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

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 and his brothers took the quickest route back to the old miller farmhouse, but it still meant they were on horseback for two days. When they finally arrived, the old farmhouse were in a terrible state. The posse must’ve come callin’ turned the whole place upside down. 

But it weren’t just the law out after them. There was somethin’ worse that were chasin’ Ethan and his brothers.

It took a day to clean everything up and the boys got to it straightaway. Ethan’s room was mostly untouched except for a few things turned upside down. The dust had settled all over his things so Ethan spent part of the day cleanin’ up the dust on his bed and clothes.

Then Ethan got to setting up traps around the house. He had every access way covered and trip wires everywhere. Nobody was gettin’ near the Jackson brothers without makin’ a helluva noise.

The brothers took turns on lookout at night, meaning someone had to stay awake the entire time in case anyone showed up unannounced.

Things were uneventful for a month, but then one night, when Ethan was on watch, someone came snooping around. Ethan was secretly hoping something would happen because he was getting restless and hadn’t used his guns in some time.

Ethan was sitting up against the outer fence post about 20 feet from the farmhouse when he heard a strange noise coming from behind him. He slowly took his pistols out of their holsters and peered into the darkness, hoping to catch sight of whatever was there.

He couldn’t see anything so he slowly got to his feet, ducked down as low as he could and made his way around the other side of the fence. As he came around, he saw someone crouching about 10 feet away from the house. It was too dark to make out anything else.

He slowly crept around and behind the man, got to his feet and casually walked up behind the intruder. Pullin’ back on the hammer of his pistol, he pushed his gun up against the neck of the man crouching down low.

“Get up nice n’ slow now–don’t be stupid and you might live through this,”

The man reacted in slow, purposeful movements, raisin’ his hands in the air.

When he finally stood up, Ethan looked the man over and didn’t recognise him from anywhere.

“Who are you?” Ethan said.

“Don’t shoot mister–the name’s George and I’ve just been sworn in as a deputy for Durham,”

Ethan smirked

“Durham? Boy, yer a long ways from home now–this sure ain’t Durham,”

The man shook his head

“We got told ya’ll might be headin’ back this way lookin’ for Earl Prescott. We got done findin’ out ‘bout him a week back” he said.

Ethan spat out his excess spittle

“How old are you, boy?”

The man that Ethan was lookin’ at couldn’t have been older than him and looked like he was about 17. 

“Uh… I’m 20” he replied

“Well, that’s a little young to die, ain’t it?”

The man shrugged

“Well, here’s what I reckon–you get on back to yer sheriff and tell him the Jackson brothers know all about yer lil’ posse and if any ya’ll don’t wanna die… don’t come back to Old Miller farm”… 

The man stood there with his hands still in the air

Ethan lifted his pistols upward

“What’cha still here for? Get!” he said, moving forward towards the man.

The kid disappeared as fast as his legs could take him. Hell, for a minute there, it looked like that kid were gonna piss his pants..

Ethan was amused, but soon lost the grin on his face when he thought about having to kill someone again. As restless as he was, killin’ was a whole different matter. While Ethan may have liked his bounty hunting days, killin’ wasn’t really a thing you could like unless there was somethin’ wrong with ya. Ethan never enjoyed killin’ but he was goin’ to have to do a lot more of it before everythin’ was right again.

Ethan made his way around the house one more time just to be certain the posse didn’t send anyone else.

-END OF PART XX-

You can read Part XXI 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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