An Appointment With The Gallows! Book #18
An Appointment With The Gallows! Book #18
By Raymond Cook
© 2014 (All Rights Reserved)
Word Count: 91,000 words
(Contains Light Erotic Content)
About This Book
An Appointment With The Gallows! © 2014 by Raymond Cook is a 277 page (light erotic content) western frontier story about a series thefts of silver strongbox shipments in the town of Silverton destined for the Denver Mint. U. S. Marshal Albert H. Jones received several telegrams from the owner of The Highland Mary Mine owner regarding continued attacks on his silver shipments and the murders of those men guarding the freight wagons.
Three different times the marshal’s office dispatched a deputy marshal to investigate the thefts but they were never heard from again. An attorney in Silverton believes the telegrapher, sheriff and blacksmith are part of the gang. Marshal Jones devises a brilliant plan to send a blacksmith working in the marshal’s stable undercover to discover who is behind the silver shipment thefts and murders.
Richard Waters is sworn in and will travel to Silverton but he needs an alibi for arriving in Silverton. Because he isn’t married he needs a tough as nails gal to pose as his wife. Marshal Jones knows the perfect woman to play the part of the deputy marshal’s wife. Her name is Susan Sinclair and she’s being held in the Marble City Jail convicted of murdering a man in a saloon where she worked as a whore and is now about to be hanged.
Deputy Marshal Waters arrives in Marble and offers the woman a governor’s pardon and a $2,500 reward if she agrees to marry him and accompany him to Silverton. Reluctantly she agrees to marry the lawman and risk her life in her attempt to be pardoned. Together they must use their wits to find out what they can and report back to a deputy marshal waiting for them in a nearby town. Little did they know they would fall in love with each other.
Sample Book Excerpt
“Go ahead and take them shackles off the defendant so she can come forward and be sworn in sheriff,” Judge Morrison said. Once the shackles were removed, Susan nervously walked up to the bailiff and put her right hand on the Bible. Her other hand gripped the papers she wanted to read to the court. After she was sworn in and seated, the judge looked down at her and calmly said, “I know at this moment you must feel overwhelmed. But I want you to tell the court your side and if it takes you time to compose yourself now and then, you go right ahead.”
Susan nodded. Then she looked up to the judge and asked in a tearful voice, “I didn’t want to leave anything out since my life is on the line, so while I was in my cell I wrote down what I felt was important to say in my defense. Would it be alright for me to read what I wrote down?” The judge nodded his approval. That meant the world to Susan at that moment.
Here is what Susan read to the court:
“Some of the folks in this room might know my name but for those who don’t, my name is Susan Sinclair. I’m 21 years old and when I stepped off the stage for the first time in Marble, 5 years ago, my hands and dress were smudged with the blood of my mother and father. I was 16 years old back then when the Wells Fargo Stagecoach was held up. There were three holdup men and one of them wore a black hat and a blue bandanna.
The holdup men killed the guard and the driver threw the strong box down before they tied a rope to it and then to a saddle horn. The man wearing the black hat ordered us all out of the stagecoach and he took what money and valuables everyone had. Then he said with a laugh, ‘This just isn’t your day!’ and he killed everyone but me and the stagecoach driver.
No words can be shared by me to say what it was like to hold my parents in my arms watching them die. Those nightmares haunt me even now but I accepted their deaths. When I stepped off the stage in Marble I was in shock. I was homeless and penniless. A woman took me in and the next thing I knew, I was working as a whore in The Four Aces Saloon. But I had a roof over my head, food in my belly and I was safe.
As the years went by, the anger against the man who murdered my parents simmered but never went away. But with each passing year, I stopped staring at every man who walked into the saloon wearing a black hat. After all, the man who murdered my parents wore a bandanna over his face. I never saw his face, only his eyes. Eyes that make me wake up crying, eyes I could never forget if I wanted to.
To me, hearing him say to my parents, ‘This just isn’t your lucky day.’ before he shot them was a curse to my soul. I’ve lost count of the nights I’ve laid in bed trembling and wishing he would have just killed me too. I was standing beside the card table one night with my hand on Adam’s shoulder hoping he would win the card game. It came down to Adam and another man playing cards for a pot worth over $100.
The man he was playing poker against wore a black hat but I didn’t pay it any mind. But when he won the hand and raised his head, I looked right into his eyes as he laughed and said, ‘This just isn’t your day!’ Suddenly I realized he was the man who murdered my parents, the others in the stagecoach and the guard. I don’t remember reaching down and taking out Adam’s pistol and killing my parents killer.
But I had that same dream a thousand times in my nightmares that I wanted to come to an end. I don’t regret killing that man and I only want to ask the jury one question. If you were 16 years old and watched your parents murdered in front of you, wouldn’t you want justice? I knew five years ago that because the man wore a bandanna over his face that he wouldn’t be convicted by a jury.
