Synopsis: The unfortunate one, after the one who got away from Sheriff Roy Coffee.
Word Count: 860
Roy Coffee sat with his legs crossed, his arms folded over his chest, and his eyes narrowed and focused straight ahead. This one wouldn’t get away.
He shifted his weight slightly and crossed his legs the other way. Raising his head he looked at his prisoner from over the tip of his nose. He thought back to his morning rounds before he’d caught up with this violator of the law. In the streets of Virginia City, the idle chatter and gossip of the town folk had worked its way to his ears.
“That Roy Coffee must be getting old. Some prisoner caught him off guard just last week.”
“Did ya hear about that feller? Gave ol’ Sheriff Coffee the slip!”
He laughed triumphantly to himself. A sly smile slid onto his face. He couldn’t wait to hear the talk in the morning. This one wasn’t going anywhere.
“Roy, please?” The voice from behind the bars brought the Sheriff out of his thoughts. “You know I’m good for the bail. It’s right here in my pocket!”
“No siree… I don’t think so. We’re gonna wait here ‘till someone responsible comes ta fetch you!”
The prisoner rolled his eyes and crossed his own arms over his chest. With an annoyed huff, he sat on the small cot, shooting his own glare at his captor.
“Hey, Roy…” His prisoner tipped his hat further back on his head, letting a stray curl fall down his forehead. “What do you say to a game of checkers, eh?”
Roy smiled. “Why that sounds like a good idea…” The Sheriff stopped for a moment, his mind working out the suggestion. “Oh, no… No, you get that notion out of your head! Think you’re gonna pull the wool over my eyes of you? Ha! Not this time! That’s how the last one escaped on me!”
“Roy, come on!” He roared, jumping up from his cot, throwing his arms in the air. “I’m not going anywhere!”
“Sure you’re not. ‘Cause I’m not gonna let you!”
The prisoner mumbled something incoherent, but with a definite edge of annoyance. He refolded his arms and sat back on his perch. He rolled his eyes again with a heaving sigh before continuing to shoot daggers in the Sheriff’s direction.
Just then the door opened and Adam Cartwright walked through. “He extended his hand to the Sheriff with a smile. “You, eh… Wanted to see me, Roy?”
“There you are!” The lawman returned the greeting. “We’ve been waiting for you, haven’t we?”
“I don’t see why you couldn’t have just let me out earlier…” complained the prisoner.
“Because it’s procedure…. Now that Adam’s here, I’ll get you out right quick — as soon as he pays your bail. Didn’t wanna take any chances on you escaping on me.”
“Escaping!” The captive Cartwright yelled. “Of all the –“
“Ah, how much do we owe you, Sheriff?” Adam interrupted to the tirade.
“Well, ah… Five dollars oughta do it.”
“Five dollars!” Both Adam and Roy turned away from the protests inside the cell.
“Til we get the bill from the Silver Dollar, that is,” Roy added over the noise. “Don’t know how much that’s gonna be. But I suspect this one’s gonna have to pay that one himself.”
Adam dug into his pocket, producing his wallet. He took his time extracting the said amount and handing it to Roy, enjoying the sight of his family member squirming.
“Thank you for comin’ ta fetch him, Adam.” Roy picked up his keys and the gun belt from his desk and casually walked over to the cell. With a small flick of his wrist, the door swung open. “Here you, young Scalawag.” He handed the gun belt over with a smirk.
The scowl on the owner’s face deepened as he snatched his belt. He threw it around his hips and rammed the buckle through the hole.
“Well come on, ‘Scalawag’.” Adam motioned for his wayward relative to walk out with a grand arm gesture. “Thanks, Roy.” Adam tipped his hat and walked out himself.
Ben Cartwright stood on the steps to the jail. A breath of fresh air helping to smooth his scowling features. He looked into the faces of each of his boys. “Strange,” he thought briefly. If he didn’t know his boys so well, he’d of thought they were amused by his predicament. He quirked an eyebrow. “Maybe it’s because I do know them so well.” He stepped down off the walkway and over to his horse, gathering the reins.
“Pa, haven’t you been told to behave yourself when you’re in town?” Joe shook his head in mock disbelief.
“Yeah,” Hoss chimed in. “We can’t take you anywhere, can we?”
Ben narrowed his eyes at his chuckling sons before mounting his trusty steed. At least Buck wasn’t laughing about this!
“Someone responsible, he says.” Ben muttered. How embarrassing to have his boys fetch him from the jailhouse. It was just a little misunderstanding.
“Boys.” Ben spoke. “NO ONE votes for Roy Coffee next election, do I make myself clear? NO ONE!