Sabena Wolf by Olin Thompson - Read Online
Sabena Wolf
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Summary

The woman was treated to everything a woman might want, jewels, finest hotels, marriage by a priest in the most sacred of Texas towns -- San Antonio, and trips to New Orleans and finally to Richmond, Virginia. You know the destination, but the why is really important. She had been seduced by the man who would take her to be sold into a high class prostitution ring featuring well placed politicians and leaders in the new government after the Civil War. The woman was a mere trophy to the seducer. The wronged man was chasing them, following scant leads, and finally finding the truth he faced his tormentor and in the final act..., well, perhaps you'd better read it to know how it ends.

Writers of westerns use many techniques to discover their tales are realistic. This one took the author to Texas for extensive searching for ideal locations for a background for this book. He also read many articles about how the drugs were used not only to influence and inslave people, but also discovered it was a well known medication used widely.

The insidious nature of the criminals here is so pervasive in so many other ventures in the new South, there are hundreds and hundreds of stories yet to be written.

Published: Sam Warren on
ISBN: 9780945949565
List price: $1.95
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Sabena Wolf - Olin Thompson

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Chapter 1

Gil heard the horses ride up; it wasn’t unusual after a day off for the men of the ranch to arrive late. He tugged up the two blankets, noted the blare of orange from the pot bellied stove, grabbed his pillow a little tighter, and rolled over to go back to sleep.

The men would, he knew, stomp in and make all sorts of racket as the last drunk before the round-up caught up with them. Their normally sedentary nights were spent sewing rips, darning socks, and mending tack. This night, however, they would return from a riot of town treeing. Tomorrow they would pay for all the liquor, the second time, and not with money.

Gil ignored them, for the most part, however when the noise was only tramping of boots and not the usual shouting, he turned over and found the town Marshal Kehler McGillis staring down at him.

Yeah? Gil wondered.

I think we got him, the man behind Kehler said with satisfaction filling his voice. He seemed almost delighted at his discovery.

Now, just calm down, Pete, the even voice of Kehler said.

Yeah? Gil asked again, caught in his blankets. Whatta you want?

I think we got you, boy, the man called Pete said again; a giggle, evil and snarly, came from the fellow.

Gil tried to gracefully untangle himself from his bedclothes and face this bunch. The grumbling and apparent agreement with Pete came from four other men who pressed into the small room from behind Pete and Kehler. One moved to the foot of the wood slat bunk and another stood as if guarding the doorway.

Got me for what? Gil asked, yawned, and put his feet to the floor. He ruffed his hair. It was cold, so he pulled his pants off the hook, yanked them up, and slipped into his boots.

McGillis just stood there while Gil dressed. His pile lined jacket was pushed back and his thumbs hooked in his belt.

That your pistol?

Gil looked around to the box beside his bunk which was used as a store place for personal things: shaving gear, smoking and chewing tobacco, pocket knife, and two books; a pile of pocket money he’d accumulated was in a glass jar with a label which said it at one time held Tomatoes. He had an office and safe elsewhere; clearly these men weren’t looking for that. Or were they? he wondered.

No. It ain’t my pistol.

Then whose is it?

Hell, man, I don’t know. I went to sleep early. I got a ’fore dawn get-up and I didn’t hear nothing.

Whose is it? Pete asked. A gleam in his eye said he wanted to yank Gil up and beat the truth out of him.

I told McGillis I didn’t know. You got some reason for comin’ in here you just state it. Otherwise get the hell out. This ain’t your property and you got no right on it, Gil said and tugged on the boot with a grunt.

You might own this place, but it don’t give you the right to kill anyone you don’t like, Pete said.

McGillis turned and sharply told the man, Shut the hell up.

Aw, Kehler, Pete whined. You know he done it. There’s the evidence right in front of you. Get him up and let’s take him to jail. We can hang him tomorrow.

Gil thought Pete would rather do it tonight from the look of him; there was no wait in his tone. A gut surge went through Gil and he knew it was a rigged deal.

McGillis looked over Pete’s shoulder and said to one of the men there, You men clear out. Take this loud mouthed trouble maker with you.

Right, one of them said and tugged at Pete’s arm.

Hell with that, Pete said and yanked away. You don’t arrest him right now, I’m gonna, Pete threatened.

