The Shooting - Chapter 5

Gabe Fairmont mounted his brown Gelding Spice and headed toward the outskirts of
town where Jalen Brooks had bought property and fixed up the house and out
buildings. He rode into the yard and hitched up his horse.

Mrs. Elizabeth Hawkins stepped out onto the porch, having heard the hoof beats.
"Well hello there Mr. Fairmont…what brings you here?"

Gabe smiled. "I've come to talk to Sheriff Brooks if he's up to havin'

Elizabeth nodded. "Sure, as long as you don't stay too long or upset him. He's
supposed to stay quiet accordin' to the Doc's orders."

Gabe said, "I promise, I won't stay long and I won't upset him."

Mrs. Hawkins smiled and let Gabe inside, then led him up the stairs and to
Jalen's room.


Jalen looked up from the book he was reading as the door opened and smiled.
"Hello there Gabe."

Gabe came in. "Hello Jalen, you're lookin' heaps better than you did a week

The Sheriff grinned. "I've heard that so often lately I think I must of looked
pretty bad."

"You did and we're all real glad you pulled through." He shifted a bit
nervously. "Uhm…Jalen…with you laid up and all…well the townsmen met and we
voted unanimously to appoint young Brett Montgomery as the temporary Deputy
Sheriff of Diamond Springs."

Jalen stared at the man for a moment shocked and then grinned broadly.
"Well…I'll be…this is a surprise!"

Gabe relaxed at Jalen's apparent happiness at the proposition. "We felt next to
you, he'd be perfect for the job."

Jalen chuckled. "Not to say Gabriel Fairmont that you haven't wanted that since
the first day the kid set foot in this town." Jalen teased.

Gabe flushed. "Well he's meant to be."

Jalen nodded. "What about his probation and possible violation?"

Roland Harrison didn't think it should be a hindrance. He said the judge can
rule on the permanent appointment when he comes through to try those two locked
up in the jail."

Jalen bit his lip a bit worried about how the judge might handle the situation
with Brett, but he thought he'd deal with it once it happened. "All right. I'll
have no problem swearin' Brett in. When do we want to do it?" Jalen asked.

Gabe said, "Tomorrow? We can gather here in your room."

Jalen frowned "Why can't we do it in town? I'm feelin' much better."

Gabe looked uncomfortable. "If Doc Mac wants you in bed I think we should do it

Jalen sighed. "All right."

Gabe squeezed Jalen's shoulder. "I know it's hard to be down when you're an
active man Sheriff, but it won't be for much longer."

Jalen nodded. "You're right and I know. I'll try to behave."

Gabe grinned. "Good. We can't have a naughty Sheriff."

Jalen laughed. "Don't know why not, but I suppose it wouldn't be a very good
role model for the town's children."

Gabe grinned. Nope, not unless they saw the Sheriff getting' his bottom swatted
for bein' naughty."

Jalen blushed. "Gabe!"

Gabe just chuckled and squeezed Jalen's good arm. "We'll see you tomorrow then."

"All right." Jalen smiled.

Gabe let himself out the door and stopped in the kitchen to tell Mrs. Hawkins
the news. "I'll make lunch for everyone…somethin' special so that young man up
there will feel good about things."

Gabe gave Mrs. Hawkins a kiss on the cheek. "You're a dear Mrs. Hawkins."

Elizabeth blushed, and then shook her apron at Gabe. "Now you shoo Gabe

Gabe left chuckling and mounting Spice returned to town.


The next morning Brett fed his prisoners, cleaned their waste bucket, brought
fresh water and once he was finished caring for the prisoners went over to the
barber Shop. Max Anderson greeted Brett. "Hello Brett…ready for me to cut some
of those curls again?" He asked with a teasing smile.

"Not really, but I'm doin' it for Jalen. We're havin' a gatherin' at our house
for lunch and he told me to get a haircut…so I thought I'd do that and a bath
too if you please."

Max smiled. He had grown to like this young man more and more since their first
meting. "Of course. Which way do you want us to proceed? Bath first and then
the hair cut or the haircut…looks like you could use a shave as well and then
the bath?"

