Part I - Chapter 01 - The Western Movie Consultant

1913 – Hollywood

Brisco County Jr. stood behind a bar; his killer chin was set while the former bounty hunter was lost in thought. At over 6 feet, the bar looked surprisingly realistic for a scaled down set piece on a Hollywood lot. Brisco got a glimpse of himself in the faux bar’s mirror, he may have a few more grey hairs than his bounty hunter days, but his brown eyes and charm still enabled him to be popular in whatever setting that he visited.

Brisco turned back to the task at hand, finding the “perfect drink” before the cameras started rolling again and the actors would take over the set. To Brisco’s delight, it had not taken too much convincing to have the prop master stock the bar with actual alcohol so Brisco could work on his project in between takes. Brisco pulled out a little black book and reviewed his notes of the various concoctions he had already attempted. While he had found several great tasting drinks, he still felt that there was a better drink out there, something waiting for him to discover. As Brisco mixed the various liquids together, a figure loomed in Brisco’s peripheral vision.

“Nope,” Brisco stated as he looked up at his long-time friend, attorney, and agent, Socrates Poole.

The two friends were opposite in style and mannerisms. Socrates still managed to keep his red hair short, tailored suit perfectly fitted, and his glasses polished and clean. Meanwhile, Brisco sported pants and a shirt that were rarely ironed and his hair was usually a mess when not hiding behind his hat.

Socrates Poole sat down on one of the bar stools across from Brisco before stating, “Lenore called my office again.”

Brisco repeated, “I said, nope.”

“No, she didn’t call or no it’s not Lenore? Because I’m pretty sure that I have memorized the sound of her voice as she keeps calling me to ask for you.”

“No, I’m not taking her calls. I’m in the middle of an important project. A very important project.”

“Brisco, I can’t see you waste away your life like this. You used to be someone who spent his life searching for the ‘coming thing’ and now you are buried in looking for simply the next drink?”

“Clarification, the perfect drink.” Brisco corrected him and took a sip of his drink. As much as he loved alcohol, he had to admit, this was still not the right concoction. He referenced his black book again before crossing off “Gin & Tonic Water.” Just as he was placing it back into his pocket, two stunt men approached the bar.

“Pardon me, Mr. County?” asked the shorter of the two.

“Do you mind if we practice the upcoming stunt?” the larger and quieter man asked.

“Not at all, the bar is yours,” Brisco replied as he stood and stepped back from the bar. The larger man proceeded to throw the smaller stunt man over the bar to prepare for filming the action shot.

“That’s a pathetic attempt at a throw!” exclaimed a young female voice from behind Brisco. Without turning around, Brisco knew that it was Rachel, the lead actress. She was a stunning beauty recently discovered from a vaudeville or rodeo show, Brisco couldn’t recall. She looked about 16 or 17 with long blonde hair, usually in some updo loaded with curls. Today, it seemed that the curls could not be piled any higher on top of her head. How the curls could stay perfectly balanced defied gravity. She was a petite thing and Brisco would be surprised if she made it to 5 feet tall as she looked to be just shy of that mark. As usual, the lead actress was dressed in a dancing hall girl’s costume.

Brisco held in a laugh as he watched Rachel move them about the set as if she were the director. The first stunt man barely resembled the male lead with his lanky stance while the short and stocky stunt man looking nothing like the villain. But since it would be a quick shot, audience members would probably not notice the difference.

In an effort to move her directions along, Rachel took the first man by the collar and pushed him back to his starting mark while commanding the second one to stand by and observe her movements. Brisco found a chair behind the camera and leaned back to observe Rachel’s latest stunt. It was always amusing when Rachel was in one of her “Women-Can-Do-Anything-A-Man-Can-Do” moods. While Brisco agreed with the sentiment, it was still hilarious to watch Rachel go out of her way to prove it to everyone on the set.

“Brisco…” came the frustrated sigh from Socrates who had followed Brisco to the chairs behind the cameras. “Stop avoiding me!”

