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The Road North - the saga continues


Grizzly Dave

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The trial went almost as expected. And Obermann had his lawyer waiting at the Denver jail house. Grizz was not happy with this turn of events, as he was sure that Obermann's reach had not got to Denver. That was just plain not to be. And I realized that Obermann knew each and every step we took. And that's how he know when to attack us. Grizz was so mad, he could not talk for fear he would spit nails ! I nugged my horse up next to his and said "No flase move Obermann and I WILL gut you like a fish !"

 

We rode into town and placed Obermann in a cell with orders he get one meals a day and only his lawyer was to enter. I took it personal interest here, I wanted to be here, gaurding his cell till his trial and hanging was over. If Obermann had people here in a lawyer, there could be more. I was going to make sure that Obermann dies. Hangman's nosse or by my hand, Obermann was a dead man.

 

The trail was goning Obermanns way as he was all smiles. That's when our lawyer called the Marshal what didn't die to the stand. I saw a look of concern on Obermanns face. The Marshal, Bud, that Obermann during his escape had indeed shot him and his son, Matt. And when the crowd gasped I saw Obermann's face go pale white. That's when the lawyer on our side called me to the stand.

 

I walked up to the chair and I heard someone shout out, "Who let dat Injun in here !" I pinned my badge on and when our lawyer asked to state my name, I said..Douglas Silverhawk, US Deputy Marshal." Obermann's fate was sealed for the child and women stealing to force work in his mine. And Grizz added the finishing touch. He stood, in his frock coat, white shirt and tie, and gray beard, and say "You're Honor, Me and my deputy here are sorwn to up hold the law and come to the rescue to those in need. If there ever was folks in need, it was these folks here !"

 

The judge didn't waste any time in sentceing Obermann to the gallows. And some reporters hit the telegraphs, the rest of the crowd ether jumped for joy, still others , jumped up from thier seats mad as a hornet's nest of bees. I took my dragoons from the table outside the court room as did Grizz. As we walked back to the jail, Obermann, once again smiled. I quickly drew my dragoon and said, "Grizz...somethin' aint right here !" And Grizz pulled his colt, putting it to Obermann's head he told him, "You move, I move or Hawk moves.....it don't matter, you get it in the head !"

 

We walked a little faster back to the jail. Obermann was to hang at high noon tomarrow and knowing Obermann, he would have something planned. "You won't kill me and I aint gonna hang !" he told me. "That'll be the day !" Grizz said.

 

We got back to the jail and the sherrif's young dupety was there. "Son, you'd best leave now. There's gonna be a world of hurt coming toward this jail at any time !" I had the back covered in case they tryed to come through the windows. "I took the same oath as you Marshal...I'm staying !" Grizz nodded to him and said, "Ok son, I guess you'll die like the rest of us here. Ya got a key for that chain there ?" Grizz was pointing to the rifle rack on the floor.

 

I shouted out "Grizz...I got movement here !" Grizz asked ,"Son, you ready ?" The sherrif's dupty nodded yes and Grizz said, "Good...it's about to get as hot as 12 yards of hell in here !"

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The Judge from the trail came in, along with the Governor just as some rough looking men crossed the street.

 

"Picked the wrong time for a visit" Grizz said, the look on his face leaving no doubt as to the seriousness of the situation. The doors and windows were closed and barred, and the interior shutters fastened with a cross bar.

 

The Judge had an alarmed look on his face, the Governor no so much, he'd been around Grizz long enough to know that he was likely expecting this, and had something up his sleeve.

 

Grizz and Hawk had placed men all over for several blocks around, with orders not to shoot, until it was needed. There was no doubt that while the outlaws could rush the jail, they would be far from helpless inside.

 

Hawk readied his weapons, clearly ready for a fight, Grizz on the other hand just looked tired. There was no doubt in anyone's mind he could still fight, but his heart didn't seem to be in it.

 

"Judge, you have your final sentencing orders with you?" Grizz asked.

 

"Yes, right here, that's what we were bringing." the judge answered.

 

Grizz laid the orders out on the desk, and read them, while methodically working with a rope in his hands. "...is sentenced to hang by the neck until dead" Grizz read, looking in at Obermann, Obermann was smiling, "at noon, Septenber 21st, or at such a time deemed prudent by the court." Obermann's smile dropped away like a ton of bricks as Grizz held up the rope he'd been working with, a very nice neat hangmans knot at one end.

 

"What say you deem in necessary?" Grizz asked the Judge, the Judge looked at the Governor with the question on his face.

 

It was the Governor who spoke next "there is legal precedence for it, I tried the case myself, and why I altered the standard sentencing language."

 

"It won't be argued that we denied him due process of an appeal?" the Judge asked.

