Chapter 2: On the Road
Copyright© 2015 by maypop
Loyd and Boyd sat at their kitchen table for the last time and read their Bibles and prayed for the upcoming adventure they were about to embark on.
They left in the spring of 1877 at the age of twenty-three.
Boyd sat up and placed his seat in the sitting position. Loyd had designed the seats so Boyd could adjust them so he could see out over the horses and be eye level with Loyd.
"About time you woke up, Boy," said Loyd calling Boyd what he always called him getting a look of resentment from everyone.
"Sorry I slept so long, Boss. It is already 7 a.m." replied Boyd in turn, calling Loyd what always got a look of disbelief from anyone who did not know them.
"Where are we?" Boyd asked yawning.
"Indiana still," was his answer.
"What are they doing up ahead?" Boyd asked, pointing ahead of them a hundred yards or so about three hours later.
"Maybe they don't realize the Civil War has been over for about ten years," said Loyd pointing to a man being led behind a horse by a rope.
They reached the ones in front of them and found a Sheriff and his posse of five men leading an Indian behind handcuffed on a rope.
"Sheriff, you had better have a real good reason for abusing that poor man that way!" warned Boyd as he pointed to the Indian behind the Sheriff.
"None of your business, besides, he's an Indian and he don't have any rights!" snapped the Sheriff
"You will put him on a horse or release him immediately! If you don't, you will find out just who has rights!" demanded Boyd.
The Sheriff, realizing he was put in a position to be shown up by the rest of his posse, decided to try to arrest them for obstruction of justice. He made the mistake of going for his gun, only to be looking into the barrel of not one, but two guns! Both Boyd and Loyd had drawn their guns before the Sheriff could even get his gun out of his holster.
"I don't have another horse," stammered the Sheriff.
With Loyd's gun still drawn, Boyd holstered his gun and stepped out of the buggy. He handed the Sheriff his card.
He recognized the Indian as an Iroquois. He started talking to him in his own language, totally surprising the Sheriff and the Indian. The Sheriff said nothing -- just looked at the card. All the others in the posse were silent waiting for the Sheriff to speak.
"My name is Boyd Harris. I am a lawyer. I want to help you. Do you know why they are holding you prisoner?" He asked of the Indian.
"They are accusing me of killing a friend of mine I work for," replied the Iroquois Indian.
"I will find out, and then you can ride with us in the buggy. What is your name?" Boyd asked.
"Girilal," answered the Indian.
"Son of the Mountain," answered Boyd receiving an up-raised eyebrow from the Indian.
The Indian realized he was in good hands. Only one who really knew his people knew the meaning of his name. "I will trust you to help me," he answered.
"Okay, let me talk to the Sheriff," Boyd said turning to the Sheriff.
"Sheriff, what is your name and what are you accusing this man of?" Boyd asked.
"My name is Bud Hawkins. Robert and Gilbert Sanders here caught him red-handed with his gun shooting Bobby Westclox. Then when they confronted him, he shot Matt Addams in the arm," said the Sheriff. He was unhappy that he had to take the twins word on this in the first place. He knew in his heart something stunk as bad as a dead polecat.
"Where is the gun and Matt?" Boyd asked.
"Here," answered the Sheriff pointing to a carbine hanging off his saddle horn. Continuing, he said, "They sent Matt ahead to tell me they were bringing him in. I came back and met them on the way into town with the Indian. Matt is in town at the doctors. Joe, Bryan, and Cody Brown are the others," answered the Sheriff.
"So, these men are not a posse. They are together," answered Boyd.
"Yes, they are from the Circle R Ranch," said the Sheriff.
"Okay Sheriff Hawkins, hand me the keys to the cuffs. Girilal can ride with us behind you and these men," Boyd said holding out his hand.
"Sheriff, why don't you stop beating around the bush? Arrest these men for obstructing justice," Robert Sanders said. He and Gilbert Sanders were the owners of the Circle R Ranch. They were both about six feet and pushing two hundred pounds. They were twins though they did not look at all alike.
"This man is a lawyer and he wants to represent this Indian and he has the right. We would have to get a lawyer when we get to town any way so it might as well be him," said the Sheriff handing Boyd the keys to the handcuffs.
Boyd took the handcuffs off Girilal. "Would you like some water?" He asked him.
"Yes, they would not allow me any," Girilal said.
Boyd went to the water barrel at the back of the buggy and got a tin cup. He filled it and handed it to the Indian.
While he drank, Boyd watched the men for any sign that he could use at the trial. Something was not right. Why had they not shot Girilal? They must be trying to cover up something other than a murder.
