Disclaimer: Just like every other disclaimer you may see, I too do not own the Magnificent Seven. They belong to MGM, and everyone else who does own rights to them. I wish I had some, but I don't.

I am not making monetary gain from this. I only wrote it for entertainment for myself and others to read.

Thank you Nancy for helping me get this on the internet!

Hope y'all like it. Please let me know what you think, good/bad. Just not too bad, I hope. And please remember, this is my first story that I have written and I hope to write more.

Thank you for reading!

"Another card?" Ezra Standish asked the man in front of him.

"No, I think I'm fine with the ones I got." The man said with confidence. The man was about thirty years old and looked a little rough looking.

Ezra smiled. "Very well then," As he drew himself another card from the deck.

The other three members of the card game had already folded their cards, knowing that their hand could not beat Ezra's. These men at the table were Josiah Sanchez, Buck Wilmington, and JD Dunne.

"I call," the man sitting in front of Ezra laid his hand on the table with a winning smile. Ezra studied the man before he laid his own down. The man looked a million miles away. He was searching the room for something. Ezra couldn't point out what it was he was looking for.

"My, my, my, it does appear that you have won this game," Ezra drawled out, speaking in a very fine southern accent.

The man grinned and nodded while he went for his winnings. But he was stopped by Ezra's gun clicking.

"Nice try, but you do not deserve that money."

"What? What are you talking about?" the man asked."I won this money fair and square."

"Yes, it would appear so to the unseeing eye, but you sir were carding," Ezra stated, matter-of-factly.

"I was wondering when you would pick that up Ezra," Josiah said, raising his mug of beer.

"Oh I have noticed it all along Mr. Sanchez, but I haven't played a good game in a while and Mr. Daniels here, even though cheating, plays a very fine game of poker," Ezra said.

The man raised an eyebrow. "Hey, I never told you my name."

"Oh, but the man from Kingsbrough did," Vin Tanner spoke up from the next table.

"I'd advise your three friends to drop your guns if they want to live," Chris Larabee said, sitting next to two of them.

The third thought he'd try to be brave and reached for his gun. When he raised his arm, he got a knife in his hand. "Arrh!" the man cried.

"Should have listened," Nathan Jackson said as he went to retrieve his knife. "Now I have to take care of you."

"You son of a bitch!" the man shouted at Nathan.

"Ah, be quite!" Buck Wilmington said. " You four have already ruined part of the day with the ladies. If you want to cry about something," Buck dragged the man outside with the others, "cry about that beautiful woman right there getting on that stagecoach. Oh, how I'm gonna miss that nice lovely lady."

"Come on Buck," Chris yelled back at his old best friend.

"I'm coming, but these guys are gonna pay!" Buck said and then passed by two young ladies and tipped his hat, "Why hello ladies." My, this may be a nice day after all Buck thought to himself.

As Wesley Daniels and his gang were being put into their cells, Wesley said something to Ezra, who was the last one to leave."Don't think I'll be in here long. Once my cousin gets word that I'm in here, you'll all regret that you ever laid eyes on us."

"Well, if your cousin succeeds in doing what you say, he'll regret that he ever laid a foot in this town," Ezra Standish said and then left the sheriff's office. He decided that he would grab some lunch before heading on over the saloon.

+ + + + + + +

About an hour later, half of the seven were back in the saloon. Ezra was back at the same table dealing out another hand to Josiah, Nathan, Chris, and Vin.

"I had Mary wire the judge to try those men. She said he should be here in about three days," Chris said to the others.

"Yeah, JD and Buck are over at the jail giving them their supper," Vin said.

"You know, it may be wise to have some sort of protection for the judge when he gets here. Mr. Daniels informed me that his "cousin" is coming to break them out and will kill any judge or any one else for that matter, who even tries to get in their way," Ezra said as he was giving Josiah two more cards.

"Did he say who his cousin was?" Nathan asked.