 

"Not successfully, no" the Governor said. Grizz shot him a look letting him know the time for discussion was over, this thing was happening no matter what, and it was happening now.

 

A brick was thrown at the jail windows, breaking the front one out, but bouncing off the inner shutter. "Hello the jail, we have fifty men out here, we'll be having Obermann now!

 

Grizz rolled his eyes, Hawk broke out into a full on belly laugh, Obermann didn't know what to think, the instrument of his freedom was just outside, but the instrument of his death was tying his hands behind his back.

 

Grizz peaking out thru the cracks in the shutters, there was a mob of men out there alright, but it numbered more like 25. More importantly, Grizz could see several of his men just peeking over the rooftops across the street.

 

"Deputy, where the ladder to the attic?" Grizz turned to see the man had drawn his gun and was pointing it at him.

 

Grizz narrowed his eyes, and held his hands out to stall Hawks reacting, and also to shield the man's view of Hawk. "Now boy, ya ain't done nuthin yet, best be puttin that piece down"

 

The man said nothing, but cocked the peacemaker. well, he started to cock it anyway, he had it to about half cock when Hawks knife found his throat.

 

Grizz led Obermann to a back closet where the ladder to the attic was. Hawk went up first and made sure it was clear, then Grizz had to physically shove Obermann up before he followed with the rope.

 

The noose was placed around Obermann's neck and snugged up, the other end tied to the main roof beam, leaving enough slack for a good drop, but not enough that he'd hit the ground.

 

Grizz looked back down the attic ladder and told the Governor "Hollar out good and loud, tell them not to shoot, we're sending him out."

 

Obermann struggled against the gag in his mouth, but he couldn't make enough sound to be heard.

 

"Don't shoot, we're sending him out! Don't shoot!" The judge hollered.

 

Grizz looked into Obermann's eyes, he felt neither victory nor contempt for him any longer. He only felt the sense of loss for Martha, though she was there with him, he could feel that she was proud with the way Grizz had handled it.

 

Hawk wasn't as sullen, "Rot in hell you bastard"

 

Grizz cut the gag from Obermann's mouth just as he threw him out the attic window. As expected, there was a hail of gunfire, it would be impossible to tell if the gunshots killed Obermann, or the broken neck from hanging, either way he was dead.

 

In the street there was a gasp, then shouting as the Obermann's men tried to get away, though they were quickly rounded up by the sheriff and Grizz's men.

 

Grizz and Hawk climbed down the ladder and were met by the Judge and Governor. Grizz signed the sentencing orders noting the time, date and place of the hanging.

 

"Damn it Grizz" the Governor said "I thought sure you'd just track him down and kill him, were it worth the effort to bring him back here to kill him?"

 

Grizz looked up from the paperwork and threw down the pen next to the ink well. "This is how Martha would have wanted it, Obermann killed himself by his actions, and the law saw to it he got what he'd earned."

 

Grizz smiled a tight lipped smile, yes, if he'd killed Obermann in hate and bitterness, no matter how much Obermann deserved to die, he'd have never been able to face Martha's memory, now that memory would be as pure as she had been.

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I said to the Judge and Govenor, "Sirs, Ifin' y'all don't mind, der's a bottle of whiskey in da Saloon dat needs me somethin' firce. I'll be takin' my leave now." and as I started toward the door the Judge called out, "Now you wait just a dang minute Hawk ! I must have some words with you about you're savage behavior corcerning this Obermann fellow and his missing ear and that red mark around his neck when you brought him here !"

 

"Sirs, I was just followin' orders !" The Judge fumed as he knew I was side stepping the answer he wanted to hear. "Who's orders Duptey Hawk.....Who's orders ?" I smiled as I watched Grizz's men rounding up the alive outlaws and the undertaker making his measurements of the ones that where dead. I opened the jail house door, stepped outside and said, "Martha's orders sir. Shore, I wanted to kill him. After all da pain, sufferin' and death he's brought, he needed killin'. But I sworn to Martha, I wouldn't kill him, but I never said I would not hurt him amite !" ans closed the door behind me.

 

I knew Grizz would not be far behind, so I bought a bottle of whiskey and got two glasses and sat down at the table and waited. The men there didn't say a word about a Injun drinking there as they had seen for themslefs the trail and the death of Obermann. It was kinda cool and I had my Reb over coat on. Most folks where looking at that too. I pulled out a ceegar out of the pocket and drug a match across my dragoon.

 

After a short while Grizz came into the Saloon and walked right up to my table. I poured him a drink and silde it his way as he sat down. "Just left me in there.....in that tiny jail with those wolfs !" Grizz threw his drink back and poured himself another one. "Just figgered dat's da way you wanted it........You and dat Judge got a history together ya know." I giggled abit and Grizz did a low deep growl. He and I was happy as could be that this whole thing was now over. The parents of the kids had notified and the rest where working thier way home.

