By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 60

Coyote and the North Star ~ “And it’s no, nay, never, no more.  Will I play the wild rover?  No never, not ever, nay never, no more.” ~ Irish Folk Tune ~ St. Patrick’s Day

“No, I won’t give you a cigarette.  I love you, because you’re my brother, but I won’t supply you with something you no longer have a right to.  You’re gonna’ be a slave before much longer and cigarettes ain’t in no master’s budget for his slave’s needs.  You won’t have no needs ‘cept’n what yore’ master determines you need.  Besides, you know I done give ‘em up several years ago.  I ain’t got one to give you, no how.” said Douglas Puma Tin Penny to his older brother Coyote John.

“Sad to say, he’s right, brother.” added Brody Eagle Tin Penny. “Better you get over the habit here in jail than go crazy as a slave and have your master do something bad to you.  I never took up smoking, so I don’t have none to give you, neither.”

John Tin Penny knew better than to challenge his younger brothers.  They were lawmen, both worked for Sheriff Lassiter and had for quite a while.  They were happy and comfortable with their jobs and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize them.

“Look, brother, you’re lucky we even come visit you.  You’re dead to the rest of our family.  Our old man won’t let your name be spoken no more in his hogan.  You’ve embarrassed yore’ boy.  He’s ashamed of you and don’t want nothing to do with you.  That shouldn’t come as no shock to you, but we know you don’t care what he thinks.  You turned your back on him a long time ago.  ‘At’s a real pity, too, he’s turned out to be a treasure; a man among men.  He’s loving, responsible, hard working and a credit to our tribe.  Our old man is sure he will become a great leader of our people one day.  Brody and me, we agree with him.  I’d give my gotdamn life for that boy.  It’s hard to believe that kid sprang from yore' sorry loins.  Furthermore, you’re damn lucky that cowboy you stabbed didn’t die.  If'n it hadn't a' been for some major players in our Grange, you’d be up on murder-one charges.  We’ll be there for your trial, but we won’t stand up for you as character witnesses.  Our old man told us we’d be as dead to him and our family as you are, if’n we do.”

“You men heard any rumors.  You got any idea what’s gonna’ happen to me?” John asked almost contritely.

“Naw, yore’ guess is as good as ours.  You’ll probably be sent to a Cheney work camp and that’s where you’ll likely stay until you die.  Sorry, but them’s the facts of life, brother.  H’it ain’t easy on us, but we come to see you because we wanna’ spend some time with our brother before you go.  Once you’re gone, we won’t never see you again in this life.  We brung you some cookies and cake our wives made up for you.  Share them with your cell mate if you wish.”

“Him?” John Tin Penny said with certain disgust motioning to his cell mate, Monty Dundee, a young, twenty year old kid who was in jail because he loved a rich and powerful rancher’s daughter and was accused of raping her.  He didn’t.  The kid was innocent.  The girl refused to testify against him.  She was the same age as him and a willing participant, but her daddy was a rich, powerful rancher and a rabid fundamentalist.  He threatened her with her life if she didn’t cooperate with him to put the boy away.  She adamantely refused, but the Christianist D.A. felt there was enough circumstantial evidence to convict the boy anyway.  Monty was probably due to be sent to a Cheney camp, too.

“He don’t git nothing.” Coyote John told his two brothers, “I say what he gits and what he don’t.  He’s ma’ bitch.  He does what the hell I tell him.  I never thought I’d come to enjoy fuck’n a man, but I gotta’ say his ass is a lot hotter’n my hand.  After I trained him to suck my dick the way I likes it, he’s better’n most a’ them old two-bit whores I used to have to pay ta’ git ma’ dick sucked.  They used to gag and complain about how big I was.  They wouldn’t take me all the way.  I got him trained real good.  All I gotta’ do is snap my fingers, and he hits his knees.  Takes me all the way to ma’ balls without gagging.  I kin fuck his face or his ass as hard as I want, but he won’t never complain.  He knows better.  He knows I’ll kick his ass if he does.  He licks ma' balls and sucks my ass like like a heifer cleaning her new born calf.  You want him to suck you off?  I’ll have him lick yore’ ass clean for a cigarette.  All I gotta’ do it tell him.” John assured them.

Doug and Brody shook their heads in disgust.  “Naw, brother, you know we don’t do that kind a’ shit.  We didn’t come here to have your cell mate suck us off or lick our butts.  What kind of monster have you become?  You mean to tell us you forced yourself on a straight kid, ‘cause you’s bigger and stronger than him?” Brody asked with contempt in his voice.

“Hey!  I’s jes’ warm’n him up for what’s coming, bro.  He’s gotta’ learn how to do it when he’s a slave.” John defended himself.  “I’s jes’ break’n him in for his master.  You know a good-looking young man like him is gonna’ be some bull-master’s favorite.”

“And like ever’ thing else in life, you think you’re exempt.  Time for a reality check, bro.  You better start showing that kid some compassion, Coyote.  Whatever gods there be in the universe, I can guaran-damn-tee-ya’ they don’t take kindly to men like you what are all the time taking advantage of others and don’t give nothing back in return.  C’mer, kid!”  Doug called to the young boy.  “Here, take this cake and them cookies.  Eat ‘em while we’re here so’s our brother don’t bully ‘em from you.  My brother’s got more for him.”

“Thank you, Sir.  Much obliged.” The boy took the two packages and returned to his bunk to eat.

“You’re more’n welcome, Son.  Sorry about our brother.  We ain’t assholes like him.” Doug turned back to John and spoke, “My advice to you, bro, is you better start suck’n the kid in return and throwing your legs in the air for him.  You gonna’ be travel’n down the same road as him in a very short period of time.  Then, you’re gonna’ be forced to do it, jes’ like you done forced him.”

“Naw, I ain’t.  I’d rather die than suck a man’s dick or git fucked in the butt.” Coyote John stated flatly.  Doug and Brody looked at him for a moment in stunned silence.  They couldn’t believe the state of denial in which their brother was allowing himself to wallow.  They looked at each other and broke up laughing.

“You will if you wanna’ survive, but if that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll git, brother.  They don’t have to kill you to git chu’ to do what they want.  Masters have ways of breaking you jes’ like they break a pony to a saddle.  They’ll have you on yore’ knees begging to make love to their dirty old boots, so’s you can clean the horse and cow shit off ‘em with yore’ tongue, and make you beg to suck their dick or fuck yore’ ass.  I hate to say it— no I don’t— I’d give my last nickel to see yore’ cocksure attitude taken down to the level of reality where the rest of us live.  You know h’it really ain’t so bad down here once you git used to it.  Only then, when they’ve broken you into a whimpering mass of flesh, will they start to rebuild you into the salve they want and need you to be.  Once that happens, once you're broken, you won’t give ‘em no more problems.  You’ll be a nice, peaceful, obedient slave, ready to serve their needs at the snap of a finger.” Brody told his older brother.
“Naw!  Won’t never happen to me, little brother!” bragged Coyote John with a insolent smile and a toss of his head.

“That’s what they all say, brother.” Doug said with a grin. “Good luck with that.  Lemme’ know how it works out for ya.  On the other hand, don’t bother, I know how it’s gonna’ work out.  They’ll give you a time period to be broken; three, maybe six month.  If’n you ain’t broke by that time they’ll just git a pair of calf clippers, tie them two balls a' yore'n up real tight so's they's no blood to speak of, and relieve you a’ them low hang'n baby makers you’s so proud of." he added, then spoke to Monty, “Tell you what, Son, we’ll talk with the sheriff and see if we can get chu’ put into another cell.” Doug said to the kid.

“Thanks, Sir, but I’m all right in this cell.  I know what to expect here.  It might be worse somewheres else.” Monty allowed.

“We can put you in a cell by yourself, Son.” Brody encouraged him.

“Please, Sir, I don’t wanna’ be alone.  I’m all right.  Mr. Tin Penny don’t hurt me none.  Once I learned what he wants and how to please him, h’it ain’t so bad.”

“You sure?  You ain’t jes’ say’n that ‘cause you’s afraid of him, are you?” pressed Doug.

“Naw, Sir, I’m sure, Deputy Tin Penny.  I was once, but I ain’t no more.  John don’t scare me none.” he replied.  “Thanks for the treats, Sir, I really appreciate them.”

“You’re welcome, Son.  We’ll bring more next time.”

The deputies left and walked out of the station to Doug’s truck.

“Why’d ju’ tell him he was going to a Cheney camp, brother?” Brody asked his older brother.

“‘Cause dad don’t want him know’n what’s really gonna’ happen to him.  ‘Sides, after what he done to that kid he deserves to worry some, don’t chu' think?” Doug asked.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right, but I thought it was all a done deal.” said Brody.

“It is s’far as I know.  I heard the sheriff talking with the new judge just the other day, and he confirmed it.  Coyote John’s done been bought and paid for.  His trial what’s coming up is only window dressing.  The Grange and Ramrod Long paid the right people and greased the wheels of power.  I understand he’s going to Angus Goodnight’s ranch as a cowboy slave, and you know who Mr. Goodnight’s new ramrod is?” Doug stated as a rhetorical fact.

“Yeah, Jimmy Joe Russell, the older brother of the cowboy our brother damn near stabbed to death.” Brody slapped his knee and the two deputies fell out laughing together.  “Coyote ain’t gonna’ suck no dick or git fucked up his butt, my ass!” he added.  The two big Indian men slapped each other on the back and laughed harder.

“You jes’ know that old cowboy’s gonna’ open up our smart mouthed older brother’s ass so wide we’ll be able to drive this gotdamn truck through it without worrying we’re gonna’ hit the sides.” Douglas was laughing so hard he almost hit another truck.

“Easy, brother, you’s gonna’ get us killed.” laughed Brody.

“J’ever seen the dick on that old cowpoke?” Doug asked his little brother.

“Naw, don’t recollect ever have’n the occasion.” laughed Brody.

“They don’t call him ‘hoss’ for nothing, little Brother.” Doug hit the steering wheel with the flat of his hand and laughed some more. “He won’t stop shoving that big thing down our brother’s throat ‘til he either hits bottom or an inch pops out Coyote’s butthole.”

“Stop, brother!” Brody was laughing so hard. “Why are we laughing at our poor brother’s fate?”

“Why not?  Look at the pain and suffering he’s caused our family.  Look what he done to our nephew.  John always was the greatest hope of our dad.  Dad let him git by with shit he’d never let you and me git away with.  It took me years to figure out dad done us a favor by reining us in and making us toe the mark.  I’m glad he done it.  We could a’ ended up like John.  I jes’ always thought he loved Coyote John more’n us.  T’weren’t that a’ tall.  John was his first, and he spoiled him rotten.  He didn’t make the same mistake with you and me.  The old man wised up after the Coyote.  He loved us enough to make damn sure we didn’t grow up like him.  I’ll always be grateful to our old man for that.”

“Y'ain’t never told me that before.” Brody complained.

“T’weren’t no need ‘til now.  I know sometimes you got the idea our old man didn’t love you as much as John.” accused Doug.

“Yeah, you’re right, but after what you jis' done told me, I don’t’ think that way no more.  Thanks, brother.” Brody said sincerely. “Jes’ wish there was some'um we could do for the kid.”

“It’s already been taken care of, bubba.” Doug smiled knowingly at his little brother. “I thought you knew?”

“Naw, I ain’t heard nothing.”

“The old judge knows what went on.  The kid’s innocent.  They were both consenting adults, but what Monty don’t know is he knocked up Charlie Ruggles’ daughter.  She’s carrying his baby but refuses to have an abortion.  It ain’t because of her daddy and momma’s religion neither.  She loves the boy and wants his baby.  Ain’t nothing Ruggles and his wife can do about it, because of the strict new laws and their beliefs about abortion.  So Ruggles figures he’ll muscle the boy away with his power and money where them kids can’t git to one another, and that’s exactly what’s gonna’ happen; only, not for the reasons Ruggles thinks.  If the kid was to walk free, he’d be a dead man in forty-eight hours.  Ruggles is that powerful.  He don't believe in aborting a baby, but he'd have a man what done some'um he don't like killed in a heartbeat.  Talk about a hypocrite.  Old Judge Potter ain’t no fool.  He’s been keep’n the boy in jail to protect him.”

