S: THE RISING WEST Carson Thrash
BC: The Story of a small town named Buffalo Ridge, and it's hero Blake "Iron Sights" Johnson. After the Civil War, the small Town in Texas is in danger from marauding CSA bandits, and any other danger there is on the frontier. | DEATH WAITS in the WEST
FC: The Rising West | By Carson Thrash
2: To everyone on NationStates.net, and Max Barry. For inspiring my writing | ______________________________________________ | THE RAILROAD
4: Chapter 1: "Forward Unto Dawn" You'd Never call Buffalo Ridge a peaceful town. Even after the war it was chaotic. When the carpetbaggers left, the small town barely had two legs too stand on. It certainly wasn't peaceful when the Feds' came, and made a new Marshall. That man where more concerned with the new whiskey in the saloon, than any murder that there ever where in the town. Buffalo Ridge was hurting for a miracle. Lazy Lawmen, A Dry Well, and Farms with no Crops... this was what the town was known for (besides the cheap booze...)
5: Around this time, Manifest Destiny started up in Texas. Pretty soon, the people of Buffalo Ridge would have to give up their frontier lifestyle, or die off. It was also around this time that the western Railroad was making it's way through Texas. Many hated the idea of relying on that road. "We Don't need It!" they said. "Them Yankees can keep They're Rail Road!" they yelled. Others saw that they needed it. "Swallow your pride, you Fool!" they said. "We need that road to stay Alive!" they yelled. The Rail Road moved west quickly. Tensions
6: in Buffalo Ridge where reaching the boiling point. The town needed a miracle. They needed Blake. Blake "Iron Sights" Johnson was wanted in multiple states. He was wanted for the murder of 3 deputies, and a Sheriff who tried to throw themselves on his sister. He was the fastest shot in Texas, if not the West. He rode a black horse named Ebony, who was dark as midnight, and fast as the Wind. Blake was only 21 when he first rode into Buffalo Ridge for the first time. Ebony snorted as he trotted through the dusty town. Blake came to the saloon,
7: and hitched Ebony. Blake didn't look like a normal man. He looked like the kind of man who could beat you at poker, and if he lost kill you, and take his money back. He walked into the dirt ridden saloon. wearing a Black Duster Coat, a Black Leather Coat, some farm hand pants, two black boots, and a black hat that cast a shadow across his scratched up face. With his good eye, he looked around the saloon. People quickly took notice of him. Hey, How would you react to a stranger in black clothes, and an eye patch coming into your saloon, fully loaded?
8: Chapter 2: "Kelly's Brigade" Blake walked up to the Bar. He sat on a stool. Looking out the window, he saw the sun was about to set. It's orange rays cast down on the town. Blake turned to the Bar Keep. "How much for a shot of Whiskey?" he asked, reaching for his money clip. The Bar Keep eyed him cautiously. "No need. Some rich fella came in, and payed $250 on the house. That'll pay for ya right quick." the Bar Keep said, and poured Blake a shot. Blake drank it, and put the glass down. "Nice fella I rekon... but take this." Blake said, and placed $2 on the bar, and stood up.
9: He walked out. "Bad Vibes coming off that fella..." the Bar Keep muttered. Blake walked around the town, and started feeling pity for the people of Buffalo Ridge. He saw hoe bad things where. At some point during his walk, he decided that Buffalo Ridge was under his protection. He walked for a little while more, but came on a man wrestling with a lady, of no more than 16 in a fine silk dress. "Help!" she yelled, though no one but Blake, and the other man could hear it. "Get off of me!" she yelled. "Oh No Little Girl!" the Man said. "Your Mine!"
10: Blake walked up behind the man. He grabbed a knife from the man's belt, and put it around his neck. "That's looks like a mighty Fancy dress she has..." Blake said. "It'd be a shame to get your blood all over it." he said, and the man backed away from the girl. "Now get out of my town, and stay gone. ya Hear?" Blake said, and pushed the man. The man turned around, and drew his revolver. Blake pulled his, and shot the man's hand. He dropped his gun, and ran away from the town. The woman looked in amazement at Blake. "What's Your name mister?" she asked softly. Blake smiled, and helped her to her feet. "They Call me Iron Sights." he said with a
11: grin. He started walking away when the sheriff came out of the Saloon, Revolver in hand. He came running after he heard the shot. "What Happened Out hear?" He screamed. Blake smiled at him. "Oh Nothing, just the Law not doing it's job..." he said, and walked into the Saloon. He sat at a table, and started to load his revolver. He then started to clean it. The Sheriff came in after him. "Just who do you think your talking to, Boy?" he asked angrily. "Unbelievable..." Blake said. "I do your job for you, and I get screamed at. You should be paying me for running off that... Eager First dater... Just do your Job, Alright? Mister Sheriff." he said, and rolled his eyes.