"No, I am afraid not Mr. Jackson," Ezra said.

"All right then, we'll start having watch over the jail until those men get their trial. I don't want any more trouble coming to this town. JD and Buck can take first watch since they're already there and then Vin and I will take the next one and Nathan and Josiah and then I'll go again with Ezra.

I fold. I'm going to go inform Buck and JD," Chris drank the last drop of his whiskey and then got up from the table.

+ + + + + + +

The next afternoon Chris, Vin, Buck, and JD were sitting outside the jail watching some people getting off the stagecoach. They were being cautious about the people getting off. They didn't know how Wesley Daniels's cousin was coming into town or when so they had their guns ready and were keeping their eye on the man walking up to them.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for a young man named Jonathan Dunne," the man said.

All eyes sitting there went to JD.

JD got up from his chair, "Um I'm Jonathan Dunne, can I help you?"

The man was surprised, he hadn't expected to find him so soon. "I, um... my name's Jonathan Myers. Can I Can I talk to you alone?"

JD caught the cautious eye from Chris. "What's this all about?" JD asked, not moving from the spot he was standing in, ready for anything.

"Can we please talk in private? It's very important, and I don't exactly know how to tell you this. So can we please?" Jonathan Myers asked, nodding over to the three men sitting with JD.

Chris nodded towards the door of the sheriff's office and him, Buck, Nathan, and Vin got up and went inside.

"So, what's this all about?" JD asked again.

"Well, like I said before, this is going to be hard to say."

"Well, what is it?" JD asked him again.

"Well, Jonathan"

"Oh, call me JD. Everybody does," JD cut the man off before he could finish what he wanted to say.

"Well, JD, I'm..." The man was having trouble trying to say what he wanted to say and he decided to just go for it, " JD, I'm your father."

The usual smile that JD always wore suddenly went away. He was now just staring at Jonathan Myers with a confused look on his face.

"JD? Did you just hear what I said? I said I'm your father."

Again JD's facial expression changed and became even more of a confused look. JD did nod however.

"Well, I can see this is a big shock to you and I know we really need to talk." Jonathan Myers said to JD.

JD shook his head, "No, that's all right. I'm really not ready to talk just yet," JD was still just staring at the man, and still very confused.

Jonathan looked at JD and said to him, "All right JD. I'll be staying over at he hotel when you are ready to talk."

JD nodded, still staring, and watched the man leave. Buck and the others came out acting like they hadn't been eavesdropping.

"JD, you all right?" Buck asked.

JD sat down in the chair behind him, not answering Buck. Buck and the others looked at each other and shrugged, "Kid? Are you going to be ok?" This time it was Chris who asked the question.

"He just said that he's my father," JD said, looking over at the hotel finally coming over the sudden shock.

"Well, do you believe him?" Vin asked.

"I don't... I don't know," JD said and looked at the guys.

Buck put a hand on JD's shoulder, "JD, do you want to talk about it?"

"No." JD got up from his chair and walked away, leaving the other three by themselves, questioning what just happened.

While all this was going on, nobody noticed some new traffic coming into town. It was five men on horseback.

+ + + + + + +

The five men went straight to the livery to stable their horses. The leader was on a light brown horse, leading the other men. He had spotted the sheriff's office and had already started thinking of a plan to get his cousin out of jail, once again.

"Hey, Mr. Canon," one of the men following behind him spoke up, "I just spotted our old friend out there."

"I saw him too Jake. I wonder what he is doing here in Four Corners." Marc Canon pondered.

"Want us to keep an eye on him?" another one spoke up.

"No. I don't think there is any need for that just now. I'm sure we'll run into him at the saloon."

+ + + + + + +

Over at the saloon, Buck found JD sitting alone.

"You going to drink that glass of milk, or are you just going to let it spoil?"

"Hey Buck," JD greeted Buck as he sat down.

"So are you going to go talk to him?" Buck asked.

