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Authors: J. R. Roberts

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Ticket to Yuma

BOOK: Ticket to Yuma
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Gunning for Clint Adams . . .

“I know he's the Gunsmith,” Chet Barton said, “but in here he's just one of us.”

“I know that,” his cell mate, Tim Kerry, said. “I just don't know who he's aligned with.”

“He ain't been here long enough to join with anybody. And there might be some folks in here who wanna kill him as much as we do.”

“That's what I mean,” Kerry said. “Let's find out who we got backin' us before we make a move on somebody like him.”

“Okay, okay,” Barton said, “maybe you're right, but I'm gonna promise you this. Clint Adams ain't gonna walk out of Yuma Prison alive.”

DON'T MISS THESE ALL-ACTION WESTERN SERIES FROM THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

THE GUNSMITH by J. R. Roberts

Clint Adams was a legend among lawmen, outlaws, and ladies. They called him . . . the Gunsmith.

LONGARM by Tabor Evans

The popular long-running series about Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long—his life, his loves, his fight for justice.

SLOCUM by Jake Logan

Today's longest-running action Western. John Slocum rides a deadly trail of hot blood and cold steel.

BUSHWHACKERS by B. J. Lanagan

An action-packed series by the creators of Longarm! The rousing adventures of the most brutal gang of cutthroats ever assembled—Quantrill's Raiders.

DIAMONDBACK by Guy Brewer

Dex Yancey is Diamondback, a Southern gentleman turned con man when his brother cheats him out of the family fortune. Ladies love him. Gamblers hate him. But nobody pulls one over on Dex . . .

WILDGUN by Jack Hanson

The blazing adventures of mountain man Will Barlow—from the creators of Longarm!

TEXAS TRACKER by Tom Calhoun

J.T. Law: the most relentless—and dangerous—manhunter in all Texas. Where sheriffs and posses fail, he's the best man to bring in the most vicious outlaws—for a price.

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

TICKET TO YUMA

A Jove Book / published by arrangement with the author

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Jove edition / January 2013

Copyright © 2012 by Robert J. Randisi.

Cover illustration by Sergio Giovine.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-61880-6

JOVE
®

Jove Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

JOVE
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

The “J” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Contents

WESTERN SERIES FROM THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Title Page

Copyright

 

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

TWENTY-THREE

TWENTY-FOUR

TWENTY-FIVE

TWENTY-SIX

TWENTY-SEVEN

TWENTY-EIGHT

TWENTY-NINE

THIRTY

THIRTY-ONE

THIRTY-TWO

THIRTY-THREE

THIRTY-FOUR

THIRTY-FIVE

THIRTY-SIX

THIRTY-SEVEN

THIRTY-EIGHT

THIRTY-NINE

FORTY

FORTY-ONE

FORTY-TWO

FORTY-THREE

FORTY-FOUR

ONE

Y
UMA
T
ERRITORIAL
P
RISON

The iron door closed with a loud clank. The key turned with a lower click. Clint Adams had been in a lot of small rooms in his time, but never anything as small as this cell. He looked around. There was a cot with a worn blanket and a hole in the ground to use as a privy. He sat on the cot, found it as hard as sitting on the ground. Leaning against the wall, he thought back to how he had become an inmate in Arizona's famed Yuma Prison . . .

A
FEW WEEKS EARLIER

Clint rode into Prescott, Arizona, looking for a man named Harlan Banks. Prescott had undergone a growth spurt over the past few years, and was now a thriving community with more than several saloons and hotels. The streets were busy as he rode in at midday, and he had to rein in several times to avoid colliding with a wagon, a pedestrian, or another horse.

Prescott was too big to be able to find one man easily, unless you knew where to look. For a man like Banks, you looked in saloons—but not just any saloon. The ones that featured not only whiskey, but also gambling and girls. However, first you looked in jail, because a man like Harlan Banks invariably found himself behind bars at one time to another.

Clint rode through town, filing away locations in his brain. Gambling parlors, hotels, cafés, the sheriff's office, and a police station. He kept going until he came to a livery stable. He dismounted and walked Eclipse inside.

“Whoa,” the man inside said, “that's some animal.”

“Yeah, he is,” Clint said.

The man was in his sixties, had the scars to prove he'd been around horses most of his life. At some time or other a horse had nipped his face, his hands, he was even missing half of a finger that some horse thought was a carrot. And he limped, indicating he'd probably been kicked more than once.

He knew good horseflesh when he saw it.

He walked around Eclipse, ran his hand over the horse's withers. Clint was surprised that the Darley Arabian allowed it. There must have been something about the man that the horse liked.

“What's your name?” Clint asked.

“Folks call me Handy.”

“Well, Handy, I want him well taken care of,” Clint said. “Does that mean I leave him with you?”

“It sure does,” Handy said. “I'll take care of him better than anybody in town could.”

“Okay,” Clint said. He removed his rifle and saddlebags, allowed Handy to take Eclipse's reins.

“He got a name?” Handy asked.

“Eclipse.”

“Nice name,” Handy said. “You got a name?”

“Clint.”

“Where you gonna be, Clint?”

“A hotel,” Clint said.

“Which one?”

“Don't know,” Clint said. “I just rode in. You got a suggestion?”

“Statler House, down the street,” Handy said. “Not the best in town, but clean, with good mattresses.”

“That sounds like the best hotel in most towns.”

“Well, this town's growin',” Handy said. ”Coupla other hotels got what they call honeymoon suites. Ya pay lots for that kinda room. That what you're lookin' for?”

“Nope,” Clint said. “No honeymoon for me. Clean is good enough.”

“There ya go,” Handy said.

“How much, Handy?”

“I dunno,” Handy said. “Why don't we talk about that later? Ask anybody. I won't gouge ya. In fact, maybe I'll end up payin' you.”

“Okay, Handy,” Clint said. “We'll talk about it later.”

“There ya go,” Handy said again.

Clint turned to leave, then turned back.

“I've got a question.”

“Yeah?”

“I need to talk to the law,” Clint said. “I'm lookin' for a friend of mine, usually gets himself in trouble in saloons. Do I need to talk to the sheriff, or go to the police station?”

“Police station,” Handy said, as if the words tasted bad. “They call that progress. Naw, if you're friend needed a night in jail, he woulda gone to the jail. You wanna talk to the sheriff.”

“What's he like?”

“His name's Artie Coyle,” Handy said. “Been sheriff here over a dozen years.”

“That's a long time.”

“Folks like him,” Handy said. “But then the town council, they decide we need a police department, like back East.”

“It's happening a lot in the West,” Clint said.

“So now Artie, he handles drunks and stray dogs. Most everythin' else goes through the new police department, and their chief of police.”

“What's he like?”

“Like a store clerk somebody pinned a badge on,” Handy said.

“How many men on the police force?”

“Maybe a dozen.”

“They wear uniforms?”

“Oh yeah, carry guns and sticks. Some of them, they use them sticks a little too much.”

Clint nodded.

“Okay,” he said, “thanks, Handy. I'll be at the Statler, as long as they have a room.”

“They got a room,” Handy said. “Just tell 'em I sent ya.”

“Thanks, Handy.”

BOOK: Ticket to Yuma
11.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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