Legends

LEGENDS tells the story of a young woman, and the cowboy she loves, who leave their mark on a wild land. Contact Tom "Forty Rod" Taylor at gun.slick@juno.com

Alone at the bar stood Glen Gray, an untouched drink before him.  He watched Jack’s reflection in the mirror above the back bar as the lawman slowly walked to stand beside him.  Neither said anything, each watching the other.

     “What changed your mind out there, Gray?”

     Glen Gray stood staring at his own reflection before dropping his eyes and shrugging.  He picked up the drink in front of him, held it for a second, and set it back down again without tasting it. 

     “That damned farmer.  What he said out there, that was the truth wasn’t it?  Keller did that to his daughter?” 

     Jack nodded.  Gray picked up the drink and tossed it off in one quick motion and when the bartender picked up a bottle and started forward, Gray waved him off.

     “I thought so.  A man couldn’t make up a story like that.  Not an’ tell it that way.” 

     He turned to face Jack.. 

     “Mister, I ain’t never been a good man.  I robbed stages, a bank, an’ even an Army payroll.  I’ve shot many men an’ never given it much thought.  I never killed nobody that wasn’t as bad as me, I never killed nobody that didn’t have it comin’, an’ every one was facin’ me an’ had his chance, but by God I never hurt no women or kids, an’ I never raped an’ beat up no little girls.  That ain’t somethin’ a man does, an’ it ain’t somethin’ a man puts up with.”

     He stopped grim-faced and shaking. 

     “Nossir, it ain’t.  I didn’t know nothin’ about that, but I figger Crawford had to.  He an’ Keller been together a long time.  I couldn’t abide that in nobody, so…”

     “You backin’ off out there probably saved my life, Gray.  I knew I could take Crawford an’ likely Keller, too, but you were a wild card.  You don’t shape up like somebody I could take alone, much less with those other two.  I’m obliged to you.”

     The gunman gave Jack a wry smile. 

     “I’d hate to have to make my money betting on which is best.” 

      “Let me buy you a drink, Gray?”

     “I don’t think so.  I don’t think I’m gonna be doing much drinkin’ from here on out, but thanks for the offer.  It means a lot.”

     Jack started to walk away when Gray asked, “Who are you, Mister?  I don’t even know your name.”