12: "Hey Pardner, you don't just mozy on in here, and start insultin' our sheriff." The Bar Keep said to Blake. "Well excuse me if I'm a little mad at this here man. He should be doing his job. If I hadn't been there, that Lady'd be dead!" Blake said. "Now if You'll excuse me, I'm gonna go. Unless Mister Sheriff here wants to slap me in the Jail..." he said, and put his hand on his revolver. "Pardner, I don't care if you jump outta window, aslong as your out of my Saloon." the Bar Keep said. Blake walked away, but heard the Sheriff say "If that man tries anything with anyone, kill him. If he draws on you, aim at him and tell him to leave, then go get me. Do you understand me?". Blake chuckled, and
13: walked out to the road. He walked out just before the eastern exit. He decided to watch the roads for trouble. He'd seen to many small towns like this be destroyed by people who where simply passing through. He saw over the horizon, a group of about 15 or more men on horse back. He climbed on top of a building, and hid, as the sun came down, the men came into the town. He hid, and heard the one who looked like the leader say "Okay Lads, You stay out here, except you McCreedy, you come with me..." and walk inside the saloon. The Man was tall, and blond, with the white complexion of the Irish. He wore an old Confederate Colonel's Uniform, and the rest wore an assortment of Grey Uniforms. Blake knew immediately who they where. These men
14: Where Kelly's Brigade. An old part of the Rebel army in the CIvil War, who turned to marauding, and general crime after the war's end. The Colonel, and McCreedy walked into the saloon. A new Bar Keep had come on duty. The men traded what Blake suspected where nasty words, and the Colonel put his hand on his saber. McCreedy pulled a rifle on the Bar Keep, and Blake could see what they wanted. The key to the rooms in the saloon. Blake pulled his rifle, and aimed it. He squeezed the trigger. The bullet hit McCreedy's rifle, and sent it flying. "The Yankee can shoot!" he yelled as he reached for his rifle.
15: The colonel pulled his Saber, and put it against the Bar Keeps' neck. "Now can't we all get along here Lads?" the Colonel asked. Blake ran through the group of rag tag Irish soldiers. They reeked of Old whiskey, and tobacco. As he got closer, he realized who the Colonel was. He realized that he had reddish streaks in his hair, and a crooked smile that lit up Wanted posters all over the East. His name Was Colonel Tipper. Blake never thought the original leader had survived (or stayed) with his brigade for so long. "If you can just buy a room like the rest of us nice folk." Blake said, and pointed his Revolver at Tipper. "No No, I was gonna pay ten times as much
16: as anyone else here!" Tipper said. "But this man accused me of Stealing! My men aren't leaving. This ain't over Ya Hear?" He said, and walked out. "That man. He may deny it, but he's a thief and a murderer. That gold was not obtained legally. There are no Federal Reserves in Texas and all of the gold mines anywhere near where he says he's been ran dry years ago." the Bar Keep said. "I seen folks like that... they come into a town, get as much as they can, and leave the folk starvin' and poor." Blake said, and pushed his hat up. "I would keep an eye on them. I'm gonna go back out to the road... see if any others are coming. Ya'll mind him, Ya Hear?"
17: Chapter 3: "Snooping Around" Blake never pushed the Brigade out of his head. He couldn't stand having those men down the road from his makeshift watch. They where very loud men. You could hear them for miles. Blake couldn't stand it. He walked out to the Kelly's brigade camp site. He listened in behind the colonel's tent. Tipper, and McCreedy where both inside. However, another person was inside. Blake recognized him as the Marshall. "Are there any semi large Buildings for sale in town?" Tipper asked the Marshall.
18: "There's an old Spanish Mission just West of here, but I'd recommend the old mines...ain't nobody go down there, cept fer Injuns." The Marshall recounted. "I'm in, sir. It's nice to get back into the hang of things, it's been oh too long." He grinned, holding out his hand to Tipper. "We'll leave tomorrow for the mine lad, for now have fun and drink" Tipper walked into his office where he put down a map "We cannot allow the Pacific rail road to come through here we have 3 days to stop its advance i say we blow up the tracks or full on launch an assault" Tipper planned with McCreedy "Then once we stop them we can take the town".
19: Blake heard this, and thought he should go get the sheriff. He turned to walk away, but kicked a discarded Whiskey Bottle. "Oh my..." Blake said, and cursed a little. The Marshall drew his saber, and his pistol, firing a shot into the distance. He hit the glass, shattering it. He also caught glimpse of a man. "Freeze, in the name of the law boy!" He roared, cocking the .45 again and advancing. Blake, being the fastest shot in the West, drew his revolver, and aimed. "In the name of the law... They're gonna blow up a rail road you Screw Head!" he said, and coked his revolver. "Ya'll better get out" The Colonel stepped out "This is business of Kelly's brigade now you heard nothing"The men raised there rifles.
20: There was nothing Blake could do. He might be the best but he couldn't kill all of them "Please lad leave for your own good!" The Colonel yelled. Blake looked at him, and pointed his revolver. "Leave? I'll Leave with you in cuffs!" he yelled. The Sheriff came running out of the saloon. "Wuts' Going on out here?!?!" he yelled at the two men.The Colonel looked at them both. "Y'all just head on back. This is official business of Kelly's Brigade!" he yelled. The Sheriff smiled. You couldn't tell who he was looking at if you could read his mind. "Let's arrest this pig." he said simply. The Colonel pointed his rifle at the Sheriff. "You won't take me too jail you Yankee!" he yelled. "No, No," the Sheriff said with a chuckle.