“What’s gonna’ happen to the poor kid?” Brody pressed.

“Monty’s done been bought and paid for, too.  The Grange and Ramrod Long took care of it months ago.  He goes for his hearing right before our brother.  Anderson will sentence him from five to ten years indenturement to pay off that Christianist bastard Ruggles to keep the boy out of harm’s way.  Most probably he’ll serve five years as a slave and be on probation another five years if he keeps his nose clean.”

“Holy crap!” exclaimed Brody shaking his head like he didn’t agree with it.

“Yeah, you got that right, brother.  It’s holy crap all right.  Them fuck’n bible thump'n fools think they can git away with anything as long as they got the money to back up their crazy shit and Ruggles has got plenty of it.” Doug agreed.  Then added, “Monty’s going to the new Potter/Goodnight ranch under Angus’ little brother, Shane.  That won’t be such a bad life for him.” said Doug. 

“I hear'd me some good things about that ranch.  At least he won’t be going to one of them horrible Cheney death camps.” Brody said.

“The Potter/Goodnight ranch has the reputation of being a plum place for a slave.  Shane Goodnight and his ramrod treat their slaves like human beings.  H’it ain’t no country club; a man’s gotta’ work, and he’s still a slave expected to do whatever a slave must.  They’s still gonna’ be expected to suck dick and git butt fucked, but they ain’t mistreated; they eat good, and they’re well taken care of.  You git a bunch of slaves together from different ranches, and you can always spot a Potter/Goodnight slave.  He’ll be the healthiest, cleanest, best dressed, finest looking, well turned out slave among ‘em.  I hear tell they won’t let a slave off their ranch less'n he passes inspection from his masters.  Them men take pride in their ranch, and it shows.  They’s been rumors several freemen what’s been down on their luck and need a place to stay for a while to keep from being picked up as vagrants or homeless and thrown into a Cheney camp are working for them as temporary slaves.  They ain’t treated no different from the real slaves.  They have to accept life as a slave with all it implies, and they ain’t above no slave jes’ ‘cause they’s a freeman.  They’re expected to submit to their masters and perform the same work and rituals as the slaves.  Hell, they get three meals a day decent food, and they get a warm, dry, clean place to live.  You can bet them fancy boots you be wear’n if’n it came down to it, you’d see me two-step’n my red-man cowboy butt up the road to the Potter ranch.  I’d suck them men’s dick, bend over, spread my ass cheeks with both hands, tell ‘em to take all they wanted, and whistle like a pig for ‘um while they’s do’n it.  I’d work my Apache butt off for them men if they promised me three squares a day and a warm, dry bed to sleep in.” Doug told his little brother.

“Brother!?” Brody exclaimed, then laughed.  This was a new revelation his older brother never shared with him before.  

“What?” Doug pushed back, “H’it shore’ as hell ain’t hurt our nephew none.  I don't hold ma'self no better'n him.  He’s loved and appreciated.  He works his butt off for Ramrod Long and Master Charlie, but it’s ‘cause he wants to and not because he’s afeard for his life.  H'it ain’t something I’d like to do, but I’m jes’ saying if’n it came down to it, I wouldn’t be too damn proud or high and mighty I couldn’t adjust my sights to survive.  Our brother is gonna’ be facing the same situation only he ain’t got no choice in the matter.  As far as I’m concerned, that makes it all the more sweet.” grinned Douglas to his brother.  Brody agreed with him and they shared another laugh at their older brother’s expense.

* * * * * * *

John Tin Penny set down slowly on the bunk next to his cell mate.

“Why’d ju’ tell ma’ brothers you didn’t want another cell, kid?” John asked Monty.

“I told ‘em the truth.  I don’t wanna’ be alone.  I been alone all my damn life.  My granddaddy let me live on his property, but he ain’t never give a shit about me.  He wouldn’t even let me live in his house.  I had to live in a lean-to shack on the back of his old barn since I’s five years old.  He ain’t come to see me since I been in jail.”

“We ain’t never talked much.  Why you in here, boy?”

“I done fell in love with the wrong woman.  I fell in love with Shanna Ruggles.”

“Charlie Ruggles daughter?” asked John.  Monty nodded.  John let out a low whistle.  “Tough man.” he shook his head.

“Yes, Sir.  I thought me and Shanna was gonna’ spend our lives with one another, but I guess that ain’t gonna’ happen now.” he lamented.

“So, you ain’t afraid of me no more?” John grinned at him.

“Naw, Sir.  To be honest, I lied to your brothers.  I weren’t never afraid of you.”

“Not even when I bark at you, or I’m rough with you.”

“You ain’t so rough, and I’m used to you barking at me.  You’s like a toothless old hound dog.” Monty grinned at him, then added, “Yore’ bark is a hell of lot worse than yore’ bite, but I been in this cell with you for damn near six months.  I done figured out what it takes to please you, and the rest of the time you leave me alone.”

“You all right with it?” John asked like he was surprised.

“I weren’t at first, but after a while, I learned to like pleasing you.  It was something to do to pass the time.  Besides, being with you was better’n being alone.  If I didn’t wanna’ do it I could’ve told the deputies what you been doing, and they would’ve moved me to another cell like yore’ brother’s offered.  Since neither of us got long to go, I’d rather stay here with you than being alone or having to worry about somebody new.  At least I know how to please you.” Monty sounded sincere.  Coyote John couldn’t help but openly laugh at the young man’s brazen honesty.  He had to know more.

“Yeah, I guess you do at that.  You got pert-damn good at please’n me.  Why weren’t you never afraid of me, and what’s this shit about me being a toothless old hound dog?” Coyote John demanded.

“You never could a' forced me to do what I done for you, John.  I done it ‘cause I wanted to.” Monty said quietly.

“Don’t make me laugh, boy.  After I beat you to a pulp, you would a’ done any damn thing I wanted.  You's jes’ smart enough to cooperate.”

“Mr. Tin Penny, mean'n no disrespect, but you never would a’ laid a hand on me if’n I didn’t want you to.  I gave in because I didn’t wanna’ hurt chu' none.” Monty said in a nonconfrontational tone.

“What the hell are you talking about, kid?  I's half again the size you is.  I could whup yore’ ass with one hand tied behind me and still make you service me.” John insisted.

“I let you think that, Mr. Tin Penny, but it ain’t the truth.  I could’ve defended myself, and you never would’ve touched me.”

“Not only are you a coward, you’re a bald faced liar, boy!” Coyote John stood and turned on the young man like a rabid dog.

Coyote John and Monty Dundee were the only men in the jail at the time.  They were way back in a separate holding cell for prisoners awaiting trial.  It was a much larger cell than the usual two men cell.  It measured twenty feet deep by thirty feet wide, but only contained a couple of bunk beds.  It was part of the old jail before they built the newer sheriff station.  It was kept and intended as an overflow community cell from the newer jail, but since the new laws made almost every man who got into trouble a slave, there wasn’t much overflow.  The cell they were in was well away from the main jail and was hardly ever used anymore.  Once the guards shut them down for the evening, John and Monty were very much alone.  Once in a great while, a guard would poke his head in to check on them after midnight, but not very often.  That’s how Coyote John got away with forcing himself on his young cell mate for six months.  John drew back and hit Monty with the back of his open hand and sent him flying across the huge cell.  Blood formed at the corners of Monty’s mouth; he just looked up at Coyote, slowly smiled, and wiped it away on his shirt sleeve.  Monty's smile sort of rattled John Tin Penny.  It wasn't the response he expected.  Then, his cell mate stood up.  It was more like Monty unfolded from a boy into an imposing presence of a stalwart young man.

“If you’re so damn good, lemme’ see what you got, boy!” John lunged for the kid, but Monty swiftly moved out of the way.  John missed him altogether.

“This ain't right, Coyote.  Don’t make me do this, Mr. Tin Penny.  Let’s just fergit about it and go on the way we was.  I shouldn't a' said nothing, sir.  I don’t wanna’ hurt you none, John.”

“The hell you say!  Calling me a toothless old hound dog.  Us Indian men ain’t like you cowardly white boys.  We got our honor to uphold.  C’mon, my little white trash, skull-pussy, slut-butt fuck toy, show me what chu’ got!” taunted Coyote John.

John turned to step into a big haymaker.  He swung, but the kid ducked, and faster than John could recover his balance Monty whirled on one foot, brought his other foot up in a loose but graceful pirouette like it was the most natural thing he ever did in his life and squarely landed the heel of his size ten cowboy boot right in the back of Coyote John’s head further propelling him forward and slamming his forehead against the concrete cell.  He was out like a light and sank to the floor in a heap.  Monty went to him, gathered him in his arms and started gently slapping his face to bring him around.  The boy’s eyes started watering and a couple of his tears dropped onto Coyote’s John’s face.  

“Mr. Tin Penny?  Coyote!  I’m sorry, sir.  I told ju' I didn’t wanna’ hurt chu’ none.  Please forgive me, John.” he spoke softly.

Coyote John came to and saw Monty holding him, sheding tears and asking his forgiveness.  He went nuts, jumped up and moved away.

“You sorry little bastard!  You's jes' lucky that time.  I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch, cut chore' balls off and eat 'um for supper.” John hollered at him.

“I don't think so, Mr. Tin Penny, I grow'd quite attached to ma' balls, but for yore' sake, sir, please, don’t make me hurt you no more.  If you attack me, John, I will defend myself.” Monty pleaded.

Coyote John didn’t wait to think.  He had a splitting headache from his contact with the wall, but once again went for Monty.  This time he tried to fake him out, and instead of taking a swing he brought up his right boot to kick the boy in his groin.  Monty caught his boot with both hands on its upward swing, and with seemingly little effort, twisted it sharply.  It caused John to lose his center of gravity, and he did a complete flip in midair.  He landed on his chest knocking the air out of him.  He make a big ‘ooofff’ sound as air rushed from his lungs, and he lay flopping like a fish out of water trying to get his breath.  Monty had his knee in his back in an instant, grabbed a handful of John’s hair, used it to raise his head and rapped it against the concrete floor.  It make a big smacking sound.  Coyote John was down for the count a second time.  

John awoke again in Monty’s arms with more of the young man’s tears falling onto his face.  He was a bit slower to respond, but set up, shook the cobwebs from his mind, and turned to look at the kid like he was perplexed.  Coyote John’s biggest problems were, he had a hard head and he was a slow learner.  He decided to have one more go at the kid, jumped up and took another swing.  Monty  took the punch in both hands, fell backward, brought both boots to John’s middle and propelled him over his head.  Once more John hit the concrete wall, dropped to the floor with the weight of his body on his head and was out.  John was out for a good while.  When he came to, Monty wasn’t holding him.  He was sitting in his bunk with his head in his hand.  He didn’t try to say anything to John.  Coyote John picked himself up and every bone in his body ached.  He started for Monty again.  The boy stood to defend himself, but John waved him off.

“‘At’s it!  ‘At’s enough!  I’ve had it, kid.  You win.  You licked me fair and square.  I ain’t never been beat in a fistfight before.  Where the hell did ju’ learn shit like that?” John asked sincerely.

“When you’s a kid alone in the world you learn to survive, Mr. Tin Penny.  We had Taiwanese neighbors when I lived on my grandpap’s farm.  I became good friends with their kids.  I learned their language.  They were like brothers and sisters to me.  Their granddad taught us ritual exercises called Tai Chi Chuan.  I got very good at it.”

“Is that the funny look’n dance you do a couple a’ times a day.”

“It ain’t no dance, Mr. Tin Penny.  It’s Tai Chi.  It’s a martial arts exercise.  Anyway, when their dad taught them martial arts based on the Tai Chi, he included me.  In his country, he was a grand master of Taekwondo based on the ritual exercises I learned as a kid.  I earned a black belt.  It comes as natural to me as breathing.  Ain’t no man what can lay a hand on me what I don’t want him to.” Monty stated as fact and not trying to brag.

“Is that them orientals what come to see you on visit’n day?”

