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 'Savage’. In this excerpt Clayton and Zeke run into a most colorful character.
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!
“I would ask you to lower your weapon, Sir, as we are lawmen as you can see.” I leaned back in my saddle so that the sun would shine over the brim of my hat. The star on my chest gleamed. Dr. Dante`s rifle drifted downward much to my relief. The man was quite old and paunchy. His suit had at one time been fashionable. Now it was dirty, torn, and stained with greasy spots.
“Thank the most heavenly host!” Dr. Dante exclaimed, his hand rising into the sky most dramatically. “They emptied me out! Stole all my coin! Then the reprobates busted all but four bottles of my Dryworm Distilled Dislixior!” the chubby man said. His silver hair was sticking out in odd ways from his head. He rushed over to us, four brown bottles rattling in the deep pockets of his blue overcoat. His gait was peculiar, as if he had a thickness of his thighs that impeded his running. He was nearly up to Zeke when he got a good look at the imposing man studying him intently. He tripped in his haste to stop and bounced off the front shoulder of Storm. The horse threw its head. The snake oil salesman went to his ass with a jangle of glass bottles. “That man is a savage!” he coughed and pointed.
“He is?” I asked for that seemed to amuse Zeke while befuddling others. The man on the ground grew mysteriously quiet. “Tell me what your name is and what manner of trouble has beset you.”
“My name is Dr. Albacore Dante, scientist and originator of Dr. Dante`s Dryworm Distilled Dislixior,” he said after gaining his feet. Zeke said nothing as the man bowed theatrically. I regarded the travelling salesman with mild rancor. Paw-Paw never did have one good thing to say about snake oil salesmen, but he had many a bad thing to say about them. “I have been crossing the great state of Texas while spreading the joy of renewed vigor and manly performance. Tell me, do either of you have bouts of flatulence, dyspepsia, gangrenous vapors, melancholy, or lack of manly firmness situated in the groin region?”
Zeke was halfway out of his saddle, his hand pawing for the knife he hid in his boot. I reached over to jerk him back to his seat atop his gelding. Dr. Dante seemed oblivious to how close he had come to meeting the heavenly ones. Apparently Ezekiel Fire Sky took offense to anyone questioning the firmness of his groin region. I could attest to the man`s potency but chose not to at the time.
“Dr. Dante,” I interrupted, “If you could get to the part where the crime occurred?”
“Oh yes! Of course! Well, they robbed me of all my cash, which was going to be donated to further the study of manly infirmities of the genital region. Then they stole my horse and rode off to the west!”
I looked over at Zeke. He rolled his eyes.
“I suggest you wait here, Dr. Dante. My deputy and I will see if we can locate the men that robbed you. Can you give us a description of the outlaws?”
Hessie pawed at the ground. A crow flew over cawing to the humans standing under the hot sun.
“Yes I can! There were four of them. They wore clothing and rode horses!”
I stared at the man hard. I wondered if he dosed himself with his own concoction. “Can you think of anything more distinct perhaps?”
“Well,” he said as he strode back and forth stroking the silver whiskers hugging his chin, “One had a rather large head. Oh!” he shouted loud enough to make Storm flinch, “One was black as the night with a large gold ring in his nose!”
“That should suffice. Find somewhere in the shade of your wagon to rest.” I smiled, tapped my hat then put my heels into Hessie`s ribs. We rode hard in a westerly direction, Zeke mumbling to himself the entire way. I grew steadily more agitated with each delay in pursuit. A small part of me knew that Zeke had to dismount, work the land for signs of horses as he scoured each minute trace of rearranged dirt. The larger angry part did not care. That dark festering thing inside me wanted nothing more than to find these outlaws so that justice would be served.
Zeke moved with measured steps. He was naught but a solid bruise yet. Even my wounds pulled internally from time to time. I snapped when the Tonkawa was slow to rise from a crouch. The look he leveled upon me was fierce. I rode around him when we picked up the trail. It took perhaps another hour to locate the route to the outlaws. They had overtaken an abandoned way station for the Pony Express.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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See you next week with more from the old West!