Night of the Seven

by Nadine

Crossover with Wild Wild West

Earlier that same day agent Jim West caught up with Judge Travis in Four Corners. They were speaking in the town jail, the Judge having sent JD out to find Chris. West quickly told the Judge what his partner Artemus Gordon had found out about what was going on in Sweet Water.

"That’s not a lot to go on, your partner hasn’t gotten close enough to Loveless to discover any details of his plans," said Judge Travis.

"Unfortunately no, but your man Standish and his cousin have managed to get invited to Loveless’ home within twenty-four hours of arriving in town. Is he that good or was it luck?" asked West.

"A bit of both probably, the man has the luck of the devil at times," smiled the Judge.

"Can he and his cousin Vincent be trusted?

"I trust them and the other five lawmen to protect this town and the lives in it. My grandson and daughter-in-law live in Four Corners Mr. West" the Judge reminded him.

"I need to know if their ties to the South will make them sympathetic to Loveless’ plans."

"I doubt that very much. Their lives are too tied up with the people of Four Corners," answered the Judge.

Restlessly, West walked over to the window and looked out, watching the town folk go along with their lives. The Judge kept talking behind him.

"Standish will make the most of the situation and will learn all he can. But I don’t see him sharing that information with someone he doesn’t know and trust. I don’t think your Mr. Gordon will get much out of him or Vincent." (Cousin Vincent?), the Judge thought to himself. He would have to ask Chris what the hell that was all about.

"When can I talk to the others?

"As soon as they get here. Remember that these men are not errand boys. You’ll be wise not to treat them as such."

West didn’t answer. His attention was fixed on a man walking toward the jail. He was dressed all in black; his duster billowed around his lean frame as he walked, his gun hung low on his hip. This was a dangerous, deadly individual. Four other men joined him; an image of a wolf pack came instantly to mind; the man in black as the Alpha male. When West saw that the town’s young sheriff was part of the pack, he realized that this then must be five of the seven lawmen that protected Four Corners. Jim West now understood why the town seemed so peaceful. Who in their right mind would want to go up against a pack of wolves?

With the five peacekeepers, Judge Travis and Jim West, the jail’s small office space was crowded. Still, Chris Larabee dominated the room. Jim West reminded himself he needed the help of these men and not to try to take the leadership position himself; that belonged to Larabee. He didn’t think these men would follow anyone else and definitely not a stranger, even if he was a government agent.

"Gentlemen, thank you for coming. By now you know something is going on in Sweet Water. That something is a man who calls himself Loveless, Dr. Miguelito Loveless. A brilliant criminal mastermind who has in the past tried to take over or destroy large parts of this country; regardless of the loss of human life and property. My partner and I have managed to stop him so far, but this time he has surrounded himself with innocents, settlers looking for a new start, ex-soldiers looking for jobs. They have no idea what he is really up to or how he plans to use them. Loveless has set himself up as their hope for a better future, a new South which will make him very hard to get at."

"A man will fight to protect his family and his dreams." This came from Josiah.

"Yes Mr. Sanchez, Loveless has studied human nature and he uses that knowledge to his own advantage."

"What do you want of us?" questioned Buck.

"Your help in getting to Loveless and stopping him before the territorial governor sends in troops from Fort Freedom. He wants the credit for Loveless’ capture regardless of the loss of life."

The men were silent as this information sunk in.

"If we don’t stop him, there will be a blood bath gentlemen. The governor is an ambitious man, hoping the press he gets for capturing Loveless will get him a cabinet post."

"Many a Washington address has been bought in human blood," remarked the Judge.

"What do you need us for?" asked Chris.

"Your help with stopping Loveless. First, how good are Ezra and Vincent Standish at getting information out of people?"

"By the time we get to Sweet Water, Loveless will have no secrets left. It’s a three day ride, we best get going," said Chris as he turned to the door.

"If I may Mr. Larabee, within a half day’s ride from here I have a train waiting that can take us within twenty miles of Sweet Water. It will save us a day and a half on the trail."

"I like the way you do business Mr. West," said Chris.

+ + + + + + +

"Ez…Ezra are you really awake?" asked Vin the next morning as the pair rode out to Loveless’ estate. Ezra couldn’t keep his eyes open.

"No Vincent. Ah’m back in Four Corners, in ma feather bed sound asleep and all this is a bad dream."

Vin chuckled. Ezra wasn’t a morning person. He laughed out loud as Ezra continued to vent his displeasure.