Brett considered this and then said, Hair cut and shave first, then the bath."

Max smiled. "All right."

Once Brett had finished at the barber shop, all neat and clean he mounted Spirit
and headed for home. He was surprised to see several horses already tethered in
the yard as he hitched up Spirit. He could smell something good cooking in the
air and grinned. He walked in and Mrs. Hawkins was bustling in the kitchen. She
smiled at Brett. He went over to the stove and began to lift lids when he felt a
sting on his bottom that made him jump. "Stay out of my cookin' little boy." She
scolded, her wooden spoon held for another attack on his bottom. He rubbed the
spot and pouted. "Ouch…that hurt."

Mrs. Hawkins said, "It was supposed to, now get yourself up those stairs and
join the others."

"Yes Ma'am." Brett said with a rueful smile and rubbed the spot on his bottom
that had felt the sting of her wooden spoon and went up to Jalen's room. He was
surprised to see just about every town businessman there. He raised an eyebrow.
"Hello Jalen…gentlemen. What a gatherin'!"

Jalen grinned. "We're all here for you my young outlaw…you're about to cross
over the line of outlaw to lawman." Jalen told Brett.

"Me?" Brett said his blue eyes wide with surprise.

Jalen nodded. "Yes, the good townspeople of Diamond Springs have voted
unanimously to havetemporary Deputy Sheriff and this…is your swearin' in

Brett shook his head as though he couldn't believe it. "Me, a Deputy Sheriff,
for real? Dan had mentioned somethin' about the possibility the day you got
shot, but I thought he and Cole were just tryin' to make me feel better."

Jalen smiled patiently. "Yes you and yes, for real."

Brett then grinned and went close to Jalen who put one arm around Brett and he
smiled and said, "I'm very proud of you. "Now…I want you to stand right here
next to me by the bed and raise your right hand. Repeat after me…"

Jalen pulled out a Sheriff's handbook and began to read:

"I, Brett A Montgomery do solemnly swear"

"I, Brett A Montgomery do solemnly swear" Brett repeated,

"that I will support the constitution of the United States and the laws of the
state of Colorado; "Jalen continued.

"that I will support the constitution of the United States and the laws of the
state of Colorado; "Brett repeated once more.

"that I will treat faith and allegiance bear to the same, and defend them
against all enemies whoever," Jalen intoned.

"that I will treat faith and allegiance bear to the same, and defend them
against all enemies whoever," Brett repeated solemnly.

"and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office
of Deputy Sheriff of Glenwood Springs County Colorado to the best of my
abilities." Jalen continued.

"and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office
of Deputy Sheriff of Glenwood Springs County Colorado to the best of my
abilities." Bret swore.

"So Help me God." Jalen ended.

"So Help me God." Brett repeated with tears in his blue eyes.

Jalen had Brett bend down toward him and he pinned the Deputy Sheriff's badge on
his vest and smiled. "Now everything's official." He told his young outlaw.

Brett couldn't help grinning and looking down at the badge.

The men all clapped and cheered and came up to Brett slapping his back, shaking
his hand and congratulating him on becoming the temporary possibly the permanent
Deputy Sheriff of Diamond Springs.

Brett thanked each man and shook hands and grinned happily the entire time.

When Mrs. Hawkins heard the commotion die down in the upstairs room she brought
in the lunch tray and everyone helped themselves and spent the afternoon
visiting with Jalen.

After the ceremony, Brett was now wearing the Deputy Sheriff star on his vest
and grinning as he rode back to town to tend to his duties.


Six weeks after the shooting Sheriff Jalen Brooks was on the mend. He wore a
sling to support his right arm so it didn't pull on his chest. He was healing
well. His face regained it's color and he and Brett had been able to resume
their favorite past time of making love without too much trouble a couple of
weeks ago using different positioning and both men were happy. Brett still did
the rounds while Jalen read the correspondence and did a little paper work. Most
of the paperwork had fallen to Brett while Jalen was healing. The wound in his
shoulder was still healing, but he was on his way to mending and would be strong
once more. He was able to do certain exercises Doc Mac had prescribed for his
chest and shoulder and felt better each day. He could have is arm out of the
sling more often than not these days and hoped to get rid of it altogether in a
couple more weeks, but knew Doc would have him use it as long as he thought it
was necessary and not to push things too much.


