The King of the Con
Disclaimer: Once again I am reminded of the fact that I do not own the Magnificent Seven…I certainly don’t make any money off of them either. But wouldn’t that be nice?
Challenge: The February ’04 “Mischief Challenge”: offered by Yolande “From time to time during the series we saw the guys acting a little bit childish or downright silly – Okay maybe not all, but I’m sure they did when we couldn’t see them. (G) They knew how to joke and muck around – Come on, they weren’t ALWAYS serious. I want you to write a story that shows us what the boys get up to when they’re not saving the town or off rescuing a village…when they’ve got far, far too much spare time on their hands. What sort of pranks, tricks, mischief and general mayhem do they get up to and who do they target? You can use any number of pranksters and victims - hehe. Any AU or OW. Go for it!”
Major Characters: Ezra, Vin, Buck, and JD
Note: Sorry, not betaed…read at your own risk.
Archive: Yes, sure, http://www.angelfire.com/ct2/jesmag7fanfiction/kingofthecon.htm
“Ez, you’re so full of crap, I’m surprised you ain’t turning brown,” Buck laughed from across the table.
“Mr. Wilmington…you may try me but I assure you, I am the King of the Con.”
“Ezra, if you say that one more time, I’m gonna take your sorry hide out back…” Buck muttered from behind his cards.
“’Sides Ez, who you kiddin’? You ain’t the king of anything,” Vin scoffed, before looking at his hand disdainfully and throwing down the cards, “’Cept maybe cheating.”
“Vin’s right, Ez…we could get you if we wanted.”
“Well you are so very confident in yourselves…I’d like to see you attempt such a feat.”
Buck Wilmington and Vin Tanner had a plan, and it was a good plan. There was nothing more enjoyable than getting the normally suave southerner to squirm. They could all use a good laugh…and a little mischief too, things had been really quiet around Four Corners in the last few weeks, and the seven regulators were getting bored and restless. Yup, this was just what they needed. Besides, all that smug talk from the night before had gotten to them…they’d show him.
“You sure this’ll work, pard?” Buck asked as he rigged the bucket.
“Yup,” Vin said in his soft, slow way.
“Told ‘im I’d use the tar ‘n feathers if I had to,” Vin said with a nod.
This was going to be one hell of a good time, Buck thought, as he continued the rigging.
He was running late, again. Ezra Standish would never be quite sure how he managed to always be late for patrol no matter how early he tried to get up. Perhaps it had something to do with never actually trying hard enough to actually get up early?
He washed and dressed quickly hoping to shorten the amount of time he was late by and perhaps appease some of Larabee’s anger. When he opened the door to his room and moved to leave, a heavy mass of wet, gooey, disgustingness fell on his head and shoulders. Despite himself he let out a soft, surprised cry before feeling the soft feathers land on him. It took him only seconds to realize he’d been had. And good. He heard the chuckling…he spun on his heels quickly only to see the devilish form of Buck Wilmington standing before him, laughing. Bastard.
By the time Ezra’s brain registered what Buck held in his hands it was too late.
“Looks like them feathers missed a spot ‘er two.” Wilmington spoke and flung the contents of the bucket in Standish’s sticky face leaving the man sputtering a mixture feather, molasses, and honey.
From there the curses came fast from the conman’s mouth in an almost melodic rhythm of vulgarity. Wilmington, knowing he was living dangerously, took off at a run to escape the conman, who he knew would be enraged. Perhaps, however, he did not anticipate how angry Ezra would be because Buck seemed surprised when he heard the string of profanity accompanied by gunshots coming from behind him as he exited the batwing doors and ran out onto the street.
The saloon patrons, however, including the rest of the seven, did get an impressive show. As Standish ran down the stairs looking quite like some bizarre side show, his trademark red jacket covered in goo and feathers, his face obscured by the same, waving about his derringer like a madman…practically the whole saloon dared to laugh at the figure including a chuckle from the dark clad gunslinger who rarely cracked even a smile.
Standish knew in his current state that he would never catch Wilmington so he took a shot or two at the ceiling just to give Wilmington a scare. When the lanky cowboy jumped, Standish couldn’t help but smile…if only a little. Then he looked around at the laughing faces and did the only thing a gentleman of his comportment could do. He held his head high, gave his comrades a two-fingered salute, and walked away.