“Shut up!” whispered Brisco as he nodded toward the trio. “You’ve gotta watch this,” smiled Brisco. Socrates sighed but when he recognized Rachel, Socrates either temporarily surrendered the battle or experienced a similar sadistic amusement in these moments from Rachel.

“Okay, I’m going to hit you,” Rachel explained as she pushed the sleeves of her dress up and out of her way so that she could have better aim at the first stunt man. Brisco couldn’t help but notice that sweat had begun pouring down both men’s faces as they stared back at her in fear.

“Miss Rachel, ma’am,” came the timid voice of the 2nd stunt man forced to be a helpless observer. “The director said stuntmen ain’t allowed to practice with you no more on account of…”

“On account of what?”

“You have broken two stunt men’s arms.”

“Well, if they did what I said, they wouldn’t have been ill prepared and therefore injured themselves in the process of delivering a believable stunt. Now, I’ve changed my mind. I think it’s best if both of you boys line up and let me hit you!” commanded Rachel as she moved an errant sleeve back up her slender arm.

“No ma’am,” exclaimed the first stuntman as he scurried behind the second stuntman, shoving the helpless counterpart into Rachel’s path. The second man while being pushed forward, stretched his neck and face back as far as he could and scrunched his face, clearly afraid of whatever Rachel might do to him.

“Ugh! You both are such cowards!” exclaimed Rachel as she rolled her eyes. She brushed a curl of blonde hair away from her eyes momentarily as she contemplated her options. Brisco could never understand why the hairstylist insisted on having 1 curl untied and hanging in the girl’s eyes. It seemed so counter-productive but then Brisco was here to comment on the accuracy for the film. That is, if anyone asked him for input. Usually he was ignored by the director and writers, no one really wanted Brisco to enforce the reality of a world that he had helped to shape through his fight for justice. “Fine by me, I get paid by the hour, not by the fact offered,” thought Brisco.

“Fine! I’ve got another idea!” exclaimed Rachel in a loud voice that surprised her victims-to-be.

Rachel moved the second stunt man directly in front of her and turned them both so that he was in front of her facing the bar and she had her back inches away from the bar. She rolled her shoulders back and squared up in front of the stuntman before commanding, “Okay, hit me!”

“Pardon, ma’am?” came the barely audible reply from the clearly terrified stuntman.

“It’s simple! You hit me, I fall over the bar, and illustrate the best way to appeal to the audience for this stunt. And neither of you will get hurt. It’s perfect!”

The bashful stuntman did the softest pretend hit that he could muster only to watch Rachel go flying backwards and flip herself over the bar, narrowly missing the mirror hung at the back of bar. “Wouldn’t it be a better shot to have the mirror shatter and the glass bottles come crashing down?” thought Brisco as he watched the stunt. He took another sip of his drink and grimaced. At the third sip, Brisco definitely knew that he didn’t like the drink, but he would never throw out a good liquor. That would be sacrilege.

“See! That’s what you needed to do. Add more flourish.”

“Rachel Hawkes!” yelled a bald man who barely reached Rachel’s chin in height. He was on the other side of the room but with that loud crackly voice, he could be heard on the moon. Brisco instantly recognized him as the associate producer but could not recall his name. It seemed that so many starting directors and producers wanted to cut their teeth in Hollywood Westerns these days that they all seemed to blur together. When Socrates originally told Brisco about these jobs in Hollywood it seemed too good to be true. But it turned out to be everything Brisco wanted. He could drink all day, watch idiots pretend to hit each other, all while being called a “consultant.” Sure, he gave consultations when asked but he learned early on, that what was accurate was often less important than what made money.