When Roland Harrison knew it was getting close to the time the circuit judge
would be coming to Diamond Springs he went to the telegraph office and sent a
wire to Charles W Wright attorneys General of Denver Colorado. He asked for him
to send someone to Diamond Springs to represent and defend two outlaws who were
accessories to attempted murder of their Sheriff and a young man who was a
citizen of the town and presently on probation with the Sheriff and had been a
former gang member of the man who had been killed. He explained the outlaws had
been wanted men for accessory to murder in a stage coach robbery as well and had
come to town to kill the young man who had been a former member of the gang. In
the process their Sheriff had been shot and the young man had killed the leader
of the gang. He further explained he was defending the young man in the
probation hearing, but was going to need to be the prosecuting attorney for the
outlaws case and needed someone to represent them in defense and that there was
no one available locally and could he make a recommendation or send someone he
knew to act as their defense attorney.

As Roland finished the telegram he said, "Kelcy, send this telegram for me. When
you get a reply would you mind bringing it to my office please?"

Kelcy Johnson, the telegraph operator nodded. "Yes Sir Mr. Harrison. I'd be
happy to do that."

Roland smiled. "Thank you." He said, paying the young man and returning to his

A couple of hours later Kelcy Johnson came to Roland's office and said, "Mr.
Harrison, you've received a reply from Denver." He handed the yellow telegram to
the lawyer.

Roland took it from the young man and tipped him with a quarter. "Thank you for
your trouble Kelcy."

It was my pleasure Mr. Harrison." The young man replied and left the office.

Roland Harrison sat down and slit open the telegram with his letter opener and
his grey eyes widened as he read the reply. George W Wright was coming himself
to Diamond Springs to represent the outlaws. He bit his lip for a moment. George
was a well known attorney and a powerful man or he wouldn't have become
attorneys general of Denver. He'd have to do some very careful preparation to
make sure those two ended up where they were supposed to. The telegram said he'd
be arriving in about a week and Roland knew the judge was due in about two


George W Wright stepped off the train in Diamond Springs and smiled. At least
the town had a railroad station and that meant it was semi civilized.

Roland Harrison saw a distinguished man step off the train with a carpet bag and
a portfolio and he went up to him. "Mr. Wright?"

George Wright saw a man approach him with sandy hair and grey eyes. "Mr.

Roland smiled and held out his hand. "Yes, I'm Roland Harrison."

"I'm George Wright. Nice town you have here."

Roland smiled. "Thank you, If you'll allow me I'll take you to the hotel."

Mr. Wright smiled. "Just call me George."

"Just call me Roland then."

The two men walked from the train station to the hotel which wasn't very far.
Once Roland helped George to get checked in he took him over to the Diamond
Springs Café for coffee and to discuss the case.

After they had talked things out Roland led George to the Sheriff's office where
the prisoners were being kept.


Brett looked up as Roland came in. He got up from his seat at the desk and
smiled. "Mr. Harrison. It's good to see you."

Roland smiled. "It's good to see you too Brett. Where's the Sheriff?" He asked.

"He's over at Doc Mac's getting' checked over." The young man replied.

Roland smiled. "That's good; I see he's on the mend."

The young Deputy nodded. "Yes Sir, he's doin' well."

Roland said, "That's good to know." He turned to the gentleman standing next to
him. "This is Mr. George W Wright an attorney from Denver. He's here to speak to
the prisoners. He'll be defending them in court when the judge gets here."

Brett put out his hand to the lawyer and shook it. "Glad to meet you Mr. Wright,
I'm Deputy Brett Montgomery."

George said, "Good to meet you too Deputy."

