Law for Hire: Protecting Hickok [NOOK Book]

Overview

Killing the Legend

City life is all Teddy Blue has ever known -- until the cravenmurder of his brother, a Chicago policeman, changes his world overnight. Determined to hunt down the killer, he joins the Pinkerton Detective Agency and buries all thoughts of his old life along with his slaughtered sibling. But the former law student needs experience -- and Teddy's about to get more than he bargained for in the wide open West, acting as bodyguard to the famous William Hickok. ...

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Law for Hire: Protecting Hickok

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Overview

Killing the Legend

City life is all Teddy Blue has ever known -- until the cravenmurder of his brother, a Chicago policeman, changes his world overnight. Determined to hunt down the killer, he joins the Pinkerton Detective Agency and buries all thoughts of his old life along with his slaughtered sibling. But the former law student needs experience -- and Teddy's about to get more than he bargained for in the wide open West, acting as bodyguard to the famous William Hickok. Irascible and unpredictable, "Wild Bill" more than lives up to his name. And now that his eyesight is failing and his taste for opium is increasing, his enemies are preparing to put a permanent end to his fabled career. Suddenly Hickok's survival depends on an untested young man from Illinois -- who's about to learn quick that, in Wyoming, justice isn't won with law and reason . . . but with a loaded Colt and a lightning draw.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061748257
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 106,960
  • File size: 422 KB

Meet the Author

Bill Brooks is an author of eighteen novels of historical and frontier fiction. He lives in North Carolina.

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Read an Excerpt

Law for Hire: Protecting Hickok


By Bill Brooks

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Bill Brooks All right reserved. ISBN: 0060541768

Chapter One

His name was Teddy Blue and he was cut from the cloth of wanderer. Born of breeding, his father was a Chicago lawyer and personal friend of the late President Lincoln. His brother had become a captain in the Chicago Police Department on his way up the ladder of success, as they say, until gunned down in a seedy bordello on that city's South Side. The murder broke a certain resolve in the younger man's heart. He told his father he was dropping out of law school.

"I forbid it," the patriarch said. "It's foolish and uncalled for."

"I want to go away for a while. Find out who I am, where I belong."

"You belong here."

But he was his own man now and they both knew it.

"Finish law school then go find out who you are," the father urged, for he was a man who had known such feelings in his own youth, had sailed the seas to China and fell in love with a dark-skinned woman in Marrakesh. He understood the urgency of youth, but hoped now that his only surviving son would take the more direct route to his ultimate destiny.

But instead, the boy walked the streets at night feeling lost, angry. He stood outside the house with its many windows and watched his parents move about like shadows within and felt their sense of loss as well. He wasn'tsure where he would go when he went. He half wished the war was still going on so he could join the battle. He stayed aimless throughout the winter, tasted snow on his tongue, got drunk, consorted with the low crowd in the harbor bars, fought and lost his virginity to a woman named Sadie. Then one evening he went on a lark to Nixon's Amphitheater and saw three of the West's most famous frontiersmen performing badly - Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Wild Bill Hickok - and it stirred something deep and primeval in him and he began thinking about the West. By the spring he'd gone to Texas. And by the end of the next summer he'd helped take a thousand longhorn cattle north to Kansas.

The letter of his father's suicide came General Delivery, at the end of his last cattle drive to Ellsworth, Kansas. He read it and it filled him with a sorrow that surprised him. The news had come too late for him to do much but get pie-eyed drunk with an old saddle tramp named John Sears who had taught him to shoot a pistol well enough to make men cautious of him.

"You going back, or what?" Sears said. They were in copper bathtubs big as small boats, full to sloshing over with soapy water and two fat whores.

"I don't know," Teddy said. "I feel like an outlaw."

"You ain't done nothing to be ashamed of."

"I went country on 'em, John."

"Shit, you did what anybody with hot red blood would have done."

"The old man wanted me to stay and become a lawyer. I already had two years in college."

John shifted his stogie, spoke around it as one of the fat whores washed his hair then rubbed her big bosoms all around his head.

"Which one?" he said.

"Which one what?"

"Which college did you go to?"

"Harvard."

"No shit."

"No shit."

"I heard of it."

"You have?"

"Hell, I ain't ignorant, in spite of what you might think."

"I never said you were - I just figured you were always out here in this country."

"I still got family ... well, some anyway, back in Boston and that area."

"You from there?"

"No, I'm from Ohio originally. Farm kid too lazy to pick corn and milk cows. Came out to this country when I was fourteen. Liked it well enough to stay."

"You ever going back?"

"This country's ruined me on anything East."

"Look at us ... "

"Honey, you want to do that some more," John said to the fat whore, and she giggled, and he said, "By God, a man could fall in love easy enough if he let himself."

Then Hide Walker, their ramrod, came in and said that the grangers had gone to the city fathers and the city fathers had come straight to him and said they didn't want no more Texas cattle coming into Empire next season and that he could just forget about it if that was what his plans were.

Hide stomped around saying goddamn this and goddamn them sonsabitches and they could all kiss his sorry ass, and he was nearly as drunk as they were but wasn't enjoying it half as much.

"I guess I'm going to pay you boys off and let you catch on with whatever you can catch on with."