The preferred and standard formula was very simple. Unshaven “bad guy” with crooked teeth and dark clothes kidnaps a helpless damsel in distress. Meanwhile, the “good guy” rescues said damsel from the bad buy and ultimately defeats the bad guy in some standoff, while managing to keep his garish get-up pristine. The setting sometimes changed. The period associated with the costumes changed. The standoff sometimes changed between a gunfight, a French Revolutionary duel, or even a boxing match, but in the end the overall plot was the same. Brisco looked up to see Rachel receiving a sharp lecture from the associate producer. He could see Rachel fuming, but he knew that her idealism would not catch on anytime soon. Brisco granted himself a moment or two of pity for her before allowing himself to turn his attention to back to his drink. Another sip might help him decide what to try next time.

With the lecture finally ended, Rachel moved across the set to sit on the other side of Brisco and await her cue. Socrates stood out of a dying age’s chivalry as Rachel sat down but she merely responded with a forced smile, dripping with attitude. “At least my distress will be genuine today,” muttered Rachel before huffing and crossing her arms in front of her. She could probably be a more popular beauty if she didn’t look like she was constantly chewing on lemons. Before she could speak or glare at Brisco, he turned his attention on the scene about to start as if he hung on every pantomimed gesture in front of him.

Brisco always had to hold in his laughs while watching this particular leading man. In an effort to wordlessly convey strength, he seemed to always find ways to flex his muscles or to unbutton more shirt buttons. It wouldn’t be long before he started completing each scene without a shirt at all. Brisco struggled to think of a sheriff, deputy, marshal, or even bounty hunter more vain that this actor.

After a few moments of watching antagonists pretend to chew tobacco and attempt to rile the overly vain hero, Brisco thought back to his days in San Francisco and Harvard. Being a drama minor, he was able to attend quite a few plays. Brisco appreciated the scripts of classic dramas and comedies and found this pantomimed acting to be lacking any artistic soul. For a moment, Brisco let his mind float. “What it would be like to have talking pictures? Where the actors could speak great lines of genius instead of merely miming simplistic actions? Maybe it could even me a coming…” Brisco stopped the thought with another sip of his drink. No, he would not allow his mind to wander down that path.

After a few moments of silence from Rachel, she began under her breath, “I can shoot better, ride faster, and fight bigger than our leading man over there and yet, I’m stuck over here.”

“And you’ve got a bigger dictionary for cussin’ words than I have ever heard on the trail,” laughed Brisco before he continued “Believe me. If I could help showcase your talent, I would. But as it is, I’m not a respected source here and you’re too…”


“And it’s not what the public wants.”

“You mean what Hollywood says the public wants.”

Brisco turned to Rachel in mock shock and sarcastically stated, “You mean what the public wants and what Hollywood says the public wants may not be the same?”

“Hush you too – never bite the hand that feeds,” cautioned Socrates under his breath.

Brisco and Rachel snickered at the scold but each let the commentary go and turned to watch the scene.

At just that moment, the director called “Cut.” And the leading man, Terrance, called for a make-up artist. Terrance inspected his perfectly manicured nails as the make-up artist added more make-up to his face before Terrance called out to the director. “Please remember that I cannot film any shots of violence today. I am the most handsome man in Hollywood with an upcoming picture series in the LA Times. I simply would hate to break a nail while punching another man.”

“He’s not punching correctly if he’s worried about breaking a nail,” Brisco stated under his breath so that only Rachel could hear.

“My hero,” laughed Rachel as she held her gloved hand to her forehead in a mock swoon. The director, Thomas Ince, called for her to discuss his idea for her entrance, so Rachel stood up, smoothed her dress, and quickly moved to the director to discuss his ideas.

Socrates and Brisco both stood as she left their chairs but as soon as Rachel was out of earshot, Socrates began to whisper again. “Brisco, we need to talk somewhere more private. Lenore –“

To which Brisco angrily snapped at Socrates, “I have told you time and again that I will not take her call! If she asks, I’m not here. If she calls, I am not here. If it’s a telegram then accept it and add it to the pile. I am not here!”

“Would you like to pretend that I am not here too?”

