Tales of the West Book I Part II: “Ethan” – Part XI

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 weren’t really that much of a drinker, but he’d had a terrible run with his bounties and he kinda felt like he needed a shot of whisky… or three. He wasn’t even sure this shitty town even had a place to drink, so he walked a ways until he finally found the nearest thing to a saloon that sold whisky. 

As he walked in, there were a few patrons scattered about the place. Most of them looked like they were part of the furniture, except the two males at the end of the bar that stuck out like a sore thumb to Ethan.

He walked to the opposite end and sat down in the darkest part of the room after ordering his whiskey shot. And then he just sat there and listened, observing the two men at the end of the bar who hadn’t noticed him.

And it was probably just as well because when Ethan recognised the voices of one of the men, he realised that he probably shouldn’t have come into this bar. He threw his whisky down this throat, took out one of his pistols and got up slowly so as not to attract attention.

He slowly made his way back over to the bar pretending he was going to buy another shot of whisky. When he got to the bar, he ambled up to the men sitting at the end and lifted his pistol to the back of the man closest to him.

“Don’t say a goddamn word, just get up and walk out of the bar,” Ethan said, pushing his gun into Jed’s back. 

Jed stopped talking and his brother Lincoln looked like he was about to piss his pants.

“You too, Lincoln–get up, REAL slow like and leave,” Ethan said in a low voice

As Jed got up he slowly did as Ethan said and they both headed straight for the exit as Ethan told them too. 

Ethan quickly brought out his second pistol and held them both up – one on Lincoln and the other on Jed. Lincoln already had his hands in the air and he was trembling in fear.

Jed finally turned around to face Ethan

“Uh uh” Ethan said shaking his head

“Don’t make any sudden movements or I’ll kill you where you stand…”

“Ethan… goddamn I done told ya already… WE DON’T know anythang ‘bout yer brother gettin’ shot up by the law!” Jed said, desperation in his voice.

“Maybe you do and maybe you don’t but you’d better think of somethin’ to tell me caus’ I ain’t leavin’ til you give me a whereabouts on yer cousin, Earl”…

“He ain’t our cousin!” Lincoln said, bending over because his legs were shaking so much

Ethan squinted his right eye as he looked at Lincoln and then at Jed.

“What’s that now?” Ethan asked

“We’re tellin’ ya true Ethan… we just said he was our cousin so he could get into the gang–he told us if we didn’t do what he said, he’d kill us both”…

“Well, looks like ya gone done the worst thing caus’ yer outta the pan and into the fire boys,”… Ethan mused

“This ain’t no joke, Ethan. We were scared he’d kill us so we lied–that’s it and that’s all. We don’t know where he is and we’re glad of it!” Jed replied.

Ethan stood back a few steps but still had his guns on them both

He thought about what Jed had just said and figured they were both probably telling the truth and Earl did what he did to get into the gang so he could set them gang up. 

A few moments later, Ethan released the hammers on his pistols and holstered them. 

“Alright–ya’ll got me in a good mood and I ain’t killin’ ya tonight. But ya gotta tell me where you last heard Earl was at after Durham, he must’ve told ya where he was goin’ after the job, right?”

“He said he was ridin’ out after one job and headin’ back South where his kin were at – I think he said Masterton”…

“Yeeahhh, that’s it alright–Masterton!” Jed said, nodding his head

“Well, I guess I’m headin out to Masterton…”

“But Jed…”

Jed looked at Ethan

“I ain’t forgot the part you played in attackin’ Milly… and if I ever see you again, it’ll be a different situation, ya understand?”

Jed nodded he understood

“Alright then, get on outta here!” Ethan said, nodding towards the road

It didn’t take Jed and Lincoln long at all to put Ethan behind them. And Jed knew he would most likely have to spend the rest of his days lyin’ as low as possible to stay off Ethan’s radar.

When a man like Ethan Jackson gives you a chance to live–you don’t question it.

“Two down, one to go” Ethan murmured to himself

Ethan saddled his horse and headed straight for the nearest route to Masterton


You can read Part XII of Ethan’s story right here.

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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.

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