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Stryker 2: Stryker's Ambush

Stryker 2: Stryker's Ambush

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Stryker 2: Stryker's Ambush

Length:
173 pages
5 hours
Released:
Oct 29, 2013
ISBN:
9781301514755
Format:
Book

Description

Matt Stryker took it easy after taking lead from King Rennick, spending most of his time in a big chair leaned up against the wall of Charlie Clark's Kitchen. Then Deputy U.S. Marshal Ness Havelock rode in and asked Stryker to find Alfredo McLaws. Worth ten thousand dollars, Havelock said, alive.
McLaws, being half Yaqui, headed down the Outlaw Trail for Mexico, not knowing someone had framed him in a stage holdup. Important government papers were missing, and McClaws was said to have them.
Having nothing better to do, Stryker took the job. In riding for Mexico, he heard of a militia being put together in Nogales, Arizona. To protect the town, Jason Bills said, but the sign said the militia was getting set to invade Mexico.
Bills held that Arizona's southern border should be a straight line across the 19th parallel, and he was going to back his claim with a hundred men, new repeating rifles, and Gatling guns.
Suddenly Matt Stryker was in a race. He had to enlist the Rurales, the Yaquis, the Apaches, and the Pimas in an ambush to keep Bills’s Nogales Guards out of Mexico and save Alfredo McLaws’s neck.

Released:
Oct 29, 2013
ISBN:
9781301514755
Format:
Book

About the author

Charles T. Whipple, an international prize-winning author, uses the pen name of Chuck Tyrell for his Western novels. Whipple was born and reared in Arizona’s White Mountain country only 19 miles from Fort Apache. He won his first writing award while in high school, and has won several since, including a 4th place in the World Annual Report competition, a 2nd place in the JAXA Naoko Yamazaki Commemorative Haiku competition, the first-place Agave Award in the 2010 Oaxaca International Literature Competition, and the 2011 Global eBook Award in western fiction. Raised on a ranch, Whipple brings his own experience into play when writing about the hardy people of 19th Century Arizona. Although he currently lives in Japan, Whipple main-tains close ties with the West through family, relatives, former schoolmates, and readers of his western fiction. Whipple belongs to Western Fictioneers, Western Writers of America, Arizona Authors Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Asian American Journalists Association, and Tauranga Writers Inc.

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Stryker 2 - Chuck Tyrell

Issuing classic fiction from Yesterday and Today!

Matt Stryker took it easy after taking lead from King Rennick, spending most of his time in a big chair leaned up against the wall of Charlie Clark's Kitchen. Then Deputy U.S. Marshal Ness Havelock rode in and asked Stryker to find Alfredo McLaws. Worth ten thousand dollars, Havelock said, alive.

McLaws, being half Yaqui, headed down the Outlaw Trail for Mexico, not knowing someone had framed him in a stage holdup. Important government papers were missing, and McClaws was said to have them.

Having nothing better to do, Stryker took the job. In riding for Mexico, he heard of a militia being put together in Nogales, Arizona. To protect the town, Jason Bills said, but the sign said the militia was getting set to invade Mexico.

Bills held that Arizona's southern border should be a straight line across the 19th parallel, and he was going to back his claim with a hundred men, new repeating rifles, and Gatling guns.

Suddenly Matt Stryker was in a race. He had to enlist the Rurales, the Yaquis, the Apaches, and the Pimas in an ambush to keep Bills’s Nogales Guards out of Mexico and save Alfredo McLaws’s neck.

STRYKER’S AMBUSH

STRYKER 2

By Chuck Tyrell

Copyright © 2013 by Chuck Tyrell

Published by Piccadilly Publishing at Smashwords: November 2013

Names, characters and incidents in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading the book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author

Cover image © 2013 by Edward Martin

edwrd984.deviantart.com

This is a Piccadilly Publishing Book

Published by Arrangement with the Author.

For Corinne

She believed before anyone else believed

Chapter One

Rimrock lay far behind Matt Stryker, though Katherine de Merode often strode through his memories on nights when he was able to sleep. In Ponderosa, Jake Cahill ruined Stryker’s face while others held him. Tom Hall took Jake down and Seth Graffunder, the breed, shot his sadist brother Wynn. The boy Sam Brady turned out to be a good lawman and Graf the breed backed him up well as deputy.