Brisco turned around in his chair to see Lenore standing at the back of the room. She was dressed all in black but her beautiful piercing brown eyes seemed to look directly into Brisco’s soul. Brisco gulped as the guilt and shame that he had been working to bury deep inside began to bubble towards the surface.

“Well, Shit!” Was all the Brisco could think.

- - - - - - - - -

“Whiskey!” Brisco exclaimed while sitting down at the bar. He could still feel his insides shuddering after running into Lenore at the set and clumsily escaping her to the first place he could think of… the nearest actual bar. One with a much larger assortment of alcohol than available on the movie set.

“Just one?” snorted the bartender.

“At the moment, just the one,” Brisco bit out.

The bartender shrugged and poured the shot of whiskey. Brisco stared at it debating how many to order.

“Hell-o Brisco.” a familiar voice trilled from out of sight. Brisco lifted his head and frowned. Without turning to see who the voice belonged to, Brisco grimaced, “Hello Pete.”

Brisco took a sideways glance at Pete Hutter. True to form, Pete still donned long hair, an unshaven face, and dark clothes.

“You wouldn’t still be searching for ‘the coming thing?’” began Pete.

At Pete’s question, Brisco flinched. But instead of immediately responding, he allowed his shoulders to relax the tension as he finished his whiskey and motioned for the bartender to start pouring the next. “Nope. I got outta that business years ago.”

Pete leaned in an whispered - “I happened to be bedizened with a Wellsian-“

Brisco cut Pete off while shrugging Pete away, “While I would love to listen to another one of your rambling monologues about existentialism in the known universe or your odd opinions about art and culture before having you screw me over for your personal interest and leave me in the lurch, I’m not interested. Not now. Not anymore. I’ve been the hero, I’ve been the champion of the people, and what has it got me? Nothing. So, either sit here and drink or get the hell out of here!”

Pete opened his mouth to say something, looked down at his feet, and then said, “I was sorry to hear about Bowler,” before nodding to the bartender to pour three more whiskeys. In a somewhat bewildering moment of sadness, Pete lifted his glass to Brisco.

“To lost friends,” Pete said as the two clinked glasses, toasted the third glass, and downed the shot of whiskey. After finishing the drink, the scheming smile crept across Pete’s face. Pete gave Brisco a wink before tipping his hat, throwing cash on the bar, and strolled out of the bar, whistling.

In the same moment, Brisco felt curious about whatever Pete was up to and a twinge of guilt for snapping at Pete. Brisco shook off both emotions. He was no longer involved in the law and if it was any other individual, Brisco would have felt sorry for snapping. But it was Pete. So, honestly, what did it matter? At that, Brisco motioned for his next whiskey.

“How goes the search for the perfect drink?’” came Socrates’ disapproving voice from the right. Brisco had not even heard the barstool scratch across the floor as Socrates sat down. “Must be getting lazy with the Hollywood life.” Brisco had finished the most recent shot but decided to stare down into his glass rather than immediately acknowledge Socrates. Socrates and Brisco had an easy paying job where they could “consult” idiots, drink all day, and flirt with beautiful actresses. “Wasn’t this what the high life was supposed to be? Why is everyone so determined to have me leave this haven? Even Soc wants to move on. Maybe he should have taken a page from Bat Masterson and changed his name to prevent dumbasses from trying to make him relive past adventures.”

Brisco broke the silence after feeling Socrates’ eyes begin to burn holes into the side of Brisco’s face. “Man’s gotta have a hobby. Besides, I know that I can create the perfect drink, just give me enough time and ingredients.”

“What happens when you find it? What purpose will you have in life then?” demanded Socrates.

Brisco laughed bitterly. “Is it search for the coming thing day? Everyone get together and let’s all ride out into the open horizon? C’mon Soc. There is ‘no coming thing’ and no ‘destiny’ in front of us. Even if I had a destiny, it ended with Bly’s death.” Brisco motioned for another drink. Not because he really wanted anymore whiskey but in an effort to move Socrates’ weekly scold to the next part of the conversation.

