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Chapter 23

Who was he to interfere anyway? He had done exactly what any true friend should do. . . and now the rest was up to Stan. He had gone to see Boris several times and found that the man was actually very likeable.

They’d spoken several times, and had sworn to the other that if the worst should happen the survivor would protect the other’s family.

Bill actually felt better after making the pact with Boris. The man was a mountain, and had more than his share of guts. Neither man would ever just roll over and give up. But the odds did have a very shitty way of changing without notice. Now it was time to go and take out the trash.

Boris had done his best to change, he loved Brenda and his son Brandon. Brenda, had told him that she was pregnant with their next child, and he was very pleased.

He’d opened the bottle and poured them both a tall glass of the chilled beverage. “Relax baby, it’s apple juice. I gave you my word, and this time, I plan on keeping it. I’ve been sober for almost two months.”

A little lie, but she didn’t have to know.

“I’m proud of you Boris.”

“When this problem is over and done with, I want to start working on certain little projects. This has got me to thinking that the shit can hit at any time, our family will survive.”

Brenda smiled admiration shining in her eyes. Boris had done a one-eighty, and if he stayed clean and sober, they’d have a very long life together.

“What kind of projects?”

“I’m not real sure I can explain them accurately, I’ve heard about them over the years, it will have to be done on the Q.T. But trust me in the end it will all make perfect sense.”

It kinda irritated her when he did that, he’d start a conversation then he’d pull that crap, “You wouldn’t be able to understand it, I’m not sure I can explain it accurately.” Simple translation: You’re a woman and you’re not smart enough to understand.

Here’s one that needs no translation: Fuck You Boris. You sorry son of a bitch. . . you’ll never change.

“I know what you’re thinking Brenda, and baby you’re wrong. I may be able to explain the purpose of what I’m wanting, but I don’t know how to build them. This will have to be done very quietly, and over the course of the next dozen or so years.”

“Then give it your best shot, I just may surprise you.”

Boris took a deep breath and did a slow five count, he had to try to learn to control his temper. The department’s shrink had told him that. If he wanted to stay a cop. . . he had to learn. If he wanted to hold on to his family he had to learn.

Maybe-later he could slip away for a drink, to one of the bunkers that had already been built. He had a bottle of Russian vodka hidden there. “Okay, here goes.” he said with a smile.

Boris was in no way a genius level anything, he had his own ideas of how things should be, and that was that. At times he came across as a complete jerk, because he had the idea that his thoughts were the only ones that should ever be considered as logical. His thoughts on law was what was to be considered legal no matter what. Yeah Boris Stokes was a jerk.

To be blunt he was a complete asshole.

Bo Stokes slowly looked around at the surroundings before he climbed down from the train. He was the family’s only outcast, unless you count the member that was hung in the late 1800′s for murder.

A crime he did not commit.

He’d known all along who had done the deed, but went to his death with a curse on his lips. Knowing that his sister would be safe. Knowing that if the only so-called witness were to speak up after his death, it would mean a noose around his own neck.

Beaumont Stokes died at the age of forty, leaving behind a wife and a son. The son grew to manhood married and had a son. He took one look at his son and gave him the name Beaumont.

“Why would you name him after an outlaw?” His wife had asked.

“Number one: He wasn’t an outlaw, he died because of a lie. His sister killed that banker’s son. The Bastard had raped her and Beaumont showed up after the fact. He heard the two shots and ran inside the house, saw his sister huddled on the floor naked with a gun in her hand.”

“Why didn’t they just tell the truth?”

“Because the sister and the son, had been seeing each other. The entire town knew it. The banker wanted the land and felt if they were to marry, the land would soon become his, if something tragic were to happen to her. He later sent his two sons to deal with sealing the fate.

Susan learned the truth and ordered them off her land. The brothers felt they had nothing to loose, so they were going to rape her. Only one had managed to do that.”

“The other bastard ran, while Beaumont got her out of there, and the law showed up and arrested him, then tried and convicted him. He kept his mouth shut to protect Susan from hanging and the fact that she’d been raped.”

“Yes. My grandfather was a very honorable man.” her husband said with a smile on his lips.

“Okay-what gives? Tell it all now buster!”

“All that is true. The rape and who actually killed the banker’s son the trial everything.” he chuckled softly. “But what isn’t known is this little fact: Susan and two of her cousins broke Beaumont out of jail at the last minute. They beat the shit out of the other brother, chained and gagged him and put the hood over his head.

Two well known Marshals explained that because of his cursing and spitting had forced them to gag him. No need for all to see that, they had to work him over so. . . they had gone ahead and put the hood on as well.”

“They hung the banker’s son!”

“Yeah. They hung the bastard. Nobody ever asked why the son wasn’t at the hanging. They all felt that he just couldn’t face the fact his brother was dead.”

“How do you know all this?” his wife had asked suspiciously.

“We’d go and visit relatives, and I’d sit and listen for hours to one tell stories.” again the smile.

“I hate it when you smile like that. Tell it mister!”

“Tell what dear? Tell you that the old man, that told me the stories was Beaumont Stokes. Yeah, I grew up hearing real stories from a real live gunfighter. He had other sons from other women who had taken his name. Chances are there are many of his descendants all over.”

“Tell me about it Pop.” Bo muttered bitterly. “Some real low class, and some that are just pure ass.” I’m the black sheep of the Stokes’s family and yet I’ve never been in jail, I work from place to place. I don’t want to put down any roots. Who the fuck needs em?