Stryker stuck around Ponderosa after Tom Hall left, often riding Saif down to Old Glory for a drink or sitting in Charlie Clark’s Kitchen with Fletcher Comstock, reliving their Virginia City days. He sat on the boardwalk in front of Charlie’s, a toothpick in the corner of his ruined mouth and a tear leaking from his left eye, as it often did those days, a product of Jake Cahill’s lead-filled fists. He’d just tipped his hat down over his eyes and settled back against the wall of Charlie’s when a horse came to a halt at the hitching rail in front of him. Stryker raised his head enough to see a set of black-stocking legs attached to a dun horse. No one he knew, not someone after him, or they’d’ve come in shooting. None of his business. He settled back into the nap mode as catnaps in the daytime made up somewhat for the hours he couldn’t sleep at night.

Matthew Stryker?

Stryker pushed his Stetson back on his head and peered at the rider through squinted eyes. I am, he said.

Ness Havelock.

Stryker rocked the chair forward so it sat on all four legs. He stood up, a tall man and broad in the shoulders. Ness Havelock, you say. Little brother to Garet?

He thinks so. A note of mirth touched Havelock’s voice. Still, it seems like I’m the one that’s always pulling his irons out of the fire.

See you’re wearing a badge. Deputy U.S.

I am. Used to belong to Stomp Hale. Him and his boy died in a shootout down to the badlands.

Who with?

Each other.

I’ll be damned. Stryker shoved his hands into his pockets and a grimace that passed for a smile showed on his face. The scars from Cahill’s brass knuckles made Stryker’s face so the muscles didn’t work like he figured they ought to. Just so there’s no mistake, I ain’t done nothing wrong. County lawmen looked into the Cahill do-all and said we was within our rights as town law.

Got a job for you if you’re willing.

I’m free, but I’m picky. Don’t do just any old job.

Know Alfredo McLaws?

Know the name. Stryker shifted the toothpick to the other side of his mouth.

U.S. Government wants him.

Stryker pulled a blue-and-white bandana from his hip pocket and swiped the trickle of tears from his face. He put the bandana back as another tear formed at the edge of his damaged eye socket. Send the army, he said.

Can’t.

Can’t? Or won’t.

Before I tell you the details, let me tell you how much he’s worth, delivered to U.S. Authorities.

Stryker stood silent, eyes on the swarthy face of Ness Havelock.

Havelock flinched first. At least he spoke first. Ten thousand dollars, he said. Delivered.

Fletcher Comstock’s sawmill let out a steam whistle that sounded like God’s largest locomotive. It told the whole town that noon had come and all working people should take thirty minutes to eat and do whatever else needed doing.

Coffee? Stryker said. He wagged his head toward the door of Clark’s Kitchen. Good grub, too.

Havelock climbed off the dun and lapped his reins over the hitching rail. He, too, nodded at the door. Lead on, Matthew Stryker, he said, Let’s go palaver.

Stryker grimaced a smile. You got it, marshal. He strode into the Kitchen and took the corner table in the back of the room. It gave both Stryker and Havelock a wall at their backs.

Becky Clark bustled in with a big coffee pot and two mugs. She put one in front of each man and poured them full of rich black brew.

Ain’t smelled anything that good since I left home, Havelock said, grinning at Becky.

She returned his look deadpan. Beans is what we got, she said. Ham hock or chili. Sourdough or biscuits. ‘N today we got fresh butter, long as it lasts. She stood hipshot, waiting for their orders.

You know me, Becky. This is breakfast time for me. Have Charlie fry me a couple or three eggs, like always. Some sowbelly, and three of his good saleratus biscuits."

You got it, Matt. She flicked a glance at Havelock. Mister?

Been on that razor-backed dun of mine since before daybreak, Havelock said. Chili beans sounds good to me, but I wonder if the cook’s got a good thick steak he could fry up to go with them beans? Along with some sourdough.

Meat we always got, Becky said. She bustled off with the coffee pot and started shouting their order to Charlie in the back as she went through the door.

