Warning: Don't Mess with Santa's elves
The man stepped off the stagecoach, looking around the town he had just arrived in. "What a back water place," he thought. He asked the coach driver, "How long will the wait be, before we can be on our way?"
"About half an hour sir. I need to check and tighten the harness on the horses, the reins had too much slack in them." The stage coach driver informed him.
"Very well then, send word to the hotels restaurant when you are ready to continue our trip. I will be there having a cup of coffee and possibly a light lunch, if the food is passable in this hick place," the well-dressed man announced in an authority tone.
The driver watching the man walk away shook his head at the easterner. Hoping the man would have sense enough to stay clear of the seven men who watched over the town. He knew the mans attitude would be his down fall with them.
Theodore Collins walked past the people on the boardwalks as if they were peasant, giving them no curtsey nor acknowledgement as he walked by. Even shunning the woman as they said good morning or Merry Christmas on the brisk Christmas Eve day. Not a smile he gave any of them. As he stopped at his destination in front of the hotel a little girl of six accidentally bumped into him, knocking her self down on to the boardwalk.
Looking down, he sneered at the child wearing a dress that had seen better days and was patched in several places. "You have gotten my trousers dirty from your carelessness. I should make your parents pay for the cleaning, but by the looks of you they couldnt even afford to do it themselves," Theodore growled at the child.
Brigitta Macdougal looked up to the scary man as she stood, apologizing in her sweet soft voice, "Im real sorry mister. I didnt mean to bump into you. I was just in a hurry to get home to help mama bake cookies for Santa tonight."
Before Theodore could reply, another voice spoke, "Im sure the man knows your sorry Brigitta. You just go on, you dont wanta keep your mama a wait." Vin smiled down at the child.
Returning his smile little Brigitta hurried on past the men and headed for her home.
"Mister, know your new in town, but Id appreciate it if you dont growl at the kids around here," Vin softly spoke, staring straight into Theodores eyes.
"Dont you tell me how to speak! And furthermore how dare you interrupt me while I was speaking. I was about to straighten out that street urchin that there is no such thing as Santa," the disagreeable man boasted his voice caring all around.
The silence was instant as all movement, all talk, everything stopped and everyone around in hearing distance stared.
Theodore being oblivious to this carried on, "Even a backwoods hick like you know there's no Santa and these street children should be taken to hand about it."
Everyone who had been standing around stunned suddenly moved into their business or across to the other side of the street. All but Mrs. Potter and Nettie Wells who stood where they were, knowing what was coming and wanting to watch the arrogant man get what he deserved.
"Mister I dont know ya and I dont wanta. You best just get back on that stagecoach before I help ya on to it. Dont cotton to mean ol men who spout nothing but garbage about something they know nothing about. There is a Santa, hes a good man. And if I hear ya say anything to any of the kids around here about him, I'll shut ya up myself then hog tie ya to the back of the stage coach," Vin told the man in a tone that anyone else would recognize as the end of his patience.
Theodore, however cultured, was not knowledgable of the true western men. "HOW DARE YOU tell me what to say about Santa!" he bellowed. "How dare you talk to meeee...." Before he could finish he found himself up close to a very angry Vin, who had grabbed the lapels of his jacket and hauled him up close.
"Mister Is tired of your mouth, you're really starting to make my hair hurt. Now ya got two choices. A smart man like you should be able to pick the right one. One ya get your butt on the stagecoach now. Two I frog march ya on to the stage coach with my gun shoved up somewhere you won't like."
Theodore, finally coming to his senses enough to recognize this man was dangerous, nodded his head in understanding.
Vin let him go with a slight shove back, watching the man as if he was a rattler fixing to strike. Vin felt the presence of his six friends appearing, knew they had heard the whole thing.
"Vin, this man breaking the peace? If he is Ill arrest him," JD said clearly
"What! Arrest me?" Theodore yelled
"Vin, this fella insulting you? That wouldnt be good to do before Santa shows up," Buck coldly stated.
"What! I dont believe...."
"Mister Tanner, are you being accosted by this indifferent orifice of untruths, on the day Jolly ol' Saint Nick is to appear?" Ezra said, his green eyes hard as ice staring at the man.
"Vin, I done told you to stay away from garbage like this, you might catch something. And you dont wanta be sick when Santa comes," Nathan informed, stepping up beside Ezra.
"Brother Vin, how about I escort this sinner to his awaiting coach for you. You wouldnt want any dirt getting on you by accident that might scare off ol' Santa," Josiah grinned as he laid his big hand on Theodores shoulder.
"Now wait a minute, how dare you....."
"Josiah, get this piece of trash gone now," came the voice that though so soft, carried enough to put true fear in Theodore Collins for the first time in his life.
Looking up into the hard, pissed off face of Chris Larbee, he was fully scared he might just die if he didnt get out of there. Turning, Theodore ran as fast as he could to the stagecoach and got in and head down the seat.
As the driver opened the door on the other side to help in a lady, she asked, when seeing Theodore lying there shaking, "Whats wrong with that man?"
"Oh nothing to worry about maam. He just met Santas seven elves.