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Irene Dawes is a criminal in the eyes of the town of Tomoha, Minnesota. The new handsome Marshal is struggling to find out why she is a criminal, and why he is so attracted to her. Is Irene being painted as a bad person, when really she is doing good? Can Dylan find out in time before his destiny becomes intertwined with hers? View table of contents...


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Submitted:Jul 11, 2012    Reads: 83    Comments: 1    Likes: 2   

Chapter 1

They stood there and grimaced as dust blew in their faces from the broken windows. The heat going through them like a bubbling geyser as the glimmering sun scorched their skin. Clenched fists and frown lines on their foreheads didn't make the situation any better. Where was that new Marshallanyways? First week on the job and already missed a big breakthrough?

Tomoha was a big town. With over one thousand inhabitants, it was growing fast. Once the land was taken by the Indians, it was a popular place to start a life. Industrialism seemed to boom the city, yet it still had a touch of Western Cowboy to it. Within a mile from the town lived the villages, a mile from that was the forest that supplied the wood, food, and living. At least until the train was capable of delivering goods as well.

The town was a good place. It just had a few little problems.

They looked up at the sound of clicking boots, and a horse approaching. The owner gripped his shiny shotgun while his apprentice went to greet the Marshal.
He was handsome, and young. At twenty-one's age, he was the youngest Marshal in the history of the States. Marshall Dylan Jones, with his curly black wiry hair and slight stubble, smiled as he got off his golden stallion. He was quite charming, a ladies' man no doubt due to such youth and promised ability.

Was he a Marshal though? Could he survive the torments of daily cowboy life, the temptations of brothels, or even the simplest gun fights the town provided? Behind his polite and irresistible cowboy, however, was experience and strength. His muscles were about as big as they could ever get, his body well toned as if it was as strong as titanium. Of course, all metals had their weakness, they all had a melting point. Just what was this new Marshal's Achilles heal?

"You better smack that smile of your face Marshall, this is serious," the owner, Mr. Edmund, sneered as he could see their new man in charge not taking this as seriously as he should. He seemed cocky, as if even though he seemed well-fit for the job, he was better than any man at it.

You weren't supposed to talk to a Marshall like that. Any talk with disrespect can cause a swift beheading from a rifle if need be. Dylan looked a little shocked at the man's tone, but kept cool, knowing that he would need to be open minded in investigations.

"Everything seems fine. What happened? I suppose you must know?" He still smiled and placed his hat on the only stable furniture in the whole building. The entire place looked as if buffalo rampaged in it, yet most of the items were broken not by bullets but by the chaos of men.

"Five dead, my workers! But, that not even the worst part. Ten thousand dollars stolen! Out of the bank it went! Mr. Maroni will not be pleased!" Mr. Edmund didn't seem happy that this could make him lose his job too. Of course the security would have the worst of the punishment. How could ten thousand dollars just go missing and nobody notice?

"Who the hell can steal ten thousand dollars from the most well-known, most protected man in the state of Minnesota?" Marshal Dylan grinned, curious as to what knowledge this hotheaded man could thrust out of his brain.

"Well, it's obvious ain't it?" The apprentice stood there, the last worker of the bank, Dylan supposed. It was shocking that out of the five workers dead it was this apprentice. Surely, it looked like he could defend himself with his slight build, but he did not seem like the type to just morph into a soldier.

"What Carter, ya got some evidence we don't know?" Mr. Edmund asked. Carter looked at the Marshal interestingly. As if the answer was right in front of them, and they both were silly not to notice it.

"I believe... it was Ms. Dawes," Carted said, almost worried at his comment.

"Oh come on! Ms. Dawes is an outlaw! She ain't smart enough to steal from Mr. Maroni!" Mr. Edmund shook his head violently, as if displeased to what his employee had to say.

"Well, she was smart enough to kill your brother!" Carter yelled. Mr. Edmund grew purple. He grabbed Carter by his collar and swung a fist in his face, intimidating the poor man with his rage.

"My brother was even stupid to run away with her. She only took his money and ran, left him to die. What makes you so sure that she is the one that took the money?! Why would she want it!? Doesn't she already have enough bloody money!?"

"Pardon me boys, but, might I ask who Ms. Dawes is?" The Marshal interrupted the small excursion, hoping a fight would not break out between them.

"Research up Marshal, let's say the most wanted criminal in Tomoha," Carter took a step back and adjusted his shirt collar.

"Ms. Dawes is just a woman," Dylan chuckled and touched his facial hair interestingly, "are you telling me you're afraid of a silly girl?"

Mr. Edmund stared at him, yet it seemed as if steam came out of his large, plump ears.

"Until I get my money back, and the place is back up and runnin', she's in your hands. I'm not gettin' involved with her, not again," he sighed and left the room, leaving Carter and the Marshal alone.

