Marshal Dylan Jones walked out of the Sheriff's office into the dirt that was blowing around. His put a big black cowboy hat on to protect his hair and covered his neck with a black bandana. He had found no evidence for this... Ms. Dawes. It was strange that such an infamous criminal had no information or address, or anything that could help him with this. He looked up and saw Carter wearing a plaid shirt and jeans, the normal attire for men then. The big shotgun in his hand made him look suspicious since nobody around here carried guns like that except the Marshal.
"Carter," Dylan cleared his throat.
"Marshal," Carter was caught by his attention and stopped walking to look at the Marshal.
"Carter, you were there at the bank robbery, weren't you?" Dylan whispered.
There was a slight pause of hesitation, "Yes, I was."
"I got some evidence that you were one of the men chasing Ms. Dawes," he crossed his arms and felt his muscles tense up with anticipation.
"I was sir," he gulped.
"Okay, who else was with you?" The Marshal asked.
"I-I don't remember, maybe four guys..." Carter stumbled in his words, as if he was trying to recall a dream from the night before.
"Mhm, keep going."
"One of them was my brother," he said and gripped the gun. Dylan noticed his intensity and was weary.
"Is that why you carry that around, hoping if you spot her, you'll blast her head off?" The Marshal asked slowly with caution.
"Maybe," he grunted, knowing he was caught.
"You were the only survivor huh?"
"Ye," Carter didn't look him in the eye.
"Have you ever seen Ms. Dawes? Carter?" Dylan was hoping he had.
"Maybe, what's it to you?" He spat at the ground.
"I'm curious as to what she looks like, and maybe we can set up some actual wanted signs up, just to give some of the townspeople some sort of warning she's out there," the Marshal shrugged.
"I can't draw good," Carter said.
"That's ok. I got an artist in the office. Just come with me and maybe we can see what she looks like," Dylan carefully grabbed the shotgun.
Carter pulled it out of his grip, "What's in it for me then?"
"When we catch her, we'll make sure you can be the first to talk to her," he smiled.
"I don't want to chat with her, I want to kill her."
"That's not the way justice is done mate," Dylan almost grinned.
"Fine, but I ain't giving you my shotgun," Carter grunted again and headed to the office. Dylan kicked at dirt for a minute and sighed.
So many people afraid of one criminal.
How bad could she be?
Irene grabbed her hat as she walked out the door. Her stylish waistcoat and very tight jeans matched her personality: masculine and fit. She looked to her left and saw Blackie sleeping on the dirt. She whistled, and the wolf-look-alike dog (who actually might be a wolf, she wasn't sure) rose up and wagged his thin tail as he walked towards her. His nickname was "circus dog" because he somehow understood Irene's thought process. Whatever she told him to do, Blackie would do it.
Irene wasn't very good at naming things, as people can tell.
"Shall we take a walk to town? I feel like taking a visit to the bar, maybe visit some old friends," she smiled and walked towards the path that lead to town. Blackie just panted and waltzed ahead of her, occasionally looking back to see if his Master could handle the long walk.
Not many people stared at her as she walked in. To them, she was some normal "cowboy". She wore sometimes men's clothing because it was easier to move, and it made her more easily hidden in a crowd. More people would question a woman with weapons than a man.
Blackie just panted behind her, ready to pounce on someone if necessary, he was always ready for such surprises. The market was up, fresh vegetables and fruit lined up. She hid her face from the horizon and looked down, to say hello at the dirt. She heard the occasional chatter about a bank robbery and it made her smile. It was good to be proud of your work.
But bragging about it was just a wrong thing to do.
She passed by all the annoying folks and headed to the bar. She walked down a narrow alley and turned left, to get behind the bar. There was a basement opening in the ground, in which she jumped in and was full of good welcomes.
It was silent, the smokers stopped smoking, drinkers stopped drinking, chatters stopped chatting.
"Mornin' gents," she waved.
A couple of gentlemen left the underground bar, hoping to not get in trouble. She ignored them and walked to the bar. This was the outlaw bar, a place where the same kind of bad people decided to chill, only she liked to be alone.
"Ms. Dawes, what can I get for you?" the bartender asked, wiping down the wet counter.
"I'd ask for tea," she frowned, "but you never seem to have my liking."
He ignored her and kept wiping the beer off.
"I'll just have water," she grunted. He grabbed an iced glass and poured a few ounces of water.
