Vin's Wedding

by Robyn

(Vin & Ezra's confidant)


On the way back from Sleepy Hollow, Vin had spoken to Chris about the situation he was in with Inez. Chris told him he knew what the only gentlemanly thing to do was. He suggested Vin should speak to Inez about the situation and what she would like to have happen. Vin thought about it all the way back to Four Corners and then some. Finally, he went to Inez in the Standish Tavern and asked her to join him for conversation. They met in a quiet spot in the tavern.

"Inez, we gotta talk about this baby," Vin whispered.

"What about it?" Inez asked

"Well, I've been thinkin'. I think it'd only be right if we got married. I mean, I don't want everyone to look at you badly. I do care an awful lot for ya; so, what d'ya say? Will you marry me?"

"Vin, you do not have to marry me. I would be just as happy to have your baby. I do not wish for you to be tied to a woman just because she is carrying your child. And I do not care what anyone else thinks of me, only what you think."

"I know, but I want to marry you. I've given it a lot of thought, ever since you told me. I really want to, that is, if you'll have me. I mean I'm probably not what you had envisioned as your husband, but I'll try to be. I don't have money, land or anything of value to offer you, but I'll do my best to give you a good life. If you say "no", I'll understand. There's all the danger from defending the town here. There's the handbill offering a lotta money for my life; not to mention, the various folks that'd rather see me dead just because I brought them or someone they know to justice…"

"Vin, I care for you, too. I really do. You are a good man. As for envisioning my future husband, I could not have imagined anyone better. I would love to be your wife; so, my answer is 'Si'," Inez interrupted him finishing the conversation with a quick kiss before she returned to work at the bar.

+ + + + + + +

The following day, when the conversation sunk in, Vin approached Chris.

"Chris," Vin called to his friend.

"Hey, how's it goin'?" Chris responded.

"Gotta talk to ya."

"Aw'ight, shoot."

"I talked to Inez last night about the baby."

"Finally?" Chris questioned with a smile.

"Yeah. Well, I wanted to make sure I was doin' the right thing."

"So, what did y'all talk about?"

"Well, we're getting' married."

Chris stopped walking and turned to look Vin in the eye.

"Are you sure about this?" Chris asked him.

"Yeah, I really am!" the excitement danced in Vin's eyes.

"Well, then, congratulations, my friend!" Chris exclaimed.

+ + + + + + +

Inez, too, felt the urge to talk to someone and decided to go to Mary. They met in the newspaper office.

"Mary, can we talk?" Inez greeted as she entered.

"Sure, Inez, what about?"

"Do you remember, a while back I told you I thought I may be pregnant?"

"Yes, yes, I do. Did you tell Vin yet?"

"Si, when we were in Sleep Hollow. I thought we were going to die, and he should know."

"What'd he say?" Mary asked.

"He really didn't say much, then."

"Has he talked to you about it since?"

"He asked me to marry him last night," she giggled with excitement.

"Vin Tanner proposed to you?"


"Well, congratulations!"

+ + + + + + +

The two women continued to talk of the upcoming wedding.

+ + + + + + +

Later that evening, Mary sought Chris for supper. Chris joined Mary, her son Billy and her father-in-law, Judge Orin Travis.

"Chris, has Vin talked to you about Inez at all recently?" Mary asked her guest.

"They make a nice couple, don't you think?" Orin interjected.

"Yes, they do, and yes, he has," Chris answered both questions.

"Think anything'll come of it?" Orin asked.

"Yes, I do," Mary answered the older man.

"Excuse me? You know something Mary?" Orin questioned.

"Vin asked her to marry him," Chris answered smiling at Mary knowing Inez must have told her.

"He what?" the judge asked.

"He asked her to marry him…and she accepted," Mary repeated.

"You know, they have been acting weird ever since y'all came back from Sleepy Hollow. Y'all wouldn't know anything about that would you? I mean, she looks different…like a woman carrying a child?" Orin observed.

"That would be because she is, Judge," Mary confided.

"Hmph, thought so. So, Vin being a gentleman or does he really want to marry her?" the judge questioned the two.

"I asked him. He says he really wants to marry her," Chris assured.

"Well, good luck to them both, then. I hope they live a long happy life together," Judge Orin Travis toasted.

It didn’t take long for the news to get around town. Sammi congratulated Vin and Inez. She always wondered what kind of woman would tame him. Buck got upset, of course; he always did want to get together with Inez. They simply remained friends. It took him an entire day to accept the fact, and some coercion from Sammi. He hadn't spoken to Vin the entire time though.

"Vin, I just say congratulations and you better take good care of her," Buck finally came around to congratulate.