"Do you realize sir that Ah have not sat in on one poker game since leaving Four Corners nor have Ah even entered a single saloon in that same time period. Ma life has lost its meaning. Ah can only hope that Ah awaken from this nightmare shortly and find out this is all been a bad dream; and why in God’s name did we have to start out so early?"

This time Vin got a word in. "Cause we told the Doc we would be out there today and I want to see the flying machine Miss St.Clair was talking about. The wire we got from the Judge this morning told us to find out what we could about Loveless’ plans, and that Chris and the boys were headed out this way."

"That’s not how he worded the telegraph, but it is the gist of it. But then he couldn’t come right out and say Loveless was a fanatic and that help was on the way." Ezra agreed with Vin’s interpretation.

As they rode on, they discussed ways of gaining that information till they rode up to Loveless’ front door. A servant came to take care of their horses, while another conducted the two men inside.

"Gentlemen, I am glad you could make it," Doctor Loveless greeted them as they walked into the living room. Miss St.Clair was also present, though she was dressed scandalously for the time. She was wearing a man’s work shirt and a pair of jeans, nothing like the baggy work pants worn by young Cassy Welles. These left no doubt that Miss St.Clair was a woman; a fact not lost on either Ezra or Vin, as she smiled at them.

"I’m glad as well, Mr. Standish, while you’re talking business with the Doctor I’m going to steal Vincent away and show him the air machine." Taking Vin’s hand she led him away. "You do want to go for a walk with me don’t you Vincent?" she asked him. Vin just smiled as he left the room with the pretty young woman.

+ + + + + + +

Loveless showed Ezra to his study where, over coffee, he began his sales pitch. But before he could get going Ezra stopped him.

"Dr. Loveless last night after getting back to the hotel ma cousin and Ah found an unpleasant visitor in our room; a man claiming to be an agent of the federal government. He refused to give us a name unless we agreed to tell him all we knew of your plans. We of course threw him out. But Ah have no doubt he was what he said he was or at the very least attached to the territorial governor. Do you have an explanation for the visit?"

Loveless face was impassive as he thought the matter over. "Can you describe this man?"

"Of course, late thirties or early forties, around six feet, dark hair. The room was too dark to ascertain the color of his eyes. Ah’d say he was well educated; a New England schooling, perhaps, and well traveled. There was a bit of New Orleans in his voice. But definitely a Yankee by birth and by sympathy."

"You’re very observant Mr. Standish," remarked the Doctor.

"As you found out when you wired Four Corners, Ah made ma living as a gambler for a number of years after the war. Being observant is necessary in that line of work." Loveless started to protest checking up on them, but Ezra went on, "Ah would expect no less sir. You had to of course check us out to see if our story had any truth in it. Ah hope your sources in Four Corners reassured you of our validity."

"That they did Mr. Standish. As for that visitor in your room, the U.S. government has made a habit of meddling in my business before. I will make sure you’re not troubled again."

"Thank you."

"A personal question Mr. Standish, if I may?"

"Of course sir, though Ah will not guarantee that Ah will answer."

" Except for our first meeting you’ve never shown surprise at seeing a dwarf out west. You have never acted as if my size was of any importance. That has rarely been my experience, most people dismiss me entirely based on my size. A half-man some have called me, belonging in a circus, not having as much power and money as I do. Even the town’s businessmen, hungry for my money, tried to run ruff shod over me at first and still dislike the authority my money has over them. Why sir do you treat me as an equal?" asked Loveless.

"You said it yourself Doctor, power and money. Why wouldn’t Ah show respect to a man who has acquired both? You have the money, and unless Ah’m very much mistaken, you are planning to take the power over the territory from the government of the United States of America, something Ah and many others would enjoy having a hand in helping happen," was Ezra’s answer to the Doctor’s question. Then Ezra added, "To quote Milton, ‘It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven’."

Loveless smiled an evil smile, then said, "Welcome to my team Ezra."

+ + + + + + +

Vin and Miss Helen St.Clair walked out of the house into the garden.

"Where are we headin’ Miss St.Clair?" asked Vin.

"Out past the stable where the doctor’s workshop is located, and Vincent, please call me Helen," turning her charm on with a smile and not letting go of his hand as they walked along.

Vin knew she wanted something but not what. He didn’t mind spending his time with a pretty girl till he found out what she was after. Ezra told him to try to get her talking and see if she knew anything about the Doc’s plans.