Slim said from the cell, "'Bout time we got ourselves someone to represent
us…are you gonna get us outta here mister?"

George looked over the two scruffy looking prisoners. "It' will be my job to
represent your side of things as fairly as I am able to prove your innocence."

Bear nodded. "Yeah…we're not guilty of anythin'."

Brett bit his tongue and said, "I'll be in the back room if you need anythin'
Mr. Wright."

George nodded. "All right Deputy."

Roland said, "I'll leave now, but we can get together once again."

George nodded. "Thank you Roland."

"You're welcome George." Roland took the other man's hand and they shook and
Roland left the jail and returned to his own office.

George began to speak to the prisoners.


About two weeks later Jalen smiled as Brett walked through the door of the
Sheriff's office. "Hi Brett."

"Hi Jalen…we just got word. Judge Graham will be here tomorrow." He said waving
the yellow telegram around.

Jalen nodded. "I'm glad. I don't know how you put up with those two all this
time. All they do is whine and gripe." He said, indicating the jail cell with
his chin.

Brett shrugged. "I'm used to it. I just ignore it and if it gets too much I go
for a walk."

Jalen smiled. "Sounds like you're learning good copin' strategies."

Brett smiled in return. He glanced at Jalen and then asked, "How would you like
to get some air? You've been cooped up in here with them long enough."

The Sheriff grinned. "Sure…let's go over to the café and have some coffee."

Brett smiled and said, "All right."

As they walked over to the café Jalen asked his young outlaw, "So what's on your

Brett looked at Jalen with startled blue eyes.

Jalen chuckled. "You don't think I've been with you all this time and not know
when you're concerned about somethin' do you?"

Brett flushed slightly, "No, I just didn't realize how easily you can read me."

Jalen grinned. "It comes with practice."

They sat down and Maria smiled and poured their coffee and left them alone to

"How much trouble do you think I'll be in for the gun Jalen?" Brett asked

Jalen said, "Roland doesn't think you`ll be in much trouble as you were doin' a
good thing and not a bad one. Judge Graham probably will lecture you good I'd
suppose and he'll probably rake me over the coals as well for being so foolish."

"He will? But you didn't do anythin' you told me not to get involved or get my

Jalen smiled ruefully. "That will be looked at as foolishness."

Brett bit his lip. "I never thought you'd be in trouble too."

Jalen placed his good hand on the younger man's shoulder and squeezed. "Don't
worry. The judge will be very stern, but we won't get fired or thrown in prison.
We killed a vicious outlaw and his friends are going to be goin' a way for a
long time.

Brett nodded. "All right."

Jalen squeezed Brett again. "Please don't fret."

Brett smiled. "I'll try not to, but it's hard especially with them goadin' me
all the time about goin' to prison right alon' with them."

Jalen grew very serious. "That's not goin' to happen Brett. Don't let them get
to you so you do somethin' foolish."

Brett nodded. "All right. I won't."

Jalen smiled. "That's the way Kid."

They finished their coffee and walked their rounds before heading back to the
jail. They informed Gabe the judge was coming so he could prepare the saloon as
he always did when the judge came to town.


Jack Hillyard glanced at Gabe Fairmont as they prepared for the judge. They had
been informed he was at the hotel and they wanted everything to be ready when he
arrived at the saloon. Jack glanced up as the Judge entered. "Hello Mr.
Fairmont, Mr. Hillyard."

Hello Judge Graham." Gabe and Jack chorused.

Albert Graham looked at Jack and asked, "Mr. Hillyard, are you going to perform
the duty of bailiff today?"

Jack nodded "Yes Sir, I am."

Judge Graham nodded. "All right. Do you have the cases I'm to hear prepared?"

Jack nodded and handed the two folders Jalen had given him to give to the judge.

Albert perused the files and although his dark brown eyes widened slightly as he
read them his face didn't show any surprise. "Sounds like the Sheriff has been
busy since I was last here."

Jack nodded. "Yes Sir."

Roland Harrison arrived at that point and George Wright followed soon after.

