Back at Coldwater Ranch… “We need to get word to Mac, where’s Flutters?”
“I haven’t seen him, Sarah,” Chris replied, “Maybe I’d better saddle-up…”
“No, that would take too long…how about we send Alice & Benji? They can run faster for longer than any of us.”
“Good idea, but Flutters?”
“Buttons & Pepper; they can find that bird if anyone can.”
Season VI—Chapter 8—Wyatt Earp, Episode 4:
After giving the dogs complete & detailed instructions, Susan and Chris saw them off as the dogs set out on their assigned tasks.
The two long-legged (and quite fit, I might add) Labrador Retrievers set a pace that even riders on horses couldn’t maintain. With a determined, yet happy look on their faces (what dog isn’t happy to be useful—and trusted?), they loped along—ticking off the miles with amazing speed.
Buttons and PepperCooper were certain they knew where they’d find the malingering Flutters. They trotted into the woods along the Coldwater River and began their search.
Meanwhile, somewhere on the Nebraska prairie…Andrew took advantage of a low spot on the prairie, where he could not be seen from the rock formation and urged his horse to a gallop. When he was certain he wouldn’t be observed, he made his way around the rocks, “Howdy, you wouldn’t be looking for me, would you?”
Hearing the unmistakable click of Colt .45 hammer being drawn back, Kidd slowly turned to face AJ, “I tip my hat to you, sir, not many have succeeded in surprising me.”
“I know who you are, Mr. Kidd, and that you are a fugitive from Moosehead County. I could earn myself $500 by just shooting you and hauling your carcass back to Moosehead City.”
“And yet I live—why?”
“Because there’s a good deal more money to be earned in Wichita.”
At about the same time just north of Oklahoma-Kansas border… Cletus “Clete” Smith, formerly with the Union Army, and his competitor and sometime friend, James Longbottom, formerly with the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia—both West Texas cattle ranchers, paused to watch the progress of their combined cattle herds en route to Wichita. The two of them had decided to work together as cattle-rustling had become a major problem—Longbottom had lost a fortune in cattle over the past few years, and Smith said he had as well.
Unfortunately for Longbottom, there was something he didn’t know—Smith not only hadn’t lost a dime, but instead had made a huge profit—in cattle rustling.
This is how the coming range war began.
To be Continued…