Two new titles are available on Amazon. The first is the fourth of the State of Arizona series, STATE OF CONFUSION. It takes Tan and a new Governor to new heights of trouble at the southern border along with trouble in the capital between the new Governor and everyone else, particularly Tan.

The second book is the second of the DEACON series, DEACON UNDERGROUND. The Deacon is caught up in three or four problems that all wrap around Gold. He has to go underground to get to the bottom of it all.

See posts and link here soon.

Archives: writing

I REALLY WANT . . .

I have been reviewing my site now for over two hours. It looks cool and has a hint of what I’m all about as an author. It’s not just a time filler for an old, retired geezer, it exciting. I haven’t had this much fun since I woke up and found water flowing down the passageway where water wasn’t supposed to be on the submarine I was serving on at the time. That will get your heart thumping and exercised.

Bottom line after two hours. Needs some work. BUT, Nanowrimo is at hand.

So, I will write for Nano and then when I run out of words I will do what I can to make the site an awesome experience for my readers.

Why?

Because it’s all about our relationship.

Currently working on four books. The Nano book is DEACON 3. Two of the books are good, kick butt westerns in the style of BLOOD ON THE ZUNI and VENGEANCE. The third is a sequel to SAILOR, with a working title of THE SEA CALLS. All should be up to my self stomping standards.

Love and hugs till next time.

doug

AND THE GREEN GRASS GROWS ALL AROUND. Or, so it would seem.

I am still amazed at the sales of some books on Amazon. Talking with the authors doesn’t help a whole lot. One told me a friend had plugged his book on his daily blog and bingo! 500 copies sold in the nest twelve hours. Then there was a friend of mine that advertised on his facebook with daily posts just under his name, about where he was and when he expected to hit the streets with the book. Number 156 on Amazon for three days and still in the top 1000 after 6 weeks.

The best way to advertise is just advertise everywhere you can. If you’re in a genre that is popular like dude ranch half naked cowboy romances you really have a problem cuz there’s a bazillion of them out there. Yours has to be better than the better ones. If there is little competition, like occult, exotic, romance, westerns; you just might have a better chance. I am seriously thinking of creating my own genre, Dragon riding two headed cowboys in the 15th century Acturesus galaxy where two headed cowboys ride dragons to maintain herds of dofterus, a flying, meaty delicacy for the Zodangos of Fauxtix. But, some smarty pants would start an argument with me that this has already been done and it was a waste.

Maybe?

Go write, create your own advertising everywhere you can.

Be blessed with lots of words, doug.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING

Santa Claus, clause, claws is coming to town. He is watching. No dumb elf on the shelf is going to fink on me. I burned the little sucker years ago. Beside all that, there was no elf on a shelf when I was a kid, just my dad’s belt around his waist and his pants wouldn’t fall down when he whipped it out, either.

I have been lax at this blog. I am so ashamed. There has been much going on what with having to reset my computer, which meant I lost all my passwords. Then the website guru decided he needed more time with his family, which meant I got the privilege of playing with website and blog changes. (Did save me a bit of money, tho.) Then there was a couple of trips to see the grandkids, which meant they took priority. Then there was the splinter under my brain. 

Won Nano again for the fifth year, maybe fourth. I don’t remember that far back or up close. Got the fourth in my series on STATE OF ARIZONA, a modern alternative history series, up to 50,000 words, which means there’s only 20,000 or so to go.

On the sales side, the County Fair proved to be profitable and well received. Then there was a Christmas Gift Boutique a month later that help the coffers. A Lion’s Club Christmas gift sale was a bust, although I did make a couple bucks if you don’t count the gas to get there and back. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. We did a book festival which took lots of travel and a place to stay for two nights along with the cost of meals. We made a nickle or two there. I’ll do it again. 70+ authors allowed me to learn a lot on sales. Fella next to me, had three books in a series and almost sold out.

