Jake raked his eyes
over Samantha before turning and heading back toward the door.
“Never mind. I’ve delivered your order. Now I’m leaving. You can go
back to hiding from the world.”
Taking long, outraged strides, he stormed out the door and straight
for his truck.
Reaching the main road, he almost ran straight into one of her
blasted mules. Slamming his brakes in time to swerve to the right,
the truck landed in a ditch. Jake hit his hand against the steering
wheel. He’d had enough.
Arriving at his house fifteen minutes later, he picked up the phone.
“Mickey, this is Jake. I want you to go out to Mrs. Major’s house
and arrest her.”
Sheriff Moss almost choked on his laughter. “You want me to what?”
“You heard me. I want the blasted woman arrested right now. She’s as
much a pain in the arse as her mules are. They’re out on the main
road every afternoon and I’m tired of it.”
“Have you tried talking with her, Jake?”
“You know I have. The fool woman refuses to listen to reason—about
anything. Plain and simple, I want her arrested. She breaks the law
every day by letting those blasted mules run free.”
“It’s not one of my high priorities, Jake. Mules running around
unchecked don’t have the same importance as keeping drunks and
thieves locked up.”
“Well, it should,” Jake roared indignantly. “What if some fancy
group of tourists comes through our town? What will they think of us
if they see Miss Samantha Major’s mules blocking the road.”
“Mrs. Majors. You called her miss.”
“Have you lost your mind? You’re talking semantics when I’m
demanding the woman be arrested? As one of our town’s councilmen, I
order you to arrest the nuisance of a woman. She’s a damn nuisance.”
“You’re repeating yourself, Jake. You called her a nuisance twice in
the same breath.” Sheriff Moss sighed. When he awoke at dawn, he’d
somehow known this wasn’t going to be a good day.
Well, he had no recourse. He had to do it.
“All right, Jake. If you’re sure that’s what you really want. I’ll
go arrest her.”
“It is,” Jake shot back.
The sheriff took a deep breath. “I’ll go do it shortly. I have one
other stop to make first.”
Hanging up the telephone, Sheriff Moss headed out the door into the
bright afternoon sun.
Within a half hour he pulled into Jake’s driveway, got out of his
car and headed to the front door. He’d barely knocked on it when it
“What are you doing here, Mickey?”
“Came to arrest you, Jake.”
Jake’s eyebrows shot up. “You’re here to what?”
“Are you hard of hearing? Heard too many gunshots? I told you to
arrest Mrs. Majors. Not me.”
“I know that, Jake. And I have every intention of arresting
Samantha, but I have to arrest you, too. You swore over the
telephone—not once, but twice.”
“I swore over the…are you daft? The woman drove me to frustration
and you’re going to arrest me?”
Refusing to budge, Mickey just stared at him.
“You can’t arrest me. I didn’t do anything—“
“Yes, you did, Jake, and I intend to see you punished. You can’t go
around breaking laws, no matter how archaic they are.”
Reaching his office, he prodded Jake inside and directly into one of
the two empty cells in the small office.
Sheriff Moss turned and started back toward the door.
“Where are you going, Mickey Moss? Don’t you dare leave me in here.
This nonsense has gone on long enough. Let me out of here.”
The sheriff strode out the door and closed it softly behind him. A
smile played across his lips.
His next stop was Samantha Major’s house. She wasn’t going to
appreciate this any more than Jake had.
“You’re here to do WHAT” Samantha shouted when he told her why he’d
arrived so late in the day.
“A complaint’s been lodged against you, Mrs. Major. I have no
recourse but to arrest you.”
“I have absolutely no intention of accompanying you, Mickey Moss.”
“Samantha, don’t make a fuss. I don’t want to use force to get you
into town, but I’ll restrain you if need be.”
“You’ll restrain…” Samantha blustered, unable to complete her
“Yes, ma’am. Now come with me, please.”
A scant half hour later, Samantha was being ushered into Sheriff
Moss’ office under the watchful eye of half of Goose Creek’s
She stepped inside and rounded on him as soon as the door closed
“Mickey Moss, I’ve never been so humiliated in my entire life. How
dare you treat me like a common criminal in front of the whole town?
Why, I won’t be able to show my face again as long as I live.”
She spun away from him and only then did she see the room’s other
Her eyes narrowed as she turned back to the sheriff.
“What’s he doing here?”
“Had to arrest him, too, ma’am. Seems today’s the day for people to
break the law. Ain’t had such a run on our cells since I became
sheriff.” He started to move her toward the barred cell.
“Run on cells? There’s only two of us.”
“Yes, ma’am. And the judge ain’t gonna take kindly to having to
listen to so many trials.”
“Trials? Mickey Moss, have you lost your sanity? Surely you’re not
going to have me appear before the court because my mule wandered
off my property.”
“Don’t rightly know, ma’am. Depends on the person who lodged the
Samantha narrowed her eyes and glared at Jake. “I know exactly who
lodged the complaint.”
“Yes, ma’am, I’m sure you do.” He placed the key in the lock and
swung the cell door open. “Now, if you’ll step inside, I believe
this situation can be settled nicely.”
Samantha stepped inside the cell before it dawned on her she was in
the same cell as Jake. She turned just as the door swung shut and
the lock clicked.
“Mickey Moss, open this door. I will not remain in the same cell as
this…this… this miscreant.”
“Now don’t be swearing at me, Mrs. Major. That will only make things
worse for you.”
“Swear at you? I vow, you can be so pigheaded at times. You know
perfectly well I didn’t—“
“Have a seat, Mrs. Major, and calm yourself. You might as well make
yourself comfortable. You’re not going anywhere for a spell.” He
headed to his desk and placed the key in his desk drawer, closing it
firmly. “I’ll send Mrs. Simmons over later with a basket of her
famous food.” Tilting his hat to the side, he opened the door before
turning back to face them. “You know Elizabeth makes the best fried
chicken in the county. It’s late now, and I’m plum tuckered out.
Takes a lot out of a body arresting two people in one day. I’m gonna
head on home for the night. I’ll see you both in the morning.”
“In the morning? Mickey Moss, you come back here right this
instant,” Samantha shouted as the sheriff firmly closed the door
©2005 Leanne L. Burroughs
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