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Lone Ranger and the Riders of Justice Chapter 13 and 14

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 Chapter 13

No room in the Prison

 

The Ranger, Roy and Gene talked quietly.

“Gene, do you want to try to catch Bills’ trail?”  Roy asked.

Gene shook his head.

“No,  with all of the hoof prints out there tonight, we’ll never pick his trail up.  By the time we do, he’ll be long gone.”

The Ranger nodded in agreement.

“Gene, you’re right.  With all the horses tramping the ground, even Tonto couldn’t find a good track.”

Roy looked out at the night sky.  Then he looked at the row of poletied outlaws.  He looked back at Gabby, who, even though holding court with Tonto and Pat, rubbed his head.

“Gabby, take  a break now.  I’ll  keep watch ‘til morning.  Ranger, care to help?”  Roy asked.

“Certainly Roy”  he answered.

Gabby, Pat and Tonto went into Rex’s house.  Gene, and the others found a couple of wagons and prepared them for the long ride to town.  At first light they decided they’d fill the jail to the rafters.

Roy sat on a bale of hay.  The Ranger sat down too on an adjacent bale.  He sighed.

“So Ranger,  how long have you been on the trail?”  he asked.

And so the night passed quietly after the escape of the masked leader.  Roy and the Ranger passed the nights wee hours in conversation over hot coffee from the kitchen.    The early morning sun found the Ranger and Roy, tightening bonds on the prisoners, and stoking the fire for more heat and light.

Gene Autry was the first out of Rex’s house.  Rex, after a few hours sleep came second.  Soon, the farmyard was full with cowpokes ready to lend a hand.    Some had left the previous night to tend to their own spreads, but many returned  to finish a trying task.  A filling breakfast later, the weary riders led the wagons towards Kievers Creek.  Roy and Gene rode ahead.

Roy, Trigger, Gene and Champ rode side by side ahead of the triumphant ranchers.    Roy turned towards Gene and spoke.

“Who can I deputize this morning to guard the gunmen?  There’s lots to do today yet.”

Gene answered.

“Ask Bill Boyd.  He’d be willing to.  As honest as the day is long too.  He helped out last night but left just after we unmasked the outlaw leader,“ he said over Champs  rhythmic hoofbeats.

“Gene”  Roy commented.  “I think I’m  going to like it here.”

Gene smiled to himself.

“I  reckon you will too,  Sheriff Rogers.”   Gene said as he neared the last hill before Kievers Creek.

Peace filled the town as Gene and Roy stopped in front of Bill Boyds house,  Gene dismounted Champ and walked over to the front door.   Roy followed.

Gene knocked on the wooden door.  The frame rattled noisily.  A match struck up in the window, and soon the lamp glowed.  Bill Boyd poked his head out.

“Gene,  Roy,  what are you doing here this early in the morning?  Can’t a guy get some rest after a good night of bloodshed?” he said with a smile.

Roy replied.

“Bill, would like to be my deputy?”

Bill looked sleepily at Roy.  A twinkle appeared in his eye.

“Give me a couple of minutes.”

Bill  pulled on a pair of black jeans, a blue shirt, and had started towards the front door.    His wife stirred.

“Who’s that Bill?”  she asked.

Bill looked back.

“Just the Sheriff dear, the NEW sheriff.”

Duly deputized and clad for action, the new deputy  kissed his wife goodbye, closed the door, and  mounted his horse.  The three riders headed towards Dales place.  They arrived five minutes later, dismounted and walked up the wooden steps to the front door.

Roy opened the door to the kitchen and stepped in.  Gene,  and Bill followed.    Even with the early morning sun, strange shadows were cast on the walls and floors.  Roy lit the lantern.  As the flame burned steady, the two securely bound outlaws still slept leaning against the wall.

Roy whistled.

“There’s some reward for these two” he said admiringly.   “Well Bill, let’s take them in.”

Bill stopped Roy.

“Roy, Sheriff.  My good friends call me Hoppy.”   he corrected Roy.

Roy looked Bill in the eyes.

“Hoppy, let’s take them in.  Gene, can you lend a hand?”