Well, the refer needs defrosting, the solar system is acting up, my books are way behind, my travel mileage is way behind, and my dogs want out so, gotta run.

Blessings, and may Santa Claws bring you mud and ice,

Now get to writing, Doug.

Horse Manure

PERILAUDIOCOVER

State of Peril

Have you ever sat before your writing station and said, “What am I doing here?” That’s where I am today.

I’d really rather be fishing or sailing. But, there isn’t much sailing in Arizona. Went fishing three times already this year and still have fish in the freezer.

Here I am 73 years old and healthy, writing westerns when I don’t own a horse any more, talking of wild adventure, and bored to tears on many days. All of this outlines the symptoms. I need the woods. So, next Sunday after Church I will head north and west, actually west first and then north, to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon area to a little town called Jacob Lake. There is will park my butt in a campsite and spend three or four days hiking the Arizona Trail. When that 30 miles or so is completed I will have all my mental files in the right box, my body sufficiently tired to slow me down, and the Arizona Trail complete from US 60 at Superior all the way north to Utah (500+ miles). Then there is the challenge of the 280 miles remaining in the south of Arizona where trailheads are far and few between, water is scarce, and the heat will kill ya. Oh, well, it’s all an adventure.

But, for today, I will write on my #2 DEACON book, wait for my wife to finish here approval perusal of DEATH BY BASEBALL (can’t publish without her approval), and contemplate my naval (as a sailor that’s an easy thing to do).

Be Blessed and go write, quit reading this trash.

Doug

THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH FUN

THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH FUN

As I said previously, the files for DEATH BY BASEBALL got switcharooed somehow and I went back to the rough draft stage. Well, I am sick of this book.

Do you ever get that way, sick of the book you put many hours and days into? I do. I get sick of every single book I write. Long about in the middle of the book I think it’s trash and it’s time to trash the whole thing. Right after I write the closing scene and step back, I say how trite it is. Time to junk it. The thing sits in my computer’s memory for at least a month before I can look at it again. By that time, I get to reading and sit back in awe at the manuscript I produced. It surely is not a Hemingway, but then I don’t like Hemingway – except for OLD MAN AND THE SEA.

Now my Beta readers are putting their hearts into the manuscript again. I am on my fourth read in two weeks. The story is dumb. The cover sucks. The ending is too obvious. The middle is boring.

So, yesterday I got down one of my favorite books full of short stories. I have just read this book a dozen times and once was three weeks ago. Guess what? The stories were dumb. The cover sucks. The endings are to obvious. The middle of these short stories are boring.

Back to DEATH BY BASEBALL.

Go write.

Doug

frogs

frogs

Ain’t no frogs out today.

Snow’s too deep.

 

Wonder is a road less traveled

only if you have 4 wheel drive

 

There’s nothing like a nasty day

for increasing the creativity,

and boredom, da, dum, dum.

 

May the sun always shine on your parade.

Sales and Service

Lately I have been digging to find ways to market my books and a couple of friends books also. We have all been stymied by the hundreds of options, cost, methodologies, and just plain questions about what each site will do for us.

I listen to a lot of blogs on the subject. Amy Porterfield has a great blog about on-line marketing. While it is focused on selling seminars, much of the info is also very helpful to the writing. She has a freebee with every blog session. Some are very simple and others are pages thick for all aspects of on-line marketing. Great seminars.

BookMarketingTools.com has much to offer.

My personal favorite on how to put the words together in all my communications concerning sales in NIKKI ELLEDGE BROWN – The Communication Stylist. Free videos, lotsa print outs, and some great on-line seminars..

All in all, I have a lot of work to do in the coming months. I have a feeling my investment is going to be lot of time and a bit of money.

Be blessed and write.

