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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.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fictional Story - Recollections of a Western Deputy: The deaths of Sheriff Bond and Marshall Jackson and the semi-retirement that followed

Fictional Story - Recollections of a Western Deputy
A next and possibly closing installment (no promises...we'll see) of the fictional narrative of Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897). 

The deaths of Sheriff Bond and Marshall Jackson and the semi-retirement that followed

    March 14, 1884, was a nightmare.   Sheriff Bond was all set to retire, stepping aside for two new qualified men to be elected to fill his shoes in June.  He and his Mrs. would never see the day.   Marshall Jackson was dying of a stomach cancer, and he had only months left to live, but was keeping his illness on the quiet.  He would come in the office at all odd hours in the whole 24 hours of day and night, stay for anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours, and disappear for hours at a time.  He was going through more than 2 bottle of cocaine opiate kind of cough syrup, and sometimes when you walked up to the door of his house, you could hear him screamin’ through a closed mouth, sometimes grittin’ his teeth, doubling over or grabbin’ onto a chair or table or wall in intense pain. 

On March 12th, two of the other deputy marshals brought in five visitin’ ex-cattle punchers who raped the wife of a passing denizen and beat the husband near to death.   The sixth who raped and killed the one female child died in a hail of gunfire at the scene of the crime  by his own confederates, and that led to there bein’ witnesses and evidence left at the scene to leave no doubt as to who these low downs was.  In less than two hours, near 80 armed townsfolk and the two deputy marshals on duty had these men rounded up and ready for a hemp neck-tie party, but Marshal Jackson rode out, and ordered the no-goods off to jail, to be shipped out to the Capitol for trial.  There would be no opportunity to blow up his office and jail again, as was done months previous.  It was called a change of venue.  Within 3 hours, both deputy marshals plus one more, levin’ me and the jailer behind, would be escortin’ the varmits to our State Capitol for trial thar’. 

Meanwhile, as that was a happenin’, 13 men from Canada rode in, led by a man called Jacque Chirac.  He was wanted by the Canadian Mounties in the worst way, but we didn’t know it yet.  They came and took up residence in LeRoy’s Saloon, where they used a long sheet of cast iron to sear up some of the best beef one ever ate, as well as had singers and 5 musicians and dance hall women, and 15 rooms for sleepin’ it off to boot.   On the mornin’ of the 14th, I was called to settle a ruckus thar’ between some of Chirac’s men and about 20 of the townsfolk.  One of Chirac’s men cheated at cards and then used a knife to stick through the hand of the one accusin’ him, and pin it to the card table.  As Chirac’s man stood up, an Ace of Spades and an Ace of Diamonds fell from his sleeve to the floor.  When the cards were counted by an onlooker, there was 56 cards in a 52 card deck that Chirac’s man was shufflin’ in the game as he was called on his cheatin’.  I came in at a Mexican standoff.  3 of Chirac’s men had drew down on the town, and the town drew down on them.  I ordered everyone to holster their weapons.  The townsfolk complied, Chirac’s men didn’t.  The cheater then said the words, “Marshal, I’ze gonna kill you.”   As soon as he said it, I quick drew faster than they could realize to pull the triggers, and splatter the backs of their heads and brains across the room.  I then quick drew with my left and shot one of Chirac’s men who was then pulling up a sawed off shotgun to my left, and then pointed both barrels at a sittin’ Chirac who sat quietly with both hands stretched out on the table in front of him, starin’ blankly ahead, some weird gold lookin’ Indian smithy doo-dad around his neck .  I took him and 8 of his boys into custody with the help of the 20 townsfolk who earlier had their guns out, and locked these foreigners up.

As I went down to the telegraph and sent off several wires, lingerin’ over a bit as I was  inquirin’, I was gone well near an hour or more as I reckon.  In the meantime, Marshal Jackson got the word, came to the office, and moments afore I got back, released them all, orderin’ Chirac and his remainin’ 8 men out of town, and without their guns.  I was flabbergasted.  Me and the Marshal then went inside and had strong words so hot, that it was a wonder we didn’t set the roof on fire.  I was so angry, that if the Mrs. would have come in at that wrong moment, I would have forgot myself and washed her mouth out with soap…I was that mad.  Afterwards, I followed Chirac out about 8 miles, and then rode back, and went straight to the Telegraph Office.  

