Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week I`ll be sharing excerpts from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.
This week our word prompt 'Pale'. In our excerpt this week, I thought I would pick up right after the railway clerk got so uppity to our sheriff with the line of-"“I`m afraid not. The cost of a ticket to Galveston for you would be ten dollars and forty-six cents. We do not allow Indians, Negroes, or those of the Oriental persuasion to ride upon any Price Railway train.”
A note for my readers: This is a gay romance novel, and so the romance that occurs is man on man. If this is not your cup of tea, no one will think less of you if you read no further.
As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
“Ten dollars,” I whispered, stunned by the exorbitant price. “Is it routine to charge lawmen to ride upon your rails when they are in the midst of a criminal investigation?”
He drew up quickly at that query. His tongue darted out to dampen his lips. Obviously he was not prepared for such a question.
“I would have to send a telegram to our main office in Galveston to inquire about such a thing.”
I gave him my warmest smile. “Much obliged. I`ll be resting outside with my deputy.”
With that I exited the depot without a look back at the clerk. My deputy sat hunched in a ball of discomfort upon the high-backed wooden bench. I sat down beside him gently. All a soul could see of Zeke was a cloud of black ringlets, a leather hat, and a set of shoulders as wide as most men were tall. His face was obscured by his hair. I leaned back, placing my ankle to my knee. The street was rather quiet as dinner time settled over the thriving community. Small towns like Carson Butte, and Laco, were growing exponentially thanks to the railroads. Each mile of track brought people closer to each other. I was not sure if that was a good thing or not. Dog looked from me to his master.
“What did they say?” Zeke asked after a moment passed. I was studying the mercantile across the street.
“They said they would check on a discount price for lawmen.”
“Did you know that the hotel over there has a bathhouse? I would sell my left ball for a hot bath in Epsom salts.”
“We`ll see what we can do." The door to the depot opened. Zeke and I turned our heads to look at the wiry clerk. He was thin as a whip, nervous as a hen in a fox den, and pale as a new snow. He cleared his throat twice before he could speak. I suspected he found my deputy mildly disconcerting.
“The telegraph from Galveston says that Price Railroad stands behind law and order. Here are your tokens.” He dropped two tin circlets into my open palm. “The train arrives sometime after noon.”
He scurried inside, the door closing sharply in our faces. I lifted the hammered tin token closer to my nose. A chuckle broke free as I read the stamped words on the metal. Not wishing to be too generous, the main office in Galveston had authorized two livestock tokens to be issued to my deputy and myself.
“Should I go tell him that we need two more for our horses now, or wait until the morning?” I handed our free passes to Zeke. He scanned them quickly through his hair. I suspected he had left it down to purposely intimidate the skittish folks of Carson Butte. It was working.
“I`ll come tell him in the morning. Right now, I`m getting a bath,” he said, pushing to his feet with a mild moan.
“I`ll see about the horses and a room for us,” I said to his departing back. He raised a big hand in response. I fingered the tokens for a few moments, until I saw Zeke leaving the bathhouse minus a bath. Exhaling loudly I pushed to my boots to see about finding a stable for the horses and a bed for us.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.
See you next week with more from the old West!