Oct 7, 2020





Times are hard. Deputy Sheriff Hunter Nalje has been laid off from.  He is working as a bouncer at a late-night strip club owned by Big Bill Smith when two masked men rob the club and carry off, CoCo, the entertainer.  One of the men tells Hunter to give Big Bill a warning.  “He is coming late to the party.” Smith is famous in southern Utah for his cowboy saloons filled with cheap booze and cheaper babes.  Now he is trying to expand into the local cash crop, Marijuana.  The growers have sent a message.  Stay out.  Big Bill is ready to go to war.  Hunter convinces him there is another way.

Chapter 1

Deputy Sheriff Hunter Nalje was talking to Winslow Hastings, the bartender at Big Bill Smith’s Green Weed Saloon when the two men entered.  CoCo Taylor was on stage twirling her assets.  Cowboys in dirty jeans and checkered shirts followed CoCo’s whirling breasts like they were gold nuggets.  Hunter’s primary job as a bouncer on the midnight shift was to ensure the cowboys kept their boots and hands off the stage and off CoCo’s behind.  Occasionally he had to break up a fight or carry a drunk to his car.  His job didn’t include drawing down on a masked man with a Winchester Pump or his partner pointing a Glock 19 at Hunter’s right hand as he reached for his own pistol.

            “Easy does it Chief,” the man with the Glock said. “We don’t want no shootings.”

            “Everyone on the ground,” the man with the shotgun called.

            Hunter thought he sounded Hispanic. Both men were dressed in black and wearing ski masks and gloves.  Their pants were tucked in their boots.  Military, Hunter thought.

            “Face down, hands behind your backs,” Shotgun called.  “You can stay where you are, honey.” He pointed his gun as CoCo. 

            The man with the pistol used zip ties to secure the Cowboys’ hands.  He came to Hunter last.  After tying Hunter’s hands, he searched for a weapon, finding Hunter’s concealed Walther PPKs.

            “We know who you are Chief.  You’re lucky, it doesn’t pay to shoot a cop.  Tell Big Bill this is a warning.  He’s coming late to the party. The growers don’t need no more competition.  Bill should stick to babes and booze.”  The man laughed a nasty laugh.  His breath smelled of garlic. 

            The two men grabbed the bartender by his arms and dragged him into the back room.  The man with the shotgun returned to the bar, leaving his partner with Winslow.  To the untrained eye, the narrow back room was little more than a storage place for cleaning supplies, bottles of booze, and a place for Coco to dress. Hunter knew it was more than a storeroom; he had seen the floor safe.  Apparently, the men had too.

            For a time, the sound of punches and Winslow’s screams filled the bar.  It didn’t take long after a single shot for the man to walk out carrying a black bag that Hunter assumed was filled with cash and drugs.  He moved to the door. 

            “Bring the girl,” he said to Shotgun.

            “You’re coming with us, Honey.” The man grabbed CoCo by the wrist. She pulled back and tried to scratch the man. He hit her across the face with the barrel of the Winchester.  One of the cowboys tried to stand.  The man hit him with the butt of his rifle.

            “Everyone calm down.”

            “Miss Taylor will be fine. She is just a little traveling insurance.  We are going now.  If anyone comes out this door in the next five minutes, he will be shot.”

            The man with the shotgun picked CoCo up and slung her over his shoulder.  The two men left bumped their way out the door with CoCo screaming for help.


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