The Spaniard (A Lance Drecker Story)

The Spaniard (A Lance Drecker Story)

A Story by J. W. Hester
"

A desperate crewman seeks the aid of a dark figure in a bar in Togoland.

"

The entrance to the Lome Officer’s Club burst open, a middle-aged Spaniard staggered in panting. The club was dimly lit, the air was damp from the storm with a haze of pipe and cigar smoke lingering. Bracing himself against the bar, the Spaniard pleadingly looked into the bartenders eyes.

“Senor Drecker?” he said anxiously, realizing the steely eyes of the German patrons this club catered to were now focused on him.

The bartender, moving to remove this bedraggled man who was clearly a sailor for one of the ships in port, halted as he heard the name. Easing the grip he had on the man’s arm, he motioned him towards a barely lit corner of the club, a booth with a large stein of ale on the table in front of it sat occupied by a dark silhouette. Periodically an orange glow would emanate from the figure, revealing a scarred visage under an old leather slouch hat, before being obscured by a cloud of smoke and dimming once again.

As the Spaniard frightfully, but cautiously, made his way to the booth, he noticed that even the flashes of lightning coming through the windows seemed to avoid the man.

“Senor Drecker? Me llamo es, um, my name is Bruto Pescado. I am the first officer of the Senora en su Espalda.

No movement or sound from the shadowy figure. Just another long burst of orange glow followed by a column of smoke.

“Our captain and several deckhands have been taken captive by pygmies in the night. The authorities won’t do anything about it.”

The figure shifted in his seat and sighed, smoke leaking from the corners of his mouth. “Why should I care, hombre? If you knew who I was, you’d know a Spaniard is the last person I’d give a damn about. I wouldn’t piss on one to put out a fire.”

“I understand, for you are Jinete Aspero from the war, but the ship you came here on has just left without you, and the Senora Is the only ship left for you to take passage on.”

Drecker exploded forward, knocking the table over, and rushing out the front door into the mud and rain. He looked at the dock where the SS Fancy Lad, a small cargo vessel carrying a group of young wealthy ladies to a cheerleading convention in England, had been berthed. Looking out through the dark of night and the torrential downpour, he could see the ship’s lights out in the bay as it steamed to sea and could almost make out the silhouettes of several women in the windows who were most assuredly soaked from the rain and needing a warm body to comfort them.

“ NOOOOOOO!” said Drecker, falling to his knees in the mud, the heavy rain running off the brim of his slouch hat and down his leather duster.

Bruto knelt in front of him in the rain. “Are…are you crying, senor?”

“No, just the rain” he said drying his face with the red bandanna he wore around his neck. “Let’s go find your captain”.

After showing him where the apparent fight had happened, Bruto showed him a trail of small footprints leading towards the jungle. The glow of lights could be seen in the distance, but it was too far to tell from what.

Bruto followed Drecker to the small building he was staying in. Lighting a lantern in the sparsely furnished room, Drecker opened a small locker at the foot of his bed.. The light and shadows from the lantern danced across the contents of the locker. He knelt before the chest, an upwelling of reverence growing in his bosom as he gazed at the objects on top. Two shiny, US Army issue Colt 45 revolvers, resting on top of a folded leather pistol belt with individual bullets tucked into loops. ‘Innocence’ and ‘compassion’ were etched into the blood-stained ivory handles to represent the virtues these guns robbed people of every time they spoke. The belt came to rest on Drecker’s hips as he fastened it, the color of his pants long worn away underneath where the holsters rested. He pulled some boxes of ammo from the chest and tucked them into pockets inside his duster, along with a small cigar box. He then hooked a large Bowie knife, sheathed in leather, to his belt and fastened old cavalry spurs to his boots. He then tossed a small semi-automatic pistol to Bruto, before also handing him the lantern and setting out into the rain-drenched night.

The Spaniard led the way through the jungle, Drecker occasionally using his knife to cut through the brush. Through the trees ahead, they caught the sight of a small fire. Drawing ‘Innocence’, Drecker motioned for Bruto to douse the light, and hide.

There was no movement that Drecker could see, nor sound. The occasional pop from the fire as it burned was all he could hear. Several men lay asleep. He crept closer to the small circular clearing, took another glance, and let out a long sigh as he re-holstered his shooter and stepped out toward the light.