"Thank you," Girilal said.
"You are welcome. Hop into the buggy. Don't worry about Loyd -- he is harmless," Boyd said.
"Okay Sheriff, we're following you," Boyd said just before they climbed into the buggy.
As Girilal climbed into the buggy he was set aback by the plush interior. He was even more surprised when Loyd spoke in his own language, "How are you doing, Girilal?"
"Hi. I do not understand. You speak my language, too." Girilal said as he looked around him admiringly at the plush thick genuine cowhide interior.
"Girilal, meet Loyd, my adopted brother. Our parents raised us to love God and our fellowman. We went to school to learn a lot of languages. I also went to school to learn how to be the best lawyer possible. Don't worry about money; we will help you. Tell me everything you know, starting with, are you full blooded Indian, who is Bobby Westclox and what you had to do with him, while we go to town. If you speak English, use either English or your own language, whichever one makes you feel more comfortable," Boyd said pulling out a tablet to write it down.
"First of all yes I am Indian. My father was Chief of the Iroquois. Bobby Westclox had a country store on the road from Summersville to Madison for twenty years. Three years ago he asked me to help him because he was getting too old to run it all by himself. He had one hundred and sixty acres. He got them when the government was homesteading them.
Robert and Gilbert Sanders own the Circle R Ranch that backs up to the back of Bobby's property. Two years ago they ordered a survey thinking they were going to get the entire creek on their side of the property line. It turned out that the survey gave Bobby all the rights.
They started trying to buy Bobby out but he refused. Then they found out that because Bobby had no relatives, if something happened to him they could get his property from the state. They told Bobby that he could be the victim of an unfortunate accident.
That was when Bobby had a will done by Judge Jim Nixon. If something happened to him, his property would go to me. If something happened to me it would go to Judge Jim Nixon. This made Robert and Gilbert mad and they started to take shots at the store to try to scare us. We had to start carrying guns for protection.
This morning they came up to the store. I was in the barn feeding the horses, but I left the gun propped on the fence by the corral.
When I heard shots I came running out of the barn only to be confronted with their guns pointing at me. I didn't have a chance to get my gun. Bobby was already dead. His eyes were shot out, and he had a gunshot wound in his chest, near his heart. Bobby shot Matt in the arm as they shot him." Girilal stopped to wipe away tears from his eyes with his sleeve.
"Take your time ... we have plenty of time." Boyd said as he reached to the pouch and pulled out a tissue and handed it to him.
Girilal took time to wipe the tears from his eyes. Then he said, "Thank you." And continued, "I did not see it, but Bobby would not shoot unless he thought there was no other option. They sent the man Bobby shot in to tell the Sheriff and get his arm treated. They made me dig the grave and bury Bobby before we came in," Girilal said. He took a deep breath as though to say, "There, I said it." He spoke very good English.
"Your English is very good. Do they know you speak English? If so, did they say any kind of accusing things like why they didn't shoot you?" Boyd asked.
"Yes, they know I speak English. They said they were going to see me hang," Girilal said.
"Would Bobby have come out with his gun holstered or in his hand?" Boyd asked.
"He would have it in his hand. He was not a fast draw. He would not have taken the chance when he saw them come up." Girilal said.
"Then, what would bring about the shooting of Matt in the arm?" Boyd asked.
"Matt was a hot-head and a gunslinger hired by the Sander's brothers." Girilal replied.
"They have your gun. What did they do with Bobby's gun?" Boyd asked, still writing in shorthand -- another skill he had learned in school.
"Oh yes! They were bringing his gun with them. They started to talk about what they would say in court. While they were watering the horses at a spot on the road, they threw his gun into the water before we met the Sheriff. They said they were going to say he was unarmed, and I shot him in cold blood," Girilal said.
"We will retrieve that for the trial. I am going to have the body dug up and have it checked. The direction the bullet entered the body and what size the shell was makes a difference. The questions I have are, what kind of gun did Bobby have and what kind of gun did you have?" Boyd asked.
"He had a pistol, and I had a rifle," answered Girilal, starting to smile and feel more and more comfortable.
"No, what caliber was yours and what was his?" Boyd repeated the question.
"Oh, I had a carbine and he had a forty-five. I don't see what difference that makes?" Girilal asked with a look of amusement. He was truly impressed with the way Boyd was so into each detail.
"The slugs will be different, and will make different holes in the victims." Boyd explained.
"Oh, I see what you mean." Girilal replied, with a smile. He was beginning to realize just how good his chance of proving his innocence was becoming.
"Did you fire your gun at anyone?" Boyd asked.
"No, I did not have a chance," Girilal answered.
