Western Fiction posted February 3, 2013 Chapters:  ...12 13 -14- 15... 


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Sean is trying to return to New York

A chapter in the book AN ORPHAN NAMED JO

5-2 Homeward Bound

by c_lucas



Background
Sean has assummed several aliases as he tries to get back to New York.








14CHAPTER FIVE
PART TWO
HOMEWARD BOUND
 
SEPTEMBER, 1877
 
End of last chapter
 
A series of shots sounded as one and the gunman’s horse bolted a few feet. Sean stood facing the other three, holding the imitation Bull Dog. “It may be a pea shooter, but it be shooting deadly peas. There be two peas left.  If yeh be finished with yeh dance lessons, let’s talk.” He walked over and grabbed the reins of the dead man’s horse.
*************************************************************
  
Sean, posing as Arthur Sullivan, increased his funds riding with the Wesley Gang, robbing banks and trains.  The outlaws set up a cold camp (no fire) and divided the money from the latest bank robbery.
 
Sean lifted his share and frowned. “This be kind of light for a bank robbery.”
 
“Are you complaining, Sullivan?” John Wesley scowled at the newest member of the gang. He moved to the right side of his horse on the pretense of placing his larger share into his saddle bags.
 
Sean looked at the two other gunmen that made up the gang. “What did yeh be saying about th’ split, Bobby Lee?”
 
Lee glanced at Wesley before answering. “We each get twenty per cent and John Wesley gets forty per cent. He’s the leader.”
 
“That he be, but forty percent be a little high. I don’t be seeing him taking risks, and he never be making a plan for this job. We just be riding in and robbing th’ bank because it was there.” Sean stared at Robert Lee, but kept Wesley in his peripheral vision.
 
“Are you saying I’m cheating you, Sullivan?”
 
“Forty percent is twice what we get,” Rolf, the second gunman, commented.
 
Sean pretended to take his eyes off Wesley and turned toward Rolf. Instead, he completed the turn and shot Wesley between the eyes.
 
The two gunmen started to draw, but stopped when Sean gave them his full attention.
 
“Leave yer guns in their holsters; I have no fight with yeh,” Sean said, holstering his gun. Such was Sean’s understanding of the two men that he pointed at Wesley’s body. “Yeh two, take th’ money from his pockets and saddlebags and divide it three ways.” He walked to his saddled horse.
 
The two gunmen stared at his back turned, and followed his instructions. They busied themselves robbing the dead, cleaning out Wesley’s saddlebags and didn't pay attention to Sean.
 
The Irishman turned and saw them looking at a folded paper Bobby Lee held in his hands. Sean mounted and rode toward his partners as Lee refolded the paper and crammed it into his pocket.
 
“I be riding off and checking to see if anyone is around. I’ll get me share when I be returning.”
 
“It’ll be waiting for you, Mr. Sullivan.” Bobby Lee pulled the saddlebags off the horse and emptied them on the ground.
 
“Yes, sir, it’ll be waiting on you,” Rolf added and returned to checking Wesley’s pockets.
 
Sean smiled and rode off. When he was out of their sight, he rode in a circle, coming behind the gunmen.  The Irishman dismounted about a hundred yards behind them and snuck up on them. Soon he was within hearing distance. He hid in the tall grass and watched as the two gunmen divided the stolen money into three stacks.
 
Rolf stood, dusted off his pants’ legs. “He’s been gone for a long time. Let me have a look at that wanted poster, again.”
 
“Are you planning on cashing it in?” Bobby Lee shook his head. He handed the folded paper to Rolf.
 
“Two thousand dollars for a man named Sean Wiley. There’s no picture, but the description fits Sullivan.”
 
“It fits me, too,” Lee commented. “Are you game enough to go against his gun?”
 
“What do you mean?”
 
“Two men have drawn guns against him; both are dead.”
 
“You’re right. We’ll have to catch him off guard.”
 
“Which will never happen. He’s the best with a gun I’ve ever seen.”
 
Sean eased back to his horse and led it away.  When he was out of sight of the gunmen, he mounted and rode back to original tracks.
Rolf and Bobby Lee watched as he rode into camp.
 
“Have yeh divided th’ money?” Sean asked in a nonchalant manner.
 
“Each stack has the coins on top of the paper.” Rolf nodded toward the three stacks on the ground by the body.
 
“Why don’t yeh two pick up your pile, then I’ll take the one left over.” Sean waved at the three piles and remained mounted. He watched the two nervously pick up their share, his hands rested on the saddle horn, covering the small pistol behind his belt buckle.
 
After they picked up their share, Sean rode over to the other horses, and began to unsaddle his horse. He had both hands on his saddle and his back toward his two partners.
 
