Today's Yesterday

by Amelia

Feedback: Positive and constructive

“Vin this was a great idea that Nettie and the ladies society put together, to help raise money for the new city orphanage.” JD exclaimed as the seven men entered the area the fair and bazaar had set up out side of town.
Vin nodding his agreement as he glanced around to make sure the corral that the horse they had brought to give rides on and plan to use in there show, was far away from the high pitch noises of some of the rides.
Nettie had called Vin that Saturday night two weeks ago, with the horrible news that the old wiring in the kitchen had caught fire. That they had gotten everyone out un-harmed, but the orphanage it self was a total loss. The children at the moment were being housed in the old private academy, that the city bought after it closed a year ago. She had called the lady society at once for an emergency meeting when she over heard the mayor make a comment about not rebuilding, but instead use part of the detention center. That it would save the city money. By Sunday evening the ladies society had come up with the plan of the bazaar and fair, with pulling and calling in every favor they could on everyone each knew. Which was why now all of team sevens horses were in the fair grounds corral out side of town where the Bazaar was being given.
Once Vin had told the guys they were all volunteering to do what ever might be needed. Besides helping out in some of the different booths, they had agreed to put on a small wild west show. Which was why they were dressed in old western garb. Team 4 who was also dressed in western clothes were playing the outlaws, who would be holding up the old time stage. Parked by the photographer´s for those who wanted pictures with it.
Walking through the fair the seven men headed in different directions after agreeing to meet at 1pm around the corral for the show they were to put on. Buck heading off to help out at the kissing booth, with JD walking with him to meet with Casey to help gun the shooting galley. Ezra heading to the magic show he was doing for the children which the tickets were sold out the moment they started saleing them when it was heard he was doing the two shows. Josiah and Nathan hurrying off to the far side of the fair where the bake sale and pie contest was being held, which they were judges for. Vin and Chris taking there time as they walked through and around the fair circling the booths, keeping there eyes open for any kind of mischief as well as any petty thieves and pick pockets to worse criminals, for having volunteered to work security for the Bazaar. Knowing that where ever people was gathering and raising money, tha t criminals would most likely show up.
Point proven when Vin spotted what seem like a man losing his balance and falling into another man accidentally. But his sharp eyes saw the hand that slipped into the back pocket and out again quickly.
“Guy in the brown bomber jacket, you see it.” Vin asked
“Yea, caught it to, but we don´t want to make a scene, might chase off some of the people here willing to spend and donate money. Need to handle it quietly.” Chris answered.
Vin nodding his agreement, walked away and down beside a booth. Chris heading strait toward the man who had stole the wallet. Reaching him first, Chris stepped right up in front of the man as he started to head away.
“You have something that doesn´t belong to you.”
“What! I don´t know what your talking about, cowboy?!”
“Damn, you done it now.” Vin said behind the man, a touch of laughter in his voice.
“What did you call me.” Chris growled leaning right in to the man´s face.
Looking up into the green laser eyes that cut right throw him, the man pulled the wallet in question out of his jacket pocket and held it out.
Vin taking it from his hand, “County Sheriff is down at the first aid booth, you want to take him down and I´ll get the wallet back.”
“Yea, I´ll take him to the sheriff,” Chris agreed.
“Catch up with ya in a few, Cowboy.” Vin smirked as he walked away.
Chris shaking his head kept his hand locked on the man shoulder as he walked him down to the first aid station.
Vin spotting the man, walked up to him. “Excuse me sir, I think this belongs to you.”
The man turning, saw the wallet Vin was holding out. Recognizing it instantly, he toke it and saw all his money and cards were still inside. “Thank you so much young man.”
“Welcome,” Vin nodded and began to turn away, stopping when the man grabbed his arm and held out a fifty dollar bill to him.
“Please take this as a thank you for finding it and getting it back to me.”
“No thank you, you don´t need to give me nothing.”
“Please you don´t know what this wallet means to me. My wife made it for me a long time ago, I lost her last year. It means more to me than what´s inside it.” The elderly man explained.
“Vin seeing the need in his eyes and understanding the reasons behind it, “Instead of giving me the money why don´t we go down to the bake sell and you can buy something there and we can share it.”
The elderly man agreeing instantly, understanding it would help out the fund raiser as well let him do something for the young man.
The two heading off, “My name´s William Potter.”
“Vin Tanner” Vin said reaching out to take the hand the elderly man had held out, but seeing the surprise expression on his face, Vin asked “Are you all right Mr. Potter?”
The man shaking his head with a grin appearing on his face, grasped Vin´s hand and shook it as they continued to walk, explaining. “Yes I´m fine, it´s just your name through me for a moment. I grew up hearing about a Vin Tanner from my grandpa. But I don´t want to bore you with an old man´s memory.”
“Wouldn´t be bored, If you don´t mind tellin it, like to hear it.” Vin assured him as he wondered if it could be maybe an ancestors of his.
Reaching the bake sale and buying them each a big slice of pie and a glass of sweet tea, they settled down at one of the picnic tables.
Chris seeing his friend sitting at the table with the man who´s wallet was taken, got himself a glass of tea and piece of pie and joined them at the table.
“Mr. Potter, this is my friend Chris.” Vin introduced them as Chris toke a seat on the other side of the table.