"How do ya known the doctor so well?" asked Vin.

"I have known Doctor Loveless all my life. Father and the Doctor have been friends since before I was born. When I became interested in flight, my father told me only Dr. Miguelito Loveless would be able to design and build a flying machine that could actually fly. So I packed my bags and tracked him down. When I finally found him, I shamelessly begged him to enable me to fly."

They came to a low wooden building with a long flat pasture running in front of it. Going up to the double doors, Helen opened them exposing the interior.

"And here Vincent is the marvel that the great mind of Doctor Loveless has built."

There sat the strangest machine Vin had ever seen. Two long canvas frames held apart by wooden struts, in the middle sat seats for two. Behind the seat, sat a motor with a long twisted wooden board on the outer end. A closer look showed that it was curved on the sides. Vin didn’t have a clue as to what it was and said so.

"This thing is supposed to fly? Don’t look like any bird I’ve ever seen, more like a dragonfly then a bird."

"I know it is like nothing you or anyone else has ever seen before, but believe me it does fly. I know, I’ve flown in it." Helen reassured him.

At the look on his face Helen laughed, "Let me show you how it works. Here, grab hold and help pull her out."

They rolled the air machine out into the pasture were Helen explained how Loveless’ air ship worked.

"The motor is made up of metal of the doctor’s own design. Light weight and strong with…"

Vin listened to every word she said. He really wanted to fly.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra sat at a desk in Loveless’ study as the Doctor outlined his real plans for taking over the territory and his means of financing it.

"You really do plan to build a factory in Sweet Water," Ezra said as he went over the blueprints in front of him.

"Of course, there are two foreign powers interested in my invention and the factory will be needed to keep up with their orders." Loveless enjoyed the suspense he was building by making Ezra ask him again what his invention was.

"If you will be so kind Doctor Loveless as to enlighten me as to what these foreign governments will be purchasing from your factory," asked Ezra.

Loveless walked over to the desk Ezra was sitting at and opened a small box. Inside was a clay-like substance. Taking a handful, he rolled it into a ball then handed it to Ezra. Holding the small ball of clay in his hand Ezra looked to Loveless for an explanation.

"What you are holding in your hand is enough explosive to take out half a city block of downtown Washington."

Ezra gently placed the ball of explosive on the desktop.

Loveless laughed, "By itself the material is harmless. Only when exposed to a chemical trigger will an explosion occur."

Ezra picked up the ball again and pushed his thumb into the clay. "A stable, soft, light-weight material with a high yield explosion. Ah can see the attraction for the military."

"There’s more to it than that. My new explosive can be formed or baked into any shape, built into a building and left at a location for years till the buyer is ready to add the chemical that will trigger the explosion. With this I can force the government to hand over control of the territory to me."

"But can you hold on to it against Union troops? " asked Ezra.

"I believe that I can. I’ve learned from previous encounters with the Secret Service that I need to be able to hold, as well as take, want I want from the U.S. government." Pacing around the room Loveless continued talking. "That’s were the settlers and the others come into my plans. Not only as a work force for the factory, but as an army to defend my borders. Jobs and land are what I’m offering to these people and my whole arsenal of explosives and weapons to aid them in that task. They would be outfitted with weapons like the world has never seen before, weapons that the Union army cannot match. I have also made inroads with two foreign governments that will recognize my sovereignty in exchange for the right to buy my new invention and anything else that I may come up with in the future. Yes Ezra, I’ve planned out this campaign very carefully."

Ezra was impressed, this plan could work given time. All the pieces of the plan fell together. All the jobless, landless, men and women disillusioned with how the government operates after years of Grant’s administration would rally to Loveless’ side for a new start. It now all depended on salesmanship, on how Loveless sold himself to the masses.

"This could work," Ezra said out loud his mind racing. "And the wonder of it all is that it would be almost legitimate. Like a pied piper your siren’s song will bring people begging to join your cause. For the promise of a new start in life, all under the protection and leadership of a benevolent genius; a genius who would solve all of their problems and protect and provide for their families. They can work in his factory, a paying job, protect the borders of this new country, another job that pays. Settlers will be given the opportunity to homestead land. In return all he asks is that he be allowed to govern that land and all the lives on it. Under his wisdom the new country will be protected and their futures assured."

Ezra looked at Doctor Loveless with awe, "Sir you are a genius on many different levels. Will you declare yourself king or emperor?"

