in town. I began to outline the rules, which included surrendering all firearms when they entered the town. Their guns would be returned to them when they left. They calmly listened to me and I thought that everything was going fine until one of the biggest of them, said. “What happens if I don’t give up my gun? What if I do want to get drunk and run around? What If I chose to fuck every whore in town in the middle of the street? Just what happens, Sheriff? What will you do?” He took a big puff off of a cigar and stared at me then stuck the stogie back in his mouth.
Before he even noticed that I’d moved I drew my gun and shot the cigar out of his mouth, leaving a frayed end very close to his lips. “I didn’t get a chance to mention that there’s no smoking around any of the children in town either,” I said calmly.
“Well maybe you’re pretty good with a hog-leg Sheriff,” he spat. “I’m not denying that you could probably take me, or any of us. But your problem is that you’re seriously out manned. And your Deputies look so nervous that I don’t think any one of them is really ready for a gun fight over something so trivial as my boys and me blowing off a little steam. So we might get a little bit keyed up and rearrange your town a little bit. We’ll leave you some money on our way out, and all will be well.”
“Is all well in Pritchville?” I asked. “That was the town you rode through two days ago. The way I heard it, there were several women who weren’t whores, who were raped. There was property stolen or destroyed. There were men jumped on and beaten just for standing up for themselves or their families or their friends. We don’t need that kind of visitors, so you either obey my rules or you don’t come into town.”
“Once again Sheriff,” he bellowed. “You don’t have nearly enough firepower to stop us from going through your little town and doing whatever the hell we please so….”
Before he could complete his sentence we all turned as we heard the sounds of a group of riders approaching. Jack and his crew rode up right behind us.
“Sorry I’m late, did I miss anything?” asked Jack politely.
“Who the fuck are you?” sputtered the cowboy.
“That’s fucking Jack Dansen, I’ve seen his wanted poster,” said one of the cowboys.
“Holy shit it is,” said another.
Jack pulled down his mask and rode up to the big cowboy and took one of his cigars out of his pocket. He smiled at the man and asked, ”Got a light?” After the man lit his own cigar for Jack to smoke, Jack asked him, “What seems to be the problem?”
“Well I was just telling the Sheriff, that…” began the cowboy.
“You mean, my brother, my twin brother,” interrupted Jack.
It’s really difficult for a man who is tanned from being out riding in the hot Texas sun for days on end to turn white, but the cowboy’s face got at least 2 shades lighter when he heard Jack explain to him who I was. Then he looked at both of our faces and then down at the ground.
“He was just telling me that his twenty-five or so cowpokes had me and my 3 Deputies out numbered.” I said.
“Well your deputies are pretty good,” began Jack. “They’re not as good as you and I, but they’re not bad. In case you’re wondering cowboy, my brother here, is a very accurate shot with either pistol or rifle. I’m a shade faster, but he’s the better shot. So now we have me and my 15 men, plus my brother and his 3. Dammit that only makes 20 against twenty-five. We’re still out numbered. But our 20 men are used to fighting their way out of tough spots. We’re used to life and death fighting every day. Your men are half drunk and used to pushing cows around. Half of them look like they’ve never even shot at anything other than a tin can. I think I like those odds.” We all heard several of the cowboys take big gulps of air and look at their boss.
“Of course we’ll probably lose a couple of men in the fracas,” I began.
“But all of you will die, every single one of ya,” finished Jack in that way that twins have of completing each other’s sentences.
“If you insist on being so unwelcoming, we’ll take out business elsewhere then,” said the cowboy. He turned his horse and rode back the way he’d come taking all of his men with him.
After that Jack and his men moved into town, they were staying at the hotel and the boarding house. I can’t say that there weren’t any incidents, but when there were things were handled fairly and they spent their nights in jail and paid their fines like everyone did. Things went fine until a few months after the birth of my son.
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Constance Dansen's Diary March 14.
Dear diary, I must admit I'm still having the problem. Ever since the 6th month of the pregnancy I've felt like a bitch in heat. Often I'd attack Sam as soon as he came through the door. I don't know what has come over me. It is now a month since I've given birth to John Jack, whom we named for both his grandfather and his uncle. I can hardly wait for Sam to get home tonight so we can start on the next one. I can hardly believe how much my plans for my life have changed since I met Sam. Where I once dreamed of being a teacher or a business woman, all I want now is to be a wife and mother. I especially like the mother part, and especially the action that gets me to become a mother. I must admit that my waist may have gained an inch or two, and my breasts don't seem to sit as high as they did before the baby but Sam doesn't seem to mind, and no one else in town seems to have noticed. All of the men still watch my every movement every time I go to town.
April 3. Dear Diary, The problem seems to have gotten worse. Sam and I start up as soon as I get the baby to sleep. Last night he did me nearly all night, stopping only for a few minutes of sleep here and there. This morning he went off to work, still tired from his exertions. I feel bad about that because in his line of work, he needs to have all of his wits about him. Being a step slow could possibly be fatal. I also feel bad because God help me it just wasn't enough. Lately I have an itch in my nether regions, that just constantly needs to be scratched. In some ways I blame Sam for this because I was a God fearing virgin until he took my virtue and started all of this.
