Champ McKay - Texas Space Ranger - Episode 1

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Episode 1 - Champ McKay, Texas Space Ranger

It ain't often that a Ranger has the luck to be in town when someone gets it into his head to rob the bank. Usually Rangers come into town days if not weeks after the act to pick up the Wanted poster and try to follow the scallywag's trail. That spells weeks on the trail tracking the villains, sometimes out deep into the Territories. Even if a Ranger gets lucky and bags the thieves, he only gets one or two at most.

That's how it usually works. But not today. Today, some fellas decided to knock over the local mercantile and then the bank. How they knew the bank had just received a vault-full of gold bullion I'll never know. However they did it, they managed to get all that gold and enough rations to feed an army and they did it all without killing anyone.

I take my hat off to their restraint, but I still have to bring 'em in.

Dead or alive.

Who am I? Name's Champ McKay. I'm one of those Rangers I mentioned earlier. A Texas Ranger to be exact. Been carrying the badge for more'n three years now. That makes me something of an old-timer in case you was wonderin'.

So, as I was sayin', some fellas, they robbed the mercantile, the bank and then skedaddled, all in under thirty minutes and all without killin' anyone or drawin' any attention to themselves until they was gone.

It was masterful work, but they left a trail a child could follow. Guess they weren't too worried about bein' followed.

My horse was saddled and I was ready to hit the trail within an hour of the crime. A few folks offered to form a posse around me, but...well, I ain't never been too good workin' with others. I politely thanked them and rode outta town at a gallop, just in case they got any ideas to come anyway.

Like I said before, it twertn't nothing to findin' and followin' the varmits trail. They was in a wagon or somesuch with a couple outriders. I didn't think it would be all that hard to catch up. Still, I wasn't going to ride Clive, my trusty horse, into the ground. We had a lot of miles to cross, I was certain and I needed him. Sides, I always preferred catchin' up when it was dark. Varmits never would know how many or even where I was until I had them under wraps.

That's the way I liked it. Fast, and quiet-like. Maybe that was why I was looking forward to my twenty-third birthday while a lot of my compatriots were taking dirt-naps all across Texas and the Territories. Maybe that's why three years with a badge made me an old-timer for a Ranger.

I slowed Clive to a ground-eating lope and followed the trail until it was too dark to track. That was powerful strange because I really should have caught up with my quarry hours before the sun ever had a chance to set. Wagons ain't known to being fast. Able to carry loads, sure, but not fast.

How they kept ahead of me was a mystery for another day. I found a likely spot to set up camp and settled in for the night. There wasn't much point to riding in the dark. Chances were I might ride right on past and never find them until they had a chance to split up. I'd never live that down.

I was back in the saddle at first light, drinkin' the last dregs of coffee from my tin mug. The trail was still as clear as before with all of them villains continuing to stick together. That was fine with me. I really wasn't in the mood to chase them all over the Territories.

And it was the Territories we was headed towards. Arizona Territory to be exact. Them fellas was makin' a beeline for a point in southern Arizona Territory that was straighter than most arrows flew. Another reason I was having no trouble followin' them.

It was makin' me nervous to tell you the truth. Only time I've ever had an easy time of it was when some sidewinder was waitin' in ambush for me.

Thing was, there really were no good ambush spots around. And when I did come across one, a little bit of scoutin' showed it to be empty of life. No, these boys didn't seem too interested in anything but gettin' wherever they was goin'. And they had some fire lit under them cause I still didn't seem to be catchin' up to them. The trail sign never did seem to be gettin' any fresher. In point of fact, I do believe I was losin' ground on them.

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