Read Bloody Trail Online

Authors: Ford Fargo

Tags: #western adventure, #western american history, #classic western, #western book, #western adventure 1880, #wolf creek, #traditional western

Bloody Trail

 

Western Fictioneers
Presents:

 

WOLF CREEK: Bloody Trail

By Ford Fargo

 

WOLF CREEK: Bloody Trail

Smashwords Edition

A Western Fictioneers Book published by arrangement
with the authors

Copyright © 2012 by Western Fictioneers

Cover design by L. J. Washburn

Western Fictioneers logo design by

Jennifer Smith-Mayo

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form
or by any electronic or mechanical means including information
storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from
the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote
short excerpts in a review.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places and incidents are either products of the author’s
imagination or are used in a fictional manner. Any resemblance to
actual incidents or locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely
coincidental.

 

Printed in the United States of America

 

Visit our website at www.westernfictioneers.com

 

 

Beneath the
mask,
Ford Fargo
is not one but a posse of America's leading western authors
who have pooled their talents to create a series of rip-snortin',
old fashioned sagebrush sagas. Saddle up. Read ‘em Cowboy! These
are the legends of
Wolf
Creek
.

 

THE WRITERS OF WOLF CREEK, AND
THEIR CHARACTERS

Bill Crider - Cora Sloane,
schoolmarm

Phil Dunlap - Rattlesnake Jake, bounty
hunter

James J. Griffin - Bill Torrance, owner of the
livery stable

Jerry Guin - Deputy Marshal Quint
Croy

Douglas Hirt - Marcus Sublette, schoolteacher
and headmaster

L. J. Martin - Angus “Spike” Sweeney,
blacksmith

Matthew Mayo - Rupert "Rupe" Tingley, town
drunk

Kerry Newcomb - James Reginald de Courcey,
artist with a secret

Cheryl Pierson - Derrick McCain,
farmer

Robert J. Randisi - Dave Benteen,
gunsmith

James Reasoner - G.W. Satterlee, county
sheriff

Frank Roderus - John Nix, barber

Troy D. Smith - Charley Blackfeather, scout;
Sam Gardner, town marshal

Clay More - Logan Munro, town
doctor

Chuck Tyrell - Billy Below, young cowboy; Sam
Jones, gambler

Jackson Lowry - Wilson “Wil” Marsh,
photographer

L. J. Washburn - Ira Breedlove, owner of the
Wolf’s Den Saloon

Matthew Pizzolato - Wesley Quaid,
drifter

 

 

Appearing as Ford Fargo in this
episode:

 

Clay More (Dr. Logan Munro)- Chapter 1 &
2

James J. Griffin (Bill Torrance)- Chapter 3
& 4

Troy D. Smith (Charley Blackfeather)- Chapter
5 & 6

James Reasoner (G.W. Satterlee)- Chapter 7
& 8

L. J. Martin (Angus “Spike” Sweeney) –Chapter
9 & 10

Cheryl Pierson (Derrick McCain)- Chapter 11
& 12

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In Wolf Creek, everyone has a
secret.

That includes our author, Ford Fargo—but we have
decided to make his identity an open secret. Ford Fargo is the
“house name” of Western Fictioneers—the only professional writers’
organization devoted exclusively to the traditional western, and
which includes many of the top names working in the genre
today.

Wolf Creek is our playground.

It is a fictional town in 1871 Kansas. Each WF
member participating in our project has created his or her own
“main character,” and each chapter in every volume of our series
will be primarily written by a different writer, with their own
townsperson serving as the principal point-of-view character for
that chapter (or two, sometimes.) It will be sort of like a
television series with a large ensemble cast; it will be like one
of those Massive Multi-player Role-playing Games you can immerse
yourself in online. And it is like nothing that has ever been done
in the western genre before.

You can explore our town and its citizens at
our website if you wish:

http://wolfcreekkansas.yolasite.com/

Or you can simply turn this page, and step
into the dusty streets of Wolf Creek.

Just be careful. It’s a nice place to visit,
but you wouldn’t want to die there.

Troy D. Smith

President, Western Fictioneers

Wolf Creek series editor

CHAPTER ONE

 

Dr. Logan Munro was conscious of the blood
splattered across the front of his shirt. The woman had bled
profusely, and although he had moved quickly, he had been unable to
protect himself from the gush of the severed vessels.

