“That year, Zeus runs in the United States. Franks being a half-assed trainer, shows mediocre results. Finished eleventh two weeks earlier. Zeus is going to run at Bellemont. He makes the second race, and wins by four lengths and pays one-hundred and sixteen dollars. Ol’ Cash heads for the fifty-dollar window at the clubhouse. He has fifteen hundred dollars in win tickets, plus six hundred dollars to show. He walks away with eighty-thousand dollars in winnings.”
“If I were a betting man, I’d bet that Justine Calloway and Ziggy Franks made a killin’ making an off-track bet,” Orrin said.
“That’s my point. If Tripod is a dead-ringer to Cash’s horse. He could collect another mountain of money off the insurance company, but only if Tripod dies.”
“Then I reckon I better get a little surprise ready for them when they come,” Orrin said, with a grin.
Later, Orrin takes Tripod’s horse blanket and dusts a powder from the Stinging Tree branches and leaves. Orrin knows it will enrage the horse. But he has to do that to save his life.
Two nights later, Cash shows up to the stable in a truck, pulling a horse trailer. Ziggy Franks is behind the wheel.
“I’ve been thinking about that horse I sold you a couple of years back. I’ll tell you true, I’ve been missing that horse. I’ll pay you fifty dollars to get that horse back,” Cash said.
“He’s not for sale,” Orrin said.
“Maybe this will help change your mind,” Cash said, producing a revolver. “The only reason that horse is still alive is that he has value to me. I can’t say the same for you.”
Ziggy Franks entered Tripod’s stall, and placed the bridle in his mouth. Backing him out, leading him out of the barn into the trailer. Cash wadded the money into a ball and threw it into Orrin’s face.
“If you don’t keep your mouth shut, you’ll end up in the same dog food processing plant as your horse.”
“If you’re going to transport him in a trailer, put on his blanket…keeps him from getting fussy,” Orrin said offhandedly.
Cash slipped the revolver into his coat pocket, grabbed the horse blanket and headed for the trailer. Thirty seconds after he threw the blanket on Tripod’s back, he bucked when the shock of the hairs embedding themselves in his back. The more it hurt, the more he fought. It took less than ten seconds for Tripod to kick Cash and Ziggy to death.
This has been a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill …”
And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.
Thanks to each of you for your input. This has helped us (friends of Steve) in our decision making as we publish and also put some of his stories in TV or radio series. He thanks each of you!!