April 9. God help me what have I done. Jack came by the house looking for Sam this morning and I let him see me in just my shift. I thought his eyes would bug out of his head, and there was considerable swelling in his pants too. I found myself just smiling at him which might as well have been an invitation. He started walking towards me, and I was ready for him. But then he shook his head and told me to get control of myself, and stop acting like a whore. As much as I love Sam, I shudder to think of what might have happened if it had been any man other than his brother.
May 2. My life is over. For the past week I've been unfaithful to my husband. It started out innocently enough. A stranger came to the ranch as I was taking a bath. A tall rough looking man, who obviously liked what he saw. I hated him on sight but my itch wouldn't take no for an answer. He was looking for Jack. I don't know why. There's always someone looking for Jack. Half of them want a chance to take him down in a gunfight, either to get revenge for someone he hurt or killed, or to make their own reputation by being the one who killed him. The rest want to join his gang. I didn't know whether this man was a fighter or a joiner, but I invited him in. I wish to God I hadn't but I did and there's no going back.
He's not a good looking man like Sam, or Jack. He's also a little on the chunky side. But the worst part of all is that he really doesn't know how to handle his equipment nearly as well as my Sam does. He spent the better part of an hour mauling my breasts and slapping my ass while he humped me. I didn't get anywhere close to a single climax. I could have done better to spend the afternoon rubbing myself. He was so inept in the bedroom that I don't think I'd have ever considered trying another man other than Sam. Unfortunately that wasn't to be. The worst part about it was that when Sam came home that night all ready to fuck my brains out. I had to pretend to be sore from the night before, I couldn't let him see the bruises on my ass. The next day the man, Cletus, came back, as soon as Sam rode off for town. I told him that Jack wasn't there but he came in anyway. He wanted more of what he'd had the day before. I told him no, but he just smiled at me and asked me whether or not I wanted Sam to find out that I had given him some pussy. I never heard that term pussy before, but whatever he called it, I didn't want Sam to find out. So I made him promise not to bruise me up, and gave him what he wanted. The next day he came back again, but he wasn't alone. He brought another man with him, and they both had me. For a woman who only a week ago craved making love, I was beginning to hate the thought of doing it at all.
Within a few days Cletus had a pattern down, he'd show up as soon as Sam left and bring sometimes as many as three or four men with him. I didn't find out until much later that he was charging them to have their way with me. I didn't see any way out of my dilemma, but fate stepped in to give me a reprieve.
Cletus ran into Jack in town one morning and there was a gunfight. Jack I've heard isn't nearly as accurate with a gun as Sam is, but he's faster than greased lightning. He was aiming to put a bullet right between that asshole's eyes but he missed by a bit and still managed to blow the side of his face clean off. Luckily for me Cletus died within a few hours.
I swore I'd never cheat on Sam again as long as I lived. But within a week, the itch was back though I fought it as hard and as diligently as I could. My bad luck continued when I went to the general store to pick up a few things and happened upon one of the men that Cletus had been bringing to the ranch. Now that he knew who I was, other than Cletus' whore, he was ready to reacquaint himself with me. About that time both Sam's and my lives took a turn for the worse. Mine did because now almost daily there'd be men at the ranch, and unlike with Cletus some of them didn't want to leave when it was time for Sam to come home. It seemed that word was spreading all over town about a woman who would do things that even the whores refused to try, and she did them for free.
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Atherton stopped reading the diaries when we all heard the chirping from the intercom on his desk. Both Samantha and I stretched and looked at each other. We'd both been so caught up in the story that we had lost track of time and where we were.
"Ms. Peyton from the auction house is here," said the acidic voice of Atherton's secretary from the intercom.
"Please show her in," replied Atherton. He sat up and straightened his tie and checked for wrinkles on his shirt. In only a few moments I saw why. Miss Peyton was tall and slim with flowing blonde hair. She had a beautiful smile and used it often. She could easily be mistaken for one of the Playboy models that every man dreams of. Atherton behaved like a fucking puppy around her. I kept expecting to see him get down on the floor and stand on his knees with his hands held like a dog begging for a treat and his tongue out. Then of course she'd have to pat his head and say, "good boy." Atherton would probably roll over then so she could pat his stomach. I had a couple of places she could pat on me as well, but I wasn't going to be rolling around on the floor to get her to do it.
Samantha cleared her throat loudly, and glared. Her beautiful eyes narrowed dangerously but I couldn't tell if they were directed at Atherton or at me.
"Oh do forgive me," said Atherton. "I'd like to introduce Ms. Diana Peyton from the Waterhouse Western Memorabilia Auctions company. She's interested in listing both of your items in an upcoming auction. She's very sure that we...I mean you, can make substantially more money if we list both Miss Chavaria's diaries and Mr. Dansen's' guns together as a set. We can also market the items by having a showing and display on her website to drum up interest in the items. Miss Peyton, as it happens is also a direct relation of Constance Farmwell."