"Well done Ezra, I knew you had the cunning to understand the concept of my plans and the intelligence to figure out how to sell me to the masses," Loveless praised him.

"Oh lord what have Ah done?" moaned Ezra to himself, "Ah was sent here to stop him not to help solve his problems. Even if Ah admire his mind and abilities, the U.S. government will not allow him to set up his own country in the middle of theirs. How do Ah get out of this?"

Loveless kept talking. "Ezra after lunch I will give you and Vincent a demonstration of my new explosive."

Loud noises filled the air making the pictures on the wall shake.

"Drat that girl, I told her not to fly so close to the house," Loveless grumbled as he walked to the French doors. Opening them and stepping out onto the terrace Ezra followed, puzzled at Loveless’ comments. Loveless was looking up into the sky and Ezra looked up as well to see the strangest machine he had ever seen in his life. Not only was it loud, but it was doing the impossible. The machine was in the air flying like some mystical beast out of mythology. To make matters worse there seemed to be two humans riding on the contraption. Ezra’s world stopped, he knew Vin was one of the two humans on that machine. He watched it start to come down. He was half way to where he saw it go down behind some trees before he realized he was running. Rounding the stable to a flat pasture he saw that the air machine was safely on the ground. There was Vin swinging Helen around in the air. Both were laughing and acting as if they didn’t have a care in the world. Ezra was going to kill him; he was going to kill Vin Tanner for scaring him like that.


"Hey Ez," Vin answered him unaware of his coming doom as he ran to meet his friend. "Did ya see, did ya, did ya see me flying?"

Ezra’s anger died when he saw the look of wonder in his friend’s eyes. Never had he seen such pure joy as that which was coming from Vin at that moment.

"Yes Vincent, Ah saw you flying and it scared me to death," Not wanting to let him off completely for the fright he had experienced. Vin just smiled at him.

"Not any more dangerous then a gun fight or riding a green horse or walking the roof tops, only higher. Helen showed me how to fly, I’ve already got the basics down, Helen says I’m a natural. Ya gotta go up and feel it Ez."

"Feel what Vin?" asked Ezra softly as he watched his friend get that dreamy, far away look on his face again.

"The freedom Ez, the pure freedom of being up where no one can get to ya; with the wind in your face and there’s nothing around ya but the blue sky and knowing nothing can stop ya from going wherever ya want to go. I reckon I know what a bird feels like now. It’s a great feeling Ez."

How could he stay angry with him? The untamed soul of their wild child had experienced what men had tried for centuries to achieve.

Miss Helen walked up to them, "I hope you weren’t too worried Mr. Standish, Vincent is a natural flyer. He has picked up how to operate the air machine quickly."

"You mean Vincent was at the controls of the contraption?" asked a shocked Ezra

"Sure was, tomorrow I’ll learn how to land," smiled Vin.

"Oh lord," moaned Ezra as he shook his head.

+ + + + + + +

It was right after lunch that Loveless took them out to a rocky area far outside of town. There they met up with Anderson and two foreigners that Loveless introduced as Baron Karl Von Schlieker and his servant. Loveless kept his word and gave them a demonstration of his new explosive and even showed them how the chemical would trigger the explosion. Anderson walked far out into the field of stone and placed the clay explosive on a large boulder, then he pressed a small glass bottle into the soft material. When Anderson rejoined the rest of the party he picked up a rifle and shot at the glass bottle….he missed. Loveless was furious.

"You imbecile, you are supposed to be one of the best shots in the county."

Before Loveless could get out another word, Vin picked up his Winchester and shot the bottle mixing the two compounds. It was as if the door of Hell had opened. The ground shook, the wind howled and knocked them off their feet as the dust-filled air swirled around them. When the air cleared the boulder was gone….so were the surrounding ones.

"Mmmmm… Perhaps I used a little too much of the triggering chemical," said the doctor as Anderson helped him to his feet.

The others were left to themselves to rise and shake the dirt off their clothes. Baron Von Schlieker walked over to Vin.

"An excellent shot young man."

"Thanks," Vin replied, going over to check on Ezra.

The Baron turned to Doctor Loveless, "Doctor that was impressive, but uncontrolled. Do you have something easier to handle and that can be less destructive in a small area? I will want to start out frightening my enemies, before I destroy them."

"Of course my dear Baron. Anderson, bring me that carpet bag from the carriage."

