The Young Outlaw - Chapter Three

Once they left the saloon, despite Brett's protests, Jalen ushered his young
outlaw into the barber shop.

Max Anderson smiled hearing the bells tinkle over the door, knowing it meant he
had a customer. "Hello Sheriff…what can I do for you?" He asked as he entered
the main part of the shop.

Jalen, having a good grip on his outlaw said, "I'm goin' to need a bath, a shave
and a haircut for my young friend here."

Brett said, "A bath and a Shave. I don't need my hair cut." He contradicted
Jalen's request.

The Sheriff arched an eyebrow. "Your hair is a tangle of curls and it's in your
face half the time. It's a mess and it's gettin' cut." Jalen said firmly.

"No…it's not! It's my hair and I'll do as I want with it!" Brett protested

Max took himself off to prepare the bath leaving the Sheriff and the young man
to work out their differences regarding the hair cut.

Jalen shook his head and went up to the young man and placed both hands on his
shoulders and said in a low quiet, firm voice,"Settle down. I warned you that it
wouldn't be easy to submit to someone havin' authority over you."

Brett pouted, and then said, "I didn't think you'd be like a jailer!"

Jalen clenched his jaw and locked green eyes with blue. "I suggest you stop this
now while you have the chance." He growled.

"What are you goin' to do? Throw me back in jail?" Brett challenged.

Jalen had had enough of this tantrum and went up to Brett and took him by the
upper arm. He said, "No." He saw that Max had made himself scarce, going into
the back room to prepare the bath. Jalen turned Brett and landed a resounding
hard swat with his large hand on his young outlaw's bottom.

"Ouch!" Brett yelped, then jerked away and turned to Jalen, fury in the blue
eyes. "What the hell did you do that for? I ain't no kid!"

Jalen said quietly, "I know you ain't no kid. Tantrums won't be accepted by me,
neither will swearin'."

Brett scowled. "I didn't hear anythin' in the rules of probation `bout you bein'
allowed to lay your hands on me."

Jalen said softly, "I just swatted your backside."

"You still laid your hands on me." Brett argued.

Jalen held the young man's eyes and said, "The rules as the judge went over them
said I couldn't do anythin' that would physically harm you. A swat didn't harm
anythin' but your pride. If I had punched you or slapped you, maybe that would
be against the probation rules, but swattin' ain't layin' my hands on you in a
harmful way. It's a way to get your attention and to let you know you're
steppin' over the line." Jalen said firmly.

Bret said with an edge of anger to his voice. "I don't like it."

Jalen said calmly, "You're not supposed to."

Brett rubbed a little at the spot where Jalen had swatted him, but got quiet as
he saw Max return.

"The bath is ready. There's soap and towels as well as a pail of rinsin' water."
The barber informed them.

Jalen said, "Thanks Max." He gave Brett a little push toward the bathing area.
"Go on, I'll bring you clean clothes."

Brett looked over his shoulder at the older man and scowled before going into
the back area to find the tub filled with steaming water. He thought of refusing
the bath, but found the bath beckoning to him, so he stripped off the clothing
he'd been wearing and stepped into the tub to soak. It felt pretty good, so he
relaxed in the hot water.

Jalen went over to the livery and went through Brett's saddle bags, finding
clean clothing. He brought the bags over to the jail, into the room they'd be
sharing. He went back to the barber shop and into the bathing area. "I brought
you clean clothes. I'll just take these away." He said as he picked up the dirty
clothes, leaving the clean ones on the bench with the towels.

Brett nodded. "Thanks." He was mostly over the sulks wit the warm bath making
him feel a bit better.

Jalen glanced at Brett in the tub, his eyes roaming over the lithe body taking
in the young man's attributes, as much as he was able to see with him immersed
in the bath water. He liked what he saw. He averted his green eyes discreetly
and decided to leave. At the moment, retreat was a good strategy as he didn't
want to lose self control and reveal his feelings before he was ready.