John Sears said, "I'll take mine in silver, I like the weight of it in my pockets." Hide went and got him his money in silver and gave it to him. Then, still angry, he said, "You know what those sonsabitches said to me? Said, we wasn't welcome no more and they was going to run all the whores out and turn all the saloons into churches and schools and put up fences to keep us out, and I said, 'Shit I wouldn't come back here if you was to give me a elephant to ride.'"

John damn near drowned laughing, and Teddy ached with a bittersweet sorrow of having learned of the death of his father and the death of a part of the West he'd come to love.

"You want my whore?" he said to Hide, stepping out of the tub, soap running off his lean frame.

Hide looked at the whore and said, "I reckon it beats falling off my horse" and stripped down and got into the tub ...

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Law for Hire: Protecting Hickok by Bill Brooks
Copyright © 2003 by Bill Brooks
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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First Chapter

Chapter One

His name was Teddy Blue and he was cut from the cloth of wanderer. Born of breeding, his father was a Chicago lawyer and personal friend of the late President Lincoln. His brother had become a captain in the Chicago Police Department on his way up the ladder of success, as they say, until gunned down in a seedy bordello on that city's South Side. The murder broke a certain resolve in the younger man's heart. He told his father he was dropping out of law school.

"I forbid it," the patriarch said. "It's foolish and uncalled for."

"I want to go away for a while. Find out who I am, where I belong."

"You belong here."

But he was his own man now and they both knew it.

"Finish law school then go find out who you are," the father urged, for he was a man who had known such feelings in his own youth, had sailed the seas to China and fell in love with a dark-skinned woman in Marrakesh. He understood the urgency of youth, but hoped now that his only surviving son would take the more direct route to his ultimate destiny.

But instead, the boy walked the streets at night feeling lost, angry. He stood outside the house with its many windows and watched his parents move about like shadows within and felt their sense of loss as well. He wasn't sure where he would go when he went. He half wished the war was still going on so he could join the battle. He stayed aimless throughout the winter, tasted snow on his tongue, got drunk, consorted with the low crowd in the harbor bars, fought and lost his virginity to a woman named Sadie. Then one evening he went on a lark to Nixon's Amphitheater and saw three of the West's most famous frontiersmen performing badly -- Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Wild Bill Hickok -- and it stirred something deep and primeval in him and he began thinking about the West. By the spring he'd gone to Texas. And by the end of the next summer he'd helped take a thousand longhorn cattle north to Kansas.

The letter of his father's suicide came General Delivery, at the end of his last cattle drive to Ellsworth, Kansas. He read it and it filled him with a sorrow that surprised him. The news had come too late for him to do much but get pie-eyed drunk with an old saddle tramp named John Sears who had taught him to shoot a pistol well enough to make men cautious of him.

"You going back, or what?" Sears said. They were in copper bathtubs big as small boats, full to sloshing over with soapy water and two fat whores.

"I don't know," Teddy said. "I feel like an outlaw."

"You ain't done nothing to be ashamed of."

"I went country on 'em, John."

"Shit, you did what anybody with hot red blood would have done."

"The old man wanted me to stay and become a lawyer. I already had two years in college."

John shifted his stogie, spoke around it as one of the fat whores washed his hair then rubbed her big bosoms all around his head.

"Which one?" he said.

"Which one what?"

"Which college did you go to?"

"Harvard."

"No shit."

"No shit."

"I heard of it."

"You have?"

"Hell, I ain't ignorant, in spite of what you might think."

"I never said you were -- I just figured you were always out here in this country."

"I still got family ... well, some anyway, back in Boston and that area."

"You from there?"

"No, I'm from Ohio originally. Farm kid too lazy to pick corn and milk cows. Came out to this country when I was fourteen. Liked it well enough to stay."

"You ever going back?"

"This country's ruined me on anything East."

"Look at us ... "

"Honey, you want to do that some more," John said to the fat whore, and she giggled, and he said, "By God, a man could fall in love easy enough if he let himself."

Then Hide Walker, their ramrod, came in and said that the grangers had gone to the city fathers and the city fathers had come straight to him and said they didn't want no more Texas cattle coming into Empire next season and that he could just forget about it if that was what his plans were.

Hide stomped around saying goddamn this and goddamn them sonsabitches and they could all kiss his sorry ass, and he was nearly as drunk as they were but wasn't enjoying it half as much.

"I guess I'm going to pay you boys off and let you catch on with whatever you can catch on with."

John Sears said, "I'll take mine in silver, I like the weight of it in my pockets." Hide went and got him his money in silver and gave it to him. Then, still angry, he said, "You know what those sonsabitches said to me? Said, we wasn't welcome no more and they was going to run all the whores out and turn all the saloons into churches and schools and put up fences to keep us out, and I said, 'Shit I wouldn't come back here if you was to give me a elephant to ride.'"

John damn near drowned laughing, and Teddy ached with a bittersweet sorrow of having learned of the death of his father and the death of a part of the West he'd come to love.

"You want my whore?" he said to Hide, stepping out of the tub, soap running off his lean frame.

Hide looked at the whore and said, "I reckon it beats falling off my horse" and stripped down and got into the tub ...

Law for Hire: Protecting Hickok. Copyright © by Bill Brooks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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