Stryker sipped at the coffee. Black and strong and hot as always. What do you mean by ‘delivered,’ marshal?

You can bring him in with his hands tied to the saddle horn, or belly down over the saddle. Don’t matter. It’s just that a U.S. Marshal or a deputy like me’s got to be able to identify him.

Hmmm. Stryker sipped at his coffee and savored its dark nutty flavor. For an instant, he wondered what Charlie Clark did to brew such good coffee. Then he turned his attention to Ness Havelock. Any idea where McLaws might be?

Isom Dart says he rode down the Trail about a week ago.

Stryker gave Havelock a sharp look. The Trail?

Havelock grinned. Been up and down the Outlaw Trail a time or two, back when they called me Johnny. Nothing much travels the Trail without Isom knowing. He’s the Outlaw Mail, you know.

So where’s he likely to be? Chinle? Alma? Round Valley?

Havelock shrugged. Could be anywhere.

Damn. Not much help. Stryker mopped the tears away again.

Becky Clark pushed her way into the room with food for Stryker and Havelock, so conversation stalled while they devoured it. Becky refreshed their cups twice while they ate. Stryker used the last half of saleratus biscuit to sop up the bacon grease left on his plate. He ate the greasy bread in two bites, washed down with coffee. He leaned back in his chair and had another long look at Havelock. Tell me one thing, he said. Why me? You know that I’m not hurting for money.

Havelock took interest in his coffee, staring at the dark liquid as if it could tell him the future. He took a deep breath and studied Stryker’s battered face. I’d like you to find that man, Matthew, and bring him back alive.

Stryker’s eyebrows shot up.

Havelock nodded. Alive.

Whatever for?

Nothing on the Trail says he done what they say he done.

What’s he not done, then?

Robbed a Hale & Hodges stage, they say, and got away with an official letter that the government don’t want to get into the wrong hands. Havelock put his elbows on the table and laced his fingers. He rested his chin on his thumbs and stared at Stryker, his eyes fathomless.

You figure he didn’t do the stage job?

Dunno for sure. But who can tell? Everybody on the stage’s dead. Execution style dead. Lined up and shot. Havelock rubbed his face with both hands as if the conversation was not to his liking.

Funny I haven’t heard about it, Stryker said. Everyone killed. Looks like someone had it in for whoever was on the stage. Robbery might have been done just to make it look like that was the motive.

Or the holdup men couldn’t afford to leave witnesses.

Yeah. Matt Stryker drained his coffee cup, his eyes on the restaurant’s windows. A wind had sprung up and the Ponderosa pines across the way swung their arms. Something didn’t sit right. Ness Havelock had a reputation as an honest man. But if there were no witnesses left, how could government people come up with the idea that Alfredo McLaws was a dangerous man? He shifted his gaze to Ness Havelock’s face. You figure this is a put-up operation, don’t you?

Havelock gave Stryker a half smile. It smells to me like a polecat’s in the chicken coop. The part that says I can’t deputize makes me more than a little wary.

Wary? You’re starting to use big words for a lawman.

Downright wary, in fact. Havelock went on as if Stryker had not spoken. That’s another big reason I’ve got to ask you to do the hunting.

Jayzus. I’ve hunted bounty before, but I always had a wanted poster. Stryker rubbed at the stubble starting to come out on his jaw. He shaved twice a day in town so the shadow on his jaw wouldn’t show up the scars Jake Cahill’s knuckles had carved into his face. He fished out the blue bandana and wiped away the tears. Now I’ve got nothing but your word, he said.

Havelock’s black eyes bored into Stryker’s. The ten thousand price is for real, he said. But I want that man alive. I’ve seen politicians and such play too fast and loose for me to agree to ‘dead or alive’.

Hmmph. Stryker dug into a shirt pocket for a cigarillo. He lit it with a Lucifer from the box on the table, puffed on it twice, then shifted it to the right corner of his mouth, the side least scarred by Jake Cahill’s fists. He watched the smoke spiral towards the ceiling. Any rush? I mean, am I supposed to sprint out of here, climb on Saif, and gallop away into the sunset?

Wrong direction, Havelock said. But the sooner the quicker.

I’ll want to get Tom Hall to ride with me.

"That’s up to

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