"Thanks, Buck," Vin smiled at his friend.


Festivities abounded as Mary and the entire town planned for Inez to marry one of their seven defenders - the first of the seven to marry since "settling" in Four Corners. Little did anyone know heartache and despair was looming overhead in the near future. There had been some strangers in town - observing. The seven kept watchful eyes on them never wanting to conclude they were just newcomers to town. They all sensed the dread they brought. They all saw the shifty way they looked and sauntered through town memorizing every detail of the people and buildings.

+ + + + + + +

Meanwhile, another man had also made his presence known. An ex-cavalryman that Vin knew from his days with the Comanche and Kiowa. The man was Colonel Robert Curtis. He was a man who felt the savages that shared the land were no more than wild animals that needed to be eradicated. His hatred of those people and all that came to befriend them was evident whenever he laid eyes on Vin. He cursed at him and attempted to start a fight that Chris had to break up for fear Vin would kill him. Vin's hatred of the man equaled the colonel's of him. Colonel Curtis had bought a ranch just outside Four Corners. He tried to get the little town to remove Vin from his position and force him to leave town. His efforts, however, were in vain and his words fell on deaf ears.

+ + + + + + +

What the seven had suspected finally played out late one night, but it was still very much unexpected. They knew the men were up to something, but they never imagined this. As Inez finished closing the Standish Tavern, six men grabbed her. They gagged and tied her carrying her off to a ranch outside of town. The ranch, of course, was that of Colonel Robert Curtis. Upon arrival, Curtis met the men and instructed them to put her in the stable. They followed his instructions leaving her bound and gagged. The men then entered the ranch house to confer with Colonel Curtis.

"What would you like us to do with her?" one of the men asked.

"Nothing. Send a messenger to Vin Tanner. Tell him to come alone. Anyone else shows up or if I think someone else is around, she will die - baby and all. Make sure he is told to come alone. Do not inform him with the others present. Their reputations have far exceeded their realm. I do not wish to deal with them before I have to," the colonel instructed.

+ + + + + + +

The men chose one of themselves to deliver the news to Vin. He entered Four Corners and waited for Vin to be alone.

"Mr. Tanner?" he greeted.

"Can I do su'um for ya, Mister?" Vin responded.

"I'm delivering a message. Colonel Curtis has your fiancée. Don't tell a soul or she dies. You are to come alone to retrieve her. If we so mush as suspect someone is with you or following you, she and the unborn child will be killed. You are to be there at sunup tomorrow morning," the man informed.

"You tell Curtis that if he hurts her he'll regret it; I'll make sure of that!" Vin responded.

The man nodded and left. Vin went to his wagon to get a few things before leaving. He didn't speak a word of the conversation to anyone. He tried to keep from encountering anyone. He knew, if he was around Chris, Chris would know something was up. Vin made sure to keep his distance.

+ + + + + + +

In the early morning hours, Vin set out for the ranch Curtis bought. As he drew near, he thought of how he could get Inez free without having to deal with the colonel or his entourage. Of course, any plans he made were thwarted when three of the men rode up behind him. He let his guard down by allowing himself to become completely caught up in Inez and the baby.

"Drop your weapons, Mr. Tanner," a gruff voice bellowed from behind him.

Vin felt a rifle jab him in the back urging him to follow the instructions given. He decided to abide by them. He threw down his rifle and mare's leg. One of the men picked them up. The three men escorted Vin to Colonel Curtis.

"Colonel?" the gruff voice called out.

The colonel appeared from the ranch house with his guns. One on his hip and another in his hand.

"Well, well, Mr. Tanner, what a nice surprise!"

"Cut the bull; where's Inez?" Vin angrily asked.

"Hmmm…Inez…Inez who?" the man taunted.

Vin glared at the man before him. The colonel instructed his men to take Vin to the stable, tie and gag him.

The stable doors opened. Inez fearfully watched. Vin and the other men entered the stable. The men bound and gagged Vin, then, they left. Vin scooted closer to Inez, placing his back to hers desperately trying to untie the ropes that bound them. They were too tight. He had to give up. He sat and thought for a while trying to come up with a plan. A pitchfork lay against the wall. He wondered if it were sharp enough to cut the ropes. Just as he tried to stand, Colonel Curtis and the six men that kidnapped Inez entered the stable.