FREE – Just as a postscript, if you want to get my weekly newsletter, email me at writingsailor@gmail.com. Not only will you get the newsletter which will follow my efforts in depth, but I have a story to send you absolutely FREE. I will never sell or share your info.

writingsailor@gmail.com

Looking for a voice

After you have published your book, the next step is Audio. ACX.com is the place to go. It isn’t the easiest site to navigate, but that’s the place to get your books recorded and place them in Audible’s vast library.

The procedure is simple once you navigate through the site.

The biggest problem is finding a voice to do your recording if you do not want do record it yourself. It is possible to record your own voice and use that for the final product and I would recommend that route if you have a good voice, can do different voices for your characters, and have 50 or so hours to do the job. Some special equipment is also recommended and may even be required depending on what you already have.

You can contract a voice for your book on ACX. There are two possible contracts. The first is you pay by the length of the book. This can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the frills and the reputation of the voice. The second way is to split the revenue from audio book sales. It’s a straight 50/50 split on the Audible sales. Unless you are a good selling author with a great volume of ebook and/or paperback sales there are not too many who will join you in the effort.

The nice thing is you approve every chapter before final print. You will audition the voice. Both of these are part of the process.

One word of caution here, if you use ACX and Audible you tie up your book for digital audio format for 7 years with Audible.

A voice I will recommend without reservation is Charles (Charlie) Baker at www.cbvoice7.blogspot.com. To contact him directly at cbvoice7@gmail.com. He has done two of my books and I am extremely happy with the result.

Free Book – The DEACON – Episode 8 – Tell me what ya think

“I wanted you to come back anyhow, but not this way. Did ya have to bring your friends?”

“They got a bit pushy. Who’s that you got there with you?”

“Wounded man. Still breathing, but that’s about it.”

Tor leaned into his rifle butt and squeezed off a round that took a horse out from under one of the riders. Daniel’s following shot sent the rider tumbling. The last rider pulled up behind a large fir tree filled with moss. Dan couldn’t see him. He put five rounds through the tree about man high.

Tor did the same thing as Daniel reloaded.

While Daniel was reloading, he could hear the wounded man trying to say something. He leaned down to listen. He whispered desperately, “They took her.”

“Who?”

“They took her, my daughter, they took her.”

“Where?”

“North . . . uuhhh . . . west.”

“What’s her name?”

He tried to sit up. Daniel held him down. “Calm down, we’ll help ya.”

“They took her.”

“What’s her name and why?”

Daniel could see that the man was getting weaker and weaker with every breath.
“What’s her name?”

“Diane. Just like her . . .  mother . . . Diane.”

“Where would they take her?”

“The ranch. Get her back. They’ll …. kill …” He tried to sit up.

Daniel eased him back down, “Who are they?”

He breathed a shallow breath. Blood oozed from the hole in his chest. Daniel could see him gather himself for one more answer. “Lazy E brand. My . . .Rafter B. . . save it for her.” He paused with a gasp that Daniel thought was his death rattle. “Kill . . . Bur…”

This time he did die. It was over for him.

Tor stopped firing as a horse ran out from behind the tree they had fired at. “Let’s go see what’s what over there.” He looked at the dead man. “He still alive?”

“No. Just died. We got a problem.”


11

“I don’t have a problem, yet. All we gotta do is make sure those three over there are dead or gone and then do some buryin’.”

“Tor, this man says they took his daughter and he has a ranch they are trying to take from her.”

Nothing had moved for a while. Tor stood up so he could see the ground just over the creek bank. Nothing. “Let’s ride.”

‘It is over,’ Daniel thought, ‘I killed at least one more man. God forgive me.’ He started shaking.

Tor walked his horse through the stream and up the bank into the campsite before looking back, “You comin’ or you gonna stand there and feel sorry for yourself. We defended ourselves from them killers and now we gotta take care the leavin’s.”

Daniel walked through the stream and started toward the fir tree he had filled full of holes. He was half way there when he remembered Solomon. The horse was off a couple hundred yards to the east grazing on the sparse grass alongside the creek. “Solomon, you’d do me a favor if you came here.” He whistled.