“Well I was going to tell Vin here a old man´s memory..”
“Please go ahead.” Chris assured as he toke a bite of his pie, and seeing the look in Vin´s eyes.
“As I said before, I grew up hearing the name Vin Tanner from my grandpa. See this area around here back in the 1870 was called Four Corners. About four miles back up that old stage coach route you see when you pull into the fair grounds would take you to what´s left of the original town. There´s still some of the building standing that was once main street. My Grandpa left it to my dad when he died. It seems when the Government made the Indian reservation and proclaimed it there land, most of the merchants and folks in the area moved closer to the city of Denver that was growing. And with the ranchers and all going there to get there supplies, well the town of Four Corners slowly died, By the 1930´s it was little more than a ghost town or novelty for easterners to come visit as the last of the western cowboy towns. Though my grandpa refused to move, he slowly bought everything as it was being sold. Grandpa had made a lot of money listening to one of the business owners and from what I understand one of the peace keepers of the town in the early days. He lived in the town his whole life, my father was born there as well. But I´m sorry I´m rambling here and I told you I´ll give you the story I heard growing up from him. You see my Grand pa´s father was murdered because he wouldn´t sell his store, and most didn´t know it but Grandpa had seen it all happen. Including when first this judge, then these seven men stopped the murderer from getting away with it. Now my Grandpa was only 6 years old when this happen, but from that first day he always felt honor bound to those fellas and especially to Tanner who was one of the seven. He never said what the reason, but Grandpa said that Vin Tanner was a good man and one to be protected and his name honored. He would tell me stories of Tanner and his friends. A dark gunslinger who was another good man and his lon g time friend who grandpa said every woman adored. An ex preacher who was more right with god than any other real preacher walkin, a black man with healers hands, a young sheriff and a gambler conman who´s heart was pure gold grand pa would always say. He was the one who gave grandpa advice on investments. They were the peace keepers for the town after they saw justice done for the murder. And as time past Grand pa said they became a part of the town, settled and made there lives in or around the parts, they stayed but there own kids moved on with the rest of the town folks. Thought there was this one time they all left and the town almost was wiped out. Well to be honest I never understood that story, for he said that they were gone for months and then one day they were back but then was gone again and when they came back the second time and Grandpa had asked where they had gone the both times. They had all said they had been back until that moment. And when Tanner said it wasn´t them, grand pa said he just let it drop that what ever the reason or what ever it was that happen, he would take Tanner´s word over his on eyes any day.” The elderly gentleman finished his tell and was surprised when he looked around and found they had been joined by five more men. Gasping with a quick in take of breath, his hand pressed to his chest.
Nathan quickly coming around to the man as Vin had grabbed the elderly man from falling off the bench, “Mr. Potter.” Vin worriedly breathed.
“Vin move out of the way. Mr. Potter, is it your chest hurting? Are you having trouble breathing?” Nathan asked as he knelt in front of the man.
“I´m alright, I´m all right. I just breathed in wrong is all, I´m fine Nathan.” He assured as he stood up. Looking at up for a moment, then back to Vin who had also stood up. He expressed. “ I need to go do something, will you meet me later, about 6 at the entrance of the fair grounds.”
“I´ll be there Mr. Potter. Are ya sure your all right?” Vin agreed.
“I´m fine. And I´ll see you at 6.” He smiled, petted Vin on the shoulder then walked away with the smile still on his face.
“Hey how did he know Nathan´s name” JD wondered.
“He probably heard Vin say it.” Buck offered
“Nope, never said Nate´s name.” Vin answered
“Well possibly he recognized him as one of the seven men that once kept the law in this town of his and is now a walking ghost.” Ezra grinned as he watched JD shuddered at the idea of ghost.
“JD, Ezra was joking son, there is no such thing as ghost.” Buck laughed.
The group throwing there trash away all head to the corral to get the horse ready for the show they were about to do.
Meeting up with team 4 they all prepared and mounted up on the horses, Vin checked his rifle for he would be the only one with real bullets. Going to there places, they waited for the announcer to state the show was beginning.
It had all gone perfectly as clock work, as team four played the outlaw´s with bandanna's over there faces and riding down the main strip of the bazaar, firing there guns and stopping in front of the crowd telling them to take out there valuables, for they were robbing them. Dismounting and walking down the strip towards the people, they were stopped dead by dirt being kicked up in front of the leader´s foot followed by the boom of a gun.
Looking where the shot came from, the outlaw as well as the people saw it came from the seven men that were riding in from the other side of town. Seven men that commanded full attention by there look. One in all black, one in tan still holding his rifle with the reins, one tall even in the saddle who´s mustache didn´t hide his grin. One in a fancy vest and jacket, one the size of a bear, one sleek as night and the youngest with a bowler hat. The strength shining clear through there eyes. The buckskin clad man holding his rifle on the outlaws, the others dismounted to take them prisoner. But the outlaws broke in different direction running for cover and away from the seven that had come to take them in. The on coming gun battle and finally capture of the ones left alive, thrilled the audience as the cheers and clamping was heard all over the bazaar.
“Man that was fun.” JD excitedly announced.
“ I must agree with our very intuitive friend, that was quiet an entertaining moment for myself.” Ezra agreed.
