Thursday, October 22, 1857
Well another night drinking alone watching others stare and whisper. I guess they know me now, but not necessarily in the best way.
I’m gonna pound Rory for taking that dive!
Guess I’ll finish one more and head back to my room. Sure is nice to be able afford something more than a straw bed and …
Great! What does this one want? Probably to tell me how much of a thief I am. Isn’t there something else to talk about in this town?
“I see you boy! Yeah, you!”
“You don’t look like a County champion to me and certainly don’t deserve that Double Eagle you’re walking around with!”
What does a pompous, well-dressed townie care about me for?
‘What do you want? I ain’t fightin nobody in this town anymore. I done spent time in jail and don’t intend to repeat the experience.’
“Just what I thought, you aren’t in the mood to fight unless you know it’s fixed.”
‘Mister, I don’t mind fighting when there’s something at stake, but taken you on isn’t enough challenge and you ain’t sporting anything I want’
“Me?!? You misunderstand boy. It’s my son, Jonathon, that wants his shot at that Double Eagle.”
“Jonathon wasn’t feeling well the night you won that coin, otherwise you’d have taken a dirt nap.”
Hmmm, Jonathon is sizeable enough, but doesn’t look like a seasoned fighter…should be easy enough
‘I see. And exactly what are you offering?’
“Jonathon, fetch our ‘offering’ from the carriage.”
For the Motherland! I ain’t one to consider guns a form of art, but that rifle is right nice! And sure beats my ol’ musket. Hell, I might even try to get good with a gun if I owned that.
“You smart enough to know where <tbd> street is in town?”
‘Yeah, I know that area’
“I own the <tbd> and it has plenty of room. How about we settle this matter now?”
‘Mister, it’ll be a pleasure to relieve you of that gun and teach your boy that daddy can’t help him when he’s getting a lickin.’
Garrett and saloon patrons mosey to the fight location.
As Garrett and Jonathon prepare, Hendrickson saunters up to Garrett…
“By the way boy, this ain’t no ‘bout’ with a fixed number of rounds. The fighting isn’t done until you are lying face down in the dirt, so that you learn your proper place.”
The combat goes like most of the other combats, neither Garrett nor Jonathon can score the massive blow needed to end the fight. However, Jonathon has come close several times and Garrett is feeling the brunt of taking those hits. At one point, both men exhausted, Garrett manages to score a hard punch to Jonathon’s solar plexus taking the last of Jonathon’s wind and laying him out in the dirt. Too exhausted to lift himself, Jonathon lays there even as his father screams for his continued participation. Garrett climbs onto Jonathon’s back, pinning him, and delivers a Knockout Punch.
Red faced, Hendrickson can only stand by as Garrett is handed the Double Eagle and the Masterwork Sharps Rifle.
Unfortunately, before Garrett can exit the building and revel in his ‘victory’, there is a pounding at the back door. Upon opening the door, Hendrickson discovers the Sheriff and several of his deputies.
“Rumor has it there’s a fight taken place…in this building…in MY town!”
The sheriff scowls as his eyes land on Garrett.
“Either you don’t respect my authority in MY town or you’re slow. I see you are also unlawfully carrying a firearm in MY town… Seize his property and escort him to his ‘vacation’ home.”
“Mr. Hendrickson, I’ll need to speak with you back at my office. Don’t disappoint me.”
After a quick trip to the jail, Garrett has to endure the deputies handling his new rifle. Fortunately, they do it respectfully.
“I betcha Hendrickson is pissed he lost this! It took him forever to get it made and cost him a pretty penny, too.”
Later, the sheriff arrives and joins Garrett in his cell.
“Son, I don’t quite get what you don’t understand about the new rules in MY town, but I’m tired of your sorry a** taken up space in my jail. I have a right mind to impound that rifle of yours and turn it into county property for my use. However, I don’t care for Hendrickson or his spoiled son and the price for that gun will be better spent on other needs of my office. Therefore, I’m setting your fine at the price of that gun. It’s your choice, you can leave the gun with me or you can take it with you after paying your fine.”
‘I’ll take the gun, sheriff.’
“And Garrett…this is the last time you’ll spend a night in my jail. There are better facilities in San Francisco, for those that don’t have a decent respect for laws or the individuals that enforce them.”
Upon arriving at his room, it was all Garrett could do to flop into bed after leaning the Sharps against a chair. As he lay there, eyeing the rifle, a smile emerged.
That thing belongs in the hands of the Nevada County Champion.