Western Fiction posted June 17, 2017 Chapters:  ...6 7 -8- 9... 


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Milo meets his match

A chapter in the book Old Friends-New Enemies

Truth vs. Fantasy

by c_lucas




Background
Jo has got her revenge on her father. Breanna covers up some of the truth. A suspicious Milo uncovers her handiwork.
 
NARRATED BY MILO MATHEWS
 
OLD FRIENDS/NEW ENEMIES
CHAPTER NINE
Milo meet his match
ARIZONA TERRITORY
MAY 1887
 
From an earlier chapter: "Then you don't know Jo. She would never run from a gunfight except to get the son-of-a-bitch who shot her husband," Milo declared. "For all that are able, mount up. We need to stop Jo before she catches the bastard. May God have mercy on his soul if she does."
 
Ending of the last chapter:  Samuel nodded his head. “I think between Ma and Mrs. Sullivan; Jo has all the protection she needs. I sure don’t want to be in Uncle Milo’s boots if he makes Ma or Mrs. Sullivan angry.” Samuel began taking his rifle apart.

 “He's used to Ma being upset with him, but Mrs. Sullivan is something else. He might find himself in Hell with Jo’s shot up father.” I started cleaning my Sharpe.



 The ride back to Devil’s Fork was quiet as we pondered what we had seen and not being able to tell anybody.
 
The doctor and his wife came from behind the curtain just as Samuel and I entered.

 “How is Seth doing?” I asked him.

 He just shook his head.
**
 
The posse was doomed to failure from the get-go. We had a clear trail and then a freak storm washed it away. Although we tried, we couldn’t find it again. On our return trip to Devil’s Fork, we heard gunfire from a thirty-eight; the type of gun Jo uses.
 
It had to be her, because the rapid rate of fire pointed to her. It took a while to pick up the trail of several horses and two mules. It ended at a very large boulder, but I found the tracks, again, on a very narrow trail. We had just started when two rifles sounded; one sounded like a Winchester and the other, a much heavier gun; a Sharpe rifle.

In our territory, I knew only three people who used such a powerful gun. I hadn’t taken mine from its holder. Another was Uncle Sky, who was wounded in the shootout and the other, my nephew, Solomon Thompson, who to the best of my knowledge, wasn’t involved in the gun play. He felt very close to Jo and Seth and acted as a big brother to both. By identifying Solomon, I knew his older brother, Samuel would be the one using the Winchester. Their target could be none other than Jo’s evil father.
 
As we entered the canyon, I received the shock of my life. Jo, in her gun fighting outfit, was crying in Esther’s arms. I recognized some of the men as being among the lightly wounded and unable to join my posse. The biggest shock was there was no evidence of Jo’s father being anywhere around. My aforementioned nephews were among the missing, also.
 
I glared at my younger sister. “What the Hell is going on?”
 
Esther released Jo, but kept her arms around her. “What do you think is going on, Milo?” Her glare and protective attitude toward Jo, warned me I best tread lightly.
 
I returned her look and demanded, “Where’s Samuel and Solomon?”
 
“Obviously, they not be here. Why are yeh looking for them?” A strange woman entered the canyon on a mule and rode right at me.
 
“We not be having a chance ta meet earlier. I’m Breanna Sullivan, Caitlin’s nanna from Pennsylvania.” She held her hand out to me.
 
Flabbergasted, I shook her hand. “Deputy United State Marshal, Milo Mathews, retired.”
 
"Ah, yes, yeh be in Cheyenne and helped me daughter, Heather, out of a wee bit of difficulty. I would like ta thank yeh.”
 
“You’re welcome, but I don’t remember seeing you there. On top of that, your daughter didn’t need my help. All I did was to bust up a mob and she took care of the rest. Where were you?”
 
“We passed each other as I be going ta hep an expectant mother. Earlier, I took over caring for the children while Joleen strolled into town ta take in the sights.”
 
“And now, you are here, riding a mule like you were born in the saddle.”
 
“The mule belongs ta Esther. It be having a gentle soul and be easy ta ride.”
 
“Lady, none of Esther's mules are easy to ride. You’re a greenhorn and riding one.”
 
“You asked about Samuel and Solomon.” Esther intervened.  “Samuel got himself lost and Solomon went looking for him.”
 
“Samuel got lost and Solomon went looking for him?”
 
“Samuel left to find Jo. Solomon gave him the directions to the canyon, but Samuel got mixed up and missed the entrance.”
 
“Lying don’t become you, Esther. You’re almost as easy to read as Jo.” I turned to Jo. “Did you catch up with your father?”
 
“He disappeared.” She looked at Mrs. Sullivan instead of Esther and a calmness came over her.
 
I stared at the three females for a moment before I concentrated on Jo. “Hand me your gun belt and purse gun.” Again, Jo looked at Mrs. Sullivan instead of Esther, who tried to intervene.
 
“Milo…”
 
“Stay out of it, Esther.” I cut her off sharply without taking my eyes off Jo.
 
I held out my hand and Jo gave me her small gun which she called, “Baby.”  I smelled the barrel. The small gun hadn’t been used. The cylinder held five unspent cartridges.
 
Jo nudged my left hand. She held out her gun belt with the thirty-eight in the holster.
 
I checked out the belt loops. All held a cartridge. The cylinder held five unspent shells. I wasn’t surprised when the barrel smelled cleaned and unused.  After I finished, I handed the gun belt back to her and watched as she put it on. She bent over and tied her holster to her leg. An idea came to me.
 
