High Winds

Part 4

Chris stood in the hot sun listening to Josiah declaring the last rites over Gabrielle.  He let Josiah's voice fade in the background and turned his attention on Ezra.  He had his head bowed, and his breathing was ragged.  Chris felt a wave of sympathy wash over him and he touched his arm.  Ezra slowly looked up and straightened.

"You alright?" Chris asked.

"Clearly you empathize with my position," Ezra started, "I'm sure you grasp that I cannot be alright."

They stayed in the cemetery and watched as the thin crowd dispersed and the gravediggers buried Gabrielle's casket.

"Would you excuse for a moment?" Ezra asked.  Chris nodded and Ezra walked over to Gabrielle's gravestone.  He pulled a single red rose from the inside of his jacket and slowly knelt down.

"Holy Angel, in Heaven blessed, my spirit longs with thee to rest," he said quietly as he set the rose in front of the stone.  He lingered there for a few seconds, then rose and walked back to Chris.

"Faust.  She loved the Opera."

Chris nodded again and put a hand on Ezra's weary shoulder.  They walked out of the cemetery, mourning one death, and ready to avenge it, possibly creating another.

Ezra cinched up the saddle on his chestnut mare and patted her shoulder.  He heard stones crunch under Josiah's boots, but didn't turn to face him until he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder.  Josiah's face softened when Ezra turned around, but his eyes still held a cold fire that told him to find and kill that son of a bitch.

"Good luck Ezra," he said.

Ezra gave him a small smile.  "Much obliged Mr. Sanchez."

Josiah gave his shoulder a friendly pat, then walked to Chris.  He gave him a murmured ‘good luck' and headed to the church to pray for the two men.

Wolf's Eye, Texas

Chris and Ezra both dismounted their horses and loosened the cinches for their comfort.  They tied them to a hitching post outside of The Red Lion Saloon, and walked in and ordered some whiskey.  Ezra turned around and scanned the room.

It was quite filthy. Just his type of place, Ezra thought.  He was about to turn back around when he thought he saw a familiar figure in the corner of his eye.  Sitting in the back corner, sipping a beer.

There he was.

"I'll be damned," Ezra whispered.  Chris turned around and followed Ezra's stare.  He saw the man sitting in the corner and almost choked on his whiskey.  The man was like an older version of Ezra.  He had chestnut colored hair, Ezra's maybe a shade lighter, and they just had hat certain "look."  The only thing that Chris could see different about them, besides what age does to a man, was their eyes.  Though the same sea green color, the man's had something in them that just could not be found in Ezra's.  It was something dark and menacing, and it sent a shiver down Chris Larabee's spine.

He glanced at Ezra, and saw that his face had hardened like granite.  Chris took his arm, and Ezra turned and glared at him for a moment. Chris understood the feeling that Ezra had for this man.  He also knew what trouble it could lead to if not held in check.  Hell, it ripped through him before, when he almost blew that innocent man's head off just because he owned a skewbald paint that resembled one of the gunman's in Eagle Bend.

"Come on Ezra.  We'll get him back to Four Corners and see justice done...without getting yourself in trouble," Chris told him quietly.

Ezra bit his lip so he wouldn't say the rash words that came to his mind.  The thoughts faded just as quickly as they come and Ezra gave a slight nod.  They both walked slowly toward the man.  Ezra was walking slightly faster than Chris, obviously wanting to confront his fiancee's killer.  They stopped at the man's table, and he looked up and gave them an amused smirk.

"Sir," Chris started, "we're here to take you back to Four Corners, where you will stand trial for the murder of Gabrielle Brisbane."

The man blinked at him for a moment, then turned and looked at Ezra.  Then he burst into a sinister grin.

"Now, wait a minute.  This couldn't be...why, it's you, lil' Ez!" he said with sarcastic excitement.  Chris glanced at Ezra with a confused expression.

"Don't you call me that, Jakob," Ezra sneered, "We were engaged, you bastard, and you killed her!"

"Now, now, is that anyway to talk to your father?"

Chris's eyebrows shot skyward.  "What?"

"You hear how he' talkin' to his own father?"  Jakob drawled, his speech much twangier than Ezra's.

Ezra's eyes burned with hatred, and he couldn't contain himself much longer.  With his usually handsome face twisted in a mask of fury, Ezra grabbed Jakob by the collar , lifted him out of his chair, and sent him flying into a nearby table.  All of the other customers at the saloon jumped at the excitement and watched to see what would happen next. Jakob looked completely dumbfounded for a moment, then scowled.  He wiped him mouth with the back of his hand and glared at Chris and Ezra .

"Get outside," Ezra hissed, "we're taking you to hang."

Jakob slowly stood up, brushed himself off, and walked in front of Chris and Ezra, who led him out of the saloon and onto the street.

"You know," Jakob continued, "Just think.  If Gabrielle would have been in that house when I had that guy get her sister, you never would have known ‘er and wouldn't have cared if she bit the dust or not."

Chris stopped dead in his tracks.  "What did you say?"

Jakob stopped, turned around, and smirked.  "Just what I said.  If that guy...what was his name...Fowler!  Cletus Fowler.  If she woulda been burned with her sister Sarah, he woulda never cared."  Jakob's smile widened.  "That Cletus, such a gullible bastard.  Told ‘em the fire was for the husband so he wouldn't get all conscience-stricken. C'mon boy, don't tell me you've never heard of my Larabee killings!"

Chris's eyes flashed.  "Of course I have, because I'm the husband, Chris Larabee, and you're dead."

Part 5

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