Teaspoon Hunter sat watching as the young men under his care went about their daily chores. He was glad Buck was off on a run because he needed to talk about the most recent incident that transpired at Tompkins' store, and he didn't want to upset the young Kiowa needlessly; there had been enough turmoil in the boy's short life already without this. In fact, the entire group had just made it through an incident involving Buck's older, half-brother and the Kiowa nation. Things had just begun to settle down from that when this newest incident occurred.

With a deep sigh, Teaspoon pushed himself up out of the porch swing and stretched to loosen up his muscles. He was just about to make his way down the steps when Emma Shannon stepped out of the house.

"Mr. Spoon," she said using the endearing name she had created for him, "if it's not too much trouble, I'd like to talk to you." She smiled. "I made some pie and a fresh pot of coffee."

Teaspoon hesitated just a few seconds before agreeing to visit with her. He had a feeling he knew what she wanted to talk about. As he turned to enter the house, Emma moved aside to allow him to enter first.

Teaspoon made his way to the sitting room. He was a little surprised to see three cups and place settings. His confusion was quickly cleared up when Emma entered the room followed closely by a nervous looking Ike.

"Both of you can have a seat," said Emma, as she made her way to the table and began to cut the pie.

The two men sat. They accepted a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. Emma served herself and sat down next to Ike. "You let me know when you're ready," she told him.

Ike smiled weakly and took a sip of his coffee. After a few seconds, Ike put his plate, fork, and cup down. He turned to face Emma and nodded.

Emma placed her items on the coffee table, patted Ike's knee, and faced Teaspoon. "Ike has something he wants to tell you about the events that took place in town yesterday evening. He asked me to arrange this private meeting because he was worried the other riders would unintentionally prevent you from learning what Ike thinks."

Teaspoon nodded. "That's a good possibility," he agreed. "So, what happened?"

Ike signed slowly so Emma could keep up and give voice to his motions…

Kid, Cody, Buck, and I went to town on our regular supply run. Buck had tried to get someone to trade with him, but Lou wasn't back yet, and Jimmy didn't want to trade runs since the one Buck had to go on goes through White Ridge, and Jimmy didn't want to…

Teaspoon nodded and said, "have to go there unless absolutely necessary; I know he told me when I was making the schedule. He didn't say why; just that it would be better all-around if he wasn't seen in White Ridge for a while." He sighed as he contemplated all the things that could have gone wrong.

Anyway, Ike continued with Emma translating for him when Teaspoon didn't continue speaking, we all went to town. Buck offered to stay outside and do all the loading in order to keep from upsetting Tompkins by entering his store, but Kid and Cody said that Tompkins needed to learn that he couldn't keep people from entering his store.

Buck tried to argue that, actually, Tompkins has the right to do exactly that - he doesn't have to provide service to people he doesn't want to serve, but they wouldn't listen. Since they were so set on proving to Tompkins that Buck had the right to shop there, they ended up pulling Buck into the store with them.

Emma stopped speaking when Ike stopped moving his hands. She smiled at him to encourage him to continue. Before he could begin again, Teaspoon spoke. "Let me guess," he said, "in the process of 'gently' forcing Buck into the store, they pushed him into Missy Johnson."

Ike nodded.

Teaspoon sighed. "Tompkins saw Buck fall on Missy and started hollering for Sam to come arrest him, but you managed to get Buck back here and convince Jimmy to trade runs so Buck wasn't here when Sam arrived."

Ike nodded once more.

"Smart," said Teaspoon. "Now all I need to do is figure out how to talk to Missy Johnson without Tompkins or her father around, and to make Sam see that Buck wasn't running to get away; he was running to keep from getting hurt."

"How does talking to Missy help Buck?" asked Emma.

"If I can convince the girl it was all an accident, that none of the riders - especially Buck - would want to hurt her, then I can get her to tell Sam that nothing happened which requires legal action."

"How are you going to do that?" Emma inquired.

"I'll do my best to get her to remember events the way Ike recalls them, and then convince her that truth is often nothing more than a matter of perspective."

Written for the 2011 Title Challenge - Original Title given by: ChyonGirl

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