Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Read the beginning of Clay More's Western "Dead In The Saddle" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

An Adventure from the Case Book of Dr. Marcus Quigley
Clay More

ISBN # 978-1-62208-352-7


Ted Brisby winced as his hand went to his jaw and he tasted the fresh blood in his mouth. He glared at Doc Quigley for a moment then leaned to the side and spat into the spittoon that the dentist had placed there in readiness just moments before he had relieved Ted of his left lower back molar.
“Ugly thing, isn’t it?” Doctor Marcus Quigley asked rhetorically, holding up the offending tooth remnant between the jaws of a pair of dental pliers. “No wonder you were in pain. This thing was rotten to its very roots. Do you want it as a keep-sake?”
“The hell I want it, Doc. The durned thing has been near killing me for two weeks. Do whatever you want with it.”
Marcus scrutinized it for a moment. It was a dark yellow, almost brown at the top from years of tobacco staining, and black in the center where the decay had eaten right down to the nerves. There was nothing of the tooth that could be salvaged, so with a shrug he dropped it in the spittoon.
A tall, dark-haired man in his mid-thirties, with a neatly trimmed mustache above a mouth that almost naturally broke into a smile, Marcus rinsed his hands in the china basin on his instrument table then carefully dried his hands on a towel. “Well Ted, that will be a dollar for the extraction.”
Ted had been probing the hole in his gum with the tip of his tongue and at the mention of money he retracted it and swallowed hard. “Darn it, Doc. There goes most of my drinking money,” he said as he heaved himself out of the chair and reached into a pocket for the fee. He handed it over with a shake of his head. “It don’t seem fair somehow, you with all of those pearly white teeth and me with barely anything left to chaw with at all.”
“Funny you should say that, Ted. Most of my patients complain of the same thing. The truth is that I take as good care as I can of my own teeth and I advise all of my patients to brush their teeth with the best tooth powder available. Indeed, for the meager sum of –”
Ted was already heading for the door. “I ain’t got enough money for them fancy things, Doc. I’ll just stick to my toothpicks and whiskey. Maybe I’ll see you later at the Arcade Saloon. Could be I’ll get a chance to win that money back.”
Marcus grinned as Ted rapidly exited. He had little doubt that his services would be called upon by Ted on a future visit to Hagsville.

He took a sip of a cup of cold coffee and stood looking through the window at the dusty street outside. He watched Ted amble along the boardwalk then stop and stare across the street. He had an idea where he would be heading.
With a grin he rang the small bell beside the basin. Almost immediately there was a knock on the door and another patient came in cradling his jaw in one hand. As usual when he came to town and set up his surgery in one of the side rooms of the rather grandly named Excelsior Hotel, he had been inundated with work. There was always work for a dentist to do.


Ted Brisby was one of the town’s loafers. That is, he was not over keen on work and did as little of it as he could. He had no regular employment, but picked up whatever sweeping, carrying or shoveling jobs he could whenever his funds were running low. He reckoned that his needs were simple enough. As long as he could pay enough for food, beer and whiskey, then he was happy to spend the rest of his life loafing around or sleeping.
His jaw ached and he stood on the boardwalk for a moment, jangling his money in his pocket as he considered whether he would be better having a pain-killing slug of whiskey straight away, or delaying it until later on when the craving for drink tended to get a good hold of him.
The sight of activity in the Arcade Saloon swayed him and he waited until a couple of riders walked their horses by him before stepping off the boardwalk into the street. He was halfway across when he glanced to his right and saw another rider coming slowly along the trail towards town.
He shaded his eyes from the sun and squinted. He grinned as he recognized the thickset figure of Jordan Parker, the Hagsville bank manager on his palomino. But he realized that something wasn’t right.

The palomino was walking real slow and the rider’s head was hanging forward, as if he was asleep. His hat seemed to be pulled down to shield his eyes from the sun.
Ted grinned. “Heh! Not surprised in this heat. Reckon old Jordan may be too tired to see to his horse. Maybe I can help him out there.”
And so saying he changed direction and ambled along the street towards the approaching banker.
He licked his dry lips in the hope that his willingness to help might be rewarded by enough to pay for that slug of whiskey that he felt so much in need of. He turned his head and spat out some more blood.
A couple of other loafers had come out of the shadows and started off towards the rider. Ted scowled and quickened his pace. He had seen him first and had no intention of being beaten by a bunch of no-account…
The horse was close now and seeing Ted and the others approach it, it stopped.
That was enough to jolt the rider. He slumped sideways and slid right off the horse to land on his back in the dust.
“Hey Mr Parker, are you hurt bad?” Ted cried, breaking into a run. ‘That was one hell of a …”
But his words died on his tongue. One glance at the unseeing eyes told him that there wasn’t a lot of conversation you could have with a dead man.

CLAY MORE is the western pen-name of Keith Souter, part doctor, medical journalist and novelist. He is a member of the Western Writers of America and is the current Vice President of Western Fictioneers.

His collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Doctor Marcus Quigley has just been published by High Noon Press in both paperback and ebook. Doctor Marcus Quigley is a dentist, gambler and occasional bounty hunter who is on a mission to find the the man who murdered his benefactress. He is also one of the authors of the Remington Colt Wells Fargo series by High Noon Press.

The Amazon Kindle link for "Dead In The Saddle" is:

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story. It paints a vivid word picture of the Old West.