He’d heard about the branch of the Stokes family that lived outside of Channing. He’d also heard of the trouble that had been brewing. Like his great grandfather he had a skill, but he’d never hire out that skill to family.

He wasn’t a lowlife.

But if he could just get a roof over his head, maybe three square meals, he’d work sunup to sundown for them. If needed he’d use that skill to cull the herd down. Blood being thicker than water.

Besides he’d heard about the German, and none of what he’d heard was to his liking. Drugs and prostitution? What kind of a sick fucker forces kids into that?

A goddamn lowlife. He smiled as he answered his own question.

He was thirty years old, and after his parents were killed he just started drifting. Anything was better than boarding school, or living with that one aunt.

Woman always smelled like mothballs and stale whiskey.

He lived with her one week, and then left. The woman was just too gross. She’d walk down the hall and fart and dribble. She’d always do this when he had friends over to study. And once when he had a girl over. Old hag was suppose to be at Beulah’s snapping peas, and canning pickled okra. Came home to see if he wanted to go over and watch them.

Yeah right, like any kid would ever want to do that.

There was an invention called toilet paper, but she always insisted on using corncobs. Then the night she got into the shower with him to conserve water was it man.

She was just three hundred pounds of wrinkles. Absolutely gross. He ran screaming from the stall, peeing himself as he ran down the hall into his room. He quickly dressed then packed and left.

He shook his head and smiled at the woman, that stood before him. “Lost in very deep thought, I’ve been talking to you for ten minutes.” the woman said sarcastically.

“After the first two, you should have taken the hint.”

“I never.”

“Probably never will, I know you won’t with me.” Bo said with a smile. Jeeze, what a town. Just hit town and already some bitch is talking garbage.

“My husband, will settle this.” the woman shouted angrily as she stormed away.

“Best hurry down that aisle lady, you ain’t getting any prettier, and the clock is still ticking.”

The large officer that walked up to him shook his head sadly. This was the part of the job he hated most. The guy was just a drifter, and probably a real nice guy. But when the mayor’s wife is mayor is unhappy and everybody else is unhappy.

“Son can I see some identification please.” Bill asked.

“Sure officer.” Bo replied, as he pulled his wallet from his back pocket. “Did I do something wrong?”

“Lady, you exchanged words with is the mayor’s wife. I know her and I know she probably insulted you first. Hell-I know she did. But. . .”

“There a law against freedom of speech in this town officer? Is this town above the constitution. Did I make a wrong turn, and somehow wind up in some other country?”

Bill wanted to smile and laugh, there was something about this guy, that made him want to just walk away. “Beaumont Stokes. You any kin to the Stokes’s family that lives near here?”

“That’s why I’m here to find that out if I am, and hopefully they’ll need a hand on the ranch, I’d like to hire on. If I may.” Bo held up his hand and slowly reached into his inside coat pocket, and pulled out a little black book.

Bill could see that it was worn from years of use.

“Boris and Brenda Stokes. An aunt told me that they lived near here, and that they should be the only Boris and Brenda in the area. But I’ve heard that one before with other names.”

“They’ll be the only ones. Tell you what. . . why don’t I give you a ride out to their place. Keep the dragon bitch off your ass for a little while longer.”

“Sure, it’s no bother.”

“None at all. Besides it’ll keep the mayor off my ass for a good hour or two. We’re suppose to arrest anybody, that gives Precious a hard time.”

“Precious? Is that an endearment, or is that her name?”

Both men got into Bill’s unit, and Bill resisted the urge to laugh, “When she was born and about three hundred fifty pounds ago, her father took one look at her and gave her that name.”

Bo did an all over body shiver.

“You okay?”

“Yeah she reminds me of an aunt I used to have. Maybe that’s why I was so sarcastic to her. I do that sometimes without meaning to.”

“It’s something to do with repressed memories. Did she abuse you in some way?”

Bo seemed to be deep in thought for a moment, “Yeah-she was one sick bitch. One extremely very Large sick bitch.”

Bill arched an eyebrow. Maybe this guy was a fruit-loop. Why didn’t he do a pat down before doing this?

“You were saying about your aunt.”

“She was just twisted, I don’t think she ever had a man look at her twice. I swear she had to weigh close to three hundred pounds. She used corncobs to wipe her ass.”

Bill turned and looked at the man to see if he could detect any deceit. He couldn’t.

“After my parents were killed in a car wreck I was sent to live with her. I was twelve. I was there maybe a week, and I was taking a shower. She comes and gets in with me. . . scared the piss out of me literally. I ran down the hall got dressed packed and left.”

Bill slowed down and pulled over, Bo’s first thought was that he was about to be put out. That the cop thought he was a nutcase. Bill started laughing, and opened the door and had to get out of his unit.

Oh fucking great! I finally tell the story, and the guy-a cop I tell it to laughs his goddamn ass off.

Bill walked around his unit several times trying to compose himself. He’d catch sight of Bo and he’d start laughing again. He finally got a grip on himself and got back into his unit. “Sorry but I can just see you running down the hall leaving a trail. Your aunt yelling: I need you to shave my armpits junior, mama is very pleased to have you here.”

Bo sat there for a minute thinking that the cop was a nutcase. Why did he accept this ride? Why didn’t he take a better look at the name tag?

Bill went into another laughing spree, and Bo just shook his head, and muttered a low curse. The humor of the words were still taunting him, and he finally gave in and joined Bill’s laughter.

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