“Have to say I haven´t had that much fun in a long while” Josiah smiled.
Vin looking at Chris, shook his head, “Shoot for Chris it was same old´ day. Dressed in black and shooting the bad guy.”
Chris snapping his eyes to his friend saw the grin on his face, “Smart ass”
“You know he does have a point there stud.” Buck laughed.
“Hey guys, I got a great idea. Wait here I´ll be right back.” JD said, then toke off toward one of the booths.
“So Vin, has Nettie said how the Bazaar is doing?” Nathan asked.
“Said so far the donations and all are coming in steady, but she´s worried it want be enough unless a whole lot more people show up or more business make donations.” Vin answered.
“The Mayor has demanded at least a two year payment in full for the lease of the building and property. She said they may reach that amount, but she fears there want be anything left over to use to get them up and running.” Chris added for having been there when Nettie had said it.
The news damping there earlier enjoyment, the six men fell silent, each trying to think of something that could help.
A shadow none of them saw, felt the wind from the eagle´s wing as it left it´s perch beside them and soared upward crying out, sending it´s call to be heard. Nodding knowing the time had come.
“What do you think, have it taken here or over by the rocks and the horses.” JD asked coming back.
“Take what JD”, Nathan requested not turning around to look at him.
“Our picture! The man is using a authentic old camera, so it will be just like time period.” JD explained as the others all turned and looked at him and a gentleman with what could only be describe as a handle bar mustache walked up carrying a huge box on a tripod and a pole with a tin type flash bar.
“JD, This….” Buck started to say no, but seeing the excitement on his friends face he and the others decided why not.
Looking around it was decided the rocks beside the horses would be best. Going and standing where the photographer asked them to be, he explained that the old fashion flash was a lot brighter due to the phosphate that is ignited. And that they weren't to move for at least five minutes while the lens cap was off. That he would tell them when they could.
Chris telling him they understood, he and the others stood still as the man counted from three down, then a truly Hugh sun burst flash over toke them as it blinded them.
+ + + + + + +
“What the Hell is going on!” Larbee demanded, looking around as his eye sight cleared from the bright flash. Finding that the bazaar, all signs of it gone. Turning around all he saw beside him was his friends, their horses, the rocks they were standing on and open wildness.
“Hey where´d everybody go?” Buck just as confused wanted to know.
Vin walking over to the horses, checked them and the tack. Finding both were all right. Looking up when he heard the cry of an eagle, Vin felt a shiver as if something unseen had passed through him when the large bird swooped down, then soared back up. The breeze from the winds actually touching his face.
“Would anyone please like to hazard a guess as to what happen to our good selves, when the extra extraordinary flash from the antique equipment toke place. And what we knew for a fact, is now indeed no where in sight.” Ezra questioned.
“I´m afraid at the moment none of us has a clue.” Josiah assured looking just as mystified as the others
“All right, We´re not going to find answers just standing here. Everyone mount up, we´ll head toward the top of that rise and see what we can find in the area from there. Figure out which way to follow that dirt road will be best.” Chris ordered nodding toward the area he was talking about.
Climbing up into the saddles and riding for the high point, they had just reached it when they heard the gun fire. Not quite believing their eyes at what they saw, but believing the danger of it. They snapped into action as Vin tore out down the other side at the same time pulling his rifle out. As the distance dropped to half way between them and there target, Vin began firing making each shot count. The others pulling there weapons figured the show and sound would help even though they were blankets.
They were stunned to find they were real bullets at the evidence of what was hit either splintered, kicked up dirt or fell over from being hit.
Reaching their goal, “You all right.” Vin called out to those on the other side of the stage coach that the people were using for cover.
“Fine now since you fella chased off that gang of robbers.” An old man said coming out with three others then continuing, “Sure am glad ya are back. Heard you seven left escorting some woman back to her ranch and wouldn´t be back for a long while. Guess you took care of that man and his men that was attacking Ms. Gains quicker than we thought it would take.”
Vin and Chris looking at each other then meeting the others eyes, they were all confused as to what was going on, but with nods agreed to play along till they could get to the bottom of it.
“Where you headed” Chris asked avoiding what the man had said.
Frowning the coach driver looked up at the men, “Well Four Corners of course”
“We´ll just ride along side ya,” Vin softly stated.
“Appreciate it.” The man smiled climbing up into the seat, snapping the reins, he started the coach down the road. The seven falling in behind and off to the side so the dust wouldn´t coat them, began voicing there thoughts.
“Must be a dream.” JD said
Ezra looking over at him, “Yours or mine or theirs”
“Yea guess that was kind of out there,” JD agreed
“No more stranger than the thoughts I´m having JD,” Josiah assured.
“That flash could of only blinded us for a minute tops, how could some one strip everything of the bazaar away that quickly?” Nathan shook his head, his mind just not being able to puzzle it out.
“Until we know how and who, we don´t show our confusion. We listen and play along as best as we can when we reach this town. We try to stay together when possible and when not we stay in pairs. We don´t know how many are involved in what´s going on so try to pen point those who are talkative or nervous and maybe we can get them to crack or pick up a slip.” Chris ordered.
“If it stays on old west theme, the saloon, the mercantile and the church will probably be the best place to look for talkative people.” Josiah put in.
