(OOC -- This is a Personal Thread involving Sheriff Matthew Taylor
and now-Deputy Evan Williams
, just after Evan gets his badge. It is being written separately to allow us to take the time to complete it without keeping the main IC Thread
from moving onward to the next day.)
Taylor watched Evan's reaction to receiving the badge with a bit of personal conflict. Evan had wanted this for ... well, for as long as Taylor had known him. The romance of being a Law Man, depicted in the Penny Novels, was powerful. But then, so were the guns that the young man would be facing down in the future.
And that future ... was now.
"Load that thing,"
Taylor said, nodding his head toward the shotgun in Evan's hands. He'd been avoiding taking on a particular task for several days because while it was
in fact something he should have done as Crossroad's Sheriff, he'd been putting it off because Jonathan McGuire had pushed him to do it. "We have somewhere to go, and ... well, if you're gonna be a Law Man, this is as good a way to start as any."
As they made their way down the street to the Stables, Taylor explained the problem. He was pretty sure that Evan knew of Yuli Gwinn, the old hermit who lived near the southern edge of the McGuire ranch, but he was certain his new Deputy didn't know how Gwinn made his living: slaughtering other men's cattle. The old Swede, who'd been pressured into selling his claim to McGuire back before Taylor had arrived in the community, had been rustling, killing, slaughtering, and selling the cattle baron's stock to an assortment of people over the years, from wagon train settlers to Indian renegades to other locals fed up with McGuire's antics.
But the man was smart; he never got on the McGuire ranch or got caught with branded hides ... until finally this month.
"I don't want him harmed,"
Taylor explained as they saddled up, "And I certainly don't want him killed. But ... and Evan, please keep this in mind ... while I don't think the man would ever lift a gun against us ... well ... he'd becoming more desperate ... and a bit crazy. If you feel you're life is in danger..."
He didn't finish the sentence. He never liked to tell another man how or when to use potentially lethal force. But at the same time, he was throwing an 18 year old boy
with a badge at a nutty old codger that Taylor wasn't even sure would understand the significance of shooting at the Law.
"You up for this ... Deputy?"
Taylor asked before he mounted his horse.