Read Wolf Creek Online

Authors: Ford Fargo

Tags: #action, #western, #frontier, #western fiction, #western series

Wolf Creek

 

Western Fictioneers
Presents:

Wolf Creek Book 16: Luck of the
Draw

part two

 

SMASHWORDS EDITION

Copyright © 2016 by Western Fictioneers

Cover design by L. J. Washburn and Troy D. Smith

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

Wayne D. Dundee – Seamus O’Connor, deputy marshal

James J. Griffin – Ben Tolliver (aka Bill Torrance),
owner of the livery stable

Jerry Guin - Deputy Marshal Quint Croy

Douglas Hirt - Marcus Sublette, schoolteacher and
headmaster

Jackson Lowry - Wilson “Wil” Marsh, photographer

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

Matthew P. Mayo - Rupert “Rupe” Tingley, town
drunk

Vonn McKee – Maudie LeJeune, singer

Meg Mims – Phoebe Wright

Clay More - Logan Munro, town doctor

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

Cheryl Pierson - Derrick McCain, farmer

Matthew Pizzolato - Wesley Quaid, drifter

Robert J. Randisi - Dave Benteen, gunsmith

James Reasoner - G.W. Satterlee, county sheriff

Frank Roderus - John Hix, barber

Jacquie Rogers – Gib Norwood, dairy farmer; Abby
Potter, madam

Jory Sherman – Roman Hatchett, trapper

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

Charlie Steel – Kelly O’Brian, small rancher

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

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

Big Jim Williams – Hutch Higgins, farmer

 

THE WOLF CREEK SERIES:

 

Book 1
Bloody Trail

Book 2
Kiowa Vengeance

Book 3
Murder in Dogleg City

Book 4
The Taylor County War

Book 5
Showdown at Demon’s Drop

Book 6
Hell on the Prairie

Book 7
The Quick and the Dying

Book 8
Night of the Assassins

Book 9
A Wolf Creek Christmas

Book 10
O Deadly Night

Book 11
Stand Proud

Book 12
The Dead of Winter

Book 13
Massacre!

Book 14
War Stories

Book 15
Luck of the Draw, part
one

Book 16
Luck of the Draw, part
two

Book 17
Comanchero Trail

 

 

 

Appearing as Ford Fargo in this episode:

 

“A Rambler and a

Gambler” Vonn McKee

“Never Bet on Another

Man’s Horse” James J. Griffin

“Bet the Boots” Jerry Guin

“No Such Thing as Luck 2” Chuck Tyrell

“Long Week in Wolf Creek” J.E.S. Hayes

“Epilogue” Troy D. Smith

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

Wolf Creek
series editor

 

A RAMBLER AND A GAMBLER

by

VONN McKEE

 

 

 

She shook out the long gray silk stockings and
slipped them on; first the left, then the right, as always. These
she secured with wide satin elastic garters trimmed with tiny blue
rosettes. She tugged a soft cotton camisole over her head and made
a few adjustments. Then, up came the knickers with their deep lace
ruffles at the knees. Sitting on the edge of the unmade bed, she
laced white kid leather boots.

She stood up
straight and fastened the row of hooks on the tight whalebone
corset, then stepped into a bustled underskirt. A splash of cold
water from the basin brought pink to her cheeks and dewiness to her
creamy skin. From the armoire, she selected a
nearly-off-the-shoulder dress the color of a sunflower. After
buttoning the front and settling her bosoms into the snug bodice,
she turned to the mirror to address her hair. It hung in dark
natural ringlets and only needed a bit of fluffing and repinning.
She arched an eyebrow.
Not bad for two in
the afternoon
.

Grabbing a white
parasol and a drawstring handbag from the coat rack, she swept out
of the room in a rustle of golden skirts. Antonio down at
Isabella

s
Restaurant would be making a fresh pot of coffee about now and they
might enjoy a brief visit since the lunch rush was over. He was, so
far, her only close friend.