Chris looking at Vin saw his friend had something on his mind, “Vin what you think,”
“Something feels strange” he mumbled
“Well of course it feels strange Mr. Tanner. Someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make us appear to be in the old west. By the costumes the actors who are portraying passengers on the stage coach are wearing, I´d say some were around the 1870´s. They have taken a whole bazaar as well as people away all well as all the traces anything was there and some how replaced our blanks with real bullets. We are up against a foe who obviously has a server amount of cash as well as a genius intelligence to have pulled such a thing off.” Ezra exasperated announced.
“Ain´t so sure that´s the case Ez´s.” Vin replied.
“What else could it be Vin?” Buck wanted to know.
Vin looking out across the plain, “When we were head to the fair grounds, there were a lot of ranch fences and houses as well. You think some one could get rid of or hide them so fast.”
The others actually looking all around saw he was right, especially when they saw the river that bent away from the road. They all knew that bend and a the 2 story house that had been sitting there since the roaring twenties for being a part of the area´s history. The stage coach turning left started up another road. Reaching the top of the rise and starting over it, they could see a town in the distance, a town that most differently was long before there time.
Falling back a bit more from the stage, the seven men began taking in everything they could see of the town and the people as they grew closer. The more they saw the more off balanced and confused they felt. For a hoax or what ever was going on every detail was perfect.
Reaching town and riding down the main street after the stage had stopped, they all heard the mummers of voice first low then louder as the words spread, “The seven are back….. Our seven are back early…. The seven are back, we´ll be safe again”
Chris seeing a sheriff´s office, figured that would be as good as place to stop and start the information gathering. All the boys dismounting, before they could tie there horses up a man stepped forward.
“I´ll take your horses on down to the livery for you. And give them a good rub down and feed them. Sure am glad you boys are back. Some of the town´s folk were a bit worried with ya gone and all these attacks that´s been happening.” The man stopping when a dark hair woman called out.
“Tiny, let Mr. Larbee and his men catch there breaths and get settled. Now you go on and take care of there horses.”
“Yes ma´am Mrs. Potter.”
“Mr. Tanner, I just put a berry pie in the oven. You come collect it in an hour for you men to share.” The woman named Mrs. Potter smiled, then headed back up the board walk and disappeared into a mercantile.
Chris handing his reins to the man and using the name he had heard, “Tiny, these attacks, have they happen in town.”
“No, so far they hit some of the outer smaller farms and ranches as well as freight wagons. They must be getting bolder though if they hit the stage so close to town. They started about a week after you left escorting that woman Ella Gains back to her ranch and to fight them that was trying to take her place from her.” Tiny gave Larbee the information he had.
Nodding his head in thanks, he stepped back as the man laid there horses away. The seven men heading up the steps and onto the board walk crossing and going into the sheriff´s office.
“Man, how could so many people be in on what ever is going on.” JD question.
“Don´t think there´s anything for them to be in on, JD.” Vin said watching out the window as the others looked around the room.
Buck sitting down behind the desk, began rifling through its drawls. Pulling different things out, a ledger being one of the items. Buck flipping it open, his heart skipped a beat at the page he saw , then again with the next one and the next. “Chris, you need to see this.”
Vin flicking his eyes down onto the ledger then up to Chris´s, “This ain´t a hoax”
“What are you saying, that some how we stepped back in time. Some how into a place where there are seven men just like us in looks and name.” Buck blurted out.
“But he is right, you were brought to this time.” A voice echoed from the shadows in the back of the room.
“Come out where we can see you!” Chris demanded pulling his gun quicker than lighting.
“Easy cowboy, don´t think he means no harm.” Vin said laying his hand on his friends shoulder as he stepped up beside him.
“No I mean no harm. Only hope that you seven can correct a mistake that was made this day. The seven that was suppose to be here was tricked away by a darkness. A darkness that nearly broke them there in it´s grasp and when they finally returned did break something within them when they saw and learned what happen because they weren´t here to protect. The Vin Tanner of my time saved my son, his friends saved my people, my village. They were a gift to us stolen by an evil darkness path she set. I asked the great spirit for his help. In the eagles cry I heard the answer. Had to wait till again each of your spirits found the others. Your bond recognizing the others and drawing you near.” An old Indian stepped out to be seen as he spoke.
“And just what is it pray tell that happens, that is such a Greek tragedy that would break these gentleman so?” Ezra questioned not believing any of this. But unsure how to explain anything at the moment.
“That I can not tell you. You seven are the same as the ones of this time. Your thinking, your ways all you are is all they are. That is what you must believe and depend on. The town sees only there seven protectors has returned and this is all they must see. You each have a place in this town, the man of spirits stays where your kind of spirits dwells . The healer does his good medicine above where the horses are kept. The man who´s heart is for the children lives in his saloon across the street. The boy, the brother of his heart and you Larbee each a room that faces the street two openings from the ally beside this building. Tanner the wagon in that alley is yours, you do not like sleeping indoors like us you want to see the sky and feel the air. It is my time to go, my vision quest is coming to an end and so is my spirit allowed to cross the plains. If you fail the break will b e felt forever, repeating it self till there is no bond for their spirits of the future. You must believe in now. Today is yesterdays for you. And what you do will be your tomorrow.” He explained turning he disappeared, be it because cause of the shadows in the back where he had been or a spirit he had truly been.
