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 next day the Jackson brothers were more than a little restless–especially Ethan. He spent part of the day pacing until his brothers told him to stop. So he did the next best thing and set up a target to throw his knife into. Lincoln found this really entertaining, much to the detriment of Ethan’s brothers.
“How d’ya learn to throw a knife like that, Ethan?”
“He learned from his brothers–that’s how!” Floyd said
Ethan ignored Lincoln and kept focused on the target
“He learned some from us, but he probably learned more from Running Elk,” Jason said
“Who’s Running Elk? That sounds like a native,”
“Yeah, and a good friend of our family,” Floyd said
“You were friends with an… Injian?” Lincoln said
“Still am… what about it?” Ethan said, walking back to collect his knife
“Nuthin’ much just curious is all–we ain’t really seen many natives”…
“He’s a good friend–been many a time he helped us on out when we needed it,” Jason said
“What about shootin’–you any good at that, Ethan?” Lincoln said
Ethan squinted at Lincoln while his brothers were joking in the background
“He’s terrible awful!” Jason said
“Psssh–don’t be listenin’ to them Lincoln… I can hold my own if I need” Ethan said throwin’ the knife again
“Damn… wish I could use a gun good. I ain’t never learned and Jed never did neither,”
“Maybe Ethan’ll teach ya,” Floyd said
“Will ya, Ethan? Will ya teach me how to use a gun?”
“No… Nuh uh no way in hell am I teachin’ anyone anythin’ ever again” Ethan said, shaking his head
“Aww… why not?”
Ethan walked up to the target, pulled out his knife and walked towards Lincoln
“The reason is ‘caus if’n you know how to use a gun–there ain’t no turnin’ back from it, ya understand?” Ethan said, lookin Lincoln dead in the eyes.
Lincoln shook his head and stepped back away from Ethan
“What he means Lincoln is… he taught someone once… and that kinda… didn’t go too well is all,”
Lincoln looked downwards thinkin’ on this
“I want no more blood on these here hands if I can avoid it” Ethan said, throwin’ the knife again
“Yer talkin’ about that orphan… ain’t ya? The one that”…
“Yeah, and I don’t reckon we need to talk about that,” Ethan said, interrupting
Lincoln looked at Floyd, who was shakin’ his head
“Sorry Ethan… didn’t mean to drudge up nuthin’”
It was getting close to the time Ethan said they’d return to Ms Prescott’s homestead for the information they needed. The gang got on their horses and made their way back to the homestead.
The gang got off their horses, and Ethan knocked on the door
Ms Prescott opened the door and let them all in.
“Any problems gettin’ the information we needed?”
Ms Prescott put her daughter down into her chair at the table.
“Nope, not a one… people were real helpful when I asked. They were all givin’ condolences on the count of Earl’s passin’ and such” she said.
Everyone sat down at the table awaiting the information she had gathered
“I asked if anyone had seen someone lookin’ suspicious like. Almost all of ‘em had noticed no one except a month back. A man came into Masterton and stayed at the Saloon for one night. He was shady lookin’… didn’t have a friendly disposition”
“Did he have a scar right about here below his left eye?” Ethan said
Ms Prescott nodded.
“That’d be him… he was also askin’ questions that nobody could answer about the Jackson brothers comin’ through and their whereabouts” she said
The brothers looked at Ethan
“You know ‘em?” Floyd said
“Yeah… I know ‘em. His name’s Eli,”
“Just like you thought,”… Jason said
Ethan stood up and everyone else followed him
“Thanks for yer help on this but we gotta be goin’” Ethan said, pushing his seat back into the table and heading for the door.
The rest of the gang said their goodbyes politely
“Don’t expect you’ll back here again?” Ms Prescott said.
Ethan stood at the door for a moment
“No… not likely” Ethan said, dipping his hat and closing the door behind him
Ms Prescott watched the Jackson brothers leave as she held her daughter in her arms
Ethan felt that this was the best information they could have had. But now that he knew who was after them, Ethan was more concerned than before.
The gang rode on back to their campsite and packed up their belongings for the long trip back to Callan Ridge.
With the information they now had, the gang was ready to go huntin’ and turning the tables a lil’ more in their favour.
Ethan had never hunted down another bounty hunter before, but the thought of it made him even more restless. Every minute the gang spent not doin’ somethin’, that bounty hunter was figuring a way to separate them and murder them all one by one. And as long as Ethan drew breath, there was no way of him or his brothers dyin’ to no bounty hunter.
-END OF PART XXXI-
You can read Part XXXII of Ethan’s story right here.