The executed bodies of the kidnapped deckhands of the Senora lay lined up next to each other. Someone had clearly tried to smother the fire with dirt before leaving, but it had rekindled itself.

“AHA, BASTARDO!” Bruto burst from the brush firing several shots into what he thought was a sleeping enemy.

“You stupid sunnuva-“ Drecker wrenched the pistol from the Spaniards hand before pistol-whipping him.
Bruto flashed from angry to mortified when he realized what he’d done.

“Go get the damned lantern and let’s get going. Your Captain ain’t here and the tracks continue on”. He handed the pistol back to Bruto as he slunk away. Strange, thought Drecker, he was pretty sure pygmies didn’t have guns, and all these men had been shot. They pressed on, the tracks leading in the direction of the distant lights.

After 30 minutes they came across the source of the lights, a brick building, fairly new construction, with antennas mounted on the roof and an Imperial German flag. A radio station. The tracks stopped here.

Drecker snuck to the entrance, peeking in and seeing the Captain tied to a chair in what appeared to be a room for utility equipment and gasoline for the generator. The chirps of radio equipment sounding through the closed door from the next room.

He motioned for Bruto to watch his back while he quickly stalked into the well-lit room. The captain, groggily looked up to see a frightening figure place a single finger to his lip as he pulled an enormous knife out.

“Who…who are you, senor?”

“I’m Lance Drecker, hombre, and I’m here to rescue you.” The Captain twitched as he recognized the name of the legend.

“How did you know about me?”

Drecker began cutting through the rope between his legs, “Your first mate, Bruto, dragged me up here.”

The Captain froze, “Senor, it was Bruto that attacked me.”

You can never mistake the feeling of a gun barrel on the back of your head, especially when it’s one you gave away. Bruto chuckled behind him, his fishy breath nauseating Drecker more than his betrayal.

“S**t, never could trust a Spaniard”, said Drecker, his hands up.

The door to the next room opened and two well-dressed men stepped through.

“Well-done, Bruto”, said the slightly chubbier one, “You’ve brought him to us perfectly and upheld your part of the deal.”

“So, I can be captain now, yes? You said you’d give me what I deserve? It’s time for me to be captain!”

The thinner of the two men walked over and relieved Bruto of the pistol, and trained it back on him.

“Yes, EVERYTHING you deserve and more.” Bruto dropped to the floor as a drop rang out temporarily deafening Drecker.

“Our employer has been concerned about your whereabouts, Mister Drecker. Lucky for us you turned up on a German colony. It’s a shame poor Bruto will not get to see the world he helped create by bringing you to your end.”

It was at that point that Bruto’s not quite lifeless body desperately grabbed Chubby’s ankle. He looked down and aimed, but Drecker shouldered into him hard, sending him flying into several boxes of radio equipment. He grabbed the freed captain by the arm and raced out the back door, shooting back in the direction of Skinny. Skinny took cover behind a box near his companion, firing several rounds back. The thinner man froze and held his breath as a bullet struck a gas barrel nearby, his eyes wide. Nothing happened. He let loose a deep breath as gas leaked from the hole.

“Ahem!”

Standing outside the doorway on the far side of the building was Drecker, one arm up, ‘Compassion’ aiming right at the barrel.

Chubby and Skinny didn’t get a chance to run before he let loose the hammer of his gun, the bang of the cannon never getting a chance to be heard as the bullet hit the leaking gas, disintegrating the radio station and sending Drecker back onto his a*s. The Captain called to him from the bushes.

“Senor? Are you alright?”

Drecker, lying flat on his back, reached into his duster and brought out a cigar. He lit it, head still flat in the mud, and staring up at the trees he muttered, “F*****g Spaniards”.


© 2017 J. W. Hester



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Featured Review

Sure, f*****g Spaniards!!! Dredcker is one great character. i love the way he narrates.. "“S**t, never could trust a Spaniard”, said Drecker, his hands up."

I like your work. well written and almost would think you're edited before being published. you gave a clear picture and i lived in the moment.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Sure, f*****g Spaniards!!! Dredcker is one great character. i love the way he narrates.. "“S**t, never could trust a Spaniard”, said Drecker, his hands up."

I like your work. well written and almost would think you're edited before being published. you gave a clear picture and i lived in the moment.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on October 3, 2017
Last Updated on October 3, 2017