Title: Black Knife
Doc Jacobi Western Book One
Author: Henry P. Gravelle
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2
Doc Jacobi, a Civil War veteran surgeon, travels the territory providing medical services between the Noel mountain range and Sessions River Indian territory where he faces two killers, renegade Indians and a rogue marshal.
Doc Jacobi, a Civil War veteran surgeon, travels the territory serving medical assistance to towns between the Noel mountain range and Sessions River Indian territory. Along the way, the doc and his trusty Appaloosa named Bell encounter thieves, murderers and hustlers. In Black Knife, the Doc and Bell face two killers, renegade Indians and a rogue marshal.
Bell and I sat motionless, watching the Injuns turn their ponies toward the hill's crest. When they disappeared over the rise, Bell's ears perked. I heard the horse behind us then Garvey's voice.
"Injun justice, Doc, or yours?" he asked.
I nudged Bell to turn and face Garvey's black roan behind us. Garvey sat easy, leaning forward, his Winchester across his lap.
"Had no choice, Marshal," I said, motioning to the hill where the Injun's left with Small. "That fella they took kilt a squaw with child, the chief's child. There weren't no white justice gonna soothe their desire for vengeance."
Garvey spit a wade of chew onto a nearby rock. The roan continued to eyeball Bell.
"Doesn't make no matter, Doc. That fella was a white man, a white man wanted for murder. Ain't your duty to just turn him over to anybody, 'specially a victim's kin."
Garvey leaned over the saddle horn looking at the now empty hillside then back to me, "Weren't there two of them boys?"
Bell took a step back from the roan.
"Was another fella," I said calmly. "I reckon he's being fitted for a box 'bout now over at Peterson's Mortuary."
"He didn't want to go see your Injun friends?" Garvey said.
"Didn't like the invite, I reckon," I said.
"Witnesses?" Garvey wondered of how and why he was killed.
"Plenty, and they'll all tell you the same," I nodded over my shoulder to where the Injuns went, "including that one."
Garvey took up his rifle and reins then nudged the roan closer. He glared at me long and hard, "I found your red skin hid away up in your room."
"Doing well is he?" I asked.
"I gave him five minutes to clear town. The last I seen he was hobbling down toward Sessions River."
"Mojave?" I said, guessing that was the source of locating Big Rock.
Garvey chuckled, "You gotta know that old ruined Injun would kill his momma for a drink. Told me all 'bout the Injun, you headed off with a bunch of 'em and 'bout Billy."
"She only helped me bring the Injun up—"
"No, Doc," he interrupted, a smug grin on his face, his hand tightened on the rifle. I held Bell steady. "Drunk old fool couldn't count how many times he seen Billy climb your stairs over time."
I felt the forty-four under my coat, but knew I was no match for a rifle already pointed at me. Before I could reply, we heard a man scream from over the hilltop.
"Sounds like they begun justice on your white man," I said.
Garvey spurred the roan and reined him toward the hilltop, looking at me as he did, "Let's go, Doc. I gotta try and bring that fella back."