Opening the bag that Anderson brought him, Loveless pulled out a gray disk shaped object.

"How far can you throw this Baron, at least twenty feet?" asked the Doctor handing him the disk.

"Easily" said the baron as he took the disk and threw it a good twenty-five feet. When the disk hit the ground there was a small explosion, noise and more dust filled the air but nowhere near the destruction of the first explosion.

"Perfect, that’s what I want to start off with, then the larger bombs will be for later. We must talk, Doctor."

Ezra and Vin were quiet as the Doctor and the Baron walked back to where the horses were sheltered. Slowly they followed; both were shaken by what they had just seen. The Baron and the Doctor were discussing money and timetables when they walked up to them. The Doctor barely took note of them as they made their good-byes. Vin’s feeling of euphoria from the morning flying lesson was gone. Both were silent as they rode back toward town lost in though.

"Damn it to hell and back." Ezra finally broke the silence half way back to town. "Ah admired the man’s mind and his abilities. But Ah can’t take any more mangled bodies on my conscious. Ma nightmares of the war are full enough of the dead as it is. Ah do not want to add to the rolls."

Vin laid his hand on Ezra arm "There’s someone up ahead in the trees."

"Probably that spy Gordon, Ah hope he has the sense to stay hidden as we talk to him." Stopping by the grove of trees Ezra made loud noises about his horse picking up another stone. Getting off he examined the horse’s leg and foot, fussing about the bother. In a lower voice he spoke to Gordon. "Mr. Gordon, do stay hidden, Ah do not know if Loveless trusts us enough not to have us watched."

"What did you find out?" questioned Artemus Gordon.

"More then Ah wanted to," and then gave him a brief summary of Loveless’ plans, ending with "The man has done nothing illegal yet, there’s nothing you can arrest him for."

"I can take him in to custody for past crimes," Gordon answered him.

Vin asked, " What kinds of crimes? Was he found guilty of these crimes?"

"We never got that far, Loveless has always escaped". Gordon didn’t answer all of his questions.

Vin didn’t like the sound of that, having been charged with a crime he hadn’t done and was living with a bounty on his head because of it. Ezra knew what Vin was thinking and decided he too had had enough of intrigue for today. He remounted his horse.

"Good night Mr. Gordon. We’ll be in town for the rest of the evening. Ah trust you can find something to do with yourself," then rode off with Vin by his side.

"That wasn’t nice Ez," Vin told him, "But I’m glad ya did it." Then he added, "Ez do ya like the Doc?"

"Like? Ah admire the man and Ah do think his plans could work. But his obsession with power would come at too high a price. Do you believe that men like our follow peacekeepers would let Loveless set up his own kingdom next to their homes or bend a knee in homage to him? Hell, Josiah even stays standing when he talks to God. Can you see him letting anyone mortal tell him what to do and how to do it?"

"Ezra ya called him Josiah."

"Did not… it was a slip of the tongue, nothing more, Ah’m tired and dirty and in need of a bath and a good bottle of scotch. This has been too long of a day. Ah’ll be glad to see the end of it," he said urging his horse into a faster pace as they headed back into town.

Vin kept his smile to himself as he followed.

+ + + + + + +

It was near dark when the lawmen from Four Corners arrived at the private train of Jim West. It was a tight fit to get six horses into the train’s car that stabled West’s black beast. Fortunately, the lawmen’s steeds were used to each other and remained calm. None of the regulars were expecting the luxury of the long coach car. It had a kitchen and sleeping area as well as a large sitting room filled with furnishings, even a pool table. A person could easily think they were back east in the private study of a wealthy home.

"Wow!" JD said as he looked around poking into the contents of the car, trying to see everything at once. West kept an eye on him to make sure he didn’t trigger any of Artemus’ surprises. Buck was too distracted to pay any mind to what JD was up to.

