Cooper met with Benjamin McLintock and played the role of the earnest, naive, idealistic young rancher—and McLintock bought it. He was very interested in the news that Coldwater Ranch would soon be driving wild mustangs back from the prairie—it meant that he wouldn’t have to; he wasn’t above a little horse-rustling to augment his herd.
McLintock gave the orders and more than a dozen men left the Triple Bar-X Ranch and headed east.
Season VI, Chapter 5 Coldwater Ranch, Episode 14:
Soon McLintock’s men, lead by Rufus Jones, were deep into the prairie and searching for the Coldwater/Blue Dog mustang expedition. Their orders were clear: wait for their quarry to find and gather mustangs and then in the dead of night ambush and kill the entire party.
Jones had a good deal of experience as a successful and ruthless cattle rustler down in Texas where his reputation finally forced him to leave—with a price on his head. But here, the marshal, Kidd, didn’t care, or better stated, was well-paid not to care. This was his first assignment and he was determined to make it successful.
Boomer Jack, with Daisy trotting at his side, passed by the Plainsman Hotel as they entered Dreadwood. The town was bustling with cowboys gathered in front of the Dreadwood Saloon, on the boardwalk in front of Miller & Blot and Carstairs General Store.
Boomer, without looking at him and out of the corner of his eye, also made note of Randolph Kidd, Town Marshal, standing in front of his office, staring at him. He ignored him and made for the saloon.
Kidd considered the wanted poster in his bottom desk drawer; he could ambush Boomer Jack and back-shoot him—the poster did state “Dead or Alive,” after all, “Hey! You—Jack!”
Boomer stopped and slowly turned to face him, “Hello Kidd, looking for a rematch?” (Cue stereotypical danger music…now.)
Jay Cooper noted the interest McLintock took in Coldwater’s horse round-up, and waited off the road. He observed McLintock’s men mounting-up, “Mariah, how fast can you get us back to the ranch?”
“Hang on tight!” She whinnied and broke into a full gallop.
Alternating between a gallop and a fast trot, she covered the miles to the Coldwater Ranch quickly and a relatively battered Cooper went immediately to the hidden room where he found Sarah & Mac, “We have a big problem.”
To be Continued…