"When did you clean your gun last?" Boyd asked.
"Last night," Girilal answered.
"Okay Girilal, I have enough information to know that you will be found not guilty and will rightfully be given the store. When we get to town I am going to the Judge and get you delivered into our custody," Boyd said putting down the tablet.
"I have never seen a buggy like this one. The seat makes me want to curl up and go to sleep. Where did you get it?" Girilal asked, looking around admiringly.
Loyd smiled. He was getting a chance to explain his favorite invention, "I made it at our daddy's business. I knew we were going to do a lot of traveling so I made it as comfortable as I could."
"I have never seen wood like this. Where did you get it?" Girilal asked, reaching out his hand to rub side to side on the smooth wood of the front rail.
"I had it cut only from the heart of mahogany, imported from Brazil, so there would be no knots that make wood weak," explained Loyd.
"It is so red and beautiful!" Girilal said.
"Thank you." Loyd said, with a sound of pride in his voice.
When they reached the outskirts of town Boyd ask, "Where is the Judge's office?"
"He is in an office beside the Wells Fargo office," Girilal said, pointing toward to the Wells Fargo office a hundred yards or so down the street.
"Is he a fair man with his judgments?" Boyd asked.
"He is. He has always treated me with respect. Bobby got him to do the will, and spoke favorably about him, too." Girilal answered.
They pulled up at the Wells Fargo office. A sign on the wall by the door said "Judge Jim Nixon." As if he and Loyd mentally spoke, Boyd got out and walked in to see the Judge.
Loyd said to Girilal, "Boyd will take care of it."
"What is the matter now? The jail is down the street! I don't have time to mess around!" Sheriff Watkins snapped as he had turned back to the buggy.
"I don't know what I am going to do with that boy. He insisted I stop here and let him go into the Wells Fargo office," Loyd said in such a convincing tone that even Girilal was taken back.
"I don't have time to mess around. My job is to take this Indian to jail!" The Sheriff snapped again. He swung off his horse to take Girilal out of the buggy.
"Sheriff, you are just going to have to wait. That brother of mine said to sit here and wait for him. If that sheriff wants to take this poor man, make him come in and talk to me in the Judge Jim's office first. So Sheriff, you know your options. You can go through me and try to take Girilal or wait."
The sheriff had started to reach in and get Girilal, but after one look at Loyd's demeanor, he decided to wait. A few more minutes wouldn't change things one way or the other.
Boyd went into the office. The front deck was empty. He went into the other office and saw a little man about five feet five and chunky sitting at a desk reading his Bible. He stopped in front of his desk and waited patiently until Jim looked up and said, "May I help you?"
Boyd knew how to get on someone's good side when given the chance.
He handed him his card and said. "Your Honor, I can come back if I am disturbing your Bible reading."
Jim took a moment to look over the card and then said, "Oh no young man, that is what my job is -- to help my fellowman!" How may I help you?"
Boyd explained all that Girilal had told him, "I am not sure I trust him in the jail and would like to pay his bail and keep him in my custody. My brother and I feel that we can take care of him until the trial. We can take care of ourselves. We would like to take him back out to the crime scene and go over what happened to prepare for the trial. I would like to take the doctor and dig up the body of Bobby Westclox. When I looked at the gun, the Sheriff said was Girilal's, I noticed it was a carbine and the men accusing him had colts. The bullets would be noticeably different. Also, I want to talk to the doctor about the bullet he took out of Matt. They also said Girilal shot him; and, Bobby Westclox had a colt which they threw into the water along the way. We plan to retrieve that as evidence, too. They want to charge Girilal with pre-meditated murder."
"Young man, I don't know when I have heard anyone speak with more knowledge of the gathering of evidence than you just portrayed. No need for bail. I will go out with you and personally tell the Sheriff and the Sanders' twins. How much time do you need before the trial?"
"This is Tuesday. First of all, what time is church tomorrow night? As for the trial, if the doctor will go out to the store tomorrow, we can have the trial Thursday," Boyd said.
"7:00 pm, we will go down together and talk to the doctor," Judge Nixon said.
They walked out together and found the Sheriff talking to Matt who had his arm bandaged up.
"Sheriff Hawkins, I am going to put Girilal in the custody of Boyd and Loyd until the trial on Thursday at nine o'clock -- any questions, Sheriff?" Judge Nixon asked.
"No, your Honor," the Sheriff said.
The Judge was too well known in the whole state. The Sheriff headed toward his office where the Sanders's men were waiting.
"Let's go next door and see Doctor Webb," Judge Nixon said, turning toward the doctor's office.