The Eagle

Chapter XII

udge Randal showed up for work that Saturday following the evening concert and dinner with Mrs Cavendish.  He had spent some time lounging around on the benches outside several town stores just monitoring the town, people coming and going and was the first to see Sheriff Davis and his posse.  Tobias would be in the Smile Sheriffs office a little later was to have lunch with them.

Authur arose to greet Sheriff Davis as they ambled into town then walked into the Sheriffs office as the posse took care of and stored their horses.  Tobias handed in some reports he had just finished and waited while the attendent in charge registered them and signed that he had received them.  They walked the short block to the motel for a good steak.  The posse would be along in a bit.

The first table was occupied by some unknowns.  The big guy looked familiar to Tobias.  Tobias and the other lawmen chose a place near the glass so they could observe the goings on outside as well as within and at the same time keeping their backs to the wall.  Tobias could not take his eyes off the big guy with his back toward them, and a couple of times the guy looked around feeling the intense stare of Tobias.

When the man stood to exit the motel/restaurant, he grufly spat out a couple of sentences which was the wrong thing to do.  He should have kept his mouth shut.

As soon as Tobias heard the mans voice and seen his gait as he walked out of the restaurant he recognized him to be a close kin to Ed Scoggins, probably his son.  Tobias got up casually and followed the group outside.  Being in no particular hurry, the group had slowly walked away from the door but were still up on the boardwalk.  Tobias went straight to the matter.

"Hello Len.  What are you doing in town?"

The group all stopped together and slowly turned together.  Tobias feared this was going to get real ugly real fast.  Len turned around and with a slight grin on his face, more a sarcastic sneer than smile, spoke from under his handlebar mustache, "Marshall."

"I asked you a question Len, what are you doing in town?"

"Well now, that ain't much of a friendly attitude you're sporting there Marshall.  It is still Marshall, isn't it?"

"Len, either answer the question or I'm going to arrest you just for being so darn ugly.  Out of the line of fire and from behind the group Tobias saw Authur Randall and Sheriff Davis step around the corner of the building behind them.  Man that was a welcome sight!"

"Well now, Marshal.  I don't cotton to your ill manners, and I don't think you can take this group of six.  One of the guys closest to the building on Tobias' right slapped leather and died as Tobias bullet caught him in the throat ripping out the whole back of his neck where his spine had been.  His blood spattered all over the group of men who were standing behind the thug when he drew down on Tobias.  Tobias was still holding the gun on the group and was now giving the order to "shuck their arms."

Trey Goodsen stepped out of the barbershop across the street and had a deputy with him.  They had emerged with guns drawn, and he announced his presence with "we've got you flanked Len.  There's more behind you."

"Well now, ain't this cozy?  All you big lawmen got the drop on us and for what?  One of my good friends has been killed for nothing at all, and me and my other friends here are only guilty of having dinner in your fine establishment Sheriff.  So, what will the charge be?"

"Len Scoggins, I'm placing you under arrest for the murder of one George Hubbard, Pinkerton man in New York City.  The rest of your gang can relax in the jail with you while I discover their identites and get them charged."

A voice broke the silence of Len Scoggins saying "And I'm adding to the charges of each one of your group, rape, child molestation, child abduction, kidnapping, bank robbery and just being plumb mean."

"And who are you? Len asked."

"I'm Sheriff Abner Davis" the answer returned.  "Now, do you shuck those guns or do you intend on donating yourselves as worm food to our graveyard?"

"Well now . . . " Len started again.  He seemed to preface each of his sentences with it.  "That's a whole lot of trumped up charges and I dare say you'll find no witnesses that will testify to that.  Besides, I don't think you can take all of us."

At that, someone in a different direction racked a .3030, then another, then another.  Len began looking around and every store owner within hearing distance was standing outside his establishment, still having their apron on, all heeled with a hogleg and all holding .3030 Winchester or 12 ga. shotgun.  Len calmly leaned over far enough to reach the tie down strap on his holster, then unbuckled his holster belt, set the firearm on the boardwalk easily, then stepped away from the building out to the middle of the street.

Tobias felt something go up his spine and knew a trick was coming.  Holstering his hogleg, he started walking toward Len Scoggins, watching carefully the mans eyes and his body for any telltale twitch telegraphing his move.  When he had stepped to within five feet of the big outlaw he knew what he was waiting for.  But, he'd already answered that call many times before, and beat Len to the punch.  With his extremely fast and little known derringer, he drew and fired at the same time Len fired.

Tobias took the slug which cut through the shallow part of his ribs on the outside.  But Len wasn't so lucky.  Len took the little .32 slug from the derringer in the heart and just stood there looking stupidly from his chest to Tobias.  Len reached up his arm to draw his Arkansas toothpick from behind his neck and Tobias drew his .44 and fired again, this time striking him in the head.  That was another thug, crook, and outlaw who died before he hit the ground.

The remainder of the group by this time had shucked their weapons and were being frisked by the lawmen.  In the week to come they would all be hung.  Tina Hubbard laid out the story from the get-go of her life after being abducted from her home, brought across the country via train landing in Los Angeles, then eventually being pistol whipped and left for dead by Len Scoggins.  She described in detail the offenses of each man, what she had seen as they came across the country and after being in Los Angeles.

Tobias talked with her and she described an additional four other men who had come to town.  They had not been with the original Dockers and Len Scoggins on the day Len died.  They were promptly rounded up, tried and hung.

He spoke kindly of her sister, Jane, which turned out to be Abigail Lena Hubbard.  They spent much time together during the following weeks and she eventually became a citizen of Smile, eventually married a lawman and became a business owner.  One by one Smile was being populated with good, solid, people many of which had experienced hard lives.  People you could depend on, people to ride the river with.

But there was one man who was very much a Docker, being a close friend of Monk Eastman, leader of the Eastmans who established his turf within the bowery in New York City (real life).  The Bowery was a street and district of lower Manhattan in New York City in which flophouses and rowdies were rife with the crime they brought.  The Eastmans maintained a large part of the street and neighborhood in the southern portion of New York City in which was found the borough of Manhattan.

The Eastmans gang had notable thugs such as Kid Twist, Big Jack Zelig, Chick Tricker, Gyp the Blood, Lefty Louis and Dago Frank.  They specialized in contract killing, gambling and a plethora of crimes.  The man at the center of attention now went by Googy Corcoran, his real name Frank King, older brother of Siegfried King, aka Snake of the Manny Osborn gang.  He also had an affiliation with the Whyos, whose leader was Danny Lyons, close kin to Major Lyons of the 5th Cavalry.

He had sworn to Jim Burnett, first governor of California, that he would take out Tobias Gale.  The governors own beef with Tobias was simply that he disagreed with the governor on genocide of the Indian population, and, had stated "You tell the governor I'm coming after him next."

This statement was made to one of the governors' own "inside employees."  "You get him and I'll give you a thousand dollars" the governor had told him.  Now, Googy intended to get that thousand dollars and some justice to boot.  He was going to take revenge for the killing of his brother, Snake.

Big Jim, aka Skyler had told him of his brothers death, how he died, and who did it.  Now, Tobias Gale must die, but not until his own family died in front of him.  But he never figured on how vicious a Cherokee squaw could be, so when he tangled with Golden Fawn, he soon realized he'd bitten off much, much more than he could chew.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Chapter XII