Colonel Robert Curtis' face was full of hatred for the younger man he had tied on the dirt floor of the stable. His only thoughts were how he could torture the man. After seeing Vin had positioned himself near Inez, a thought had entered the evil man's head. Curtis ordered two men to tie Vin to the framework of the stable. They complied not realizing the pitchfork nearby could be used as a weapon if Vin suddenly became free. Colonel Curtis ordered the remaining four men to patrol the ranch making sure none of Vin's six friends made it passed them. The four men left to keep a watchful eye out for the six men. After tying Vin to the framework of the stable, Colonel Curtis ordered one of the two remaining men to the upper loft to watch for the other six men - Vin's comrades. He then turned his attention to Vin and Inez.

"Well, Mr. Tanner, it seems you are in a bit of a bind, ain't ya?" the colonel taunted. "I do believe we will start with the young lady. {Inez began to squirm.} Jake, why don't you show this lady what a real man is like, huh?"

"Yes, sir, colonel," Jake, the remaining man of the six that originally accompanied the colonel, answered.

Jake made his way to Inez. She tried to fight him, but he was one of the burliest of the six men. Her efforts failed as the man tore her clothes from her forcing himself upon her. Inez continued to struggle as the man continued to beat her as he attempted to keep her still. When she no longer had the strength to fight, she lay still, heavily breathing, as the man assaulted her womanhood. Vin struggled to free himself as the anger inside of him nearly erupted. He could feel the heat of hatred flow through his veins. His blue eyes turned to dark caverns of revenge. He swore to himself that he would right this wrong against Inez, if only he could free his hands.

+ + + + + + +

When Jake was finished with Inez, she lay still and silent, save for the trembling of her body for which she had no control. As Jake backed away smiling, regaining his composure…and his pants, Colonel Robert Curtis approached Inez. Inez could feel the fear rush through her again, but she found herself unable to move, unable to fight back. Her mind struggled to get her limbs to obey the commands, but they chose not to act on the urges of her brain. The viciously controlling attack traumatized her entire body; therefore, her body parts could no longer perform as she wished them to. As Inez laid there motionless, the colonel bestowed up on her the same abuse Jake had done before him. Vin continued to fight for his freedom. Finally, he had one hand free. His wrist was bloody as the rope tore the flesh as he repeatedly twisted and pulled to gain his freedom. The colonel, unknowing Vin had freed one hand, relished in the tracker's anguish over the situation. When he finished terrorizing Inez, he turned to Vin as he rose to his knees adjusting his pants.

"It seems your sweetheart has had an affair with two other men," the colonel teased in a menacing tone.

As he did, a voice from the loft yelled down, "Colonel…I want a go at her!"

"Jake, switch places with Will. Well, Mr. Tanner, it seems someone else is gonna get to play with your woman," Colonel Curtis continued to taunt.

Jake relieved Will from his lookout point. As Will made his way down the stairs to where the colonel stood, Vin dashed for the pitchfork. Colonel Curtis was not able to draw his gun before Vin thrust the pitchfork into his abdomen. Will did get his gun drawn. He fired at Vin hitting him in the chest. Vin withdrew the pitchfork from the colonel, who had now clutched his stomach with both hands. Vin now plunged the pitchfork into Will. Will was standing near Inez as he fell. He still wanted to show her how much of a man he was, but the colonel crawled to her first. With his last bit of strength, the colonel stabbed her with his knife. Inez screamed at the pain and horror of the knife embedded in her abdomen. Vin ran to her side immediately. He snatched the guns from the two men that lay dead before them.

Meanwhile, Jake was making his way down from the loft. Vin heard the man pull his gun out and cock it. Without a blink of an eye, he spun on his heels and shot the man dead with the colonel's gun. Vin knew he couldn't stay there. Despite the throbbing wound in his chest, he had to get Inez to someplace safe. He just killed three men, and he knew the other four would soon come back. The colonel's horse and three more horses were in the stable. Vin, while holding the wound in his chest, put the reins on one of the horses. He then helped Inez to stand up and get up onto the horse. Vin mounted the horse behind her. As he held her upright, Vin and Inez left the stable, the ranch and the three dead men.

Having heard the gunshots fired at the stable, the four men sent to protect against Vin's six friends returned. They entered the stable as they arrived. They found their boss and two friends lying dead. Quickly, they searched the grounds of the ranch. They found nothing. The men returned to the stable, placed each of the bodies on a wagon and headed for Four Corners.


The four men halted the wagon in front of the jail. They entered, finding Judge Travis, Chris and Josiah having a discussion.

"Judge," one of the men urgently greeted.

"What is it?" he replied.

"You know Colonel Curtis was having problems with that Tanner fellow, don't ya?" another man spoke up.

"I know Colonel Curtis was causing problems for Vin," the judge responded.

