Chapter Fourteen

The men in Sam’s posse considered themselves cowboys, although they rarely used the word. Three of these men were new hires. They’d only worked under Sam’s categorically strong leadership for two weeks. Their ages ranged from 20 to 25, so they were still pliable and easily influenced. The other three men, aged 25 to 35, had been with Sam for a little over a year. They knew Sam’s antics fairly well. These cowboys were brave and adventurous. Otherwise, Sam wouldn’t have hired them. These cowboys thought of themselves as free and independent when they first moved West, but they learned real quick just how much they depended on Sam’s generosity, especially when it came to daily bread and “Drinks on the house!” They were willing and able to give up a large percentage of their freedom in exchange for Sam’s patriarchal pony show at the ranch, where it’s “All you can eat!” for dinner every night.

Earlier that morning, when they gathered together back at the Deputy’s office, Sam wanted Luke, his men, and Deputy McCoy, to learn and understand that he meant business; he stood firm in his resolve, and he was a force to be reckoned with. Sam’s whole charade found its perfect setting when he took to the stage in the name of The Law. Sam needed to know exactly what these men were made of, and if he could count on them. If so, he would install the fear of Sam deep in their souls.

Unbeknownst to Sam was the fact that everyone involved already had the instinctive notion that he might kill anyone who fiercely dared to oppose him. That made Sam somewhat unpredictable in their eyes, but he wanted these cowboys to perceive him as such. Sam fascinated himself over his ability to manipulate others from a distance. He had these men right where he wanted them. They were like putty in the hands of a master potter. The way Sam looked at it, he was doing them a favor. These boys didn’t know what was good for them.

Sam didn’t want them to think that joining a posse was an easy game. He wanted them to think they might witness and take part in a hanging that very night. That’s why he dropped the rope under the Oak’s lowest limb. He wanted to keep them guessing. Sam thought his action entirely reasonable, and he told them why — it was the most logical place to leave it. So, not only were these men afraid of Sam, but now they were afraid of the unknown and the immediate future. This was Sam’s power trip. If it were to be his last, he wanted to make the most of it. He desperately needed this final conquest to confirm his own fleeting manhood.

Thus were the moods that oozed their way into all these men as they departed Bedlam. The wind at their backs from the North had increased in intensity, and the mercury was steadily plummeting. A very fine mist followed the posse southwards. The sun had already set in the West, and soon they’d be riding through eerie darkness. The full moon rose early that night. It could faintly be seen once in a while through the grey overcast skies. The wild exciting adventures Sam envisioned for these high-spirited men were dampened by an early winter cold front. The river they needed to cross on the way to the robber’s cave was 7 or 8 miles further down the dirt road. The cave was another 5 miles off to the West from there. Because of the foul weather, Sam decided to step things up a bit. He picked up his pace and the men followed suit, as misery drew ever closer. Sam had many things on his mind, and he allowed those thoughts to command his attention.

You see, Sam did not daydream. To him that was a frivolous activity. To be exact, Sam was immersing himself in the act of contemplating the practical; what they could do, and how, and when, and why they could do it. Simultaneously, Sam’s aching bones and sore muscles distracted him. He was out of shape compared to these young men. They were in great physical condition. Sam was just…well, out of practice you might say. They were barely into the ride when he was forced to face his own miserable thoughts. “Dammit! I’m getting too old for this.” He’d never been a quitter, and he wasn’t about to start now.


12 thoughts on “Chapter Fourteen

  1. A fine write Uncle Tree. You tell it well.
    Now I’m not bitchin or anything, but today being Friday the 13th and coincidentally this particular date being especially perplexing and peculiar

    today is THE 13TH FRIDAY THE 13TH

    number 13 in the countdown of the remaining friday the 13th’s remaining til 2012.

    There are exactly twelve more fridays that fall on the 13th day of a month before the end of 2012.

    So maybe could you label this chapter another 13. Then the next one (15) could be 14.

    You know…. “just in case”

    The Mayans were hyper superstitious (damn near insane in some respects) yet with their amazing and comprehensive knowledge in astrology and cosmos.

    With their extremely accurate understanding of the cycles of heavenly bodies. Their seemingly natural ability to ‘see’ and ‘know’ the earthly cycles. With this crystal clear vision understood how to precisely ‘predict’ each cycle and the spiraling cycles within…

    This hyper superstitious culture neva eva feared the numerical value 13

    13 was never associated with any negative aspect of luck, fate, or destiny. It was seen for what it was: the number of cycles (28 day months) that were naturally present in one revolution of the subsequent larger cycle (13 month year)


    another ramble from me while in your house

    I thank you for sharing your story dearest Tree

  2. Weird, isn’t it, Dusty?
    Superstitious is spelled with 13 letters, as is comprehensive. Say what?

    Numerology is a revolution through the randomness of starry positions.
    It’s not supposed to make sense to us. The Cosmos deciphers systems
    created by a jolt of libidos coursing their way to destinations of ethereal
    significance. The magnetic pulse of sensationalized sensors beam mystic
    revelations to non-directional platitudes that position themselves in
    accord to the frets on the scale of the most absolute musical number
    ever conceived, forever remaining over the heads of men who listen not.

    Hanging a random ramble requires skills beyond this tree’s jurisdiction.

    Have a great weekend, now! Ya hear? UT

  3. Harmonics?

    😉 just kidding (I don’t know how many friday the 13ths are left until 2012)

    and there is no way to tell for sure until that day comes when the world doesn’t end
    (at least not in this confusing 12 month fall down spring upward an hour right wing run trying to be a savior to time hoopla)

    We need more renegade states like Arizona (not waiting to fall back)

    I here

  4. There was a time when prophets were held in the highest regards.
    Then came a time when those who accidentally uttered prophecies
    were seen as witches. The blazing fire that burns at the stake purifries.
    ‘The light that never warms’ is released, and now there’s hell to pay!

    I’m buying oceanside property in Arizona just as soon as I win the lottery.

    I win 🙂

  5. Silly Tree

    *dings tuning fork* diiiinggg

    *pluck string* EEEeeee Fllllaaaatttttt



    yes tree (was I accidentally right about the number of 13th’s left on fridays?)

    accidents are sinonyms to prophecies

  6. achin’ bones temper the soul….

    Sounds like Sam is beginning a new journey within this pursuit of justice.


    we will fly, fry, or it may just pass by
    2013 is the reason why

  7. The music of the sacred spheres
    drums a beat within our ears
    Cordless instruments of light
    reverberate in third-eye sight

    Then accidents are always seen
    as if the glass were left unclean

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