Judge Graham looked at the two men. "Mr. Harrison, I see here you are defending
Brett Montgomery at his probation violation hearing, but prosecuting the two men
that are in jail right now, one Richard Crane, known as Slim and one Carl
Withers, known as Bear."

Roland nodded. "Yes Sir that's correct."

Judge Graham looked at the other man. "I take it you're defending these two

"Yes Sir, I'm George Wright. I'm the Attorneys General for the City of Denver. I
took an interest in the case when Mr. Harrison wired me to assist in finding
someone to be the defense attorney for the two gentlemen mentioned."

Albert Graham nodded. "Are you both prepared to present your cases?" He asked.

Roland said, "Yes Your Honor."

George Wright echoed him.

"Are there any documents either of you would like to present to the court at
this time?" He asked.

Both men handed up folders and Judge Graham took them. "Very well I will read
through these. Are the men to stand trial here?"

Roland said, "Yes Your Honor, they're being held at the jail awaiting word to be
brought over."

George nodded.

Judge Graham said, "Bring the prisoners over. I will hear the probation
violation case first, and then we'll deal with the other men."

Both men acknowledged the judge.

Albert Graham turned to Jack Hillyard. "Bailiff, you may inform the Sheriff to
bring over the men to stand trial in front of this court."

Jack nodded. "Yes Your Honor."

He left the saloon and headed for the jail.


Brett couldn't help but pace and Jalen kept encouraging him to sit down.

The two men in the cell remarked for what seemed like the hundredth time, "You
should be nervous kid…you're goin' right to prison with us."

Jalen scowled at the two men. "You two be quiet before I come in there and gag

Bear grinned. "Why don't you just try to do that Sheriff…think you're that good
with only one arm?"

Brett turned to glare at them and Jalen put his large warm hand on Brett's arm.
"Don't pay them any mind."

At that moment Jack Hillyard came to the door and entered. "Sheriff…Judge Graham
is ready for these two…and you too Brett." He looked at the Sheriff and the two
men. "You need a little help securin' the prisoners Sheriff?"

Jalen nodded. "Yes Jack that would be appreciated. If you and Brett can cuff
them, then we can lead them over to the court."

Brett took his revolver out of his holster and pointed it at the outlaws. "Move
back from the door and no funny business or I'll save the judge the trouble of
tryin' you." He growled, trying to imitate Jalen. He sounded almost as
confident. The men already knew his shooting abilities and did as he told them.

Jack Hillyard stepped into the cell and cuffed each prisoner. Brett then
motioned with his gun for them to step out of the cell and with Jalen in front
and Jack and Brett behind them, were escorted to the court room at the Saloon.


Judge Graham looked up as the door opened and the prisoners were brought in.
Other townspeople began to drift in to hear the judgment and to see the action
in the court room.

Bear and Slim sat at a table with Mr. Wright and Brett and Jalen sat at a table
with Roland Harrison.

"Brett, the judge will hear your probation violation first." Roland told him.

Brett bit his lip. "Yes Sir."

Jalen put a hand on Brett's shoulder and squeezed. "Remember, you're not in this

Brett looked up into the bright green eyes and nodded. "Yes Sir."


George looked at the two men and asked, "Weren't you given any soap and water to
clean up with?"

The men looked at each other and shrugged. "They gave us some, but we don't
believe in getting' too clean. It makes you sick."

George shook his head. "Well coming in here dirty isn't going to help your case
very much." He informed them.

They just looked at him as though he were the one who was crazy.


Judge Graham looked over the folders on the counter in front of him and nodded.
"Bailiff, please call the court to order and our first case." He instructed.

Jack Hillyard nodded. "Yes Your Honor." He stepped up and announced, "Order in
the court! Judge Albert Graham presiding!"

Once the people had quieted down he continued. "Our first case is Brett Ashton
Montgomery vs. the State of Colorado. Please approach the bench."

Brett approached the bench, quivering inside, but stood straight and tall in
front of the judge.