JD looked over at the table where the man who claimed to be his father was sitting,

"I can't Buck. I just can't."

"Why not? You can't just keep avoiding him everywhere you go. If he's really your father you need to find out," said Buck.

"Yeah, but how do I really know its him? What proof could he possibly have?" JD said.

"Well, your never know until you ask," Buck said, trying to encourage JD to go talk to the man.

"Buck, my father left us when I was just born. He didn't even care how my mother or I would get by. He just left and she was forced to work as a chamber maid to support us."

"Yeah, but maybe he's come to find you to ask you for forgiveness. You ever think of that?" Buck looked JD in the eye.

"But what if I can't do that?"

"That's why you got to talk to him," Buck told him.

"Look at him. He's just sitting there, waiting for you to talk to him."

"Maybe later," JD said.

"I got to go. Miss Travis wanted to see me."

JD left as Nathan and Josiah were coming in. They all said hi as they passed.

Nathan and Josiah saw Buck and went to sit with him.

"Where is JD off to?" Nathan asked.

"Said Miss Travis wanted wanted to see him, but I think really he's just ignoring his problems," Buck answered Nathan.

"Did you talk to him?" Josiah asked.

"Yeah, but he really wouldn't listen."

"Just give him time. I'm sure he will come around. It's only been a few hours since he found out," Nathan said.

+ + + + + + +

Mary Travis heard a knock on the front door. "Come in."

"Miss Travis, you said you wanted to see me?" JD asked as he entered the Clarion.

"Oh, hello JD. Yes, I was wondering if you would take this to Eagle Bend for me?" Mary asked.

"Sure thing Mary," JD took the package from Mary's hand, "Anything else?"

"No, that's all. But JD?" Mary asked.

"Yes, Mrs. Travis?" JD asked back.

"I heard about the man coming to town claiming to be your father."

"Yeah, he said his name is Jonathan Myers," JD said to her.

"If you ever need to talk, I'm here."

"Thanks Mary. But I'm just not ready to talk just yet," JD said and turned for the door.

+ + + + + + +

It had been an hour after JD left town when Marc Canon walked up to Jonathan Myers in the saloon. It surprised Jonathan to see Canon here.

"Canon... what are you doing here?"

"I was going to ask you the same thing," Canon said.

"Look Canon, I'm through with all that stuff. I'm going clean now. I just came to town on some family business."

"Well then, I guess you want me to leave you be now, huh?" Canon asked.

"Please Canon"

+ + + + + + +

Over at another table close by, Chris, Vin, and Ezra were watching the two men.

"I wonder who that man is with Myers," Vin asked.

"I wouldn't know," Chris said as he took another sip of his whiskey.

"But I do ponder the thought of why Mr. Myers looked a little nervous when the stranger walked up," Ezra said.

"How 'bout we go sit with them?" Vin said and the got up to join the other two men.

"Hi, Myers right?" Chris asked as they sat down.

Jonathan looked at the three men, remembering two of them from earlier that day. "Yeah, that's right. Can I help you with something?"

"Ah, we just wanted to sit and talk with you," Chris told him.

"And who are you?" Canon asked.

Chris stuck out his hand, "Chris Larabee."

The man wouldn't take Chris's hand but instead got up from his seat, "Um, I'm afraid I have to be going now." And then he was gone.

"Well, he wasn't in a very talkative mood, now was he?" Chris looked at Myers.

"Now Mr. Larabee, what is it that you all want?" Myers asked.

"To discuss the matter of JD Dunne," Ezra spoke up.

"Look, I know none of you believe me but it's true," Myers said.

"Somehow JD just isn't up to believing that," said Vin.

"Now if we ever find out you're telling JD a lie about who you really are, you're gonna have to mess with me." Chris looked straight at Myers, making him shift in his seat.

"Uh, I think I'll be going now." Myers got up and left the saloon without looking back.

The guys watched Myers leave.

