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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
2017
-- 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.


Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.









Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fictional Story - Recollections Of A Western Deputy: Gold Fever, Land Scheming, and Personal Remembrances



A next installment of the fictional narrative of Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897).



 Gold Fever And Land Scheming Explodes The Town In Size And Population,  And Some Personal Remembrances From The Life Of Deputy B. 

September 22, 1883

The town council was unusually honery of late.  Here I was a Deputy Marshall on loan to their stinkin' town, doin' their drunken and often sick Sheriff's job, and all they could do is conspire on how to send me to prison for takin' them to task on their blackmailin' schemes and mis-usin' the Court to dispossess good folk out of their homes.   Me and the Marshall for years and years was a sharin' the town Sheriff's office and jail for so long, that one time when we was in Rustler's Pass, Marshall Jackson thought he had to deputize ME along with the Sheriff to chase down what Carnie raiders had escaped that massacre.  Here I was, empowered to go just about anywheres, and all I seemed to be a doin' is a local job havin' two bosses, the Sheriff AND the Marshall, just so the Marshall could live rent free with his wife and kids, get a regular supply of groceries put up by the town, and get $2 for every arrest I made, so that we both split $4 for every arrest I made doin' the local Sheriff's job.  But I stayed thar', doin' what I had to, because it gave my Mrs. and the kids a place where I could be checkin' on them regular, and be near enough that I could go home and do chores when things were especially quiet.  Considerin' the amount of territory we was supposed to have,  I was surprised Marshall Jackson wasn't gone more often.  He had 5 more U.S. Deputy Marshalls like me to do THAT dirty work.  And bein' gone for a month or more at a time was not my idea of earnin' a livin' after bein' gone 4 years durin' the war, I was ever mindful of seein' my parents farm turned into one of more than a dozen battlefield cemeteries I must have come across durin' that stinkin' war.  Even after all these years, the smell of thousands of rotting corpses still will strike me upside the head when I'm on the wrong side and downwind of some reek needin' a serious river crossin' bath with two days in a rain downpour besides.      

    I attended the town meetin' last week in which I really spoke my piece, and told the Town Council that they could all go blow their stinkin' corruption out their back-sides, and told the mayor and his cronies outright that if they ever break the Law in my presence, I will arrest them with all due force necessary, and make the arrest stick.  Most of the folks from town applauded my words, and wanted me to run to lead them in this or that effort.  I made it known, that whilst I appreciated their kind words, I would only take affidavits as to what corruption they seen and experienced at the hands and behest of the Town Council, but I was hesitant to lead others into makin' a decision they had to make themselves. 



Personally, while I can lead, I don’t like to.  Durin’ the Great War, almost at the end,  I once led over 90 men when all our officers died in Grant's advance on Atlanta, and I as the Sergeant Major was left in charge.  There we was, cut off in what had been our own lines which were suddenly deep in enemy taken territory.  Them dang fool officers passed up of 3 missed opportunities in which we coulda wiped out half or more of the enemy General Staff, and instead whisper bickered and a waited until we did a suicide 4th that was too late and guaranteed failure afore we was even within a quarter mile of the enemy General Staff on the move.   What we at first thought was 40 miles of enemy occupied territory (from our officers)  turned out to be near 110 miles behind enemy lines before the enemy armies stopped for a spell, and in less than 2 minutes 230 of us was cut down to 90 as hundreds of the enemy fired strikin' almsot as many of themselves as they were strikin' us, and thousands more came a runnin' from the distance, pourin' down on us from 3 directions, to where we had only one dang it all way to run:  north!

