The man's chin dropped. "We can make a deal. I've got a bit of gold from selling off some cattle."
The powerful smell of stale alcohol caused Isaiah’s stomach to roil, he fought the urge to vomit. "I’m guessing you don't have ranch land, so we’ll add rustler to your list of charges."
"I'm sure we can work something out. I can get you some mighty fine whiskey."
Isaiah doubted the man had access to fine whiskey, but kept his thoughts to himself. Even if he accepted bribes, he didn’t imbibe, so there wasn’t much point in arguing about it. "I intended to ignore your first attempt to bribe me, but now I may add attempted bribery to your list of crimes."
"Aw, come on." The man stared at his feet. "The bartender told me to skedaddle, and I had no way to get home."
"You shouldn't be riding a horse as drunk as you are. Walking would've been a reasonable option."
"It's more than five miles."
"How is that my problem?"
The girl lit a lantern and started washing dishes in a basin. With the additional light, Isaiah was able to make out her features. She might have been pretty, had it not been for the black eye and bruise under her chin. Her blond hair was pulled up, but looked like it needed washing. The girl was in a bad situation. He had to find a way to get her help.
"There may be one thing that’ll keep you out of jail."
"What might that be?"
"Send the girl with me." He saw the young lady's spine straighten, probably wondering if her father would protect her.
"Who will cook and clean? Who will feed the hens?"
"Not my problem. Do we have a deal?"
“I’ll forget what I know, but it won’t stop other lawkeepers from dealing with you.”
“You planning to alert them?”
“Then I’ll take my chances.”