“Besides,” Brisco continued, “All I found was loss. Loss of love. Loss of a father. Loss of the government job. Loss of the Westerfield Club and their money. Hell, we can throw in loss of the plains and buffalo while we’re at it!”

“Loss of a friend,” chimed in Soc. “Maybe even loss of justice?”

Brisco winced.

“Honestly, Soc, I’m where I’m supposed to be. And you got me my job here, remember?”

“Don’t remind me,” sighed Socrates as he removed his glasses to pinch at a nose as though a migraine might be forming.

“Soc, I am consulting on a life that I used to live but no longer exists. We have moved beyond from prairie life to an Industrial Age. My world is dated and we’re a thing of the past. So, thank you! Thank you for my job, my life, and my chance to reminisce!” With the words hardly out, Brisco swallowed the last of the drink and motioned for another.

“I wanted to provide a temporary escape not a destination that you settle into for the rest of your life,” Soc sighed. There was a sadness in Socrates’ voice that Brisco had not heard before which shook Brisco. Brisco turned to study Socrates but about fell out of his chair when Socrates called to the bartender, “Whiskey!”

“Based on the way you dress, I would have pegged you for something with an umbrella in the drink,” asked the bartender dryly.

“And I had you pegged as a bartender who served drinks without comment, so I guess we both made a wrong assumption,” sniped Socrates. At the sarcastic response, the bartender shrugged and poured a whiskey for Socrates.

“You don’t drink whiskey! You do normally drink something with an umbrella in it. Or something in a pretty shade of pink. Or something pretty in pink with an umbrella!” exclaimed Brisco.

“I am not here to judge your reaction to Lenore so you are not allowed to judge what I drink tonight.”

As Socrates nursed his whiskey, Brisco watched incredulously. “You know there are other lawmen on the lot that you could bother? Why do you have to be glued to me as my conscious? I mean, I hear Wyatt Earp is only a few lots down from where we’re sitting. How about you bother him for a few days? You might even get a better paycheck.”

“Wyatt has his wife. You have me.”

“Ah yes, the lovely Sadie,” smiled Brisco as he feigned a far-off and dreamy look. “Do you think Wyatt would be willing to trade you for her? One celebrity wife swapped for another?” asked Brisco mischievously.

“We aren’t celebrities and I am hardly your wife,” argued Socrates.

“You nag like one-“

“And,” continued Socrates, “I am sure you would get a bullet for merely suggesting the idea,” muttered Socrates.

“Still-“ mused Brisco. “It’s a nice daydream.” Brisco again pretended to be lost in a daydream but was actually scanning the top shelf alcohol. “Maybe it was time to switch to the good stuff.”

“Did you know that they were in Alaska as part of the gold rush?” chimed in the bartender who had been listening to the conversation between friends.

“I think that I could have done that,” mused Brisco.

“Got married?”

“Led expeditions to Alaska. I think that I would have been an excellent guide in that environment.”

Socrates tried to regain control of the conversation and began with, “She says that it’s about her son. Otherwise, she would not be bothering you-“

“Sadie has a son?” Brisco asked, bewildered.

Socrates rolled his eyes and gave Brisco a sideways glance before placing his glasses back on his nose and taking another sip of his whiskey. “Bowler’s son, James Jr..”

If felt like someone punched Brisco in the gut when Socrates said Bowler’s name. Brisco had to take deep breaths to keep himself cool. Maybe it was because the comment was unexpected. Or maybe Brisco had more alcohol than he had accounted for. But whatever the reason, Brisco found himself finally opening up.

“I was so angry, Soc. So angry when Bowler left our partnership, our business, and our friendship, just to be with Lenore. The job, the partnership, the world, it just… it just wasn’t the same without him. He wasn’t just my business partner or friend. He was the man that I went on missions with and we fought for justice together. We were executed side-by-side and survived a firing squad. He stood by me to take down every man who murdered my father. He was more than a friend, he was my brother. And then suddenly he was gone.”

