Chapter 1 Franklyn at Doctors
Monday Morning June 3
Franklyn Eaglechild slumped on the examination table, legs over the edge, and stared at the row of Xrays.
“How many previous fractures?” the doctor asked.
“All from rodeo?”
“No, some from hockey.”
The doctor sighed. “The body wasn’t meant to take this kind of abuse.
I’m amazed you’re still walking.”
“About that … the pain pills aren’t doing much anymore. I need
The doctor turned and took a deep breath. “Look, Franklyn, Oxycontin
is all I can prescribe. I shouldn’t be doing that anymore.”
“What’s the option?”
“You gotta stop rodeo. Your next argument with a two-thousand-pound bull could be your last. Any subsequent fractures might not heal. Besides,
you can hardly move. How would you dodge a bull?”
“Don’t ride bulls no more.” Franklyn smirked. “Just steer wrestling.”
“Oh great, so you jump off a speeding horse to wrestle five hundred pounds of steer to the ground.” The doctor shook his head. “What could possibly go wrong with that?”
“Come on, doc, it’s all I know.”
“Why do you sell yourself short. You said you had a job offer recently.”
“It’s back on the Rez.”
The doctor leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. “What’s wrong with that?”
Franklyn shrugged. “I haven’t been on the Rez for twenty-five years.”
“But it’s home. You got folks there?”
“Nobody close. My parents died a long time ago. Grandparents, too.
Don’t know if I’d recognize anyone.”
The doctor pushed off the wall and stepped over to Franklyn. “I can’t
tell you what to do, but if you jump off another horse, you could be
crippled for life.”
The doctor rolled his eyes. “What about the job?”
“Chief Fox is looking for a Sheriff.”
“You got any experience?”
“Some,” Franklyn said. “Worked Montana Highway Patrol for a while.
Mostly winter months after rodeo season.”
“That’s better than continuing rodeo and being crippled.”
Franklyn held out his shaking right hand. “Will I be able to hold a gun?”
“We can treat that tremor. You’ll be able to hold a gun. Can’t guarantee
you’ll be able to pull the trigger too many times. And you might not be too
“About the pain?”
“I’ll give you one more prescription for Oxy. One month’s worth. But
you gotta stop rodeo and take care of your body. Maybe try yoga.”
“Are you insane?”
“Hey, lots of pro athletes swear by it. Give it a try.” The doctor smiled.
“Lots of women go to yoga.”
Franklyn looked up. “Lots of women?”
Chapter 1 Scene 2 Franklyn on Road to Speargrass
Franklyn pulled out of the truck stop in Shelby, Montana, and headed east
on Montana highway number eighty-nine. His Ford F350 effortlessly pulled
the horse trailer. His belongings were stuffed in the camper on the back.
Not a lot of stuff for a guy thirty-seven years old. He’d never needed
much, just a good horse, a few dollars in his pocket, and enough gas to get
to the next rodeo. Now he was headed back to the Rez—a place he’d
sworn never to return.
There had been nothing for him growing up on the Rez, and not much
had changed. The Speargrass Indian Reserve covered land northeast of
Great Falls, Montana. When he was ten or eleven his grandfather took him
to Canada to go to the summer rodeos. They’d freely crossed the border at
Aden or Wildhorse, but it could have been anywhere in between, since the
border wasn’t patrolled.
Now it was harder—a treaty card could get you into the States, but
Canada required a US passport. That didn’t mean there wasn’t a hassle
pretty much every time using the official crossings. There were lots of ways
around that. Taking his horse back and forth provided an excuse for the
border guards, in both countries, to give him grief.
The miles slipped away as he cruised south through endless fields of
cattle. He drove with the window open and enjoyed the breeze.
The quiet drive was interrupted by the sound of a siren. Franklyn looked
in his mirror. Red-and-blue flashing lights of a Montana Cascade County
Deputy Sheriff ’s cruiser. He vaguely remembered a cruiser passing him
going west a few minutes ago. Shit.
Franklyn slowed the truck and pulled to the gravel shoulder. He’d been
through this before. He stared straight ahead and kept his hands on the
He checked the mirror. The deputy was typing on his car computer.
Finally, he exited the cruiser, put on his cap, and sauntered to the truck.
“Afternoon, sir. Driver’s license, registration and insurance.”
Franklyn reached across the truck and opened the glove box. From the
corner of his eye, he saw the deputy drop his hand to his gun. Franklyn
slowly pulled a small blue folder out of the glove box and handed it to the
cop. “Registration and insurance.”
The cop nodded.
“My wallet is in my right back pocket. I’m getting that now.”
Again, the deputy nodded. “You seem to know the routine. You been in
trouble with the police?”
Franklyn pulled out his wallet, slid out his driver’s license, and handed it
to the cop. “Not in trouble, just stopped a lot.” Franklyn glared at the
The deputy smiled, then his eyes peered at the driver’s license. “You
know why I stopped you?”
“Cuz I’m Indian?”
The cop looked up. “You getting smart with me?”
“If that’s not the reason, then you tell me why you stopped me.”
“You were crossing the center line,” the cop said. “You been drinking?”
“No. I have not been drinking.”
“Step out of the truck, please.” The deputy stood back a few feet, hand
still on his gun. “I need to test you for impairment.”
Franklyn stepped out of the truck. “I wasn’t drinking.”
“I want you to walk away from me in a straight line, one foot in front of
the other, for ten feet, then turn and walk back to me.”
Franklyn walked away from the cop and muttered, “This is bullshit.” He
returned and stopped in front of the cop.
“You’re a little wobbly,” the cop said. “You sure you weren’t drinking?”
“I have a bad hip and knees from rodeo.”
“Right.” He held out a small device with a mouthpiece. “This is a
roadside breathalyzer. I need you to grip the mouthpiece between your
teeth, form a good seal with your lips, and blow.”
Presale now available
Check out more books by Dwayne Clayden – The Brad Coulter Series
Crisis Point – Book 1
Outlwaw MC – Book 2
Wolfman is Back – Book 3
13 Days of Terror – Book 4 – Launch November 2020
Goddess Justice – Book 5 – Launch January 2021
Get a copy straight to your Kindle on Launch Day.