The horse lifted his head, looking straight at Daniel. He bowed his head for another bite and Daniel thought he was in for a long walk to get the horse. Instead, Solomon picked up his head and started trotting toward him with his head off to one side to keep from stepping on the reins. Daniel waited and when the horse got close, Daniel grabbed the saddle horn and climbed aboard wondering what else this horse could do.

At the fir tree, Tor was examining the bleeding man on the ground. “Bout time you got here. Check them other two. This one’s still alive. If them two are dead, check the horses for brands and clean out the saddlebags for letters and stuff that might tell us about these men. Did that other horse run far?”

Daniel looked around. “Nah, he’s over at the tree line munching on the grass.”

“Check him out. We could use a pack horse or two.”

Daniel checked the first man. Dead. The second was still alive, but just barely. He had a round through his middle just above his belt line and another in a lung which was bubbling pink blood.

He hunkered down next to the man, “Fella, you are dying. Are you right with your Creator?”

“You . . some kinda . . . idjot . . or what?”

“I’m a preacher.”

“You . . shot me.”

“You tried to kill me. What did you expect? Would it make a difference if I said I’m sorry.”

The man spit in his face. “Damn you.” He fell back and breathed one last breath as one last bubble popped on his chest.

“I think you are the one that is damned. I just need God’s guidance in a better way to deal with men like you.” Daniel was talking out loud as Tor eased up behind him.

“My man’s dead.” He heard what Dan said and added, “What other way is there to handle men that are coming at you shooting and trying to kill you and send you to heaven?”

“I don’t rightly know. Me and God will have a couple of long discussions about this.”

“Daniel, why do you think God gave you the gift of being able to hit a fly in the eye at fifty paces with a six gun and take out a running rabbit at a hundred?”

“So I can eat.”

“You really mean that don’t you. You’re not just talkin’?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you ever think that maybe God wants a Christian man to stand up for the weak and take care of the feeble, the orphans, the women, and such?”

“Well, yeah. Been thinking and praying on that, but God ain’t done no answerin’ yet.”

Tor swept his arm around the whole scene before them and said, “You really believe this isn’t God speaking. What’s it gonna take? You waiting for Him to boom out of the clouds with words loud and clear?”

“That would be nice and definite, wouldn’t it?”

“Yeah, but I don’t think He works that way. He’s a bit more subtle. He sends three killers after you while you’re helping an old man die. He tells you there’s a weak woman off someplace in trouble, a woman that can lose her ranch. We don’t even know if there’s kids involved. Matter of fact, we don’t know that the woman is a woman and not a snotty nosed kid still.”

“Let’s bury these four bodies and get on up the trail of the rest of the killers.”

“Sounds like a good idea. We done took care of a bunch of killers and put a dent in the forces of evil what took the gal. Come to think on that, did you think you were fighting evil here just as much as you would be in the tent or the opry hall or wherever? Too bad we don’t have Miss Evelyn here to make for a nice send off for these three hoodlums and specially the old man over there.”

“Shut up,” Daniel smiled. “Let’s get the burying done. You dig and I’ll say the words over their graves.”

“You help dig and I’ll listen to the words. How’s that?”

“What we gonna dig with? This dirt’s hard as a rock and filled with rocks.”

“Let me look around.” He rode off toward the trees.

Daniel caught up the only horse standing. He had to finish one that was wounded too bad to save. He found a bit of jerky and some pinon nuts in one set of bags and nothing else but a few rounds of ammo and a clean shirt. Tor claimed the shirt and they split the ammo.

The sun was low on the horizon as they set the last two rocks on the grave. “I really wish we could have given the old man his own grave and not had to bury him with his killers.”

“Get out of it. There was just this one big knocked down tree I could find. They all fit in the root hole and there was a mess of rocks up close. They are dead. You told me yourself as we laid them to rest, these are just casing for their souls. God will pick them up later.”