  So there we was,  surrounded now by over 114,000 of the enemy, and havin’ to make our way home and goin' away from home in order to do it.  I was never scared as much for so long a spell as I was for the 23 days it took to escape back to our lines, coverin' what I guess was well over a thousand miles at an average of near 50 miles a day, mostly on regular rustlin' of fresh Yankee horses to do it.  We killed and wounded hundreds and hundreds of the enemy as we cut and slashed and evaded, raided supply trains, continually stole fresh horses to replace our wore out ones, goin' in all sorts of directions, and wangled our way back to home averagin' perhaps 2 hours of sleep a day, if that.   For each action, we averaged a man lost for each scrape with the enemy, exceptin' those 23 who deserted the rest of us on the 9th day, and rode themselves right into an ambush.  When those 23 rode to their deaths in full insurrection to my authority as Sgt. Major, we was suddenly reduced to a total of 41.  And from a distance of more than a mile or so off, we saw them gunned down in an open field as they rode hard and fast right into ambush, and what looked to be a full massacre as we took it as our cue to ride hard and fast, evadin' and escapin'.   

When we was done, it was not only 23 days, but probably a loss of as many pounds of  muscle weight lost from each survivin' man later.  18 of us finally made it out to the safety of our own lines, if you could even call it that.   Even so,  3 of those died of their wounds (one of these from gangrene induced suicide).    

Months later, after I was mustered out of the Cavalry and all that, and 4 of the 17 others, those with ex-Sergeant O'Malley, followed me about the Country after the War and sometime made me feel as if they was a bunch of lost puppies adoptin’ someone, so that wherever we was, they was like kids always a horse playin’ or little prankin’ until they settled down more and more  to just cards, drinkin’, and women.  Back in '71 and '72,  they all got wives and obligations.  

But they wasn’t satisfied with havin’ ball and chain obligations.  No sirree.  They got me hitched to my own Mrs. on January 1st, 1873, by subterfuge.  That what it was, SUBTERFUGE... (if I only knew what it meant). 

  First they, whoever all they was, have  her come to stay over with the O'Malleys long about New Year's Eve Day, then send for me just after dark to take her back home.  And then when I git her home, ridin. a buckboard across 3 miles of open field with 6 torches burnin' for some heat to keep from fully freezin' and for some light to see the trail better, there's a preacher and dozens of armed family folk and the other three boys of my troop all insistin' her honor was violated because we wasn't chaperoned.  Hell, I saw their lights from the moment the O'Malley's place, so they dang well saw mine, and saw we never stopped.  And since Smth and Bauer both owned telescopes, and had them in their hands when we got thar', you KNOW they know'd nothin' happened on the trail.   Even so, the family (all in a ruckus) said  I had one of two choices: get shot and hung with a warnin' note to all who would dare approach this female I just took home totally unmolested wrapped in 3 layers of blankets who merely leaned into me a bit on the trail (and not even kissed), or we could git married, and I could be liberated $240 that Smyth, Bauer, and Scott told her family I had, which amount they insisted was what I had to pay the family to have her for my bride. And what's worse, the preacher even knew about the $3.03 I had in my boot, and took even my very last cent for a weddin' fee.  You would think he'd at least have left me the 3 cents, but since I was at gunpoint from all directions, and armed only with a kentucky long rifle musket for game huntin' at the time, I was stuck.  Soon after that, exceptin' goin' to bed or takin' a bath, I rarely move about without at least two .45 revolvers and 48 extra rounds on my gunbelt.   Most folks around here are partial to .41s and .44s for revolvers, but I prefer .45's with ammo that has a half the grains for a load, as it shoots faster and farther and if I hollow out the ammo nosetips and make a lake, they knock some men clean out of their boots and back 6 or 7 feet.  But the problem is, if them bullets go clean through, they make a real large mess out the other side, as if the caliber were almost an inch wide fragment from a cannon shot a tumblin' through.    

