Western Fiction posted December 6, 2017


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Trouble before the dance

Community Dance S-16

by c_lucas


(S16) Break Time
STORY EIGHT PART FOUR
TUMBLEWEED
COMMUNITY DANCE

Lynda increased her pressure on Jerry's arm. He was late in breaking her hold and shifting his face.

The stranger's fist grazed his face. In trying to free himself from Lynda's grip and avoiding the coming blow, Jerry lost his balance and fell backward; Lynda followed.

His attacker, misread the situation and moved in for the kill.

Free of Lynda's grip, Jerry twisted away from his attacker's kick and caused the stranger to lose his footing. Taking advantage of his attacker's misfortune, Jerry flipped backward and drove his boot into his opponent's groin. He stepped back but kept an eye on the larger boy holding his privates, and rolling on the ground. He caught his breath, "Would you mind telling me what that was all about. I don't know you!" He took a brief moment to help Lynda up.

That gave the stranger a chance to reach for his gun. "You Son-of-a-Bitch! I was gonna rough you up; Now, I'm gonna to kill ya..."

"Leave your gun in the holster, Lionel, or I'll be the one doing the killing." Mr. Pearson held his gun in his right hand and reached for his daughter with his left.

His daughter picked herself off the ground, and rushed to her father. She hugged his waist. "I didn't mean to grab Jerry. I almost got him hurt."

"Are you okay, Honey?" Her father asked, brushing the dust off her dress.

"Yes, Sir. Jerry kept me from getting hurt."

"What's going on here?" Sheriff Duncan arrived at the scene. "Is this young trouble maker causing more problems?"

"As usual, Roy, you got your facts all mixed up. Lionel attacked Jerry, who took time to get Lynda out of harm's way. I was about to correct him for the language he is using around my daughter, but from the way he's holding himself, I would say Jerry has already objected."

"Watch your mouth, Jim. I have already warned you once! You'll respect this badge or I'll lock you up."

"I respect the badge and the office it represents. It's the man wearing the badge that I don't respect."

"Enough is enough. Drop your gun, Pearson! You're under arrest."

Pearson laughed. "That's what I mean. Take a look around you, Roy. There's over a dozen men ready to draw on you."

Duncan's face lost some of its color. "What's the meaning of this?"

"It's simple, Sheriff. You're going to arrest Lionel for starting a fight in the town limits and while you're at it, you're going to arrest Jason for his hostile acts against Jerry. Last but not least, you're going to arrest Sonny, for giving false testimony to a public official. Plus, we have rules in place, Jerry can face all three at the livery stable, after the dance. Since there are three of them, he gets to choose someone to side with him. As usual, it will be a free-for-all. No weapons allowed. Do your duty, Sheriff." Pearson grinned at the puzzled look on the Sheriff's face. "No one would complain about your death." The rancher kissed his daughter's cheek.

"Lionel, put your hands behind your back..."

"Now wait a minute! That bastard attacked my boys!" Otis Benson shoved through the growing crowd. "Why the Hell ain't you arresting him?" The farmer grabbed the sheriff's arm.

Sheriff Duncan struck the farmer's head with the barrel of his forty-five, driving him to the ground. "Keep your filthy hands off of me, or you'll find yourself keeping your boys company."



Recognized


Thank you, Cowpunchr for the use of your image, "The Cedar Country."
Sorry about the posting delay. I am still recovering from a triple hernia operation.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Cowpunchr at FanArtReview.com

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