Hoppy, Gene and Roy lifted the gunmen outside throwing them across Trigger and Champ.  The three walked the block and a half to the jail where the ranchers and the rest of the prisoners just waited.  They sauntered the last few feet.  Roy opened the door.    He looked back.

“Need a hand boys?”  Roy asked.

Gene answered.

“No, we’re okay.”   Hoppy and Gene walked through the door,  Gene with Texas thrown across his shoulder, and Hoppy with Long Gun.  A thunk reached Roy’s ears.

“Sorry, a little too close”  Hoppy said to the unconscious prisoner on his shoulder.

“Keep going Gene,  Hoppy.  To the back of the cell.  I’ll get some blankets and pillows.”

Roy returned with blankets and pillows.  Soon the other hands came in with their wanted cargo.  The jail was full, standing room only.  They surveyed the scene.

“Roy, ever think you’d fill the jail to the brim so soon?” the Ranger asked.

“No, not really.  Just did my job, sometimes I guess you get lucky.”  Roy answered.

 

Chapter Fourteen:

Peace in the Valley

 

Earlier  that day, the ranchers arose to the first day of true peace in over a year.  The rising sun brought fresh light to the carnage of the previous night and showed Rex the full price of freedom.  His corral,  and fencing were severely damaged, his pasture and the nearby land were trampled and torn up.  As much as the damage depressed him, the sight of the captured outlaws lifted him up.  One by one, he walked by and counted the losses the good people of the ‘valley’ had suffered.

After depositing the prisoners into jail, and leaving them in the care of Bill Boyd, the ranchers left for Slyes Canyon.  No directions were needed for the ranchers, from childhood, they knew of the hidden valley.  But until recently, they had forgotten about it, the responsibilities of adulthood weighing heavy.

Gene shouted at Rex..

“Republic Canyon, remember Rex.  Everyone else called it Slyes, but we liked the name Republic.  Herb Yates, you, I  and Monte used to play round up there.”

Rex looked at Gene.

“I  remember.  That was a long time ago.  Don’t know how we forgot about it.  I wonder how Herb is now?”

Monte answered.

“He went down to California, I think.  Something about the land of opportunity.”

The miles passed quickly as the riders galloped in formation.  Soon, Slyes (or Republic) Canyon was in sight.  The ranchers urged their mounts onward.

The valley, full of grazing cattle, lay steeped in serenity.  Years of solitude had let nature claim her own as  brush and bramble covered the once wide opening.

“Just through the small gap over there” the Ranger yelled over the pounding hoofbeats.

“Was a lot larger years ago”  Monte commented.

Through the opening, each rider flew until the group of horsemen stood side by side viewing the curious cattle.

“Now,  that’s  a pretty sight Gene”  Rex said.

“Looks like almost five hundred cattle here”  Roy commented as he dismounted Trigger and walked towards the milling herd.

“Come on men, let’s see what we’ve really got here”  the Ranger added, following Roy.

Tonto, Gene, Monte, Rex, Gabby, Pat and the other ranchers wandered through the newly found herd.

“I’ve found ten of mine I didn’t even know that I lost!”  Monte yelled.

“Got five of yours over here Rex”  Gene added.

“Found twenty of mine, and some more of Rex’s”  Dusty hollered.

The process of discovery,  and separation brought gasps of astonishment from the ranchers.  Cattle, not known missing were found, and horses, taken for dead during the hard winter, were found grazing on the sweet green grass.

“What an amazing herd”  Gene related to the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

“Yes Gene, it is.  we noticed at least a dozen different brands on the animals.   The group over to the north end of the canyon carry no brand at all.  New animals.    Waiting for an owner.   I wonder how long they’ve really been holing up here?”  the Lone Ranger said.

The three looked out over the milling cattle.  Gene, lifted his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow.

“I  reckon at least a couple of years judging by the number of unbranded animals.  The cabin, has been here a long time, I remember it now from years ago.  If you look carefully, you’ll probably find my name carved in one wall..”

Rex walked over to the threesome.

“Howdy Rex,”  Gene said.

