Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven were created and are owned by MGM, Trilogy Entertainment and the Mirisch Corporation. No profit will be made and no infringement is intended.
He wanted chocolate cake for his birthday.
Funny how that should be the most important thought on his mind. It shouldn’t really matter to him; the others had no idea that this day marked the anniversary of his birth, but he still couldn’t help himself from forming the desire for a cake to mark the occasion.
He never had a cake on his birthday before.
Ezra shook his head and called himself ten times a fool. He should be thinking of how he was going to get himself out of his current predicament, not dreaming of warm, sweet cake with creamy frosting.
Oh great, now his stomach was growling.
He scooted as far back as the rocky wall behind him would allow, and pulled his knees to his chest, wrapping his arms around his legs to reserve as much body warmth as he could. He leaned his head over just enough to look over the ledge he was sitting on, down into the canyon below.
How did he always manage to get himself into such situations? It was not like he went out looking for trouble. Trouble just had a natural way of finding him. The day had started out innocently enough. He rose from bed at 10am, and took his time dressing, knowing that he had no patrol duty till later in the afternoon. He was looking forward to a good breakfast, a relaxing game of poker, and perhaps a good run with Chaucer before duty would call him.
Obviously, fate had something else in mind for him, for the moment he stepped beyond the door of his room; he heard Chris’s voice yelling up at him.
"Ezra, get your ass down here!" he had bellowed.
Ezra rolled his eyes and wondered what he had done this time to incite the wrath of the gunslinger. Not that it took much; a cocky smile, a few well placed words, and he had Chris practically steaming from the ears. It was a gift, and Ezra never failed to use it to his advantage.
"There is no need to strain yourself, Mr. Larabee, my hearing is in perfect working order. How may I be of assistance to you." Ezra had smiled at Chris as he walked down the saloon stairs, and brushed at imaginary dust on the sleeves of his jacket.
"Just get down here. I need you for a job." Chris was standing at the bottom of the steps, dressed as usually all in black. Ezra sometimes wondered if he had all of his clothes especially dyed that color. He could never see himself wearing nothing but that one, dark color all the time. Ezra much preferred bright reds and blues, some greens to set off his eyes. He had lovely eyes, or so the ladies of the town had told him.
"And what, pray tell, am I to do for you today, good sir?"
Chris handed him a slip of paper. "Need you to go pick up a package in Henderson. It’s for the Judge. It’s important."
Ezra sighed. He knew then that his day was over. "Ah, yes, for our esteemed Judge Travis it usually is important. What shall I be delivering to him this time? Another train set for Master Billy?"
"Just get going, Ezra. And be back by nightfall, no fooling around in Henderson. You know how they reacted the last time."
Yes, Ezra did recall that time. He had gone to Henderson on another package pick-up and decided to stay for a few rounds of poker. Seems the young opponent, who happened to be the son of the town sheriff, was a poor player indeed, but he would rather of accused Ezra of cheating then to admit that he lost all the money for the new horse his father was going to buy. Really, it irritated Ezra to no end that he was always the accused one.
"I shall endeavor to return with no troubles following me." He had said, and brought two fingers to his hat brim in salute.
"You better." Chris had grumbled before turning and walking out the swinging saloon doors.
That was precisely 6 hours ago. If the position of the sun was anything to judge by, he had now been stranded on this ledge for 2 hours. It would be night soon, and no doubt Mr. Larabee was at this moment wondering what was keeping him.
That was not a bad thing, or course. It would mean the others would come looking for him soon.
He could hear Chaucer above him on the high ground, pawing away at dust and stones, no doubt confused as to why his master remained below.
Yes, my friend. I wonder too. He let out a breath of air and watched as it took the form of a cloud in the ever-gathering chill of the approaching night.
It was not like he had gone down to this ledge by choice. Oh no, it was simply a survival instinct.
Turns out the ‘package’ for Judge Travis held more importance then a simple toy for his grandchild. Evidence for the biggest murder trial to hit the territory held much importance
to many a man, including the ones who had chased him out of Henderson and to
He had been forced to make a decision—let the bad guys have the evidence, and they would kill him, or—refuse to turn it over, and they would kill him. Not really fair, he had thought.
So, he had tossed the evidence over the cliff. It fell to the canyon floor in a shower of paper. He then stepped off the edge himself, knowing perfectly well of the ledge below. It paid to know ones way around the wilderness, even if he found no comfort in it, as Mr. Tanner did.
They had left him alone after that, not even bothering to shoot him. He supposed he should thank heaven for small favors. They had obviously thought he would simply die out there, hanging over the edge in the cold of night. As well he might if the others did not come to look for him.
He was sure they would, for Ezra had been in possession of the ever-important packet of evidence before he had tossed it to the four winds. They would come looking for him for that, if for no other reason.
A rain of pebbles landed on his head. He looked up, and smiled. He could see Chris’s face hanging over the edge of the cliff, a smirk on his face as he looked down at the gambler.
"Thought I’d find you here," he said.
"Really, and what made you think of that? Did you say to yourself, ‘You know, I bet Ezra is hanging out on some ledge today.’?"
"Nope, saw Chaucer prancing around up here. Knew you had to be close by." A rope was thrown down to him, and in no time he was safely on top once again.
"I regret to inform you that the package I was to deliver is no longer of this world," Ezra said between sips of water from a canteen.
"No worry," Chris shrugged. "Judge managed to get a conviction without it."
"Ah, so I see my risking my life has once again come to naught."
Chris just chuckled. "Come on, lets get home, the boys are worried."
"Indeed? Should I suspect my absence was felt?" He lifted himself on to Chaucer and turning the horse around, toward home.
"Yep. Specially when there’s a party waiting for you in the Saloon."
Ezra blinked. "A party?"
"It is your Birthday, isn’t it?" Chris got on his own horse and trotted over next to him.
"Well, yes, indeed, but I thought…"
"That we didn’t know?" He laughed. "You can thank Maude for that. She sent a telegram yesterday."
"And you thought not to give it to me?"
Chris shrugged again. "It said, ‘Happy Birthday tomorrow. STOP. Your ever loving Mother. STOP.’"
Ezra frowned. "We shall have to discuss the issue of privacy at a later time, Mr. Larabee. As it is right now, I would rather just go home."
"Let’s get then."
As they started their journey back toward Four Corners, Ezra turned his head to Chris and asked:
"There wouldn’t happen to a chocolate cake, would there?’