Lawfully Loved (Texas Lawkeeper Romance)(12)

By: Jenna Brandt

One of the men—a tall skinny fellow with thinning brown hair—stepped forward and shook his head. “It has to be the gun. You’re used to it and know how to manipulate it. I bet you can’t do that with any other gun, Deputy.”

“I’ll take that bet,” one of the other men in the group shouted.

There was another few grumbles in the crowd and suddenly a random gun was being shoved into his hands.

“Move the targets back, Jerry,” one of the men yelled.

The booth operator complied and darted out of the way.

Jake didn’t want to do this; he knew it would only lead to all sorts of questions he didn’t want to answer. If he was lucky, it would only be questions, but there was a good chance someone might recognize him.

He looked around the group and realized refusing wasn’t an option either. It would enrage most of the men present and likely result in a brawl.

Internally, Jake sighed as he resigned himself to having to shoot again. He tilted the lighter gun in his hand from side to side, adjusting to the change in weight from his own six-shooter. He pointed the gun at the fresh targets and rapidly pulled the trigger, moving his hand purposefully from target to target. Every shot hit their mark again, causing the crowd to be astonished.

“By golly, he did it again,” one of the men stated with shock. “I can hardly believe it. What are the chances of that?”

The skinny fellow shook his head and stated adamantly, “Very, very low. Something is odd here.”

“Don’t be mad, Bobby, just accept the man’s a skilled shot. He can’t fake that. He even used two guns.”

With narrowed eyes, Bobby demanded, “Jerry, you need to take down the paper targets and let him take a crack at the mechanical ones.”

“But those are used only in competition, Bobby. I only had them set up so if the kids wanted to shoot at the moving ducks with bee-bee guns they could. This fella might be a deputy, but he won’t stand a chance against those targets. You don’t want to embarrass the man, do you?”

As Jake looked at Bobby, it was clear from his resolved expression, it was exactly what he wanted to do. It seemed Jake wasn’t getting out of going another round against the new targets.

Tired of being pushed, Jake focused his attention back on the target and lifted the gun in his hand. He watched the pattern for several seconds, letting his eyes and body follow the rhythm. With expert accuracy, he knocked down duck after duck until the gun was empty, then pulled out his own gun and knocked down six more. With a couple of spins around his finger, he returned his gun to its home.

“I can’t believe my eyes,” one of the men blurted out.

Another one stated in disbelief, “If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I wouldn’t think it could happen.”

“How is this possible?” Bobby asked, dumbfounded.

Pushing through the extremely large crowd, a burly man with a thick, long beard came up to stand next to Jake. He placed his arm across the deputy’s shoulders as he stated, “It’s possible because this here is ‘Bullseye’ Bolton.”

There were several gasps around the crowd and a few questions about who the man was speaking of. Jake stiffened under the scrutiny. He wanted to bolt before his past in the military was discussed publically.

Before he could make an escape, the burly man continued, “’Bullseye’ Bolton was part of the Frontier Battalion. He was trained to handle all the lawless men during the Mason County War, cleaned out the outlaws from Kimble County, ended the Salt War of San Elizario, and his most famous achievement, he captured the robber, Sam Bass.”

“I thought that man was a myth,” one of the men said with awe. “You’re telling me, this is him?”

“Indeed, and I want to buy him a drink for all he has done for Texas,” the burly man declared.

Several of the men around Jake offered to do the same and before he knew it, he was being pulled off to the area where the food was located.

Mr. Weston had brought out a barrel of whiskey and beer for everyone to partake in for a nominal fee. Additionally, there was also sweet tea, sarsaparilla, and lemonade for those who didn’t want to drink libations.