They all stood there silently, thinking over what was said and each one deciding if they did or didn´t believe what was told.
Chris looking around at each of there faces, stated. “Alright were here, where ever here is. And supposedly we're some kind of peace keepers or lawmen. Until we find out what´s going to happen, we stay prepared for anything. Buck find the keys to that gun rack and every body grab and extra gun and shells. We stay in pairs or groups, and meet back here every hour. Nathan check out the healers place just in case first aid is needed later on. Josiah you go with him. Buck, JD go check out these rooms were suppose to have facing the street, see if you can find anything that might be important. Vin, Ezra, we´ll go check out the saloon and see if we can pick up any more information about this other seven or this gang that has been hitting places.”
“Chris, I got to go by that Ms Potters store first and get that pie.” Vin expressed.
“Vin we don´t need a pie.” Chris frowned
“Need to keep to what people expect, like he said. And shoot cowboy a slice of a home made berry pie might be nice.” Vin´s gave a grin at the end.
“OK you go get the pie, Ezra and I will watch and wait for you out side the saloon.” Chris agreed.
“And save some of it for us.” JD replied already hungry.
Buck finally getting the rack lock off and opening the blockers, Began passing out extra hand guns and boxes of bullets. Taking one rifle for himself, he hand another one to Vin as well as more boxes of cartages, which he put in his buckskin pockets.
Making sure all were loaded, they headed out the door.
Vin heading down to the Potter store, he toke in everything around and passing him.
Looking in the doorway before entering, Vin froze at the face starring back at him.
“Vin, I heard you boys just got back. I´m glad, I didn´t trust that woman you went to help.”
“Nettie” the name whispered across his lips.
The older woman grasping his arm, the concern evident on her face. “Vin what´s wrong. I heard the others were all right. Is there something that isn´t known. Speak up boy, tell me what´s wrong.”
Realizing this wasn´t his Nettie but her ancestor, proving with out doubt that some how they were brought back in time. Vin calmed himself, “Sorry Nettie just wasn´t expecting ya”
“I could say the same thing, but don´t matter. Your back that´s all that counts.” She said tilting her head a bit still studying him.
Vin trying to get her attention off him, looked down and saw the list in her had, “See ya got a bag of chicken feed written down. You want me to load it for ya.”
Suddenly Vin felt her grip tighten on his arm as he was yanked back down the boardwalk and around the corner to the alley.
“Nettie” Vin voice showed his surprise as he looked at her stern face.
“You better start explaining who you are, Because you aren´t Vin Tanner. Most don´t know but I do, he can´t read. Never got the chance to learn till recently and so far all he knows is his letters. Now you tell me the truth what´s going on or I´ll get my Spencer Carbine and start shooting parts till I get the truth. Starting with where is My Vin.” Though all was said in a very serious tone, it was still kept quite to only be heard by the two of them or so they thought.
Looking over her shoulder first and nodding at Chris and Ezra who had started to head toward them, he let them know everything was all right. And saw they stepped back up and again waited outside the saloon. Meeting her eyes he told her everything from the beginning. About the bazaar for the orphanage, about trying to get the money up, about his Nettie, how the flash was so bright, then finding them selves here and after helping the stage, what they were told in the jail by the old Indian. After giving her the whole story, Know it seems impossible to believe, But I swear it´s the truth.”
“ Kojay” was all she mumbled.
“ Kojay?”
“He´s the chief of a local tribe. You, I mean my Vin and the boys are friends. He came to see me a day ago. He said I needed to believe in the impossible and to…” She stopped suddenly and looked up at him with an expression of what he thought was grief.
“Ma´am, you all right?”
“Yes, Yes I´m fine. I have some things I have to do.” She assured her face getting a determined look.
Before Vin could ask what he needed to know, they both heard the wooded create move beside them.
Vin pulling his Mare´s Leg, “Come out of there slow and with your hands up.” He ordered.
A boy of 9 years old slowly standing up.
“William Potter! Shame on you for listening in on folks.” Nettie sternly reprimand.
“I´m sorry Ms. Well. I´m sorry… I want tell know body I promise.” The boy cried.
Vin kneeing down after putting his gun away, looked at the boy. “You heard what we were saying”
“Yes sir. Are you really another Vin,” Thought the boy was scared his curiosity got the better of him.
“Ya in a way. But you can´t tell anyone, no one. I need your word on it.” Vin said to him genitally.
“I understand, I want tell no one. You…well the other Vin told me how import a man´s word is, I give ya my word I want tell.” The boy answered.
Vin nodding his head to the boy, stood up and looked at Nettie. “And you Miss Nettie,” He asked.
“Boy I ain´t know gossiper. Now you get on across the street to your friends before they stare a hole through us and attract more attention. William and I are going to take a walk and have a talk, so you just go on.” Nettie responded.
Vin giving her a small smile, knew she would insure the boy understood. Coming out of the alley, he stopped as Mrs. Potter came out with the pie.
“Mr. Tanner I was just going to take this to you.” She beamed.
“Thank you ma´am. I´ll make sure you get your pan back.” He assured as he toke the pie.
“I know you will. I see Mr. Larbee and Mr. Standish are waiting on you, You go on and let them have a slice to.” She patted his arm before returning to her store.