The boardwalks
were crowded with drovers and dandies, who had flooded Wolf Creek
for the town-wide poker tournament. More than one man twisted
around to watch her walk by. Those who didn

t lowered their eyes in
bashfulness.

After two china
cups of coffee and a quick appraisal of the
morning

s gossip
from Antonio, the lady resumed her walk down Washington Street and
turned the corner onto Third. She approached the Eldorado
Saloon

s facade,
imposing by Wolf Creek standards. The proprietor, Virgil Calhoun,
had splurged on a lavishly printed handbill that was tacked at the
entrance. The curlicue script announced,

Miss Maudie LeJeune of New
Orleans

Songstress and Beauty of the South

Matinee Performance at Three
O

Clock

Evening Performance at Eight O

Clock. No Admission Charged to
Tournament Players

All Others Fifty Cents.

She closed the
parasol and used it to nudge the bat wing doors open to facilitate
her entrance into the Eldorado.
Showtime
.


Aaah, Miss Maudie, Miss
Maudie.

Bartender Bob Sutton

s wide smile greeted her. As usual,
he could have had patrons lined at the bar three deep but would
still have time for a warm hello. Maudie laid her bag and parasol
on the counter. Bob, still smiling, tucked them on a shelf
underneath the bar for safekeeping, just behind his sawed-off
shotgun.

Considering the
time of day, the saloon was bustling but with only a few outsiders.
Most of the professional gamblers were playing high-stakes games at
the Lucky Break or the Wolf

s Den. The
Eldorado

s
clientele ran to the local, more respectable end. They preferred
the upscale, less raucous surroundings here. Of course, that
didn

t mean they
hadn

t made their
rounds to observe the lively games elsewhere.

Sven Larson was
penciling notes on a sheet of music at the piano. Maudie threaded
between the game tables toward him. The familiar flip-flip of cards
and the plop of wooden chips at the faro table quickened her
heartbeat.
Papa. Where was he now?
Natchez? St. Louis? Somewhere in a cemetery, or perhaps floating in
a river?

After a short
conference with Sven, Maudie walked to a small raised platform and
greeted the crowd. She was an old hand at getting their
attention

calling
out to a couple of regulars by name

teasing them about the state of
their winnings, or losses. When she was sure every eye was on her,
she pulled a frilly handkerchief from her pocket and used it to
punctuate the lighthearted lyrics of

Coo Coo Bird.

Gonna build me a
log cabin
on a mountain so
high
So I
can see Willie as he goes on by

Oh, the coo-coo
is a pretty bird
She wobbles as she flies
She never hollers
coo-coo

Til the fourth day of
July

Sven played a jaunty instrumental interlude
before she continued with the remaining verses, stepping down to
mingle with the card players. She brushed her hanky on the cheek of
a young cowpuncher, who sputtered in embarrassment and nearly
spilled his whiskey.

I’ve played
cards in England, I

ve played cards in Spain
I’ll bet you ten dollars I’ll
beat you next game

Jack of
diamonds, Jack of diamonds, I

ve known you from
old
Now
you’ve robbed my poor pockets of my silver and my
gold

Oh, the coo-coo
is a pretty bird
She wobbles as she flies
She never hollers
coo-coo
‘Til the fourth day of July

After a couple
of other popular folk songs, Maudie returned to the platform and
settled onto a stool, allowing the men to turn some of their focus
back to their games.
It

s an easy living
, she thought as she crooned

I Ride an Old
Paint.

She knew
that the end of the evening would bring plenty of gold coins in
Sven

s bowler
hat, upturned on top of the piano. The times had not always been so
carefree, and this pleasant lull likely would not last.
Maudie

s old
troubles had a way of eventually catching up with her. But, for
now, she drank in the sweetness of the moment.

Other books

Corey McFadden by Dark Moon
Haunted by Willow Cross, Ebyss
Knox's Stand by Jamie Begley
Chosen by James, Ella
42 by Aaron Rosenberg
Sin No More by Stefan Lear
Liars and Tigers by Breanna Hayse