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Authors: Ford Fargo

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Wolf Creek

BOOK: Wolf Creek
10.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Western Fictioneers Presents:


Wolf Creek Book 13




Copyright © 2015 by Western Fictioneers

Cover art: “The Blanket Signal” by Frederic

Cover design by L. J. Washburn and Troy D. Smith

Western Fictioneers logo design by

Jennifer Smith-Mayo

Smashwords Licensing Notes

All rights reserved under U.S. and
International copyright law. This ebook is licensed only for the
private use of the purchaser. May not be copied, scanned, digitally
reproduced, or printed for re-sale, may not be uploaded on
shareware or free sites, or used in any other manner without the
express written permission of the author and/or publisher. Thank
you for respecting the hard work of the author.


This is a work of fiction. Though actual
locations may be mentioned, they are used in a fictitious manner
and the events and occurrences were invented in the mind and
imagination of the author except for the inclusion of actual
historical facts. Similarities of characters or names used within
to any person – past, present, or future – are coincidental except
where actual historical characters are purposely interwoven.

Printed in the United States of America

Visit our website at





Beneath the mask, Ford Fargo is not one but a
posse of America's leading western authors who have pooled their
talents to create a series of rip-snortin', old fashioned sagebrush
sagas. Saddle up. Read ‘em Cowboy! These are the legends of Wolf





Bill Crider - Cora Sloane, schoolmarm

Phil Dunlap - Rattlesnake Jake, bounty hunter

Wayne D. Dundee – Seamus O’Connor, deputy marshal

James J. Griffin - Bill Torrance, owner of the livery

Jerry Guin - Deputy Marshal Quint Croy

Douglas Hirt - Marcus Sublette, schoolteacher and

Jackson Lowry - Wilson “Wil” Marsh, photographer

L. J. Martin - Angus “Spike” Sweeney, blacksmith

Matthew P. Mayo - Rupert "Rupe" Tingley, town

Meg Mims – Phoebe Wright

Clay More - Logan Munro, town doctor

Kerry Newcomb - James Reginald de Courcey, artist
with a secret

Cheryl Pierson - Derrick McCain, farmer

Matthew Pizzolato - Wesley Quaid, drifter

Robert J. Randisi - Dave Benteen, gunsmith

James Reasoner - G.W. Satterlee, county sheriff

Frank Roderus - John Hix, barber

Jacquie Rogers – Gib Norwood, dairy farmer; Abby
Potter, madam

Jory Sherman – Roman Hatchett, trapper

Troy D. Smith - Charley Blackfeather, scout; Sam
Gardner, town marshal

Charles Steel – Kelly O’Brian, small rancher

Chuck Tyrell - Billy Below, young cowboy; Sam Jones,

L. J. Washburn - Ira Breedlove, owner of the Wolf’s
Den Saloon

Big Jim Williams – Hutch Higgins, farmer




Book 1
Bloody Trail

Book 2
Kiowa Vengeance

Book 3
Murder in Dogleg City

Book 4
The Taylor County War

Book 5
Showdown at Demon’s Drop

Book 6
Hell on the Prairie

Book 7
The Quick and the Dying

Book 8
Night of the Assassins

Book 9
A Wolf Creek Christmas

Book 10
O Deadly Night

Book 11
Stand Proud

Book 12
The Dead of Winter

Book 13




Appearing as Ford Fargo in this episode:


Chapter 1: Jackson Lowry

Chapter 2: Bill Crider

Chapter 3: Jerry Guin

Chapter 4: Charles Steel

Chapter 5: Troy D. Smith



In Wolf Creek, everyone has a secret.


That includes our author, Ford Fargo—but we
have decided to make his identity an
secret. Ford Fargo
is the “house name” of Western Fictioneers—the only professional
writers’ organization devoted exclusively to the traditional
western, and which includes many of the top names working in the
genre today.


Wolf Creek is our playground.


It is a fictional town in 1871 Kansas. Each
WF member participating in our project has created his or her own
“main character,” and each chapter in every volume of our series
will be primarily written by a different writer, with their own
townsperson serving as the principal point-of-view character for
that chapter (or two, sometimes.) It will be sort of like a
television series with a large ensemble cast; it will be like one
of those Massive Multi-player Role-playing Games you can immerse
yourself in online. And it is like nothing that has ever been done
in the western genre before.


You can explore our town and its citizens at
our website if you wish:


Or you can simply turn this page, and step
into the dusty streets of Wolf Creek.

Just be careful. It’s a nice place to visit,
but you wouldn’t want to die there.