“Yes, Sir.  They’s about the only family I got.”

“You mean to tell me— all this time— for six months— you been let’n me butt fuck you and you been suck’n me off because you wanted to?”

“I didn’t want to, Mr. Tin Penny.  I ain’t no more a homo than you are, but I also didn’t wanna’ hurt you none.  I done figured we was gonna’ be together for a good while so I’d try to make the best of it.  It was easier for me to adjust to you and let you think you’s the bull of the woods around here than it was for me to cut chore’ balls off and shove ‘um down yore’ throat.  Like I done told ju’ I know what you like now and how to give you pleasure.  Besides, you got better as time passed.  For a hardheaded old Indian, you ain’t such a bad lover when you put chore’ heart into it.” Monty grinned at him.

“I guess I deserved that.  You’re right, I am a hardheaded cuss.  I guess this means it’s all over between us.” John lamented.

“Only if you want it to be, sir.”

“Well, you did sort of cut ma’ ball off and hand ‘um to me.” John grinned through his pain.

“I ain’t real proud of it.  I didn’t enjoy it.  I hurt a man I care about.  Nobody needs to know but us.  I ain’t gonna’ tell nobody.  Just look on it as my way of showing you what you come to mean to me.  I would a’ gone nuts in this fuck’n place without you.”

“Daymn!  I hurt in places I ain’t never hurt before.  My daddy done tried to teach me a lesson years ago.  He told me if’n a man whups yore’ ass, you best make him yore’ friend.  I always thought I’s smarter’n ma’ old man, and I told him I didn't never have to worry about that, 'cause there weren’t no man what could ever whup my ass.  I’m beginning to think ma’ old man weren’t so dumb after all.  I’m sorry I said them awful things about you, Son.” John said contritely.

“'At’s all right, Mr. Tin Penny.  I’m sorry I called you a toothless old hound dog.  Y’ain’t toothless at all.” Monty chuckled.

“But, I’m still an old hound dog, huh?” Coyote John grinned.

“Yeah, but you’s the best look’n and horniest old hound dog I ever done seen.” Monty smiled, “C’mon, Mr. Tin Penny, I’ll make it up to you.  I’ll make you feel better.  Here, lie back and lemme’ help you with yore’ Wranglers.” Monty offered.

Coyote John lay back, Monty undid his big belt buckle and pulled his Wrangles down around his boot tops.  He started making love to John’s big cock and didn’t stop until he’d swallowed all of Coyote John’s spunk.  As he lay there enjoying the afterglow of Monty’s blowjob, as the young man did his usual careful cleaning of his cock and putting it away for another day, John thought how much sweeter it seemed this time, and yet, he lost the fight... or did he?  He wasn’t sure.  Did he lose the fight but win the battle?  Was there really such a thing?  He knew he felt something different, but he couldn't define it.  Monty’s blowjob was just about the most satisfying sex he ever had in his life.  He had to admit to himself, the kid was damn good.  He began to fantasize and wonder what it would be like if Monty was his slave?  How would he treat him?  He thought about it all evening and got an erection that wouldn’t go away. 

“Son, I need some more of yore’ fine butt this evening." he quietly told Monty, "I got me a big on hard-on what won’t go away.  I promise, I’ll fuck ya’ real good, jes’ the way you like.” Coyote sounded like he was almost begging.

“Sure, Mr. Tin Penny, help yore'self, climb in ma' saddle.  Take yore'self a good long ride.  Since we go to court tomorrow, h'it jis' may be our last.”

John was more gentle with Monty than he ever was before and fucked him like he was trying to make it as good for the boy as it was for him.  He didn’t stop or try to get his until he heard Monty groan and empty his balls twice into an old towel they used.  Then, Coyote took Monty strong and hard; he took what he needed and Monty shot his load again when John fired his hot seed into the young man’s ass.  They lay hooked together for sometime.  John didn’t seem to be in a hurry to withdraw and would gently and lovingly take a deep stroke into Monty’s ass from time to time.

“Thanks, Son, that was our best yet.” Coyote John heard himself saying.

“You's pert-damn good, Mr. Tin Penny.  My three for the price of yore’ one?  I’ll take that bargain any day.  Meaning no disrespect, sir, but I thank God you’s such a horny old hound dog.  You done gimme’ more’n your load with that fuck, sir.  I’m gonna’ miss you, John.”  Monty said quietly.  He felt so drained and relaxed Monty drifted off to sleep with Coyote John still deep inside him.  

“I’ll miss you, too, kid.” John whispered as he bussed a kiss behind the boy's ear, and gently withdrew when he heard Monty began to snore softly.

* * * * * * *

The courtroom wasn’t packed with people.  Few had any interest in Coyote John Tin Penny but his family, and the only ones in attendance were his dad, the Chief, two of his fellow chiefs and John’s brothers’ Doug and Brody.  The Indian men set in stoic silence.  The old man neither looked at him nor acknowledged him.  Coyote John had no friends.  He never formed close attachment to anyone.  He was subconsciously afraid of relationships of any kind.  The only person he could count as a friend was the young boy, barely a man, whom he assumed he was forcing sex with for the last six months, but came to find out the kid was more together than he was.  He never experienced anyone like Monty before.  John had a strict set of templets he used to size people up to get what he wanted from them, then when he took all he needed, cast them aside to find someone else to suck the life from.  Monty didn’t fit any of his molds.  Coyote set in the alternate prisoner box as Monty’s court appearance was first on the docket.

Monty’s oriental family was there, but his grandfather didn’t bother to come to town.  He didn’t care if the boy got himself into trouble.  He expected it.  The boy came from bad blood.  Whatever happened to Monty was no skin off the old man’s nose.  It was good riddance as far as he was concerned.  It just meant the end of a bad chapter in his life.  One he never wanted to read again.  In the courtroom were several ranchers and cowboys.  There were several cowboy slaves sitting in the slave gallery whispering quietly among themselves.  Everyone stood as Judge Anderson came into the courtroom.  He got things underway, but it was more procedure than testimony.  Monty Dundee was sitting in his prisoner box and watched as the courtroom drama unfolded.  He glanced at John a couple of times, and once, John looked at him and smiled his encouragement.  What the young man heard was nothing resembling justice.

“Who is the plaintiff against this young man?” the judge asked.

“Mr. Ruggles, your honor.” the counsel for the prosecution stated and motioned to the big cowboy rancher in the chair next to him with his arms crossed like Sitting Bull with a big glower look on his puffy face.  Ruggles wore Wrangler’s too tight for his waist, and it made his belly extend and hang over his belt in a disgusting manner.  Ruggles was the epitome of a rich, successful rancher who no longer had to do the hard work on a ranch that kept most ranchers trim and fit.  The hardest work Ruggles did was pushing away from the table, and lately he didn't do a lot of that.

“As I understand it, counselor, Mr. Ruggles is not the person with whom the young man is accused of having sex, or am I missing something here?” everyone in the room laughed.  Ruggles didn’t laugh.  He was an ignorant, tight-ass, superstitious Christianist fundamentalist in whose world there was little room for humor. 

"No, your honor.  The defendant is accused of having illegal sex with his daughter.” replied the dim-witted lawyer.

“Why was it illegal?  As I understand the case, they were both of legal age and consenting adults.” Anderson knew the answer, he was just pulling the attorney’s strings to watch him squirm.

“That’s true, your honor, but they weren’t married.  Mr. Ruggles beliefs are hard-line Christian fundamentalism.  Sex outside of marriage is considered a mortal sin and is illegal, but more than that, it’s obvious Mr. Dundee forced himself on Miss Ruggles.”

“Really?  That’s interesting.  Tell me, Counselor, how many times did you have to watch ‘Legally Blonde’ before you passed the bar?  May I remind you in a court of law nothing is obvious.  It must be proven beyond a doubt.  What proof do you have the defendant forced himself on Miss Ruggles?  Where is Miss Ruggles?  Do you plan to produce her as a witness?” Anderson pushed the attorney.

“No, Sir, your honor.  She refused to testify against the defendant, but it doesn’t matter, Judge, recent legislation was passed that outlaws premarital sex.” stated the lawyer smugly like he slammed the door in the judge’s face.

“I’m well aware of recent laws, Counselor, but the reality of the situation is how do you police people to keep them from having premarital sex?  Sex is a basic animal urge and as much as the fundamentalist would like to separate themselves from the natural world with their exaggerated claims of religious superiority, it still remains a scientific fact we are all basically animals.  In this case you have only hearsay.  It’s her word against Mr. Dundee’s, or, if you will, Mr. Ruggles’ word against the young man’s.”

“We have a written statement signed by Miss Ruggles and notarized that states he forced her to have sex with him, your honor.”

“Oh, well, why didn’t you say so?” Anderson asked with considerable sarcasm in his voice.  “Nothing says ‘guilty’ quite like a notarized statement.” Anderson looked at the lawyer daring him to say a word.  He continued.  “I’d like to see the defendant in my chambers.  Deputy, please escort Mr. Dundee.” the lawyer for Mr. Ruggles started for the judge’s chambers and the public defender appointed for Monty started to follow.  Anderson turned and looked at them.  “Alone, Gentlemen!” he barked at the two attorneys.

“But Judge Anderson that’s not...”  the dim-wit attorney for Ruggles started to challenge the judge.

“It’s my court, Counselor, I can do any damn thing I want.  Sit your ass down, cool your heels, and wait for me to return.”

“Yes, Sir.  Sorry, your honor.” he acquiesced.

The judge set in his comfortable chair behind his desk as the deputy ushered Monty into his office.

“Sit down, Son.” Anderson motioned Monty to a chair.  He set down in one of the chairs in front of the judge’s desk.  “You may leave us, Deputy.” the deputy turned, walked out of his chambers, and closed the door behind him.  “Have you wondered why you spent six months in jail, Son?”

“Yes, Sir, but so much has changed with our government, people’s rights and freedoms, I don’t know if a speedy trial is part of the judicial system anymore.”

“Intelligent young man.” Anderson said as if to himself.  He continued, “It is, and it isn’t.  That conflicting statement comes complete with a two dollar explanation, and believe me, Son, it ain't worth more' n two dollars." he smiled warmly at Monty, then continued, "In many cases it’s left up to the judge’s discretion.  You were arrested under Judge Potter’s term on the bench, and he decided to let me handle your case for good reasons.  He stipulated you would not come before the court for six months.  He wanted a chance to see if things would calm down, and he could get the charges dropped.  We’ve had a public defender and two legal aids working on your case to try to reach some agreement with Ruggles out of court, but to be perfectly honest with you, it’s my opinion the man’s clinically insane.  He’s a crazy man, but he’s also a very wealthy and powerful crazy man.  There’s nothing more dangerous than an ignorant, insane redneck with money, Son.  Remember that.  In the world before our current theocracy took over, Judge Potter would not have signed a warrant for your arrest, and he would’ve been right.  Neither would I, for that matter, but we’re not there anymore.  We’re living in a world that is highly stacked against the common man who has little or no money.  Those with money can, and often do, walk over people who are not guilty of anything more than being in love with the wrong person.  Do you see where I’m going with this, Son?”

“I think so, your honor, but it don’t look very good from where I’m sitting.” Monty lamented.

“Believe me, it don’t look any better from where I’m sitting, Son.  I understand completely, but what I’m about to tell you is the naked truth.  What I decide today, at first, may seem unfair to you, but you will eventually come to understand it is the best thing for you right now.  I will make my decision not only to satisfy the stupid law and calm Ruggles, but also, to give you the maximum protection against the system and Ruggles himself.  He’s notorious for doing underhanded things and getting away with it, because he wasn’t directly involved himself.  My decision will keep you alive, and I’m asking you to trust me in this matter.  I know in today’s world when a man asks you to trust him, it don’t mean very much, but right now, in my court, you don’t have any option but to trust me.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bother, but you’re young and just starting out in life.  I wanted a chance to tell you privately I will personally be following your case.  I just wanted to try to ease your mind some.  Unknown to you, you already have some powerful, compassionate people in your corner who are watching out for you and will see to your future.  Take my word for it, you may trust them.  They're good people.”