Brett shivered a bit as he saw Jalen's green eyes roam over him, but then they
were turned discreetly away. "When you're dressed come out for your shave and
haircut." The older man told him firmly, and then left.

Brett scowled once again at the mention of the haircut, but decided after
feeling that hard hand across his bottom, it wasn't worth arguing over. It would
grow back.

Jalen came out to the shop area and paced, then sat and picked up an old
newspaper that was lying on a side table and perused it as he waited for the
outlaw to finish his bath. He was grateful when he saw Brett emerge from the
bathing area and go to the barber chair without further argument.

Max mixed the shaving soap and then putting a clean cloth over Brett to protect
his clothing applied the soap with the brush and began to remove his beard,
mustache and sideburns. "You have wonderful facial hair." He commented as he
scraped it off with the sharp razor.

Brett nodded, unable to respond at the moment.

When Max was finished and wiped off the last of the shaving soap with his towel
he smiled. "Smooth as a baby's bottom. You have good skin."

Brett nodded. "Thank you Mr. Anderson." He said.

"Now…for the hair…" Max said quietly.


Brett, wanting one last time to save his curls, tried to growl like Jalen at Max
that he didn't want the curls cut, but it came out more like a whine than a

A large hand rested on his shoulder. "It's gonna be all right." A low voice
growled into his ear and he relaxed at the now fast becoming familiar sound of
Jalen's voice.

Max finished the haircut. He had trimmed up the hair, making it more even and
then snipped just enough to become less tangled, but left enough curls that they
laid across his forehead and in soft ringlets all over the top of his head
giving him a roguish, but youthful look. "Very handsome." Max pronounced.

Brett had to grudgingly admit that his hair did look a whole lot better and
would be more easily managed this way.

Jalen smiled. "Max, you've worked your magic once again."

"Thank you Sheriff. I try to do my best."

Jalen grinned over at Brett. "Who woulda thought he'd clean up so nice?"

Max smiled. "He's got good features and fine hair."

Jalen nodded. He looked over his new probationer appreciatively. The black hair
with it's ringlets, the sapphire blue eyes, framed with thick, long black
lashes, the well arched eyebrows, the full lips, the high cheekbones and wide
forehead, the fine boned frame, that was strong, not delicate, the wide
shoulders and the slim hips…the long lean legs…Jalen's mouth went a bit dry as
he looked the young man over. "You look fine Brett." He commented. He held the
thought to himself that he was glad he was his to care for.

Brett squirmed a bit under the Sheriff's scrutiny and blushed pink as he saw the
man's eyes roam over him from head to toe. He felt a little shiver inside.
"Thanks Sheriff Brooks." He said, a bit flustered, not quite knowing what to

Jalen nodded. "Well, let's go over to the café and get something to eat. Then
you can accompany me on my rounds." He told Brett.

Brett, not knowing what else to do agreed with a nod and followed the Sheriff.


After having something to eat and the Sheriff making his rounds Jalen and Bret
ended up at the jail. "Come on inside." He invited Brett. As they stepped inside
the older man began to show the young outlaw around what little there was of the
jail. "Of course you know this is the outer office where the wanted posters are
posted and my desk and files are kept on those who have ended up in that cell."
He indicated the place Brett had recently occupied. "There's the gun rack where
the rifles are stored and the ammunition is in the cupboard under the rack. Only
I have the key to unlock the guns and the ammunition so don't be getting' any
ideas." He continued "Of course, there is the wood stove where we can make
coffee and heat water for washin' when it's winter and the water is too cold to
wash with." Jalen told Brett. "This short hallway here leads to the room where I
sleep and now you'll be sharin' it with me, includin' the bed. It's big enough
for both of us." He told Brett casually.

Brett's blue eyes widened momentarily at the suggestion of them sharing a bed,
but shrugged. He knew it didn't have to mean anything. It wasn't uncommon for
people to share a bed as there weren't that many available and the fact Jalen
was offering it and not telling him he had to sleep on the floor or something
felt good.

