A fictional story by Junior Johnson
Richard Shilling’s smoke bomb filled the large cave with smoke, reducing vision. Breathing was difficult and the occupants of Robber’s Roost began to slowly make their way out.
Their leader, Blanchard Dubois, said to crouch low and move to the light, which had to be the entrance. They exited with their hands in the air and no weapons because Dubois knew what awaited them outside. He also had a plan to get out of the situation unharmed.
Deputy Moran and his men were stationed outside the cave with their guns drawn as the outlaws stumbled out into the open gasping for air.
Abslom and his son John Wesley, along with John’s boys Dempsey and Harvis, had one side of the cave covered. Levy and his boys Tony and John Levy had the other side secure. The workers stood behind their employers eager to do whatever was needed of them.
At the top of the cave David and Donald Roque were congratulating Richard Shilling for his brilliant work making the bomb to smoke them out. The Isle Brevelle Rangers also had the outlaws covered.
Not a single shot was fired and Deputy Moran was happy. He waited until the men stopped coughing from the smoke and asked who was their spokesman.
Dubois stepped forward and said the person they were looking was still in the cave with his accomplice. One was tied to a pole on one side of the cave and the other was in a makeshift bed next to him. Deputy Moran told three of his men to bring them out.
Winston was drug out of the cave on some of the bedding he’d been laying on, and his partner was cut loose from the pole and brought out as well.
Dubois approached Deputy Moran and told him they had just learned of the good Doctor’s death and had found out that Winston was responsible. He had planned to dispatch a rider that very morning to Cloutierville to inform authorities of Winston’s deeds and their capture of him.
As luck would have it, while Dubois was explaining this news to Deputy Moran, a man dressed in a tattered Union Army uniform and another man along side him, were being followed up the riverbank by Andrew Hernandez and Harold LaCaze, their pistols pointed at the men’s backs.
After everyone had assembled at Pershing’s Trading Post and plans made to take down Robber’s Roost, Harold had gone to Antee’s Bar to find Andrew. They decided to wait outside until the two thugs left and capture them. This had been an easy task since they had been drinking all night. Once secured the two cowards were forced to walk up the riverbank to Robber’s Roost.
Abslom had Pete ride along with them so that he could identify his captors should they be apprehended. They’d made their way to the front of the cave where Deputy Moran was confronting the outlaw leader.
When Pete saw Winston and his companion pulled from the cave he immediately identified them to Deputy Moran. At this time, Harold and Andrew were herding their captives to the center of the crowd and Pete identified them as well. He began to look at the prisoners from the cave and identified the other outlaw in a dirty Union Army uniform.
Satisfied that all four of Pete’s kidnappers and Captain John Winston were in custody, Deputy Moran consulted with the two Mississippi Deputies, Abslom Johnson, Levy Lodrigue, and Pershing LaCaze (the Trading Post owner). Pershing told him these men had done no harm to anyone at Monett’s Ferry that he knew of. More than likely they were on the run from the law but nothing could be proved. He had no problem with letting them go, if they never returned. Abslom and Levy agreed, as well as the Mississippi Deputies.
Deputy Moran told Dubois that this was his lucky day. He needed to get his men to clean the cave out completely and ride out of Monett’s Ferry by sundown, or face the consequences. Blanchard agreed with this.
Pershing LaCaze thought this might be a good opportunity to shut Robber’s Roost down and make the place safer for the people who lived in the little community.
Richard Shilling suggested trappers in the Gorum community could store their hides in the cave until they were ready to be sold. He’d arrange for a family member to live at the cave and work with Pershing at the Trading Post.
There was a number of the locals gathered to see what was going on and cheers went up from the crowd when they heard this news. Pershing agreed to let Deputy Moran use one of his wagons and a team of horses to transport Captain John Winston and the other four prisoners to the jail in Cloutierville.
While these plans were being made David and Donald Roque searched the cave and found Winston’s gold in a saddle bag belonging to Blanchard Dubois. When asked who the bag belonged to Dubois said that it was his and he’d planned to turn the gold in when he surrendered Captain John. Everyone laughed at this comment and Blanchard only hung his head. Harold and Andrew had already relieved Winston’s other thug of the gold he had. This money belt and contents from the saddlebags were turned over to Deputy Moran.
After the wagon was loaded with the prisoners, Harold and Andrew drove the team to Cloutierville. The Undertaker followed them with the body of the old Doctor. Deputy Moran and his men led the way. The Roque brothers and the Isle Brevelle Rangers followed them.
Abslom and Levy bid them goodbye as they pulled away from the Trading Post. The Mississippi Deputies would travel to Cloutierville as well and make contact with Sheriff Jones for further instructions.
Pershing LaCaze waved Abslom and Levy’s men goodbye as they rode off headed back to CoCo Bed for much needed rest. Richard Shilling waved as he headed back to the hills toward his home in Gorum.