"I think we should follow them both around for a while," Chris said and the three got up from their table. Chris and Ezra went after Canon and Vin after Myers.

+ + + + + + +

After JD had left Mary's office, Mary got to thinking about the name JD had mentioned. She had got to thinking that the name sounded very familiar and started to look through her husband's old papers and found some astonishing information.

"Oh my God." Mary rushed out of the clarion with the old newspapers.

+ + + + + + +

Vin followed Myers until he went to his hotel room. Myers never did anything or went anywhere that seemed out of the ordinary; so Vin decided he wouldn't be worth following anymore and would meet up with Chris to see if Canon did anything.

Vin found Chris and Ezra back in the saloon.

"So, what you find out about that stranger Myers was with?" Vin asked Chris and Ezra.

"Only that the man appears to lead a somewhat normal life," said Ezra.

"Basically the same thing with Myers," Vin told them.

"We left him at the hotel. Clerk said he went by the name of Marc Canon. Know that name?" Chris asked.

"You know, when I was a bounty hunter that name had come up. Come to think of it now, so did Myers," Vin said.

Chris got an idea in his head that wasn't good, "Come to think of it, where is Myers?"

"I left him back at the hotel," Vin said.

"That the same hotel that Canon is staying at?" Chris asked and the three men got up from their chairs in a hurry, all thinking the same thing.

As the three stepped out of the saloon, Chris heard his name being called, "Mr. Larabee!" It was Mary.

"We'll head on and meet you there," Vin told Chris.

"Ok," Chris said and then turned to Mary. "Mary, is something wrong?" Chris asked.

Mary ran up to them, almost out of breath. She was holding onto some old newspapers. "Chris I need to show you something,"

"Can it wait?" Chris was in a hurry to get to the hotel.

"No, it's about that man who claims to be JD's father," Mary told him.

"What is it?" Chris took the papers from her hands.

"Well, after JD had mentioned Jonathan Myers's name, I remembered my late husband had done some stories on him. See what I found?" Mary pointed out.

Vin and Ezra came running back, "Chris, they're both gone!" Vin told him.

"JD get back yet?" Chris asked as he handed Mary back her papers.

"No, not yet," Vin said.

"He's due to be back in a hour or so," Mary told them as they were going towards the jail.

Buck, Josiah, and Nathan were sitting over at the jail when they saw Chris and the others coming their way in a hurry.

"Chris, what's going on?" Buck demanded.

"Trouble Buck, trouble," Chris told him. "We need to catch up with JD."

+ + + + + + +

JD was on his way back to town when he saw Jonathan Myers riding towards him.

"Great," JD said to himself. He was not in the mood to hear lies from this man who claimed to be his father. JD had be thinking it over all day while he was gone and decided that he didn't want to do anything with Jonathan Myers, father or not.

They came to a stop when their horses met. "Afternoon JD. I've been looking all over town for you," Jonathan greeted him.

JD looked at the sky. In about an hour in a half the sun would be going down.

"I had an errand to run. What is it that you want?" JD was becoming agitated sitting there.

"Well, now that I've found you and we have our horses, let's say we go for a ride," Jonathan offered.

JD hesitated for a bit and then finally said, "Fine."

The two rode for about thirty minutes until they came to a small pond. JD got off his horse and led it to the water. "So what is it that you want to talk about?"

"Huh?" Jonathan asked as he looked around at the surroundings around them, "Oh yeah. Well son..."

"Wait a minute!" JD cut him off. "Let's get one thing straight here, I don't think for one second that you are my father so don't even call me son!"

"Well, I see that you must have thought about this? Because I really want to talk to you about this. JD, I really am your father."

JD was fixing to reply when he heard another voice.

"Well, Mr. Myers, will you please introduce me to your friend here?"

"Who are you?" JD asked and then he saw two other, ruff looking men, "Jonathan, what the hell is going on here?"

"JD, I can explain," Jonathan started to say but was cut off by Canon.

