Four massive Harley Davidsons rolled off the highway and came
up the street leading to the General Store. Rain said, “Jessie? Run
home! Ferg, Truck, and Big Mo were there working on bikes an hour
ago. Better go get them!”
Jessie darted away up the alley, cradling his cast against his chest
as he ran. Rain and Beef tried to act casual as they seated themselves
on the bench situated against the front wall of the old store. They both
wanted to be at eye level, instead of forced to look up at Daws and his
three club members. The four bikers of the Elder’s Den pulled up in
front of the store and killed their engines. While the three motley bikers
glared at the two boys before them, Daws climbed off of his bike and
put the big stand down on it, before mounting the porch steps. The big
biker president then peered intently at Rain. “Because of you, my boy
may go to prison. For that, you are going to suffer. It’s gonna hit you
when you least expect it, too. Your little brother will hurt too. It’s so
sad to be an orphan in this world. Jack lost something the day of that
bus crash. Do you have what I’m looking for? If so, I might show mercy
when it comes to you boys and postpone the day of reckoning.”
Rain sat there, trembling as he faced the biker. “Don’t have a clue
what you’re talking about, Daws,” he said, pleased that his voice didn’t
crack halfway through his sentence.
Daws said, “On October 7, 1876, a buffalo hunter named J. Wright
Mooar killed a white buffalo in Texas. He kept the hide his entire life,
despite Teddy Roosevelt offering him $5000 for it. Big Medicine was
born on Montana’s Flathead Indian rez. The name Big Medicine was
chosen due to the sacred power attributed to white bison. Following
its death in 1959, its body is now displayed at the Montana Historical
Society. Miracle was born at a farm in Wisconsin. Medicine Wheel
was born on May 9 on Pine Ridge. Medicine Wheel escaped his pasture
and was shot by a tribal police officer. Spirit Mountain Ranch donated
a herd of white buffalo to the Sacred World Peace Church, and has bred
six generations of white buffalo. Their herd includes 17 white buffalo. I suppose someone could take one of these hides and fabricate that peace
treaty that the Cheyenne marked on that white buffalo robe in 1833,
but that would be a fraud. No, what I want is the real deal, boys, the
white buffalo robe of the Cheyenne—”
Before Daws could finish, Jessie came out of the nearby alley, stumbling
as he sprang onto the porch of the store. He flailed clumsily with
his cast and drove it directly into his brother’s belly, knocking the air
out of him. “Dad’s coming!” Jessie gasped breathlessly.
At a signal from Daws, the Den members started their bikes and
all four of them went roaring down the street and out of town. Seconds
later, Chase and four Outlaws went thundering past the general store,
revving their own monster machines as they pursued the Elder’s Den
down the nearby highway.
It was the next day that Rain found Chase sprawled on their front porch
with a long-bladed hunting knife driven into the center of his chest.
It appeared he’d just sat down, his chin resting on his chest, his eyes
closed as if he were fast asleep.
“Dad?” Jessie heard his brother cry. “Dad?”
He burst through the screen door and stood there staring for long
moments at Rain kneeling down next to their dead father. He reached
out and stopped him from pulling the knife out of Chase’s chest. He
had to latch onto his brother’s wrist to keep him from drawing that knife
out of the bloody wound. Tears streaming down his face, Rain glanced
back at Jessie, at last giving up on trying to remove the knife. Both
brothers then broke down, sorrow overwhelming them as they kneeled
beside each other inches away from Chase’s prone form.
Beef discovered them there, so grief stricken that neither could talk.
Jessie bawled openly while Rain sobbed quietly. Unable to console
the two brothers, Beef ran down the street to get Pops. Big Mike Tory,
a brawny man with a Marine-style buzz cut, ambled onto the Nelson
porch like a bear, his large, meaty hands lifting the two distraught brothers
onto their feet. Mike called the sheriff’s department in Crete and reported
that Chase had been murdered. Sheriff Baxster spent one week on the investigation and yet, he never connected the dots that would lead him
to the murderer.