Ezra had been sitting in the bathhouse for some time thinking. He was angry. Especially after the lady he hired to wash his clothes assured him his coat was likely damaged beyond recovery. He loved that coat!
It was time to get that Buck Wilmington. There were no two ways about it. The man was going to pay. If he thought he could get the best of Ezra Standish he was sadly mistaken. Yes, Ezra would have to admit, the SOB had gotten him pretty good…but Ezra Standish was the King of the Con! He would get that no good, skirt-chasing, simpleton!!
Ezra exited the bathhouse, still fuming, when he saw Buck. The bastard had the guts to show his face?
“I will get you Buck Wilmington!! I will get you!” Standish fairly screamed as he crossed the dusty street, hair still damp from his recent bath, clean clothes on, and his old, destroyed garments in his left hand. “You will know my wrath!” Ezra yelled melodramatically as he passed Wilmington and entered the saloon, heading up to his room, to mourn the loss of his beautiful clothing…his red coat! Of all the habiliments to lose!
No, no, Buck was going to have to pay for more than just the embarrassment. Buck killed his clothes! His imported clothes…his finery. Wilmington would pay…dearly. Hell, everyone had laughed at the gambler…and you know what? That no-good tracker had been in on it, too. Ezra could see it in his eyes.
Even Larabee had cracked a smile. Larabee? Lord, help him. He’d get them. Good.
It wasn’t long before Ezra, now clean, and slightly calmer…calm enough to plot, anyway, was thinking out his options and trying to come up with a plan suitable for the evil that had been inflicted on him. So, he sat in the jail, taking his turn watching a few miserable drunkards that Chris had insisted on holding for twenty-four hours, debating the merits of several plans.
“Hello, Mr. Dunne.”
“Hey, that was really funny this morning!”
Ezra’s eyes became noticeably darker, “Oh, yes, Mr. Dunne, utterly hysterical. I wish I could be coated in primordial ooze and have my only hints of civilization destroyed everyday.”
Even JD was able to note the sarcasm in Ezra’s voice, “You probably want to get them back, huh?”
“Yes, Mr. Dunne, that would be my plans for the immediate future.”
“Mr. Dunne, while I appreciate the offer, why do I feel as if you might not be honest in your desire to plot against Mr. Wilmington?”
“Buck? Aw hell, Ez. For all the grief he gives me? I’d love to get him.”
Ezra could see the sincerity in JD’s face, “Well then young man…looks like we’ve got some work to do.”
JD smiled. He liked the sound of this. “Then I’m in. You got a plan?”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Dunne, oh yes…you know Mr. Wilmington’s aversion to ‘funny cowboys’ as he calls them?”
Later that night
The saloon was bustling with people. The atmosphere was rowdy, buzzing, and excited. JD had left after his shift at the jail to run an ‘errand.’ Much to the surprise of the lawmen, there had been no retribution for the morning’s events and Buck and Vin were beginning to get a bit full of themselves.
Buck had also had a bit too much to drink…for he hadn’t been having much luck with the ladies. In fact, he’d resorted to going after Inez who he knew he’d have little or no luck enticing because no one else seemed interested. However, she had proceeded to shoot him down a bit more thoroughly and roughly than usual. Hence, the rogue sat with his compatriots drinking copious amounts of Red Eye and losing his wages at poker.
The played uneventfully for an hour or so when JD entered the saloon and after sitting, turned and said excitedly, “Hey, Buck, there was a real pretty lady outside…said she’d heard about you.”
“Really?” Buck said, sounding slightly inebriated, but happy. “I knew the old animal mag…netism ain’t worn off.”
“Better go see about her, stud.” Chris Larabee spoke quietly from under the brim of his hat.
Buck smiled and walked out to the boardwalk; only minutes later, Buck came in with an attractive and yet…slightly off looking woman on his arm. But the cowboy was all smiles at his prize. He sat at his own table and flirted with her. It wasn’t long before they went to the upper level of the saloon and selected one of the rooms. As they left Ezra and JD shared a conspiratorial smile.