"Oh Jonathan, have you not told the boy of our little plan?" Canon asked.

"I said I wasn't going through with it Canon!" Jonathan told Canon.

"Oh, I think you will," Canon said and signaled the two men to grab JD. "See, word tells that you have a son and I would surely hate for something to happen to him for your selfishness."

"What the hell is going on here?" JD tried to force his way from the two men.

"You see, young man, your father is going to help me get my unfortunate cousin and his rowdy friends out of jail," Canon informed JD.

"It ain't gonna happen!" JD said, struggling," I got friends who will make sure of that!"

"Mr. Harris, would you please do something to shut the boy up," Canon instructed Jake Harris.

+ + + + + + +

About forty-five minutes after Canon had taken JD, Chris and the others met up at the same pond. "Find anything?"

"Nothing," Vin answered Chris.

It was only five of the men out looking for JD. Chris had told Josiah to stay behind and make sure their prisoners stayed in jail.

"Hey, look over here. I bet anything that this canteen here is JD's," Buck held up the canteen that he found near the water.

Vin looked around the area. "Somebody was here. There's tracks all over the place." Vin followed the tracks up a small hill. The rest of the guys got on their horses and followed him.

+ + + + + + +

They had been following the tracks for awhile when Chris spoke up, "Vin are you sure these are the right tracks to be following?"

"Well, they are the only tracks I've seen that could be. There's a lot of tracks here and if JD's in trouble..."

"Chris, I really have this gut feeling that these tracks lead to JD. And if something's happen to that kid, then the sons of bitches that have him had better pray!" Buck said.

"We all feel the same way about him Buck," Nathan told him.

"I know y'all do. Its just that that boy gets into more trouble!" Buck said.

"We know," Chris said smiling, thinking about how many times they were called on to help the kid.

"Hey, hold that lantern over here," Vin instructed.

Nathan came over to Vin with a lantern, "What 'd you find Vin?"

Vin held the item up.

"My, isn't that Mr. Dunne's gun?" Ezra asked.

"It sure is. We're definitely on the right trail boys!" Buck said.

"Yeah, but Buck, what is JD doing without his gun?" Chris asked.

+ + + + + + +

About an hour before Vin had found JD's gun on the ground, Canon and his men had ridden through the area. The man riding beside JD had his gun. The man wasn't paying attention so JD thought it was a good time to go for the gun. There was a long struggle between the two and there was one shot of gunfire. Both men looked at each other, wondering who had been shot. Fortunately for the two, it was Canon who had fired the shot into the air to stop them.

"Enough!" Canon shouted out. "Somebody tie him up! Now we got a schedule to keep here. Miller and Andrews should be at the camp in a half-hour giving instructions to the others and we should have been there fifteen minutes ago. Now, I don't want anymore interruptions!"

They rode on, with no further interruptions. The man next to JD leaned over to him when they began riding. "I'll deal with you later boy!"

Through all that, nobody realized, except JD, that the gun had been dropped. He knew the rest of the seven would be hot on their trail when he hadn't returned and the gun would just show them they were following the right tracks.

+ + + + + + +

By now Canon had arrived at the camp.

"Miller," Canon called out to him when he saw him.

"Sir?" Miller came over to him. Miller was second in command to Canon. He was the only one Canon really trusted. Canon used to feel the same way about Jonathan Myers until he had betrayed him.

"I got six men following me. They're maybe about thirty to forty-five minutes behind but coming fast. I want this camp cleared out and everyone gone like no one was ever here," Canon instructed Miller.

"Yes sir," Miller said and then went to do his duty.

+ + + + + + +

JD and Jonathan were left guarded by one man. The two were sitting side by side and Jonathan thought this was a great time to talk to JD without him running away.

"JD." Jonathan started, "I know you don't believe me, but here..." Jonathan handed a key to JD.

"What's this?" JD took the key.

"It's to prove to you that I am who I say I am."