"This is the only way to travel." Buck said as he sprawled out on one of the two couches. Josiah and Nathan wore expressions that plainly said they agreed with him. Neither the ex-preacher nor the former slave was used to luxury of this type but they saw no reason not to enjoy the free train ride. Chris took a chair in the back against the wall dividing the setting room from the work areas and away from any windows. He watched West watch his men. All of them cat napped on and off during the night; only JD slept undisturbed. In the morning they made breakfast from the kitchen’s well-stocked larder. Jim West and Buck played pool and taught Josiah and Nathan the rules. Nathan was catching on but Josiah was having trouble getting the balls to go where he wanted them to. JD pulled out his latest dime novel in the Nicodemus Legend series by Ernest Pratt and read the afternoon away. Chris sat in his chair and watched West from under his hat, which he hadn’t taken off, nor had he removed his guns. He was a man more comfortable with them on than off. West watched Larabee watch him. The hairs on the back of his neck hadn’t lain flat since he had met the man. It was like sharing a room with a large dangerous predator never knowing if it was going to attack. Going back into the work area Jim opened his and Artie’s files and pulled out their old reports on Doctor Loveless. Taking them out to Larabee he handed the reports to the man in black.

"If you want to know more about the individual we’re going after these reports with fill you in. They are the past cases that my partner and I has had with Loveless."

Jim rejoined the other men playing pool and tried to act as if it didn’t bother him that Larabee kept watch. As long as Larabee read the reports he would have idea of what they’d be going up against and understand the danger that Loveless posed. After the supper’s dishes had been cleaned and put away the talk turned to what they would be doing in Sweet Water when they got there sometime tomorrow. There was a train track that could get them within twenty miles of the town, the conductor of the train would inform them when they got there. A bell rang; West got to his feet and walked over to a bookshelf. Pushing aside a panel he pulled out a pigeon with a message attached to its leg. Taking off the message he put the bird back behind the panel. Opening a built in desk he sat down to decipher the message.

"Gentlemen there has been a change of plans. My partner informs me that Loveless has made contact with a foreign power that’s wants to buy his explosive and is willing to recognize his sovereignty. He believes that a show of force by the army would discourage them from helping Loveless. I’m going to tell the conductor there been a change in plans, we’ll be backing up to the last place we change tracks. " West started to get up only to find a gun in his face.

"We’re going on to Sweet Water." Chris calmly told him.

"Mr. Larabee I understand your concern about your men, but you must understand that the government’s security comes first."

"Those reports you gave me to read paints a picture of a dangerous animal that will to do what ever it takes to get what he wants. Did you let my men read those or even fill them in on Loveless’ past doing?

"There hasn’t been an opportunity to fill them in completely."

"Ezra and Vincent aren’t the types to follow anyone blindly no matter who it is," said Nathan "And what about all those settlers you were talking about yesterday? What about their safety if the army declares marshal law?"

"A good commanding officer will keep his men under control." Jim told them.

"And if he’s not a good commanding officer then what?" asked Buck who had seen soldiers run mad during the war, destroying and killing while their commanding officers did nothing to stop them.

Jim tried for a better position to get the drop on Larabee only to find four more guns trained on him.

"I wouldn’t try that Mr. West," said the youngest of the group. He grabbed West’s arm and pulled the coat sleeve back revealing a derringer like the one Ezra wore.

"How’d you know kid?" asked Buck.

"From the Nicodemus Legend."

"Nicodemus? … what’s a nicodemus?

"Not a what, a who," JD explained to his friends, "From the books of Ernest Pratt. His last book is about a spy who has all kind of gadgets to help him out in his spying. We need to check out his clothes for other guns and knives and things like that."

"Kid I heard of a fellow carrying a extra knife in his boot, but what you’re talking about only happens in those dime novels of yours." Buck told him.

"Do it Buck." Chris told him.


" Do it, strip him down to his underwear and tie him up."

Jim had been quiet up to then. "Gentlemen you are interfering with an agent of the United States Government. You could all go to jail for this."

"This ain’t personal Jimmy, but when Old Chris gets a bug up his craw it’s wise to go along with him. If he thinks we need to get to Sweet Water first then we’re going to Sweet Water."

"Larabee, listen to reason if we go to Fort Freedom first we’ll have the cavalry to back us up."

" I take care of my own and two of my own are in that town. You came to us asking for help in keeping the army out of this. We agreed to go to Sweet Water to get our men out of there and keep the innocents as you call them safe. I’m not turning my back on them just because you got a message saying different. My gut’s saying we need to be in Sweet Water and we need to be there now."

Josiah and Buck made quick work of Jim’s clothes finding not only more knives, but another small derringer, a lock pick and a few things they didn’t have names for. It made an interesting pile on the pool table.

Jim West didn’t get to be the top agent in the Secret Service without learning to pick his battles. He would wait till he got a better opportunity. He hoped they left him keep some clothes on or it was going to be a cold night. "Gentlemen can’t we talk this over? Come to some kind of compromise."


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