By all accounts Chance Mitchell, was like many lawmen, who swore to uphold the law? The only difference the town didn’t like his kind of justice. He didn’t bend the rules but enforced them and that didn’t sit well with Wayne Morrison, the mayor, who appointed him to the position.
They clash over his handling , of Victor Meeks ranch hands, who figure they was free to operate to their own rules and justice. To Mitchell’s, they wanted ,a yes man and not a law man running the town. Many wonder, how he could date Meeks eldest daughter Victoria Meeks, and not be intimidated by him.
For sure, it was a odd relationship, since she admired her father ,as a saint of virtues. And, Chance Mitchell couldn’t tolerate him. Which puzzle many respected business leaders, in the town. But, the former Union soldier’s saw the terror ,of Meeks justice before, he was appointed to be the town sheriff.
A hangman’s noose was his answer to anyone that crossed his orders. One, was Ty Mitchell, who made the mistake of not getting out of town fast enough after offending the wife , of Victor Meeks? And, to this day no one has stepped forward with any information concerning the senior Mitchell’s death.
Chance, has heard the rumors that a bounty hunter was on the look out for him and, he needs to be on guard, wherever he venture out? He acknowledge the advice but stood firm against threats. After all, it’s not the first time that he has stood his ground against men of questionable means.
He just knew, if trouble arises , he would be one man, one gun, one badge, in this small Texas town. Because money has bought the fear, of the people for a price. And that his blood spilling would be a welcoming site. Least to those, who feared his type of strict justice?
What amazed the town citizen’s Chance Mitchell would visit Meeks ranch constantly to to see his older child? Which would stir fire in the boots, of the father to leave for a wagon ride to avoid him. Which told Mitchell’s that a man only as brave when he don’t run away.
“I hope your father’s not leaving because of me?” He states looking at him ride off with a few protective ranch hands. Some, who he has killed since being the town’s sheriff, and some he has locked up in jail for disobedience to the rules set down by him.
“Chance, you know if you resign. He’ll respect you more?” Victoria Meeks speaks. He looks at her and hold back on saying, what’s really on his mind? “Respects, don’t come because you back down but because you stood up for something.” He chides her on, what respect and honor means by addressing the things , he saw during the Civil War?
He still see the racist ways in society and the war has been over for three years. The way people will think they can buy those, who don’t have self-respect. “So, if push comes to shove you’d kill my father.” He turns and looks at her with a stare that scares her. “If that should come in to play.” Feeling that there’s nothing else to say the sheriff heads back to town.
His mind occupied to the point that he isn’t alerted to the rider’s following him through the hills and valleys of Texas. He, also less aware of riders above him perched with weapons aimed directly in his directions. At, this moment he’s questioning the remarks about having to killed the biggest owner, of the ranch in the state, of Texas. Which might have played apart in his distractions of being shot and shot at by the lone rider and those on the hills above him.
“Sheriff, obviously you aware we here?” He hides quietly up against the rocks with blood sliding down his arm. One things apparent, he isn’t fearful or afraid to face death. “I’m still hear and standing.” Addressing that before he go he will take a few with him to remember his name. “How is that sheriff, if you’re dead?”
He look slightly for any signs, of getting out of the area. “Confidence usually means you’re afraid.” He shouts out loudly with echoes going through the hills. “I have killed many types like you.” Words that draw fire from the shooters looking down from the mountains in his directions. But, Chance Mitchell still realize that there was another shooter’s shooting in his direction from the ground. And, it’s him that gets the most attention since he closer to him than the others.
“Partner…don’t think I’m distracted to know you here?” He says, while hoping to get an awareness of his whereabouts? But, all he hear is silence. “I see you’re the quiet type.” He remark further. As, he listen tightly for any movement. “You know quiet types usually die quicker?” Hoping to instigate the gunfighter’s to react to his words. Still nothing but complete quiet.
But, that’s about to end, as the gun fighter comes forward and surprise Chance Mitchell. “Don’t shoot!” Not having ,a reason not too the wounded sheriff just keep him weapon aimed on the surprise gunman. A black former slave taller than the sheriff, if not the exact height. “Mister Chance..?” He stares at Chance Mitchell, who can’t recall the slave from any past journey.
“I’m Clarence, I’m the reason your father was slain-ed.” Not sure , if the information is correct ,he listen, but knows that either way danger is still within his range. The former slave goes on to explain that the elder Mitchell stopped him from being hung only to be killed by hired guns. The slave professes the same gunman’s up on that hill.
He clearly has attracted the interest of the sheriff with his story that seems believable about his father. Who would put his life in danger for others. Much more is told to Chance Mitchell, on, why the slave was following him? “You pledged your life to protect mine?” Explaining , he would never go into town for fear of those that still hold feelings about slaves freedom but would always follow the young Mitchell, if he travel out side the city.
Shooting brings this conversation to a quick end, as the shooters unload with constant fire. As, they shoot at Chance Mitchell, he’s unaware that the slave has left his side. He’s more concern now ,because he least had one section of his back cover from being shot. Soon, he hear gun shots ringing out loudly above his head but thinks nothing of it. He just knows that he has let fear set into his mindset.
Soon, the slave reappears, but the sheriff is more guarded against him. “Where you go?!” The slave looks at the person’s, he has sworn to himself to protect. “To take care of your problem.” He remark back to Chance Mitchell, who notice that the shooting has stopped since , he last hear it ragingly above his head.
He stands, to see if he would attract attention from doing it. But none comes, but when he turns back around he finds the ex-slave laying on the ground from bullet wounds. He bury the one man that stood by his side without , a second thought about it. And gave him his badge in the process because he saw in him, what he sees in himself: One man, one gun and now the badge, he worn as the sheriff, of this small Texas town.
Riding into town, many are deeply shocked to see his image. Except for Clint Reynold, the bounty hunter hired by Victor Meeks, to eliminate the worn an weary sheriff from existence. “Mitchell, I’ve been waiting?” “Well, I’m here and let me warn you.” He says with a harsh assertiveness. “You don’t want to take me on!” As, with many brave gunman’s, who don’t back down Reynold’s no different. As, he go for his guns , he is met by the lead of Chance Mitchell, who quick draw has the bounty hunter falling quickly yo the surface with both guns in his hands.
“All you listen and advise Meeks, that he can keep in sending hire guns. But like him their they will still find me.” He states to the town’s people. As, he say one more remark to them, “A man with a badge and a man with a gun.” While turning and heading into the office that he accepted to protect the town.