But I recognized his eyes. I recognized his voice and the comment he made after he won the pot; ’This is just isn’t your lucky day.’ That was no coincidence. I feel I didn’t murder an innocent man or commit a murder. I feel I just did what I had to do. If it means I have to face the gallows and be buried beside my mother and father, at least they’ll both find comfort in knowing their deaths weren’t in vain.
The man I killed will never kill another man, woman or child and that gives me great comfort. Knowing whether I live or die now rests in the hands of 12 people scares me to death. Thank you for allowing me to speak and say what I felt was important,” said Susan in a trembling voice. As she quickly wiped her eyes, the judge told her she could go back and sit down.
Before the judge told the jury they could go in the back room to decide the defendant’s guilt or innocence, the judge gave the 12 people his jury instructions. “Over the years I’ve been a judge on this bench, I’ve presided over cases that from the heart seemed the right thing to do. We’re all human beings and our being human makes us make decisions that are sometimes against the law no matter how just they may seem at the time.
The law is all we have that holds us as a community together. Without laws, there would be lawlessness and murders day and night. The fate of a woman’s life will shortly rest in your hands and this court must abide by the verdict you reach. An impartial verdict is sometimes quite hard to come to though. No one wants to see someone they know, may have worked with, fished with or attended church with die.
But the law doesn’t allow for personal feelings to alter the facts of a case. A man is dead. Whether he murdered the defendant’s parents or not is a mute issue as cold hearted as that may sound. By her own admission, the man who killed her parents wore a blue bandana over his face. If a man wore a black hat a blue bandana and had a southern accent into a saloon, did he have a right to have his life taken away from him without a fair trial?
If a man wore a black hat and said something that triggered a bad memory, did that merit taking his life away? I will admit as I’m sure most of us in this room can also admit to that had that man been arrested and put on trial for murder based on a hat, a look in his eyes and something he said after winning a poker game, that I nor any jury would condemn him to be hung. Not on such weak evidence.
But there is compelling evidence that the defendant acted at least in her mind properly when she killed the man at the card table. However, the gun shot to his head after he was already dead doesn’t help her plea for leniency. Nor does it negate the fact that this wasn’t a case of self-defense. If he was in fact her parent’s killer and had recognized her as a witness and attempted to shoot her, I believe a case of self-defense would apply here.
But from all the witnesses testimony heard today, the man who was killed posed no threat to the defendant. I order the defendant to be returned to her cell until the jury returns with a verdict of guilty or not guilty. At such time someone will go over to the jail so the prisoner can be brought back to hear the verdict. Court is adjourned,” Judge Morrison said as his gavel hit the top of the desk three times.
The bailiff called out, “All rise.” and as everyone stood up, the judge went into one room and the twelve jurors walked into another room and closed the door. Sheriff Sandoval put the shackles back on Susan’s wrists and ankles and she was taken back to her cell. Once her cell door was locked and the sheriff had left, Susan knew all too well what the verdict would be… ‘Guilty.’
She was going to be the first woman to be hung in Marble, probably the first woman in the Colorado Territory to be hung. As tears fell from her eyes she made no effort to wipe them away. She didn’t feel any regret though for the man she killed. He had it coming. Had she been able to, she would have shot him a few more times. At least Parson O’Malley had promised her that the undertaker would bury her beside her mother and father.
Death by hanging was not the future Susan had planned for herself when she stepped off the stagecoach wearing a blood stained dress five years ago. Nor did she plan on being a whore. But fate or destiny doesn’t always deal us a good hand of cards. You take the cards life hands you and make the best of what you’re given. As tears fell from her eyes more freely Susan realized she had hoped one day to marry a good man who didn’t look at her as a whore.
She had hoped one day to leave Marble with all, not part of the money she had earned on her back to start a new life as a wife and mother. But now there would never be a softly whispered, “I love you darling,” when the oil lamp was blown out. There would be no painful joy from giving birth to her son or daughter. Susan was sure those who watched her hang until she was dead would forget she was ever born.
An Appointment With The Gallows! is my newest 2014 action-packed western frontier eBook. It does contain a small bit of erotic content, but nothing distasteful. I’ve made this comment section so I can share with visitors to my website what readers feel about this particular eBook. To share your comments too, just go back up to the top of the page and click on the Contact Me tab.
Beverly T. in Tempe, Arizona February 6, 2015
I’m a 68 year old woman and don’t consider myself a prude. I love strong characters, sexual tension, a bond connecting the woman and her lover and of course a good ending. If a book has passion, not just the mere “ACT” and I suddenly feel the need to turn on the small fan on my computer desk as I smile; I know the eBook I bought was worth the money I paid. Maybe this author will take the hint from us women and write another passionate western.
(This eBook Contains Material Intended For Readers 18 Years And older.) By ordering this eBook through this website you are confirming that you are legally an adult in the country of your origin.)
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