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I am a Natural Born United States Citizen with NO allegiance or citizenship to any nation but my own, and will use this site as a hobby place of sorts to present my own political and religious viewpoints, as a genuine Constitutional Conservative and a genuine Christian Conservative.

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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.

It is likely that the entries to this blog will be less frequent than in years past. I do intend to keep this blog active, and to offer insightful information and/or opinion (and sometimes humor and/or entertainment on occasion) when I do post.

Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fictional Short Story: A Flash in the Pan, or, The Rear View of Politics

Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897)
1876: A Flash in the pan, or, the Rear view of Politics

The Old West. There are some folks that brag about gun play, and all the hoop and a holler adventures they had; most of which never happened, or, didn’t quite happen the way they told it. I can tell you that. I served as a deputy United States Marshall for 26 years. And, I have seen more true to life adventures than that fella Sam who goes by Mark, Mark something or other, in one of his books. Take for example, this here entry in my unofficial US Deputy Marshall Diary I kept to pass down to posterity.

On July 6, 1876, I recorded this entry regarding the events of the 4th and the 5th.
The United States of America is now 100 years old. Just 11 years ago and 2 months to this day, I left the Cavalry after 4 long hard years, years that are so bitter at times, I don't rightly wish to remember they were real. For a few hours today, I actually was able to forget the Great War

Kenneth “Butcher's boy” Beavers. that little 9 year old rascal, played some more of his pranks. On Remembrance night, July 4, he slipped out of his bedroom window at 42 Chestnut and sneaked down through the alley and around the corner of Chestnut and Main to do some mischief. Butch decided that he was going to try to switch up as many horses as were on Main Street to make this Remembrance Day, 1876, more memorable. We had only 3 coal oil porch lanterns on the whole of Main Street, so unless you had your own lamp, because of it also being a cloudy night, the streets was all but pitch dark.

Kenneth untied some 15 horses in front of Maywood’s Saloon, and tied them at different locations up and down the street. I caught the little rascal when he had untied number 17, and escorted him home. His pa was gone off to buy some cattle for a poke, but his ma still made use of her husband’s belt. Upon reflection, the boy seemed to try to tell me about the 15 horses he moved about up and down Main Street, but between the crying and his ma’s screaming, I couldn’t tell for certain. She slammed the door, and chased him off to bed. I wish he would have come clean as I was walking him home.

When I returned to my patrol of Main Street, I quickly found out about the horse switch, and used Mr. McFahy's lantern to sort out horse to owner. This emptied out half of Maywood's Saloon, causing Mr. Maywood no small ants in the pants. One horse was missing, Wild Thunder, a yet unbroken Indian Horse that was captured by one of the visiting trappers. Wild Thunder was taken round back of Maywood's Saloon, and strategically placed between the shallow hole the patrons used as a cowboy outhouse and the back door of Maywood's saloon. Wild Thunder's hind legs were probably within 4-5 feet to Maywood's back door, as best as I can reckon.

Unfortunately, round about closing time, or midnight, the last of the pedestrian customers included his honor, the mayor: Jack O’Riley. With him, one of our "upstanding" citizens (who will fine me a month's pay if he should find I dared write his name down) were engaged in a deep discussion about the Great American War when they went out to alleviate themselves at the same time. The brilliant New Orleans whale-oil lamp inside the Saloon by its back door did not project much, if at all, past the door. I know this from a previous experience. So the horse was clearly waiting in the shadows.

From our investigation (Sheriff Bond, Marshall Jackson, and myself; conducted the following morning) of what happened next, we discovered that it was the upstanding citizen who was well known for his peeing exploits, who let loose first. He, if habit serves correct, was letting loose even before he was fully through the door.

Some men are distance spitters, but our anonymous upstanding citizen had the unusual knack of being a distance pee man with the record of 16 feet 8 inches with last New Year's, and that with no wind...although he did pass gas twice, and was disqualified for 17 and 18 feet. It was so bad, that on both occasions, even the mountain men and fur-trappers found themselves vacating the event. No small feat for those who take baths only once or twice a year by falling accidental like into a river or something.

So you can just imagine what happened next when, full of beer and sour whiskey, he sprayed forth like a New York boiler engine fire hose, “tinkle, tinkle”, into the back parts of that bronc, Wild Thunder. Wild Thunder let loose with a flurry of kicks that lay both his honors out against the back wall of Maywood’s saloon. When the mayor and his other honor hit the wall, the witness statement from Mr. Maywood was that they sounded like they slipped. Having run out of straw and saw-dust to catch up the mud and the other, Maywood closed the back door, and thought nothing else of it. About 10 minutes later, according to Mr. Maywood, he had locked up and sent everybody else home.