At the Telegraph office, I learned that Chirac was wanted serious in Canada.  An international warrant was issued for his arrest.  He and his men had killed 3 different Sheriffs and 4 railroad deputies on the way down here, and raped and killed half a dozen more folks who worked for the railroad, both men and women, and in the United States, there was issued a Dead or Alive on him, which means they prefer him dead.  For folks round these parts, Sodomy is still a Capital Offense that rarely is ever spoke about, or ever makes it to trial.  Usually before the Law gets them, the night riders or some outlaws do the favor and often disappear without a trace.  It is somethin’ that even if everyone sees it, it never happened, and unshakeable alibis spring up fast like fresh grass after a good rain to prove they was somewhere’s else than they was.  Chirac had a bounty of 8000 pound on himself alone, and with his men, another 5000 more in Canada.  Here in the United States and territories, he was worth an additional $15,000 offered by the railroad, and $3500 offered by the three towns whose Sheriffs he killed.  Marshall Jackson had cost me some serious money and serious time if I was to go after the skunk.  Two more of my old troop had moved here on invite from the other 4 who served under me durin’ the War, and I had the sense to put them on standby as my Minuteman Posse to help keep me from getting’ blowed up again as I explained in my last entry.
I sent my 3 eldest boys out to notify them to be ready at first light, and I sent my eldest daughter Hallie to notify my cousin Beth that we would need 10 days  of provisions for 7 of us, and  I would have my new pack horse, Nellie, carry most of that. 

 I went and notified two newly appointed reserve deputy marshals, Lars the Blacksmith, and his brother-in-law who I called Findon, (always forgettin’ how to say his Finnish first name), that they would be on duty beginnin’ 8 that night and keepin’ a low profile at the office, lettin’ Sheriff Bond and his two new deputies take care of the town when they was about to do so.    

After these things, I went home, spent time with the kids and the wife, and went to bed early after supper.  At 1:30 in the mornin’, I awoke suddenly and drew my revolver and sprung from bed, as I tried to perceive where the dream ended, and the reality of the darkened bedroom began.  The wife whispered out, “What is it?”  “Shhh”, I replied.  As I stood thar' tryin' to fully wake up,  I thought for a moment a shadowy figure was to my left, with a face looking much like Marshall Jackson was fallin’ in pain, and to my right, two unknown shadowy bodies layin' on the floor, but just for a moment thar’ and then they was gone. 
“Somethin’s wrong”, I told my Mrs.    Immediately I went and checked on the children, and then about the house on the inside and then out the kitchen door and about the house on the outside.  Nothin’.  Yet, there was a sense of urgency, an urgency to be somewhere’s else right quick.  As I came back to the kitchen door, knowin' I had just killed 4 men and the gang being set at liberty for no good reason,   the wife had her two gun pistol belt and a short barreled 12 gauge shotgun in her hands.  I explained briefly what I was feelin’ and barred the side door, and expressed some private feelings and then rushed off to finish gettin’ all the way dressed.  While I was doin’ that, the Mrs. woke Winchester up, gave him his .41 pistol belt and a .30-.30 Winchester and told him to get dressed quick and to follow me at a distance.  My pausin’ at the door to kiss the wife goodbye was enough to have Winchester make it to the kitchen before I was out the door.  The Mrs. explained to me briefly what was goin’ on, and I told Winchester to count slowly to 10 before trailin’ me.  He gave me a “Yes, Father.”  I hugged him briefly and kissed him on the forehead and turned and rushed out the door as the wife lightly touched my shoulder goodbye as I passed runnin' with my two gun holster belt, a saddle bag full of ammunition over the left shoulder held fast by my left hand and a .44-.40 rifle in the other hand kept straight down to help me keep my wind.   

I was so concerned that I found myself  doin' somethin' I almost never do anymore, I was runnin’ down the road toward Main Street, not even stoppin’ to saddle Good Ole Boy.  It was like I didn’t have the time.  After more than a quarter of a mile, I made it south into Main street, and for some unknown reason, I then ran East.  About 200 feet later, on the north side, was Sheriff Bond’s little house, and thar' at the little picket fence gate lay Marshall Jackson and one of Chirac’s men, both dead.  :ight was comin' down from the porch lantern of the house, and I could reckon Marshall Jackson had been stabbed.  I would later find out he had been stabbed some 19 times, the first 7 from behind, but he had somehow fought and then taken the knife away from his attacker, and stuck in in his murderer’s skull like he was bringin’ down an ice pick.  And there they was, blood so flooded out black, even in the flickering shadowy semi-darkness, you could both see it shine like black water and also smell it more than 40 feet away even if you didn’t see it right off.  Then I noticed the Sheriff’s home door had been forced open, like it had been kicked open, even though there were no locks on his doors.  Another lamp was burnin’ dimly sideways on the floor, and havin’ the oil so low, it had not exploded.  The Sheriff’s right fist was closed up, and his face was beat in so badly, that one would never had knowed it had ever been a human face.  His fat wife lay naked, raped, and strangled to death next to her husband’s body.  No one was about.  In the Sheriff’s hand was the Cree Indian Smithy doo-dad I saw around Chirac’s neck only yesterday.    I rushed outside, and scanned about.  Another 30 feet or more by the next horse trough, lay both of Sheriff Bond's new deputies, dead.  I saw my eldest boy Winchester behind me a ways at a short distance and asked by using Indian sign language if he had seen anything.  He responded with his hands that he saw lots of shadows running behind these buildings on the north side of the street in the direction towards our house.  I then spoke out loud and told him to hit take up the hammer at the town bell and give the alarm of an Indian attack, and to hop to it, and to send anyone in town toward our home and to yell the name Chirac.   