   When I married the Mrs., I was shivering cold, and shiverin' scared.  When the preacher asked if I take this woman, I couldn't speak, all I could do is bow my head and nod a bit.    But from the moment I married her, seein' how beautiful she was and still is, for many years I had no regrets except for some temporary receivin’ end wrath of her moon cycle rages and one or several jealous rages she went into.  Now that those moon cycle rages are gone, and her jealous rages have reduced down to an icy look and some gab about suffrage she don’t talk about as much anymore, I have NO regrets.  I married the prettiest and most wonderful gal inside and outside I could ever have asked for, who like wine, grows sweeter and more precious every year.  Considerin' I'm a homely cuss, I at first feared she was near blind or crazy.  I'm grateful she was neither, but for the life of me, I never could figure how she ever ended up with me of her own free will, which from the moment the preacher said "I now pronounce you..." clearly it was me she somehow wanted for a husband.   Maybe someday, she'll tell me.  But dang it all, more than 10 years after we was married and she still won't say.  I'm just glad none of the kids is homely like me, but all take after the good looks of their mother.  I think my worst fear when she's a carryin', is havin' an ugly mutt of a kid like me born into the family.  It's about as popular an idea as having a milking cow with the runs, goin' do-do in 3 foot high piles six feet wide, and havin' to make 8 trips with the wheel barrow and shovel to take it elsewhere to bury it, while bein' pestered with the flies.  But then I think back, and realize that I was a cute and good lookin' kid and only after gettin' through 1400 or more fist-a-cuffs and worse, and beat about the head 30,000 or 40,000 times or more, maybe its just that I never quite healed all the way right.  But then, what if I was born cute and grew up ugly?  The boys can grow beards, but the girls?  I guess I can always throw a veil over their heads and surprise the grooms as to what they married after the fact.  I'll charge up that hill when I get to it, if it ever comes.  


We had our first child, a boy who I named Winchester, in October '73.  And with this child we just had born on July 20th, we now have a total of 8 children.  But due to complications with the birth of Charles Henry B., the doc says we won't be able to have anymore, and it will be months before the Mrs. is fully recovered.  Perhaps as late as November or December.   So because of that, I've taken some more time at home, and hired two of Doc Phillips daughters to help the Mrs. and keep a watch over her.  It's runnin' into a drain of what I've been savin'.    

The town has now pushed its claim of lands south miles past Bishop's Knoll, seizin'  some of the free range grazin' lands under what I suspect, but cannot as yet prove,  is a paid ruling of eminent domain.  The town council figures maybe we would put in a quarter mile rail spur south of the new town boundary lines, and use that diminished grazin' land section for new corrals for the Texas Beef and Horses still bein' brought up.  That makes not only a town, but a small spread out empire-like city, and almost a county to ourselves, with almost 12 miles of land north to south, and over 5 miles from West to East.  That's 60 square miles at 38,400 acres.  Right atop Bishop's knoll, they are already buildin' a new Courthouse, and yet they still do the hangin's on the north side of Main Street over at the jail, where it gets so crowded folks can hardly move.  Most folks, in spite of the disaster last hangin', want us to hang more fat men with long ropes, so theys can see a repeat of the head a poppin' off and disappearin' into the crowd as if it was somethin' to brag about.       

Back to the boys from the war.   

For years, I used to check up on the boys from time to time, but now I just meet them once or twice a month for what is just two beers and some cards and shootin’ the breeze for a few hours.  Some folks call them lazy, as they work three or four hours in the mornin’ and spend all day down at the saloons.  But most of the time, to say they was lazy, it ain’t so.  When it comes to chores, they work harder than most regular shoulder to the wheel folks I ever seen!   Each and every one of them  get their chores done lickety-split like the Devil was a pokin’ at them with a pitch-fork, workin’ like 4 or 5 people all at once, then a kissin’ or pattin’ the head to their children, sayin’ bye in their own way to their Mrs.,  and off they go, like the Pony Express to make it down to the Saloon first, because the last one getting’ his chores done and bein’ last pays the first round.  And if one of them doesn’t git their chores done, the eldest child comes down and makes it known and even if he were thar’ first, he pays whoever was stuck the money back he lost on the first round of drinks that day, and the rest go home with him and make him finish while they a laugh and a whoop it up and make fun of him until the chores is done, sometimes a pitchin’ in and still horseplayin’ around like they was over-growed kids rather than men.  I guess it’s how they try to get their innocence back and deal with what they’s seen and been through in the war.  