The man, angered by the judge's response, retaliated, "Yeah, well, Tanner just killed the colonel and two of our friends!"

Judge Travis, Chris and Josiah looked at the men and each other in disbelief.

"Where are these dead men?" Chris asked.

"In the wagon," one answered.

"Then, we'll have us a look," the judge replied.

The four men were joined by Chris, Josiah and the judge. They showed them the three dead men. Nathan and Buck were approaching. Their curiosity sparked an interest in the happenings at the jail.

"What's going on?" Nathan asked.

"Nathan, take a look at these men. Can you tell us how they were murdered?" Chris questioned the healer.

Nathan looked over the wounds on the men's bodies.

"You are kidding, right? These two look like they were on the wrong side of a pitchfork, and that one's got a gunshot to the neck. Judging from the exit wound, I'd say it severed his spinal cord. Why? Who murdered them?" Nathan observed.

"These men say Vin killed them," Judge Travis offered.

"That ain't good, is it? I mean, ain't that Colonel Robert Curtis?" Nathan asked.

"Yeah," Chris sighed.

"Buck, go get Ezra and JD. Tell them to come to the jail immediately," Judge Travis ordered.

"Yes, sir," Buck answered as he headed for the Standish Tavern.

"Gentlemen, we will handle this," the judge informed the four men. "Take these men to have a proper burial."

"Yeah, well, we ain't waitin' fer y'all to handle it. As soon as we get them buried, we're goin' after Tanner and that dame."

"Dame?" Josiah queried.

"Yeah, he's got some Mexican gal with him," one of the men answered.

Chris and the others turned and entered the jail.

"Judge, he's got Inez with him," Chris mentioned.

"Do you think Vin did that?" the judge questioned no one in particular.

"Depends on how high the stakes were," Josiah answered as Buck returned with Ezra and JD.

"Vin and the colonel didn't get along," Nathan added.

"It was a situation waiting to explode," Chris answered.

"Do you think Inez was involved?" Judge Travis asked.

"Maybe Inez was the high stakes. Vin cares a lot for her; I mean, they were to be married," Buck stated.

"Vin's not gonna be stupid enough to kill for any woman, even Inez," JD offered his opinion.

"No, JD, he wouldn't. If he killed them, he'd have a good reason. I think what Buck meant was Inez was a lure to get Vin out there alone. Ezra, didn't you say Inez didn't finish cleaning up the tavern last night? I bet you haven't seen her all day, have you?" Chris asked.

"No, I have yet to be in her presence today. Do you suppose the colonel kidnapped her?" Ezra responded.

"It's a possibility. We're also going to have to consider it possible that Vin and Inez are injured or dead. If they're alive, Vin's going know those men are going be gunnin' for him. He's going be like a wild animal not allowing anyone near him. That means even we may not be able to get close to him. He's going to fear coming into town to explain what happened and seek medical attention. Being he's already wanted for murder, there's no telling how the residents are going to handle this situation," Chris explained.

"What are we gonna do?" Nathan asked.

"Find them before those four men do," Josiah answered.

"We'll have to worry about the townsfolk later," Chris added.

The six friends saddled up and left town in search of their comrade.

+ + + + + + +

Vin and Inez had stopped by a stream mostly hidden by trees. Inez never spoke. She stared aimlessly into the stream or the trees. Whenever Vin would try to help her overcome the ordeal, she would push him away. Often, she would move to a new place to sit at a great distance from him. Vin tried to keep an eye on her knowing the experience must have been devastating for her. It was his fault, or so he thought. She suffered such a tragedy because of the colonel's hatred of him. How would she ever forgive him? Vin watched as Inez emersed herself in the stream several times trying to wash the filthy act of the two men from her flesh. While in the water, she tried to clean the knife wound in her belly, as well. Vin wiped his eyes as he felt for the woman carrying his child. The loss of blood from his own wound was making him weak. His eyes tried several times to close. He could only see Inez's form trying to stop the bleeding from her stomach. Soon, he fell asleep. Inez paid him no mind as she fanatically tended to her wound and attempted to clean herself of the devastating deed done unto her.

+ + + + + + +

Vin awoke sometime later. He no longer was lying by the stream. He looked down at his chest. The wound was bandaged, as were his wrists. They no longer were stinging with the mixture of blood and sweat. The shapes of two men entered the room.

"Well, he lives," a familiar voice sounded.

"I do believe you are right, Mr. Larabee," the other spoke.

"Chris? Ezra?" Vin whispered.

"How you feeling?" Chris asked.

"I'm fine; where's Inez?" Vin replied.

"Nathan is with her," Chris told him.

"Is she OK?"