"This? How is this supposed to prove anything?" JD asked.

"It goes to a box back in town. The reason why I was looking for you all day is because I was leaving," Jonathan told him.

"Leaving? Why?"

Jonathan looked to where Canon was. "Because of him."

JD looked over to where Jonathan was looking. "Who is he? Why has he taken us both captive?" JD still didn't understand it all.

Jonathan didn't say anything first off. He tended to look at the sky, searching for the right words to tell JD. "I know you've led a good life. I read about you and your friends in that dime store novel that man wrote about y'all."

JD listened to what Jonathan was saying. "Truth is, I haven't led the same good life you and your friends have. I was part of Canon's gang along time ago and we did some terrible things to some pretty innocent people. By the time I was your age the law already wanted me for a bunch of robberies and murders.

Then I met your mother and I thought I could change, get away from it all. Should have known I couldn't escape Canon. He found me and told me that if I helped him one more time he would leave me alone." Jonathan started to laugh, which JD didn't understand, "Yeah, he left me alone all right. He left me alone in jail for 18 years. When I got out I went back to Boston only to find that your mother had died and to find out that I had a son. All anyone knew was that you had come out west. It wasn't until that little book..."

"And now he wants your help again?" JD said, trying to swallow back the tears that were about to fall.

"Yep," was all Jonathan said.

Suddenly, two men came up to them. One of them was the one JD had fought with for the gun. Jonathan and JD were pulled up to their feet. The one holding Jonathan spoke to him, "Canon wants you."

And JD was left alone with the one who still wanted a piece of him.

"Boss said we don't need you anymore. Said I could do anything with you that I wanted to as long as it slowed Chris Larabee down." The man pushed JD to go forward, making JD almost fall. JD didn't know what was going on. JD just had a terrible feeling that he wouldn't see his friends ever again.

+ + + + + + +

As JD was walking to his unknown destination, he noticed that there was hardly anything left of the camp. He saw Jonathan getting on a horse and then riding away with Canon and a few others. It looked like they were headed back to town. JD wondered what they were going to do with him since they didn't need him anymore. He only wished that they would let him go. But that wouldn't happen.

"Here we are." The man stopped JD.

"What? What do you mean?" And then JD saw the big whole in the ground with a big box. He started to get scared because it wasn't just a box, it was a wooden coffin.

"Hey, wait a minute..."

'You know, I've always wondered how long a man could last with out air. To bad I won't be around to find out. I got to get going." The man pushed JD into the box. There were two other men to help with the burying.

"HEY!" JD yelled out as they closed the lid, "Don't do this! Please!" JD began banging on the lid.

"Save your breath kid! The more you scream and pound, the less air you have," the man said to JD, and then turned to the other two men."Stay here and finish the job and wait for Larabee."

As the man was leaving, one of the diggers spoke up, "Hey, we're really not gonna keep him down there, are we?"

The man turned around and looked the digger in the eye."Just do your job."

+ + + + + + +

About fifteen minutes later, Chris, Buck, Vin, Ezra, and Nathan came riding up fast.

"Whoa!" Vin stopped everyone.

"What's the matter Vin?" Chris asked.

"The tracks just suddenly disappeared. I can't..." Vin was cut off by gun fire. Suddenly the two men who had helped bury JD came out into the clearing, shooting at the six men. They returned the fire. The two men were down in seconds.

"What the hell was that about?" Buck asked, his temper rising.

"To slow us down even more," Ezra said.

"You think they were a part of Canon's gang?" Chris asked.

"Why else would they be firing upon us?" Ezra asked.

"Wait," Vin said.

"What?" Chris asked him.

"Something ain't right here. There's still something else." Vin looked around.

"Hey!" Came a faint cry from one of the shooters.

Nathan went to him. "Hey Chris, this one's still alive." Nathan kneeled down next to the man.

The man began to speak. "I can't die without saying this," the man whispered. "I didn't like it one bit." He began to cough. "Your friend... he's... there's no way he could survive..."