There being no gun play, it wasn't until just before dawn early next morning, that Me and the Marshall made our rounds before heading out of town. As usual, the Sheriff was home sleeping it off. Marshall Jackson was the first to find both these “gents” – and I use the word “gents” quite loosely -- all laid out next to the back wall of Maywood’s in an awful state. The mayor was laid out, sunny side up, just as dawn was breaking; his pants down about his knees, and he bore a perfect horseshoe bruise impression on his right buttock. The details of a horse-shoe impression I haven’t seen outside one of them fancy New York bar paintings back in 1868.

Marshall Jackson first sent me to fetch the county doctor on the other end of town, and then to wake the Sheriff. The doc had gone on a maternity call. That horseshoe bruise left so good an artistic impression, that Sheriff Bond went two doors over to wake and fetch the famous portrait photographer, Eugene Banks. In two shakes of a lamb's tail, Sheriff Bond was back, dragging a poor half-asleep Mr. Banks, camera and gear flung hastily over the photographer's shoulder.

Now, I don’t know about you…but I would have much preferred to take and look at an unmarried female backside over a man’s any day. This made me think that maybe Sheriff Bond, despite his still being a wee bit drunk, was maybe just a little bit peculiar, even if he did have a wife and three kids.

So, there we were; ankle deep in cowboy droppings from both sides, with all the mud and who knows what else, at the back of Maywood’s Saloon. Mr. Banks flashed his first picture with the lens about 5 feet away from the mayor's still unconscious landscape. This one, Mr. Banks was able to later save and develop. The noise of the gunpowder flash going off from that first picture seemed to stir the mayor just a little bit. Meanwhile, the Sheriff, the Marshall, and me began arguing about whether or not to destroy the picture, and stop all this nonsense.

While we was busy arguing, paying little mind to gawking, Mr. Banks then made a mistake. He stated that he wanted to make sure he had a gotten a clear shot, because the flash wasn't bright enough, and the dawn’s early light really hadn’t cast a whole lot of light yet there behind the saloon. So this kinda famous photographer, Mr. Banks, gave us a demonstration why people knew his name near and far. He added lots more powder for flash. I mean, he must have taken out a four pound gunny sack and laid a mound higher than a pair of boots on that flash pan. That powder ran all over, and grains of black powder were sprinkling down on the ground like he was spreading out a mound of feed for Mrs. Kolmar’s chickens.

Moving in for a closer shot, Mr. Banks put the camera’s legs over the mayor’s legs and went to take a picture of the horseshoe bruise impression from about two feet from lens to buttock. . And wouldn’t you know it, just as Mr. Banks lit the flash pan, the mayor kicked out with his legs into the camera and the photographer's legs, and about half that black flash powder landed on and between the mayor’s back cheeks, and all lit up with the smell of burning flesh and acrid sulfur smoke.
The explosion was so powerful, that half of the back yard of Maywood's seemed to go up in smoke. Both the Marshall and me were putting out fires on our pant legs, while the gust from the explosion blew Sheriff Bond's hat from off his head. All three of us suffered what looked and felt like sunburn.

That poor mayor, Jack O'Riley, he jumped up clean out of his shoes and out of his pants that landed him from a prone position directly up and onto both feet at a run, with a howl that awoke almost half the town. The Sheriff tried to follow while I and the Marshall were putting our own fires out, and getting what looked like tobacco burns. About 8 or 10 seconds later, in the time it took for the Marshall and me to sprint the 75 feet from the back of Maywood’s Saloon to Main Street (out to the store front), the mayor had already sprinted another block and a half down Main and deposited himself in the water trough. What looked like over 100 people, were gathered around Mayor Jack O'Riley. In a queer form of human nature, they barely moved an inch among but a one of them, staring at him for over two hours as he lay wallowing in agony in the water trough at Main and Holdren. That is, until Doc Olaf arrived back from delivering twins out at the edge of the Prairie.

Doc Olaf spent all morning and most of the afternoon with Mayor O'Riley, but the pain was too much. Mayor O'Riley died of complications. Before the town could hang him, the photographer as he posted the picture he took of the mayor up at the telegraph office, even before he could have heard the news, is alleged to have gone out back, and to have shot himself with two broken arms, a bloodied nose, and other yet to be determined injuries, committing suicide.

The Marshall confiscated what appears to be a 12 inch by 12 inch picture of the Mayor’s buttock, the same one that the photographer displayed down at the telegraph. It is in the Marshall's safe as evidence. Beneath it, Mr. Banks added the caption in his own writing, stating: “For quality and detail in your portrait, Eugene Banks, photographer extraordinaire. Reasonable rates. This week only."

The money this town could have made by his public trial and hanging is a real missed opportunity...if you were to ask me. Deputy B. July 6, 1876.

The above is an exploration of whether or not I could write a fictional short story that could hold a mass audience reader general interest, and eventually make money at it. It is not meant to be an endorsement to love lying or love making lies up.

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