Miss Peyton smiled very slightly at Samantha, and then turned the full spotlight on me. As she smiled at me, for some reason despite how beautiful she was, I was reminded of a really big fucking snake. I also noticed two things, the first was that she had to have more than thirty two teeth to have a smile that fucking wide, and the second was how much she looked like my ex wife.
"It's getting kind of late, I'd love to take you to dinner and we could outline my proposal while we eat ," she said, looking directly at me. "Of course I meant all of us," she said to Samantha.
We all got into Ms. Peyton's big BMW sedan. It was so big and so plush inside the car that it felt like I was sitting in someone's fucking living room. The ride was so smooth that I couldn't feel the road under me. Surprisingly I was uncomfortable, I was so used to being able to feel the road and much faster acceleration. This thing seemed to float along like a fucking blimp. I also didn't really like the seating arrangements. Ms. Peyton had opened the door and herded Samantha and Atherton in the back seat together and then closed the door. I wondered why, when there was room back there for me too. I was stuck sitting in the front seat with her. She tried one of those cheesy teenager's moves on me halfway through the trip. She was slick about it. She put her hand on the gear shift lever, even though it was an automatic. Then she dropped her hand off the shifter and onto mine. She smiled at me as she did this. What the hell was she playing at? I pulled a cheesy move of my own. I smiled back at her, and then pretended I was yawning and used the hand she was trying to hold to cover my mouth.
She pulled the same shit at the restaurant. Somehow Atherton ended up sitting next to Samantha and I ended up next to Ms. Peyton. To make matters worse I was sitting directly across from Atherton, who was glaring at me like I was cock-blocking him. Samantha didn't seem to be very happy either. Actually the only person smiling was Ms. Peyton. She seemed to be smiling like a shark, or like a lioness who had separated her chosen prey from the herd.
During dinner she outlined her plan. She'd start advertising the pieces and marketing them, so there'd be plenty of interest in them when the auction opened. She'd have pictures taken so they could be viewed on the internet, and write a piece about them for all of the Military and Western newsletters.
With all of that publicity we were sure to attract lots of bidders, who could afford to pay a very good price for the pieces, and we'd all make a lot of money. Ms. Peyton was also rubbing her leg against mine under the table pretty hard. I was trying to move away from her, but there's only so far you can move without looking stupid. My dick was beginning to tell me to go for it. Samantha dropped her fork and reached for it and looked at what was going on under the table. When she sat back up she glared at me, but Ms. Peyton simply smiled at her and made no attempt to stop what she was doing. She had balls I had to give her that.
My cell-phone rang shattering the mood before any more foolishness could take place. I looked at the screen and saw Carla's face on it.
"What," I said sharply.
"You didn't call me back," whined Carla. "I need...she began as I hung up on her. That was all I needed to give me the motivation to pull my leg away from Ms. Peyton like she was covered in shit. I looked around for a distraction and noticed that a small four man combo was playing soft music on the other side of the room. "I need to go to the little boys room," I said. Atherton grimaced at the term, Samantha smiled, and Ms. Peyton looked as if me being away would hurt her. She moved out to let me out of the booth and ran her hands across my ass as I passed. Now I know what women go through. It felt like I was a horse she was interested in buying and she was checking out my muscle tone to see what kind of shape I was in.
During my quick visit to the facilities I got a chance to calm my dick down, and become presentable again. I tried to figure out the dynamics of what the hell was going on. Ms. Peyton obviously wanted my pieces for her auction house. She seemed to want to see if another one of my pieces would be a good fit inside of her. Atherton seemed to want to make money off of me, and he also wanted Ms. Peyton. I was sensing a spurned lover vibe from him. The only one of the payers whose motivation I couldn't figure out was Samantha. What was her interest in this whole thing? I needed to figure out what her game was too.
When I got back to the table, I had an idea. "Wow, I feel like dancing," I said. Before Ms. Peyton could get up I extended my hand to Samantha.
"I'm not much of a dancer," she said quietly.
"I love to dance," said Ms. Peyton getting up quickly and trying to insert herself in the situation. I hated bitches like that, she was probably a champion ballroom dancer in her spare time.
"You do?" I said smiling my own evil smile. "Atherton, dance with Ms. Peyton."
Atherton got up so fast, I expected to see a rocket sticking out of his ass. He grabbed Ms. Peyton's hand and dragged her over to the small dance floor.
I took Samantha's hand and led her the other way. There was a small deck behind the restaurant and you could see the moon shining very brightly on everything.
"So why aren't you having a good time?" I asked her.
"Well, that bitch seems to be trying very hard to exclude me from everything," she said. "I think she doesn't think that the diaries are very important. She also doesn't like my plan very much. She just wants to make a shitload of money, and move on to her next conquest."
"So what is your plan?" I asked again. "I haven't heard anything from you yet."