21: "I mean this outlaw here." he said, and pointed his rifle at Blake. "Let's get him, and hang in front of the town." he said, with a sick grin. Blake re-aimed again. "You sick Little..." Blake said, and muttered under his breath. "You'll have to kill me first." Blake said angrily. The sheriff stepped forward, and put his revolver against his head. He leaned in close to Blake, and whispered, "I'll get you out of this." and pistol whipped him.
22: Chapter 4: "Jail Bird" Blake awoke hours later. The sun was up. In 2 days, The Pacific Railroad would get attacked, and allot of people would die. He stood up, and realized he was in a jail cell. He tried to grab the bars, but his arms stopped half way there. He looked down at his hands, and saw they where chained to the bed. "You gotta be Kiddin' Me..." he said to himself, and looked under the bed. He found his black hat. He reached under, and grabbed it. He put it on top of his greasy hair, and sat.
23: "Well this is just great." he said, and looked over. A man who looked like an Indian was passed out on the floor. In the cell to his left sat a Mexican man, by the window praying. "Some posse..." he muttered. He looked out of the window in the front of the building. All the people where gathering around the gallows. "Must be my funeral." he said, and watched as a man walked from the crowd, and opened the door to the cell. "Morning' Stranger!" he said, and opened the Mexicans' Cell. The man started saying words in Spanish, Blake assumed was pleading. The man- who had a Deputy's Badge on his chest -dragged the Mexican from the room.
24: "Humph..." Blake scoffed. "Must be my lucky day." he muttered. He looked around, and tried to kick off his chains. After several unsuccessful attempts, he decided that he was dead. He replayed last nights encounter in his head. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to escape. He thought about the last thing he heard the sheriff say. "I'll get you out of this..." he had said. Then he pistol whipped him. Yeah... Allot of reason to trust him. He took a deep breath of the dusty air that filled the Jail. It smelled of Blood, Booze, and Dust. It smelled like most of the places he loved to hang around. Only today, Instead of him tying up a bandit, he was tied up. Oh the Irony.
25: *** | Blake was awoken by shouting. "What now..." he grumbled, as he rose from the dirty sheets of the prison cot. He tried to see out the window in front of the small jail Building. It seemed that two men didn't want to solve their problems the peaceful way. Blake couldn't tell from very far away, but from the various insults, and yells from the men and women around the duel; one man was an Indian. Blake tried to see more, but it was hard. The group was nearly on the other end of town from the jail. "Ready!" yelled a man yelled, and held up what appeared to be an empty whiskey
26: bottle. "And..." the man screamed dramatically. "Get on with it!" yelled a man. The man dropped the bottle. A split second later, a man dropped to the ground, with a bit of led in his chest. Various boos resonated from the group. "That Injun Cheated!" jeered some. A man walked up, and grabbed the other duelist by the shoulders. He said something to him that Blake couldn't hear, but the people seemed happy about it. The man walked over two the jail with the Indian in tow. He threw the poor man into the cell next to Blake. "That'll teach you to murder in my town!" yelled the man, who Blake could now see was a deputy.
27: After the deputy left, Blake scooted near the new Indian's cell. He whistled. "Hey... Hey..." Blake said to him. "What is it?" the Indian replied. "What's your name?" Blake asked him. "My name is Mato Chante." the Indian replied. Blake smiled, and tried to stick out his hand to shake, but was stopped short by the chain. "I'm Blake. Everyone calls me 'Iron Sights'" Blake said. "Nice to meet you." "You mock me?" Mato replied. "No," Blake said, "I'm saying hello." he said, and nodded his head. Mato made a confused face. "But no white man has ever asked my name, or greeted me before..." he said.
28: Blake looked Mato over. "Yeah... because they don't see you as a person. I grew up trading with Indians like yourself. In fact, after my Pa left to go to war, I hunted, and went out to live with the Indians." he said, and tipped his hat. "But the markings on your vest..." he said referring to the small symbols painted on Mato's vest. "They aren't like any apache writing I've seen." he said. "Yes," Mato said, "I'm not Apache, I'm Sioux." he said, and smiled. "Oh, I've never seen a Sioux Indian before." Blake said. "Yes, They're aren't many of us around here." Mato said.
29: "I rekon not..." Blake replied. At that moment, the Sheriff came into the jail. "Alright ladies, thats enough gibber jabber." he said to the men. Blake hadn't even noticed the sun was down. The sheriff blew out the lanterns, and winked at Blake before he left. "Good Night." he said before he closed the door behind him, and left the three men alone.
30: Chapter 5: "Hang Man" Blake awoke for the second time in his jail cell. This time, much earlier, and less gentle (if that's possible). He was awakened by a mob of citizens yelling, and banging outside, and the sheriff yelling at him. "Get Up!" yelled the Sheriff. "I said Get up!" he yelled again, and opened Blake's cell. A Deputy opened Mato's cell, and tied his hands behind his back. The sheriff unhooked Blake's cuffs from the bed, and gave him a new set, a little bloodier than his last.
31: The sheriff brought him outside, and the sun's rays nearly burnt the eyes out of Blake's eye sockets. "You gun is under the gallows." someone whispered in his ear. Blake turned, to see the Sheriff was the source of the noise. "How do you suppose I get there?" Blake replied bitterly. "You'll see..." the sheriff chuckled through his teeth. The officers of the law marched the two men through the town like game they just bagged. They led the men up onto the gallows. The ropes hung on the top bar, as a Python would wait to strangle, and eat it's prey.