“I know,” came Socrates’ empathetic response.

“He didn’t even tell me that he left because he found out about James Jr.. It was just suddenly he was gone. Headed back to Hard Rock to marry Lenore.”

Socrates looked across the bar in front of him and then down at his glass. He kept his face expressionless. Socrates was aware of all of this, despite Brisco never voicing these regrets until today. But the day that the national newspaper reported Bowler’s death, Brisco went on a three-day-bender. It would have continued had Brisco not been arrested and Socrates forced to bail Brisco out of jail. “Just like Bowler to battle cancer for months but not tell anyone until he was already gone,” thought Socrates.

“I always wondered how much of what you feel is jealousy?”

“Jealousy and pride,” replied Brisco, who was slightly shocked by his own confession. “Jealous that he married the woman that he loved, had a son, and became a respected sheriff in the town his wife was mayor. It was always a battle between jealousy and pride. One of us had found a home. Neither of us really had that environment as kids.”

Outside of Brisco’s line of sight, Socrates motioned for the bartender to get Brisco a cup of coffee.

“I was going to go back, Soc. I was going to apologize. I was going to talk to him again. In person and not in a letter or over the phone. But days turned into months. Months turned into years. And now, it’s too late. He’s gone and I have never wanted the orb back in my life more than I do right now. To go back and…” Brisco’s voice broke off.

Socrates sighed as he exchanged the shot gloss in Brisco’s hand with a cup of coffee. Seeing that Brisco was too engrossed in regret to even notice the change in beverage, Socrates felt safe to continue Brisco’s thought. “To cheat death on Bowler’s behalf and survive Bly’s original fatal gunshot only to have him die by the silent hand of cancer, is cruel. Unjust even. An unfair twist of life.” With this Socrates reached his hand over and patted Brisco’s arm. “It’s time.”

Brisco did not reply but mutely sipped his coffee.

Socrates continued, “Brisco, it’s time to find out why Lenore’s here. Time to help our friend’s widow. And time to move forward again. Because for her to travel all this way, despite your years of silence, this must be one hell of an emergency.”

Brisco cleared his throat awkwardly, “Did she even stay after my clumsy exit?”

Socrates gave his friend a kind smile and said, “I told her that your driver, Uber, had arrived and if you were late, he’d increase your price or leave you stranded at the lot. But I assured her that we would all meet at my office at 6 pm.”

“How did you know that I would come around?”

“Because I knew that you would regret it for the rest of your life if you did not help Bowler’s widow.”

As Socrates ordered another cup of coffee for Brisco to take on the road and paid the bar tab, Brisco observed, “You’ve certainly come a long way Soc. You are no longer the pushover mouthpiece for a faceless organization parroting their rules and bottom lines.”

“What can I say? You and Bowler had a terrible influence on me.”

“Soc, there’s still something that puzzles me. Who the hell is Uber?”

- - - - - - - - -

“You got the flowers and telegram that I sent for the funeral, correct?” inquired a nervous Brisco. Socrates, Brisco, and Lenore were sitting in Socrates’ small office. The awkward silence ever growing in the room.

“We did. And while I would like to discuss how we would have much rather seen you than the flowers, this is not the time nor the place for that discussion.”

Brisco shifted nervously in his seat before beginning again, “Soc says it is about James? Some kind of trouble?”

Lenore shook her head as though overwhelmed and found herself fidgeting with the clasp on her purse, “I’m not even sure where to begin,” she whispered. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before continuing, “Bowler always said that you were looking for the coming thing. That you always had your eyes forward and believed in the impossible. He said that he had seen a lot of unexplainable things while riding the trails with you and he said that he wouldn’t want to face anything unexplainable without you.”

Brisco became embarrassed and tried to hide his reddening face by taking a big gulp of the coffee. It burned his throat as it went down and all Brisco could think was, “Another round of shots sounds pretty good right now.”