"Well I wanted to wait until after you'd heard the entire story from the diaries, so you'd know everything our families did, and then you could think about what I was going to say. That way you'd know all of the facts about everything and you could make an informed decision. I don't want you to go off half cocked and do something that you'll regret later."
I thought about what she was saying carefully. She seemed to be the only person of the three, that wasn't trying to push her agenda on me. Was it because she really thought that what I wanted mattered, or because her way was less attractive than the other two options.
"Would you like to dance anyway?" I asked. It was certainly romantic out here on the deck alone, and you could just barely hear the music, but the view and the moonlight surely more than made up for the lack of volume.
She smiled at me and nodded her head. I wrapped on arm around her gently and took her hand. The look in her eyes found me wondering whether or not I could fall into them. there was clearly something going on between us but I didn't understand it. "Now I know how she felt," she told me.
"She, who?" I answered puzzled by her words.
"You'll know all of it soon enough," she said, laying her head on my shoulder and somehow it just felt right. I pulled her closer in to me molding our bodies together in a far more intimate embrace. I couldn't help staring into those deep brown eyes and thinking I'd love to wake up to her for the rest of my life.
"So, are you married, or seeing anyone?" I asked her, knowing how cheesy it sounded.
"Of course not," she said leaving me puzzled again. "I'm what guys call a practice girl."
"What's a practice girl?" I asked. This woman had a knack for confusing the shit out of me.
"Guys try all of their lines and moves on someone like me, and then they marry someone like Ms. Peyton. I'm pretty enough that they don't have to be embarrassed to be seen with me, but they're really thinking that since I'm a little heavier, that I'm going to put out on demand, because they gave me a little bit of attention," she said. "Once they find out that they're going to have to do some work to get into my pants, they move on, so I'm not married, and I date, but there's no one serious in the picture."
"Are you accepting applications?" I asked, and she smiled. We seemed to be pulling closer together like magnets. I could already practically feel those soft lips, and I wondered what she'd taste like. But wondering was all I got to do.
"Hey, no talking business without the rest of the class," said Ms. Peyton sharply. "We were wondering where the hell you two disappeared to. Stevie says you guys are going to meet back at his office tomorrow to finish going through the diaries and then we can make the final decision and sign the papers. I'll drive you back to his office," then she looked directly at me and said, "Or anywhere else you'd like to go." Samantha didn't miss that either.
When we got back to Atherton's building Ms. Peyton drove straight into the parking lot.
"You can let me out right there next to the dark blue car," said Samantha. Ms. Peyton stopped in front of the blue car and my heart stopped as Samantha got out. I jumped out too, and walked around the car.
"Oh my God it's beautiful," I said. Walking around further. "It's a girl."
"So am I," said Samantha.
"09 Mustang, midnight blue, pony package, optional 18" chrome Bullitt rims," I said whistling. Samantha was smiling as I gushed over her car.
"Hey what about my Beemer?," asked Ms. Peyton. "If you're into cars, you can drive it."
"What do you mean my car is a girl?" asked Samantha as if we hadn't heard Ms. Peyton at all.
"It's a v6. Less horsepower, that makes it a girl. She's still a pony, just a filly as opposed to a stallion," I said smiling at her.
"How'd you know it's an 09?" she asked.
"Ooh, too easy," I started. "Your car is clearly an S197 model. Those are the generation of cars from 2005 until now, with the retro styling. There are 2 series of cars in this generation. Cars from 2005 until 2009 have the perpendicular headlight frames on the front fascia, with the exception of the Shelby GT 500. The cars from 2010 and 2011 have angled headlight frames and that shitty looking trim piece along the underside of the car. They also have the angled rear fascia which I kind of hate. Your car is from the 2005 through 2009 like mine. You also have the anniversary badge on the front quarter panel, which means it's an 09."
"You only have one exhaust pipe and no GT badges so it's a v6," I said proudly. "The 2011 models have dual exhausts for the v6's too so it's getting harder to tell."
"What about my Beemer, don't you like it too," whined Ms. Peyton. "It has a smooth ride and it cost a lot of money."
"So do sex changes, but I don't want one of those either," I snapped. "Honestly, I'm sure it's fine for people who like them, but I just don't like Euro-trash Sedans. If I were in the market for an old guy's car I'd probably get that new Lincoln MKZ." Ms. Peyton slumped her shoulders, she was clearly upset that we weren't blown away by her sedan. But sharks supposedly have to keep swimming or they drown, so she just stayed in there punching.
"Can you come to my hotel room, I have some display ideas for your guns," she asked just before Samantha pulled away. From the look in Samantha's eyes through the car window I could tell she'd heard the request. Unfortunately she couldn't hear my reply as she drove off.
The next morning Atherton's secretary who'd obviously been practicing smiling ushered me right into the office. Her smile was still kind of odd, but it was more like she had a mouth full of sour patch kids candy. I remember those things from when I was young. They're so bitter that you make just the expression she had on her face when you put one in your mouth.