“I guess you could say it thataway, but I still don’t like it.”

“Daniel, when you get to likin’ killin’ and buryin’, it’s time for you to hang up your gun and spend the rest of your days praying.” Tor pointed toward their horses. “Let’s mount up and git. By the way, I like what that gunsmith did with the grips on your gun. That engraved cross in blood red says a lot about the man carrying the gun.”

“It gives me a good grip, but I think it’s a bit dramatic.”

“Not for the showman for the Lord that you are.”

“I ain’t nothin’ but a servant in the Lord’s house.”

“Well now, let me do some figurin’ here. The Lord’s house is the Church, right?”

“Well, yeah, you could call it that.”

“And the servants of the Church are called Deacons, right.”

“Yeah. They were set up to help the weak widows and orphans.”

“So that makes you a Deacon, don’t it.”

“I guess you could say that. All I want is to be a servant of the Lord.”

“Okay, Deacon, you got yourself a name.”

“What? You’re gonna change my name?”

“Yup. God did that with Abram and Saul when they started working for Him. Why not you? I like the ring to the name, Deacon.”

“I ain’t too sure, Tor. I ain’t really cut out to be helpin’ widows and orphans and such.”

“Which piece is missing?”

The Deacon didn’t have an answer.

After tying two saddles to the saddle on the one standing horse, and making sure the guns were tied on tight, they rode into the trees with rifle butts on their thighs, leading their new packhorse. The tracks led them not more than a hundred yards into the trees before turning left and following the terrain through the trees until they cut to the right and uphill along a cut with a small trickle of water flowing and up over a pass a ways past the spring that fed the trickle.

Once over the pass, Tor called a halt for the night. “Gonna be too dark to see the track right soon and I’m getting’ a mite hungry.”

“I’m beyond hungry.”

The DEACON – Episode 6 – Constructive suggestions wanted.

NOTE: This is right off the keyboard. typos, misspellings, and other bugaboos free just like the story. BUT, I am looking for your impressions, ideas, plot suggestions, and just plain thinking. THANK YOU for staying with me this long.

“He has killed over twenty that we know of. All have been clouded with lies good enough that we have never been able to hang him. This town is better off without him, you can bet on that.”

“I don’t bet on people’s lives.”

“Yes you do. Every time you preach you are betting that some of the folks listening will take to your message and become Christians just like you. Some you win and some you lose.”

“I win nothing. God wins it all.”

“Fine. I won’t argue the religious stuff with you.”

Daniel walked to the caravan door and went inside, emerging a few minutes later with rough clothes on and tucking a small sack of coins in his pocket. “I am going to the mountains to pray and think this through.”

He ducked under the caravan and returned with his Bible.

“Evelyn, the caravan and all that is left in it are yours. I will find you one day a couple weeks or so from now, and we will discuss the future. Deputy, where can if find a good horse at a fair price?”

Evelyn grabbed his arm, “All this is good for nothing without you.”

“There’s enough in the safe to keep you for as long as I will be gone. I’m sure you are well taken care of. If I were you, I’d find a nice boarding house for ladies and stay there. Join up with that Pastor’s church and sing in the choir. I will be back.”

The deputy said, “Come on, I’ll get you set up.” Something caught in his throat, “You know, the first time I had to kill a man, I was riding shotgun on a gold shipment. It hit me much the same as you for altogether difference reasons. I went fishing for two months to think it through. That robber got what he had coming just as this man on the ground here got what was long overdue. Would you mind if I tagged along with you for a week or so? I need a bit of a vacation myownself/”

Dan walked to Evelyn and threw his arms around her. “Thanks. You’ve been a good mother to me even if you ain’t my ma. I’ll be back. Don’t sell the caravan, yet.”

He turned to the deputy, “Where’s the fishin’ real good around here?”