 Me, I dealt with the memories of the War for States Rights To Not Be Took Over By New York And Boston Bankers and startin' a war because we didn't build railroads fast enough to export more cotton faster, and then blamed it on them wantin' to be freein' the slaves almost a year after firin' on Ft. Sumter, I got over the War by knockin' skunks out from behind and gettin' arrest money or shootin' those needin' to be shot in accordance to the Law and preservation of human life, usually mine.  In another 13 arrests, I will have had me 1900 that should have been the Sheriff's job, but the town council is concerned only about what they can rob of other folks.  They're were a gettin' so big for their britches, that  they was drunk to the point of passin' out last week on another night of whorin' and gettin' the drunks only hours  after they gave me the public hypocrite snoots at the Town Council Meetin'.     So whilst they were still fully drunk and near past out in their whore beds,  I busted in with three bottles of General Lee’s revenge, and poured a bottle of a mix of Castor Oil and Honey and Sulfur down each  throat of the mayor and his two fellow lead town council culls of the town council, and for 3 days put them out of commission with the physics.  I also rough packed the luggage of the Town Council and Mayor's whores, special expressed at town expense a middle of the night Wells and Fargo stage, and sent their sorry backsides packin' to the Train Depot, where we flagged down a train, and sent them whores at the expense of what the Mayor and Town Council members had on them, which was just enough to pay their fares to put them days away to Chicago with a warnin' to never come back, or else.  

  When their wives heard what I'd done, they all thanked me and told me they would take it from there and make sure their men-folk got what they deserved.  Each of the three women in unison, upon the 4th day after their men had all recovered, then beat each of the men.  First they attacked the mayor, then in unison attacked Council Member Stryker, and finally Council Member Hagan.  In their group of three,  one of the women was using a rollin' pin and then a meat tenderizer after the pin broke, another (followin' my wife's past example on me) used an iron skillet, and the last female used a rug beater, and they beat the livin’ hell out of their three husbands one at a time.  No charges was ever pressed, and Marshall Jackson and I advised Sheriff Bond to let it drop as a private domestic affair, and leave it be.   Judge Hollister looked right at the broken bones, bandages, black and blues and said,
“Injuries?  What injuries?  As far as I know, these men have the scurvy.  Somebody notify one of the general stores to have an order placed for the railroad to deliver an expedited order of a basket of limes to each of these men, the cost to be deducted from their self-appointed salaries (when they should have been working for free anyway).    In the meantime, confine these men to their homes under arrest for 30 days quarantine, affecting only them and not members of their own households, since a bad diet on THEIR  part doesn’t mean what they have is contagious. It is so ordered.”

While bein' bound up, the mayor never relented in his bein' a snake.  Feignin' semi-consciousness delirium when no one was in the room with him, and havin' himself opened his own window before layin' back down and first lookin' at those he was tryin' to get the attention of as they passed by outside,  he is alleged to have confessed within earshot of some looky-loos that he was forcin' people out of their land because of a rich vein strike down at Bishop's knoll, just south of town, and that it was because there was a long rich vein of gold that for this reason the town had filed claim of 4 more miles of land due south in what was free grazin' range because of the gold. 

The cry went out that gold was discovered at Bishop's knoll, and in minutes most of the whole town was a ridin' or a runnin' or a walkin' out that way. 

 Indeed, a small vein was found under a bedrock protrusion not far from the new Courthouse bein' built, and that this spot had been freshly dug at, and with the pluckin' of a gold nugget by half a dozen of the mayor's relatives conveniently already workin' this same spot, upon seein' that pure 3 oz. nugget, the towns folk went moon crazy.  

News traveled fast, and by next mornin’ hundreds of folk were comin' to get land, get rich quick, or be put to work.  People are still a pourin' in from all directions, and the land is being sold at prices I thought no one could afford in even a lifetime of savin', often with $100 down and debt promises which will dispossess most everyone in a year if they don't strike it rich.   And it is all suspicious, as I never seen 30 folks workin’ for the land office brokers and the banks afore, and it was all like it was prearranged.  I've never seen so many railroad cars bringin' in so much lumber as if it were a 3 month supply for 400 homes all comin' in at once on 40 railway cars.  I never afore seen a train with 60 cars afore today.  If it ever took a serious hill, which there ain't on the mostly north - south route between here and the Carnack and Carnack Saw Mill over by Potato Crick, it would never have made it.  Even the gold nuggets came out of the ground too pure, as if they was planted, and there only being a $13,000 pocket discovered, the same that amount that was supposed to be taken off some dead prospectors who were bushwhacked by a small party of whites wearin’ masks some 60 miles southwest of here back in May, and one of the horses matchin’ that ugly brown and white spotted Pinto the mayor rides,  if I’m not mistaken. 
     