Of course this particular event was not overly shocking to anyone and activities within the saloon had barely taken stock of the situation. Buck Wilmington’s love life was no secret to the inhabitants of Four Corners and so no one had paid much attention to Wilmington’s latest tryst. However, it wasn’t long before a decidedly male scream was heard from above. The patrons, hearing the disconcerting sound, looked above to see a shirtless Buck Wilmington run from the room and turn to the person within yelling, “You ain’t no woman!! Yer a funny cowboy!” Wilmington raced down the stairs yelling something about the injustice of life and needing to take a bath. The now wigless “woman” exited the room now wearing pants a shirt and looking decidedly male.
The Next Morning
The sun seemed to rise slowly over the mountains. As he left his wagon, Vin looked around and saw Chris nod him over to where he was sitting in front of the jail. As Vin approached the two exchanged silent greeting and sat in companionable silence for several minutes before Vin took his customary early morning patrol.
Despite the early hour the town was already beginning to snap awake. The time of year saw many homesteaders in town with the first rays of the sun and many of the establishments on Four Corners one and only street were already open for business.
With the amount of foot traffic already taking place it was of great surprise when everyone saw a normally calm and collected Vin Tanner emerge from the livery with a look of pure murder in his eyes. “Tiny!” he yelled to the frightened livery keeper, sawed-off right in the man’s face, “How did this happen?” Vin gestured with his elbow to his horse, Peso. The normally black, striking gelding was…a decidedly peachy shade of pink.
“I—I don’t know, Mr. Tanner. Yosemite was watching the place last night. But, he wouldn’t ha’ let nobody do this!”
“Tiny! Look at my horse! I cain’t ride ‘im like this! Hell, I don’t even know if this is gonna come off!”
Tiny, starting to forget the gun in his face, absently reached out to the gelding’s coat and feeling the slight coarseness to it, spoke, “Ah, it’ll likely wash out after a time…”
“Tiny, that’s not the point.”
“Oh, sorry…but really, Tanner, I am sorry but I didn’t do it and surely didn’t let anybody do it.”
Vin took a deep breath. Tiny was right…it was not his fault. But when he found who did do it… “Okay, you got a horse I kin borrow…I can’t ride a pink horse.”
Tiny sucked in breath, “I ain’t got no good horses to rent right now…”
“Cowboy?” Vin pleaded to Chris who had walked over.
Chris nodded looking around. “Tanner, you can take my horse but,” Larabee seemed to pause for dramatic effect before adding, “He better not turn up pink.”
If looks could kill, Chris would have dropped dead on the spot.
Buck Wilmington was contemplating homicide that afternoon as yet another pair of very attractive females passed him, chuckling, on the street. One of the more forward lasses spoke to him, “Buck, I never thought you were that type!”
Buck fumed, “I am not that type. Damn, Becky, you of all people oughta know that!” However, the two young women only giggled some more and passed Buck.
“That son of a bitch!” Wilmington roared.
“I knew we wouldn’t git away with it,” Vin commiserated.
“What? This was your idea, besides, your horse will go back to normal…I got a reputation to think about.”
“Mr. Wilmington, nothing could ruin you’re reputation…” A new voice entered the fray, as Ezra Standish seemed to materialize out of nowhere looking quite smug.
“Why I oughta—“ Buck moved to get at Ezra.
“Buy me a new coat…I know. However, I will let you out of that…”
“Oh, yeah, well what about my horse, Standish? You died my poor horse pink. Pink! I can’t ride ‘im like that. It’s just wrong…damned wrong. Man’s horse is sacred.”
“Well, let this be a lesson to you gentlemen…never play with—“
“The king of the con…” The two repeated unenthused and unimpressed.
“Very good, gentlemen, very good,” Ezra said with a smile that showed his gold tooth.
“I just got one question…” Buck asked, the anger having abated somewhat. He supposed they were probably even now.
“And what would that be?” Ezra smiled genuinely.
“How? You ain’t left town…”
“But, I did,” JD’s voice coming from behind Buck caught the mustached man off-guard.
“You? Aw, kid, now that’s a low blow.” Buck put his hand to his chest before proceeding to smack JD’s hat off his head and into the street.