First post – http://wp.me/p5dVRw-1L

9

A couple hours later the two of them were riding toward the mining country around Golden and the big fish along Clear Creek. Daniel was not used to a saddle and demanded a break at midday. “I need to get off this nag and walk on my own two feet for a spell, Tor. Besides all that, I am hungry.”

“If ya wanna get down we can for a spell, but if you’re hungry, you’re gonna have to shoot something.”

“What? You didn’t pack some food?”

“Not a bite. There’s a great spot to rest up about half a mile from here. See what you can shoot with that Winchester under your left leg on the way there. You take the lead.” He pulled his horse off the trail and let Daniel pass.

“Dan, that rifle is yours. Came with the rig. All you are sitting on is the outfit of Bixby. Livery man said Bixby owed him about $14 and he’d take what the man owed for the rig. I figured $14 was a good price for a horse, saddle, rifle, and whatever’s in them saddlebags. Ya might wanna air out that bedroll before it gets dark. Check for bed bugs and lice and such.”

Daniel jumped off the horse. “I can’t take the belongings of a man I killed. It wouldn’t be right, Tor. Not right at all.”

“You didn’t mind the deal when I found it for you. It’s just that it used to belong to Bixby. Is that the drift?”

“Yeah.” Daniel sat on a rock beside the trail. “I can’t do this.”

“Okay. So if you had walked into the livery on your own and the owner offered you this rig without you knowing where it come from, you would of turned it down. Is that right?”

“Well, no.”

“Then what’s the problem. I didn’t twist the man’s arm. I didn’t ask. He didn’t name Bixby until after the deal was done. All he told me was a man owed him and died. I grabbed it cuz it was a great deal. Danged rifle gun alone is worth the money. Take it or walk. I’ll buy it off ya. Matter of fact you still owe me the $14, you ain’t paid me back yet.”

“So it’s your horse and rig?”

Daniel climbed back in the saddle and said, “I’ll ride your horse and riggin’. Ya wanna sell it?”

“Yes I do. $300 for the lot.”

“What!”

“Well, you didn’t like the deal I got for you, now it’s my turn to turn a profit.”

“That ain’t a profit, that’s robbery, highway robbery and a swindle to match. Look at this gun. The bluing is rubbed off all along this side. The butt has a crack and it’s held together with wire. This horse is ugly. The saddle is so worn I can feel the horses backbone under the blanket that you can see through. I’ll give ya $20 for the lot.”

“You think I’d see $300 worth of rig and horse for $20? You must be counting on divine intervention or something.”

“Well, I could try asking the Lord to knock you off that horse your one and give you a Saul moment? But, He don’t work that way. $25.”

“Sold. I don’t wanna be know what at Saul moment is.”

Forty yards down the trail a young elk jump from the bushes. The rifle came up. Tor yelled, “No, you danged fool. We can’t eat that much.” He pulled his pistol and took the head off a large cottontail rabbit not twenty feet the other side of the trail. “That will do. Lunch time, Dan, lunch time.”

He walked his horse over and reached down a long way to pick up the rabbit before he took off in a trot to the great spot he was talking about. Dan followed thinking, ‘Don’t much care for rabbit. The Right Reverend, my pa, fed me that every time the count was down.’

As the rabbit roasted, Dan filled Tor’s request for an explanation of a Saul moment.

“Dang, knocked him to the ground. Made him blind. Yelled at him. And, then he used him to start new churches all over the world? Ooooweeeee. That’d be some moment in my life.”

“Sure was for Saul. God even changed his name to Paul and then Paul lost his head to the Romans in the end.”

“God ain’t too much on protecting folks from the government, is He?”

“I don’t think I want to touch that comment, my friend.” Dan dug in his pocket, “Here’s the $30 I owe ya for the rig.”