Buck came over and interrupted the man."He's where? Where's JD? What have you done to him!?"

But then the man was dead. He couldn't answer Buck's question but Vin spoke, "Buck..."

Buck looked up, over to where Vin was looking."JD? No... Please God no."

Buck went over to what looked like someone's grave. Frantically, he began digging with his hands.

"Buck," Chris sympathized for his old friend,. The two had become like brothers, and now JD was gone.

"No Chris! I have to see, I have to know!" Buck cried to his friend standing next to him.

Chris stood there, just like the others, watching Buck. But then Chris got on his hands and knees and began digging with his friend. The others watched them both but one by one began to help. Once they reached the box they all starred at it. But then each one heard it. A light moan.

"Oh God!" Chris said and hurrying to open the lid, "he's still alive!"

Inside was JD, alive but barely breathing.

JD began coughing, once the air had gotten to him.

"JD?" Buck asked, "can you hear me?"

JD coughed a little more and then said, " Oh Buck, get me the hell out of here!" Chris and Buck helped JD to his feet.

"You all right?" Chris asked him. JD nodded and looked back at the hole. "Yeah."

JD and the others began walking but JD collapsed to the ground.

"JD?" Buck asked.

"I'll get him some water!" Vin said and then went to his horse for some water.

After resting for a while and gaining enough strength to talk, JD told the guys what was going on. They figured that Four Corners was where Canon was heading to so they all left, hoping they wouldn't be too late and that if they were a little late, that Josiah would be able to hold them off.

+ + + + + + +

Back in Four Corners, Mary was watching the men in the jail while Josiah went to go get something to eat. He left her with a shotgun just in case something should happen.

"Come on darlin', why don't you just put the gun down and let us out," one of the men in there was saying.

Another man started to join in,"Yeah, we could have ourselves a little party once you let us out. How you say about that?"

Mary just looked at them with shock. "If you even think about getting out I will shoot you the minute you step across those bars."

"Wait a minute now darlin'. We just want to have a little fun with 'ya," the first man said, making gestures to her.

"Yeah, " the second man joined in, I bet you don't even know how to use one of those things."

"Chris Larabee assured me she does."

They all turned to the man standing at the doorway.

"Josiah, you're back," Mary said, wondering how long he had been there.

"Things going okay in here?" Josiah asked, mainly talking to the men in the two jail cells.

"Oh yeah, we're just fine," the second man said, trying to hide the fear that he had for Josiah. Before Chris and the others had left, the prisoners had been warned that Josiah had been known to break a man's ribs just by giving the man a huge bear hug. And by the size of Josiah, they knew it could be true.

"I'll take over from here Mary." Josiah took the rifle from her.

Mary was about to leave when she turned to Josiah. "Any word on them yet?"

"No, not yet. But the Lord will guide them home," Josiah told her.

+ + + + + + +

Mary had left the jailhouse and started to walk back to the Clarion when somebody grabbed her from behind and dragged her into an alley.

It was Canon's gang who had grabbed her. They were in town already and getting ready to break Wesley Daniels and his friends out.

+ + + + + + +

Josiah was resting in the chair at the desk when he heard a gun click. He opened his eyes and found a gun pointing at his face.

"Give me the keys," the man demanded.

"Now let's just talk about this," Josiah tried to reason with the man.

"No," the man said simply.

"Now you know I can't open the cells and let them out." Josiah was trying to buy some time and figure out a plan but it wasn't working.

"Oh, I think you can," came a voice from the doorway.

Josiah looked up and saw Canon holding a gun to Mary's head.

He then tossed the keys to the man who had the gun pointed at his head.

"I knew you'd see it our way," the man said and then shot Josiah.

"Josiah!" Mary screamed out and tried to struggle away but Canon wouldn't let her.

By now Wesley Daniels was out and they were all walking back outside. When they walked out into the street they saw six men facing them.