32: Blake stepped up to the first rope, and a man in a mask put the rope around his neck. People gathered around the gallows cheering, and yelling insults as they tied up Mato. Parents held their children on their shoulders, and men pushed and shoved to be the up front. It wasn't long before the priest showed up, and gave the men their last rights. "And though I walk through the shadow, of the valley of death, I fear no evil." the Priest said, and finished up his sermon. "Do It!" yelled men from the audience. "Wait!" yelled the sheriff. He held up one hand. "Blake 'Ironsights' Johnson..." he said.
33: "Do you have any last words?" he said. "Yeah..." Blake yelled at the crowed. "Let's not keep these folks waiting. They came to see a show!" he yelled, and the people yelled in approval. "Ok then..." the sheriff said, and nodded to the executor, the man in the mask. The Executor reached, and pulled the Lever on the gallows. A trap door opened underneath Blake, and Mato. They fell through, and started to be strangled by the rope. But in a split second, Blake's rope snapped, and he fell under the floor. He found his guns, and the knife he had gained when he fought the man. A second went by, and a man said "Is he dead?" Blake stood up, and shot the
34: rope holding Mato. Mato fell into the hole, and Blake threw him a revolver under the gallows. "Here's the plan..." Blake said quickly to Mato as a bullet flew over head from the crowed. "We run, Grab a horse each, and get to the old mine just east of town." he finished. "And then what?" Mato said. "Haven't got that far yet..." Blake said, and jumped out of the floor, and ran for the Saloon. He saw Ebony sitting there. "Yes!" he yelled, and jumped on the animal. He looked behind him, and saw Mato had also gained a horse. "Yah!" Blake yelped in Ebony's ear, and he started running.
35: Blake saw Mato following, and kept his horse going until they reached the old mine. "Whoa There!" he said to Ebony, and pulled back on the reigns. "How was that for an escape?" he said to Mato.
36: Chapter 6: "The Mine" Blake watched the road for a few minutes to make sure they were not followed. If they didn't send a search party immediately, it would take them at least until sundown. When he was confident that they hadn't chased them, Blake loaded his revolver, and his rifle. He searched his satchel, and discovered the Sheriff packed a few going away gifts for him. He had packed a leather duster (Hardened to help protect against bullets no doubt), 4 dynamite sticks, a sawed off shotgun, and a bandoleer of
37: ammo. He threw two sticks too Mato, and some ammo for the revolver. "Wait..." Mato said. "What are we doing?" he asked Blake. "We're gonna attack this here mine." Blake said, and loaded his revolver. He smiled, and pointed to a pair of confederate Guards outside of the mine. "Let's do it then." Mato exclaimed. They took place on a cliff overlooking the mine entrance. Blake pulled his rifle from his back. He grabbed a detachable scope from his satchel, and slid it on the rifle. He handed it too Mato.
38: "Here." he said to Mato. "Cover me as I try to get in. The second you see or hear a shot, Come running." he explained, and hopped down the small slope leading to the mine. He walked up to the two men guarding the mine, and tied a bandanna around his face. "Howdy!" he yelled at the men from the distance. The men raised their rifles. "What'd you want." one said. Blake held his hands in the air, and inspected the two men. He walked closer. "Oh I was just havin' a look around and..." he said, and drew his revolver. He pulled the hammer back faster than lightning, and shot one man in the chest. Just as he was aiming for the other, a rifle went off in the distance. The man was shot, and fell to the
39: ground. Blake looked, and saw Mato coming down the cliff. He had a spring in his step, and was ready to fight. Blake pulled the men's bodies away from the entrance, and Grabbed one of their uniforms. He slipped it on over his clothes. "This should fool them." he muttered. He looked at Mato who was taking the hat off of a guard. He slipped into the mine, followed by Mato. He walked, and was found by a drunk man. "Who'r You? Some new... Blind Bat?"