“Found my missing cattle and some more I didn’t know I didn’t even know about.  I’m happy.  Monte has quite a few out here, even found some of Ma Pringles.  She’ll be tickled pink.  I’ll tell her at the dance later tonight.”  Rex  rambled on.

In the distance near the cabin.  Roy Rogers waved his arms.

“Gene.  Tonto.  Lone Ranger.  Rex.  Monte!  Come over here!”

The group of men made their way over to where Roy was gesticulating madly.

Roy held up the ‘Bill Stockton’ face mask.  The men looked astonished.

“This”   he said seriously.

“And this,”   he added as he waved the grass away from an earthy mound.

“That means,”   Monte started.

“That Bill Stockton really wasn’t”   Rex continued.

“Bill Stockton,”   the Ranger finished.  “Tonto and I suspected something when we saw the ex-sheriff talk to one of the outlaws.  Tonto also saw the glint of boots in the night when Bill, Lyle and Snake met on the plateau the other night.    We’ve heard stories of  a criminal mastermind who wore silver tipped boots but could never find him.  He’s   responsible for much suffering over the west recently.    The first day we came upon  Jim  and Margaret Autry, I  saw him , but hoped it wasn’t him behind all of this.”

A stunned silence followed as the ranchers digested the new information.

“Roy.    We should dig the grave up and see who it is,”  Gene suggested.

In a few minutes the  grim task was completed.     The men brushed the dirt away, revealing a partially decomposed body.  Ivory bones poked through well worn jeans, gaping eye sockets looked straight into the souls of its discoverers,  the skeletal jaw held only by a single piece of cartilage screamed out for justice!

The Lone Ranger leaned into the shallow grave and found the corpses pocket.  He pulled out a yellowed letter and handled it carefully.  Unfolding the brittle paper, he read:

 

Dear Bill:

It has been a long time since I’ve written you.  I’m coming to visit.

Fifteen years is too long to not see my brother.  I’ll be coming  on the stage from Laramie February 10th.

 

Your loving sister.

 

 

A stunned silence charged the air.

There’s a picture attached to the letter.  Do you recognize her Gene?”  the Lone Ranger asked.

Gene took the picture from the Ranger.  He looked at it carefully.

“I think that’s Mrs. Olsen, isn’t it Rex?”   Gene replied.

Rex  took the picture, he looked carefully and handed it back to the Ranger.

“Yes, it is.  She left not long after she arrived too.  Bill must not have been he man she thought he was.  He certainly isn’t the Bill we thought he was.”  Rex said.

Roy knelt beside the grave.

“Is there an undertaker in town Gene?”   Roy asked,.

“Yes Roy there is, he doubles as the pony express master too.”  Gene answered.

“We’ll take Bill with us.  He deserves a proper burial men. “  Roy said standing up rubbing the dust off his knees.

“Amen to that,Rex answered.

By early afternoon, the animals had been counted and recounted.  Each rancher, jubilantly returned home, thankful that their cattle were found, and would soon be pastured where they belonged.

Sheriff Roy drove the buckboard back to town.    The Lone Ranger and Tonto followed close behind.  The pair talked to the accompanying ranchers.    One by one the ranchers dropped off to go home to their chores, soon they’d be in town all prettied up.

The Ranger caught up to Roy.

“You know Roy, many of the prisoners are wanted by the law in various states.  Tonto and I recognized a few of them already.  The rewards are sizable too. “

Roy looked over to the Ranger.

“Yep.  I wouldn’t doubt that.  I’ll have to telegraph Dan for a complete list of wanted men.  Odds are, we have quite a good stack of both.”

Roy turned and looked ahead.

“There’s town up ahead boys.  Let’s get poor ol’ Bill to the undertaker so we can get ready for the dance!”

The town sign neared.  It read “Kievers Creek,  founded 1841  by Glenn Kiever, population 275,  Sheriff  Roy Rogers”.   Roy looked at the sign and sighed.

“I guess Gabby  thinks the Sheriff job is mine Masked Man”  Roy said.

The Ranger nodded in agreement.

“My guess is that he’s going to be right.”

“Probably.  If I was smart that is.”  Roy responded.