The Sheriff opened the door to reveal a neat, clean room. There was a large bed
with a patchwork quilt over it, pillows stuffed with feathers and clean sheets.
There was a simple nightstand and hooks on the wall that held the Sheriff's
meager clothing. A pair of dress boots stood in a corner and the saddle bags
that belonged to Brett were neatly placed against a wall. There was an oil lamp
on the night stand and there was also a small washstand that held a wash basin
and a pitcher for water. There were shelves where there were books and other
personal items. Another set of saddle bags were against the other wall in the

Jalen asked, "What do you think? Do you think it will do?"

Brett nodded. "It's the best I've seen since before comin' west." He remarked.

Jalen looked at the young man and wondered what his history was. Well, he was
going to find out very soon as it was going to be his job to collect information
about him for the files and to send the report to the court for probation

Brett noticed his saddle bags had been placed in the room and having seen the
rifle rack in the other room, wondered what happened to his pistol and rifle. He
supposed the Sheriff had them locked up somewhere. They didn't allow outlaws to
have weapons he supposed. He'd have to ask him about that when they settled down

Jalen, leading Brett back out of the room and into the short hallway opened a
door the led to the back of the Sheriff's office and said, "Out here is where
you'll find the outhouse, the woodshed and a shelter for the horses. We can
bring Spirit over tomorrow since his livery fees are paid for today. I'll
introduce you to Liberty if you like."

Brett's blue eyes lit up. He loved horses. His own black gelding quarter horse,
Spirit who stood 15 hands, had grown to be his closest confident even if he had
stolen the beast. The horse had been near the road and had looked like he'd
busted through the fence and when he came to Brett, the young outlaw had not
thought twice before leaping up onto him bareback and riding off, not
considering until much later that he had committed horse theft. He was very glad
that the rancher hadn't reported the horse stolen, thinking it had run away
again and just didn't bother to hunt the animal down. He was also happy that the
rancher had been gracious enough to accept payment for Spirit and then he would
no longer be a horse thief. He said, "Yeah, I'd like to meet your horse."

Jalen smiled as he saw the younger man's eyes light up at the mention of the
horse. He led the way to the shed used for the horses and showed him where hay
and feed were stored and as he prepared to feed Liberty he said, "He's really
fast." He patted the shoulder of the appaloosa. The horse was tall, 15.3 hands
and strong and he nudged Jalen gently, his liquid brown eyes looking at him.
Jalen chuckled and said, "Liberty boy, you're spoiled." He pulled out some sugar
cubes from his shirt pocket and open palmed allowed the horse to lip them off
his hand. He then stroked the gelding's velvety nose. "This here is Brett
Liberty. He's goin' to be stayin' with us a while. He's got a horse too, his
name is Spirit. You two should get along real good."

Brett swallowed as he again noticed just how large the Sheriff's hands were,
remembering just how hard too when Jalen had smacked his butt. He smiled though,
as Liberty nudged him, looking for treats. The young outlaw laughed. "You greedy
thing. You already got a treat." He stroked the horse's nose gently.


Jalen watched the younger man with the horse and smiled. He liked the way he was
so gentle with the animal. He'd noticed how well taken care of Spirit had been
when he'd taken him from in front of the Saloon and brought the horse to the
livery. Brett had had the name Spirit imprinted into the saddle so it wasn't
hard to know the horse's name. He watched the deft hands as they stroked the
horse's nose, the long fingers and pulled his thoughts away from that. He saw
the now clear blue eyes and the intelligence behind them. He'd caught the
younger man glancing at him from time to time and was wondering what he was

Jalen patted Liberty and said, "Let's go inside and talk Brett. I have some
questions I need to ask so I can fill out the forms Judge Graham gave me for my
duties as Probation Officer. Apparently the first thin' is to collect some
information about your background."

Brett shrugged. "Not much to tell." He said in a snappish manner.

Jalen raised an eyebrow. "I'm not goin' to have to deal with temper again am I?"

Brett shrugged again. "Don't like no one pryin' into my business."