"I'll have Nathan come talk to you about her," Chris answered his friend.

Chris left to retrieve Nathan. Judge Travis and Buck entered the room joining Ezra as Vin's visitors. Nathan and Chris soon returned with Josiah and JD.

"Hi, Vin," Nathan greeted.

"How's Inez?" Vin repeated his question.

"Vin," Nathan began as he sat beside Vin, "Inez lost the baby. The knife wound was fatal to the unborn child. She hasn't said much. She has cried a great deal. Physically, she'll be all right. Emotionally, well, only time will tell. I'm sorry I have no other news for you," Nathan explained.

Vin looked at no one. He didn’t want them to see the hurt in his eyes. He was looking forward to having a child with Inez.

"It's my fault," he finally admitted.

"How d'you figure?" Nathan asked.

"If it weren't for me, they wouldn't have taken her. If it weren't for me, they wouldn't have raped her. It made me so mad to see them hurt her like that. I could feel the hatred building inside of me. I was tied. I was helpless but to watch. What was I gonna do? Them I figgered on the pitchfork. I fought to free my hands. When I did, I stopped the colonel from hurting her. The other man came after me; the one he called Will. I stopped him, too. I grabbed their guns. Colonel Curtis stabbed Inez after I stabbed him with the pitchfork. He died shortly after; so, did Will. The other man, Jake, came down from the loft when he heard the commotion. I heard him draw and cock his gun. I knew to protect Inez I would have to shoot him, too. I turned toward Jake and fired. I saw him go down; so I helped Inez up and unto a horse. We fled until we reached a stream. I tried to comfort her, but she wouldn't have it. I laid down. I was so weak. I guess I fell asleep or su'um. Now, I'm here," Vin quietly retold the events of the day.

"Vin, Inez was raped by two men; it'll take her quite a while to get over it…if she ever does. You did what you had to. No one will blame you for their deaths; I'm sure," Nathan tried to console him.


It had been a couple of weeks or so since the terrible events at the Curtis ranch. Vin and Inez's wounds were healing well. Charges of murder were never pursued as Four Corners rallied behind Vin and Inez. The four men responsible for kidnapping Inez left town before they could be tried for the offense. Vin repeatedly tried to speak to Inez, but their meeting would have to be on her terms. Vin sought support from his friends while Inez sought support from Mary, Sammi and Nettie Wells, as she spent a great deal of time at the Wells homestead. Finally, one evening, Inez asked Vin to join he rat the tavern. They seated themselves at the same table where Vin had proposed to Inez. The table was full of happiness that day. Now, it was overcome with gloom.

"Vin, I am sorry for avoiding you," Inez spoke softly.

"It's OK. I should apologize for all that's happened."

"No. You did not force them to do what they did to me. I want to thank you for coming to my aid. You are a very loyal man."

"Are you gonna be OK?"

"I don't know," Inez began as tears streaked down her cheeks, "I have been thinking a lot. I am going to live with my sister, Rosarita, for a while."

"Uhmmm…what about us?" Vin asked nervously taking Inez's hand in his.

"I don't know right now, Vin. For now, there can not be an 'us', Vin," she responded puling her hand back.

Silence was upon the couple as they both searched for the right words.

"Vin, I still care for you very much…" Inez spoke first.

"But not enough to marry me?" Vin finished her sentence.

"Vin, you wanted to marry me when you learned of the baby. I do not want you to feel obligated to marry me because of a baby or because of what those men did to me. I do not want you to marry me because you feel sorry for me. I want you to marry me because you love me and I love you. We have to both be sure. Vin, I am not saying I will not marry you. I am saying I would still like to marry you, but not right now. I need to be sure this is right. I will not forbid you from courting other women. I do not expect you to put your life on hold for me to decide when I am ready to marry. I shall have no hard feelings if you should find a woman that makes you happy. If you do, I will be happy for you."

"Inez, I will never fall in love with another woman. I will wait for you to come back. I will wait however long it takes for you to be ready."

Inez smiled at Vin, "You are a good man, Vin Tanner."

Inez left Vin sitting at the table…alone. This had to be the loneliest time he had ever had to deal with regardless that the tavern was full.

+ + + + + + +

The next day, Inez along with her belongings boarded the stage. She waved goodbye to all the friends she made since arriving in Four Corners. She promised to return soon, and she blew Vin a kiss. Vin caught the kiss and blew one back. Chris saw the torment in his younger friend's eyes as they watched the stage pull away. He put his arm around Vin's shoulders and escorted him to the tavern. Ezra, much to everyone's surprise, bought a round of drinks for his friends.


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