Stories: Alias Smith and Jones

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 November 2011

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PostNovember 2011

A Matter of Honor

Lom reminds the governor about a certain matter of honor...

Lom Trevors sat in the ornate waiting room recalling the past few years – some of the worst years of his life. His fall from grace - being “caught” with Heyes and Curry, the humiliation of having his sheriff badge stripped from him, spending time in jail, losing his job at Porterville and the hard work of being a foreman on a ranch. And all because of the man on the other side of the double doors. Johnson may be his boss, but that didn’t mean he had to respect him.

He was startled out of his thoughts by the secretary saying, “Marshal, the governor will see you now.”

Lom Trevors stood up and removed his hat as he made his way past the secretary’s desk in an outer office to the double oak doors into the governor’s private office. “Thank you,” he said to the matronly woman seated at the desk.

Lom opened the door and stepped inside a dark wood office with a wall of books, a fireplace on the opposite side of the room, and a large desk with wing-back chairs in front of it. An older, portly gentleman with glasses and a receding hairline glanced up from his work.

“Marshal Trevors,” the governor stood up, met him half way and shook his hand, “it’s great seeing you again! Please, sit down and make yourself comfortable.” Walking over to a walnut sideboard, he poured two snifters of brandy from a crystal decanter. “You’ll join me in a drink, won’t you?”

“Of course.” Trevors took the proffered glass and had a sip. “Excellent brandy.”

“Only the best – we only live once and may as well take what we can.”

Lom bit his tongue from commenting and put the glass down on the desk. “You wanted to see me, Governor Johnson?”

“Yes, I did. I feel I owe you an… an apology and thank you for your discretion a few years back.” The governor sipped the brandy. “You know I couldn’t protect you when you were caught with those outlaws…”

“Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry,” Lom interrupted.

“Yes, Heyes and Curry. Most unfortunate that another sheriff saw you with them.” Johnson took another drink. “Of course, I couldn’t get you out of jail without divulging our ‘secret’ deal. How long were you in there?”

“A few months,” Lom replied tersely, his eyes darkening.

“Oh, not too long. And those outlaws escaped from jail without even a thought about you. Tsk…” Johnson shook his head and then took another sip of his brandy.

“Actually, Governor, they wanted me to come along. I refused. Escaping would have made me look guilty of something and I wasn’t.”

“True… true.”

“And, don’t forget, I lost my sheriff’s badge for almost two years.”

“What a shame that was! Broke my heart to lose one of my best sheriffs.” Johnson shook his head.

“Thank you for your concern,” Lom said drily, not believing a word of what the man said.

“What did you do after that?”

“A good friend believed in me and gave me a job on his ranch. I was the foreman there until I heard you were looking for me.”

“Nothing wrong with being a ranch foreman. Someone has to do it.” The governor took another sip of brandy.

Lom held his breath and counted to ten before slowly letting it out. “Was there a reason why you asked me to join you for this meeting?”

“No, just to say I appreciate your discretion and hope you enjoy your promotion as a marshal. The timing was right and I wanted to thank you. Least I could do for you.”

“Thank you, Governor Johnson.” Trevors took a drink of brandy. “If that’ll be all…”

“Yes,” the governor nodded. “If there is anything else I can do for you, Lom, you just let me know.”

Trevors, who was about to get up, sat down and made himself comfortable in the chair, again. “As a matter of fact, there is something you can do, Governor Johnson.”

“Anything, my boy!”

“I feel it’s time to honor a promise you made about six or seven years ago.”

“Promise?” Johnson looked puzzled and then rolled his eyes and muttered with more than a little contempt, “Oh that deal with those outlaws.”

“Those outlaws have held up their part of the deal. Isn’t it time you did the same? It’s a matter of honor, Governor, keeping one of your promises.”

“Yes, but you see, the timing isn’t…”

“Excuse me, Sir, but the timing was right to promote me to marshal. Besides, nowadays marshals and sheriffs have worse outlaws to capture like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or other gangs holing up in Robber’s Roost.” Trevors leaned forward as he spoke. “Heyes and Curry haven’t been heard of for years. Meanwhile they’re out there trying to survive while being wanted for $10,000 dead or alive.”

“Yes… yes, I can see what you are saying, Lom. I just don’t know…”

“Matter of honor, Sir. Of honoring one of your promises.”

Governor Johnson pondered for a few minutes. “Well, maybe if it was quiet – hushed up – not posted in the paper…”

~ * ~ * ~

An hour later, Marshal Lom Trevors walked away from his meeting with the governor with a grin, holding two pieces of paper. “Now I just have to find Heyes and the Kid to let them know!”
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