Vin heading on across the street, stepped up onto the board walk. Just as the others came down the board walk and joined them as well.
“What happen with Nettie?” Chris asked.
“You saw Nettie?” JD looked up quickly.
“Yea and confirmed this isn´t any kind of trick. Were in the old west. She knew I wasn´t her Vin, he can´t read.” Vin reported.
“If it had been anyone else, I would say I still had doubts. But if that Ms. Wells is in deed any thing like our own Ms. Wells. Then this scenario is real and gentleman we must find what it is we are here for in hopes once it is accomplished we will be returned to our own personal place in time.” Ezra still though shocked believed finally the truth knowing Nettie Wells would never put Vin or any of them through such a hoax.
“Is she going to say anything?” Buck asked,
“Might be different time Bucklin, but it still Nettie. She want say nothing. But she say something after I told her about the Indian in the office. Said the chief of the local tribe named  Kojay who´s of friend to those seven, came to see her. I´m thinking maybe that was who we saw.”
“So what do we do now?” Josiah wanted to know.
“Need to not draw attention by doing something they wouldn´t. Lets go in to the saloon and sit at a table in the back. So were not in everyone´s line of sight.” Chris explained.
The men going in sat at the farthest table in the back. They tried to not act surprise when the young Mexican woman brought over a try of beers a glass of milk shot glasses and a bottle of whiskey. Setting them down in front of them, “I am so glad you have made it back, Senor Ezra I kept the receipts as you asked, would you like to check them over.” She smiled.
“No, no I´ll look them over later.” Ezra nodded.
Watching her leave, “Man that´s a fine woman.” Buck exclaimed leaning over to get a better view as she moved away.
“Buck don´t even think about it. We don´t need you or any of us distracted right now.” Chris ordered, then continued. “So did any of you find anything,”
“There healer´s place is stocked up on herbs, bandages and such. I can make it work if need be.” Nathan informed them.
“The rooms were basic, nothing that could really help thought.” Back told them.
“We need to plan for anything, since we don´ know what´s coming.” Chris informed them.
“From what I saw looking as we road in and from the sheriff´s window. There´s five points to best defend from. Sheriff office, telegraph office, bank´s doorway and here from the saloons door way. All four have water troughs if need to move for cover as well as water barrels or crates right out side the doorways for cover.” Vin offered what he had noticed.
“You said five place Vin what´s the fifth?” Josiah asked
“Roof top, figure either that Potter´s store or the saloon´s. Both are about middle of this town, be able to see both direction and what´s coming.” Vin answered.
“I for one will definitely feel better knowing we have the high ground and that it is Mr. Tanner up there holding it.” Ezra said picking up the shot he pour into his glass. Drinking it in one swallow, then erupting in a burning cough stating roughly throw gasping breath, “Good Lord what vile creation is that inside that bottle.”
“It´s called real whiskey Ezra,” Buck grinned as he to drank a shot and choked., “Damn that´s got a bite.”
Chris noticing others in the saloon looking there way, “Your drawing attention we don´t need. Sip the beer if your thirsty, but you need to keep your sense. JD, Buck you take the sheriff´s office, Nathan Josiah the telegraph office, Ezra the bank. I´ll take this door way. Vin take the roof you feel will give you the best advantage. In the next few minutes you each leave to go to those spots, don´t draw attention to it, take your time as if your just taking a walk around town. I´m sure that´s what these other men did. Do what your can to stay at the locations and make it seem natural. My gut tells me what ever it is that is going to happen will be soon.” Chris laid out what they were to do.
Within a few minutes Buck and JD got up and headed over to the sheriff´s office. Five minutes later, first Josiah then Nathan headed out of the saloon using different sides of the street head to there post.
“I do believe the lady here said she has my receipts, I suppose I should go gather them and take them to the bank and while there check my account.” Ezra stated standing up.
“Hey Ezra, just remember it´s the other one´s money” Chris looked up with a slight smile touching his lips.
“Fear not Mr. Larbee, I am sure in this time the amount would not even cover one of my suits at home.” Ezra assured as he picked at a piece of lint on his sleeve.
Heading over to the bar and speaking to the woman, they saw her slide a ledger toward him and then a box. Seeing him count what was in the box and marking it down in the ledger, Chris and Vin watched him leave through the swinging doors and head down to the bank.
“Going to take a walk down to the livery and look at both buildings from there and see which is better. If it´s the saloon´s I´ll come back in and wait a bit before going up. If it´s Potter´s then I´ll head on over and find a way up with out anyone notice hopefully. When I see anything coming I´ll give one shot to give ya a heads up.” Vin expressed.
All right, if you go to the store, tell Buck and JD about the one shot…I´ll head up now to the others and let them know about it, then take a seat out side the saloon. You watch your back Vin.”
“You to cowboy.” Vin answered getting up and heading out and down toward the livery.
Going in and checking there horses and finding that the man Tiny had did a great job rubbing them down. Petting Peso on the neck, he left the horses and started back up looking at both buildings. Deciding on Potters for it location as well as having the sign on top to use for cover, he headed toward it. Stopping and letting Buck and JD know first about the signal and where he would be. He left them and went to the alley he and Nettie had been in, going to the end, he found a shed built up against the store. Taking couple of steps back and looking toward the back of the building, he smiled at the ladder he saw laying on the ground length way against the house.