“Now!” Rolf shouted.
 
Sean dropped the saddle and twisted toward the sound of Rolf’s voice, the small pistol in his hand.
 
Rolf had his gun out of its holster when Sean shot him twice in the chest.  The gunman fired one wild shot, killing Sean’s horse with a head shot.
 
The Irishman spotted Bobby Lee, who stood still with his hands in the air. Sean fired once and struck his remaining partner in the bridge of the nose, killing him. The .40 caliber bullet destroyed Lee’s face and left a large exit wound in the back of the dead man’s head.
 
“Yeh never be knowing who to trust,” Sean muttered to himself. He picked up his share and relieved the dead of theirs. He found the folded paper in Bobby Lee’s shirt pocket; it was a reward poster offering $2,000 for Sean Wiley: Dead or Alive. There was only a description without an image. Sean refolded it and put it back into Lee’s shirt pocket. Sean Wiley yeh not be making a very pretty corpse, but a corpse yeh be.
 
 
A few days later, Sean rode into a settlement with two decaying bodies tied across saddled horses. He stopped at the Livery, untied the bodies and dumped them on the ground.
 
An old man, carrying a pitchfork, walked toward him. “What can I do for you, young fellow?”
 
“A citizen be telling me that yeh handle th’ burying. I’d be obliged if you could wait for th’ Sheriff.” Sean went to the horse trough, primed the pump. He took off his hat and pumped water over his head, then filled four canteens.
 
“Lester! Get your butt out here.”
 
A boy in his late teens ran out of the barn. “Yes sir, Mr. H. I’m here.”
 
“Go get the sheriff and be fast about it.”
 
Sean noticed the boy wasn’t too bright. He walked toward the old man staring at the bodies.

“Two head shots. Mighty fine shooting.” He turned and looked at Sean. “You picked the right town to bring John Wesley’s body home. Who’s the other jasper?”
 
“You know John Wesley?” Sean covered the shock of the liveryman identifying one of the corpses.
 
“A man should know his sister’s oldest son.” He turned and spit on the body. “He broke his mother’s heart when he took the out hoot’s trail.” He glared at Sean. “I asked the name of the other bastard.”
 
“I’ll be telling yeh after th’ sheriff gets here. No need in telling a tale twice.” He smiled at the old man. 

The boy used hand gestures, talking fast as he and a heavy-set man walked toward Sean. “Howdy Harvey,” the large man greeted the Liveryman, who waved a greeting back.
 
"Yeh might be interested in these." Sean handed the two wanted posters to the newcomer.
 
“What’s your name?”
 
“Cullen O’Brian. I be finding those papers in Wesley’s pocket.”
 
“Did you do the shooting?”
 
“I be hearing shots and rode in their direction. I not be finding anybody alive.”
 
“The six hundred dollars bounty, I can pay you that.  This two thousand is a different matter.”
 
“I not be wanting th’ money. I need to be meeting me wife in New Orleans. The liveryman told me Wesley’s mother will be heartbroken. I not be earning th' bounty, so give it all ta her.”
 
“That’s mighty generous of you, stranger.” The sheriff and the liveryman exchanged glances.
 
“Me wife and I be coming to New Orleans to visit her sister, Heather. I be riding out west with my brother-in-law. It be quite an adventure, but I be missing me Ireland. Me brother be wiring me ta come home.”
 
“What are you going to do with the extra horses?”
 
“Those two aren’t mine ta sell.”
 
The Liveryman nodded. “Since you have been kind to my sister, I’ll give you twenty dollars for all three.”
 
“I’ll not be wanting to sell me horse. I'll be needing it.”
 
“The train station is only twenty miles away. Lester can ride with you and bring the horse back.”
 
“If Lester shows me th’ way, I'll be willing to sell me horse for thirty dollars and leave th’ other two horses for yer sister.”
 
 
The next day, Sean and Lester made it to the train station before noon. “I’d sure like to see New Orleans, Mr. O, but I best be getting back.”
 
“Lester, yeh have th’ makings of a traveling man. Why don’t yeh come ta New Orleans with me?”
 
“I need to get back home, Mr. O. I ain’t never been away from home.”
 
“Let’s be getting some lunch and talk about it. Yeh can trust me, I’ll see that yeh be getting home after our trip.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallgrass_prairie




Recognized


Image source is from Google Images

The Proglogue is a list of characters and chapters' URLs.

Abbreviated list of dialect:
Divil = Devil
hep=help
ta=to
yeh=you
yer=your

Story Line:

This will be the story of Caitlin Anna Wiley. Her name will change to Jo Wiley when, as an orphan, she is arrested for stealing an apple, valued at two cents.

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