40: Drunk man slurred, and laughed like it was the best insult ever. "Actually..." Blake said, and smiled. "I' your new Commanding officer!" he said adding an Irish accent to his voice. "Just appointed by Tipper today." he said. The Drink Man was so startled he jumped back. "I'M SORRY SIR!" He yelled at Blake. "I'll think about accepting that..." Blake said, and walked away. They made his way deeper into the mine. They walked into a chamber about Ten feet high, and 30 feet across in a circle. Men worked away at mining. "Hey!" yelled a man behind them exclaimed. "Someone Shot the guards!" he
41: yelled. Blake turned, and knocked over a crate of Rock to block the entrance. "Let's do this." Blake muttered to Mato. "Never thought you'd ask." replied the Indian. They both drew Revolvers, and took fire on the men in the mine. The men who weren't shot drew their weapons, and ran for cover. Blake, and Mato ran for cover as well. Blake grabbed a rifle from a dead Miner at his feet. He looked over the rock they were using as cover, and fired three shots, and killed three men. He ducked again, and reloaded three shots into his rifle. He jumped over the rock, and kicked an advancing Miner in the chest. He shot at his friends behind a crate,
42: He hid behind another rock, and grabbed a flint, and steel lighter from his pocket. He reached into his duster, and pulled out a stick of dynamite. He flicked the steel wheel on the lighter, and got a spark from the flint; and lit the lighter. He lit the dynamite, and threw it as hard as he could. He prayed as the stick of explosives flew through the air, like a bird getting shot out of a cannon. He watched as it landed right on target: the other side of the core. It exploded, and sent rubble into the air. At that moment, half of the center of the mine fell on half of the Confederate Miners. Blake laughed as men began to retreat
43: deeper into the mine. Blake, and Mato followed them. For a few minutes they where alone under thousands of pounds of rock, and dirt. Then they found it; the head office of the mine. It seemed to easy though... more than thirty armed men, just defeated. Blake walked up to the head office, and kicked open the door. He walked inside, and pointed his rifle around. "Tipper! We're here for ya'!" he yelled. A man came from under the desk in the middle of the room. It wasn't Tipper. Blake recognized him as the man Tipper had called 'McCreedy'. McCreedy Pulled his
44: Revolver. He pointed strait at Blake. "How was Jail?" he asked it Blake. "It was fine... The bed was lack luster, and the food sucked, but other than that fine." Blake said sarcastically. "Joke while you can 'Iron Sights'." McCreedy said, and started to pace to the left. As he did this, Blake kept his aim, and paced right. Thats when Blake lost control. McCreedy ran for the door, and ran out. He shut it, and barred it from the outside. "HA!" yelled McCreedy. "You Idiots! Your dumber than a sack of bricks!" he laughed at the men. "Your standing on Fifty pounds of dynamite. It has a timer for 3 Minutes!" he said, and laughed. "Thats not good..." Mato
45: muttered. "Really?" Blake muttered sarcastically. "We need a way out!" he yelled. Blake, and Mato threw over the desk, and started tearing things off the walls. "Wait..." Blake said, and looked over on the wall. He stepped up, and threw aside a book shelf. "Yes!" he yelled, and opened a trap door in the wall. He crawled through, and found a latter leading up to the surface. He grabbed it, and started climbing. He climbed until he pushed open a trap door, and came up at the surface next to a well. "Thank you god." he said, and climbed out.
46: He stood up, and helped Mato out of the escape hole, and ran as fast as he could. He felt the ground shake, and the earth starting to fall from under him. "Run! RUN!" Mato yelled at Blake, and sped full speed down the hill from the mine. What was once a hill, now stood as level as a desert. "Well... That went smooth like." Blake said. "Wait..." he half muttered, and looked up at the road below. A black carriage sped away from the mine. "We ain't done yet." he said, and ran for the place they put they're horses. He hopped on to Ebony, and whipped the
47: reigns. "YAH!" yelled Blake as he spurred the horse. Ebony neighed and started galloping as fast as he could. The horses caught up with the carriage. Blake pulled his knife. He stood on the horses back. He leaped from the horse onto the carriage. He sank the blade of the knife into the carriage's wood with a metallic "Clang!" He hung from the side, flipping like a rag doll in the wind. He managed to pull his foot around, and hook it into the window. He opened the door, still desperately clinging to the blade still inside the carriage's thick wood. He swung inside, taking the knife
48: with him. Upon getting in, he found McCreedy to greet him. McCreedy tried to land a punch, but Blake dodged. It was a very awkward space to have a fight in. Blake tried a punch, but McCreedy grabbed is arm in mid Hook, and pulled him across the Passenger's coach. McCreedy quickly kicked open the door, and threw Blake out. Blake stabbed his knife into the door. He pulled himself up, and grabbed the window seal again; only this time with his hand. He swung the door open, and grabbed
49: McCreedy by his foot, like the rising dead, and pulled him out. McCreedy kicked Blake, and Blake lost his grip. He let go of McCreedy, only getting his boot. He flew back so fast, he felt like his arm would fly off his shoulder when he grabbed the knife. Then Blake had an Idea. He drew his revolver. "Alright Iron Sights..." he said. "Show why they call ya that." He aimed the revolver ahead, and aimed for the leg of one of the lead horses. Now, I don't know if you've ever tried to hit a running horse's leg with a revolver, but it's
50: hard. He took aim, and pulled back the hammer. He squeezed the trigger, and "Bang!". The horse Neighed, and toppled over. Still hooked up, the other horses tripped over it's falling body, and they all fell. With a great groan, the carriage tipped over, and fell, at full speed. The Coach splintered, and cracked as it fell to the ground. He would have been proud of his handy work, if Blake hadn't been splintering along with the carriage.