Jalen said, "You gave the court permission to pry into your business when you
accepted probation instead of prison time. I can still arrange for that if
that's what you want." Jalen said firmly.

Brett's blue eyes widened. "No! I mean…no…Sir…I'm sorry…I don't want to go to
prison." Brett pleaded.

Jalen, looking at him sternly said, "Then cooperate."

Brett nodded. "Okay…what do you want to know?"

Jalen said, "Let's go inside, we'll get comfortable in the office and we'll get
some coffee."

Brett nodded. "All right."

Jalen put his arm around the younger man's shoulders and guided him back inside
the jail. He hooked a chair with a booted foot pulling it closer to his desk and
said, "Have a seat."

Brett sat down and Jalen got the coffee pot off the stove and poured them each a

Brett watched Jalen, his strength showing itself in every move. The young man
allowed his eyes to take in the sight of this powerful man…the man he had given
his life over to as he had been reminded.

Jalen placed the battered coffee pot on the stove and sat down. He flipped
through some papers, then pulled out his pocket knife and trimmed the quill he
was going to use to write with. He unstopped the ink and dipped the quill into
it and asked, "Your full name is Brett Ashton Montgomery?"

Brett nodded.

Jalen quirked an eyebrow. "Pleas answer with a Yes Sir or No Sir. Don't just nod
your head. This is a two way process." Jalen scolded.

Brett said a bit stiffly, "Yes Sir."

Jalen gave the younger man a look, but continued with filling out the form with
his date of birth, where he was born and his parent's names. When he was through
with the basics he asked, "Do you know how to read and write?"

Brett's blue eyes flashed. He jumped up. "What do you take me for Sheriff? I
ain't stupid!"

Jalen said in a firm stern voice, "Sit down and listen Brett."

Brett said, "I've had enough of your orderin' me around…I'm goin' for a walk."
He turned to leave the office.

Jalen shaking his head stood up and in one stride was at Brett's side. He took
hold of his upper arm and turned him and landed two hard swats to his backside.

Brett yelped and tried to squirm away from the firm swats being applied to his

Jalen said quietly, "You goin' to come and sit down so we can finish this or am
I goin' to have to take you into the room in the back and finish it in another
way?" Jalen growled into Brett's ear, keeping his large hand resting on the
young man's bottom. "Your choice."

Brett's stomach clenched at the implication and said, "I'll go back and sit."

Jalen released the young outlaw. "Good choice." He said.

Bret felt the sting Jalen had put there when he sat again and squirmed a little.

Jalen asked calmly, "Now tell me can you read or write? If not it's nothin' to
be ashamed of. Lots of people can't."

Brett looked at Jalen sullenly. "I can write my name and I can read some simple
thin's, but I ain't no reader. I know enough to get by."

Jalen nodded and said, "I'll write that down. It can be one of the areas we can
work on together. Improvin' your readin' and writin'. It's pretty important to
know in this world."

Brett just gave him a sour look.

Jalen arched an eyebrow. "You don't like the plan?"

Brett said stubbornly, "I told you I know all I need to get by."

Jalen sat back and regarded the young man sitting there and the whole demeanor
of his young outlaw took him back in time to when he was sitting in a chair,
acting much the same and a man by the name of Dallas Kincaid was staring at him
sternly with smoke blue eyes and telling him he needed to learn to read and
write if he wanted to make it in this world. His reaction had been much the
same…that he knew all he needed to get by. Dallas Kincaid had taught him
differently. He wondered to himself just how his life might have turned out if
he hadn't rode into the Smoking K ranch looking for work. Smoking was right
Jalen thought to himself remembering how many times he had wondered if Dallas
had actually branded his rear end. He pulled his thoughts and attention back to
the young man in front of him. "Brett, a man I once knew taught me many things
and one of those things was the need for being educated. I didn't like it much
at first either, but if I hadn't learned you and me wouldn't be havin' this
conversation right now."

