Western Fiction posted January 22, 2013 Chapters:  ...11 12 -13- 14... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Sean heads for Wichita, Kansas

A chapter in the book AN ORPHAN NAMED JO

5-P1 Go West, Young Man

by c_lucas

Trying to escape from his foul deeds, Sean heads West where he finds a natural talent.

Go West Young Man

AUGUST, 1877
Last chapter:
Sean was uncomfortable riding a horse. He noticed a campfire and rode to it. “Hello, the fire.” 
“Howdy stranger. Ride in easy like and keep your hands in sight.”
Sean couldn’t see the speaker. He held the reins and his free hand high and stopped a few feet from the fire. His stable horse whinnied nervously. “May I be getting down? I not be used to riding. Me butt and thighs be hurting me.” He noticed a shadow moving toward the left of him.
“What’s your handle?”
“I be Sean O’Brian and your name?”
“Tillman, Deputy United States Marshal Tillman.” He stepped into the clearing with a Colt forty-five pointing at Sean’s chest. “Your name was Sean Wiley at the Temperance meeting. You put on a very good show. How about explaining how Wiley became O’Brian?” The marshal cocked his weapon and kept it pointed at his visitor.
Sean cursed himself for riding into the marshal’s camp. He kept his hand away from his pocket gun. “I be heading west ta start a new life.”
“Why don’t you dismount and tell me what’s wrong with your old life. Do it easy. I’d hate to shoot you accidental like. There’s too much paper work involved.”
“I’ll not be wanting to be shot accidental like. There would be too much of me blood involved…So yeh be at the Temperance meeting. Afterward, the good doctor be upset with me taking improprieties with his sister. He be talking of taking a horse whip to me if I came close to her. Judith not be minding me kisses. He be catching us in the broom closet and attacked me.”
“So you defended yourself and the doctor came out second; battered and bruised?”
“Me Judith said he would not stop until he has me hanged. I bought me a horse and made plans to meet her in Dodge City.”
“So you left the doctor beaten, but alive?”
“Aye. I be changing me name and plan to head for El Paso….”
“I thought you said Dodge City.”
“That’s what I be telling Judith, but I not be wanting her brother coming after me. I’ll be heading for El Paso instead.”
“Smart man,” Tillman said, drily. He holstered his gun. “Fix your feed bag and bed down by the fire. Use the tree over there for your pissing post.” He motioned with his head, never taking his eyes off the Irishman. “For your own good, don’t wander too far from the fire.”  

“I’m beginning to think yeh not be a trusting soul.” Sean glared at the marshal and mounted his horse. He used the dim light and mounting to hide pulling his pocket gun. “I’ll be riding on.” He kicked the horse's sides to get it into motion. “Be seeing yeh down th’ trail.”
“Get off that horse, or get shot off  it!”
Sean heard the marshal cock his pistol, but kept on riding. A shot sounded and a bullet whizzed by his head. “Yeh be a weak marshal if yeh get yer man by shooting him in th’ back.” He heard the marshal running toward him, turned, and emptied his pocket gun, hitting his target at point blank range.
The Irishman jumped off his horse, drew his billy club. He ran to the marshal’s body and struck the head several times. “Yeh be a stupid marshal ta put away yer gun.”
The next day, leading the marshal’s horse, Sean rode into a small Illinois hamlet and stopped at the Sheriff’s office. He tied both mounts to the hitching rail and was about to enter the building when a voice called out, “Where'd you get that horse?”
Sean turned and noticed a middle-aged man walking toward him. “I be looking for th’ sheriff.”
“I reckon you found him. Now, where'd you get that horse?”
“Yeh be recognizing it? I be bringing it ta yeh.”
“That horse belongs to a United States Deputy Marshal.”
“It be a mighty sturdy horse. I found it a few miles back in a thicket. Its reins be tangled up in a briar patch. I searched the area, but didn’t find anyone to lay claim to it.” Sean hid his uneasiness of the crowd of twelve and growing. “Yeh be saying it belongs ta a marshal?”
“That’s right.”
“Look at th’ off side. I’d say th’ marshal came to a no good ending. There be blood all over th’ horse and saddle.”
“I didn’t catch your name, stranger.”
“Casey O’Kelley.”
“What are you doing in these parts?”
Sean looked at the horse, then at the building, and settled on the sheriff. “I be turning these horses over to yeh and catching th’ train ta Dodge City.” A train whistle sounded. “That be me train.”
The sheriff ignored his comments and pointed at the horse, Sean had ridden. “This isn’t your horse?”
“Saints preserve. Me poke be stolen and the thieves aimed ta hang me. Someone started firing a gun and I not be inclined ta wait around. I be hiding from the murdering thieves for days. A farmer told me I could catch the Dodge train here. Then, I be finding the marshal’s horse.”
“Sounds like you have had your share of trouble.”
“Yeh’ve never met me Coleen. When she be finding out I lost me money, Hell’ll be me next home.”
“Maybe you could give me descriptions of the thieves. It sounds like Tillman may have ran across them.”