Days after Chase was killed, Mike took the two boys into his home and to remove them from the Outlaw culture, he moved them and his
son, Beef, into Havelock, an Irish Catholic suburb of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Despite all of Mike’s efforts to keep the three boys from reconnecting
with the club, Rain at the age of 17, formed his own chapter. Jessie
became VP. Beef served as warlord. The three of them signed on with
the notorious Irishman Billy Connors, who owned the Emerald Pub
in Havelock. During the Vietnam war, Billy had been a gun-runner,
supporting IRA patriots back in Ireland. But when the war ended, he
tragically lost his wife to a drunk driver. Her death changed the Irishman.
He not only ceased his gun-running, he took a hardline to those bringing
drugs into Havelock, and he paid the Outlaws to enforce that.
It was the map, however, that led to tragic events that Rain could
not help but stumble his way into. After his dad’s murder, he’d kept
that metal cigar tube in a drawer in his bedroom. Rain opened it quite
often, to study the drawing and try to decipher exactly where the map
would lead him. It haunted him that his last words with Ben Black Bull
had been in reference to the map. He wished many times over that he’d
just told Ben the truth about discovering it. He knew he was playing
with fire when it came to Native relics, figuring if Indians did have gods
of any kind, they were going to see to it that Rain reaped what he’d
sowed by wanting to discover the treasure himself.
He married Rose, Billy Connor’s daughter, and had two sons, Boone
and Reason. On the night of his twenty-sixth Birthday, Rain rode out
to Quarry Oaks outside of Lincoln. It was riddled with underground
tunnels with openings surrounding the blue waters of the pond at the
center of the quarry. Rain found the tunnel designated by the map. Five
minutes after he entered the dark mine shaft, he found himself staring
down the barrel of a double-barrel shotgun. “I’ll take that map, now,”
Keeping the gun trained on him, Daws said, “I sent Black Bull on
his way to his happy hunting ground. So, don’t let his death be in vain.
Let’s recover those relics. Whoever claims them is gonna be a rich man.”
Rain harshly whispered, “You killed Ben?”
“Daws Holland is a fool,” said the tall man with twin stags tattooed
on his face, stepping out of the shadows of a side shaft. The man wearing
a long, black duster and a black bandana over his head, raised his silenced
pistol. The Nomad then aimed his pistol at Daws. “Lower that shotgun.”
Daws nodded silently, his eyes darting to the dark shaft connecting
with the one they were all standing in. “What game are you playing?”
The Nomad grinned. “Your life is needed to negate the curse.”
Daws asked, “What’s this gibberish? What do you mean, you need
my life to negate this curse? Any one ever tell you, you’re just weird?”
The Nomad said, “Once the blood price is paid, they can be sold
at auction and I will inherit the benefits of that act of contrition.”
It was then, Sheriff Baxster, who had accompanied Daws into the
quarry as backup, appeared there in the dark shaft. A second later, Beef,
who had ridden out to the quarry with Jessie as backup for the Outlaws,
stepped out of the shadows behind Baxster, placing the muzzle of his
pistol against the back of his head. Beef smiled, then turned his gun
on the Nomad standing across the corridor from them. “Now, you.”
The Nomad raised his gun and fired.
The shoot-out that followed left Sheriff Baxster and Daws Holland
dead. The Nomad managed to escape. Even as bullets flew down the
tunnel, he raced away into the inky blackness of the mine shaft. With
sirens in the distance, Jessie argued against running from the scene of
the shooting. Beef had already mounted his bike and started it, so that
over the roar of his engine, Rain could barely be heard holding a heated
debate with his brother. Jessie latched onto the front of Rain’s jacket.
“We’ll get Pops to testify how crooked Baxster was! Remember how he covered for the Hollands when Ben was being charged with motor
vehicle homicide? Big Mike will be the key to a self-defense plea!”
“If not,” Rain said, sadly. “Look after my boys for me, will you?”
Silently then, he started his machine and steering out around Beef,
he ripped at his throttle and went roaring out of the quarry.
Ten minutes later, Rain Nelson rode his Harley at 60MPH directly
into the police roadblock he didn’t see until it was too late.
Four massive Harley Davidsons rolled off the highway and came