"Y'all never should have come back here Pete. Ya knew you wasn't welcome. Folks got too many bad feelings and memories don't die easy. But now you're gonna have to."
The grisled self-appointed sheriff, tall and lanky, tried his damnedest to keep a cool demeanor standing there under the blazing midday sun, just a few strides away from the purported most dangerous man in the west. He twisted the heel of his boot in the bone dry gravel, tugged at the brim of his 5 gallon hat and lightly tapped the two fingers of his right hand on the Smith and Wesson holstered on his hip. Even at this distance McClintock could see the rage in his adversary's eyes. Two smoldering pools of hatred for a man who'd taken the lives of his two brothers. But McClintock had simply done what he'd been asked to do; clean up Marlow Junction by taking down the Garretts. They'd kept the once bustling little town under their thumb for the last three years. Time for change was well past due.
"This is our town," Pete hollered back before launching a wet black stream of tobacco juice into the dust. "You're the one who's not welcome here McClintock." His fingers also dancing atop the white pearl handle of a 45 on his hip.
The two men's steely glares were interrupted for an instant by the wail of a baby from the crowd who'd gathered on verandas on both sides of the street.
"Ya see, McClintock. That there child is telling you to get on your way outta here." A coy grin crossed Garrett's lips as he spoke.
"Sorry pard, but it ain't gonna happen. These good folks want their town back....today." Two more taps on the Smith and Wesson then a quick glance at the outstretched hands of the clock just above the door of the town bank.
"When those arms hit 12, we're gonna draw Pete. And I'm gonna give these fine people their lives back."
"The HELL you are!" screamed Garrett, scooping and raising his gun to fire, but then suddenly dropping to his knees before his finger even touched the trigger.
Twenty paces to Garrett's left McClintock eyed the smoking barrel of a rifle just beyond familiar face of his youngest, Stanly. "My old man said it's time for you to go Pete."
"STANLY....no!" the lawman blurted, though he knew it was far too late as the oldest Garrett brother dropped to face down into the dust. A pool of thick crimson spilling through his blonde locks from a cavern just above his ear.
Stanly had just launched himself into the crosshairs McClintock had been yearning so hard to shed. The Garretts would care little about who did the deadly deed. This family feud was far from over. The McClintocks would be saddling up and heading north before the next rooster crowed.