The wagon stopped in front of  Pete Silvers place.  Roy walked in and talked to Pete.  Soon, he walked out with coffin in tow.    The men helped load the decaying body into the wooden box and then pressed on  to check on the prisoners.

Hoppy was waiting outside the Sheriffs office.

“What’re you doing out here Hoppy,”  Roy asked?

Hoppy grinned.

“Too noisy in there.  It seems the men think the two cells are overcrowded.  So, they’ve been yelling and hollering a little.   Howdy Lone Ranger and Tonto,”   Hoppy said.

Roy dismounted Trigger.

The men walked into the office.

“I guess we gotta feed them, at least a little,”  Roy said.

Hoppy nodded in agreement.

“At least some bread, water, and maybe some snake stew!”

Dale poked her head into the office.

“Did somebody say the prisoners need food?”

Roy smiled.  He turned to look at Dale, hauling in a tray of food, Gabby followed similarly.

“Just what the acting Sheriff ordered,”  Roy added.

The prisoners, famished by the last couple of days activities, almost lept out of  the cell.  Ace Parker spoke.

“That smells mighty good.  How’re we going to eat, since the quarters are so spacious?”

Roy answered.

“Take turns.  All we have here is five plates anyway.  Plenty of cups though for some coffee or water.  Who’s first?” he said.

Dale and Gabby put the food down on the Sheriffs desk.  They filled the plates up and took them over to the incarcerated.  They hungrily devoured  the stew.  Passing the plates back,  Dale refilled them and handed them to the next man.

Before long, the full pot was gone.  Dale was leaving to wash the dishes.

Ace Parker spoke.

“Thank you miss Dale.  Great grub.”

“You’re welcome,”  she said.

Roy looked at Dale.

“Did you lace the food with sleeping  potion again?” he asked.

“No.  Of course not Roy Rogers!  I only save that for people trying to kill the man…”

Roy looked surprised.

“Who is going to be Sheriff of Kievers Creek. “  she recovered.

“Dale,   this may be a bit sudden.  But, do you want to go the celebration with me tonight?  I’d be mighty honored if you did.”    Roy asked, his eyes twinkling.

Dale blushed.  The Lone Ranger smiled.

Hoppy went home to ready himself for the dance.  Roy  left as Frank, the other deputy showed up to relieve Hoppy.

“See you later Frank.  I’ll be at the town hall if you need me.”  Roy said as he left.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto left the office with Roy as the afternoon sun slipped past the church steeple.

“We’ll see you later Roy.”   the Ranger said as Roy went towards Dales Place to freshen up.  The Ranger and Tonto found the public baths in the hotel and washed away the dirt of many miles.

“Gonna be a good night Trigger.  Yes, it is.”  Roy said as and Trigger sauntered over to Dales.

 

 

Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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WATCH: Arthritis – Use it or Lose it!

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Click above to join Dr. Nav Rattan, a Family Physician, Sport Medicine and MSK Physician, and Jeff Kopp, Kinesiologist and Recreation Therapist in this video stream recorded from the Red Deer Public Library.

Click here to learn more about the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

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Service Dog program looking for volunteer “Puppy Raisers” and boarding homes

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Red Deer Puppy Raising Program Announcement                                                                      

Dogs with Wings (DWW) is launching a new volunteer puppy raising program in Red Deer, AB this Spring! The Red Deer puppy raising program is a satellite puppy raising program where volunteers raise, train, and foster puppies from 8 weeks old to 14 – 16 months old and prepare them to become Service Dogs when they grow up. The Red Deer program will need full time puppy raisers and boarding homes, to puppy sit when puppy raisers are away. This program will join our three other locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Grande Prairie and it’s an exciting time for us!

We have partnered with the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) in Red Deer for this special announcement. In October 2020, we placed our Facility Dog DWW Quinn at the CACAC to assist them in the important work that they do in their community.

“Having Quinn as a part of our Child & Family Advocacy program provides a huge amount of comfort not only to the children and youth coming through our doors, but to their families and our entire staff as well. We’re excited for Central Alberta to have the opportunity to be a part of a program that has such a great impact in our community – these puppies are going to make a huge difference in many lives, starting with their foster families’.” Mark Jones, CEO, CACAC

Quinn is our 5th Assistance Dog to live in Red Deer, alongside Facility Dog DWW Harley at the Red Deer City Victim Services, two Companion Dogs, and one Autism Service Dog.

