Chapter Seven

This entry is part 7 of 36 in the series Bend

Chapter Seven

Al Mackey lay in one of the string hammocks that hung from the porch of the hotel. Pio was in the one next to him. In between them was a small table. On this were their personal belongings. They had given up their room for the night because the prisoner was in it. Tonight it was the jail.

Al didn’t mind giving it up for the cause. There was a big crowd in the hotel and it was terribly noisy. There was a poker game going on and a lot of booze being consumed. Besides, it was much cooler out here.

Tomorrow, there would be the formality of a trial. The prisoner would be taken out and shot. The poor guy didn’t have a chance,’ Al thought. He was already condemned. He would not have a lawyer, no one to speak for him. Not even a friend. His throat would probably be too sore from the punishment it had taken from those ropes around his neck, that he wouldn’t be able to say a word.

Today when they had passed by him, the man had tried to speak. Only gurgling sounds came out. What chance would he have to defend himself tomorrow? Al felt sorry for the guy. At least he should have a chance to tell his side of the story. He wished he could talk to the fellow.

He was a big man, and sure didn’t look like any of the natives around here. He wondered what the guy did for a living besides rob and kill…

Today had been quite an eventful day. That girl that came riding in on the pony, who was she? Certainly she wasn’t a native. Could there be some connection between her and the prisoner in the back room?

The two guards that had brought the prisoner in were the men of the hour. If the guy is convicted, they’ll receive a reward. They had bought a bottle of rum and began to celebrate. Someone came up with a greasy deck of playing cards and a poker game began.

The prisoner’s hands and feet had been tied together. He had been put on a chair over in one corner of the big room. The guards took turns watching him.

Someone bought another bottle of rum. The guard watching the prisoner was missing all the fun. The bottle of rum was going down fast, and he hadn’t had one little drink of it. He decided he would do something about it. He had come to Al Mackey.

“Señor, I understand you have the room rented? It has always been used for the jail. That leaves us no place to keep the prisoner.” A big grin was on his face. “Please, Señor I am missing all the fun!”

Al thought it would be impossible to get any sleep in that room tonight. Besides, it would be much cooler out here on one of the hammocks.

He and Pio had gone back to the room and gathered up their belongings. While there, Al took a look at the only window in the place. It was about two feet square, and there was no glass. There were several steel rods about a half-inch in diameter across the opening. ‘It wouldn’t be too big of a job to get through there,’ Al thought. Evidently, the guard felt the same way. The prisoner was put in there, bound, and gagged. His shoes were also taken from him. He could go nowhere bare foot.

They had taken their belongings from the room. On and under the table and between the two hammocks they had found a place for everything. In the morning it would all be taken back to the room.

They checked the guns; they were fully loaded. Al had given Pio one of the pistols. The two rifles they put on the table between them. Al was wearing logger boots. He took them off and put on a pair of lighter shoes. He strapped the little pistol to his waist then crawled into the hammock, it was time to call it a day. The party inside was going well. There was loud laughter, much swearing and yelling. Some were winning, and some were losing. A poker game is a poker game wherever you go. He drifted off to sleep.

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