He looked a mess, but despite himself, he
smiled as he walked down the boardwalk on Fourth Street. He was a
tall, slim man of almost forty years, with black hair going grey at
the temples, and with a pepper and salt mustache. His face was
weather-beaten from years spent under the tropical sun of far-off
India, and he walked with the upright posture of one who had served
in the army, which indeed he had. Dr. Logan Munro had served as a
surgeon in three conflicts around the world. First, during the
Crimean War, where he had worked at the British Army Hospital in
Scutari in Constantinople. There, he’d had the honor of working
with the nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, who had been dubbed
the Lady of the Lamp after her habit of making a nightly round of
her patients. After a few months, he had been sent to the front
with the 21st Regiment of Foot where he had ample opportunity to
hone his surgical skills at the Siege of Sevastopol. Then, when the
war was over, he had gone to India with the British East India
Company Army, and was unfortunate enough to get embroiled in the
Indian Mutiny of 1857. Finally, after settling in America, he had
worked his way west and served with the Union in the Civil
War.

He had lost his best friend in the first
conflict, and he had lost his young wife after the second.
Understandably, he had not been in the best of emotional health
when he arrived in America. By the time the Civil War ended, he had
seen so much killing, had amputated so many mangled limbs and
pronounced far too many young folk dead, that he felt more than a
part of him had died. He had meant to fly as far as possible from
civilization, and got as far as the fledgling Kansas town of Wolf
Creek—situated in a dogleg-shaped bend of the creek by the same
name, a tributary of the Arkansas River. He bought an office there,
put up his sign and started doing the only thing he knew
how—doctoring. He had intended to bury himself in work, looking
after folks from cradle to grave. To his surprise, the town had
grown quickly, being the sort of melting pot that people of all
creeds and persuasions had gravitated to after the war. Former
pro-slavery ‘border ruffians’ mingled with ardent abolitionist
‘Jayhawkers,’ but no-one was any the wiser. There was an acceptance
that no-one was clean and blameless in war, and if a man wanted to
keep his past to himself, that was his business. Then, the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad arrived and caused the town
to boom. Cattle drives made for the railhead, and with the influx
of cowboys parched from weeks on the trail and with a thirst for
copious quantities of drink, an appetite for female company and a
desire to gamble their hard-earned money, the fleshpots
swelled.

When Logan first put up his shingle and
started seeing patients, the southernmost part of town was South
Street. As the town expanded southward, though, another street came
into being. It was called Grant Street in honor of the President,
but amongst the less deferential cowboys, most of whom hailed from
Texas, it was known by the sobriquet of “Useless S. Grant Street.”
Inevitably, this street marked the boundary between the respectable
northern part of the town and the southern, less salubrious part,
with its gambling and drinking establishments, its houses of ill
repute, and its infamous opium den, owned by an enigmatic Chinese
businessman called Tsu Chiao. This newer part of Wolf Creek was
known as Dogleg City, being as it nestled into the dogleg of Wolf
Creek. And the part that abutted the Creek itself was made up of
cribs, hog pens and crude tents where the most haggard of soiled
doves plied whatever trade they could. As the town doctor, Logan
Munro was often called to minister to them or their clients. At
times, he found the downward spiral in some people’s lives
profoundly depressing.

Yet today was no day to feel sad. A bright sun
had risen against a cobalt sky, a fitting harbinger of hope and new
life. He straightened his hat, a reflex gesture from his British
Army days, and began whistling a refrain from his old regimental
song as he swung his bag in jaunty fashion. In his mind, he was
whistling along to the pipes of the Scots Fusiliers.

Already, the respectable part of Wolf Creek
was starting to come alive, and most of the small business folk had
begun their daily toil. He waved to several passers-by and
acknowledged the odd rider.


Ach! You sound annoyingly
cheerful for this time of the day, Doctor Munro,” barked Frank
Kloepfer, the bulky, barrel-chested butcher, as he came out of his
doorway. He carried a bucket of sawdust that he was spreading
across the floor of his shop. He stroked his luxurious mustache,
revealing, in the process, the gap where his two front teeth once
resided until they had been knocked out by an irate customer
complaining that he had been sold rancid meat. That had been before
the big German had dislocated the man’s jaw, which it had been
Logan’s tricky job to reset.

Frank nodded his head at the blood on Logan’s
shirt. “You had trouble today?”

Logan shook his head with a grin and pointed
to the butcher’s blood-stained apron. “No trouble, Frank. Just a
sign of honest work, the same as yours.” He looked down at his
shirt and pulled his jacket collar over to try and make the stain
less conspicuous.


But why wouldn’t I be cheerful on
a day like this?” he asked rhetorically, gazing up at the sky and
smiling. “There is nothing like bringing a baby into the world to
put a smile on one’s face. And that being the case, when you bring
two in one go there is twice the reason to be happy.”

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