Dogs with Wings relies heavily on the assistance of our volunteer puppy raisers to be able to have our dogs earn their wings and graduate with a client! Our dogs help individuals with a wide range of tasks, ranging from assisting individuals who use wheelchairs, to providing safety and support to children with Autism, to assisting children and adults with disabilities at home and in their communities, and working with organizations to assist them in their community work. We need your help to become a puppy raiser! We are looking for 5 volunteer Puppy Raisers and 3 volunteer Boarding Homes to welcome puppies into their home this spring.

Puppy Raisers are the cornerstone of our training program at Dogs with Wings At the heart of every successful assistance dog team is a puppy raiser who embraced the opportunity to raise a special puppy, teach them to feel safe in the world, and help them learn the skills necessary to have a solid foundation for their working career. We look forward to expanding this program to the Red Deer community.” – Doreen Slessor, Executive Director, Dogs with Wings.

As a Puppy Raiser, you become part of our team that works toward fulfilling our mission, which is to enrich the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with highly skilled Assistance Dogs that increase their mobility, foster independence, and further their contributions to the community. The position of Puppy Raiser is the most demanding and rewarding. By accepting the care and education of a DWW puppy, you become one of our most valuable team players. A Puppy Raiser is a 24-hour, 7 days per week volunteer position.

The role of the Puppy Raiser is to socialize a puppy to as many environments and situations as possible. The puppy must be exposed to various situations, on a regular basis, such as: offices, malls, restaurants, downtown areas, elevators, and public transportation. The ultimate goal of a Puppy Raiser is to help the puppy develop sufficient social skills to behave in such a manner that its presence will be acceptable in all circumstances. DWW provides care for your dog when you are on vacation and covers the cost of all dog food, gear and equipment, training equipment, food bowls, service dog in training jacket, and covers the cost of all veterinary expenses. All you need to do is provide a name tag, toys, a bed, and treats! To become a Puppy Raiser, all that we ask is that one adult must be home during the day (or able to bring the puppy to work with you) and that you attend weekly training classes. For more information on our criteria and expectations, please contact us!

“Dogs with Wings is excited to open a new puppy raising program in Red Deer and expand our puppy raising program. This will allow us the opportunity to raise and train more dogs to help our clients. It has been an absolute privileged to work with the clients in the Red Deer and Central Alberta community and to see our dogs make such an incredible difference in their lives.” – Veronica Fraser, Dogs with Wings Instructor & Training Manager.

If you are interested in being a Puppy Raiser, please complete and send this application form: http://dogswithwings.ca/volunteer-application/. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office at (780) 944-8011 or via e-mail at [email protected].

More information about our organization and the programs we offer can also be found on our website (https://dogswithwings.ca/helping-us/volunteering-edmonton-calgary/_ at www.dogswithwings.ca. Thank you for your interest in being a Puppy Raiser that will help a dog earn its wings and give the gift of independence to someone in your community!

About DWW: Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society’s (DWW) mission is to foster integration and independence for individuals with disabilities by providing them with highly trained Assistance Dogs and aftercare. They are a registered Non-Profit Society with a volunteer Board of Directors. Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society is an internationally accredited organization through Assistance Dogs International (ADI). Dogs with Wings specializes in the following areas: Service Dogs, Autism Service Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Companion Dogs. Service Dogs assist people with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs to enhance their quality of life and achieve greater independence. Autism Service Dogs provide greater safety and independence for children with Autism. Facility Dogs are part of a specially trained team that provides goal directed interventions, which promote improvement in physical, social, emotional, or cognitive abilities. Companion Dogs assist those who would benefit from having a well-trained service dog, but do not require public access. For more information, visit www.dogswithwings.ca

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC): The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not-for-profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth, and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity.
We work in a collaborative partnership with the Central Region Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the RCMP. Together we harness our collective courage to provide children with supported recovery. For more information on CACAC, please visit: centralalbertacac.ca

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