Carter flicked something at him, Dylan caught it with a grip with fast reflexes. He looked down at the shiny gold object, covered with a smudge of red. A bullet, not one he had ever seen before as it was tipped with thin metal. It was smaller than the average bullet, and it had engraved letters in it.

I. D.

"I. D.?" The Marshall asked.

"Irene Dawes. Careful, she's the one that killed the last Marshall, with reason too. Man pulled a bloody shotgun on her and it skimmed her foot. Even with it damaged, she decided the old fool had his time, and took him down in a matter of seconds. Girl just limped off as if nothing happened. She ain't no girl either, a good as woman could get. Catch her if you can, if you can't... this city will fall to ruin, and everyone along with it."

10 Hours Ago

She jumbled around in the small box. It was uncomfortable for her to be in such a tiny space, she hated tiny spaces. She needed the money though, not for the reason people thought. The carriage ran over a bump and she hit the top of the box, the slight pain striking her skull. She knew the bank was huge, magnificent in everyway as it stored money. Ever since the new Marshal came, every house, business, or population tripled. The bank wouldn't be an easy breakthrough though, these buildings were now made with brick, it's tougher than wood, but easier to climb.

"We're in," a voice whispered. She kicked the top off of the box and jumped out. She landed in the shotgun seat of the carriage next to her partner. He was young, Irene guessed, if a nine year old could drive, he could be her partner right? Not many people would shoot at a nine year-old would they?

"You're hair is a mess," he grinned. He was right of course. Her straight black hair was a mess. She'd usually curl it herself, but only had time to straighten, her being so desperate for this act.

"I know, how much longer till we actually stop the carriage into the place?" She noticed they were just taking a slow walk with the horses around the big building. She took the small amount of time to put her hair up in a messy bun, hoping her luscious hair would stay out of the way.

"Hang on, I mapped it out. Imma drop you off at the small house in the back. That's where Mr. Edmund lives, so he's close to the bank. All you need to do is climb up to the top window, steal the money, and find your way back to me," he smiled.

It was easier said than done. Ms. Dawes thought this was easier done than said though.

"Jack," there was a short pause, Ms. Dawes was... listening, "Is there supposed to be a party tonight?"

"I suppose not, whaddoya mean?" he titled his blonde hair out of the way of his ears to listen to the invisble sound waves of distant music.

"God dammit Jack," she muttered and jumped out of carriage, "Get out of here, I'll find someway to get back, I'll jump a horse or something."

"Ms. Dawes, I can't leave you here," he pleaded and looked around, "it's dangerous."

"It's too dangerous for you to stay. We didn't know there was a party tonight. Go back home, and I'll see you soon," she commanded harshly.

"But Miss Dawes-" too late. She smacked the horse in the rear and it ran out of the way. She wouldn't want Jack in danger, nor herself. Okay, time to clear the mind. You don't think of the dangers, you think about the prize. She thought that a lot when tough times seemed to approach her.

She looked around the corner of the brick building and saw the house. All the lights were on, there was some piano music, people drinking, laughing, all having a good time. She wished she could do that once in awhile, but she lacked the company and the time.

She looked up and saw the window she had to reach. She frowned and saw what looked impossible, yet she still needed to get in there. She let out a small groan, signifying her disappointment in Jack's planning. She put her hat on in determination and grabbed the water pipe, using it to escalate up the bricks.

Every climb, movement of her arms and legs had to be both quick and quiet. Her ankle had still been hurt from her last meeting with the "old" Marshal. He had shot her in the foot, and it didn't feel so good, yet it was a good shot nonetheless. So now she built more of her arm strength to keep her legs going.

Okay, objective window... too far... she needed to find a different window. She looked to her left, a small window was open, the light was on though, which meant someone had to be in there. Either she took a chance of falling, or a chance of meeting someone.

She reached for the small window and lept off the small pipe. She gripped the wooden ends of the window and pulled herself up, peeking her eyes into the illuminated room. Good, nobody in it for now. She pushed herself all the way and fell into the room doing a flip to keep her balance.

"Did ya hear that?" a voice said. Her eyes widened and she hid behind the door. In a small crack, she saw a banker, with only a lantern, walking around. He turned and walked into the room. He looked around a little and turned, seeing a figure in his peripheral vision. She quickly pulled out her revolver and shot him in the head.

The sound was loud, she jut hoped the party was louder. She quickly ran out of the light and into the dark hallway of the bank, hiding amongst teh shadows. Running fast she reached the room where the money was. You'd think it'd smell good, but it reeked of drunken old rich men. She put her mini revolver into her side holster and walked in cautiously.

File cabinets took up most of the space in the room, a couple of small safes accompanying them. Money was in all of these. This listed every family in the town, or at least the ones that put their faith in Maroni. She checked the names starting at A... she scrolled up and down the names until she found M. Maroni, M for Mayor... and M for Murderer.