Setting the rifle he had been carrying down against the shed and getting the ladder up, he was relieved to see it was tall enough to reach the top of the edge of the roof. Just as he turned to pick up the rifle, he heard a strange shuffling in the alley. Looking around the corner he rushed forward and caught Nettie as she leaned against the side of the building.
“Nettie what´s wrong. Are you hurt?!”
“It´s my chest, Just need to catch my breath. Was just leaving town and saw a large group of men riding hard this way. I was going to go the saloon and see if you were there but caught sight of you heading down the alley.” She gasped out with her hand holding her chest.
“I need to get you some help.” Concernedly Vin said.
“You ain´t got time Vin, and I´ll be all right. Just help me in to Gloria Potters, we can use her back door.” Nettie ordered though her voice was strained.
Vin helping her around the corner, grabbed his rifle as he passed and fired off one shot alerting the others to men coming. Just as they reached the back door and Vin got it open, Nettie collapsed as she tried to catch her breath. At the same time he heard gun fire coming from the beginning of town.
“Go on son, just leave me here. Gloria will be back here in a moment with a gun battle going on and she´ll help me. You need to get out there and help the others. You…You need to protect the town. Here..I…I want you to take this coin. It.. it was a present from my husbands child…childhood friend on our wedding day… He ..he was..passing through..where where we were getting married.. . Imagine my surprise to ..find President ..Jack…Jackson at my wedding.. You take it now…good luck..”
More gun fire showing a gun battle was getting fierce they heard, Nettie could tell he was torn, just as her Vin would have been.
William Potter at that moment entered the room.
“Go on now, he´ll get his moma And the others need your aim.”
“Vin holding her hands in his for a second, taking the coin she wanted him to keep with him to please her. He leaned down and quickly kissed her cheek. Knowing time was of the essence and though he hated leaving her there in side the doorway, Vin got up and quickly went up the ladder knowing at least the boy´s moma would help Nettie till he could get back to her. Reaching the top and running to the front side, He saw there was at least twenty men, and they were starting to get the upper hand with pinning his friends down. Lifting the rifle and making each shot count, Vin quickly cut the number in half and turned the table on the gang.
Knowing they had lost the upper hand with the shooter on the roof, the gang leader order to find cover. Horses scattering as the gang left the mounts and splint running for different things in different directions. The seven readjusted there own locations to pin them down or take them out. Chris using the table he had over turned on the board walk toke out on of them as they tried to reach the saloon´s doorway. Ezra taking out another as the man jumped through the front window of the bank. JD and Buck coming out of the sheriff´s office, Buck dove for the water trough as JD ran up the boardwalk for the alley shotting as he went, trying to get closer to some of the gang. He didn´t see the one thought that was behind the creates on the corner of Potters.
Vin knowing when had disappeared under the porches roof and seeing JD running the same way, couldn´t get a shot off to what he couldn´t see. Jumping down hard on the porch roof´s corner , it gave with his weight as he had hoped and collapsed downward onto the outlaw just as he had aimed his gun to shot JD with a clear shot. Vin rolling out of the fall and diving for the water barrel, yelling “JD across the street” Which JD reacted instantly pointing his gun and firing taking out the man trying to get a shot at Chris.
Working as the great team they were, they had the remaining members pinned down in know time and surrendering.
“Put them in the jail” Chris ordered or the men that through the weapons down.
Josiah, Nathan and Buck pushing the prisoners toward the sheriff´s office as other town´s men came out and said they would take care of the dead ones and get them down to the undertaker.
Chris and Vin meet in the middle of the street, with the others joining them once the prisoners were locked up.
“You think that´s all of them.” Chris asked.
“Yea, looked like the same bunch at the stage.” Vin answered looking around cautiously just to make sure.
“You think that´s what we were brought here for, to stop them.” Nathan requested.
“Maybe, at least no one is hurt.” Chris shrugged.
“Nettie!” Vin suddenly said turning to run back to Potter´s store, when they were all hit by the blinding light from the tin of the fallen roof being lift up off the porch and the setting sun hitting it just right.
Blinking there eyes trying to get there sight and focus back,
“Sorry about that, I told you the flash was bright.” The man apologized.
Chris like the others blinked there eyes clear and found they were standing once again on the rocks with the bazaar stretched out in front of them.
Slowly moving down off the rocks, the guys stood by the horses. First looking at the tents and people, then out back down the road.
“It really happen didn´t it?” JD asked wanting to be reassured.
“Yea kid, it did.” Buck answered though his voice was softer than usual.
“He said it was back up that road at the fork.” Vin mumbled looking back down the road.
“What did you say Vin,” Josiah requested.
“Mr. Potter said when he was telling his story of his grandpa, that the old town of Four Corners was back up that road at the fork.” Vin repeated as he moved and mounted his horse. Turning to tell Chris what he was doing, found his best friend as well as the others were mounted or mounting as well, having the same thought, the same need to go see the town.
Going back down the road and taking the road off the fork, they all felt the sense of da-ja-vou as the crested the hill and saw though older and in need of care, the town they had been in.
