Summary: Cody Burgess, continues to investigate the disappearance of the missing cattle, but seems to find more questions than answers.
Author’s Note: This began as my 2006 Nanowrimo Novel.
Previous Parts (1) (2).
On the slim chance that Prentice might just be right and Princess Cloudfeather had been pulling their legs, Cody figured on stopping in at Prowess Copse and shaking Deadeye Brody until Cody was good and sure he and his weren’t a party to the missing cattle. The numbers the irate ranchers had given were likely bloated up a bit- they always did get to blowing hard at each other when they got together, bragging about headcounts, but even figuring that in, it were too many for Cody to leave it be.
Deadeye Brody, much as you might expect, couldn’t shoot worth a darn, which had been a complication when it came to his former trade- that of being Cody’s deputy. His situation hadn’t been helped by his general laziness and greed. Cody himself wasn’t one to quarrel with a man who enjoyed life at slow pace, having made pursuing the snail’s particular brand of existence one of his own ambitions, but he just couldn’t brook a lawman with no regard for law, or at the very least fair-mindedness. So, when it came down to choosing, Dillon Brody chose cheating and Cody choose to cut him loose. Cody was expecting to have to put Brody down when next they crossed each other. Be an interesting time of it with Jitters along, if he had to do it today.
Prowess Copse wasn’t much of one- just a few scraggly bunches of scrub brush out near the edge of town with some falling down buildings that once were a homestead and some craggy caves that marked the entrance of the goldmine. Whatever Blackhats were lingering round Burgess Gulch could be found there.
Cody rode up to the copse with Prentice lagging behind and complaining loudly about his horse’s gait.
While they were still a few hundred feet off from the buildings, Deadeye’s voice called out, “‘Less you got a writ, I’d just turn your ass back round, Sheriff.”
“Now, Dilly, you know I can’t get this nag to heed if she ain’t got a mind to,” Cody drawled back lazily. It didn’t put a body in a better position to rile Deadeye. It was true that he couldn’t shoot to save his life, but his little hired gun Gater was a crack shot, and he’d gladly take a poke at anyone Deadeye looked sideways at.
“No further, Sheriff, or my replacement gets it between the peepers,” Deadeye warned.
“Uh- Sheriff, what does he mean- his replacement?” Prentice muttered from behind Cody.