Chapter 9

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Cade eyed the sheriff as the man tried to hide his reaction to seeing the dead man. It was obvious the sheriff recognized him but didn't want Cade to know. That was very curious. "He looks a little familiar but I don't know who he is." The sheriff said as he looked around at the ever growing crowd, sending out a silent message to them. "What did you say happened again?"

Cade took a deep breath trying to keep his frustration in check. "He came to the Second Chance last night and tried to force himself on Miss Matthews. I happened to be around and heard him, when I asked him to leave, the fool drew on me."

"Were there any witnesses to back you up on this?"

"Just me and Miss Matthews." He practically gritted out.

"Humph. I guess I'll have to take your word for it. If you ask me, she's been asking for it, I'm surprised it's taken this long. What kind of a woman wears britches and lives with nothing but men? A whore, that's who. If you're going to invite the attention, then you need to be prepared for it. Just leave him, we'll get him over to the undertaker." The sheriff nodded towards the body.

"All right, we're just going to have ourselves a drink and pick up a few supplies before we head back out to the ranch. If you have any questions, you know where to find us." Cade and John turned and walked to the nearest saloon.

"Why are we going to the saloon?" John asked in confusion.

Ignoring the boy, not used to explaining his actions to anyone, Cade swallowed his anger. He didn't like the sheriff nor did he like what he'd said about Faith. She was not a whore! He'd known plenty of those. She wore britches for convenience. How else was she supposed to manage a ranch? The smell of stale cigarette smoke, alcohol, and unwashed bodies assailed their senses as they walked through the saloon doors. They sat down at the bar and ordered two beers. Reaching up, Cade pulled his hat a little lower then watched the room in the mirror behind the bar. After sitting there for an hour and hearing nothing, they left the saloon, picked up a few things and went back to the ranch.

"Why in the hell did you bring him here? Bartholomew Hurst asked with gritted teeth.

"I figured your sister would want him buried on family land, that's why." Sheriff Gil Turner replied, not the least bit intimidated by his cousin's tone.

"What if someone saw you leave with his body and knows you're bringing him here? There are a lot of new people in this town."

"That's right. There are a lot of new people in town and they don't know we're kin or that Mort was your nephew. As far as everyone else goes, they won't talk to nobody, they all know better." The sheriff said with a menacing little chuckle. He'd only had to make an example out of a couple of people. "What was the fool doing on that ranch anyway? There's only so much I can do for you. You're going to keep going and end up messing with the wrong family. You don't want the US Marshall's to come nosing around, do you?" Sheriff Turner asked as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"I don't know what he was doing there! I told the stupid bastard more than one time not to go over there by himself. Did you find out what happened?"

"This fella named Jacobs said Mort tried to have his way with the woman. Jacobs told him to leave and Mort drew on him, so he shot Mort. Pretty cut and dry. I have to believe this Jacobs fella because he brought the body to town. He could have just buried him and we would have never known."

Bart's eyes widened at the mention of Jacobs name. "What did he say his first name was?" He knew who it was but still he asked anyway.

"Let me think." Turner thought for a second or two. "Jacobs, Jacobs. Aha! He said his name was Cade Jacobs. Why?"

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