You ain’t doing no such thing, Pete. If I feel real good I won’t lock you up for obstructin’, but one more word and you’re going to jail.

Aw, Kehler, Pete whined again, turned, and started out the door with the other men.

What is this, Kehler? Gil asked when they were alone.

Found a man down by your crossin’. Shot. Died. The man survived long enough to tell us a rider ambushed ’im and rode off this direction. Said he saw the bright silver pistol in the moonlight, Kehler paused and looked out the window. Seems this matches the description. He held up the silver plated big bore gun and sniffed at the barrel. Recent fired too. And the horse in the corral is plumb wet from ridin’ hard.

Listen, what sort of fool you think I am? I shoot someone and I ride right back here and put the evidence out in the open?

Gil, no one said you were a fool. If I’d found it tucked away in your closet, Kehler turned to look at the wardrobe Gil kept his clothes in, then I’da thought you were trying to put somethin’ over on me. And when I saw it there, I knew it wasn’t as easy as we hoped.

You mean you already convicted me? Gil asked, stood, and reached into the pocket of his still hanging shirt. Rollin’ a smoke, okay?

Yeah, go ahead.

Gil took the time to think of what trouble he was in here.

Who was this that I was supposed to have killed?

Jerald Marvis.

Oh, no, Gil said, grimaced, and knew it looked bad for him now. He sat down heavily on the bed and pushed his fingers through his hair. This looked bad for him, for sure, he thought.

You and him been sniffin’ around Glenn Roy’s daughter. Seems she told him he was the one she would marry. Told us that when she came up on us on her way home from a social visit. Seems like that was enough for her too. She’s really mad. If we don’t take you in she or her pa might come lookin’ for you.

Kehler, I swear to you I didn’t do it. I liked Charlotte, but I was only callin’ when I wasn’t busy. When I found Jer’ was sparkin’ her, well, I let it go.

She said you were by earlier and were mad Jerald was seein’ her.

Sure I was mad. But not at him. She led me on to believe she didn’t have anyone courting. When I found out different, I knew it would make Jerald upset if he found I was comin’ around, Gil said and puffed on the rolled cigarette. He rubbed the fire out between his thumb and forefinger after two long drags, raised the window, and tossed the remainder out.

It looks bad, but, like I said, I was only mad she didn’t tell me the truth. If anyone looks good for this, I suppose it’s me, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t have any reason, Gil said shaking his head, he lifted the window another notch.

He knew too if he went to jail he’d never have a chance to prove himself innocent. They might not get the cattle rounded up and he’d be in real trouble. Gil knew he and his partner Charlie couldn’t survive another winter without selling some of his stock. Summer was bad enough with so little water and no suffrage from the heat.

I’m gonna have to take you in, boy. Least until the in-vestigation is complete.

Kehler, you know I didn’t do it, Gil said as he put on his shirt and the wool lined denim jacket. It ain’t right you takin’ me in on flimsy evidence like that.

Well, boy, I guess you think you know the law, but it’s on my side this time. And besides, if I leave you here, what’s to say you won’t jump into Mexico? It’s only a couple hour ride and a desper-ate man wouldn’t hesitate to boot that di-rection.

Gil stomped on the floor to make sure his feet were settled in his boots, turned to McGillis and shoved him hard. The town’s Marshal, startled, fell across the bunk, tumbled once, and came up with a cry of rage; by that moment Gil had grabbed his gun gear from the bedpost, jumped through the window, and rolled onto the hard ground three and a half feet below.

He bounced up; holding his belt, holster, and pistol in his left hand he ran toward the corral when a big dark horse blocked his way. Gil looked up in time to see the wide grin on Pete Hoogins’ face and the barrel of the carbine coming down.

Gil lifted his left arm and it was brushed aside by the vicious swing and the rifle hammered him across the top of his head. Gil fell to one knee and tried to dodge again, but the cutting horse anticipated his move with Pete’s knees doing the driving.

Ain’t no chance gettin’ away now, killer.

Gil didn’t respond, but heard McGillis behind him yell only one word, Pete! It sounded like a warning to the rider.

Hell with that! Pete yelled back at the same moment he reversed the course of the second swing so that the stock of the rifle came directly for Gil. Once again he tried to duck, but the rifle’s arc pushed aside his right arm this time and Gil saw the flat side of the mahogany an instant before it crashed into his skull just above his ear.

