A Prairie Tale

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Chapter 5: The Horse Breeder

Jackson Springwater was known to be a well-known horse breeder and plantation owner, but also known as a ‘land thief’, mainly because of his greed for more power for his horses and himself. These criminal deeds were only kept to himself, however.

His home was not that close to many towns, but people did stop there as a horse resting station. There was even a general store that was in business near the breeding ground. He had trouble with many other ‘clients’ recently. He used forgery, deception and misconception to rob land off strangers.

All the horses were well fed, and given a great roof over their heads. Jackson respected them, as if they were family. They were also reliable and very fast; in addition, he had many keen ranchers helping them for the breaking in.

Though he lives off his devious schemes, he has a family of 3. He had a wife and a son, and he felt he couldn’t admit his deeds at all. Jackson continued his life; just after taking land off one more person he had issues with over the last few years. It was a dark chilly night at the breeding ground, so he checked on all his horses before heading to his lodge.

The lodge wasn’t massive, but 3 people could easily live in it. He received a telegram message going off. He read it, and it said that his food supplies would arrive tomorrow. Plus, since he had a massive feast the previous night, they had nothing. Jackson couldn’t throw his horses in the cooking pot; he loved them and couldn’t eat them instead of any food.

He never had a massive connection with his own family, with his private ‘business’ going about. He had found an evil doer (in his opinion) who he was going to promise to himself to deprive him of his small shack and hunting ground. It was an easy task, as he knew the victim’s father that somehow got his signature elsewhere; the perfect match for a counterfeit. After this, he also promised himself to stop his unkind ways forever.

When Jackson retired to bed, he kept on thinking continuously on his consequences that he may not get away with this. But it was his last and never got detected before, so he stuck to it; no one will ever know in the future. He rested his eyes and got his relaxation.

In the morning, he knew a friend of his to deliver a warning. The man he wanted was Bill Burton, a ruthless hunter and social outcast Jackson knew for years. He even told his family about him. Those both never got on, as Jackson respected all animals big and small while Bill killed them all.

Jackson only knew one person who knew what he did, and that was his messenger of eviction. His name was Samuel Armstrong, and once you saw him, you knew when to get out of your house…

Armstrong returned, and said about him denying his deed to the ranch. Therefore, it is time for Jackson to close in. He immediately went indoors and signed papers and deed letters for approval, but was interrupted by a rancher, and said to him. “Jackson, one of the wild horses, they are running coarse. What shall we do?”

“I will be out there in a minute.”

Jackson grabbed his gun and holster, put on his spurred boots and left. When outside, he was about to see the horse, but was interrupted by a tough looking roughneck walking over to him. They caught eyes and walked over to each other slowly and steadily. Jackson said to Bill,

“Deed or no deed, I am taking that land.”

“You can’t. It is mine and what are you going to do about it?” He said this waving the deed with two clear signatures.

“You’ll see, stranger.”

They were both face to face, with angry expressions. With a raucous voice, Bill said,

“You can have it, if you agree to a duel…”

“A duel? Ha, I accept.”

Jackson and Bill stood back, away from each other. Bill had a neutral long faced look, while Jackson was smiling, rubbing his holster smoothly.

Both hands were on the gun, with Samuel Armstrong saying with a robust voice,

“DRAW!”

Jackson was put off guard, and Bill Burton pulled his gun with master speed and shot at Jackson’s hand disarming him. Then Jackson fell to his knees yelping in pain. Bill walked over to him, grinning.

“This just isn’t your lucky day, is it? Stay off my land, or that bullet will fly into your head next time.” Bill said, walking away. Jackson was clinging on his arm in pain, and shouted at Armstrong,

“Damn. Uh… get this bloody bullet out goddangit!”

Armstrong was ignorant and said with a laid back attitude sarcastically,

“Sure, boss.”

“Sam, why?”

“Where’s my bloody money! It’s been nearly 5 years and all you gave me is a sick mule and poor quality food you probably feed the horses with.”

Armstrong walked away carelessly from Jackson and towards his horse. He called out to Jackson,

“Yeah, Jackson. THIS is what you should do with misbehaved wild horses.”

Samuel pulled out his revolver and shot the wild horse Jackson was trying to break in earlier, causing it to rear and whimper. Samuel also never liked Jackson as much, having low pay and sometimes pointless work many hours a day. He then added,

“Goodbye, Jackson.”

“Wait… Samuel no!”

Samuel left, leaving Jackson with a punctured arm. He limped on the way to the neighbouring general store to get some bandages and some medicine. He entered, and the shopkeeper said,

“Jackson, what in blazes name happened to you?”

“Long story, have you got any supplies?”

“Yes. Give me a moment.”

Jackson waited around 5 minutes, and prayed for a swift and painless recovery. The shopkeeper gave him bandages and an arm sling. He paid and left, hoping to get revenge on that traitor Samuel.

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