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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, July 4, 2015

Fictional Short Story: Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897) : July to August 1876, A New Definition Of Bad Medicine

I notice that the Fictional Stories are being received and read favorably, so I thought I would perhaps fill some of the gap still open from    

from July 4 to 5th or so of 1876, to the next in the timeline after that, which isn't until early April of 1882. 


So again, writing mostly as rough draft with minor first draft rewrites, I offer the next addendum in the Fictional Story of Recollections of a Western Deputy, Deputy United States Marshal B., now back in 1876.  All these short stories are my own creation and my own original work product.  Thanks. -- Brianroy

August 19, 1876 --

 A New Definition Of Bad Medicine

On the 6th of July, after more than 2 weeks without a Wells and Fargo stage, without a single overdue freighter, and without anyone else coming from the outside world for that matter, I was dispatched by Marshal Jackson to investigate in one direction, while three other deputy marshals did the same, so that we was a coverin’ all 4 main points of the Compass.   In the direction I was a goin’, at over 20 miles out, I arrived at the first Wells and Fargo stage and freight relay station from the town where we was headquartered.  The town itself was all out in mournin’ after the mornin’ chores, and at about the same time they was puttin’ the town mayor to rest, at about 7 in the mornin’ I arrived at that first Wells and Fargo  relay station out from town, lookin’ for word.  There was none.  I then put up my horse, got me a fresh one saddled up, and trotted out to the next relay station some 20 miles further on. 

      At or about 11 in the mornin’, with a tired horse, I arrived just as the Wells and Fargo stage  with a group of 26 armed riders, with the fear of death and wet britches smellin’ off of near every one of them,  came walkin’ their horses.  They was all movin’ very slow, it seemed to me, movin’ at the same pace as a dead weary Wells and Fargo coach driver was a goin’ while fast asleep at the reins.  I saw more than just a a few obvious bullet holes through the side of stage I was lookin’ at, but the Station Master had an even more incredible view on his side.  The Relay Station Master demanded to know what was goin’ on, as he counted no less than 37 bullet holes and 17 Indian arrows through the side of the stage he was a lookin’ at.  And when I came round, I noticed that he was almost right.  It was 39 bullet holes, 17 whole arrows and 9 broke off embedded arrow heads on his side he was a lookin’ at. 

One of the men announced that anywhere from 2000 to 5000 Cheyenne and other Indians from all over the Great Plains had come together and wiped out General Custer’s command.

 “600 men?”  I asked. 

“No.” came back the reply, but least’n over 200.  After we fought off near 150 of two other tribes, we caught and tortured a Cheyenne scout who bragged before he died that a Buffalo calf’s woman in the road had jumped Woman’s Hair off his horse after he had killed near’n 30 warriors single handed, and then two braves of the near 13 or 15 that was rushin’ him shot at near the same time, one with a repeatin’ rifle through the head and another gettin’ him through the heart, both claimin’ they’d done it alone.” 

“Woman’s Hair?” I asked.  “You mean General Custer?  Old puffy lip?” 

“Yup.” Came the reply.

I saw this General Custer once.  He was a skinny almost runt of a man almost without an ounce of fat, who puffed his upper lip and bushy over-lappin’ mustache when he talked, as some drunks among the Irish who have a tendency for bad liquor acquire, and somehow almost paralyze the upper lip from bad drink, so that it flaps like a fish when they talk and blow air out the mouth.  He was a foul tempered hard faced skinny s.o.b. cuss, who thought that by actin’ as if he had a ramrod up his back he could get one in his men, too.  He was both highly respected and feared, both hated and loved by his men and many of his enemies, all at the same time.  No one could take away from his brave determination in battle or away from it.  He was also very brutally honest, and told you what he thunk, and didn't care if you could take it or not.  That's the man that I saw.  Some of them like Keough took it in stride and saw his temperament as if it was a contest, and never lost his sense of humor, from the brief encounter of what I saw anyways.  Others shoved their feelin's and words down inside, and went through all the motions of the standin’ erect, and mountin’ and doin’ their horse maneuvers and jumpin’ when they was told to jump alright, and gettin' the whoops that they was like weak sisters from men at saloons behind or away from their backs...and indeed, quite a few of them broke and ran from Custer when the goin' got tough, as if they was a goin’ over the hill, but Keough and alot of the men with him surely didn't. Too bad that girly haired Custer didn't keep his whole 600 intact, and have more like Keough with him to whip those Indians or at least break out of there and form up with general Hood or whoever of the others that was supposed to be a comin' to link up with Custer.  

