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  • Writer's pictureJames Sargent

Fists and Fur Join the Fight

Blog: Shadow of the Hawk, Ch 8, “On Whitefish Bay” (pp 144-145)


At that moment two things happened. The cruiser’s chugging engines accelerated, and DuBois turned and got off a shot, but he missed. Frank fired twice, the booms of his .45 echoing like thunder across the water. The longtime soldier rarely missed, and this night he hit the enemy once more.

DuBois’ body thudded to the dock, and the big curly-haired seaman reached down and grabbed something from his fist. The mustachioed man rose, glanced at Frank, turned, and jumped aboard the cruiser. At that moment, Johnson, the left-handed kidnapper, took aim at Frank’s broad body, but Mickey fired first. The booming blast from his .45 drove a slug into the

kidnapper’s left shoulder. Johnson screamed, staggered a couple of steps, swore, grabbed the bleeding shoulder with his right hand, and raised his weapon. Before he could shoot, Mosh flew into him, snarling, biting, clawing, and forcing him to the ground in a flurry of flailing arms and legs.

Taking advantage of the diversion, the bleeding Stebbins reached for his dropped gun. As he glanced toward the cruiser, which had cleared the dock, Frank yelled a warning which the front door. At the moment he appeared, Stebbins shouted, “You can’t shoot me. I’m a federal agent!”

Frank raised his weapon, Stebbins took aim at him, and a knife whistled through the air from behind Mickey. The steel blade hit Stebbins’ chest with a sickening thud. Slowly releasing his weapon, he took two awkward steps, his eyes looking upward as he managed to say, “Aaarrrgh!”

As his revolver fell, the Cincinnati agent flopped over on his back, his dark eyes staring up at the moon, his jaw open, blood trickling from both sides of his mouth. High in the sky a red-tailed hawk let out its haunting screech. Stebbins heard the hawk just before losing consciousness. Years later, the others recalled the hawk’s cry like it sounded the end to a battle from yesteryear.


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