She realized she needed a key, and as always, came prepared for break-ins like this. She grabbed a pin out of her hat and twisted it around the lock. The pressure opened it in an instant and with a smile, she grabbed a sack out of her shirt and started to stuff the green paper into the bag.

A rich man wouldn't find a loss of ten thousand dollars too big, but it meant that someone at this bank, (a.ka. the boss), would get their neck hanged in a second. Maroni probably would not care for the loss of money, only about who stole it. After shoving all of the benjamins in the bag, she closed the door leading to the office and locked it. She pulled a slightly poofy pink dress out of the same sack and unzipped it.

She stripped quickly and hopped into the dress, disliking the rough irritation it gave to her skin. Irene fitted much better in men's clothing. She left her boots on, because she'd known she would need it later, much better than heels. Of course she knew there was a party to happen, it was a good thing. All she had to do was get in the party, shake up a little chaos and bing... money was hers. There was the option to do a silent mission, but that was no fun!

She looked out of the door as she creaked it open slightly, and noticed nobody was around. Shrugging, she strolled out of the room, with an innocent face and headed outside towards the party and towards the stairs.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, gentle and soft.

"Miss, are you lost? I can show you where the party is," he said. She didn't even look at him. Quickly, she elbowed him in the face and threw him off the top floor, hearing a thud as the body fell three stories. She then ran down the flight of stairs, holding her dress up with her hands and walked out the door, stepping over the motionless body.

The mud would be great use in an escape, it was slippery and a mess. People show up to parties in heels and dress shoes... not boots. She casually walked towards the front door, but felt another hand on her shoulder. This one was tighter, obviously more aggressive. She sighed and turned around.

"Look, I'm heading to the-" she was suddenly punched right in the face. Her nose cracked and snapped in a second, blood gushing. She fell to the floor in a flash and a splash as mud splattered all over her dress.

"Ms. Dawes, what a surprise," the man said. He was wearing a nice dress suit and pants. You'd think he'd be more of a gentleman than a maniac, but after he took out a knife from his pants, he seemed more of a maniac.

"What?" she faked a British accent, "Who do you think you are!?" She had pulled off this stunt multiple times, and never had it failed her.

"Oh come come, give me the money," he grinned.

"You thief!" she yelled and began to smack the man's hands away. She was trying her best to look like the victim here.

"Me a thief?" he started to look quite confused.

"I am Elizabeth the Fourth! Don't you dare touch a Royal English Embassy!" she shouted more.

"Oh," his face looked quite of shock, "I'm terribly sorry mi'lady, I just recently saw a Ms. Dawes around, and she looked a lot like you. Terribly sorry." He continued to apologize, but it was really no use.

"Oh, how do I explain my poor dear blood stained dress to poor dear Mr. Edmund?! I look like a disaster!" she pouted and attempted to clean her dress.

He walked over with a handkerchief and tried to wipe it off.

"There that looks a-" She grabbed his neck and snapped it instantly. It sounded less painful than it probably was. His body fell limp to the mud and Irene casually got up. A woman screamed, something most women did when they saw someone get murdered. She turned and saw a horrific woman in a really bad outfit that she should never had worn; it really excentuated her curves in a bad way.

The only problem was that she didn't say anything, just kept screaming like a screaching eagle. Irene thought quickly and jumped on a horse tied up to her left. She kicked it on the thigh and it neighed, running away. With one hand, she tied the sack on the side of the saddle to keep her hands free. Let's hope this was good timing.

People would be after her in a second. Men go to tend to screaming women because that was their job wasn't it? She slowed the horse down and hid behind a gigantic bush, just near the gates, avoiding the guards. She needed the gate opened in order to get out.

Pounding hoofbeats were nearby, so she grinned. They passed her like lightning, the men screaming to find the "murderer". They don't know that she just stole thousands of dollars either. So she was both murderer and thief.

She sped up behind them although she wished she had a better color than the pink. It made her shine more in the dark from the moonlight. She laughed in her head, that while the men in front of her were chasing nothing but shadows, the shadow they were looking for was right behind them. Her left hand gripped the reigns as she grabbed with her right hand her gun.

It was hard to shoot with one hand while riding a horse that wasn't trained properly. She shot one round, and it hit one in the head; not bad. The horses jumped in fear, and the man yelled to get round the horses. She motioned her horse to go faster, and grabbed a unique tool out of the saddle. A hammer works better than a gun any day according to her. She soon reached eye to eye with the dawdler of the group. His eyes widened as she swung the hammer in his face. She sighed as it got stuck in his skull as his body splashed into the mud. Oh well, one less person to worry about.

The chase was on. The two men managed to get behind her as she did to them. She knew these parts of the plains like the back of her hand. All she needed to do was to get them lost in her forest. If they even dared to chase her.


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