As my mind mulled over that and other like things, I heard a couple fellas walkin' and talkin' towrads where I was.   Before most of them 26  armed riders retired to the corral and unsaddled their horses, one spoke to the Station Master how they killed 56 Indians and prevented the rest from followin’ by makin’ sure they shot the eyes out and the peckers off the dead, so that the Indians turned tail at such bad medicine, as those who were so mutilated would be blind and without their privates in the after-life according to the Indian religion, and “no Injun in his right mind” wants that.  Not one of them would even be buried by their own, because of how they believed.  It was like killin’ them twice.  For Indian fightin’, I made sure I would remember this and if I had to, I would try this "no pecker and no eyes bad medicine to the Indians" out on the Indians for myself.

The Wells and Fargo was carryin’ no passengers, but in the coach, tied down was the 400 lb. new town bell that we had been a waitin’ on.  We had wanted to dedicate our own Liberty Bell on Remembrance of July 4, 1776 Day,  but considerin’ the goin’s on, I couldn’t blame Wells and Fargo for bein’ delayed as they was.  I hurried ly checked the bell, to make sure it wasn’t shot up.  It had one chip crease on a top rim design, but other than that, it looked to be untouched.  I was relieved.  One of the men then asked wouldn’t I like to know they lost 18 fellas to the Indians, and I told him I would put it in my report, as wars with the Indians are Army jurisdiction unless against regular civilians or by order of the Court and the like.  He hopped off his horse to pull me out of the coach, and I landed on my feet and gave him an uppercut under the soft part of his chin and knocked him out, with him fallin’ back into a two foot pile of horse manure and sleepin’ it off for near’n the next six hours until the dinner triangle rung…and then for obvious reasons, took his dinner plate and mug of coffee and drinkin’ bucket outside.    
The next day, I escorted the Wells and Fargo and 13 of the men to the next relay station, as half of the group was too sick and tired to push on, and would rest 2 days and then head to the next relay station, and see me in town 4 days from hence.  We reached the first relay station about 10 in the mornin’, and then had to shoe and re-shoe most of the horses, and got a late second start because of it. 
As the sun was settin’, we moseyed on into town, to a crowd of about 400 who came out to get the latest word.  Fear and panic began to sweep through town, but Marshall Jackson and Sheriff Bond restored order with a couple gunshots in the air and a few harsh words.  Then they put a few matters of how best to handle it to the town, and all the men voted by a show of hands of what they was or was not willin’ to do themselves, rather than just leavin’ it to a few men of the law. 

It was decided by a show of hands vote that sentries of 4 men apiece would stand watch in 4 hour shifts at the 4 corners of town, and that a roving patrol of 6 men would also simultaneously make rounds on horseback as well.  Marshall Jackson and Sheriff Bond would be appointed as leaders of the militia, to be made of only able-bodied men able to muster up their own guns and ammunition, and shoot straight, and be able to see far enough to know they wasn’t shootin’ one of their own by mistake.  We had a dozen children between 10 and 14 who would be assigned to late mornin’ and afternoon sentry watch with their fathers or uncles or grandfathers of age.  We also had more than two score men over 70, all who preferred to sleep durin’ the day, and who usually was up all night (for one reason or the other) anyways.    These we gave a couple extra squatters boxes, so that while two was a goin’, at least two more would be on sentry watchin’ and listenin’ for Indians. 

Come July 11th, after we got more word from a lone Texas Ranger comin’ through with an extradited prisoner he was escortin’ back to Texas.  He also brought a courier letter that only Marshal Jackson read.  About half an hour after havin’ read the letter, and havin’ private time in the outhouse to clear hisself out, , Marshall Jackson decided to take me and two other deputy marshals along on an extended trip that none of us thought we would ever come back from.   I loaded up 600 rounds per rifle and 200 extra 6-gun rounds per man in separate saddle bags, and loaded them on one pack horse, and loaded two separate pack horses with grub and normal supplies for a fortnight’s journey. 