I was clearly the last one to arrive. Samantha looked up sadly as I came into the room. I wanted to go and sit by her and find out what was wrong with her, but I was intercepted by Ms. Peyton who grabbed my arm, looked into my eyes and said, "Last night was wonderful," as she led me to a chair. I did notice that she sat down between Samantha and me.
"Hm, where did we leave off? asked Atherton. "Ah yes, I bookmarked my place." Then he began to read as we settled into our chairs.
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Sam Dansen's Journal. May 4. Something funny is going on but I don't know what. A saddle bum who'd been in town for about a week refused to give up his gun. Even worse than that he challenged me in front of everybody in the damned Saloon to a gunfight. I couldn't let the man keep his guns, and I couldn't back down from a public challenge because that would undermine my authority in the town. I'd had to fight unruly characters before, but this guy really pissed me off. It wasn't just his attitude it was the things he said. One of which confused me and gave me an itch at the back of my neck at the same time.
"Why do I have to listen to you when you can't even make your own wife keep her legs closed?" he asked.
There were a few men in the back of the saloon stifling laughs, but that was all brushed aside when we headed out to the streets. Normally I tried my best to wing or wound my opponent when it was necessary to have these things, but this time I was pissed. I'm not as fast as my brother but I'm faster than most, and very accurate. He went for his gun first, but he didn't have a prayer. Before he even touched his grip, I had drawn my .44 and drilled him through his left eye. If they buried him with an eye patch, he'd look like he was only sleeping. The bullet passed dead through the center of his eye, and didn't mark his face at all. Of course the back of his head was a different story. There was a hole big enough to put your fist through. I literally blew his brains out. Several of the people nearby were covered in gray matter and blood after the fight.
Some of the people who'd laughed before in the saloon looked down and had trouble meeting my eyes. I could tell that something was going on but I didn't know what.
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Constance Dansen's diary.
May 6. My life is truly over. Today something terrible happened to me. Instead of taking me one at a time, the men all came in at the same time. I heard them say that they just wanted to get some and get out. For some reason none of them wanted to risk being anywhere near here when Sam came home. So there was one man fucking me in my vagina, while another stuck his manhood in my mouth and just used me that way. Then yet another inserted his member into my back hole, and it hurt really badly. None of them seemed concerned about my pleasure in the least. I was just another whore. As they humped on me, each intent only on their own pleasure another man started lowering his pants, I didn't even have another hole for him to use so I wondered what he thought he was doing. I tried to find something pleasurable in their actions. But all I felt was pain, and disgust with myself. The man in my mouth let out a yell and shot his baby juice all over my face. The next guy just marched over and stuck his dick in my mouth before the other one had even finished shooting and spasming. I just wanted to die at that moment, and I nearly did. I heard the door open, and it got cold in that room, but not from a breeze. It was the chill they say you feel when you're close to death.
It all seemed to happen in slow motion. The door opened and Jack was in the room. He looked at me and then at the men. Then before any of them could even realize what was going on, Jack shot all five of them. Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow. Five shots in less than 3 seconds. Somehow none of the bullets hit me. When he started shooting I had closed my eyes as death whistled all around me. When I opened them I was staring down the barrel of Jack's gun, and the look in his eye's told me that he wasn't necessarily finished, he had only paused.
"Go ahead, do it," I said. Then I started crying uncontrollably. The sounds of Jack's shots had brought a couple of his men running. Jack calmly reloaded his gun so it would be ready the next time he needed it, and looked at me. I was no longer beautiful. I was covered in a mixture of semen, sweat, blood brains and just funk, from all of the men who'd died around me.
"Get the fuck out of here," Jack said to the men who'd come into the room. "Wait," he told one of them. "Go get Juan Chavaria, that fat deputy who works for my brother. Get him here as fast as you can," then he slammed the door.
"You stupid whore," he said to me. "You're destroying my brother, and I won't let you. Four people have died in town since yesterday, because of you. These five make nine, you aren't worth another death."
"What are you talking about Jack?" I asked him. I hadn't heard anything about it. Sam didn't talk about his work much. He had been kind of quiet last night. He didn't even want to have sex with me and I needed him. After being fucked and abused all day, I needed to feel loved and appreciated. Sam had a funny look in his eye like there was something he wanted to ask me, but he wasn't sure he'd want the answer. So we both just let it be.
"Yesterday, some galoot, challenged Sam to a gunfight in the middle of town. It ain't like my brother to kill anyone, that's the difference between him and me. He just don't have the stomach for killing. He killed this guy though because he was all fired up about the guy saying something about you," said Jack. He looked at me again.
"Today was worse, another guy you fucked challenged Sam too, but this one was a snake. Sam drilled him through the forehead, but the guy's buddy was behind Sam and tried to shoot my brother in the back with a fucking shotgun. Sam heard him and started to turn but he was just too late and the guy got the shot off," said Jack.