51: Chapter 7: "Silence before the Storm" | Blake awoke several hours later. Night had cast it's dark shadow across the land, and the next day The Pacific Railroad would be attacked. They had less than 15 hours... at the most. Blake tried to sit up, and was stopped by what seemed to be a punch to the gut. He then realized, he was still broken, and battered from his tumble. He looked at his arms. It burned too lift them, but curiosity overcame him. He lifted the cut, and bruised
52: things that where once his arms, and grimaced. He tried once more to sit up, and noticed he had a large bandage on his torso. He looked to his left, and saw the wreckage of the carriage. The horses had already begun the rotting process, and they smelt of it as well. Blake finally got the strength to stand. The world rocked around as if he were looking through the wrong side of a telescope, and trying to walk. He saw two men sitting by a fire near by. "Look who's awake..." said one man in a vaguely familiar voice. "Blake..." the other man regarded with a nod. Blake recognized the second voice as
53: Mato's. "Wha-" Blake began to say. "Shh..." the man said. "You took quite a fall. You wouldn't be standin' here if your friend hadn't given you some badges." "Where's McCreedy?" Blake asked. "Dead." the man said. Blake nodded, and walked to sit by the fire. As he got near he asked "Who are you Mister?" "Me?" the man chuckled. "I'm the no good dog who locked you up." The Sheriff said. "Sheriff? How did you know where to find us?" he asked. "You ain't as subtle as you think boy." The Sheriff replied. "We herd that mine collapse miles away. We followed your tracks, and
54: You, and This here Injun next to this wreck. And you've been out ever since." Blake gave a confused look. "We" he asked. "Yup," The Sheriff replied. "My posse stayed behind to look at the old mine. See if we could find something." "And...?" Blake persisted. "Nothing..." The Sheriff replied. "But I reckon you fellas need to get back to town." "No," Blake said. "We need to save the Railroad." Blake said. "What railroad?" Mato asked. "Kelly's Brigade are planning an attack on the Pacific Railroad. That's why we attacked the mine." Blake told Mato.
55: "Oh..." Mato muttered. "Then I'm coming." he said. "Okay then..." The Sheriff conceded. "But you'll need more firepower than just what you got in your bag." he said, and pointed at Blake's satchel. "We'll come along." he said. "Hey," Blake said, and smiled, "The more, the merrier."
56: Chapter 8: "The Burning." | The night following, the camp was filled with less sleep than in a glass house during a hale storm. The only person who slept was Blake, who couldn't really help it. When morning came, Blake awoke, and less painfully than last time. His swelling had gone down, and he was back in shape for a fight. As long as he could keep people away from him. He holstered his revolver, and strapped his
57: rifle to his back. He put on his duster, and loaded up. Now that it was morning, Blake saw the rest of the posse: One Mexican who seemed to be afraid of Mato, Two white Deputies, and an African Man with a shotgun the size of Blake's leg. Seven men, too fight off at least 30 experienced, and well equipped Confederate soldiers, from a railroad. One that Blake had started to question it's importance. He scrounged around the wreck of McCreedy's carriage, and found his sawed
58: off shotgun, and another revolver, plus some Ammo. He was ready for this... he hoped. "Alright!" he yelled in the camp. "Saddle up!" he yelled, and whistled for Ebony. The black horse strode proudly into the camp. Blake hoped up on his back, and pulled a revolver. "Lets go!" he said, "YAH!" yelled Blake as he whipped the Reigns. *** After an hour or so trip, the railroad came into view. From there, it just looked like another railroad. But Blake knew, it was one of the biggest in the world. He could see the workshop set up near by. But something was off... There weren't enough
59: workers out. Then Blake saw it; Smoke billowing from the workshop, and men laying about in pools of crimson. They where too late... the Pacific Railroad had been attacked. "Oh my god..." the Sheriff muttered. "RAGH!" Blake screamed at the top of his lungs, and kicked a stone at the destroyed work site. He wanted blood... he needed it. These men would not go unavenged. He fell to his knee, and looked for tracks. He found nothing. He traced his finger in the dirt. Then, he remembered something vital.
60: "...we have 3 days to stop its advance. I say we blow up the tracks or full on launch an assault" Tipper's voice echoed in his head. "Then once we stop them we can take the town". Blake stood dead up. "I know Where they are!" Yelled Blake. "Where?" Mato asked franticly. "There heading back to town... they're gonna attack!" Blake yelled, and ran back to Ebony. "YAH!" he yelled, and Ebony took off. Mato, the Sheriff and his men followed close behind.
61: Chapter 9: "Uncivil War." | Blake, and his new posse rode strait into a shoot out. It was dusk, and the people of Buffalo ridge had taken up arms against Tipper's onslaught. Blake could see the dirty son of a gun from outside of town... and smell him too. He pulled his revolver, and whistled a tune from Dixie, the song of the Confederate Army. "CHARGE!" he yelled when he was done, and the horses strode into the town. Blake rode Ebony through the enemy lines from behind, and went strait for Tipper, as Mato,
62: The Sheriff took on the brunt of the assault. Blake hopped off Ebony, and grabbed a dead Irishman's Saber, and slashed at Tipper, who was now very aware of his arrival. Tipper caught the blade with his own, and returned with a stab. Blake jumped back, and quickly flourished tipper, and knocked him down, faster than a safe going off a cliff. Blake followed up with a stab, but Tipper was clever, and rolled from the tip of the saber. Tipper grabbed a revolver off of a corpses near by body, and pointed it at Blake. "Tis' Over, Lad." he said, and fired off a
63: round. Blake clutched his stomach. He had hit him right in the middle of the body. "Oooffff!" Blake said as he fell to his knees. The fastest shot in the west... shot in a fight. It was impossible. He fell on his side, and the pain in his torso flared. He reached down his belt. He saw tipper get up laughing. Blake pulled his revolver, faster than he had ever drawn in his life. He fired off one shot. Tipper fell over on to the ground next to Blake. Blake looked over as his vision went dark. He saw Kelly's Brigade retreating. He closed his eyes, and fainted.