Take him, Pete yelled to the other men there.

They gathered Gil, threw his pistol belt to Pete, and carted the limp body to the empty wagon sitting outside the bunk house.

Toss him in, Pete instructed. Get a horse from the corral.

Hold up there, McGillis had come out of the bunkhouse and with his sternest voice attempted to regain control of the posse.

Hold on, shit, Pete hissed. He tossed the looped end of his rope to one of the other men and told him, String him up right now. He’s guiltyer’n sin.

I said, HOLD UP! McGillis yelled. His pistol out, he fired one shot into the air. That’s a prisoner, not an animal. You men step back, he said.

But, one of the men said, holding the rope limply in his hand and waiting.

But, nothing, McGillis said. Move back. Drop that rope. Pete ain’t Marshal yet. He added almost quietly, Though he’d like to be.

The man did as McGillis told him, while Pete sat the big horse in the way of the Marshal.

Move, Pete. Move outta the way, McGillis said evenly; there was a menace in his voice.

We got him, Kehler. We can string him up here. Pete threw his head toward the tree. Save the county the cost of a trial.

It ain’t an argument, Kehler said, his pistol easy in his hand. We’ll take him to trial.

A rumble of hooves, three or four riders, caused everyone to turn.

G X 2 riders, someone announced.

Now Pete? Kehler asked, a smile crossed his lips.

Aw, hell, Pete said and rode off, clearly angry he’d lost the last chance to be the big he dog in the posse.

Okay, men, put Gil in his wagon. We’ll take him to town. Cover him with a blanket too. No use him catching pneumonia and dyin’ on us, Kehler said.

What’s goin’ on here? one of the new comers asked.

Now, you stand easy there Charlie, Kehler said, still holding his pistol. We got information Gil might be involved in a shootin’.

Aw, hell, Kehler. You know he wouldn’t pull down on no one, Charlie said.

Well, we’ll let the trial figure that out. We got evidence, we got the gun, and we got witnesses says it was Gil.

Oh? Charlie asked and looked around at the other men with him. Well, it won’t stand up in court and you ain’t provin’ he done it.

We’ll see, won’t we? Kehler McGillis said and put his pistol back in the holster, mounted, and motioned the men to come with him.

Charlie sat his horse thinking. He could see his partner would be accused of doing something stupid like that, particularly with all the evidence McGillis said he had. Charlie knew better, but no body asked him.

What now, Charlie? a rider asked. What we gonna do?

Nothin’ we can do, Charlie said. I guess. Get him a lawyer. Jerald Marvis was the only lawyer in town.

Yeah. I know, the man said.

Charlie clearly was completely dejected at the thought the man who could save Gil was dead.

Well, Charlie said evenly, I guess it’s time we did some hard sleepin’ since we got lotsa work tomorrow.

The ride to town was misery for Gil.

They have to have made an effort to make me as uncomfortable as possible, he thought. No hat, and it likely wouldn’t fit over the lump, he thought. Both lumps, he added.

He couldn’t reach up and touch them with his hands cuffed behind. He didn’t have to give his dray horse any direction since the animal was yanked along behind some wide butted counter jumper wearing what looked like a raccoon fur coat.

It’s cold, Gil thought, but not that cold. Damn sissy. And a big damn sissy at that.

You take his horse and wagon to the stable, Gene, Kehler said helping Gil out and directing him toward the steps to the jail. The county will pay for the storage unless he’s set free. He can pay for his own then, the Marshal said; his voice indicated there was no freeing going to be done.

Gil believed they’d already tried him, found him guilty, and about to hang him; the latter was a mere formality.

Why you ever brought him to town I’ll never know, Pete said.

No one ever as’ed if you knowed anything, Pete, Kehler said with a touch of anger. If they had to, they’da known the answer before they as’ed the question. You don’t know cow pies from dried mud. Kehler turned to the posse. You’re dismissed. Have a little common sense and don’t discuss anything we found tonight. It’s our business and no one else’s. If he don’t get a fair trial he’s likely gonna get let off.

Though Gil didn’t like it particularly, Kehler McGillis seemed to be trying to do his job. He also more than likely knew the warning to keep quiet was apt to be about as good as blowing at the wind.

Gil thought of protesting once more, even though he knew it would make no difference. The city was full of people to form a hangin’ jury. They had to think Gil was guilty, else why would he be brought in?