As Winchester ran towards the town alarm bell, just then, I could hear the sound of the Mrs. lettin’ loose with both barrels and immediately with both revolvers.  She had also had the good sense to also wake the next two oldest boys and sharp-shootin’ Hallie (as long as she could rest her rifle on a post or sill or somethin' because of her age), who herself from the kitchen window opposite the door from her mother, cleaned two quick almost 100 yard shots of Chirac’s crew before they ever knew there was a second and third and fourth gun and gun port now shootin’ back from the house.  I ran like I was 17 again, sprintin’ like I was a man racin’ a horse.  As I rounded the corner and up our street, I could hear the Indian Alarm bein’ sounded.  As I approached within a about 100 feet of where Chirac was, it was a hail of gunfire.  I dodged behind a shade tree just outside our corner fence, and let loose, reloaded, and let loose again.  After which, I could hear voices of folk rallyin’ already, and calls out by Lars and Findon, as they rode up a ways.  Findon’s horse was shot out from under him, and he broke his leg.  Lars got off, returned fire for 4 shots and pulled Findon to safety.    Chirac and his men then let out a final volley at me and then at my house as I fired at where I saw the pistol flashes comin’ from.  
About 7 of the townsfolk came up the street and opened fire on Chirac's gang, and I counted 14 or 15 flashes, which was more than what I was expectin'.  Chirac had picked up a group of 5 out of work cattle rustlers from somewheres who joined him for the chance at seein' the killin' Marshal Jackson, who they blamed for killin' someone of their outfit who tried to shoot me from behind by Saloon bushwhack, who Marshal Jackson promptly shot dead through the back and through the heart.  The Mrs. and the children, and me and 7 of the townsfolk laid in hot lead hard and fast, and suddenly there was so much smoke that we couldn't tell for a moment what was what.  

Then, we heard Chirac and some of his boys move East into the dark, and then heard the neighing of horses.  As the hoof-beats began ridin', I ran across the road toward Chirac as he and 3 of his boy on horseback let loose at me and at my house, as they made their way to the road emptyin' their 6 guns, and then rode north.  By this time another 8 or 9 townsfolk came runnin' with their guns, and a hail of fire was laid at the riders, droppin' the 3 riders and also shootin' the horses of those 3 who followed Chirac.  But Chirac was gettin' away.  

Suddenly,  I heard a cry from the wife comin’ from the house, and couldn’t quite make out what was said.  As I ran up on where Chirac’s men was, one of them fired, grazin’ my left rib flesh below the heart, and I finished him with all left 6 cold before reactin’ in a pain that should have sent my bullets off target, and used my right revolver to make sure of the others. 

As the smoke began to clear, another 20 more  of the town folks armed, ran up being led up the street by Winchester.  Suddenly, the heavy kitchen door slowly swung out as my second eldest boy yelled to me that Hallie was dead.  I ran up just far enough to see the lamp shinin' down on her lifeless lookin' body, and what looked like her brains comin' out of her forehead where they shot her.   I was almost beside myself.  I ran and saddled up Good Ole Boy in a rustler’s minute, and called out to Lars who also came a runnin' that he and Old man Jenkins (an ex-marshal himself) were to take charge, and that the Marshal, the Sheriff, and his Mrs., and both the Sheriff's deputies were all dead at and by Sheriff Bond's home.  They were all murdered by Chirac or at the behest of Chirac.  Notify my troop that I was trailin’ them north to Batlersville, and I need the telegraph to send word out to everyone what had happened and to take the necessary precautions and that I was trailin’ those murderers, so not to shoot at me. By the time I barked these order out speakin' very fast, I was saddled and mountin' my horse, who was anxious and rarin' to go in his nervous excitement.  

Then I rode off as the Mrs. tried to call out to me from the kitchen door, but I was ridin’ too hard and too reckless fast into the night tryin' to guide Good Ole Boy by memory on a road I couldn't see to quite hear her. 