64: Too My Family, who showed me the right path. ___________________________________ | Epilogue: Liars, and Cheats.
66: Chapter 10: "The Bigger they are..." | When Blake finally awoke, he felt as if he had been dragged through a patch of cacti, and been hit in the face repeatedly by a hammer. He wasn't far off. He had been shot in the gut by Tipper, and had almost died. He looked down at his stomach. Right next too the bandage that covered the gash he received by the crash, was a new smaller bandage. He tried to reach over, and a flare of pain ran up and down his body. He fainted again, leaving the room alone, without a soul inside.
67: Chapter 11: "...The Harder they fall." | Blake awoke again. He felt light headed, and couldn't see strait. He looked down at his arms. Thin, and pale. He figured he had been out for at least a few days. He looked down at the bandages on his torso, and realized the large one was gone. But, it left behind a nasty scar. At least a foot across, and red. He tasted iron... or blood. Either one, he had tasted plenty. He tried to reach down and touch it again, and it still hurt plenty. However, he grit his teeth, and felt the scar. It was rough, and
68: warm. Blake yawned, and his head cried out in pain. He closed his eyes, and opened them too a blurry, and moving room. He tried to sleep again, but his body wouldn't allow it. Hunger, pain, and a lot more prevented sleep to come. He rolled on his arm, and pain shot up and down his body again. This was torture. He began thinking; "God... Am I dead? Did I go to Hell? Is that why I'm being tortured? Am I alive... Jesus help me! Let me out... But wait... i think I'm alive... No, maybe I'm dead." Nothing is worse in life then uncertainty.
69: "Arrghraaaaa!" he yelled, and was met with extreme protest from his wind pipe. "AAAAHHHHH!!!!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. His head fell on the pillow below him. This was the worst moment in his life. A woman came into the room, and carried freshly dried rags. She held a finger to her lip, but Blake couldn't hear over the throbbing pain. She reached down, and peeled off the bandage carefully, and replaced it. The pain was unbelievable! he could barely see, and felt as though his body was being ripped apart. The lady looked
70: at him with pity, and left the room. After what seemed like another few hours of rolling in the pain, Blake's body failed him, and he fainted again.
71: Chapter 12: "The Return" | Blake opened his eyes. He coughed up some red liquid, and put his head against the pillow behind him. He felt for his body, and it wasn't torture to move his arm anymore. He tilted his head to a roll, and cracked the joints of his neck. With some pain, and much concentration, he rolled his legs off of the bed. He looked down at the area where he had been laying. A big imprint, blood, and several substances he didn't know, and didn't want to know. He then tried to stand his self up. No easy task. He put his feet on the ground, and stood. His vision became blurry, and red.
72: "Urrgh..." he groaned, as vertigo set in. He took one step, and another. Careful steps, but steps none the less. He walked a few more steps for the door, and fiddled with the knob. With a jiggle, and a few seconds he had it open. He walked from the room still careful, trying not to fall. He traced his hand against the wall trying to keep his balance, and finally made his way into the main room of the house. A young lady, one different than the one who changed his bandages, was having some tea. "Um..." Blake said. "Hello?" he said to the woman.She looked behind her, and smiled. "Finally awake I see?" she said.
73: Blake knew her voice, but couldn't see her face. "Um, Yes miss...?" he inquired, about the lady's identity. "Cardinal." the Lady said. "I believe we've met." she said, and stood up. Blake recognized her immediately. She was the lady he saved from the man when he first came into town. "Oh, nice to see you again." Blake said, and reached for his hat. Then he realized his duster coat, leather vest, under shirt, and hat where missing. "You wouldn't happen to know where my things are would ya?" he asked. "I do, but you need to eat before you die
74: off Mister 'Iron Sights'." she said with a smile. Blake inspected his bare chest. He was almost only Rib, and skin. "Good call..." he conceded. He walked over to the table to find a bowl of warm grits sitting. He sat, and almost grabbed the spoon, but the lady's hand slapped him away. "You forgetting something?" she asked with a smile. "To Die?" Blake grumbled. "Say Grace of course!" Cardinal said. "Listen Lady..." Blake said. "I'm not on very good terms with the good lord." he
75: remarked, but folded his hands. Blake stumbled through what part of the prayer he could remember, and occasionally just skipping things. After Miss Cardinal was content, Blake reached for the spoon. He picked it up, and ate some of the grits. They where salty, and tasted like corn, and not only did they help his starving body, but they weren't half bad. After he was done with the bowl, Miss Cardinal pointed him to a small trunk on the left side of the room. With some pain, and allot of work, he stood, and made his way to the trunk. Opening it, he found all of his possessions, all neatly organized.
76: He pulled his duster from the trunk, and his vest, and Under shirt. All of them had been freshly washed, though he noticed some newly stitched patches. He slipped them each on surprisingly easily. After holstering his revolver, and other weapons, he asked what happened after he had been out. "Well..." Miss Cardinal began. "After you fainted out there in the middle of town, a few of Them Irishmen grabbed your body, and tried to take off. The Sheriff, and your Indian friend chased them down for a few hours. When they caught up, the Irishmen apparently had been beating you while you
77: where out. "Then, they brought you back here. You were bleeding something fierce. We put you in that bed, Ma' gave you a new bandage, and you sat for two weeks." she finished. Blake pondered this for a moment, and asked; "Where are they?" "Outside" she answered. "In the Jail." Blake exited the House (without ease) and walked down the dusty street. Men and women in caskets sat around the town, and the Undertaker's office seemed to be quite busy today. He walked farther to the Jail, who's cells where filled with three Irishmen per cell.