"Thank you," she bowed and went to the corner of the building. She sat in her favorite chair, stuck her feet on the table, and enjoyed the smell of smoke and criminals.
"That's her, this picture looks almost identical," Carter said. The Marshal got out of his chair to look at the picture. Carter stared at it, his face getting tighter every second.
"Now," Dylan grabbed the paper, "let's not have you rip it before I get to see it."
He was shocked at her face. It was thin, her nose was cute, her eyes... almost innocent looking. The artist had drawn the hat she always wore, an almost bowler hat with feathers coming out. Her curly hair made him jump in excitement. He had never seen such a gorgeous woman before. Internally Dylan started feeling warm and fuzzy, nervous but yet excited with a sense of pleasure. It was not sexual of course, just there was something about her that made his heart leap.
"This... beautiful woman... is a feared criminal?" Dylan sounded almost aghast.
"That's what we all thought. 'Till one by one, all the men started disappearing, and later showing up on our doorstep. It wasn't right. The funny thing was, they only disappeared when they said they 'got a date with her. Strange, don't you think?"
"Not really," Dylan sighed.
"I think she never was loved, and probably never will be, she's just a criminal looking for attention," Carter said and walked out.
Dylan stared at the picture for a long time, finally realizing that this girl looked afraid, and more innocent than the simplest murderer. She looked like she needed help, she was just asking it the wrong way.
Her eyes opened as she heard a blood-churning scream. It was a woman's scream, and most scream's were like that. Irene jumped out of her seat, as many of the folk stared and sat lazily in their chairs. Blackie jumped with her. She jumped out into the bright sunlight and looked in the alleyway. A man was on top a young woman. She screamed for help as he ripped her clothing off.
"Hey!" Irene yelled. The man looked up. His face was full of hate, but yet full of love for this woman. Her face was white, she was scared out of her mind. Irene pulled her revolver out.
"I'm just havin' some fun Ms. Dawes. Mind your own business!" he said.
"Help! Please!" she squealed. Irene put her gun away and ran towards the guy. He started to run for it. While running at top speed, Irene had spilled into a man. His black cowboy hat fell to the ground and he groaned in pain.
"Sorry!" she yelled as she was still chasing the man. The man occasionally looked back at her and ran faster every time. He turned left at the corner by the market, he was trying to get lost in the crowd.
Irene groaned and jumped up on the building that connected the market. She caught his pace and ran faster. She saw Blackie close behind him, catching his tail. By the end of sprinting past, she jumped down and landed directly on him. He was shaking in fear as she dragged her out of the way. Many people gasped and ran out of the way.
Once she had pulled him into a safe zone behind the bakery, she threw him against the brick wall.
"What do you think you were doing?!" she yelled.
"I was just-"
"Just what? Trying to kill an innocent girl?" she spat.
"Oh like you don't kill innocent lives?" he laughed. She gripped his neck hard with her hand and squeezed.
"I'm giving you a chance to live. You are going to hanged for this though, no doubt if the new Marshall was smart. Might want to start working on better complaints," she spat at him and pushed his head against the wall. He was out immediately and she sighed.
She dragged him across the dirt to where the girl was. She quickly dumped him on the floor in front of the Marshall's office and left him there to dream in his sleep.
The Marshal, picked up his hat as he was so shocked that he heard such a scream and ran over here, only to be knocked over by some woman. He sighed and put the hat on his head, then turned to look at the woman. A feather was attached to her hat. His rose both brows and looked shocked.
Had he just run into Ms. Dawes?
He heard a girl softly crying down the alley. He ran down and saw a charming Native lady who was bleeding all down in her private areas and parts of her neck. She sobbed softly, but her face was almost smiling.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Yes, please, I think a trip to the infirmary will be all I need," she sighed. He nodded and grabbed her legs with one hand and the other to stabilize herself as he carried her.
"Who did this to you?" he groaned, not knowing she quite that heavy.
"I don't know, but knowing Ms. Dawes she caught the man for you," she smiled.
"Wait, Ms. Dawes did this to you?"
"No, she saved my life... she's like... that criminal who does good, a hero."
"Ms. Dawes saved your life?" he asked, still shocked that Ms. Dawes was even here. So it was her who he ran into! His heart even got faster and he was eager to see her again.
"Yes, now please, hurry 'long now, I must get back soon," she smiled.