It was cool, dark, and crispy as most mornings were, but there was something different about this morning. What was it, he thought?
As the hooves of his horse hit the ground in a slow trot, he could feel it in the pit of his stomach, there was something different about today. He was certain.
As the sun rose over the valley, you could see the shadows of trees on the ground. The apparitions of the clouds bounced off the mountains, and the rooftops of town.
He rode slowly, unable to draw his mind away from his thoughts. This day felt different. He wiped the remains of spit from his mouth with his coat sleeve, from where he had spat his chewing tobacco on the ground.
He stopped at the general store, and climbed down off his horse. He stood straight up, calm, and motionless for a few moments.
He was an emotionless frigid man, standing just five and a half feet tall. He was wearing all black, with dark brown, steady eyes, and an old Stetson hat. One his father had given him when he was young. Under his hat was a leathered and lined bleak, raw, and cutting face, freshly shaved. This was from the restlessness he had endured throughout his life as a lawman
He never shivered, nor did he tremble, and was always still. Standing steady he looked on, abrupt showing no emotion at all. The only thing that shined about him was the crest shaped badge on the outside of his long black coat that read U.S. Marshal.
U.S. Marshal August Taylor, a man of moral and values. He faced danger so that others wouldn’t have to, and to sum it up he just didn’t mind doing so.
He is straight forward some would say. He became a lawman in Missouri, and moved to Texas after being persuaded by his Son, Texas Ranger Laramie Taylor.
As he walked, you could hear his spurs spin against the steel that held them on his worn leather boots.
He stepped into the general store, and looked over the entire store before moving along. He walked up to the counter to get the Oak Valley Tribune. Behind the counter stood a short stout man, looking over his beaded round glasses with applied conversation Mr. Clayton Mcrea said.
He had a nervous sense about him when he spoke.
Marshal Taylor set down two silver coins, grabbed up his paper and replied sturdily.
“Mornin’, Mr. McCrae.”
From very early in life Clayton Mcrea had always been a short gentleman, very much like his mother, who was an actress in a traveling show. She had died while Clayton was young, forcing him to live with his aunt until the age of sixteen where he took a job as a store clerk in the general store he now owns.
Clayton had been willed the store from the previous owners, for they had no children of their own and they became much like parents and the most stable family that Clayton would ever come to know.
The town seemed quiet as he walked to the front of the day stable, except for three men dressed in rather tattered clothes sitting on the saloon porch.
He had never seen these men before; he studied them one at a time. The stable boy approached to take his horse.
“Mr. Taylor them men have been there all morning, been some talk I overheard that them fellas are in some gang, is it true sir, is it true?”
“I’m not at liberty to say Jimmie.” he replied “I’m not really sure .”
Marshal Taylor walked to the sheriff’s office to check in and see if sheriff Brody was in, but to no surprise, he had not arrived yet.
Did he ever arrive at a decent hour? The Marshall thought, not so much. The Sheriff was never on time. He’d probably be late for his own funeral.
He sat down in an old wooden chair at the sheriff’s desk, and put his coffee down. He arranged his paper, shuffling it around looking for something good to read. The date on the top of the paper was June. 8, 1877. That is as far as he could read, because he could not keep his concentration. He didn’t like to think when he read the news; all he could do was ponder about the men at the saloon. What were they up to? He asked himself
Were there more of them coming? He kept thinking and the more he thought about it, it raised more questions. What did they have in mind? More importantly, who were they? He just didn’t know, and he was confused. All he wanted was some answers. He wanted to make sure they were not going to cause any trouble, and surely he didn’t want to speculate about it.
He finished his coffee very uneasy, and with the last gulp, he gave a large overdrawn sigh. He stretched his arms over his head, and arched his back in the seat, to end the short numbness that he felt from sitting for such a long time.
The door opened to the outside of the sheriff’s office and Marshal Taylor came to his feet, drew an 1860 colt .44-caliber revolver, nickel-plated, with ivory handles that had CAPT. John Taylor engraved into the side of it, which was his brothers from the civil war. On the other side of the pistol inscribed on the handle, it said Navarro Rifles Company. This was his favorite firearm out of all that he owned. He had several other revolvers even a newer model peacemaker, but this revolver was smaller much like the 1851 .36- caliber navy revolver, so it drew faster and was much better to handle as a six-shooter especially in a gunfight with more than one man.