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

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

The plan was to get Lincoln into Masterton and to watch over him as closely as possible. This would be hard to do. The Jackson’s weren’t exactly sure how they could do it without bringin’ the wrong type of attention down on them. But Ethan came up with the perfect plan, assumin’ who he needed to ask would help them out.

There’s one thing about southern folk that’s always been the way and that is they’re mostly mighty friendly people. And it don’t take much to get them onside. As long as you’re polite and well-mannered. But southern folk also don’t like trespassers–not a one of them do. Which is why Ethan was damn lucky not to get shot when he came a callin’ on Mrs Prescott. She was real nice after her and Ethan got talkin’ about her kin. But that got Ethan thinkin’ ‘bout Earl’s wife–with a baby and a daughter to look after. It looked like she was down on her luck somethin’ awful when Ethan saw her. Which meant she might be happy to make a little money. And thanks to Ethan’s bounty huntin’ days, the Jackson’s had a fair bit of that to go around.

So Ethan’s grand plan was to come a callin’ on Earl’s wife again and deliver her the bad news about Earl gettin’ himself shot dead. And then askin’ her for a favour as a way of sayin’ thank you for when they bring the killer of her husband to justice. Plus, he’d sweeten the pot a little by throwin’ a few dollars into the deal too. Everyone agreed, even Lincoln, that Ethan’s plan was a good one. It also got Lincoln off the bait hook too, which he was happy about.

Earl’s widow would go into town for them and would essentially be their eyes and ears gettin’ information they might not get given Earl’s wife was a local. So the gang hauled their way into the valley and Ethan said he wanted to drop by on Mrs Prescott – seein’ she was nice to him the first time around.

It thrilled her to see Ethan return and with his brothers and Lincoln in tow. They ended up stayin’ for lunch and Ethan left her a few more dollars just ‘caus he really liked the woman. She was a little distressed hearin’ about Earl but as she said, she weren’t a real Prescott, only by marriage and it didn’t sound like she was too close to his side of the family tree anyhow. 

After they had filled their bellies and said their goodbyes, the Jackson’s were on their way to their second destination–Earl’s widow. This was goin’ to be a much more difficult visit, but Ethan was great at deliverin’ bad news. 

The Jackson’s came upon the Prescott house and the boys waited outside for Ethan. Ethan walked on up to the front door this time. No need to sneak around seein’ him and Ms Prescott were already acquainted.

Ethan knocked a couple times before she answered the door. “Howdy Ms Prescott–hopin’ ya remember me from when I last came a callin’?”

The woman nodded and let Ethan in, but before he could break the news to her, she got the jump on him.

“If yer here to give me the bad news on Earl, there’s no need. I already know he’s dead,” she said with no emotion.

“Oh, er… yeah, I guess that kinda saves me havin’ to break the bad news to ya” Ethan replied

“And very sorry for yer loss, Ma’am” Ethan continued

She nodded.

“Ain’t much else to say then, is there?” she said

“Well, actually, I was hopin’ that I could interest you in a little proposition” Ethan said, sittin’ down at the table.

The woman sat down with her kid pullin’ on her apron strings.

“What kinda proposition?”

“We need someone to go on into Masterton–see we ain’t local and we don’t wanna ‘caus a stir with Earl bein’ dead n’ all. We need some information about someone who may have showed up in the last month or so lookin’ for Earl, Jed or Lincoln Prescott”

“What ya need that for?” she said

“We’re huntin’ your kin’s killer, Ma’am”

The woman’s eyes went as large as saucers when she heard Ethan mention the word “killer”.

“And we’re willin’ to pay for your time”

The woman reached down, picked up her daughter off the ground and cradled her in her arms.

She was thinkin’ on what Ethan said, but Ethan could tell she was goin’ to say yes.

“That won’t be too hard to manage–I need to head into town anyhows to pick up some supplies from the store,”

“Good–that settles that then,” Ethan said

“How much you payin’?”

And there it was – hook, line and sinker.

“Me and the boys put together a lil’ somethin’ for ya, Ms. Prescott. We know yer in hard times right now with Earl dyin’ on ya n’ all” Ethan said, pushing an envelope towards her across the table.

The woman lifted her hand and looked inside the envelope.

She looked back at her daughter and nodded.

“That’s mighty kind of ya. Thank yer kin for the gesture,”

Ethan dipped his hat

“Ain’t nuthin’ but I’ll pass on yer message”

“I’ll get on down to the township tomorrow,” she said

Ethan nodded

“I left instructions in the envelope of what we need you to find out. We’ll be back here around 6 tomorrow night” Ethan said, headin’ for the door.

“Alright” she said

Ethan nodded, grinned and closed the door behind him

He nodded to his brothers and Lincoln that his plan was successful, and the Jackson gang headed on out and back to their campsite triumphantly.

Finally, somethin’ was goin’ the way Ethan needed. Maybe lady luck hadn’t completely abandoned the Jackson brothers after all.

-END OF PART XXX-

You can read Part XXXI 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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