Sheriff Cole was a man of instant opinion.
Whenever he walked into the Waterhole Saloon to quell a brawl, a split-second assessment of the innocent and guilty would be made well inside the time it took him to draw his Colt 1873. The innocent would be ignored while the instigators, despite their arguments and pleas, would be tucked away nicely in the jailhouse in around fifteen minutes.
And almost always, Sheriff Cole's instant opinion was proved correct.
Which was why, when Sheriff Cole had hauled Zeke from Mrs Prendergast's house, he knew he was dealing with an innocent boy.