“I be having a bag over me head. I know the name of two of them, Sean and Victor. I not be able to say how many, but I be hearing several voices.”
“Maybe you could show us where you found the marshal’s horse.”
“Aye. Maybe we be running into them murdering thieves and I won’t be having to face me Coleen.”
“Go ahead and catch your train, Mr. O’Kelley…. If you had all your money stolen how are you going to pay for a ticket?”
“That be a good question, but I not be expecting yeh ta accept me answer.” Sean grabbed his carpetbag and ran toward the station.
Once he arrived in Wichita, Sean disappeared in the crowd and took a room at a rooming house under the name of Arthur Sullivan.
At a nearby gunsmith’s shop, he purchased a used Colt .45 with holster and belt, along with three boxes of cartridges.
“I can fix your right back pocket and you can carry a lighter gun in it.”
Sean went to the nearest store and bought a pair of Levis. He left his old pants with the gunsmith. When they were finished he changed pants in the back room and left his levis to be altered.
The next morning, he rented a horse from the livery and purchased a few supplies from a different store. He rode out of town wearing his newly renovated original pants.
During his second week in Kansas, Sean began hitting his targets with regularity. Well his third week, he had company.
“Not bad shooting,” A voice behind him surprised him.
Sean whirled around and had his pocket gun in his left hand. Four riders faced him. “Now, that ain’t being neighborly to throw down on someone who just complimented your shooting ability.  It’s damn stupid to do it with an empty forty-five.”
“Yeh best be checking me other hand.” Sean waved the American made Bull Dog.
“What that pea shooter? Six shots at twenty paces, you’d have to be very damn good to kill four men with that runt.”
“Would yeh be wanting ta gamble yer life on it?”
“Well, Bobby Lee, what do you think?” the speaker asked one of his henchmen.
One of the men shot a wad of tobacco juice out of his mouth. “Either y’all getting blind in your old age, John Westley, or y’all have a dose of never sees. That there forty-five may be empty, but so is his gunhand. Rolf, did you get a look-see before he turned around?”
“You mean the hideout that’s inches away from his right hand. It sure as hell didn’t look like no runt gun to me.” He turned toward Sean. “Why don’t you show it to us, slow and easy like. Nobody wants to be peppered by that peashooter, when you got a man-sized gun in your back pocket.”
 “I be sorry ta disappoint yeh, but th’ gun will stay in its holster until needed. It be only fair to tell yeh, it’s a .41 caliber, double action Colt. Yeh’ll be having ta pay the piper if yeh be wanting a demonstration.” Sean smiled and put away his pocket gun.  “Gentlemen, be yeh talking or dancing?” He held the forty-five in his left hand and casually loaded it with his right.
“Well, someone has to wipe that sneer off his face.” The fourth man turned his horse and dismounted on the off side. He smiled as he pointed his gun over the saddle at Sean. “You lose.” He cocked his gun.
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.


Thank you, Taylortia, for the use of your image, "Reach Out."
The Proglogue is a list of characters and chapters' URLs.

Abbreviated list of dialect:
Divil = Devil

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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