Summary: Thomas Stevens was more than grateful when a black clad rider helped him bring his sister’s attacker to justice.
Rated: K+ (1,130 words)
The Man in Black Series:
1. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
2. Thomas Stevens never forgot a face. When he first saw the statue of the Man in Black in Virginia City he thought it was all a crazy legend. But then his sister, the ace reporter for the Carson City Times, was attacked one Sunday night and savagely beaten. The doctors were doing everything they could and the police were trying their hardest to find the perpetrators. Thomas sat outside the hospital, his head in his hands, crying openly, scared for the life of his sister and angry at the men who had committed this crime.
The Man in Black Rides Again
“Hummm.” Thomas looked up when he heard a man clear his throat. The first thing he saw was a white horse but looking up further Thomas saw him—the statue in Virginia City—-the Man in Black. The Man sat lazily on his horse, one leg swung over the saddle horn, his black hat pulled low over his eyes. “Don’t get so upset.” The Man spoke. “Life cannot be all that bad.”
“I’m afraid it is.” Thomas answered, tears still in his eyes. “Shirley is at death’s door and the police can do nothing to find her attacker.”
“Shirley’s life I can do little for.” The Man in Black confessed. “But the attacker I can find.”
“Can you really?” Thomas asked, leaping to his feet. “Even where the police failed?”
The Man in Black smiled. “Especially where the police failed.” He answered. “Are you willing to come with me?”
Thomas nodded. “I will gladly go to find the man who so brutally attacked my sister.”
The Man smiled again. Life was not dead in the hearts of young men. He looked down at Thomas and nodded. “Hop behind me.” He offered. “There is one place we must visit.”
Thomas could not understand. “Why don’t we just take a car?”
The Man laughed. “Sport gets me around much faster.” He replied. “Come on. He knows where to go.” The Man offered Thomas a hand and helped him swing up onto the horse. “We have a little trip ahead of us.”
The Man in Black gave Sport his head and let him go. Sport seemed to know just where he was heading as he skillfully avoided the traffic and took a back road out of town. Once on the open roads, the Man directed Sport to a shack at the edge of town. “There was once a man,” the Man in Black started a story. “He had committed a great crime and he was arrested for it. There was only one witness to his crime and it was that person’s testimony that put the man behind bars. The criminal swore that he would get revenge when he was released. Three days ago he was let out for good behavior and he went hunting. He went hunting for the witness who had put him behind bars in the first place. On Sunday night he found the witness, the ace reporter for the Carson City Times. He set upon her and beat her leaving her for dead.”
“This I know.” Thomas cut in. “But who was the man?”
“His name was Saul Smith.” The Man in Black responded.
“How do you know this?” Thomas demanded.
“It is my job to know these things.” The Man in Black responded.
“Do you know where this Saul Smith lives?” Thomas asked his heart beating faster.
The Man in Black nodded. “Yes.” He replied. “I know very well where he lives. That is where we are going now. To bring that man to justice.”
The beautiful white horse, the Man called Sport, stopped behind a big rock. The Man pointed to a shack just over a rise. “That,” he whispered, “is the home of Saul Smith. Let’s go.”
Thomas slid off the horse and the Man in Black followed him. “I must warn you.” The Man whispered as he unbuckled a gun from his saddle. “Saul is not above shooting anyone who stands in his way. So watch yourself.”
Together the two men crept towards the shack. The lights were dimmed and an oily rag blew in the window, although there was no wind that day. The Man in Black saw it and pulled Thomas to the ground just as a gunbarrel pocked out of the window and a round of fire thundered over their heads. “You weren’t kidding.” Thomas panted. “He would kills us.”
“Naturally.” The Man in Black responded. “Well, here goes nothing.”
He carefully balanced his gun on the ground and aimed it with a sure and steady hand. Even as the man in the shack sent off another round, the Man in Black squeezed the trigger and Thomas heard a scream. He knew that the Man in Black had hit his target.
Then the Man in Black stood up and shouted into the house, “Saul, throw out your guns. We’re coming in.”
There was a clatter at the window. Thomas stood up beside the Man in Black and together they walked towards the house. “Are you sure it is safe?” he inquired.
“No.” The Man in Black replied. “Just stay behind me and you won’t get hurt.”
But he needn’t have worried. Saul Smith huddled in the corner by the window, one of his hands trying to stop the bleeding coming from his shoulder. The Man in Black walked over to him and held out a hand. “Come on, Saul.” Was all he said, “I think you had better come with me.”
“Get me a doctor.” Saul replied in a hoarse voice. “I need a doctor.”
“You’ll get one.” The Man in Black replied. “In jail.”
The police were thrilled to discover that the attacker of Shirley Stevens had been brought to justice. The Man in Black brought him in then he took Thomas to see his sister. Shirley was alive and was going to live. Thomas was so happy as he knelt by his sister’s bedside that he never noticed the Man in Black until he had disappeared. It was then that he realized he had never even asked the man’s name. He voiced this out loud and the nurse, standing by Shirley’s bed, smiled. “You’ll never learn that, Mr. Stevens.” She answered him. “You see, around here we just know him as The Man in Black.”
Tags: Adam Cartwright
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