Destiny of Eagles

Destiny of Eagles by William W. Johnstone Read Free Book Online

Book: Destiny of Eagles by William W. Johnstone Read Free Book Online
Authors: William W. Johnstone
right to sit in a rocking chair for a while.”
    â€œA fella can’t make a living sitting in a rocking chair,” Billy replied.
    â€œI guess you’re right about that,” Falcon agreed.
    Falcon stared down at the bodies. All three had their arms folded across their chests. Only Buddy Taylor had both eyes open, and Curly Latham had both eyes closed, his eyelid muscles having been destroyed by the bullet that hit him right between the eyes.
    Another man came up to stand near Falcon and Billy Puckett. This man was also wearing a badge. He was younger, taller, and slimmer than Billy. He was wearing a big, black handlebar moustache.
    â€œFalcon, this here is my deputy, Walter Merrill,” Billy said.
    Falcon and the deputy nodded at each other.
    â€œWalter’s been with me for five years now. He’s goin’ to make a good sheriff someday. Fact is, he’d be a good sheriff now if I’d step out of the way.”
    Merrill shook his head. “I ain’t ready for you to step out of the way yet, Sheriff,” he said. “I’m still learnin’ a lot from you.”
    â€œSee why I like this man?” Billy teased. “He knows how to suck up.”
    Falcon and Merril both laughed.
    Sheriff Billy Puckett lit a cigar and took several puffs before he spoke again.
    â€œFalcon, folks are talkin’ about the big man, a passenger on the train, who took these outlaws on. I’ve got a strong feelin’ you are the one they are talking about.”
    â€œI reckon I am,” Falcon replied.
    â€œI understand they got away with the money.”
    â€œNot they. One man,” Falcon said.
    Hearing a sound, Falcon looked toward the stock car and saw that they were leading a big, black horse down a ramp.
    â€œExcuse me, I’ve got to see to my horse.”
    â€œThat’s yours?”
    â€œYes.”
    â€œHe’s a good-looking horse.”
    â€œDiablo is a good horse,” Falcon said. “He’ll probably live longer than I will.”
    Puckett chuckled. “Yes, well, to be honest with you, Falcon, from all I’ve heard, I don’t know how the hell you’ve stayed alive this long,” he said.
    â€œLucky, I guess,” Falcon said.
    â€œUh-huh. Listen, Judge Heckemeyer is in town. Just to be on the safe side, why don’t you come on down to my office so we can get an official ruling of justifiable homicide on these three? There’s no sense in taking a chance on getting some more bad paper out there.”
    â€œHeckemeyer? Did you say Judge Heckemeyer?”
    â€œYes, why? Do you know him?”
    â€œNo, I don’t think I’ve ever met him,” Falcon said. “But the name seems familiar to me.”
    â€œYou will come talk to him, though?”
    â€œAll right. But if you don’t mind, can I come down after breakfast?” Falcon asked. “I’m a little hungry.”
    â€œSure, no hurry,” Puckett said. “I’ve got to figure out what to do about these three anyway.” He sighed. “Damn, Falcon, I invited you up to do a little elk hunting, not cause me all this paperwork,” he said.
    Falcon chuckled. “Sorry ’bout that. Where’s a good place for breakfast?”
    â€œI’d say the Dunn Hotel is about as good as anyplace,” Puckett answered.
    Falcon’s saddle was unloaded as well and, taking his leave of the sheriff, Falcon saddled Diablo, threw his bags across, sheathed his long gun, then mounted his horse and rode down the street looking for the Dunn Hotel.
    * * *
    Falcon ate so many of his meals out on the range that when he did have the chance to eat in town, he ate well. Breakfast this morning consisted of a stack of pancakes, two eggs, fried potatoes, an oversized piece of ham, and half-a-dozen biscuits. He was just washing it all down with a second cup of coffee when Sheriff Puckett came in.
    â€œJoin me for a cup of coffee, Billy?”

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