As the reached and roded slowly down the street, they saw the same buildings, some still having the signs showing like Potter's mercantile. Stopping in front of the store when they say Mr. Potter standing there waiting for them.
Vin dismounting walked up to him, one question on his mind. “Nettie.”
“My grandpa´s ma found her dead in the doorway. If you seven hadn´t been there, everyone would of thought it was because of the stray bullet that hit her and not the heart attack she had. And that would of deeply hurt and tear apart those seven with the hurt they were already carrying back with then. Grandpa said Nettie had written a letter and given it to him when they were suppose to have a talk about what he heard. She told him to give to one of the seven as soon as they showed back up, before any one could speak to them. To do what ever he had to, to make sure they got the letter first He did, he got up every morning by 4 and would go wait right out side of town. By the 3rd morning they came riding up and he gave the letter to Mr. Larbee.” Mr Potter told him.
“I don´t understand, we were there to give reason to her passing.” Nathan voice had a touch of anger. He hated the thought of anyone passing with out any kind of help.
“No brother, We were there to defend the town and so it would be known she didn´t pass because the seven weren´t there. Not destroying what she and all the others in that town believed in, the strength and hope of there Seven peace keepers gave them and from what I´m starting to understand gave each other as well. Like us, were not born family, but brothers none the less we are.” Josiah explained.
“Years later when my grandpa was grown and married and my father was about 10. Tanner came in with a wooden carved box. He said that Tanner had asked him to pass it down to his grandson with the tell that he knew and to never open it. To wait and give it to you when all of you came back.” Potter had reported the rest of what he needed to say. Pointing over to the saloon he added, “Thought it would only be fitting for all of you to open and see what those men thought was so important for you to have at there table. Had my grandson put it over there right after I left you this morning. So go on now that box´s has been waiting a long time.”
Nodding his head to him, Vin turned and followed the others over to the front of the saloon. Tieing there horses up to the hitching post, they carefully stepped up on the old well worn board walk and walked into the Standish Saloon as the paint on the window still read though greatly faded.
They saw the same table they had sat at, had the wooden box sitting on top of it. Moving to it they saw Mr. Potter had also left an old key on a rusted metal ring on top of the box.
Chris taking the key and walking around to the front of the box, lifted the lock and was surprised as old as they were the key still worked. Unfortunately he found the padlock itself had rusted together.
Vin stepping up with his knife pulled out, carefully slipped the blade between the two pieces and slowly pried them apart with out breaking or damaging them to much.
Everyone coming in closer and looking into as the lid was lifted was surprised at what they saw.
A bottle of the finest sipping whiskey from that time period, seven shot glasses, a book named ‘The Magnificent Seven´ by Jock Steele, Two sealed envelopes, Chris handing one envelop to Josiah, he opened the other one.
“It´s the letter Nettie wrote to them.” Chris told them, then went on. “She told them the truth and said for Vin to look at William Potter and ask him right then. She goes on to say that  Kojay chief came to her and told her that her time was nearly up, but the way could her Tanner and the others. That she needed to be in town the following day and she needed to believe. She tells them not to question how or why, just to be glad it happen. At the end here she tells her Vin not to grieve for her, that she lived a good long life her way. And he was with her even at the end. That she was passing on her lucky piece to his future.”
“Vin hearing that part of the letter, reached in his packet and felt the coin he had forgotten about. Pulling it out and holding it up, “Nettie gave me this right before I went up to the roof. Said her husbands childhood friend President Jackson gave it to them at there wedding.”
Ezra looking at it, suddenly toke it out of Vin´s hand, looking closer. “My God! This is an 1804 Draped Bust Dollar. There was only 8 of them ever made. Andrew Jackson had them made up for dignitaries in 1934, they bear the date though of the year silver dollars were replaced with gold dollars. There is know other dollar with that date. Do you realize how much that is worth.” Ezra exclaimed giving out the information.
“Enough to help our Nettie with the orphanage?” Vin wanted to know, for he had every intention to give it to her, since it was her ancestor and with the story of what happen.
“Mr. Tanner, That coin want only help, it will keep the orphanage going for years and then some.” Ezra smiled as he handed it back.
Josiah clearing his throat, “This letter is from them.”
Those five words got all there attention at once and silenced all other words.
“We wanted to say how much what you did means to us. You were thrown into something that none of us can still wrap our minds around completely and know it was just as hard for you. But you protected and saved our town. And I truly believe saving us as well as  Kojay had said. We almost didn´t stop for young Potter so worn and close to breaking we were. If not for him yelling that Nettie Wells said for them to read her letter before going any further, well it´s a good thing she was the woman she was. We decided, all of us to make sure you got the letter Nettie left for us and something to show our true thanks to you. So Ezra sent back east for the bottle and Larbee and Vin worked on making the box. Figured by the time you opened it, it should be aged real well. A traveling Photographer came though town the day the bottle arrived and we thought it fitting to have a picture to give to you as well. We are toasting to you now, be you our relations or just seven with the same names as our own. We thank you for truly saving us.”
Larbee Un corking the bottle and filling the seven shot glasses, as Vin reached in the box and pulled out the last item, A old type photograph of the seven. Smirking he propped it up on top of the box as they each lifted there glasses to the picture of the seven men standing on the rocks where they had been.
The End