1861/07/18 The Sheriff is Near
Scene The Sheriff is Near
Characters Slade Finn
Place Marshal's Office, Grimwood
Date 18th June 1861, Afternoon

Early afternoon in Grimwood is often siesta-time for many. The blazing heat of the Colorado sun beats down on the town causing a heat haze along the streets and slowly bleaching the wood of the buildings. In the slightly cooler shade of the Marshal's office, Marshal Dallas is definitely having a siesta. He leans back in his wooden chair, his feet up on the battered desk, his hat tipped low over his face. Leaning against the desk, within easy reach of the slumbering lawman is a shotgun. The man snores gently, occasionally twitching his whiskers
Aside from the snores the only other sounds in the room are from a buzzing fly as it knocks repeatedly against one of the barred window panes. The large cell taking up a whole third of the building is unoccupied, and the door hangs half-open.

It is not a long walk from the train station, Finn leads his mare, his worldly goods strapped to her saddle or slung over his shoulder. His broad brimmed hat tipped forward to better shade the man's sharp eyes. He ties the mare in front of the marshal's office and makes his way in.
Finn spies the dozing lawman, and raps on the wooden frame of the door, "Is this a good time?" He calls in, his accent having a hint of Irish, to it.

Startled, Marshal Dallas sits up suddenly causing his hat to fall off. "Mmmffphm?" he says, blearily as he wakes up, then coughs, his hand already laid upon the stock of the shotgun. He blinks his eyes a few times, peering at the figure silhouetted in the doorway. "Don't you know it ain't safe to wake an armed man, son?" he drawls, gruffly, swinging his legs off the desk. "Whaddya want?"

Finn steps inside, "I heard tha" he says stepping inside, a rifle sheath slung over his right shoulder, "I am Fionn Burke" he offers, "I heard tell Grimwood might have need o a lawman" he says, "but I cin see heard wrong."

Marshal Dallas stands, then stoops for his hat, muttering. "Slade Dallas" he says, placing the hat atop his head. "US Marshal hereabouts" He finally puts down the shotgun, laying it on the desk still well in reach. "An' you mebbe heard right. I mostly deal with runaway bastards heading West outta trouble, don't wanna get tangled in the local law but I ain't got a choice right now, we've no Sheriff, see" Slade looks Finn up and down. "Reckon' you're fit for the job?"

Finn looks about the office, "Aye, Marshal, I think I might be your man." he says, "been a deputy a time or town, I was the whole o tha law for Central R and T's track gang…I speak passin good Navajo."

"Don't get any ideas about this here place" says Dallas, noting Finn's interest in the office, "The Sheriff's hut is down the other end of town" He opens a drawer in his desk and removes from it two battered tin cups and of unlabeled bottle half-filled with a yellowish liquid. He pours a measure into each cup and slides one over in Finn's direction. "Do you read?" he asks, picking up his cup. "How's yer ridin', yer trackin'..? I see a mighty nice rifle on your back there, can you shoot it?"

Finn takes the cup, "Worked as an advanced scout fir Central last two years, my partner was a half breed injun, been hunting since I could lift a rifle, I track, I ride." he sets the rifle on the desk, "My hunting rifles a Sharps fifty cal, this here is a brand new Henry rifle…ever seen a Henry Marshal?" he asks, "they say ya load it on Sunday, an fire it all week long." he nods to the weapon should the Marshal wish to have a look.

Slade nods, grudgingly, "I have a couple Spencers, meself" he jerks a thumb to the locked gunrack. "Maybe we'll go shootin' someday" he plonks himself heavily into the chair behind the desk, and after a swig from the tin cup rummages around the papers strewn upon it. He picks up a pencil and scribbles down some notes on a piece of paper. "Fionn Burke.." he mutters, "I will be sending a wire out to the company to check on you, so if'n you're lyin' to me best speak up now" he pauses writing and looks up into Finn's face.

"Right hand ta god Marshal, you'll never hear a lie pass me lips." Finn says earnestly, "an I'll have words with any man accusin me o bearin false witness." he glances to the gun rack, "Hear tell the Elk are a beastie worth tha hunt, maybe we can bring in some fresh meat?" he says at the going shooting.

The Marshal just nods with a grunt, then continues writing. He then reaches back into the open drawer and takes out a rather more pristine piece of paper than the low-quality stuff on his desk. He slides it over. "Sign at the bottom, there" he says. "The office is functional, and there's a private room above you can use. Redecorate at your own expense. The hours are terrible and the pay is worse" he grins. "And if you arrest someone make sure to check my warrants from out of town, if someone appears on it they belong to me"

Finn looks over the paper, then scribbles his name on the line, "Will do…and if ya find yerself in need o some back up." he says before tossing back the drink, "I am yer man Marshal." he slides the paper back, "does a tin star go with the job…or will me winnin smile need ta be enough?"

Again, Slade rummages in the same desk drawer and does indeed produce the Sheriff's badge of office. He flicks it forward with his thumb, then extends a hand for the shaking. "Welcome to Grimwood, Sheriff" he says, without a hint of sarcasm. "Go get yourself acquainted with the town, I'll mosey on over to your office later and fill you in on recent happenings, and who our local bastards are"

Finn catches the star, then shakes the extended hand, "Thank you Marshal" he says, a firm shake, and the newly minted law man lifts the rifle, "There a livery in town?" he asks, "and I am sure tha bastards will make themselves no soon enough…it's there way."

Dallas nods, "Just follow Main Street along, you'll smell the stable 'fore you see it. Your office is at the far end so's you can watch 'em coming into town by road, and I can watch 'em coming in by rail. Now if we're done.." Slade settles back into his chair, once more putting his feet upon the desk.

Finn tips his hat, and let's himself out. Enough said.

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