Part II - Chapter 06 - The Irishmen in Miami

It was midday when they arrived in town. Unfortunately, there were not any horses or other transportation that they were able to spot on their run. Rachel could feel a stitch in her side so she took a couple deep breaths to push through the pain. Over the course of the run she had explained the little information that she knew – how she met Brisco in Hollywood, that he was asked by Lenore to locate James, and that they had located some kind of doctor or professor (she still wasn’t sure of his true identity and no one would explain it to her). All she really knew about “Doc” was that he was there to help solve the mystery of James’ misadventures and to help get him home. Rachel had tried to explain the little that she could understand about the scientist’s explanations thus far explained – that the bracelet would protect the wearer from any harm thus making him bulletproof. There was something off in the bracelet causing his landings to result in forcing him in enclosed and random locations instead of in clearings. The final part of the bracelet was still confusing to Rachel, the bit about the bracelet can send an individual “home.”

“It sounds to me like this Doc guy might be able to help me get back to my life.” James pulled out a pocket watch to study the time. It had been almost 3 hours since he last landed which meant that time was running out before the bracelet would propel him to a new location.

James followed Rachel’s lead as they snuck back to the hotel where the traveling trio had checked into the night before. She led James up the stairs to Doc’s room but when they knocked on the door, there was no answer. Rachel twisted the doorknob but it was locked. Rachel quickly removed a hair pin and started fidgeting with the lock. Just as she was about to unlock the door, a couple started walking down the hallway. They were laughing obnoxiously but hushed when they eyed James and Rachel. James had blocked the door lock and began laughing himself. It was a deep, booming laugh that made her feel safe.

“I keep telling you girl, you have had too much to drink. There should be 1 lock not 3 of ‘em.” He nodded at the couple as they passed by. However, they seemed satisfied that James & Rachel were inebriated as well and began to laugh as they moved down the hall. Rachel took a sigh of relief and finally opened the door.

As Rachel and James looked around, it was clear that the doctor was not in the room. “Has he been kidnapped as well?” asked James eyeing the papers and clothes strewn about the room.

Rachel rolled her eyes, “Nope. That’s just Doc. He says that there’s a method to his chaos but sometimes I feel like he lives in more madness than method.”

As they began to survey the room for evidence of Doc’s whereabouts they heard a loud commotion downstairs. Raised voices in disagreement.

“Here you go, Doc. Celebrate! I’m about to make you rich!” exclaimed a familiar voice. Rachel gasped as she realized who it belonged to. “That’s Brisco!” she whispered, more in shock than in a need to be unheard.

She ran out the door and down the hallway without thinking. Rachel had only made it to the top of the stairs when a hand grabbed hers and spun her around. “Wait! We need to be smart about this. We only have the one gun, do you have any others? Do we know who he’s talking to?”

Rachel kicked herself internally. Of course, she knew not to take off running but she couldn’t resist a familiar voice and the thought of finally having this adventure completed. Rachel led James to her room but was shocked to find her room also destroyed. Her luggage looked like it had been dumped out and items thrown about the room.

“Hotel maid’s day off?”

An embarrassed Rachel quickly grabbed a corset that had caught on a door handle and threw it into her bag along with other intimate items. “I didn’t even unlace my shoes last night, much less throw my clothes around my room.”

“Maybe the maid gets paid extra for unpacking?”

“Hardly,” responded Rachel with a raised eyebrow as she turned to look at James for a moment.

“Anything missing?”

“The important item isn’t,” Rachel replied as she finally found her derringer pistol. She had hidden it with the folds of her bag so that it would not have been found or confiscated should her luggage be searched. Clearly, her decision to surreptitiously pack the gun had been the correct call.

“That’s it?” James asked incredulously.

Rachel pointed about the room before stating, “Unfortunately, Michael and Fi took the guns I was wearing last night when they knocked me out.”

“Hopefully, two guns will be enough,” muttered James as he followed Rachel out of the room. The two silently moved down the stairs and across the lobby to the dining area where they could hear voices. A bearded man with long hair and dressed in black was guarding the door.

Seeing James and Rachel walk towards him, the man tipped his hand and with a large smile stated, “The dining area is closed for a private event. We recommend visiting any other restaurant in town and I thank you to vacate the premises immediately.”

James turned as though about to leave before quickly turning back and punched the door keeper in the gut. The man bent over in pain but merely grunted in agony as James was bringing both hands as one fist down on the back of the guard’s head. The bearded man was passed out on the floor within moments. Rachel gracefully stepped over the body as though he were a stunt man in a movie and cautiously opened the door. As she peered through the cracked door she recognized O’Banion, the man from the picture that James found at the house. Even though the man was looking in a different direction and she could only see his profile, Rachel instantly recognized the man. The other man had his back to James and Rachel so they couldn’t be identified. However, the men had their guns pointed towards the center of the room. Across the room, two figures were standing with an arsenal spread out across the tables behind them.

Rachel squinted to see who was in the middle of the room and realized it was Michael and Brisco County as she heard Brisco’s voice, “Listen, we don’t want any trouble. But a deal’s a deal.”

“We need a demonstration not pretty pictures. We need to see what we are about to purchase in action!” came a thick Irish accent.

Rachel looked over to see if James was hearing all of this information but to her horror, he was laying on the floor, knocked out. She looked up to see the hotel manager and Burns both pointing guns at her.

“I don’t take kindly to spies in my establishment,” sneered the hotel manager as he took the gun from Santa Barbara, “But I also don’t take kindly to blood in my hotel. So, you will kindly lead the way to the back alley.” When Rachel refused to move, Burns moved his pointed gun down at the knocked-out James and cocked it to signal that any attempt at heroics would cost James’ life. She had no choice but to turn towards the door.

They only walked a few steps outside before Rachel was ordered to stop. As she turned around, she noticed that only the hotel manager had followed her out. Burns had stayed inside.

“Who are you working for?” demanded the hotel manager.

“Excuse me?” asked Rachel. She had figured that an executioner would be more interested in silencing their prisoners rather than interrogating the individual.

“Who are you working for?” repeated the hotel manager.

“Hollywood,” answered Rachel truthfully. This answer did not amuse her captor so he aimed and shot at her feet. “Try again.”

“What do you want?” asked Rachel attempting to gain the upper hand.


“Well, you won’t get any.” He shot again, this time just above her head. “By hook or by crook, we will.”

“Who are you?” demanded an indignant Rachel. The more that he was playing this game of shooting near Rachel as a method of intimidation, the more that fear left her and was replaced by a volcanic ire.

“The captor of room number two.”

Rachel’s anger had reached the boiling point but before she could let loose her temper, the door opened behind her. She turned to see James slowly coming out of the door behind her. Her mouth about hit the ground as she saw the person behind James was not Burns. “It was Doc! Doc is pointing a gun at James!”

“Ah! I see that you have met Mr. Finley’s associate. Apparently, he’s mute but very handy with weapon research and development.”

Rachel turned to face her captor again, too bewildered to commit to any one emotion. “I have tired of your evasiveness girl” and he shot Rachel just below her right collar bone. With all of the injuries Rachel had sustained over the years, nothing compared to the pain of this gunshot wound. Rachel heard someone screaming in pain and did not realize that it was her own voice until Rachel saw the ground begin to rise up to meet her. The closer the ground came to her face, the darker the world seemed to become. She couldn’t tell if it was tears that made the world so dark or if her body was going into shock. When it seemed that she was inches from the ground, she felt strong arms around her and the world around suddenly becoming bright.

“Oh my God! Is this what death looks like?”

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