Entry of October 16, 1883

After a few hard words with Marshall Jackson expressin’ my sentiments to this regard, on September 25, 1883,  I grabbed up 8 of the Most Wanted fliers with $500 and up bounties and lit out to Johnson Falls, 14 miles northwest of Prairie Flats on the New Mill Road.   There I found 2 of the Miller boys, and took them into custody, and in two days earned me $1200 with their arrest and depository.  On the 29th, I then lit out on the advice of a couple dance hall tramps down on their luck, and paid them a double gold eagle apiece for a lead that led me to Crabapple Jack Shea, who after 9 day's ride out to find him, I shot dead resistin' arrest, which I didn't want to do, and delivered his maggoty beetled body which I had sewed in three potato sacks, one over the other, which though it sealed the maggots and beetles, didn't keep away the stinks.  Marshall Jackson and Judge Hollister, as soon as they saw and heard the sack move because of the beetles after the holdin' of their noses, made sure I was paid the $780 bounty that was deposited as reward,  and demanded I pay for his burial, $4.89 plus $2.30 for the coffin. Since I didn't have any money on me, Judge Hollister deducted $10 from the reward, and called the overhead as "court expenses", took that extra cash, and went down to Maywood's and drank it.  

In just 2 weeks, more than 7,000 folks, despite there bein' no more gold, came and settled Bishops Knoll and from nothin’ suddenly there sprung up with a 2 mile gulf in between, as if it were a new and larger south of town city, and increased the entire population to just probably just under 9,000.   Once folks realized that there wasn’t any more gold, they stopped a comin’ to settle, and for the present they’re a stayin.’   But I can’t help hearin’ the new folk wantin’ to make the new south town  and call it New South City, and break the banks and the grip of the Mayor and The Town Council has on them as well. 
Thousands of acres of free grazin' land ruined, and no gold.  Hundreds and hundreds of one story buildings sprung up, and no gold.  Only a couple months to frost, maybe less, and thousands may starve and freeze the winter because of fraud.   And me, I get stuck with an eighth section of land I gave my jackass sister-in-law, Eunice,  $800 to cover her losses as she marries off some Eastern Lawyer, and they take the train to somewhere in Vermont  or New Hampshire or somethin’.  I don’t reckon I remember anything except her baggage bouncin’ off the far walls of the baggage car  and missin’ the train employee as I threw them on afore the train was fully pulled out as the stupid Station Master and his porter thar’ forgot to make sure they was loaded.   After which, I rode out to look at my eighth section which I had recorded, and found it to be grazin’ lands without a fresh water source.  Just some pockets of black oil that nobody round here knows what to do with.  So I spent me another 5 hours to take care to fence off  a 16 foot wide pool of black sludge to keep livestock and folks out.   Marshall Jackson wants me to return to supportin’ the local Sheriff again, and let me know that the lumber and nails for the new porch I was to build for the Jail had arrived…and to hop to it.  We had a team of Fat Boys that was to be hung tomorrow, one near 500 lbs, and his big fat circus act brother at 700 lbs., both convicted to be hung for killin' two card sharps by sittin' on their faces on a saloon floor and smotherin' them to death.

 -- Deputy B.

[Because I write these generally rough draft to first draft in form, and randomly without an outline, I thought it necessary to note that these latest pieces are meant to close the gap to an earlier version that thus far was of the latest date of the Deputy B. character entries.  The Horseshot Harry entry

http://brianroysinput.blogspot.com/2014/09/fictional-short-story-when-horseshot.html


will pick up on the next day after the above entry. I did have to make a minor adjustment and addition to the above Deputy B. entry since posting just hours ago for clarity.   Thank you kindly.  -- Brianroy] 









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