New Western Adventure Story

The life and times of Marshall Luke Johnson

by a. j. Lombardi Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Part Eleven

He was not supposed to die


Those words of Jubal were the last words I heard before I slipped into unconsciousness.  I guess that I must have been out of conscious for about one week.  In time, I was soon awakened and found myself in a clean bed all bandaged up.  As I slowly opened my eyes, I could see little Annie facing me with a big smile. “You’re going to be just fine Marshall Johnson.  I have been praying to the good Lord every day to make you better. “Well Annie, I do believe that the good Lord listened to you and I am much obliging to you for your prayers!


Within five minutes or so, Jubal entered the room and sat by my side. I noticed that Beth had followed him and stood by the doorway.  It appeared that Jubal had to tell me something that was hard to say. Taking his cap off his head he leaned forward to me. I could see what looked like a Colt 1855 revolver hanging from his belt. The barrel of the gun hit the sideboard of the bed as he leaned in.  In a soft slow voice, he said, “Marshall, I have some sorrowful news to bear this morning.  Those injuns that tried to steal that little girl killed Sheriff Hockshaw.  They took his horse and Winchester rifle too. “I was able to shoot at least two of them dead! “This time I really did kill two injuns!”  The other sorrowful news is that they done killed my best friend Riley!  Jubal then lowered his head and started to cry.  There were no words I could say.  In back of where Beth was standing, I could see little Annie in the corner.  She leaped forward and said, “Back home, mama always made us young uns hold hands and pray when things were bad!  “Could we all do that now?”  Everyone agreed as Beth lead us in a prayer.


I then asked Jubal to get Lucian and head over to the Sheriff’s office in town to get a few things to bring back to me.  I instructed him to get two Sharps Carbine rifles and five boxes of ammunition.  Also, to go into the desk draw on top and get the small brown leather bag.   Later that afternoon, both men showed up with the items I had asked Jubal and Lucian to retrieve.  I tried to sit up the best I could before speaking to them. I then swore them in as deputies and instructed them to each take one of the Sharps Carbines along with an equal share of the boxes of bullets.  “Addressing Jubal, I said, “Now reach into that leather bag and take a badge for each of you and pin it on each other”!   “Make sure that each of you reports to me once a day!  “Until I get better, you boys are the law in this county.”  Those were my last words before I started to drift into sleep.


While drifting off into sleep, the thought of Sheriff Hockshaw and Riley being dead started to sink in.     A lot of sorrowful affairs had come my way as well as into the lives of some good folks.  All at the same time, the country lost Mr. Lincoln.  So much had happened in such a short span.  It was taking a little time for it all to become reality for me.  I thought back to the day I heard that President Lincoln was assassinated. “To think, the war was finally over and in need of unity and a no-good scoundrel goes and shoot the president in front of his own wife!”  I remember clearly the day I heard the news of the Presidents death.   I was sitting in a bar just outside Montana when a fellar came into the bar yelling that the President had just been shot.  It was like something that could not be true!  I remember people praying, both Northerners and Southerners together. When we got the news that he did pass on, tears were shed from men women and children alike.  It was something that I could not comprehend.  “How could President Lincoln be gone!?  We don’t want him to be gone! He should always be here!     I think back about a dog I had when I was a young un.  Every day after school, Bo would come up to me, wag his tail and want my attention.  I never did give it to him.  I would just tell him to go lay down.  "One day I came home and learned that Bo was dead,  I could not accept it!"  I was so use to him being there every day. “How could he be gone!?   It was then my job to bury him.  I tearfully recall that I went back and dug up his grave three times hoping that he just might be alive.  He was not supposed to die, “Just like Mr. Lincoln!”

Continue Part 12.

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Please note that this is an ongoing story that will contain  several additional parts that will continue to be published until it's completion.