“Shoot low, Sheriff, he might be crawling.”
Sheriff Clarence T. Darlow had no doubt the low-life, snake-in-the-grass was crawling on his belly through the brush, trying to avoid what was coming to him.
“Over there,” Deputy Barnes yelled, and then took off to the right, the sheriff close behind.
They ran through the undergrowth for a few minutes and then spied their prey tangled in some barbed wire. He was trying to free himself, but wasn’t having much luck.
“Looks like we got ourselves a stuck pig,” Sheriff Darlow said to his deputy.
“Now look, Sheriff,” Jacobs began.
“Don’t you, now look, Sheriff, me,” Darlow snapped and punched Jacobs in the gut. “You ain’t got nothing to say that’s gonna make this better.”
“But she wanted to go with me,” Jacobs pleaded.
For that one, he got a sock in the mouth and a boot in the groin. The deputy turned and walked back toward town, not wanting to see what happened next. Although, he wasn’t about to try and stop the sheriff. Nobody in town blamed the man for what he was fixin’ to do.
“I don’t care what she wanted, boy,” the sheriff told Jacobs. “She’s only sixteen.”
“People used to be married by time they were sixteen,” Jacobs said.
“People used to be burned at the stake too,” the sheriff replied, which caused Jacobs to start struggling in the barbed wire again.
The sheriff just watched him for a while. He enjoyed the pitiful cries of pain and anguish Jacobs made while trying to free himself. After a while, Sheriff Darlow’s back started hurting from standing, however, and he was ready to get things done and over with.
He stepped closer to Jacobs, which stilled the other man’s actions. “Now you listen up, boy, and listen good. You touch one hair on my daughter’s head again, and you’ll remember this here fondly it’ll be so much better than what I do to you. I don’t care if she’s sixteen or sixty, no daughter of mine is gonna date a scum-sucker like you.”
“Seems she was the one doing the sucking, best I recall,” Jacobs had the stupidity to reply.
Deputy Barnes heard the kid yelling clear back on the street. He turned the radio up in the car to drown it out. When the sheriff climbed back in the cruiser, he was covered with blood and his knuckles were busted. He was also beat red.
“I’m too old for this shit,” he muttered and slammed his door. “Take me to Doc James. I need to get my hands bandaged up, and then he can come get Jacobs.” He grunted, and then added, “What’s left of him.”
“You didn’t kill him, did you, Clarence?” Barnes asked.
“No, but I wanted to,” the sheriff replied. “It was only respect for his daddy that stayed my hand. Well, his daddy’s moonshine anyway,” he added and they both burst out laughing.