“About time. I was beginning to figure the interest on the loan of that fine animal and his riggin’.” Tor got up and walked to his bedroll, stuck his hand in the middle, and came out with a shiny Colt .44 in a worn holster. “Here this goes with it. Bixby’s short gun. It’s a good gun. Tried it myownself. Them grips are real mother-of-pearl, comes from some sea critter, and the .44 is an easy gun to find ammo for in these parts.” He tossed it to Dan.

The rig hit the dirt after Dan backed up and refused to catch it. “You lettin’ that gun lay in the dirt ain’t good for it. Get it on. They’s some wild and woolly boys up in these mountains and we may just have an Indian or two try to steal that nag of yours.”

He paused for a moment and saw that Dan was not going to move. He yelled, “Put it on or I won’t ride with you. This country is dangerous. The critters are dangerous, grizzly and lion, and the danged people are dangerous, male and female. Put. It. On.”

Daniel put it on.

“That was the funniest way of putting on a rig I ever did see. Thumb and forefinger of each and was all you used and it took you forever. Some morning when the world falls apart around us, you will need to get that one in a flash and get off all the shots you can in the poof.”

“Look, Tor. I am not used to a pistol. Never handled one and never owned one. This is Bixby’s, or was Bixby’s. I’m still getting used to sitting on his horse, let alone strapping on his gun rig. Look at that holster, it’s got a tie down. Only folks us them are gunslicks.”

“So cut it off.” Tor tossed his knife in front of Dan’s feet.

Daniel cut it off and tossed the leather string on the hot coals. “Show me how to use it if you’re gonna make me wear it.”

“You’ll get your first lesson tonight. Let’s move. I don’t wanna camp here, too public.”

Five hours later Daniel was standing with his legs spread shoulder wide, his arms dangling at his side, and the six gun on his hip loaded again after tearing the thing completely apart and putting all back together under Tor’s guidance. “You stand like you were watching a nice looking horse walk down the main drag.”

Dan shuffled a bit.

“That’s good. Now make a fist and open your right hand a few times.”

Daniel did.

“Now grab the gun butt, pull, ease the hammer back – whatever you do don’t let it slip – until it clicks the second time, and then pull the trigger while your pointing the gun at that whitish rock over there. The one on the bank of the hill.”

Daniel did. The whitish rock came apart. “Like that?”

Tor stood in his position with his mouth open. That whitish rock was a good 10 yards away or more. First shot and it was a dead rock.

“Do it again. This time get off two shots. Remember, you have to pull the hammer back for each shot.”

Dan put the gun back in the holster. “What you want me to aim at this time?”

“How’s about that branch stickin’ up on that dead tree?” He pointed.

Daniel brought the gun out with no apparent speed, two shots sounded like two shots from two guns one on top of the other like one was just a mite slower than the other. Two branches on the dead tree lying 15 yards or so away disintegrated in puffs of saw dust and bark.

“Reload,” was all Tor could say.

Daniel ejected three cases and inserted three fresh rounds from his belt. “How come?”

“Always reload as soon as you can after firing. You will never know when you might need all five shots.”

Daniel asked, “Why on five rounds? There’s six holes here. In a battle wouldn’t six be better?”

“How many times have your fired a pistol of any kind?”

“Just the three shots today.”

“Then how can you shoot so well. You hit the target and are moderately fast in gettin’ yourself in the fight. You amaze me.”

Daniel looked at him, “Ain’t that what a man’s supposed to do?” He flipped the loading gate shut and spun the cylinder. “Six shots loaded.”

Tor walked over to him and stuck his hand out, “Let me have your .44.”

Daniel lifted it out of the holster and handed it to Tor. “Here ya are. What’s the problem?”

“Watch.”

Tor walked over to the stream bed and grabbed a fist sized rock that was fairly flat on one side. He held the pistol with his hand wrapped around the grip. The hammer was down and his finger was not on the trigger. He smacked the rock into the hammer with the barrel pointed across the stream.

The gun went off sending a slug to ricochet off the water and into the hillside.

“That’s why.”

© 2017 Doug Ball – Author