Jared pushed the doors of the saloon open and checked out the atmosphere. There were drunks all over. Doves were dancing on the tables, and tired cowboys were playing pool after a hard day's work. Jared narrowed his vision on his target, Dan Cleverstine. He was sitting at a table with four other men, most likely his posse. He sat there slapping his knee and laughing as if he wasn't a wanted man.
The man was a crooked bastard. He was about six foot tall and had to be close to two hundred pounds. A shaggy beard protruded out from his jutting chin, and he had the eyes of a mad man. Jared had been tracking Cleverstine for three months now; he was not about to give up the three thousand dollar reward for taking him in to the Storm County jail over in Arkansas.
Dan Cleverstine was wanted for killing a horse dealer in Arkansas. Everyone said that the dealer just wanted to sell Dan a couple of his horses, but Dan had the temper of a grizzly bear and shot the horse dealer in cold blood. After he fled, Dan killed four more people in Arkansas alone and committed one bank robbery. By now Dan had accumulated a horde of followers and had developed some sort of outlaw army. Each passing day the bounty on that criminal's ass grew, and Jared was in a tight financial spot; he owed a lot of bad people a lot of money. Three thousand dollars would easily pay that off, and as a bonus he would still have some left over for himself. The only problem was that Storm County wanted Cleverstine alive, and Jared was more than eight hundred miles from Arkansas at this point.
Jared walked over to the table where Dan and his hooligans were sitting and pulled back the jacket from his hips revealing two .36 caliber revolvers that had ivory handles with gold trimming. "Well, you boys just gonna stare up at me with your ass ugly faces, or are you gonna invite me to sit down?" Jared said with a sly smile creeping across his face.
"Who the hell do you think you are? I should just shoot you in the throat right now!" Cleverstine exclaimed while pulling his revolver from its holster. As he did this Jared casually reached down to his boot and pulled out a knife whose blade was no less than ten inches long with a deer antler handle. He pushed the point of the knife to Cleverstine's side and then said to him,
"Now you know I can't let you do that Dan. You've killed over twelve people in the past two months, and four of those were in Arkansas alone. You know what your bounty is up too now down there?"
Dan's face turned from a face of confidence to one of fear. "No, I don't reckon that I do." He said this while slowly lowering the revolver to the table, away from Jared.
"Well then, I'll tell ya. It's three thousand dollars, and by the time I get you down there it will probably be up to four, or maybe even five thousand."
One of the other boys spoke up too Cleverstine, "That's a helluva lot of money boss! Pretty impressive I'd say."
Without taking his eyes off of Jared, Dan replied, "Yep, that sure is. But I think I might have to let that price on my head go a while longer." When he finished his sentence he quickly raised the revolver back up to Jared, but before he could pull the trigger Jared drove the knife into his side, and used his foot to pull the chair out from Dan. Then Jared pulled out each of his pistols and shot all four of the posse in the matter of a second.
As Dan lay groaning in pain on the ground, Jared casually took off his hat and set it on the stool where the five men were just recently sipping their beers. He sat down and looked too Dan with a face made of stone.
"Now, you tell me what you think. Will you be obliged to come with me back to Arkansas, or am I gonna have to make you walk the eight-hundred miles behind my horse with your hands bonded together?"
Dan could barely speak and attempted more than once to pull the knife out from his side, but with every attempt came a failure and Dan would let his head slam against the wooden floorboards. Jared was not a very patient man, "Did you hear what I said, Mr. Cleverstine?"
With a very hoarse voice Dan said, "Yes I-I would be o-o-obliged to j-join you on your journey to A-A-Arkansas." The whole time he spoke he was staring at the blood seeping through his shirt as if it were some kind of acid.
"Now THAT is a smart man." Jared replied.
He now stood up from the chair and helped Dan get up off of the floor. He slung Dan's arm around him and continued to limp him to the bar. They both sat down at the bar, and Jared slapped a five-dollar bill onto the counter. " There's some money for the trouble, and a little extra for a shot or two of whiskey. This man has to get some alcohol on his wound." He said this with quite a large smile on his face.