"Mr. Montgomery. I have a report here that you deliberately took your firearm
and followed the Sheriff into a situation where the Sheriff ended up being
wounded and a man dead. Can you tell me young man how that happened?"

Brett said clearly, "Yes Your Honor." He went on to explain what he did and how
things happened, including killing Rory Hoffman.

The Judge nodded gravely and then asked in a very stern tone, Can you tell me
the rules of your probation?"

Brett's mouth went dry at the stern tone, but he said, "Yes your honor…to do as
Sheriff Brooks tells me, to follow all laws, to not consort with other criminals
and…to not bear firearms."

Judge Graham nodded. "Please tell the court why you broke the firearms rule?"

Brett looked at the judge and shared his thinking. He told about how he thought
Jalen wasn't taking his warning about the gang seriously enough and that he was
extremely concerned for his safety and that he was glad he did as he did or the
Sheriff might be dead instead of wounded.

Judge Graham asked, "Did you ever think that that by your actions the Sheriff
was distracted by your unexpected appearance and caused him to be in danger of
being killed? Did he seem to have the situation under control?"

Brett bit his lip and then said, "I know Hawk Hoffman, no disrespect your honor,
but he was a vicious man with no conscience. He'd of tried to gun down Sheriff
Brooks if I had been there or not."

Slim jumped up. "Liar! He wouldn't have done no such thing! You killed him in
cold blood!"

There was an uproar in the makeshift courtroom and banging his gavel on the
counter Judge Graham finally reestablished order. "Bailiff, instruct that man to
be quiet. One more outburst and he'll be removed from the courtroom!"

Jack Hillyard went over to Slim and said, "Sir, please control yourself or the
Judge will have you removed from the courtroom."

Slim glared at Jack, but gave him a curt nod.

Judge Graham brought his attention back to Bret and seeing the Deputy Sheriff
badge on his vest asked, "Mr. Montgomery, how did you come by that Deputy
Sheriff badge?"

Brett said, "The men of this town got together and decided I was the best man
for the job since our Sheriff was laid up. I considered it an honor Sir."

Albert Graham acknowledged the young man's explanation. "Deputy Montgomery, are
you aware of the penalty for violating your probation?"

Brett answered firmly, "Yes Sir Your Honor."

"Will you please tell the court what that penalty is?"

Brett couldn't help but bite his lip this time, but gathered his courage and
said, "You can revoke my probation and send me to prison to serve out my term
Your Honor."


Slim, listening and watching leered at Bear. He whispered, "There…see? He'll be
doin' time just like us, maybe more `cause he actually killed the boss."

George Wright frowned at his clients. "Quiet please." He said softly, but


Judge Graham caught the two men still to be tried whispering to each other and
seeming gleeful at the words he had just spoken. He chose to ignore the two, but
would keep it in mind when he heard their case. He again returned his attention
back to the young outlaw. "Yes, that is correct young Sir. Can you tell me why I
shouldn't send you off to prison?"

Brett gave the Judge an ernest look. "I've been doin' well here Your Honor, I
care about the people of this town and the Sheriff and I have grown to respect
each other and we have a growin' friendship. I know it's not much Sir, but I
didn't want to see him hurt…or killed. I may have acted rash, but to be honest
Your Honor, I'd do it again in a heartbeat if it means keepin' him safe as well
as the rest of the citizens of this town."

Judge Graham nodded. "Commendable, but it doesn't change the fact that you
deliberately violated the rules of your probation." He said sternly.

"Yes Your Honor." Brett said quietly and looked down repentantly.

Judge Graham studied the young man intently, then barked, "Brett Ashton
Montgomery, tell the court how you plead to the charge of breaking your
probation and being in violation of the firearms rule."

Brett jumped a little at the sharpness of the question, but answered without
hesitation, "Guilty your honor."

Judge Graham hid a smile. "You may be seated." He told Brett.

Judge Graham looked over at Jalen and said sharply, "Sheriff Jalen Christopher
Brooks approach the bench please."

Jalen got to his feet and stood in front of Judge Graham.