I felt like my world had ended, my husband, the only man I had ever loved was dead and it was all my fault. Suddenly I didn't have the strength to stand any more. I hadn't told anyone but I thought that I was with child again, and the chances that it was Sam's weren't very good. Now my husband was dead as well. I vomited all over myself adding one more fluid to the sperm, piss, blood and brains that covered me. "My Sam is dead I wailed, just shoot me now."
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Back in Atherton's office, I leapt to my feet. "Buuuuulllshiiiiiitttt!" I yelled so loudly that Atherton's sourpuss secretary stuck her head in the door, giving me the evil eye.
"My Great Great Granddad, didn't die like that," I snapped. "He died in bed when he was like 75."
Samantha looked at me with that same bemused look she'd had when she caught me staring at her tits the first time. I looked back and smiled. It was worth making a fool out of myself to see her smile. Her smile quickly vanished when Ms. Peyton stroked my arm to calm me down. I couldn't figure out why this woman was trying to give the outward impression that there was something going on between us. I snatched my arm out her grasp like she had syphilis and sat back down. Samantha was amused by that.
"May I continue?" asked Atherton.
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Sam Dansen's Journal
May 6. As I sit here alone tonight, my heart is breaking. I find myself wondering where I went wrong. Why did God forsake me? Today was the worst day of my life. A truly innocent soul was lost tonight and God help me, I still don't know truly why any of this has happened.I was trying so hard to think good things this morning and put the things that happened yesterday behind me. I still have the feeling that there are things that Constance and I must discuss, but she's so beautiful and I love her so much that I hate to bring her sadness or misery in any way. So I kissed her goodbye this morning like always and she seemed to want me to stay home, but this is normal because she always begs me not to leave, so I paid it no mind. If I had known that it might be the last time I saw her face or kissed those lips, I'd never have gone.
I rode into town the same as I do every other day, but as much as I tried to be cheerful, there was a sense of foreboding over everything. It was as if the unpleasantness of the day before was only a warning. Many of the men in town would not meet my eyes, and others looked as if they were spoiling for a fight. Only Maria, the beautiful young Mexican woman who organizes the Sheriff's office for us had a cheerful word for me. Maria is something else. Had I not met Constance, I'd surely have married her by now. She will make some man very lucky someday. My deputies who are her kin often joke that I'm the luckiest man in the world to have one wife at home and another at work. Maria does seem to fuss over me a lot, but I'm sure she's just grateful for the job and being friendly.
Just after noon I went over to the saloon for a glass of beer and lunch. Of course there were the usual card-players, drunkards, and ne'er-do-wells assembled there but the atmosphere was again just off somehow.
Of course there was all kinds of talk about my gunfight the day before. Some of the men there claiming that it was a lucky shot, and that I'd never be able to duplicate it in a million years. Others saying they had seen me shoot before and I could hit anything I could see. Then the group that thought it was luck would come right back with the fact that I hadn't hit him right between the eyes. They thought that I had aimed between the eyes and missed by a couple of inches.
I hated that kind of talk and actually I still felt bad about what had happened. I could easily have just wounded the man or just shot him in the hand and disarmed him. But I let my anger get the best of me because he'd insulted me through Constance, and a man died for it. I felt no pride at my victory, only shame at my weakness of spirit and decided to leave and avoid hearing the talk about it any further. But of course it was not to be.
Just as I left the saloon, a big guy from the next town over pushed me angrily.
"Are you trying to start a fight mister?" I asked him.
"From what I hear you're the one starting the fights around here," he said. "You murdered my brother in cold blood yesterday because you were jealous about him fucking your whore of a wife. If every man who gets between that bitch's legs dies, there won't be very many men left in Texas."
"I don't know what you're talking about. Your brother challenged me to the fight. I even let him go for his gun first. And Constance hardly ever comes to town," I said sharply.
"You let him go after his gun first because you and your horse-thieving, train robbing brother are both professional gunslingers and he was just another cowpoke. He didn't have a chance against you. And as far as your whore goes, from what I understand she don't have to come to town, she's not even selling it, she's just giving that pussy away at your ranch. From what I hear she's taking on more than one man at a time now. I can't wait Ta..." he never got a chance to finish because at that point my fist connected solidly with his jaw sending him sprawling in the street. I was angrier than I'd ever been.
"Let's see if you're any better than your brother," I snapped
"It's about time. I was beginning to think you're as cowardly as your brother. Doesn't he usually shoot men in the back? Or maybe you're as big and soft as your wife's pussy," he smiled as he said that. Again there were a lot of snickers and outright laughs coming from the people gathered to watch us. As angered as I was, all of my recriminations and sorrow about yesterday were gone. I was ready to kill yet another man over Constance’s virtue.
Again we lined up in the street, and it seemed like the whole town plus some, was assembled to watch. I looked at my opponent and was puzzled as he seemed to be looking not at me but at something behind me. I wasn’t going to fall for that old trick though. I would turn around to see who was behind me and he’d go for his gun and plug me while I was looking at nothing. I kept my eyes firmly planted on his, watching for any twitch that would let me know when he was ready to move. If he didn’t move soon I was going to kill him anyway, just so this could be over and I could find out what was going on with Constance. There was no way she could be doing what he’d said. She was at home taking care of our infant son.
