Ortega's Arrest




* Bull Durham, Manuel Ortega, Lucia Gomez and other hispanics.

Summary: Bull Durham arrests Manuel Ortega

Date: February 10, 1884

Ortega's Arrest

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The night is clear, the moon hangs in the air illuminating the ground in it's silvry radiance. There is a hovel that hangs there. A one-roomed hut that glows with light from the inside. The bleating sounds of goats can be heard outside. The animals are tied to simple stakes to keep them from wandering off too far. There are bushes and the grass grows tall. It could be beneficial use to the stealthy person… or a hassle to those of clumsier of rough demeanors. A pair of dogs lie outside the front door, cozied up on some old b eat up blanket.

The first thing that may have indicated a problem was the short sudden bark of a pistol shots, and the terrified bawling of the goats. The solid heavy thud of a body hitting the ground came next. A body as large and heavy as that of a horse or cow falling to the frozen ground.

Then, the riflefire began, six shots, fired at waist level through the thin walls, each shot walking from one side to the other. "ORTEGAS!" a rough, deep voice bellows. "Bring your stinking Mex ass out here!"

From inside the house there is the sudden sound of screaming women and of furniture being pushed around. Most likely a table being flipped over to dive behind. There is the sound of hurried spanish being spoken.

The sleeping dogs are now woken rather quickly. BAWR!! BAWR!! It was the deep bay of a larger houndish type dog. One of the dogs sprinted forward into the night in persuit of the intruder.

Another rifle shot, a loud "YELP!" of pain, an eighth shot, and a whining from the second dog. In the sudden lull, the steady clicking of shells being reloaded into the rifle coudl be discerned. The eighth click, the ratcheting of the lever, and a single click as counterpoint before the vocie yells again, closer to the ground, "ORTEGAS! You're under arrest, come out now, and your women may survive."

Three more spaced shots crash through the wall, again at waist level, "I'll burn that goddamned shithouse to the ground!"

The first dog takes a hit hard, whimpers and scoots off only to die a few feet away. The scond shot hit the haunches of the second dog who dissapears off into the grass somewhere. With the next round of shots that fire into the home, there is the sudden shriek of a woman who seems to be crying out in pain. A long string of spanish is heard from the woman followed by the low rumbling of a man. There is a moment of utter silence, other than the whimpering sound of the woman inside.

The shutters to a window suddenly spring open and the end of an older shotgun points outside. "BLAM BLAM!" The two shells of the shotgun pop up and out of the gun, falling down onto the ground before it retreats back under some cover inside the house.

Crouched behind the body of the cow, Bull doesn't even flinch at teh shotgun's blasts, the pellets thumping into the bulky beef like rain on a roof. The Marshall pumps two shots through the window, then reaches behind him for a can of coal oil. Uncorking the five gallon can, he rears back and throws it up onto the porch, spraying the volatile liquid over the outside wall.

"Smell that, Ortegas?" he bellows, laying back and feeding shells into the Winchester, "I'm gonna fry you and everyone else in there, less you come out now!"

A moment of indecision passes. Then a man's voice calls out. "Alright hombre! Calm down. No need to harm the mujeres y ninos!" His voice is heavily accented, broken english. Slowly the front door opens and the slightly overweight Ortega emerges from the home. Both hands are in the air as he steps forward, glancing around into the darkness. Obviously he surrenders not for himself, but for the others within the home. In the darkness, the man's gaze focuses on the figure crouched behind the now dead cow. "I am here hombre!"

"Call everyone else out," Durham calls, emphasizing his words with the ratchet of the Winchester's lever, "Don't want no spics behind me." he remains crouched behind the cow, the muzzle of the rifle going from Ortegas' belly, to the door, "Get 'em out now! Women and kids too."

With a turn of the head, Manuel Ortega calls out in spanish to the people inside. Soon folks begin to filter out. Then back to Bull, "The mujer is injured senor. She cannot move!" Soon a group of folks string out. It was not all the same family, but a couple families that seemed to have been shacked up together. Two women, an elder man and about 5 children, including Lucia filters out into the yard. The children look on with wide eyes.

"Drag her out." His hard eyes move over the motley group, looking for weapons, and fixing on Lucia. The eyes narrow, "You are the whelp that works for that niggah woman." he states, flatly. "I'm starting to think she lied to me."

"Who's the rest of these people?" he barks then, the glare directed at the young girl. "One of them your mama? Which one's your papa?"

Manuel Ortega nods to a pair of older boys. One looked around 12 while the other looked to be about 9. Whispers are spoken to the young lads and they dissapear back into the house. When Lucia is spoken to, the girl shyly shrinks back and behind Ortega, not answering the scary man. It's much like the bookeyman trying to demand answers from a child. "These folks are homeless senor. One reason or 'nother." Ortega speaks up. "They are harmless folks, jus' needin' a place to live and all!" The sounds of the boys struggling to help the injured woman out the door can be heard. She is bad off, having taken a shot in the abdomen.

"You two, keep on walking with that woman." Bull stands, transferring the rifle to his left hand and drawing the Remington out with his right. Keeping it poised for use, he sidles around the dead cow, "You two," indicating the two older men, "Help Ortegas walk," Looking from one to the other, "The rest of you, get out of my sight."

The children turn and quickly flee, guided by the women. Lucia lingers for but a moment longer before turning and dissapearing into the grass off in a random direction. The two boys grunt with the ever growing weight of the bleeding woman. She does not look well at all. In fact it almost seems as if she is going in and out of consciousnous. There is a lot of blood staining the raggedy dress she is wearing. The older man steps up next to Ortega, glancing to the man. The elder has the gaze of a long life's experience. Words are spoken to Manuel which cause the surrendering man to wince.

The Remington barks once, spitting a long tongue of flame that scorches the hole in Ortega's pants that suddenly appeared at the knee. "Just to make sure you don't run, Mex." Bull growls in a low tone. Jerking his pistol towards town, "Start him to the Marshall's office. I'll be right behind you."

Manuel suddenly lurches forward as his leg gives out from underneath him. The man lets out a grunt in pain as he tumbles forward into the grass.

The boys holding onto the dying woman blink and perhaps frighten a bit as they watch the man go down. The older boy lets out a fiery string of spanish in Bull's direction! It is clear the words have no love in them, dripping in hatred. But he is silenced by the sharp correction of the elder hispanic. The wise old man simply kneels next to Ortega's bad side, offering assistance to the man. Soon, they are moving through the grass northwards.

Behind the departing walking wounded, there is a sudden flare of matches as Bull kit a handful of the wooden sticks, and dropped them in the coal oil.

"Hold up there," he bellows, stepping away from the sudden gout of flames, "We're gonna see if there's any more rats gonna come out." he stands midway between Ortegas and his supporters, and the door, the pistol ready for use.

Manuel Ortega simply turns his gaze to look over his shoulder. As he had predictade to the others, the house is lit on fire anyways. He is leaning against the older man heavily as his one leg seems completely lame from the bullet blast. Fortunately, noone else comes out. All had obeyed when he ordered them out the house. The home lights up almost instantly, the house flammable. It becomes a blaze in the night sky, sending spirals of smoke up and into the air. It does not take long before the tempers of the home buckle and crumple, caving in on itself.

Once the timbers fall in, Durham says, "Get on with it." he turns his back on the remainders of the house and indicates the path with the pistol. "Right into the cell."


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