Inside, the Marshal said and pushed Gil into the cell.

Gil obeyed, though reluctantly, and when the rattle of the keys on the ring made the last noise of clanking the lock on the cell door he knew he was in serious trouble. More serious than he’d ever had before, and he’d had plenty.

Gil turned around and the Marshal unlocked the handcuffs through the bars. Gil rubbed his wrists and sat down on the wooden bench the jail offered as a bed.

He ticked off a few things that had been rough on him: three years ago he’d been with General Miles when they found Geronimo in Mexico and Gil was there when the Apache surrendered; Gil had been a deputy in Tombstone and was sent out to bring back a bail jumper when his boss and them others with him had shot it out with the Claytons; Gil had fought his way out of an ambush trap while bossing an ore hauling convoy from a mining camp in Colorado; he’d ridden for half the outfits in New Mexico and Arizona from time to time; when he’d saved enough money he got in a big pot poker game where he had killed the cheater from Mississippi who had won the most, until then. What a life, he reminisced.

Ending up in jail for a murder I didn’t commit, he sighed.

Charlie! Gil thought, and smiled. What a rascal. Gil had found the glad-handing range rider almost down and out on the steps of the Virginia House in Fort Stockton. They became friends after Charlie dried out enough to try to tell Gil the secret of his success. The joke was on Gil since Charlie had no success and even less money in his pockets.

I got money, Charlie complained and swayed in his stupor.

Yeah, sure you do, Gil said, sitting on the same stoop as the overindulged man, and sucked on a red hot coal at the end of his roll-your-own. You and that damn’ Vanderbust.

Bilt, Charlie had corrected, with his drunken slur. It’s Vanderbilt.

Well, you both are about as big a farce as they make, Gil said and fingered the cigarette out. He looked up and down the dusty street and found nothing interesting to do. He thought about reading a newspaper and finding out what the rest of the world was at; he put that aside until tomorrow.

Farce!? ME? Charlie shouted and pushed at Gil.

Yeah, you, Gil said easily, rocking with the push knowing it was mere friendly horseplay.

My good man, Charlie leaned closer confidential like, and

breathed heavy alcohol laden breath at Gil.

Whewee, Gil waved away the stench.

My good man, Charlie repeated from slightly further away.

I happen to have quite a goodly sum of money stashed away in a trust fund. I can draw on it when I’m twem’y five.

How old are you now? Gil asked innocently. He didn’t really care, but only curious.

Twem’y fife, Charlie said and a sudden change came over him as if he’d been struck by lightning.

Gil said nothing, but watched as Charlie unwound his lanky frame, got up, and walked resolutely, Gil thought it was about resolutely as one ought to look if someone were drunk, toward the bank; so, Gil decided he’d tag along.

My good man, Charlie told the banker at the cage.

Yes, how may I help you? The man looked leery of the slender young man in the tattered clothing, worn boots, shaggy hair,

and smelling of some sort of alcohol contamination.

I want my money, Charlie told him.

Well, sir, under what account?

Account I’m broke, Charlie informed him and slammed a

hand on the counter.

Your name, sir? the man continued to insist.

Charlie.

What?

What, what?

Charlie what?

I want my money, Charlie said.

And what is your complete name?

The Charles P. Couts, esquire and don’t you forget it.

Ah, yes sir. I don’t believe we have an account for you.

Of course you don’t, Charlie told him. How could you? It’s in St. Louis.

Gil stood at the door, arms folded, and watched the pair chat back and forth while other customers lined up behind Gil’s newly found friend. Some were amused and some were irritated; at the same time; however, none were uninterested.

One moment sir, the bank clerk said and walked away. Charlie stood there, looking back over his shoulder at the other people in the not too fancy lobby of the none too elegant bank.

Damn bankers keep your money longer’n they need it so you can’t have it, Charlie offered his wisdom to no one in particular. Think I’ll stick this place up and just take what I need, he muttered and watched horror spread over everyone’s faces. He laughed at his little joke.

The financial geniuses apparently decided they’d telegraph the St. Louis bank for the information and they would get in touch with Charlie.

About damn’ time, he said and stomped out the door. Come on, he said to Gil in passing. Gil followed, not because he was told to; it was out of curiosity.

Well? Charlie asked as he found his seat once