A Question of Possession
by Andy Adams
(about 2300 words)
On a Texas ranch back in the 1880s a man named Grey has his herd of horses confiscated by the Sheriff Ninde, due to some bad paperwork, and possibly some bad policing too. All in all, the sheriff isn’t painted as being a very competent man, as is usual for fictional sheriffs. Grey had become bankrupt in Kansas due to being the cosigner on a friend’s lone, and even though he swears he’s cleared up all his debts, some of it has followed him to Texas. Ninde, with a campaign promise to be tough on crime hanging over his head, descends on Grey’s ranch for the horses. grey, naturally refuses and moves his whole herd under cover of darkness out of the Sheriff’s jurisdiction. Now, not only with his reputation on the line but with the possibility of having to pay grey’s debts himself on account of his mismanagement, Ninde must go to whatever lengths he can to get those horses back, and save face.
Andy Adams was born on May 3, 1859 in Indiana, USA. Both his parents were pioneers and as such he helped with the horses and cattle as a boy. As this story reflects, Adams moved to Texas in the early 1880’s where for ten years he drove cattle. He left on a failed business venture thereafter, and died in Colorado Springs. He didn’t begin writing until well into his forties, and all of his stories, naturally, are about cowboys.