Good Morning, everyone! As promised, we have a Special Monday post. I give you all the finale of The Hangman’s Stage.
Have a great day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.
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Sara helped Tucker to his feet. His side was slick with blood, soaking his shirt and running down his leg. He waved her concerned look away with a pained smile.
“Jus’ split some stitches is all.”
Doc climbed down from the roller and rushed over. He slid Tucker’s pistol into the holster. His two slender right arms carefully examined Tucker’s arm. He nodded with a quick smirk.
“Your arm is fine, Tucker. It has only been dislocated. I can pop it back in now. It’s going to hurt tremendously, I assure you. But then, it’s going to hurt no matter where it’s done.” Doc yanked down on Tucker’s arm. There was a wet, sucking pop and Tucker cried out. “There we are. Isn’t that better Tucker? Now to re-stitch your side.”
Doc jumped to his feet and ran to the roller.
“Hey, Doc!” Tucker cradled his shoulder as he stood. “How ‘bout we get some whiskey in me ‘for ya start.”
Tucker turned towards the city and started walking. Sara slithered along beside him. The glitter of light from the city gate was unmistakable, Judge Law was on his way. His entourage of silver plastic clad goons on his heels. Tucker shook his head.
“That sum’bitch is comin’ fer Doc.” He spat into the dirt. “Tell me how shootin’ this prick is a bad idea? I can’t see no down side to it.”
“Doc cleared them buzzards off. It’s gotta be worth somethin’ to clear him up, right? Hell, them axe-bill’s woulda ripped this place down.” Sara glanced back at Doc as the roller started up.
“I ain’t never seen no herd so big. Somethin’ had ta spook ‘em enough to gather like that.” Tucker dug into his shirt pocket and pulled out a cigar. He wedged into the corner of his mouth. He fished around his pockets for a match with no luck. “Hell.”
Doc drove forward, heading back towards the city. Judge Maxwell Law and his Jurors stepped over the bodies of a couple axe-bills and got in front of the roller, hands out in front of them. Doc hit the brakes and leaned out the window.
“Can I give you a lift back to town? If not I would ask you to get out of the way. I would hate for anything bad to happen to a Judge.” Doc’s wry smile sent the Judge into fits.
“How dare you! How dare you threaten a member of the courts! You, Sir, have taken your criminal behavior well too far into the realms of indecency! I’ll not stand for it.” The Judge stomped a foot. Behind him, one of the axe-bills bodies stirred and slowly stood. It fixed its six eyes on the Judge’s glittering mirror coat and pants. “Furthermore, the charges of attempting escape from custody and failure to adhere to the laws of the court will be applied to your case!”
Doc glanced at Tucker’s rifle in the passenger seat and pushed the driver’s door open. He thumped his clubbed foot out and took aim.
“Help!” The Judge screamed, waving his arms in a panic. “The murderer has a weapon! Kill him!”
Doc fired. The explosive rocket round hit the axe-bill that reared up behind the Judge. Maxwell Law and his Jurors were thrown to the ground by the concussive force as the axe-bill splattered, bits flying into the air. The Judge turned, eyeing the gooey carnage with a dry laugh.
“Hah! It seems you’re coming to your senses.” The Judge turned back to Doc. “Your trial and hanging will proceed as planned. The guilty, you see, always get what they deserve.”
The Judge’s head split, almost exactly down the middle. The Jurors stood dumbfounded, staring at the beak that came spinning down from the sky. It still smoked from the explosive shot. Judge Law gurgled a final breath and dropped to the ground.
Doc set the rifle back in the cab. “Did the Judge Maxwell Law, ever tell you how he saw what I did, or who the two men were?” He asked the Jurors, who turned to face him. “His real name is Elroy. Maxwell Elroy. The two I killed were called Marvin and Matthew Elroy. They were his younger brothers.”
Tucker and Sara watched the Jurors closely as they listened, Tucker’s hand resting on a holstered pistol. The Jurors stood still in their plastic silver robes, patiently listening.
“You see,” Doc continued, “he and his brothers beat and raped two women. Phyllis and Phoebe Mulligan, aged 13 and 15. They deserved it I assure you. And the only reason Maxwell there was still alive is because I thought him dead already. Seems fate fixed that problem. Now, if you would be so kind as to move out of the way…”
Doc slid back into the seat and closed the door. Tucker smiled as the Jurors moved and Doc pulled ahead. Sara wrapped an arm around Tucker’s waist as they continued into the city.
It didn’t take long for the Jurors to load into the rig and leave the city. A trail of dust and the diminishing thunder of the engine following them out. Tucker unbuttoned his shirt and planted himself on a bench out front of the saloon. Doc cleaned tucker’s side and removed the torn stitches. He got to work re-closing the knife wound again.
“Dreadful work, Tucker. This is the second time I’ve had to sew you back together.” Doc chuckled quietly. “You’ll have to wear a sling for your arm too. It’ll help the shoulder heal.”
“Yer the doc, Doc.”
Doc smiled and finished the stitches. He swabbed the wound clean again and bandaged it. Sara winked at Tucker as he buttoned his shirt and tucked it in. As he buckled his belt, Sara struck a match. Tucker leaned in and puffed gently to light his cigar. He stood with a sigh.
“Ya ever get tha feelin’ somethin’ big’s ‘bout ta happen?” Tucker rolled the cigar around his mouth.
Doc shot him a knowing look. “Tucker, you have no idea…”