What I didn’t know, and wouldn’t know until after I got back, was that Chirac or his men had shot the Winchester rifle that Hallie was shootin' with, and the bullet ricocheted above her head and exploded a can of tomatoes.   She had been standin’ on a stool, and the gun reared back and smacked her on the face and forehead, and she fell back and hit the back of her head on the floor and knocked herself out.  In just a little over 4 days she would be just about back again to normal.  But I didn’t know this at the time.  About a mile south of Batlersville I was within 50 yards makin’ curves this way and that in the road, with all these wagons from who knows where or what on the side of the road, some with people in them,  so as to keep me from getting’ a clear shot. 

Then, Chirac's horse loosed a front left shoe, lost his footing and stumbled, and he and Chirac went head over heels and down hard into the road by a small ranch house with a chicken coop about 25 feet back from the road and 60 feet away from the house, havin' a sign that I later read that said, "Chickens and Eggs For Sale."    I saw Chirac just well enough to see him make his way over to that chicken coop, but as I got off Good Ole Boy with my .44-.40 in hand, and circled around, I saw no sign of him.  I then measured off my through shots would go harmlessly into an open field and an empty road, and then I laid 14 rifle shots into the chicken coop and then emptied both revolvers, and reloaded.  The owner came out of the Ranch House with a single shot 10 gauge,  and I identified myself and told him that I was chasing a fugitive who just killed 4 officers of the Law, one of their wives and my daughter, and to get his sorry backside in the house and take cover; after which I laid into the chicken coop yet again.  I reloaded my .44-.40 and my revolvers and emptied the rifle and my left revolver, which was now driftin' all over that chicken coup, and reloaded my left revolver and holstered it.  I approached the chicken coop with my right revolver out, and found I had killed more than 50 chickens, not to mention a prize rooster,  and only hit Chirac once through the top of his head where I later found out that the bullet lodged in his teeth.    As he lay a dyin', in his own way, Chirac bit the bullet.  I think now, if I hadn't have had witnesses, I would have burned Chirac's slimy carcass by settin' the chicken coop on fire...but it was only a passin' thought.  When daylight came, it eventually cost me over $280 in a promissory note that I paid off later that same day, $280 in order to make good on that rancher's chicken coup, givin' him perhaps more than 7 times what it was worth.  

I cannot tell you how so overjoyed I was when I came back home later that mornin', well nigh to 10 in the mornin', and found Hallie was alive!  I was so happy that I bought a steer, and all the fixins, includin' beer for the adults, and cases and cases of Sarsaparilla for all the children that would come, and the next day threw an open pit barbeque celebration for Hallie.    But the celebration of livin' lasted for a day.  The State Capitol sent down a replacement U.S. Marshall, half a dozen deputy marshal, a Federal Judge, and a team of three prosecutin' attorneys to find cause as to why I was derelict in my duties, and failed to keep Jacque Chirac and his gang in custody.  They interviewed  more than 200 witnesses in the next several days, and then, after 5 days more, I found myself stripped of my badge, in my own jail, facing 20 years to life.  Word got back to Washington, D.C.  to the right people by telegraph, explainin' my predicament, and about 3 days later, the whole charade of prosecutin' me was shut down and packed out of town.  No explanations were at anytime, even to this day, ever given me.  Not a one.  I was given by United States reward money for Chirac in paper money, given my deputy marshal's badge back, and offered no apology or anything.  I accepted the deputy marshal badge on the condition that I was allowed to be a RESERVE Deputy until I didn't want it or wasn't needed anymore, and would be left alone until or unless something serious came up.  It was a kind of retirement, but not completely.  I worked an average of 3 to 5 days a month for the next 13 years, and except for puttin' up more with my mother-in-law (until she passed in 1891), enjoyed just about every extra minute of my new free time to be with my Mrs. and family without havin' to get hurt serious to do it as much as I like to spend time with them all (except you know who..."old battle axe"). 

On November 17, 1897, I retired for good from bein' a Deputy United States Marshal.  To my knowledge and best recollection, I killed no man in line of duty or in war that wasn't tryin' to kill me first.    All my children are full growed and happily havin' their own families, and the list of grandchildren grows every year.  Me and the Mrs. are very grateful for havin' survived those tumultuous years that didn't quiet down for us until after 1884, and are content to spend the rest of our days in peace, and lookin' forward to the rest of eternity in Heaven, knowin' the children and the grandchildren will be reassemblin' the family in Heaven as fellow believers in the hereafter.  Oh what a joyous time Heaven will be, if the Heaven and joy on earth is only but a foretaste of what the LORD provides for what is to come to those who believe into and trust on Jesus as their LORD and Savior to the glory of GOD the Father in Heaven.  Amen.

-- Deputy B.   June 26, 1898. 

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