Troy D. Smith

Wolf Creek
series editor

Chapter One



This time of day suited Wilson Marsh best.
They always said it was darkest before the dawn, and Wil
appreciated how he could go about his business and not be seen by
any of the town's busybodies. Most of Wolf Creek still slept. A few
hardy souls had gone to work early. He stood in the middle of South
Street and sucked in a deep breath. So many smells caused his
nostrils to expand. The livery stable needed mucking, but the new
stableboy was a little touched in the head and did the same stall
over and over, ignoring the rest. The baker already worked to turn
out bread for a starving town. Would the good citizens of Wolf
Creek gobble up the tender loaves if they knew how they were made?
In the distance he heard sawing, followed quickly by frantic
hammering. Like him, Elijah Gravely plied his trade when no one was
about to look and wonder and ask questions no one should answer.
The undertaker always finished his coffin building, and sometimes
coffin filling, before the first ray of dawn poked into the sky. It
made for better relations with the businesses around him not having
their customers reminded of their own mortality as they

For his part, Wil preferred to avoid the
marshal or that nosy Sheriff Satterlee watching his every move.
They suspected he took blue pictures of most of the women in
town—or the ones he could inveigle into disrobing for his
camera—and disliked him for it. It wasn't illegal. Nothing he did
was illegal. Exactly. It was just that no one in town appreciated
his ways of earning a living.

He began walking briskly, slipping into
deeper shadows as he passed the sheriff's office. A coal oil lamp
had been turned down low, but he doubted Satterlee was inside. Wil
checked every day or two for new prisoners. Magazines back East
paid a pretty penny for photographs of desperados. They paid even
more if those road agents and outlaws were dead. That was his
speciality. Pictures of the dead. For the past few weeks, Gravely
hadn't been much help in putting a few silver cartwheels into his
pocket, either. The mortician sometimes convinced the bereaved that
a picture of their deceased loved one carried great memory and was
worthy of tucking a photograph away in the family Bible for future

Nobody important enough, rich enough or
loved enough had died in Wolf Creek lately. That set Wil's belly to
grumbling from lack of food, especially after the baker had caught
him going through his garbage and threatened to give him a proper
hiding, but that would change soon enough with his new venture. He
patted his coat to be sure the photographs hadn't slipped out. He
had done a piss poor job of sewing up a hole in the pocket. More
expert hands were needed for the chore.

That thought made him turn from his intended
route. Short Finger would wait for him. He took quick turns and
ended up behind Li Wong's laundry. If the baker had threatened to
whip him good, Li Wong had promised even more dire punishment if he
got caught here. Wil knew he should avoid this part of town
entirely, but so much of his business came from Hop Town. Tsu Chiao
ran the opium den with an iron fist. He also collected in specie.
Dealing with the Chinaman took time, and Wil always refused the
offer to smoke from the hash pipe, but that never stopped Tsu from
conducting business. Only, business had been slack lately. Either
that or Tsu got his imported opium from San Francisco without a
problem. Wil's contacts in New York always came through when the
Celestial's Far East suppliers slacked off.

But Tsu avoided him and had barred him from
even entering the Red Chamber. That took more money out of his
pocket. Instinctively, Wil touched his coat pocket again. This was
a new venture, these pictures, but not one that would bring him
more than a few dollars. Too many middlemen were needed.

The laundry backdoor creaked open and a
short, slender woman struggled to bring out two buckets of steaming
water. Seeing Jing Jing set Wil's heart racing. He crouched down
behind a water barrel and watched as she moved with incredible
grace and beauty. Only once did he hunker down to get out of sight.
Jing Jing's father came out and rattled off a staccato burst of
Chinese that set the girl to bowing and scraping. This caused Wil's
ire to rise. Li shouldn't talk to her like that, no matter what he
said. It wasn't right.

The laundry owner went back inside, and Wil
moved to get a better look. The girl poured both buckets of hot
water into a galvanized tub, then shucked off her padded jacket and
thin muslin pants. He caught his breath. If only he had a camera
now! This shot would be for his own collection. None of his usual
customers, Appleford or the new Methodist minister or anybody would
ever share such a glorious photograph.

Jing Jing stepped into the tub, reached and
picked up a bar of soap. In his mind Wil took a thousand pictures.
He had to content himself with his memory, but that wasn't a
problem. He knew what he saw would grow in his imagination. Every
white foamy trail, every swipe, the way the water ran down her
sallow body, finding just the right ravines as it washed away the
dirt burned into his mind.

All too soon, she stepped from the tub,
dressed and went to a large basket just outside the door. She used
the same water she had bathed in to wash the clothes. For once, Wil
wished he had left his dirty clothes. To have clean clothes next to
his skin that had been washed in water that had touched Jing Jing .
. .

He pulled himself away and got back onto the
main street. People stirred now, clerks putting goods out on the
boardwalk and others beginning their cleaning chores. None matched
Jing Jing's ablutions. Wil sighed as he walked faster. He liked
that word. Ablution. Someone like Jing Jing should never be only
taking a bath because that sounded too ordinary. There was nothing
ordinary about her.

And her father swung a mean wooden paddle
used for dying clothes. Twice Wil had been on the receiving end of
that paddle. Part of his forehead had been dyed blue for a week.
The second time he thought Li Wong had raised blood, but it had
only been the color of the dye when it dried on his back.

Wil passed the
Wolf Creek Expositor
office, and through the open door saw the editor at work setting
type. His printer's devil, Hans, struggled to clean the printing
press in the back of the large room before a new edition went to
bed. Wil made a mental note to see if editor Appleford might be
interested in pictures of Indian arrows, knives and even beadwork.
He could tell him it all came from warriors left for dead.
Appleford was a skeptical son of a bitch, but with the right story
he could be gulled into believing about anything. All he had to do
was convince the editor a story that would sell

BOOK: Wolf Creek
10.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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