Monty remained silent.  He figured he was going to get the ax.  He came to court with a slim hope he would be found innocent and set free, but he was beginning to see the handwriting on the wall.  For all of Judge Anderson’s good words, Monty knew the man was going to sentence him to slavery.

“Don’t I git ta' say anything in my defense, your honor?” he asked like he was resigned to defeat.

“Of course you do, Son.  I’ll give you a chance to say whatever you like to the court or to anyone in the courtroom.  You can say anything, but I won’t allow you to use foul language.  You will not use profanity in my courtroom.”

“I understand, your honor, I’ll be careful.” Monty promised.

“Good.  Any questions before we return?”

“No, Sir.  I know you’re just doing your job, Judge, and I understand you're constrained by the current laws and political pressure.  No hard feelings.”

“Thanks, Son.  I appreciate that.  You're an intelligent young man.  I know you'll do well where I place you.  Just remember what we talked about.”

They went back into the courtroom.  The judge heard testimony from Charlie Ruggles and his attorney.  He heard rebuttal and further testimony from Monty and his attorney.  He heard both side’s arguments, summations and closing statements.  Monty was sure Anderson forgot to let him speak on his behalf.  He didn’t.  Just before he was ready to announce his judgment in the case, he ask Monty to stand in the prisoner’s box and told him he might say anything on his mind but warned him again against using foul language in his court.  Monty took a deep breath.

“No matter what is decided, here, in this court today, over which I have little or no control, I am innocent of these charges against me, and I will remain innocent." Ruggles sneered and snorted in disgust at his words, but Monty ignored him and continued, "It's a sorry comment on our society when a man can be imprisoned or found guilty and punished simply because he shared love with another human being.  It all boils down to something as old as the folk songs what tell similar tales of rich, powerful men thinking they have the right to dictate and manipulate other people’s lives and tell them who they may or may not love.  If there was any crime between Shanna Ruggles and myself it was not from our love for one another, but the insanity of her parent’s actions guided by a religious faith so narrow it allows little room for love of any kind.  I don’t expect this hearing to go in my favor, but I do have one final option and for that I will address my words directly to you, Charlie Ruggles.  I issue a curse against you and your family with the exception of the girl I love.  She would never betray me or my love for her.  The court may accept the written statement you submitted, but I know in my heart it's a lie.  It’s either a clever forgery, or she was forced to sign it.

No matter how much money you have or will ever have, Charlie Ruggles, it will never make you more than what you are right now, an arrogant, ignorant, evil little man propped up by your self-righteous beliefs in a customized version of a myth.  You are living proof, belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man.  May you suffer great loss and may you suffer greatly from your hypocrisy and deceit.  I pray to any and all gods, angels or demons, who can hear my voice to endlessly vex your spirit.  May your soul suffer eternal torment.  I promise you, I will pray every night of my life your immortal soul will be condemned to a hell so hot you will burn in a lake of fire for all eternity.” Monty had no strong beliefs, but he knew Ruggles was a small minded, ignorant, superstitious man who placed great stock in myths and harbored even greater fears about such things.  He thought since Ruggles put him in this position he would take this chance to yank his chain one last time.  It worked.

“Shut up!  Shut the fuck up, you dirty little bastard!” Ruggles yelled at the top of his voice,  “He can’t say that to me.  I’m a God-fear’n, law abide’n Christian man what’s been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ!  You know nothing of my god, you godless heathen!  Yore’ curse don’t mean shit to me!  I ain’t on trial here, you are!  Do your duty, Judge!  Shut him up!” Charlie Ruggles jumped up and demanded loudly, pounding his fist on the desk in front of him.  Anderson banged his gavel.

“Sit down, Mr. Ruggles.  Mr. Dundee has the right to say what he pleases.  This court still recognizes freedom of speech whether your religion does or not.  Another outburst from you like that, and I’ll find you in contempt.” the judge demanded.

“You wouldn’t dare!” challenged Ruggles.

“You’re in contempt, Mr. Ruggles.  I sentence you to forty-eight hours in jail to cool off and a five hundred dollar fine.”

“You’ll be sorry for this, Anderson!  I’ll have yore’ prissy ass thrown off the bench!” Ruggles threatened.

“That’s ‘Judge Anderson’ to you, Mr. Ruggles, and that little outburst, disrespect, and threat will cost you seven days in a cell and a thousand dollar fine!” ordered the judge. “Would you like take a chance to find out what’s behind door number three?  It’s up to you, Mr. Ruggles.” Anderson sounded like a game show host.  Ruggles attorney got him settled down.

“Remove that man from my courtroom, Deputies.” Judge Anderson barked and banged his gavel. “Are you finished, Son?” he asked Monty.

“I am, your honor.  Thank you.” he smiled.

“You’re welcome, Son.” Anderson winked at Monty.  He admired the kid for playing the dumb, superstitious redneck like a two-bit fiddle at a country hoedown.  The judge waited for Ruggles to be gone from his courtroom before he announced his judgment. “It is with deep regret I have to sentence this young man for something I know in my heart is not a crime, but sometimes the hypocrisy of my job is upholding current theocratic, faith-based laws that are contrary to my beliefs as a human being; however, it's to be expected when, as a society, we forget about separation of church and state.  The defendant will rise.” the judge waited for Monty to stand, “Montana Polaris Dundee, also known as Monty Paul Dundee, I hereby sentence you to ten years indenturement as a slave.  You will serve five years and at the end of that period, if you have done everything expected of you and stayed out of trouble, you may petition this court for your freedom.  If your petition is granted, you will become a freeman again, but you will be on probation for another five years.  The six months you already spent in jail will be counted as part of your slavery time so you will have four years and six months remaining to complete.  You will be sold to the highest bidder for your indenturement which has already been arranged.”

“Excuse me, Judge Anderson, if it pleases the court, Mr. Ruggles would like the opportunity to make a bid for this slave.” interrupted Ruggles’ attorney.

“I’ll just bet he would.” Anderson laughed, “Counselor, I hope you had the good sense to inform Mr. Ruggles of conflict of interests.  He can’t bid on a man he’s directly responsible for making a slave.  Thank God, there's still a modicum of sanity in our country.”

“I told him, your honor, but he insisted I try anyway.” shrugged the attorney.

“You’ve done your job, Counselor.  It’s duly noted, but denied!” said Anderson firmly.  “I have a high bid in my file for you, Mr. Dundee, of forty-five thousand dollars.  I was asked to keep the buyer’s name confidential, and I will abide by his wishes.  He bought you for another man.  You will become the property and slave of Mr. Shane Goodnight and work for the Potter/Goodnight ranch.  Ordinarily, to appease the plaintiff, I would award the amount of your purchase price to him, but I have great latitude in my decisions about such matters.  I, therefore, rule against Mr. Ruggles benefitting financially from your sale.  The phrase, adding insult to injury, comes to mind in this situation.  Furthermore, I assure you, appeasing Mr. Ruggles is not a great priority of mine right now.  I feel it probably would be as little appreciated as carrying coals to Newcastle.” everyone laughed.  The judge continued, “Therefore, it is my judgment the money for your sale, minus fees and taxes be placed in an interest bearing account to be administered jointly by your new owner Mr. Shane Goodnight and this court.  The money will remain in that account until your manumission, for the sole purpose of your readjustment to life as a freeman.  In simple terms, the money generated from your sale as a slave will become yours upon your release from slavery to help you get started in life.

It is my great hope the money might make the bitter pill of my judgment seem a little easier for you to swallow, Son.  I hope you remember my words from our conversation in my chambers, Mr. Dundee.  You are going to a fine organization who will take good care of you.  I have faith in you, Monty.  As far as I’m concerned you are a victim of unfortunate circumstances and not a criminal.  I hope you can look upon my judgment as sending you to a job to work for four and a half years, after which time you will receive your pay and be free to go your way.  You have captured the heart and imagination of this court, Mr. Dundee, and I will be following your progress closely.  I wish you the greatest success and good luck, young man.  I know you won’t let me down.” the judge banged his gavel and ended Monty’s court hearing. 
Monty expected worse, but he was convinced the judge was looking out for him and would continue to do so.  He could feel Coyote John’s eyes on him.  He turned, looked over and saw John smiling at him.  John gave him the thumbs up sign like he was happy for him and winked.  Monty managed a smile, and gave him a nod of acknowledgment.  A deputy came by Monty’s prisoner’s box and unlocked it.

“Come with me, Son, your new owner and his ramrod are waiting to take you out to their ranch.” the deputy spoke to him.  As Monty got up and turned to walked through the door he looked the man in the eye.

“Mr. Tin Penny and I spent six months in the same jail cell together.” he said softly to the deputy.  In that sentence he conveyed to the man a closer bond than just cell mates.  “May I say ‘goodbye’ to him, Sir?” The deputy looked around and caught the judge’s eye.  Anderson heard what Monty asked the guard and nodded his head.

“Only for a minute, Son.”

“Thanks, Sir, I appreciate it.” Monty moved to the bars and spoke quietly. “I wish you the best of luck, Mr. Tin Penny.  I never told you, but I don’t ‘spect I have to, you know how I feel about you.” Monty said quietly.

“Thanks, kid, I may be a hardheaded old Indian fool, but I know what I come to mean to you.  Truth is, I’m pert-damn fond of you, too.  I’ll never forget you, Son.  Thanks for all your gifts.  If’n I had to do it again, this old hound dog would still want you for my cell mate.  Adios, muchacho.  Vaya con Dios.  Live a good, full, and long life.”

Monty thanked the deputy again and follow him from the courtroom.  Coyote John watched Monty walk away.  He felt like a part of his heart was being ripped from his body.  ‘What the fuck?!’ he thought, ‘Am I having a heart attack?’  His heart was hurting, and he seemed to be having trouble getting his breath.  He breathed deeply several times and for some damn reason his eyes started to water.  He must be allergic to something in the room; some man’s aftershave or women’s perfume.  He set there feeling about as empty as he could remember and thought, maybe he hadn’t won the battle after all.  Was what he felt...?  Naw, never happen, not to the Coyote.

The deputy led Monty out of the courtroom to a large hallway leading to the outside.  Waiting for him were two of the finest outfitted, best looking cowboys he ever saw.  He thought he recognized Shane Goodnight because he attended several of the Grange functions and remembered the big man as a good looking slave.  He heard about Shane’s emancipation.  The deputy introduced Monty to Shane.  They shook hands.  Monty knew of the slave ritual, but didn’t know what to do.  Shane looked into his eyes and saw the boy was frightened and confused.  He pulled him into a hug, held him tightly and bussed a kiss behind his ear.  Monty was deeply moved by Shane’s compassion, broke down and cried in Shane’s massive arms.

“There, there, Son.” he heard Shane speak softly. “The worst part’s over.  I remember when I was in yore' place once up on a time, not so long ago.  It was a little different for me, though.  I was guilty of some bad things I done; stupid things, and served ten years as a slave.”

“Should I go through the slave ritual with you, Master?” he asked through his tears.  Shane chuckled.

“Later, when we get you settled in and our cowboy slaves have a chance to teach you a few basics, I’d be proud and honored to have you perform the ritual with me, but we ain’t in no hurry.  Thanks for asking, though.  It tells me you wanna' try to fit in and work with us.”  

“I do, Master Shane.  I promise, I won’t give you no problems, Sir.” Monty said wiping the tears from his eyes.

Shane introduced him to Cole and told him to call him ‘Mr. Jenkins.’  Cole was Master Shane’s ‘top waddie’ but Shane recently began to refer to Cole as his ‘ramrod.’  Monty was nervous and called Cole ‘Master Jenkins.’

“I ain’t no master, Son.  I ain’t a freeman.  I’m a slave jes' like you, but I’m a little older and our master trusts me to be his top waddie, so jes’ refer to me as Mr. Jenkins and we’ll git along fine.”

