Thursday, October 29, 2015

Read the 1st Chapter of Clay More's "Guilty As Sinned" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

“Just squeeze the arms of that chair as hard as you can. I assure you; it will only hurt for a moment.”
She looked up at him, her eyes showing no trace of fear. If anything there seemed to be a glint of amusement in them. And then she quite deliberately winked at him.
That wink flummoxed him for a moment. It made him think of another pair of hazel eyes, just as beautiful as these, regarding him over the rim of a teacup. There had been the same look of amusement, and almost exactly the same wink.
He forced the image from his mind as he took a firm grip on her lower jaw and inserted his ebony handled toothkey into her mouth. He maneuvered the hook around the loose tooth and, momentarily releasing her jaw, he swung the swivel device so that he had a firm grip upon it. Then he took hold of her jaw again and smiled reassuringly.
“I am going to count to three, Angelica, then I’ll pull. Are you ready?”
She winked again.
He then suddenly rotated the instrument, back and forth in three swift movements then pulled. Long experience had taught him that if you performed the maneuver swiftly, a moment before the patient was expecting it, then the extraction went well with the minimum of pain.
And although he tended to use forceps in most cases, there were still occasions such as this when the good old dental toothkey was still a useful instrument.
“Wow! You cheated on me a bit, didn’t you, Doctor Quigley! Let me have one last look at that tooth, if you don’t mind.”
Marcus Quigley held up the toothkey with the pearly white tooth still ensnared in the hook and swivel plate. “It was a healthy tooth, I am afraid,” he explained with a sorrowful shake of his head. “But it had to come out. Whoever gave you that punch in the face knocked it so loose that there was no way I could save it.”
Angelica Queen turned and as delicately as she could, spat blood into the spittoon at the side of the dental chair.
“Sorry, Doc, that isn’t very lady-like,” she said, gingerly feeling her jaw. Then she smiled. “But not many people have ever thought of me as much of a lady.”
Marcus smiled at the woman’s brashness. He had met her a couple of times before when he had last visited Sage Fork on one of his regular stop-overs every two or three months. Hank Greville the barber would rent out his back room, complete with a barber’s chair so that he could set up a temporary dental surgery.

Angelica was one of the town’s prettier doves. She was cheerful and brash and but for some better luck in life, Marcus could have imagined her as an actress or artist’s model, rather than a calico queen in some of the less salubrious establishments in town.
He had first seen her at the Four Aces Saloon when she had offered to sit and drink with him to bring him luck before he drew up a chair to play poker. So they sat and drank and then he played and won. That was the extent of their relationship. It was purely a business transaction. He bought her a drink and she brought him luck. It had also worked on the second occasion, on his second trip to town.
Marcus dropped the tooth into a zinc basin and then washed the toothkey before wiping it clean and placing it on the side table with his other instruments. “I hope that you got the law onto whoever did that to you, Angelica? By the size of the bruise, I’d say that was a man’s fist.”
She gave a hollow laugh. “The law? The law has no use for girls like me, Doc. But don’t you worry, because I am going to get even with the cur that did this to me. I am going to hurt him more than he would believe possible.”
“You know who did it, then?”
“What sort of a girl do you take me for, Doc? Of course I know, and soon everyone around here will know about him. And I don’t just mean about what he did to me. It will destroy him!”
Marcus stroked his neatly clipped mustache with the back of his forefinger. “Revenge can be a powerful emotion that can eat into you, Angelica. Be careful.”
And as he said it his mind flashed up the image of those beautiful hazel eyes that had winked at him all those years before. The recollection brought with it that familiar stab of guilt, for he had failed to protect her. He had not been there when he should have been and she had been the one who had suffered.
Once again he forced the thought from his mind.
“So that will be a dollar for the extraction, Angelica.”
She sat back and pouted at him. “A whole dollar, Doc.” She winked at him again and swayed her legs back and forth so that her dress rustled. “Couldn’t we come to some arrangement?”
Marcus sighed. He liked Angelica, but until he had settled a score for a death that weighed heavily on his mind, he was determined not to allow anyone to get close to him.
“It is just a dollar, Angelica.”
With good humor she stood up and opened the strings on her purse.

“You can’t blame a girl for trying, Doc. Maybe I can bring you luck at the Four Aces sometime soon.” Then her expression went serious. “But you mark my words, the worthless cur who slapped me around is going to have a serious change of fortune. Their luck will have run out by tomorrow. I am going to take everything that they hold dear. I am going to destroy all of their precious plans.”
Marcus held the door open for her and watched as she walked coquettishly past all of the men waiting for Hank Greville to cut their hair or give them a shave. All of them were drawn to the provocative sway of her hips as she walked.
He wondered if whoever had hit her realized that a dove’s retribution was soon about to change their life.

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.

He has also written a collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Doctor Marcus Quigley 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.

Check out Clay's blog MORE ON THE RANGE