Authors: J. R. Roberts
Legends Never Die
There was a click.
The gun misfired.
And Clint was on them.
He grabbed the two men by the backs of their collars, one in each hand, and yanked them off. With his foot, he kicked another aside. Able to move now, Hickok scrambled out from beneath the rest of them before the corporal could fire again. He jumped to his feet and drew his gun.
Clint drew and fired once. He hit one soldier in the shoulder, spinning him around.
Hickok fired three times in quick succession.
They backed out of the saloon together. Outside, they both quickly replaced the spent cartridges in their guns with fresh ones, just in case.
Hickok holstered his gun. He put his hand out. “James Butler Hickok, but my friends call me Bill.”
Clint shook his hand and said, “Clint Adams.”
“Wait,” Hickok said. “I've heard of you.”
“I've heard of you, too.”
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THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF JAMES BUTLER HICKOK
A Jove Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright Â© 2013 by Robert J. Randisi.
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Jove mass-market edition / April 2013
Cover illustration by Sergio Giovine.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
It was a little more difficult to stop someone tracking you on the streets of Denver than it was on the trail, but Clint Adams was experienced enough in both environments to know when he was being followed.
He had checked into the Denver House Hotel the day before, tried to make contact with his friend Talbot Roper, only to find that the private detectiveâthe best one in the countryâwas out of town on a case, but would be back the following day.
He left the hotel the night before to have dinner in a nearby steak house, and became aware of the fact that he was being followed.
He returned to the hotel, his tail following him to the door, but no farther. He saw one man, rather innocent looking, who didn't seem to mean him any harm. Nevertheless, he stuck a straight-backed wooden chair beneath his doorknob, just in case.
*Â *Â *Â
The next morning he came down for breakfast in the hotel dining room, looked around to see if his tail had decided to come inside the building. He didn't see him anywhere, so Clint went in and ordered himself a steak-and-eggs breakfast.
“Nice to see you with us again, Mr. Adams,” the waiter said when he took his order.
Clint didn't remember the waiter's name, but said, “Thank you.”
He was halfway finished with his breakfast when a man came through the doorway, stopped just inside. He was wearing a three-piece suit and a derby hat. Clint knew this was the man who had followed him the night before. He watched as the man's eyes scanned the room and finally fell on him. Now it remained to be seen if the man was going to make some sort of move, or simply back out and follow Clint again when he left.
To Clint's satisfaction, the man removed his bowler and started across the room to him.
“Mr. Adams?” Without his hat, Clint could see his hair was thinning, though the man seemed to be only in his late thirties.
“May I talk to you, sir?”
“Tired of following me, are you?” Clint asked.
“I'm sorry about that,” the man said. “I was just curious about what you were doing in Denver. I thought I might find out by following you. I should have known you'd spot me. I apologize.”
“What's this about?” Clint asked.
“I'm a writer, sir,” the man said. “My name's Mark Silvester. I'd like to talk to you about a book I'm writing.”
“I've been approached before by writers wanting to tell my story,” Clint said. “I'll tell you what I told themâI'm not interested.”
“Sir, I'm sorry, I didn't make myself clear,” Silvester said. “I'm not writing a book about you. I'm writing it about Wild Bill Hickok.”
Clint studied the man for a few moments, then said, “Sit down. Have you had breakfast?”
“No, sir,” the writer said, sitting. “Not yet.”
“Order something,” Clint said, waving the waiter over.
“Thank you,” Silvester said. To the waiter he added, “I'll have what he's having.”
Clint poured Silvester a cup of coffee from his pot, then went back to his breakfast.
“Tell me about this book you're writing about Hickok,” he said.
“I'm trying to tell the real story,” Silvester said. “It's about ten years since he was killed. A lot has been written about him, but it's all different. All that stuff about him killing most of the men he killed by shooting them in the back. Is that true?”
“No!” Clint said. “Bill was no backshooter.”
“See? I need to talk to someone who knew himâand I mean, really knew him. I need the real story.”
Food came out of the Denver House kitchen fast. The waiter appeared with a steaming plate of steak and eggs for Silvester, who sat back in his chair to allow the man to set the plate down.
“Thanks,” he said as the waiter withdrew.
“Eat your breakfast before it gets cold,” Clint said.
“But I wanted to askâ”
“After breakfast,” Clint said. “We'll talk after breakfast.”