He blinked, and as if on automatic my hand moved for my gun before my brain even realized he was moving. Like his brother he was slow and before his hand even reached his weapon, my Schofield .44 spat another fat bullet in his direction. This time just to shut up the Negative Nellies I drilled one right between his eyes. Even before he hit the ground though, I heard a sound at my back. I instinctively knew right away it was a shot gun’s hammer being pulled back. He hadn’t been staring at a ghost after all, and I knew that I was going to be too late. I was going to die. But even as I heard the shotgun’s deadly roar, something small slammed into me intercepting nearly all of the blast. I did get stung by a pellet or two but I was untouched otherwise. Jack blew the face off of the coward with the shotgun and just emptied his gun in the body and then snatched another gun from one of his men and emptied it as well. He was looking for another gun so I handed him mine as I sat there in the dirt cradling Maria’s small body as she struggled to breathe.
With tears in my eyes I just begged her to tell me why she would do something so stupid, no job could be worth what she did.
“Love you,” she said. “From first day you came to town. Long before that gussied up witch you married I always l…” then she died smiling, as if saving me really made her happy. I don’t know how long I sat there holding her and crying my eyes out in the street. I do know that some of Jack’s men and my deputies stood around me to keep riders from trampling me. Finally the preacher and the undertaker came and got me to let go of her. Juan, one of my deputies was related to Maria, and he told me that she had left a son, and that he and his wife would take him in. I told him that he and his wife already had enough kids to worry about, I’d take him in and raise him as my own, but he could visit him anytime he wanted.
One of the men in town had something to say about it very briefly.
“But he’s a Mexican, that ain’t right for…” he began.
Before he could finish his stupid statement, I shot him. And I didn’t regret it to my dying day. I regret shooting the man yesterday. I regret shooting his brother today, in both of those cases I clearly could have and should have been more merciful. But shooting that racist asshole after the sacrifice Maria made for me, has never caused me to lose even a second’s worth of sleep.
“There are no Mexicans in this town,” I said. “No Whites, No Blacks, No Chinese, there are only people. From now on we’re all the same. Do I hear any arguments?” Maybe they could see the state I was in, or sympathized with me over what I’d just been through but no one said a word. I looked around and my brother was gone. I didn’t know where he’d gone, but I had to go to see the undertaker and make arrangements for Maria’s funeral. Juan was there with me for a short time, but he was called away. I arranged for everything the flowers, her casket and even the clothing she’d be buried in. The preacher looked like he wanted to object to having Maria’s funeral on Sunday during the church services, but I noticed that he changed his mind and agreed when my hand accidentally slid down near the gun in my holster.
After that it was getting dark so I rode home. I needed to talk to Constance, and this time we’d have words no matter how painful it was. That led to an even bigger shock. When I opened the door to my ranch house and found Juan’s wife Carmen, caring for my son. There was another small boy, who was perhaps 4 years old there as well. I immediately recognized Maria’s eyes, and knew who he was.
Carmen didn’t speak much English, but she handed me a sheet of writing paper that was torn from the diary that Constance always wrote in.
There’s simply no easy way to say this. I have betrayed your trust, and am not a fit wife or mother. I love you more than life itself, but after our baby was born, It triggered all kinds of unnatural urges in me, that I could not control. By the time I was able to become myself again I had become a monster. I’m going away to a convent to try and make myself worthy of you again. I release you from our marriage vows since it is I who have made a mockery of them. Please find someone else worthy of your love. You need someone to fill your life and our son cannot grow up without a mother. Please try not to think too badly of me because I never stopped loving you, and I’ll love you until my dying day. I wasn’t evil, only weak. Perhaps the austere atmosphere, and servitude found in a convent will purify my, body, my mind, and my soul.
Your loving wife Constance.”
I dropped the paper and started crying again. I cried for the two men I had killed because they had the nerve to say things that turned out to be true. I cried for the man that Jack had killed because he too died for Constance’s betrayal. I cried for two little boys who would grow up without mothers. But more than anything else I cried for Maria.
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Constance Dansen’s Diary.
June 16. I woke up this morning chained to a bed. Today was the first time I remember my head being clear since Jack made me write that letter to Sam about going to a convent. I have to admit I didn’t like the idea of being away from Sam and my baby. My idea was for Sam, and me to pack up the baby and move to another town, far away for a fresh start. Now that I have my urges under control, I’m all better. I will never want to have sex with any man other then my husband ever. I’m completely cured, but Jack being the concerned brother that he obviously is wants to be sure. I don’t even know which convent I’ve been sent to. They kept me asleep by putting sleeping drops in my food for the entire journey here. At least it wasn’t as bad as that awful stagecoach.