“Yes, Sir, Mr. Jenkins.”  Monty was impressed.  This man, who said he was a slave, was wearing an expensive pair of handmade buckaroo boots.  Monty apprenticed under a local saddle and boot maker for five years and got pretty damn good at the craft.  He made several saddles and numerous pairs of boots himself.  He knew an expensive pair of boots when he saw them.  He also knew good quality Western wear.  Cole Jenkins and his master looked like they stepped out of an expensive Western catalogue.  Monty’s Taiwanese family were gathered in the hallway of the courthouse waiting to speak with him.  Shane told him to go to them; he could tell them where he would be living and give them the address.  They would be allowed to visit several times a year if they like.  Monty went to them and to Shane and Cole’s amazement began to speak to them in their native language.  The young man spoke Chinese fluently.

“What the hell...?” laughed Shane grinning at Cole.  Poor old stoic Cole couldn’t contain himself.  When Shane started laughing about anything, it would always break him up.

“Dayam, Son!  How do you do it?  The unusual seem to migrate to you.  You seem like a magnet for ‘um.” Cole chuckled.

“I got me a feel’n about this kid, Pa.” Shane said quietly shaking his head.

“Oooh, nooo...” laughed Cole, “Here we go again.  Boss Potter’s gonna’ shit his nickers.  Who was it told ju’ months ago the young man would have a Chinese family, but he weren’t oriental?  They also told you he already had a son, but couldn’t be sure if he was alive.”

“I know.” said Shane smiling.

Monty introduced his family to his new master and Mr. Jenkins.  The Ong family consisted of the older male and female patriarchs in their mid-seventies who didn’t speak a word of English.  The younger Mr. and Mrs. Ong  looked to be in their early fifties, accompanied by their four strapping sons with their wives and children.  There were also three daughters with their Chinese husbands and their children who were very well mannered, quiet and polite.  The Ongs were a very large family of about twenty people.  Monty knew each child by name and made a point of hugging, kissing and comforting each one, assuring them he would be okay.  After formal introductions Mr. Ong took Shane by his arm to speak with him privately.

“Mister Goodnight, Monty like a son to us.  He brother to my children and uncle to theirs.  We love Monty.  He be good man, Sir.  He make good slave for you.  You no have to worry ‘bout Monty.  He have hard life; life so hard people not believe when we tell them, but through it all he grow up with good heart.  He true cowboy.  Him learn cowboy way mixed with oriental philosophies he learn from my father.  He never lie, cheat or steal.  He tell ever’body we help him lots.  Truth is, Monty help us as much as we help him.  Our lives won’t be same without Monty, Mr. Goodnight.  Our hearts are in great pain, Sir.” Mr. Ong looked to see if Monty was listening.  He wasn’t.  He was engaged in conversation with the kids and two of his Chinese brothers.  “Mr. Goodnight, you must find way to see where Monty lived.  You not understand Monty until you see for yourself.  Monty not average man.  Him different...very different, Mr. Goodnight....good to power of ten but also different to power of ten.  All men think their son’s and daughter’s smartest and brightest.  Mine plenty smart, work hard, make top grades in school, but they smart from learning.  I proud of my children, but next to Monty, they dumb as box of rocks.  Monty, he born knowing things.  Show Monty something once, and he know it.  He can do it.  Monty have strange gifts, Mr. Goodnight.  I see boy do things ordinary men can’t do, but not bad things.  He tutor my boy in his college math class in elementary calculus when Monty only seven years old.  He do same with my daughter in her college advanced physics class.  He make it clear to her when teacher couldn’t.  Monty good boy.  Not evil bone in boy’s body.  Monty, he not know something you should know about.  We not tell him.  Ruggles woman he love is carrying his baby.  Maybe best you not tell him either.”

“Oh, lord.  No wonder Mr. Ruggles is so angry with him.  Thank you for the information, Mr. Ong.  I think you’re right.  It might be best for all concerned not to tell him.” Shane agreed.

“You must see Monty’s shack, Mr. Goodnight.  Shack not right word.  You not understand Monty until you see with own eyes.  You not believe.  I still not believe what Monty can do.  He soaks up knowledge like sponge and never forget a thing.  He read vast library of books on every subject.  He can speak several languages.  We take care of Monty’s companion for him.  My boys go to Monty’s place on dark night and bring Dexter back to our place.  He worry about Monty, not hear from him so long.  We read him letters we get from Monty.  We feed him and take care of him.  Dexter different, too.  Him not human, Mr. Goodnight.”

“What do you mean Dexter ain’t human, Mr. Ong?”

“We feed Dexter electrical charge.  Him mechanical boy, Sir.”

“Oh, Lord.” Shane laughed and put his hand on Mr. Ong’s shoulder. “Trust me, Mr. Ong, I know about mechanical men.” Shane smiled at the smaller man.

“You come visit, Mr. Goodnight; you and your ramrod.  You always welcome in our home.  I tell you more, but you not share our conversation with Monty.”

“I promise.  I give you my word, Mr. Ong.  Thank you, again.  I promise, we’ll take good care of him.  We sometimes have barbecues at the ranch on Sundays.  We’ll let you and your family know.  You’re welcome to come, join us, bring your whole family and spend the day with Monty if you like.”

“We would like very much, Mr. Goodnight.  Most gracious of you.  Thank you, Sir.”

The love that passed between the Ong family and Monty was palpable.  The big strapping Ong sons hugged, cried with him, and offered words of encouragement.  Their sisters kissed him lovingly on his cheek or forehead and cried in his arms.  The kids clung to him like they didn’t want to let him go.  The elder Ong’s cried in Monty’s arms and each held him for a long time like their hearts would break to let him go.  What they witnessed impressed the shit out of Shane and Cole.  For the adult children to come to his hearing with their children was remarkable to the men.  As Monty said his final ‘goodbyes’ to Mr. and Mrs. Ong and very formal, almost ritualistic ‘goodbyes’ to the elder Ongs, Cole spoke to Shane.

“What was your intense conversation with Mr. Ong about, Son?”

“Gosh, Pa, you ain’t gonna' believe what he done told me.” Shane shook his head.

“Not true!  You fergit, I’ve lived in your world for damn near a year now.  I’m still amazed ever’ damn day, but at this point I would believe anything you tell me.  Y’ain’t never lied to me yet.” Cole smiled at him.

“He said the secret to our new slave is to see where he lived his life for his first twenty years.  He said Monty is some sort of different.  He sort a' defined him as a Zen buckaroo.  He said he would tell us more if we come to visit, but he didn’t want Monty to think he was betraying his trust.  He said Monty has a companion they’re taking care of for him named Dexter.  Dexter ain’t human, Pa.  He’s a mechanical boy.”

Cole slapped his leg and broke up laughing.  “He’s been sent to you for a purpose, Son.  Ain’t no doubt in my mind.  Them ancients been work'n their butts overtime.”

“It’s like a gathering of like souls, Pa.  You used the right term, ‘magnet.’ They’re being drawn, led, herded, marched, enslaved to get to where they will be ready to insure the survival of the fittest.  H’it ain’t just a vague term in a biology textbook no more what makes Christianist cringe in terror.  It’s a reality.  What doors will this young man open for us?” Shane asked rhetorically.

“I have no idea, but since I been yore' slave, I sometimes think my cowboy butt should a’ come equipped with seatbelts.” Cole said quietly.  Shane broke up laughing at his metaphor and nodded his understanding.  Cole just grinned real big and shook his head.

* * * * * * *

Coyote John’s trial was a bit more cut and dried.  All the information was gathered and depositions taken.  There was a file presented by the prosecution that couldn’t be refuted by John’s appointed public defender.  John thought he recognized several of the men from the Goodnight ranch who seemed to remain for his trial after Monty’s.  He had no idea what they were doing there and just assumed his next stop would be a Cheney camp.  The only thing that really concerned him was when the judge asked if he had anything to say in his own defense?   

“Naw, Sir, I done what they said I done.  I’m guilty.  I guess I deserve whatever you got in store for me.”

“Do you have any regrets, Mr. Tin Penny?”

“Yes, Sir, one.  I regret I didn’t drink more and pass out before I went crazy and decided it would be a good idea to kill ma’ cowboy brother.” John said without humor, but there were a few chuckles in the courtroom.  He continued, “It’s a little late to be sorry about it, but I know I’d never done such a thing if’n I’d a’ been sober.  I grow’d up with Billy Bob Russell.  He was a good friend of mine.  I’m glad he lived.  If I’m sorry for anything, it’s because I won’t have him for a friend no more.”

“The defendant will rise.” the judge motioned for John to stand.

“Coyote John Tin Penny, I hereby sentence you to a lifetime of slavery.  You have been sold to another Goodnight ranch.  Angus Goodnight is the proprietor and will be your owner and master." Judge Anderson banged his gavel, and it was done.  It was short and neat.  It took far less time than Monty’s trial.  The deputies removed John and took him to a holding cell.  They told him he would have to wait there for a while until the day’s court session was over.  There were several other matters concerning slaves before the court.  

* * * * * * *

After the Ong family departed, Shane and Cole took Monty to a small records office in the courthouse and submitted their new slave’s paperwork.  The technician shot Monty with a pneumatic gun in his arm which implanted an I.D. chip deep within the muscle tissue of his right shoulder.  They recorded all his information and downloaded it to the chip.  Then they tested it to make sure it was working.  It didn’t take long, and the men were on their way.  Monty was a little surprised he wasn’t in handcuffs and being dragged away in chains.  He was even more surprised when Shane told him to get up into the front seat of the big truck between him and Mr. Jenkins to drive out to the ranch.  It looked to Monty like a brand new truck.  Shane asked him a few questions, but didn’t seem to pry into his past life too much.  Mostly he asked him about any skills he might have.  When he told them about apprenticing to a leather craftsman, saddle maker and boot maker for five years they became very interested.

“Can you repair saddles and tack, Son?” Mr. Jenkins asked him.

“Yes, Sir, anything made of leather.  I can resole and reheel boots, but I need tools.”

“Did you have any at your last home?” Shane asked.

“Yes, Sir.  I had a shop full in an old shed off my grandpap’s barn.  The only reason he let me use it was to keep his saddles, tack and boots repaired.  I had a pretty fair little business going by word of mouth.  I made and sold saddles and buckaroo boots.  I got me a half dozen saddles I finished still out there in the barn and about a dozen pair of buckaroo boots, all different sizes.”

“You think yore’ granddad’s sold them by now?” Shane asked.

“Naw, Sir.  He don’t know where to look for ‘em.  They’s hidden where he won’t never find ‘um.  I don’t think he ever come in my place when I weren’t there.  I’d a' know'd if’n he did.  I took care of all the Ong family’s tack, saddles and footwear.  I was beginning to git on ma’ feet.  It was the first time in my life I had a steady flow of income.  T’weren’t a lot, but it was steady, and I’s beginning to make a name for myself in the leather trade.  It’s the way I paid ma’ grandpap for let’n me stay there.”

“You had to pay him to stay there?”

“Yes, Sir.  After I turned eighteen he was gonna' kick me out.” Monty didn’t elaborate.  Shane didn’t push.

“You think he’d let you have them tools?”  

“I doubt it, Master Shane, my grandpap never gimme' much a’ nothing.  He made no secret about the fact he never liked me.  I never figured out why he was always so mean to me.  He never come to see me in the six months I’s in jail.  I jes’ about imagine he thinks I’m guilty; I’s a criminal.  He used to tell me I’s jes’ like my daddy and never would amount to much.  I never knew my pa.  I can barely remember my ma.  I don’t even know what happen to ‘em, if'n they’s dead or still alive.  He never would tell me nothing.”

“What if Mr. Jenkins and I were to go to him and tell him we heard he had a shop full of old leather working tools and would he consider selling ‘em?”

“I don’t know, Sir.  My grandpap understands about money real good, but he’s a suspicious old bird.  It might work, but if he gits the idea they’s worth some'um, he’ll try’n screw you for ever’ penny he can git.”

“Were they yours, Son?  Did you buy them?” asked Mr. Jenkins.