Brett looked at the Sheriff. "What do you mean?" He asked still in an edgy

Jalen said, "I mean I wouldn't have ever gotten the job of Sheriff since you
need to read and write messages and keep files and reports. I wouldn't be able
to be your probation officer because I couldn't fill out the forms in front of
me required by the court for this program and you'd be who knows where. Either
still on the run or bein's shipped off to prison."

The stubborn look left the young man's face and he became more thoughtful. Brett
chewed his lip, not having thought about those things before. His parents had
been simple farmers. His mother had taught him what she knew at home and his
father had told him he knew enough to get by in the world. Brett had felt much
loved by his parents. They were good people. He'd been licked by his Pa a few
times and his Ma had taken a switch to him a few times, but most of his
discipline had been over one of their knees bare bottomed and being spanked with
a hard hand or hair brush when he was little graduating to a wooden paddle his
Pa had made when he was older. When they were killed in the landslide and he had
been thrown out on his own…he'd ended up joining the Rocky Mountain Boys because
he couldn't get a job and didn't have any skills except to work the land.
Occasionally he had hired on at a few farms to earn some money and that was how
he had bought the tack for Spirit. He had wanted more though and
Ended up hooking up with the gang. He had learned the wrong things, how to cheat
and steal, but he had never been quite bold enough to do it on his own. When he
had come to Diamond Springs he had been very worried. He hadn't had much cash,
enough for a bottle of whiskey and perhaps another meal before he wouldn't have
anything at all. Since he hadn't been able to get work helpin out on a farm,
either they already had enough people or for some reason or other they couldn't
hire him on, he thought that robbing a bank seemed an easy choice. He had been
with the gang when they had pulled one bank job and several other hold ups and
it had seemed simple and he figured he'd have no problems with his plan…except
for one thing. He had allowed himself to get so drunk the Sheriff was able to
cart him off without a fight. Brett wondered to himself how he could have been
that stupid, but the whiskey had tasted good and the saloon had been warm
and…well it didn't matter much at this point. The stubborn look returned. "I
don't need to know anymore than I already do. I ain't goin' back to school at my
age." He asserted.

Jalen said, "You won't have to go to school. I'll teach you myself. I'll give
you readin' and writin' assignments each day you can do while I'm on my rounds."

Brett scowled. "I ain't gonna do it!" He declared belligerently.

Jalen said levelly, "I'm not puttin' up much longer with you tellin' me what
you're goin' and not goin' to do. I'm in charge here and I'll be the one doin'
the tellin'."

Brett bristled at Jalen's pronouncement.

Jalen said quietly, "We'll get along a lot better Brett if you learn to listen,
cooperate and pay attention to these five basic things. These are the things I
won't tolerate. They will land you in trouble with me every time. These things
are, disrespect, defiance, disobedience, bein' deceitful and puttin' yourself in
dangerous situations. Now you've been pushin' the defiance, disrespect and
disobedience which as you've learned have earned you swats, but can blossom
quite easily into full fledged spankin's if you continue to push the limits."
Jalen warned.

Brett's blue eyes went wide and he spluttered…"You can't! You're not my Pa!"

Jalen said, "I know I ain't your Pa, but I am charged by the court to work with
you on changin' your behavior and other thin's that got you into this situation
to begin with. I plan to do just that through whatever means I need to in order
to accomplish that goal, short of doin' you any permanent harm. I can spank you
and I will if I think it's necessary."

Brett wondered just what the hell he'd gotten himself into. He hadn't been
spanked in years and this guy thought he could just waltz into his life and do
something like that?

Jalen saw a myriad of emotions cross Brett's face, but stayed quiet. He
continued when he saw the young man was ready to listen in a firm tone. "Shall
we continue?"

"You still gonna make me take readin' and writin' lessons?" Brett asked.

Jalen nodded. "Yes I am."

Brett scowled once more. He felt stuck. If he didn't do the things the Sheriff
told him then he would be in trouble, either go to prison or get a spanking and
neither of those options appealed to the young outlaw. He felt trapped in a box
canyon. Only one way out and it wouldn't be easy. He sighed and nodded. "All
right…I'll agree." He said finally.