78: Each of which snickered as Blake walked by. Blake sneered at them, but kept his pace. Moments later he came across two men overlooking a poker table, cards in hand. "Well... who's winning?" he asked. The men looked up from their cards. It was two of the Deputy's. They both scowled at him, and looked back down. "Well..." Blake said, raising an eyebrow, "Howdy to you too. You wouldn't happen too know where The Sheriff is would ya'?" he asked. One of the men grumpily pointed at the back door. Blake nodded.
79: "Thanks... I guess." he said, and started off too the back. When he got back there, he found a hole, about six feet wide, and six feet deep. Blake recognized it immediately as a grave. Blake walked to the side of it, and saw a fairly large casket lay inside. On the other side of the grave, he saw a lone wooden grave marker stand. It read: | HERE LIES COL. TOBIAS TIPPER LEADER OF KELLY'S BRIGADE SHOT BY BLAKE "IRON SIGHTS"
80: Blake smiled, and nodded to the casket. He started to turn around, but was stopped by the sound of an argument. "The loon's dead! I want his horse, and you ain't gonna stop me!" a voice yelled from around the corner. "No!" yelled another. "The stupid Animal's mine!" "No! Es mi caballo!" yelled a Mexican man. Blake peeked around the corner, and saw three men fighting over Ebony. "Oh great..." he thought to himself. He walked from around the corner, pulling his revolver. "Hey!" Blake yelled.
81: All three of them turned and shrieked like women. Blake chuckled as the men scrambled away like rats. He walked up to Ebony, and noticed someone had kept him clean, and fed. "Hey! Who's out there!" yelled a familiar voice. the sheriff burst though the front door of the building they where in front of, and shot blindly into the air. A bullet whizzed past Blake's ear, and the Sheriff grinned. "Well..." Blake said. "Good to see you too." "Blake!" The Sheriff cried. "Good to see you not dead! Come in, Come in!" The house was impressive (at least for
82: Blake's Tastes). Two stories, Fully decorated, and furnished. It wasn't the kind of house most sheriff's could afford. "This was the Marshall's house! That man didn't do anything, but sit in this house, get drunk, and wallow in his old war time memories, before you came along. Now, for helping Tipper he's two counties away headin' for the state Court! They even gave me his House!" the Sheriff exclaimed in glee. "Hmm... It is a nice house Sheriff." Blake replied with an eye arched. "Say, You wouldn't happen to know where Mato is would ya?" Blake asked. "Mato? Oh! He's out by the well trying to get it working... though I doubt it'll work."
83: The sheriff replied. Blake nodded, and tipped his hat. "I'll see you around Sheriff. Thanks, for Taking Care of Ebony!" he said as he walked out the door. He climbed onto Ebony's back, and rubbed the back of his neck. "It's good to be back in the saddle, ain't it boy?" he said, and the horse snorted. Blake smiled, and whipped the reigns. "YAH!" he yelled, and the horse started to dash forward. His body began to hurt a little, but he could bare it if he didn't go full speed. Blake turned a corner to find Mato working on getting the Well fixed. Blake stepped off Ebony, and walked over.
84: Mato looked just as he had last Blake saw him, only with a nice scratch on his chin. "Bah!" Mato yelled, and drew his revolver. He shot six times into the well. "Glad to see how calm you are with the town's water supply just... there." Blake said, and Mato looked up. Mato nodded, and said. "If I could get this thing to work I'd be calmer." he replied. "Good to see you're up, and not dead by the way." he added. Blake walked up to the side of the well, and looked down. "Hmmm..." Blake mumbled, hand on chin. "I would say throw a stick of TNT down
85: there, but I have absolutely no idea what it will do to the water..." Blake finally said. "Yeah," Mato added. "Plus if there's only a small amount of water down there, the Dynamite will only dry it up." he finished. They both nodded in agreement. Blake Put his hand on the dusty well. It was dusty, and dry. He didn't know how he could fix it. Maybe he couldn't fix it. He looked into the hole, and saw a bleak darkness stare back at him. "This is quite a puzzle..." Blake said. There was a scream in the distance. It was faint, but Blake wheeled around to catch it. "Let's go." Blake said, and got on Ebony. Mato followed, getting on his horse as well.
86: Acknowledgments First, thanks to all the great people on Nationstates.net, and Max Berry. You guys are great, and I hope you all will love this book. Next, thanks to Mrs. Mathis, My reading teacher who allowed me to write this in place of normal class time. Thanks for making this possible! Next too My loving Mother, one Dr. Williams who kept me from becoming completely insane over the course of the year or two I've been writing this book.
87: Too all of my friends in school for being awesome (especially you Dylan!). Thanks too Google.com for helping me in my quest to find all of the non-English words here. Finally, thanks to my late Grandfather who inspired me to write this. Keep your pistols drawn, because remember... Death Waits in the West!