“I truly believe that you are the only man who can save my son, partially because of what my husband said about you and because I think you are the only person who will believe me…” she paused for a moment as Socrates had quietly left the room and returned with a glass of water. Lenore took the glass but merely held it rather than drank it. She finally began the story, “James and I were at the house talking about what things Bowler would want to keep at the house and what we should donate in his memory a museum, when a man appeared in a glowing light.”

Brisco leaned forward. “A man and not a woman?” clarified Brisco.

“Did he have an orb?” asked Socrates.

“Was the light all around him? Was he naked?” interrupted Brisco.

Awestruck, Lenore’s only response was, “You’ve seen this before, then?”

“Maybe-“ mused Brisco. “Did he have a gold metal round thing with him? About this big and heavy,” Brisco used his hand to attempt to share the size of the orbs that he had come across in the past.

“Was there a woman with him?” asked Socrates.

“Boys, I can’t follow your questions and to be frank, they don’t make sense.”

“Our apologies,” said Socrates as he settled back into his chair and gave a look to Brisco to do the same. “Please continue.” But even from where Brisco sat, he could tell that Socrates was as excited and concerned as Brisco felt.

“As I was saying, a man appeared in a light, but no, he was wearing clothes. However, his clothes caught fire. He threw some kind of leather bracelet thing to James and ran outside to roll around in the grass and put out the fire. It was just him, no one else. I followed him outside with Bowler’s shotgun as I wasn’t sure who this crazy man was or how he appeared out of thin air. I was outside for maybe 1 or 2 minutes trying to calm this boy down. He kept asking what date and year it was and saying he was a doctor or professor or something. We were both confused and hollering at each other. Then there was another big light and when I ran inside, my boy was gone. James was gone!”

Lenore paused for a moment to choke back her tears. Socrates took the glass of water and placed it nearby, handed a handkerchief to Lenore, and tried to gently pat her on the back. As tenderness was not really a skill of this attorney, the pat ended up being more of an awkward almost slap on the back rather than a sign of empathy. Despite the sadness in the air, the sight of Socrates’ attempt at kindness made Brisco stifle a laugh. As Brisco covered his face in an attempt to look deep in thought, he could almost see a bewildered look from Lenore. As though to say, “What the hell does this lawyer think he’s doing?” Brisco erupted in coughs as this was not the time to be laughing during the poor widow’s story. It was unclear if Socrates picked up on the social faux pas, but Socrates did sit down which was enough to enable Lenore to continue her story.

“I ran back outside to get answers from the stranger but he was gone. I looked around and found that the leather bracelet tossed at James was missing so I know that the stranger and the bracelet somehow took my son.”

“Do you have any leads on the stranger or James?”

Lenore shook her head before saying, “No leads on James but I think the professor must have escaped with my neighbor’s horse because he stated that it was missing later that day.”

“Does anyone else from the town know anything or did they see anything?”

“Who am I going to tell? Who would believe me?” huffed Lenore.

Brisco and Socrates silently looked at each other.

“We are sorry for your loss but I’m not sure how I can help,” stated an unsure Brisco.

“You are used to odd things. If anyone can help me find my son, it would be you.”

Brisco thought a moment, while he was flattered by the faith in him, how in the world would he even begin the search for James? His mind began to race. If the bracelet is a mode of transportation, kind of like the orb traveling through time, then James could be anywhere, in time or space. If the professor stole a horse, then he must have only had the one bracelet. So, the best start of the search would be tracking the man who is leaving footprints and force him to help rescue James.

“Has the horse turned up anywhere?” inquired Brisco as he could feel his mind begin to turn with ideas.

“I just got a telegram from my neighbor that it was found in Ventura.”

“Seems like a good place to start,” commented Socrates.

“Who sent the telegram?” inquired Brisco. They would need all of the allies that they could get if they were tracking someone from the future.

“Actually, an old friend of ours – Sherriff Aaron Viva. He moved out to Ventura when he lost the election for sheriff to Bowler.”

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