Carrion Part Four: Hope

Kane wakes up on a hospital bed. He can’t remember much from last night, but he knows it involved a gunfight that obviously didn’t end well for him. Waiting in the room is a man wearing a duster and cowboy hat. He looks at Kane and says “Well well, you’re awake.”

You’re not a doctor.”

No, but I did save your life.” The man looks at Kane with his weary brown eyes. Kane looks back at his aging face, trying to figure out who he is. Something about him was familiar, but he can’t place it.

So who are you?”

Sheriff Lucius Crowe. What is your name?”

Harry Longbaugh.”

Lucius chuckles before saying “Well some might think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were at the saloon last night but have a feeling that’s not your real name.”

What’s it matter to you?”

Well, I already know you’re a liar. You also shot three men last night.”

It was self-defense.”

Yeah, but I have a feeling it was no coincidence.”

Probably not.”

Well to be frank, I couldn’t care less why those bastards disturbed my drinkin’ hour. What I do care for is a gun for higher.”

Yeah?”

I dunno if you haven’t noticed that you can’t feel your legs. They had to be removed after you got your knees blown out. Now you must realize getting the expertise, let alone the required prosthetic legs will be rather expensive?”

Of course.”

So, in trade for new legs, how about you become my deputy?”

And why would you do that?”

Most of my deputies are fine at keeping the peace, but when it comes to getting down and dirty they’re just not up to it. You seem like you can handle yourself. Anyway, let’s not pretend you have any other option. It’s this or a wheelchair.”

You haven’t really given me a choice have you?”

I never do.”

Well, I guess I’ll have to accept, won’t I?”

Exactly. I’ll have your new legs installed. I’ll also take that forty-five of yours. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. Don’t worry I’ll give you another gun.”

If that’s how I have to settle my debts.” Kane sighs. As much as he loved his pistol, he knows it’s not worth keeping for the ability to walk.

That’s the spirit.”

Lucius leaves the room to see Silas waiting outside of it. Silas tries to hide his disdain for the sheriff with a poker face, before calmly saying “Sheriff.”

Silas. Didn’t know you were in town?”

Considering all the recent calamity, the hospital has asked a few extra hands.”

Well, it’s good to have yours around.

“I’m always glad to help.”

“Well anyway Silas, we’re both busy men. See you soon.”

Hopefully not here,” Silas replies through a fake smirk. Lucius laughs as Silas thinks Hopefully not ever again. The sheriff walks off so Silas enters Kane’s room, who looks at him and says “You again?”

Another get rich quick scheme?”

Yeah, but I was the target this time.”

Ain’t easy stepping off the path is it?”

Sure isn’t.”

Heard you saved those people at the church?”

Yeah, that was me.”

Right,” Silas says nodding. Kane didn’t understand the response. He’d saved lives. Done what a hero is supposed to do and all he had to show for it was a new arm and an attempt assassination. Silas stands in front of him like a statue. There are no answers given by his stoic face, so he asks “So what do you think?”

I wonder when you heard the princess needed a knight, did you go for the princess or the plunder?”

What difference does it make?”

Maybe it doesn’t make any difference.”

If you’re looking for the bad guys, you should be looking for those who set me up.”

I think we’ll find out soon enough whether that’s true.”

What do you mean?”

A badge and a gun can be a wicked combination in the wrong hands.”

It seems like your making judgment your job.”

I’m just helping you off the path.”

You don’t even know my path.”

Oh, I’m very familiar with your path boy. Took a lot to get off of it, but in the end, it was worth every drop of blood.”

Silas heads to exit the room as Kane curses his inability to teach Silas some respect. How dare he come in and act holier-than-thou. That self-righteous prick has no business preaching about a better life. As he opens the door, Silas says “I better leave you to rest.”

Wait. You ever hear of Kid Lighting?”

That man’s been dead for years boy. Died with his brother.”

Big Thunder?”

Yeah.”

How would you know?”

I was there, boy. Pulled the trigger on both of them.”

Kane doubts Silas’ statement, but asks “So Kid Lighting was no myth?”

No, but some people have twisted him into a legend. Many even take up the name.”

So why did they call him Kid Lighting?”

Because some thought there was no one faster on the draw.”

Well was there?”

Many that weren’t, I know that much.”

Of course. Well, I guess you’ve got things to do.”

That I do boy.”

Until we meet again.”

Hopefully under better circumstances,” Silas says through the same false smirk he gave to the sheriff. He sees the fire burning in Kane’s eyes. The sheriff’s just made a big mistake, giving that boy a gun and a badge. Then again, he’ll surely provide plenty of carrion for Sheriff Crowe, which might be exactly what he wants.

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