 

"Grizz, Goin' head back to the wagon. Got somethings da need tendin to." Grizz was sipping his whiskey now, enjoying the flavor. "Like that leg..." He said as he pointed to it with his glass. "Yup....dat too. Talk to ya in da mornin."

 

I left the Saloon, and walked my horse out of town. It hurt to walk but that slight pain felt good to me. It told me I was still alive and I like that ! I walked up to Crying One and she saw my leg and frown. "I just can't keep you healed up Hawk !" I smiled at her and said, "Dat's a 24 hour a day full time job !" I could see that Sharron had something on her nimd, other wise she would have taken her wagon and son and left by now. She swallowed hard and came up to us.

 

"Hawk, me and Crying One has talked about this and if it's ok with you, me and my boy would like to work at you're ranch. Now I can out drive a wagon...better than any man can and out shoot most of them. My boy.....he's got grit and a damn good fighter too. Remember how he stood his ground back a few days ago when Obermann's men attacked us ? The other kids wanted to brake and run, but he would'nt let them. So, if you have us, I can cook, clean and the like and my boy can be you're number two man. What'd ya say ?"

 

I looked down at Crying One and said, "First things first. Need to change you name from Crying One to Shining Moon. You like that ? Shining Moon suits you alot more." She just beamed and said "Well, you will have to take that up with Two Crows." I smiled and said, "Already been done and he's blessed yur new name !" Shining Moon jumped into the wagon and hugged my neck, toppleing me over.

 

After some kissing and such, I walked over to where the boy was laying asleep. Looking down at him, I taught that he'll make a damn good foreman on my ranch. But first, in the morning, I'll get him to a doctor to be checked out. After all, His mother, Sharron, Shining Moon and me had a long ride toward New Mexico Terriory.

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Grizz was a bit taken a back when Hawk left the Saloon so quickly, normally they'd have stayed and put on a good drunk after an adventure like this 'un. He hoped that Hawk was going to get his leg tended to proper, he'd done what he could with it, but he weren't no doctor. He was glad to hear that that Sharon woman was going with Hawk, he'd been afraid she'd taken a shine to him, and Hawk was playing matchmaker again, not that it had turned out so bad last time, but he didn't think he could ever give his heart away again, not like he had with Martha.

 

Grizz's men came in, whoopin and a hollerin, seeing Grizz sitting quietly contemplating the whiskey in his glass, they gave him a wide berth and got a table elsewhere. Grizz noticed them come in, but didn't give any indication.

 

This was the second day in Denver, Grizz hadn't been home yet, no time to so that they could get the trial done and over with. Grizz had seen that the kids were delivered to a deaf school in Denver, and he'd started the Judge and the Governor on a project to seize all of Obermannn's assets to expand and fund the school for a long time coming. Though he hadn't asked them to, those involved had decided to call it "Martha's Place" in honer of Martha, Grizz was touched and the tears flowed freely.

 

Watchin the whiskey swirl in his glass, Grizz thought through the events of the last months, and the emotions. After 20 minutes or so, staring at that same glass of whiskey, he set it down without drinking it, and took the bottle over to his men. He cleared his throat as he tried to come up with the right words to say, but couldn't come up with anything to do justice to what he was feeling. "I ain't got the words boys, thank you." Grizz said finally, setting the bottle down. They invited him to stay, but he declined, saying he wanted to get home and sleep in his own bed. On the way out he stopped by the bar, ordered steak dinners with all the trimmings for all his men, and paid the tab ahead for anything else they might want. "If it comes to more than that, let me know, I'm good for it." The bartender nodded "Not a problem Marshall."

 

It was nearly dark when he got to his ranch and dropped out of the saddle on the hill overlooking the meadow. As he knelt at Martha's grave, the last ray of sunlight lit up the marker. He now knew what she'd been talking about all those months. Why she made the most of each day, each hour, each minute. 'You never know what tomorrow will bring' she'd often say 'best make the most of the here and now.' Grizz smiled remembering her bright and shining face, she'd been as a summer wildflower and only had a short time, but in a small way, he'd done what he could to make her time as enjoyable as possible, and she'd left him with so much more in return.

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

That about does it for this one for me, unless Hawk has some loose ends to tie up.

 

Thanks for reading along, it's been fun, and sad, I had tears on my cheeks at the beginning writing that Martha had died.

 

Stay tuned, I'm sure Grizz and Hawk will ride again, and who knows what adventure they'll wind up on next time!

 

Grizz

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