I eased a cartwheel from my pocket while she was busy tying the holster in place. When she finished, I threw the silver dollar as high as I could. “Flying dollar!”
 
Jo drew and fired. Nothing happened. I took the gun carefully out of her hands and smelled the barrel. The gun had been fired several times. I turned her around and most of her belt loops were empty.
 
I dismissed my posse and sent it back to Devil’s Fork.  After they left, I turned my attention to Esther and held up Jo's smokeless gun.. “Someone has a heap of explaining to do.”
 


Recognized


Thank you,
Note: In her earlier life, Jo was called Caitlin. "Cailin" is Irish for 'young girl" and does not need to have upper case. Other words I changed are as follows:
Cailin = Irish for girl. *
Divil = Devil *
Fader - Father *
Hep = help *
Me = my *
Mammy = mother *
Ta = to
Tay = tea
Th' = the
Yer = your
Yeh = you

Character List:
HEATHER SULLIVAN-MARTIN, OLDEST DAUGTHER, TALL FOR HER AGE.32- STOCKY AND MUSCULAR-FIVE FOOT- SEVEN--REDDISH HAIR, MIDWIFE AND LICENSE DOCTOR OF MEDICINE.
NOTE; HIGH PRIESTESS TO ST. BRIGET, WHOM SHE CALLS, "BRIGIT"-CELTIC GODDESS CHRISTIANIZED BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.

DR. PHILLIP MARTIN - HEATHER'S HUSBAND- LATE THIRTIES- WELL BUILT- BOXING CHAMPION OF HIS MEDICAL COLLEGE - PRACTICING SURGEON IN PHILADELPHIA, WHO CHOSE TO MOVE WEST WITH HIS FAMILY.

MRS. SULLIVAN - WIDOW- BREANNA (BREA) EARLY SIXTIES - 5'5" - RED HAIR, SELF-EDUCATED MID-WIFE, HERBALIST. HEATHER'S WIDOWED MOTHER.

ARTHUR SULLIVAN - OLDEST SON- FIVE FOOT TEN- CABINET MAKER- WIFE- MONA MCKENNA ONE SON- CRIPPLED WHEN HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, CORONER PUSHED HIM OFF THE STAGE TO SAVE HIS LIFE.

LIAM - SECOND YOUNGEST CHILD, MID TEENS, AIDS ARTHUR IN HIS CABINET BUSINESS.

RUSTY - A STRAY MONGREL SAVED BY HEATHER - NAME IS DERIVED FROM ORANGE COLORED FUR.

CAITLIN WILEY-THOMPSON- ALSO CALLED 'JO' AND 'JOANNAH.' STANDS FOUR-FOOT-ONE-DARK EYES AND HAIR.

SEAN WILEY 30- 5'7 - CAITLIN'S FATHER WHO MURDERED HIS WIFE AND TRIED TO SELL CAITLIN TO A BROTHEL. ALCOHOLIC-OUTLAW WHO WANTS TO KILL CAITLIN.

ESTHER MATHEWS-ROLLINS, FIVE-FOOT-SIX-LONG BROWN HAIR AND GREEN EYES.

MILO MATHEWS, ESTHER'S OLDEST BROTHER, CURRENTLY EMPLOYED AS A DEPUTY U. S. MARSHAL. SIX FOOT TALL, AGED- LATE FORTIES- SHORT DARK BROWN HAIR AND BROWN EYES. HAS A REPUTATION OF A GUNMAN.

MATT MATHEWS-ESTHER'S MIDDLE BROTHER-THE CO-OWNER OF THE SILVER SPUR SALOON IN FLAGSTAFF, Arizona Territory. MID FORTIES, FIVE-FOOT-TEN- THIN BROWN HAIR AND A CLOSE CUT BEARD. BROWN EYES. CRIPPLED WHILE HELPING MILO REVENGED THERE PARENT'S DEATH. HE HAS A REPUTATION OF BEING A HONEST GAMBLER AND GOOD WITH A GUN.

CATHERINE PERSHING - MATT'S WIFE-CO-OWNER OF THE SILVER SPUR SALOON.

JULIA OWENS - MILO'S WIFE- DAUGHTER OF JUDGE HENRY GREER. LONG AUBURN HAIR, OWNS THE FLOATING O. FIVE FOOT-SEVEN, LONG AUBURN HAIR. OWNS THE FLOATING O. (Stewart Owens Julia's deceased husband.)

JUDGE HENRY GREER, RETIRED FEDERAL JUDGE. JULIA'S FATHER - HELD HIS COULD IN MISSOURI IN THE EIGHTEEN FIFTIES. GRAY SHORT HAIR AND FULL BEARD. CONFINED TO A WHEEL CHAIR.

SAMUEL THOMPSON-AGED TWENTY-FIVE-Samuel Thompson is twenty-six years old, with shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes. The oldest of the three boys and has more of his father's traits than the other two.

Solomon Thompson is twenty years old and has the trait of gigantism. He is seven foot. He has shoulder-length light brown hair and blue eyes. By far the strongest of the three sons.

Seth Thompson, Esther's youngest son, age seventeen, five foot-ten. He has light brown hair, cut just below his ears with hazel eyes. He is the most proficient with a handgun.
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Artwork by dt123# at FanArtReview.com

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