June 17. I am in hell paying for my sins. I am not in a convent. They don’t chain you to the bed in a convent. This is Jack’s idea of revenge against me for the pain I caused Sam. He sold me to a whorehouse in Mexico. The men here really like my blond hair and blue eyes. I was forced to service at least 20 of them yesterday. They came one after another until I just lost consciousness. The madam here says I have to service her customers until she recoups her investment in me, and then I’ll be free to leave. This is far worse a fate than I ever imagined. I had it all, and I just let lust take it all away from me.
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Atherton stopped reading at that point, and just looked at us. “I suppose you’re all wondering what happened after that,” he said. “It really is a fascinating untold saga of American history. Samuel went on to become the town’s mayor. His brother Jack became Sheriff after him. Constance contracted Syphilis and died in the whorehouse and never saw Sam or her child again. Jack never told Sam where Constance really ended up, only that she had passed, when it happened.”
“Okay let’s talk business,” said Ms. Peyton vigorously stroking my arm.
“Okay let’s not,” I snapped, turning to Samantha. “I’d like to hear what your idea was.”
Samantha was obviously uneasy. She licked those soft generous lips and looked at me. As you’ve probably figured out Maria, was my ancestor and the Dansens were yours. Miss Peyton Claims to be related to Constance's Family. That small town they’re from was renamed about 50 years ago. It’s called Dansen Texas now. They’ve recently completed construction on a small museum, and I was going to donate the diaries to that museum. Like Mr. Atherton said, our family history is an untold saga of American history that should really be known and loved by all of the people, not just sold to one rich person to hide away in his attic. But before you got here Mr. Atherton and Ms. Peyton explained to me the amount of money you could get for the entire collection. The diaries are valuable by themselves, but the guns are the real collector’s items. I told Mr. Atherton and Ms. Peyton what I wanted to do with them already. It was really nice meeting you, a dream in fact, and I really do know how she felt.” Samantha stood up and walked out of the office, leaving me puzzled.
Ms. Peyton’s hysterical laughter started as soon as the door quietly closed. I turned to her and she stopped laughing. “Can you believe that woman? Give them to some small museum in Podunk, Texas. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars here, not chump change. But don’t worry, we don’t need her, she did the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. Atherton get me that contract.”
She handed me what looked like a deed or a bill of sale, and my name was on it. “What is this?” I asked.
“She gave you the diaries,” laughed Ms. Peyton. “Free of charge, no money at all. She just gave them to you.” Then she started laughing again. “Some people just don’t deserve money.”
“You’re right about that,” I smirked. “Atherton, where are my guns?” He opened the wall safe behind his desk and got out the display case holding my ancestor’s pistols. I took the case, and stacked the diaries on top of it. I put them down on the desk and shook Atherton’s hand. Then I headed for the door.
“Wait, where are you going?” screamed Ms. Peyton. Just as I got out of the building I saw Samantha’s Mustang driving out of the parking lot. I jumped into mine and gunned it. I was sure I could catch her. Her little Pony was light and fast, but we’re still talking about a v6 versus my supercharged v8.
Samantha had a big head start, and a lead foot, but I was gaining on her quickly. She also had the advantage that I really didn’t know where she was going. She could have gotten off at any exit. In the end it was the cops who helped me. They had pulled her over for speeding. I pulled up a safe distance away from the cops and waved my arms signaling to them. One of the cops warily approached me, with his hand on his gun. “Officer, I didn’t want to alarm you, but I need to talk to my girlfriend, when you’re done writing her ticket.” I said.
He just looked at me and nodded. “You can talk to her while we run her I.D. and plates. Just don’t try anything funny. We’ve still got her license and her car.”
“Why did you tell him that I was your girlfriend?” Samantha asked me.
“Wishful thinking,” I said.
“But after the wonderful night you spent with Ms. Peyton, I th…”
“After you left, I drove home, alone. I’m as puzzled as you are about what that bitch was talking about or what she was trying to make you and Atherton think. But there’s nothing going on between me and her. Now which way is it to your museum?” I said.
“What about all of that money?” she asked.
“Fuck the money, I’d rather have you.” I said.
“But this isn’t the way our ancestors did it,” she said. “This isn’t the way the story is supposed to work.”
“I know,” I said. “I’m supposed to fall for the stupid blond chick who’ll end up breaking my heart and hurting me and making lots of people suffer due to her selfishness right?” she nodded her head.
“Been there, done that, changed the script,” I snapped. “We know that in the end the way our ancestors did it didn't work, no one ended up happy. So we get a chance to do it the way they should have. And you’ve had enough practice, don’t you think it’s time you got the real thing?” she nodded her head again and we finally kissed. Her lips were just as warm and soft as I’d imagined.
We went down to Dansen, and presented them with the guns and the diaries. They let us march in the Town’s founder’s day parade and gave us the key to the city. We ended up moving there after we got married. Ms. Peyton had spent a lot of her precious money promoting items she didn’t actually have a contract to sell, so she got her ass fired. She tried to sue us, but again without that contract she didn’t have a case. Atherton took it all in stride and ended up marrying his sourpuss secretary. Apparently she was hell on wheels in bed. And my ex wife Carla still calls me a lot and I hang up on her.