See, Bradshaw killed Tipton Lange’s daddy. We all knowed he done it. And he didn’ mind us knowin’. But there was no way to prove it ‘cause he was too smart to do it in front of any witnesses. He wanted Tipton’s daddy dead, and Mr. Bradshaw always seem to get what he wanted.
Daddy Lange had got a loan from Bradshaw. It was pure foolishness, but there you go. And, odd thing was, nobody knowed what the old man did with the money. Some say he gambled it away but, whatever he done, when it come time to pay Bradshaw back he didn’ have it. It was like he wanted to die.
Bradshaw warned Tipton’s daddy to pay up or else. It was a matter a pride. He threatened him right in front of Tipton. But nobody else was there. And when
Daddy Lange was found dead, shot four times in the chest, Bradshaw had a air-tight alibi. Three men, all cronies of Bradshaw, said he was with them the night of the murder. So nobody could prove he done it, even though we all knowed he did.
You’d think Tom Bradshaw woulda rather had the old man alive so’s he might get his money back. But most of us figured he must a just killed him for the fun of it. To show he could. To warn the rest of us. And I could believe that of Bradshaw. There was just somethin’ bad about him, underneath all that charm, and nobody could give a reason for it if they tried.
Well. Two days after his daddy was buried, Tipton rode up on his horse to the middle of town, in front of God and everybody. He slid down off his horse and, before Bradshaw could say a prayer, the boy pulled out a gun and shot the man dead.
Four bullets in the chest.
Everybody seen him do it. The boy was dumb about the whole thing. The only way he pulled it off is Bradshaw never figured him to do it. He thought him a coward. Maybe he was.
The Sheriff come out and put his hand on Tipton’s shoulder. Tipton already dropped the gun in the dirt. Tears were crawlin’ down his face. He looked tired.
The Sheriff moved him, gentle like. He walked behind him all the way to the jail house. Tipton never said a word. He went real quiet.
TO BE CONTINUED...
© LW Publishing 2010