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Maggie May McAllister- My version
Maggie May Mcallsiter with a CMerrit twist.
After asking permission of WillStarr, I had decided to write my own version of Maggie May Mcallsiter. This is my first attempt at writing a fiction novellette. I thought the version by Will, Fred and Wayne was incredible. This premise of collaborating a western story intrigued me. So, I let my mind get the best of me and put it to words. So here it is.....Chapter one, that was done by WillStar is here: you can read it first and then conclude the CMerritt verson of the story here:
My heart was pounding and my mind was racing. I knew time was a factor, but I knew I had to calm myself down. Pa told me before he headed off to Waterloo, that I was the man of the house while he was gone. Though I was not yet 16, I was more than ready to give it my all, just to be half the man my pa was.
Pa was as good as they made em. He had many talents, and was a man of strong morals. He was in Waterloo negotiating peace with the Musquawka Indian tribe. Settlers was moving in the area, with some resistance, and Pa had already built a lasting friendship with Black Hawk the Chief of the Musquawka tribe and wanted to assure him that peace was first and foremost. Pa had been through plenty of bloodshed in the past, along side Black Hawk, and was more than ready to do what he could to keep anymore bloodshed from falling on this prairie, a prairie that Ma and he had fallen in love with. Pa was a firm believer, in the due process of the law.
I strapped on the gun belt, even though it was my first time, it seemed as if I had done it all my life. I loaded my revolver, I grabbed Pa’s deer rifle and headed to the barn to saddle up. Ma grabbed me stern and square on my shoulders, looked deep into my eyes and told me to use the brain that God had given to me, to remember all that Pa had taught me, and to bring her Maggie May back home, safe and sound. As I mounted my horse, Ma was pointing to the east, towards the Cedar River. I rode hard down a path I was very familiar with. It was towards a crossing of the river, where Pa and I had spent plenty of time catching trout for many meals for our family. That was the only place where you could cross the Cedar River without risking your life.
I had encountered the Scruggs boys a few days ago in West Branch, when I took Maggie May and Ma there to get a few supplies we needed for the farm. There where three of them and as usual, they had been drinkin. The oldest one, Luke, was tall, thin and had a long beard. He was the loudest and was he hollerin at Maggie May, about how much she could “use some lovin by some real men”. The younger two, Ben and Matt was tryin to quiet Luke down, a tad. I was all but eager to square off with Luke, when Ma grabbed a hold of me and told me to just ignore them and carry on with our business. We managed to get our supplies and head back to the farm, without much more than exchanging some glaring looks at each other.
By the time I reached the crossing, it was getting dark and the moon was beginning to glistening off of the white crest of the river as it passed through the rocks and boulders in the shallow rapids. It was loud with the sounds of the river echoing through the valley. I noticed some fresh hoof prints in the mud of the river bank that was headin north up on top of a ridge that was steep and covered with thickets of wild prairie roses. I tied off my horse at the bottom, grabbed Pa’s deer rifle and climbed up quietly behind an old Hickory tree. I could see a glare of a campfire off of the bark of the old tree as I got near. The sound of the river made it difficult to hear anything, but I could see all three of the Scruggs boys sitting around the fire and Maggie was tied off to tree directly behind them. She looked worn out and scared, but she had a look in her eyes, just like I had just saw on Ma right before I left, one of determination. Maggie has always been one who never backed down from a challenge. Even as a small child she always wanted to do things for herself, and got ill-tempered when Ma and Pa would try to help her with something. So, I felt assured she was still okay just by the look on her face.
It seemed natural to me as I grabbed Pa’s deer rifle and I eased it around and put the top of that front blade right smack in the middle of the campfire, as if I was hunting for that big old, bushy-tailed red squirrel. I was gonna “Bark them Scruggs boys”. I took the slack out of trigger and squeezed. It blew a cluster of wood, fire and hot ashes over all three of the three of them. Startled, stunned and surprised, they all fell backwards not knowing what was going on. I charged Matt who was the closest one to me with the butt of my rifle, laying him out with a full swing across the side of his head. Ben was charging me with full force, but I was able to side step him and slam him face first into the ground. By this time Luke had grabbed Maggie by the throat and was holding her tightly in front of him with his gun drawn. I drew my revolver and pointed without hesitation directly at the head of Luke. He yelled for me to drop my gun or he would put a bullet in my sister. We both glared at each just as we did on that day in West Branch when he was drunk and threatening Maggie. It seemed to be an eternity. Neither one of us was even considering backing down. At that moment, I could see that all too familiar look in Maggie’s eyes as she was ready for this to end. She threw her elbow with all her might right into Luke’s stomach. I fired! Smoke rolled out of the end of my colt as Luke’s whole body slammed against the tree where Maggie was tied too, his eyes wide open. He slid down the jagged bark and fell face down on the ground. Ben by this time had gathered his wits, and was starting to make a move towards me, and I firmly planted my pistol in the middle of his forehead. I asked him to reconsider any thoughts he had towards making this situation any worse. Matt at this time was barely able to speak, but he managed to convince his brother to oblige my command.
I untied Maggie May and hugger her. I noticed she had a bump on her forehead and was bleeding, I dabbed at the blood gently, but then she grabbed the cloth and scrubbed it off.
“No time for worrying about me….” Boy, did all of this sound so familiar. She looked and acted just like Ma. We loaded up Luke on the back of his horse, tied up Matt and Ben firmly on top of their horses, and led them back to West Branch to the town sheriff to be handled by due process of the law.
But I had to stop by our farm first, to bring Ma’s Maggie May back to her, safe and sound.