"Sheriff, when you approached me about supervising Mr. Montgomery for the
privilege of probation instead of going to prison you assured me you were
capable of taking on this responsibility."

Jalen tried not to flush or bite his lip and said, "Yes Sir Your Honor."

"Then please explain to this court how your probationer obtained his revolver
and became involved in the shooting of a man that resulted in his death and
yourself being wounded." He ordered, giving Jalen a very stern look and those
sharp dark brown eyes pinning him to the spot.

Jalen tried not to squirm. "It was my own overconfidence Sir. I entered into a
situation I should have had assistance with by myself. I should have deputized
Mr. Montgomery and taken him with me as he was more familiar with these men than
I was Sir." Jalen confessed.

Judge Graham nodded. "Do you realize Sheriff Brooks I can revoke you from office
for not performing your duties properly?"

Jalen couldn't help the slight flush that crept into his face. "Yes Sir Your
Honor." He said in a firm voice. "I beg the pardon of the court for usin' poor
judgment in the performance of my duties."

Judge Graham went on. "Can you also explain to this court Sheriff Brooks why you
did not apply to the court for revision of your probationer's rules of probation
to allow him to be Deputized and carry a revolver? You did state at Mr.
Montgomery's hearing that you had hoped to train him to the office of Deputy.
I'm certain you realized that would require him to be able to carry a revolver
in the performance of those duties."

Jalen said bravely, "I have no excuse Your Honor. It didn't occur to me to do
that at that point in time. There hadn't been any incidents up to now I didn't
believe I couldn't handle on my own. I found out I was wrong Your Honor."

Judge Graham nodded. "Sheriff Brooks your reckless and arrogant attitude almost
got you killed and your actions could now affect your probationer's continued
freedom, or him continuing under your supervision."

Jalen shook inside. He looked down. "Yes Your Honor, Again I beg the pardon of
the court for my failings and ask I be granted another chance to prove myself
worthy of both carryin' out my office and supervisin' the probation of Mr.
Montgomery. I understand the seriousness of my recklessness and arrogance and
throw myself on the mercy of the court Sir."

Judge Graham studied the repentant looking young Sheriff in front of him. "You
may take a seat Sheriff Brooks. I will notify you of my decision regarding your
continuing in both your position and the supervision of probation of Mr.
Montgomery after considering all that has been presented to me."

Jalen looked up at the Judge begging for forgiveness with his green eyes. "Yes
Your Honor, thank you Sir."

Judge Graham said, "You may be seated now Sheriff Brooks."

Jalen returned to his seat a worried look in the green eyes that Albert Graham
didn't miss.

He turned to Roland Harrison. "Mr. Harrison, approach the bench please."

Roland Harrison stepped up to the bench.

"What do you have to say in defense of your client Mr. Brett Ashton Montgomery
Mr. Harrison?"

Roland said, "Your Honor, my client only had the safety of someone who he
trusted and has come to care for in mind when he violated his probation. I
believe in those circumstances anyone who had a heart and cared for their mentor
would have risked everything to keep them safe. In this case Your Honor Mr.
Montgomery has earned the trust and respect of the Citizens of Diamond Springs
and we are grateful for his sacrificing himself and his possible freedom in the
name of doing what he felt was the right thing for the right reasons. Mr.
Montgomery has been a model citizen since he last was seen in this court. He,
like many young men found himself in a few scrapes, but accepted the
consequences and instead of becoming resentful or bitter learned from them and
has not repeated those mistakes. Due to the extenuating circumstances of is
breaking his probation and the fact that the townspeople trust Mr. Montgomery
enough to make him their Deputy Sheriff I move the charges be dropped and the
plea of guilty expunged."

A cheer went up from the audience and judge Graham banged his gavel on the
counter. "Quiet! Order in the court!" He called. Once the people had settled
down he said, "I adjourn this court for 30 minutes while I study this case and
make a decision." He banged his gavel. "Court dismissed for 30 minutes."

The judge picked up the folders and went into the back room of the saloon to
read through things and make his decision.


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