Author’s Note: This is Part II in Book I of my series Tales of the West. You may read Part I: “Milly” here.
Genres: Fiction – Western/Action/Romance
Please be aware this story has elements of violence, gun violence, murder and death.
Ethan played by Boyd Holbrook
Ethan was up bright and early the next day, feeling more and more like his old self. The other members of the gang were outside standing around in a semi-circle when Ethan came outside.
Jed and his brother turned and stared at Ethan as he walked up to join the group.
“Mornin” Floyd said
“Mornin” Ethan replied
“We’re recruiting Jed’s cousin Earl and our numbers will be where they need to be” Floyd said to the group
“Jed, while Ethan’s still healin’ up you got lookout on our next job” Holden said
Jed’s little brother pushed him playfully, but Jed was in a rotten mood thanks to Ethan being back. He pushed his brother a little too hard and his brother fell over.
“When we goin’ after James’ killer?!” Jed blurted out
Ethan turned and reached across for Jed with his good arm, but Holden expected that might happen and grabbed Ethan and pulled him back
“God damn it! Both ya’ll stop this damn fightin’ or we’ll do this job without ya and neither of ya’ll will get a cut”… Floyd said in a raised voice.
Ethan pulled out of Holden’s grip and walked to the other side of his brother, away from Jed
“Ethan, while you’re healin’ up, take care of the horses on this one and we’ll move you up to point later on” Floyd said
Ethan lifted his hat and squinted as he looked upward.
“Yeah, that sounds fine” he replied, spitting to the side
“Ok ya’ll this should be an easy run and tomorrow, Earl’ll be joinin’ us for the bigger job at the end of the week. We got some business happenin’ down the line a ways so we’ll be travellin’ again” Holden said, looking at everyone.
Ethan looked away from the gang and out towards the horses grazing in the grass. He was really feeling the absence of Milly. But for now, he needed to get better before he did anything that might ruin things for the gang. He also didn’t like complete strangers coming into the gang. Back when he was young, it was a family thing; you knew each other from way back; you knew the family of the people you were with. You could trust them.
Ethan looked across at Jed, crossing his arms as he did so. He didn’t trust anyone that was friends with Jed after what happened with Milly but it seemed his brothers were alright with recruiting strangers these days.
Ethan felt something uncomfortable twisting in the bottom of his gut; something wasn’t right, but he didn’t know what. He looked back at the horses and tried to think of something, anything else.
Things in the gang were changing. And Ethan figured things were going to change a lot more in the weeks to come.
For the first time in a long while, Ethan Jackson felt entirely alone.
-END OF PART III-
You can read Part IV of Ethan’s story right here.