“I never took nothing in my life what didn’t belong to me, Sir.  I took a lot of stuff people threw away.  All them tools and machines belong to me.  What I didn’t buy on my own, the man I apprenticed under, Mr. Culpepper, he gimme’ when he lost ever’ thing.  He couldn’t sell used machines.  There jes’ ain’t no market for ‘em.  He tried, but nobody ever responded to his adds.  They ain’t no use to nobody but somebody like him or me what loves working with leather, making saddles and boots.  The Ongs can tell you. 
They helped me move them machines to the shop on the back of my grandpap’s old barn.  They knew Mr. Culpepper well.  They’s the reason I got me a job with him.  They recommended me.  Mr. Culpepper took me on as his apprentice ‘cause I was mechanical and knew about machines.  I can fix anything mechanical.  I repaired them machines, sent off for parts, made parts, and kept ‘em working.  They’s all in good working condition.  They was ma’ babies.  They each got their own personality.  I even give ‘em names.”

Shane looked at Cole and smiled.  Cole could read Shane’s devious mind without telepathy.  Cole could envision a flight of the Bluebonnet for a mysterious UFO midnight appropriation of some special tools.  He chuckled to himself as he drove along.  Monty looked at the handsome, middle aged man driving the new truck and wondered what he found funny.  Then he glanced at his new master and saw a funny grin on his face as he quickly turned to look away.

“What will happen to them tools and machines, Son?” Shane casually asked Monty.

“They’ll sit out there and rot.  He won’t do nothing with ‘um.  I put on a new roof to the back part of the barn and the shed ma’self a couple a’ years ago.  It’ll protect ‘em for several years, but after that, they’ll start to rust and go to ruin.  Besides, you gotta’ use machines like 'em ever’ day or so to keep ‘um work’n right.  He can’t sell ‘em.  There ain’t nobody round these here parts what knows anything about that sort of thing noways.”  

“Were your personal possession in that shed, too?” Mr. Jenkins asked.

“Yes, Sir, what little I had.  Mostly books I found in trash cans and dumpsters.  You wouldn’t believe some of the things people throw away.  Things of great beauty and value.  I lived out there since I’s five years old.  My ma took me to my grandpap's place, but he wouldn’t let me in his house.  He told my ma’ to take me to the shack back of the far barn.  She took me out there, left me by myself and went to the front house.  She told me to do my best to make it on my own, and she would be back for me in a few days.  I don’t know if she left the farm or if she died.  He never told me.  All I know is she never come back, and he never so much as come out to checked on me.  I went up to his house to ask about my ma and ask him what I should do.  He yelled at me, called me a monster and told me never to darken his door again.  He said I could stay out in the shack if’n I wanted, but never to bother him again.

I stayed hope’n my ma would return.  I didn’t have no bed, food or nothing.  Weren’t no plumbing or heating back there.  I had to go to the bathroom outside like an animal.  I had to bathe and git water from the creek.  I managed to make a bed of straw from the barn and saw birds eating berries.  I figured if they’s eat’n ‘em they couldn’t be poisonous, and they’s good enough for me.  Like any animal left on its own, I quickly learned to take care of myself.  My grandpap never allowed me in his house ‘cept’n Christmas and Easter.  Then, it was only to come onto his back porch to git a paper plate of food he fixed for me.  I always took it and thanked him, but h’it t’werent never very good.  I could cook better.  I’s never allowed beyond the porch.  In all them years I lived there I ain’t never seen the inside of his house.”

“How did you live?  How did you survive?  Where did you get food?”

“My oriental family helped me a lot when I’s younger.  Mrs. Ong would save the older boy’s clothes for me.  I never considered them as second hand.  Hell, they’s better’n what I was wear’n.  I’s wild as a coyote when I’s only five or six.  You’d be amazed what you can find if you search dumpsters behind fast food restaurants.  The Ongs caught me going though their garbage a couple of times and took pity on me.  I would a’ starved to death a couple of winters if’n it hadn’t a been for the Ong family.  I got pneumonia one time and they nursed me back to health with Chinese herbs and teas.  Once in a while, maybe four times a year, when his conscience bothered him, my grandpap would buy me a sack of slave chow, some biscuits and leave ‘em by my door.  When I learned about money, I did odd jobs to git enough to buy more.  Slave chow and biscuits is cheap, and it ain’t bad.  I laughed when I heard I might become a slave, ‘cause I don’t mind eat’n slave chow a’ tall.  I grow'd up on it.  Granddad Ong taught me to fish.  I’d catch fish and prepare it like Grandma Ong taught me.  I always shared ever’ thing I caught with them.  One day my grandpap threw away an old gun.  When he weren’t look’n I took it to my shop, worked on it and fixed it, bought some shells and learned myself to shoot.  I would kill wild game once in a while and shared it with the Ong family.  I never shot nothing I didn’t eat.

When I went to school, I’d go in second hand clothes but nobody knew except ma’ brothers and sisters, and they were very protective of me.  They considered me one of them.  Ma Ong would fix me a lunch, or they’d all pitch in and share their lunches with me so’s I’d have something to eat come lunchtime.  They always gimme’ more food than I could eat.  They were very good to me.  I tried to be good to them to repay them over the years.  I give up on school after a couple a’ years.  They’s trying to teach me stuff I already knew.  I’d get bored and go home.  I was really too busy to attend school.  I didn’t have time for that nonsense.  ‘Side’s, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had my own teacher.

The Ongs taught me how to raise my own vegetables and chickens.  Mr. Ong taught me how to gather sacks of feed for the chickens in the fall from weeds.  What time I wasn’t spending on my projects, I’d go over to the Ong farm and help granddad Ong and grandma Ong with their gardens.  Grandma Ong taught me to cook Sechuwan, Cantonese, and Mandarin.  I’m a very good cook.  In China most great cooks are men.  I helped with all celebration foods for their family.  I learned specialty dishes very difficult to prepare.  My Sechuwan is best, ‘cept sometimes I make it too hot for most folks.” Monty smiled.  It was the first smile Shane saw on the kid’s face.  “May I ask you a personal question, Master Shane?”

“Ask away, Son!  I ain’t got me no secrets.  Well, maybe a couple, but you’ll find out about them by an’ by.  Mostly, my life’s an open book, and ‘at’s the way I like it.” he smiled.
“You don’t look no older’n me, Sir.  How could you be a slave for ten years and now be foreman of a big ranch?”

“Good question, Son.  I git asked that a lot by folks who don’t know me well.  I’m older than I look.  I’m nine years older than you.  I’m twenty-nine.  I take care of myself.  I workout ever' day.  The ramrod of ma’ brother’s ranch where I was a slave was a bodybuilder, health enthusiast and insisted I be one, too.  I became his boy, if you know what I mean.”

“I do know what you mean, Sir.  I been another man’s boy for six months while I’s in jail.” Monty said without prejudice.

“I heard you was Coyote John’s cell mate.  Had you ever done anything with a man before, Son?” Shane asked casually.

“Naw, Sir, I fooled around with a cowboy drifter once what stayed in my grandpap’s barn for a while, but it didn’t amount to nothing more’n mutual masturbation.” Monty replied without hesitation.

“Did John Tin Penny rape you or force you?” Shane asked.

“I let him think he did, but he didn’t.  He weren’t the bad ass he thought he was.  He never hurt me.  I just went along rather than have to hurt him.”

“You was afraid of hurt’n Coyote John, Son?” Cole asked. “I heard he’s a pretty tough hombre.” he added.

“Yes, Sir, Mr. Jenkins, 'at's what Mr. Tin Penny would like ever'body to think...he's cock of the walk, but he ain't nothing but a toothless old hound dog.  Mr. Ong is a master of Wing Chun, Karate and Taekwondo.  I earned a black belt in each, but my master taught me not to use my skills for aggression, only defense.”  

“Is that why Coyote John looked so banged up today?” Cole asked smiling.

“He forced me to defend myself.  I didn’t wanna’ do it.  I promised him I wouldn’t tell nobody, Mr. Jenkins.” Monty said with regret.  “I made it up to him.  I give him a good blowjob, and he fucked me real good last night.  It was our last night together, and he done put his heart into it.  I come three times to his once.”

Shane and Cole broke up laughing.  The kid didn’t seem the least embarrassed talking about sex.  He was blatantly honest.

“Did you ever learn to enjoy it, Master Shane?” Monty asked sincerely.

“Yeah, Son, I did.  Like I done told you, I was the boy of our ramrod, but I fell in love with another cowboy slave I worked with almost ever’ day for ten years.  He taught me ever’ thing I know about cowboy’n and being a farrier.  I come to think on him as ma’ pa.  When I got emancipated, it seemed like the right thing to do to buy the cowboy I loved and take him with me.  In case you ain’t guessed, he’s the big, fine look’n hombre sit’n next to you.  Ain’t sorry I done it neither.  Ain’t a day goes by I don’t say a word of thanks to have him by my side.  Did you learn to enjoy it with Coyote John?”

“Yes, Sir, I did.  I liked it a lot.  I worry about it some ‘cause I loved a girl so much.  We had good sex.  I really enjoyed it, but there’s jes’ something about sex with Coyote John I don’t think I’ll ever find nowhere’s else.  I can’t explain it, and sometimes, I wonder if’n I should be ashamed of ma’self for like’n it so much?”

“I think we all wonder about it, Son, but I don’t think you should feel ashamed of enjoying something.  Like you said, sometimes we gotta’ make the best of situations.  If we find we come to like something we never tried before, I don’t think we should deny ourselves the pleasure or the love that might come of it.  Besides, love don’t know no boundaries.” Shane allowed.

“You think you’ll miss him, Son?” Mr. Jenkins asked.

“No disrespect, Sir, but would you miss Master Shane?” Monty smiled at Cole.  Cole grinned.

“To be honest, I can’t even imagine it, Monty.” he replied. “Hell, I don’t even wanna’ ponder it, Son.” Cole added.

“I only had six months with Mr. Tin Penny, but I know I’m gonna’ miss him.  I already done got me a big hole in my heart when I think on him, but I got me another feeling I’m gonna’ be too damn busy most of the time to dwell on him a lot.  A busy mind, busy hands, and a full heart don’t leave much room to grieve.” he lamented.

“I think we got us a keeper, Pa.” Shane smiled at Cole.

“Ain’t no doubt in my mind, Son.” Cold grinned back.

“We got us the perfect two cowboys to take you under their wings and show you the ropes, Son.  I cut my cowboy slave teeth suck’n them two’s dicks and learn’n to git butt fucked by ‘em.  I love ‘em so much I had to take ‘um with me, too.  They’ll turn you ever which way but loose, and show you as much love as you can handle, but I’ll make you a promise, cowboy to cowboy, if’n you ain’t in love with ‘em after a week, I’ll assign you another couple of your choice.”

“Sounds good to me, Sir.”

“Now, would you like to tell me about Dexter?” Shane watched Monty carefully.  A great smile came across his face like he was running fond memories through his mind.

“He’s living with the Ongs.  He’s safe and being taken good care of.  I knew they’d take him in.  Ma’ brothers told me they went and got him.  I told them I didn’t think I could keep Dexter with me so they should keep him.  They promised they’d see to him until I was a freeman again.”

“Who is Dexter, Son?” Shane asked quietly.

“Dexter’s ma’ little brother, Master Shane.”

There was a great moment of silence in the truck until Shane looked over at Cole and saw him quietly laughing his ass off looking out the window so the men couldn’t see him.  Shane wanted to break up but willed himself to be serious.

“I need a little more information than that, Son.” Shane chuckled. “You have a little brother?”

“Not really, Sir.  My mother had me, then I built Dexter from collected parts to be my companion the year she left me alone.  I was so alone in the world I needed someone.  As I grew older I improved him, perfected him, and he became my little brother.  Now he’s more like a son to me.  He calls me 'daddy.'”

“Dexter’s an android?” Shane asked.   

“He started out that way, but he ain’t no more.  He’s now more of a...”

“Bio-mechanical entity?” Shane helped him out.

“Exactly, Sir.  The more I learned about such things the more I was able to perfect him.  He’s been an ongoing project for years.  How do you know about bio-mechanics?”

“I’ve had some limited exposure to bio-mechanoids, but it’s been a while ago.  How could you know how to build a companion at six years old?” Shane challenged him.

