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A Lesson for Us All
A Lesson for Us All
A Lesson for Us All
Ebook43 pages35 minutes

A Lesson for Us All

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A lonely old prospector is found dead in his own doorway, shot with his own gun. If only the circumstances of his last days were a little more clear. On the frontier, men go off, and suicide isn’t exactly unknown. Lambert had few friends and even less money. Word is that he didn’t have an enemy in the world. But Marshall Mike Baxter isn’t buying it—not until he knows a lot more about poor old Lambert. A short story in the classic Western tradition.

PublisherZach Neal
Release dateFeb 26, 2014
A Lesson for Us All
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Zach Neal

Zach Neal has been writing ever since he can remember. A forestry management professional, he prefers the outdoors to the office. He lives in the Halton Hills overlooking the Greater Toronto Area. He studied at the University of Toronto. Zach’s a single father of two healthy and energetic children. Zach’s boys, Aaron and Jason, mean everything to him.

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    Book preview

    A Lesson for Us All - Zach Neal

    A Lesson for Us All

    Zach Neal

    This Smashwords edition copyright 2014 Zach Neal and Long Cool One Books

    Design: J. Thornton

    ISBN 978-1-927957-18-9

    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 recipient. If you’re reading this 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.

    The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or deceased, or to any places or events, is purely coincidental. Names, places, settings, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination. The author’s moral rights to the proceeds of this work have been asserted.

    Table of Contents

    Act One

    Act Two

    Act Three

    About the Author

    A Lesson for Us All

    Zach Neal

    Act One

    Mike Baxter sat with his chair tipped up and his feet on the end of the desk.

    His battered Stetson hung on the rack and a lone fly buzzed in the front window, ignoring the fact that the door was propped wide open to encourage trade and let a little air in.


    He wiggled a bit, settling deeper into the hard maple spindles of the back-rest.


    His eyes opened and Mike blinked.

    Yeah. His eye slid to the bottom drawer on the left side of the desk. What?

    What time is it? Dude Jeffries was locked up in the back room, the result of an inability to take a hint more than anything else.

    He’d gotten into a bar fight and had it pretty fairly won when Mike told him to stop. When Mike said it was over, then it was over, but Dude was a bit drunk and out of his head and wasn’t listening fast enough.

    What difference does that make to you?

    I’m sorry, Marshall. Sincerely. But my guts is gnawing at my backbone.

    Baxter grinned slightly in spite of his better nature.

    That’ll teach you.

    I can pay the fine, Marshall.

    Well, that seemed awful formal all of a sudden.

    Yeah. Ah, I’ll be ordering down there as soon as the kid arrives. Mike firmly closed his eyes, crossed his arms across his chest, and his mouth worked in a pattern familiar enough to any drowsy person.


    Some interval of time passed.

    Mike made some kind of noise, which he’d been noticing more lately.

    It was like you heard something out of the corner of your ear. You woke with a start and there was nothing there—just that snork sound that woke you up. The quacks had a name

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