"Give it up Canon!" Larabee shouted. "You don't want this to end bad."

"Oh, but I think I have the upper hand this time," Canon said to him, still with the gun to Mary's head. "So let us pass."

"I don't think so," Chris said back. "How about you let her go and we'll all finish this man to man."

Canon thought about it for a while. His cousin leaned over to him and whispered into his ear, "You can't be thinking of going along with him."

Canon then pushed Mary aside to another man next to him and then reached for his guns, shooting his cousin next to him and then firing a shot at Chris Larabee. Gunfire was being shot back and forth throughout the street. The man who had Mary took her back into the sheriff's office. He pushed her inside and she ran to Josiah's side to see if he was still alive. He was but she didn't know for how long. They needed Nathan in there.

"Please, you have to help him!" Mary pleaded with him.

"Shut-up!" the man told her and then started firing from the window.

Mary then noticed that Josiah still had his guns on his side and took one of them.

The man heard a click from behind him and turned around.

"You wouldn't have the nerve," he said to her.

"Try me," Mary said, pointing the gun at him.

The man then turned his gun and aimed at her. Mary quickly shot at him. After realizing he was dead, she dropped the gun and yelled out the door for Nathan, who thankfully, was just a few yards away. Nathan quickly ran inside.

"Mary, are you all right?" Nathan asked, seeing the dead man on the floor.

"Yes, but Josiah's been shot," Mary told him.

+ + + + + + +

There were more men on the Canon's side than there was Larabee's but that didn't matter because Chris and the others were winning. More and more, Canon's men were dropping. At the end, only three of Canon's men and himself were alive. The shooting had stopped and JD grabbed Canon by the collar.

"Where is he?" JD asked him.

"Where's who?" Canon laughed, trying to play innocent.

"You know damn well who I'm talking about, now where is he?" JD demanded.

Canon, noticing four other men around him, began to talk. But it wasn't good news.

"He's dead." Canon said matter-of-factly.

"What?" Chris asked.

"I said he's dead. He tried to run off to save you when I shot him," Canon told them all, not caring what anybody thought at all.

"I don't I don't believe you," JD stuttered out.

"Believe it kid!" Canon hissed at JD.

"Get up!" Vin picked Canon off his feet. "You're going to pay for all you did."

"No, I don't think so." Canon quickly pulled out a small gun and went to shoot when he himself was shot.

Everyone turned to face the gambler who had a smoking derringer.

"Now I would say that was 'impeccable timing' Buck said, quoting one of Ezra's sayings.

"Why thank you Mr. Wilmington." Ezra pushed his derringer back up his sleeve.

+ + + + + + +

The next day, the three remaining men of Canon's gang were being shipped off for trial. Josiah was walking around, although Nathan didn't approve of him being out of bed. But Josiah said that since it was just a shoulder wound, he didn't want to lie down.

Buck was standing outside the bank, along with Chris and Vin. But as usual, Buck couldn't stop flirting with the women that walked by.

"Buck," Chris said, nodding towards the bank doors where JD was just coming out.

"Well, did you get it kid?" Buck asked, coming over to him.

"Yeah." JD was holding something small in his hand.

"Well, let us have a look," Buck took the item from JD's hand.

"It's a picture of my mother and Jonathan Myers," JD told them.

"Guess this means he was telling the truth, right?" Vin asked.

"Yeah, I guess so," JD answered back.

"Come on JD, let's all go have a drink," Buck said leading the rest along.

JD looked at the picture one last time and now knew that the man in the picture was his father. He wished he could have known him longer, but was just as happy to even have known him for that short amount of time. He flipped the picture over and read the words that his mother had written on the back a long time ago,


I will always love you and will never forget you.



JD went along with his friends, knowing that even though he didn't have his mother or father around for family, that the six friends that he stood alongside of to protect the town, were and would always be his family.


Comments to Buckaroo4898@aol.com