“I can’t explain it, Master Shane.  I’d have to show you.  My mother left me some metal balls, small spheres, in a metal box she said belonged to my daddy.  They’s divided into two groups of six; a dozen in all.  They tell me things.  They teach me about natural phenomenon and how to harness energy.  They teach me how to build things.  Each metal sphere has a letter or symbol on it I never have been able to decipher.  If I could, I could make the last six work and learn a lot more.  The first six taught me how to build a companion and many other things.”

“Where are these spheres, Son?” Shane asked.

“Hidden in my shack, but no one will ever find them without me.  They only respond to my DNA.  One day I will go back and get them.”

The men arrived at the Potter ranch and Shane watched out of the corner of his eye as Monty’s mouth dropped open and his eyes got big as saucers.

“Oh, my God!” he whispered almost to himself, “It’s so beautiful.  I ain’t never seen me no place like 'iss.  You mean I’m gonna’ git to live and work here for you men?”

“We hope you’ll be happy and comfortable here, Monty.  We hope you find a home here with us.”

The kid broke down and started sobbing his heart out.  Shane put his big arm around him and held him close.

“Guess we done all right by the place, Pa.” Shane smiled at Cole.  “Our new slave’s reaction is about the best damn compliment we ever got.  Oh, by the way, Son, remember about Dexter and how unusual he might seem to some folks?  If you notice some unusual things about the place jes’ keep an open mind, and it will all be explained to you in time.  Keep your eyes and ears open, but most of all keep your heart open at all times.” Shane added.  They drove slowly up and around the big house.  They could see Bobby playing in the meadow with the ponies naked as a jay bird with Maxine bouncing around at his boots.  They looked like they were having a ball.      

“That’s our business manager’s boy, Bobby, and the pup with him is Maxine, our bossman’s main squeeze.  Them two's become the heart of our ranch.  Maxine is very special, but you’ll find out for yourself soon enough.  Bobby caught sight of Shane’s truck, waved and looked like he said something to the pup.  They started racing up the meadow to the foreman’s house.  It was like something out of a picture book to Monty.  He felt like he was coming home for the first time in his life.  They pulled up in front of Shane and Cole’s house and parked.  They got out of the truck and helped Monty down.  By that time Bobby and Maxine were there, and it was utter confusion.  

“Capt’n Shane!  Ramrod Cole!”  Bobby cried and ran to hug and kiss them.  

Monty couldn’t believe what was happening.  The dog looked him straight in his eyes and spoke to him.

“You must be Montana Dundee.  Welcome to the Potter Ranch, Monty.  My name's Maxine Potter.” Monty didn’t know whether to shit or go blind.  Instead he just laughed and set down on the heels of his boots to speak with Maxine.  She held up her small paw for Monty.  He took it and gently shook it.

“I’m glad to be here, Miss Maxine.  Glad to make your acquaintance, ma’am.  Cain’t never recollect ever meet’n me no talk’n dog before, but it’s a real privilege.” Monty poured on the cowboy charm.   Maxine placed her two paws on Monty’s knees, raised up and gave him a big wet kiss right on his cheek.  Monty laughed.  He was in love.  “Thank you, Miss Maxine.  Best damn kiss I ever got.”

“Consider yourself officially welcomed to the Goodnight/Potter Ranch, young man.”  Boss Potter walked up followed by a large matronly black woman.  Shane introduced Monty to Boss Potter and Mrs. Biddle.  They both welcomed him to the ranch.  He was so young and innocent looking Essmee Fay had to give him a hug.  She smelled faintly of perfume, sachet powder, spices, herbs and food; good, wonderful, exotic food.  She made Monty remember he hadn’t eaten anything all day.

“Monty’s hungry, Cap’n Shane.” Maxine called out to Shane. “He ain’t had nothing to eat all day.”  

“How do you know that, Maxine?” Monty laughed.

“She can read your mind, Mr. Dundee.” Bobby told him as he shook Monty’s hand and gave him a big hug.  For a naked kid, Bobby didn’t seem the least bit shy.  He was wearing an older, well worn pair of cowboy boots that looked like they were on their last millimeter of leather and had almost no heel left.

“I’m sorry I didn’t ask.” said Shane, “I’m sure you’ve had a long day.  C’mon, Son, me and pa will walk you over the hill to the bunkhouse and git chu’ fed and settled in for the night.  It’s jes’ about time for them cowboys to sit down to supper.  Since it’s our lady of the big house’s evening off, you feel like joining us, Bossman?” Shane spoke to Boss Potter.

“I’d enjoy that, Foreman Goodnight.  Thanks.” Potter smiled.

“Can I join you, Cap’n Shane?” Bobby asked.

“Sure, but you gotta’ git chore’ dad’s permission and throw on some clothes.  You know the rules about eating in the bunkhouse.  Ask yore’ old man if’n he’d like to join us.  Today's Saint Patrick's day, and I understand them cowboys is having corned beef and cabbage for supper this evening.”
“Good.  I love corned beef and cabbage.” said Bobby.

“I ain’t had corned beef and cabbage since... I can’t remember.” said Monty. “Sounds wonderful to me.”

The men walked over the hill.  Bobby sprinted ahead waving to all the cowboys standing around outside the bunkhouse as he ran by.  Maxine ran to the bunkhouse and announced Bossman Potter, Captain Shane, Mr. Jenkins and the new slave were coming.  She ran inside the bunkhouse to say ‘hello’ to everyone, and the head cook slipped her a small piece of corned beef.  She ‘yummed’ and licked her mouth to get any juices left.  She thanked them and left to return to the big house for her supper with Mrs. Biddle.  All the slaves walked out to meet and greet the men.  There was much shaking of hands, big, brotherly hugs and a few stolen kisses.  Monty was overwhelmed by the generosity of the men.  He imagined they would all be a depressed, angry, sullen lot, but these men were far from that.

You could feel the comradery and love flowing among them.  It was almost palpable.  The last two men he met were Phil Pie and Eli Stone.  There was no doubt in his mind these were the men his new master told him about earlier.  They were two of the most gracious men he ever met, but they were also two of the most outrageous.  Nothing was sacred with them, but they were irreverent in very funny ways.
  Phil and Eli stirred something deep within his gut, or did he wish they would stir something?  It was the same feeling he had for Coyote John only a little stronger.  They took him to their private quarters and told him to wash up for supper.  They returned and the cowboys were already going through the serving line.  The cooks set out big bowls of salad on each table to be served family style.  You could take what you wanted.

“Will you, Boss Potter and Ramrod Jenkins be joining us for supper, Master Shane?” asked the head cook.

“If you’re sure you got enough, Lee.” replied Shane.

“We got plenty.  We’d be honored to have you, the bossman and yore’ pa join us, Sir.  We done sent a runner to Mr. Morris’ cottage.  Him and Bobby should be here any minute.”

“Yeah, I told Bobby to put on some clothes.” they all laughed.

Everyone gathered and went through the line.  No man set down until everyone was served.  It was a tradition in the bunkhouse started by the eight lead cowboys.  They joined hands around the large hall.  Even the cooks came and joined hands with them.  Phil Pie was sort of the unofficial spokesman for the cowboy slaves.

“Master Shane would you do us the honor?”

“I would be honored, but I’d much rather hear you speak words this evening, Poppa Pie.”

“As you wish, Master.” Phil grinned at him.  All heads were bowed. “We are grateful and give thanks for this good food and for the men who worked hard to prepare it.  They ain't only fine cooks, they put their hearts and love into their work.  Bless our family gathered around these tables.  Let us grow in love and comradery with one another.  We offer thanks for a new member of our family.  May he find a home here with us and may his heart find peace and love.  Bless our masters and give them the strength and health to watch over us.  Amen.”  

All the men said ‘Amen’ and immediately set down to eat.  Monty was deeply moved by the big cowboy’s words and wondered if Shane asked Phil to say ‘grace’ for a reason.  Talk was lively around the table.  Louden Austin and Fuzzy Daniels said a couple of off color remarks about it being good to have fresh meat around the bunkhouse.  Shane started to respond, but before he could Bart Swinson snorted and dropped his fork in his plate in disgust.  Shane shut his mouth and decided to wait.  Shane could swear he saw steam rising above Bart’s head and small lightening bolts shoot from his ears.  It was like waiting for a volcano to erupt.

“What the hell are you two crackers carrying on about?  You ain’t even men yourselves yet.  You’s still wet behind the ear baby slaves and will be until me and ma’ partner, here, tells you otherwise.  You ain’t finished grow’n up, but me’n my partner plan to make damn sure you do.  A real man would never make a stupid, unappreciated, rude, self-serving comment like that.  That’s the sort of juvenile crap you hear from grade school kids.  I shore’ hope you men ain’t entertaining no ideas about our new baby slave.  That would be most unwise of you boys.  It would make me and big Telly, here, so very unhappy with you, and you know what happens when we git unhappy.  You boys know we don’t do ‘unhappy’ well.  You men got some nerve.  What makes you think you two could show an ounce of love or encouragement to this young man?  Why, that’ud be like the blind lead’n the blind.  You boys ain’t got half a brain between ya.  You ain’t what he needs right now.  You leave this young man to the real men in this bunkhouse, and don’t chu’ worry yore’selves none about him.  I promise you, we’ll take real good care of him.”  There were some chuckles, a lot of grins, but everyone was looking into their plates trying not to break up.  There was a very pregnant silence for a moment when a soft voice spoke up.  

“Uh, excuse me, Mr. Swinson, Sir?” Monty spoke across the table.

“Yes, Son?”

“Would ju’ pencil me in for your first free evening, Sir?  I’d very much appreciate it.” Monty asked sincerely.

Bart Swinson got a big grin on his rugged cowboy face.  The bunkhouse fell apart.  Monty earned himself a place at the table.  Everyone was laughing their asses off.  Monty garnered himself several pats on his back.  

“It would be an honor, young man.” Bart Swinson replied seriously.

“Naw, Sir, Mr. Swinson, the honor will be mine.  I could shore’ ‘nuff use me some a’ yore’ brand of cowboy love’n and encouragement, Sir.” Monty replied to more hoots and laughter.  Louden and Fuzzy were put in their place and nailed to their seats.  They knew better than to say a word.  They were very quiet for the rest of the evening and avoided Monty like he had the plague.  Later that week when Shane, Cole, Potter, Gil and Bobby recounted the story to Hoot and Cotton over supper they thought they might have to call the paramedics.  The men laughed for thirty minutes.  Conversation resumed around the table,  and Shane and Cole began to talk about some of the talents Monty talked with them about.  When they got to the conundrum of Monty’s personal possessions Boss Potter asked a few questions and made a few comments.

“There's laws on the books regarding slavery that clearly state in certain cases whatever a slave possessed before he becomes a slave can be claimed by his new owner.  In many cases, it was originally used to screw a man out of his wealth and possessions to add to the man’s whose slave he became, but in this case, if it’s truly what our young slave would like to do for work around here, then it could work for our mutual benefit.  Is it something you’d really enjoy doing, Son, or would you rather just learn to be a cowboy?”

“I ain’t the best buckaroo, Master Potter, but I know enough I can roll ma’ own went it comes to cowboy’n.  Leather work’n was my love, Sir.  It was more than work or an avocation, it became my passion.  I come to look on it as art.  I can tell you where every pair of boots in this bunkhouse came from and most times who the maker was.  I recognized Mr. Jenkin’s boots this morning as a pair made by a famous Texas boot maker in the El Paso area.  I know all the saddle makers in the state of Texas and most in the other states as well.  There just ain’t a lot of ‘em no more.  I can tell at a glance who made most of the saddles you might have on this ranch.  How many of you cowboy’s got tack, a pair of chaps or a saddle what needs repair?” Monty asked for a show of hands.  Almost every hand went up.  “How many got a favorite pair of old boots in the back of yore’ closet what’s lost their soles and is so bad not even Jesus can save ‘um, but you love ‘um so much you jes’ can’t bear to throw ‘um away?”  Every hand went up including Boss Potter’s, Shane and Cole’s.  “Well, I can resurrect ‘em for you and make ‘um walk again.”

“Hallelujah!  I’m sold!” laughed Phil Pie, “Now, tell me you can change water to wine, Son.” everyone laughed.