Jalen smiled and placed a warm hand on Brett's shoulder and said quietly, "Good
choice. I'm proud of you. That wasn't easy."

Brett looked surprised at the praise. "Uhm…thank you." He said.

Jalen said, "You're welcome."

Brett relaxed a bit more and Jalen poured them some more coffee and continued
with the interview. He had discovered that Brett had been on his own now for
about four years, had spent a little over a year with the Rocky Mountain Boys
and had pretty much been a drifter, picking up odd jobs here and there, mostly
having to do with farming. When they finished without further incident he
smiled. "Let's go take that walk you wanted to a while ago."

Brett looked up to notice that most of the afternoon had already gone by the
angle of the sun.

Jalen asked, "Want supper before we go on our rounds or afterward?"

Brett thought about it, and then said, "Let's go afterward."

Jalen nodded. "All right. Later it is."

Brett gave Jalen a smile and the older man's heart fluttered. He smiled and put
on his hat and said, "Let's go Brett."


As Jalen and Brett made the rounds for the second time that day, Brett watched
how people greeted Jalen and how well liked he was by the townspeople. He'd doff
his hat to the ladies and smiled. Brett noticed the tanned features, the dimples
in Jalen's cheeks when he smiled. Brett found he had to swallow.

Sometimes as they walked side by side their hands would brush and Brett
experienced a sort of tingling sensation, so he tried to keep his distance. When
they finally made it to the café the owner smiled and showed the two to a table.
Another girl came and took their order and they smiled across the table at each
other. Brett asked, "How long have you been Sheriff?"

Jalen smiled. "Five years now."

Brett nodded. "The people here seem to like you."

Jalen smiled. "Yes they do and I like them too." He reached out for the salt
shaker the same time Brett did and their hands touched and Jalen felt the tingle
as well as Brett.

They looked at each other and smiled. Once the dinner was finished Jalen said,
"Let's go over to the Diamond Dust and have a beer."

Brett looked at Jalen a little surprised. "Sure…I thought that maybe I wasn't
allowed to go there."

Jalen grinned. "When you're with me you can go anywhere I go. I just need to
keep an eye on you and I don't plan to get drunk and so you won't be getting'
drunk either." Jalen informed his outlaw.


Jalen greeted Gabe as he entered the saloon. "Gabe…two beers please." He put
money on the bar.

"Sure Sheriff. Anythin' else I can do for you or the young man?" Gabe asked with
a smile.

Jalen grinned. "No Gabe thanks."


Jalen took the two beers and went over to a corner table and set them down.
Brett sat opposite him and Jalen said, "You can sit next to me I won't bite. I

Brett grinned and slid over closer to the Sheriff. As they sat there drinking
their beer a piano player came out and played music and in a while one of the
girls came out all dressed up and made up and began to sing.

Jalen began to sing along in a clear baritone and Brett admired it and listened.
Several others in the saloon had begun to sing as well and soon the whole place
was laughing and singing and having a good time.

As the hour grew late Jalen said to his outlaw, "Time for us to go back and get
some sleep." He had brushed against Brett's leg a few times while they were
singing or when he had turned to say something to him and he had felt a definite
pull in a particular place he hadn't felt stir in some time.


Brett had felt some strange stirrings within himself as his leg had brushed
Jalen's during the time they had spent in the saloon. He had felt both excited
and confused. He wasn't quite sure what was happening. He liked what he was
feeling, but it also scared him. He glanced at Jalen and wondered at all that
was going on. His whole life seemed to be turning sideways or upside down, he
wasn't sure which. He only knew he liked being close to this man and would try
to stay for a while.


Jalen thought about the young man who walked next to him toward the jail and
wondered at the treasure he'd found. He hadn't even been looking and it had been
dropped right into his lap. He smiled as he unlocked the office door and said,
"Well, It's been a long day and I think we could both use some sleep."

Brett nodded and watched Jalen's hands as he opened the door with the key and
then closed and locked it after them.

Jalen then led the way into the bedroom. Brett followed and Jalen closed the


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