It was a quiet day in town. JD, Chris, and Buck were sitting around the jailhouse. JD had collected all the Wanted posters into a neat stack and all three were sitting around the desk, idly going through them and making comments here and there.
Buck held one at arm's length and frowned. "Bet this boy walks ever-where."
JD frowned. "What makes you say that?"
"'Cause he's got a face that would scare horses."
Chris grinned but said nothing.
"Wow," whispered JD. He looked up at the others. "Look at this!"
Buck took the poster from JD and read it aloud. "'Dan McGurk. Mean lookin' cuss. And busy, judgin' by all the things he's wanted for." He handed it back with a shrug. "Fifteen hundred dollars. That's a heap o' money, all right. But this fella was last seen in the Dakotas, JD. Ain't likely you'll find 'im around here."
"But...fifteen hundred dollars...I bet he could show up here. I know if it were me, I wouldn't stay in the Dakotas, that's for sure! What do you think, Chris?"
Chris leaned back in his chair and smiled. "JD's got a point. Might wanna sleep with your gun under your pillow, Buck."
Buck grinned. "If I do that, somebody might set off the wrong gun by mistake."
JD shot them both an exasperated look, then turned his attention back to the poster. "Imagine all the things a man could do with that kind of money. What would you do with fifteen hundred dollars? Chris?"
Chris thought for a moment. "Buy me a little piece of property. Nothin' fancy."
"Take up ranchin' again?" suggested Buck.
Chris shook his head. "Just a little land where I could find some peace and quiet. Mind my own business. How 'bout you, Buck?"
"Oh, that's easy. I think I'd go somewhere where I could meet me some real fine ladies. Like San Francisco." His eyes brightened. "Or Paris!...Yeah, Paris. Meet some of them fine French women. Heard they're a friendly bunch o'
girls there. Real broad-minded."
"You don't speak French," Chris reminded him.
"Yeah," JD agreed. "How you gonna shovel on all that hooey of yours?"
Buck smiled proudly. "I speak the language of love. It's universal."
Chris chuckled as JD shook his head.
JD studied the poster again. Fifteen hundred dollars, thought JD. Enough for college maybe. His ma had wanted him to go to college. It had been a hard life for her and he knew she wanted better things for her son. She had
sacrificed a lot during her life so she could save up enough money. It saddened JD to think she could've at least used the money to make a more comfortable life for herself. Now she was gone and her dream was unrealized.
He felt a pang of guilt for that.
She would've liked these men, though, he was sure. Once she got to know them. Each of them had a strong sense of courage and justice. She probably woudn't have admired them the way he did, but he was sure she would have understood why he felt compelled to be around them.
"Well," Buck sighed. "Like I keep tellin' ya, kid. You don't go lookin' for trouble."
Good advice, thought JD, though he'd heard it before. It seemed like he was always getting advice or sometimes learning something new.
"JD?" Chris snapped him out of his musings.
"How about you?"
"I dunno. I was thinking about...college maybe. My ma always wanted me to go."
"It's not too late," suggested Buck.
"Yeah," smiled JD. "Yeah, it is." He put the poster back in the pile. "'Sides, I got six of the best teachers a man could hope for right here."