“Naw, Sir, but I’s work’n on it.  Bobby you still got that same pair a’ boots on you’s wearing earlier, buddy?” Monty asked.

“Yes, Sir, Mr. Dundee.” Bobby slipped one off and handed it to Monty.

“I can’t make ‘um look brand new, but I can give these boots another fifty thousand miles.”

“Can you prove them machines was yours, Son?” asked Boss Potter duly impressed by Monty’s speech.

“I got me a letter from Mr. Culpepper telling me he’s glad he let me have his tools and machines and wished me luck.  Mr. Ong and his boys got photos of us moving them from Mr. Culpepper’s to my shack on my grandpap’s farm.  Mr. Ong got a letter from Mr. Culpepper last year asking how I’s doing with the machines he gimme.’”

“That should be plenty to convince Judge Anderson to issue an order for seizure.  Would it take a large truck to haul ‘em, Son?” Potter asked.

“Naw, Sir.  They’s only about six of ‘em and they ain’t that large or heavy.  They’s mostly awkward.  Four to six men should be plenty.  A small bobtail truck would do; one we could tie ‘em up so’s they won’t fall over on the trip to the ranch and break something.”

* * * * * * *

After supper Shane, Cole and Potter said their ‘goodbyes’ and thanked the men for supper.  They complimented the cooks and praised their skills.  They said ‘goodnight’ to Monty and wished him well.  They were leaving him in the good hands of Phil and Eli.  The cowboys usually went off to their own rooms after supper; however, it was the beginning of summer, and it was still light outside.  Shane and Cole bought a bunch of lawn chairs and tables at a yard sale for them to use to sit outside in the evenings.  It was a gentle evening and Monty joined the mature group of cowboys who were mostly comprised of the lead men.  The several younger men were pitching horseshoes or playing catch with a softball.  A couple had a frisbee they were tossing around.  It certainly didn’t look like a salve camp to Monty.  It looked like any ordinary ranch where the cowboys were relaxing after a hard day’s work.  He was sitting with Phil, Eli, Bart and Telly.  Phil was asking him questions about how much he knew about slave life and told him he could speak freely.  There wasn’t anything they didn’t know about slave life, and they weren’t squeamish about discussing any aspect he might be confused about.

“Will I be expected to have sex with my master, Boss Potter, and Mr. Jenkins?” he asked.

“Eventually, but they ain’t monsters about it; except, Master Shane and Mr. Jenkins are both pretty big men.” Phil chuckled, “If’n you ain’t noticed, Master Shane and his pa are pretty much wrapped up with each other.  They’s pretty tight.  It probably will be more of a mutual agreement between you; just like in the bunkhouse.  For the first three months you’ll be considered a baby slave and expected to lie down with all eight lead cowboys, here, from time to time who will act as your teachers, but the rest you can contract with as you please.  Don’t even worry about Loud and Fuzzy.  As you heard earlier this evening, they’s still baby slaves and according to their daddies they got a ways to go.” the mature cowboys laughed among themselves, “As you probably figured out from dinner, Bart and Telly, here, are their daddies and they put you strictly off limits for them two.  Has anyone taught you about clean and safe sex with another man?”

“Naw, Sir.  I laid down with Coyote John Tin Penny for six months, but he never said nothing about it.  I got him dirty sometimes, but I always cleaned him up afterward.  We didn’t have no hygiene equipment.  I couldn’t clean myself before hand noways.” explained Monty.  “Are you and Mr. Stone gonna’ be my daddies?” Monty smiled.

“If you feel comfortable with us, we’d be proud to be.  If not you can pick from three other pair.” Phil told him.

“I think the current arrangement will be quite satisfactory, Mr. Pie.  Does that mean I get to call Mr. Stone ‘Dad Stone’ and you ‘Poppa Pie’ like Master Shane?”  Monty asked with some humor in his voice.  The other cowboys broke up.  Phil and Eli laughed.  

“It does, indeed,” grinned Phil, “but for your first evening we thought we’d give you your choice of the lead cowboys.”

“Is that really fair to me, Poppa Pie?” Monty groaned, “How am I suppose to chose between eight fine looking cowboys I find equally attractive?”

There were eight stunned faces around the tables.  No one expected such an ingratiating answer from their new baby slave.

“I think you done already picked yore’ cowboy for the evening, Son.” smiled big Telly. “You captured the heart of this big gallute sit’n here next to me over supper.  If you don’t pick him you’ll break his gotdamn heart and you wouldn’t wanna’ see a big man like him cry, Son.  H’it ain’t a purtty pitcher.  Furthermore, I gotta' deal with him all fuck’n night, and then, you’ll have to answer to me; I know'd damn well you don’t want that.” Telly bellowed with laughter.  He got all the other cowboys laughing except Bart who just blushed like a school boy with a crush.    

“I meant what I said, Mr. Ferguson.  If Mr. Swinson is available this evening, it would be my pleasure and an honor for me to lie down with him, Sir.  I would do my humble best to please him.  I can’t think of a better welcome than to share some cowboy love’n with Mr. Swinson.”

All the cowboys went, “Awwwwh...” Bart blushed more.

“Hell, boy, I’m jes’ loan’n him to you for the evening.  Don’t go build’n no Taj Mahal around him.  He ain’t no saint, but don’t be git'n no ideas of branding him to run with yore’ herd.  He already done got a brand on his big cowboy butt what say’s he’s mine.” bellowed Telly like the bull-of-the-woods and the others laughed with him.

“Meaning no disrespect, Mr. Ferguson, but in my humble opinion, that’s a mite short sighted on yore’ part, Sir.  I never think small.  I’s kind a’ thinking my brand might look good on both you men’s big cowboy butts.” shot back Monty.  The other lead men fell out of their chairs in laugher.  Telly was left with egg on his face and just grinned as he pointed a finger at Monty.

“You walked right into that one, Ferguson.” admonished his partner. “You deserved that.” laughed Bart.  “I’m available for the evening, Son, and it would be a pleasure to welcome you for your first time.  It would be real nice to lie down with a baby slave what’s got some brains and a heart to go along with ‘um.” the men knew Bart was referring to Loud and Fuzzy and they agreed with him.

Phil knew Monty would be coming to the ranch so he and Eli got him set up in the slave room next to theirs.  No one was using it.  It had two beds but they just fixed up the one bunk for him, but since he was going to have company they pulled the two beds together and fixed them up as one.  They got Monty his own personal hygiene kit and took him to their shower to teach him to use it.  They were firm but kind with him insisting he learn from them to practice good hygiene.  They taught him how to clean himself for his first time.  Monty maintained an erection the whole time and begged Phil and Eli to let him suck them off.  They readily complied.  They were impressed with the young man’s eagerness to please and knew Bart was in for a good evening.

* * * * * * *

After Bart Swinson worked his big dick all the way up into Monty’s tight little butt the kid let out a gentle sigh.

“What’s ‘at for, Son?” Bart asked him quietly stealing a kiss.

“You feel so damn good inside me, Sir.  Is this the love and encouragement part you’s talk’n about, Mr. Swinson?”

“Why, yes, I suppose it is, Son.  Cain’t chu’ feel my love and encouragement?” he grinned taking a long, deep stroke into Monty’s ass.

“Oh, yes, Sir, ever’ inch of it, and it feels mighty damn good.  If love and encouragement is measured in inches, then I’m gonna’ need as much as you care to gimme,’ Mr. Swinson.  I’ll take about a hunner’t yards to start with if’n you got that much in stock, Sir.” Monty chuckled.

“I’ll do my best to fill you up, my sweet baby slave, one yard at a time.  I ain’t never been accused of leaving no baby slave hungry.” Bart bragged.

“I don’t know, Mr. Swinson, you got chore’self a pretty hungry baby slave here.” Monty chuckled.

“Work with me, boy.  I’ll keep you filled with all the love and encouragement you can handle.” Bart Swinson promised.

“I’d have to be a fool to say ‘no’ to you, Mr. Swinson.  I only hope I can do you as much good as you’re doing me, Sir.”

“With an attitude like you got, we won’t have us no problems, Son.  Now, let’s us hunker down and git to work.  I got me a fine piece of baby slave ass what needs a good cowboy fuck’n.”

The sounds from the squeaking bedspring in other room sounded like a Wanda Landowska marathon.  It went on for hours.  Phil would look over at Eli and they would either groan or break up laughing.  They would hear Bart groan and moan like he’d reached a climax, and they’d breathe a sigh of thanks.  It would stop for a while, the cowboys would drift off to sleep; then, it would start up all over again and go on for another hour or so.

“The poor kid ain’t gonna’ have no ass left a’ tall after Swinson gits through with him.” Eli whispered.

“Maybe, but I got me a feel’n after six months with a cold duck like Coyote John Tin Penny, old Bart is jes’ what our baby slave needs.” allowed Phil.

Phil Pie was right.  Swinson was the healing balm Monty’s spirit needed, and he soaked up big Bart’s love like a sponge.  Bart spent the whole night with Monty and early the next morning he flipped Monty around and took him to give him his first blowjob.  Bart’s big cowboy dick was staring Monty in the face winking at him, and he couldn’t resist.  He took Bart and they wallowed in the ecstasy of pleasuring each other.  He squeezed Bart’s leg to let him know he was about to climax and Bart squeezed back.  They erupted together with much guttural moans of pleasure and delight.  Afterwards, Bart pulled Monty into his arms and made tender love to him as they swapped the flavor of each others' ejaculate.  Monty couldn’t get enough of the big cowboy’s affections.  Other than Monty’s last experience with Coyote John, it was the first time a man showed him any affection with sex and he was hungry.

“I can’t thank you enough for the night with you, Mr. Swinson.  Please tell, Mr. Ferguson, how much I appreciate him sharing you with me for an evening.  I never imagined becoming a slave could be like this.  Maybe that judge knew what he was doing.  Perhaps I should send him a dozen roses with a ‘thank you’ card.” Monty chuckled and got a laugh out of Bart. “I should have them deliver you a dozen while I’m at it, Sir.  I ain’t never had nobody take me before except my girlfriend.  You’s the first man whatever took me, and it was wonderful, Sir.” Monty stole another kiss.

“It was a great pleasure for me, too, Son.  I know old Phil and Eli are gonna’ be the perfect daddies for you.  You couldn’t a’ picked no better pair, but if you ever need some more of my brand a’ cowboy love’n you jes’ lemme’ know.  I hope you’re real happy here with us, Son.” Bart said with all sincerity.

“I got me a feeling I’m gonna’ be, Sir.”

* * * * * * *

There were many big grins and a few snickers at the breakfast table the next morning.  Bart set directly across the table from Monty, and they had a glow about them that was palpable.  Even though they said little to one another, there was a mutual affection, admiration and respect that flowed between them the cowboys couldn’t help notice.  Fuzzy tried to be funny and said something gross about a pair of new boots what would probably need new soles after big Bart got through walk’n in them.  Only his buddy Louden Austin laughed.  For the rest of the men at the table, his joke fell flat and none of the other cowboys even smiled.

“That jes’ ain’t true, Mr. Daniels.” shot back Monty, “Mr. Swinson knows how to take good care of and break in a fine, new pair of boots quite well, thank you.  What wear he might have caused, he more’n made up for on the owner’s other ‘soul’ which was badly in need of repair.  For his expert care and attention, I’m grateful to him.  My boots are made to last.  They’ll stand up to the toughest job.  Too bad you and Mr. Austin settled for a cheap pair.  Ain’t nothing more frustrate’n to a cowboy when he’s work’n hard to do a good job when the boots he be walk’n in jes' won’t hold up to the task.”

"Amen to that, Son!” exclaimed big Bart as he gave Monty a verbal pat on his back. 
That broke up every cowboy at the table.  Even Loud laughed at his buddy.  Once again poor Fuzzy Daniels was put in his place.  Bart wondered to himself if they would ever grow up.  With Monty around, he was secretly hoping they wouldn’t.

End Chapter 60 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2008 ~ Waddie Greywolf
All Rights Reserved ~
Mail to: waddiebear@yahoo.com