The U.S. Army was on the ash heaps of morale followin’ the demise of General Custer and over 200 men, some sayin’ 210 or 211.   General Hood and some other general was doin’ somethin’ I didn’t hear quite what, and the Sioux had decided to go north.    We was to pursue and arrest a white man named Red Harrigan, a rogue Irish national wanted for 8 counts of murder in Ireland who escaped and after killin’ several men in the Union in 1873,  had taken up with the savages in ’74 or ’75 and spurred them on to killin’ raids and strategies off of some books he stole from a West Point historian or other somewhere in ’73 or somethin’.  That part wasn’t made clear.  We was authorized to take him prisoner or kill him wherever he was, and if we crossed over into Canada or trailed him down to Mexico, authorization would be sent as soon as we wired any one of a list of 5 names and locations that was provided Marshal Jackson, and the Army didn’t care which we brung him back, whether dead or alive, as General Hood was a blamin’ Red Harrigan personal like for trappin’ Custer and getting’ him killed, even though some Indian Chief was a takin’ the credit off of what this white man had advised him or his medicine man to do, or words to this effect.  We was to stay over for the night, study the maps showed us and leave in the mornin’.   I slept apart from everyone on top of the ammunition and food supply bags in an empty saddlin’ corral next to our horses.    But come mornin’, the other two deputy marshals had left, leavin’ their badges behind, and it was now just me and Marshal Jackson.  I think when we left at daybreak, we was feelin’ so low, it was like our horses was walkin’ all over us almost every step of the way for the first mile or more out of thar’. 

It took us 18 days of trailin’, and a lot of what some folks call luck, but we found Red Harrigan with more than 20 braves about 9 miles from the Red Fork of the Powder River of Wyoming, where the Cheyenne had a large encampment.  Marshall Jackson took to one side of the open trail the Indians was a usin’ and I took the other, and we bushwhacked them all with a lot of fast shootin’.  In about 15 seconds they was all dead or a dyin’  Marshal Jackson and I reloaded and executed anyone moanin’ alive.  I then stripped the Indians of their loin cloths and the like, and laid them out and practiced shootin’ off their privates.  It took me 15 shots on the first 3 to figure out how to do it right with just one.  And then I was 12 for 13.  I then went back and shot their eyes out as the smoke went up in the distance to tell all the Indian nations we was here.  Red Harrigan was wearin’ a Yankee saber, so I took that up, chopped his head off, threw it in a sack, and shot off his privates too, and me and the Marshal sunk spur and rode out of thar’.  About 4 miles out we saw the dust clouds of what looked like more than 200 ride up on Harrigan and those who rode with him.  Like the fella said back at the one Wells and Fargo relay, they called it bad medicine, and it looked to me and the Marshal as if most all of them then turned back and headed slowly for home.  We reported to one of the names on Marshal Jackson’s list, and about 10 days later we was home.  

I was so happy, I even took two baths.  One when I got back, and one the next mornin’.  I spent all day with the wife and kids, and we all did a lot of huggin’.  Wives and especially little ones need a lot of huggin’ and genuine sweet and joyous family feelin’s.  It makes them happy and it make them grow in ways I can’t rightly explain.  It creates an anchor of stability, which those of us who have been around the Ocean and ships would readily identify with.  I’ll leave it at that.

Then, I made a mistake.  I let the wife convince me to take her to buy a new dress, and to not take my guns.  I left both my six guns in my holster at home, and we let her sister Eunice watch the children as we walked to town.  The wife went and immediately picked the most expensive and fanciest dress in the window, which unfortunately for me, was a perfect size for her.  I handed over the money in gold and silver and she went in.  As they were getting’ it out of the window, a huge Yankee corporal standin’ 6’7” and near 320 lbs. comes over and asks if I was Deputy B.  I says, “Yes.” And then he tries to take the back of my head off with a swing of his left fist.  The man had more than 7 inches on me in height and a greater reach, and he was strong as a bull.  It was all I could do to keep close in on him and hope to out wrestle him.  

At one point we was swing and twistin’ around and I broke loose, and he grabs me by the upper left arm and swings me round and through the dress-maker’s window where the wife was at.  He then see’s my Mrs. And calls her a couple of filthy names that I won’t ever repeat, and I come through the broken window the other way, and kick my boot heel into his chest and deliver about 30 or more blows to his face and neck before we go back to wrastlin’ about again.  He throws me in the horse trough, and I get up and use the wrong edge to spring me into him and through the horse rail, spillin’ the water into the street and makin’ a slippery clay and mud mess.    He lands a couple of dozen hard and very heavy blows that almost suck out my wind as I land twice as many back, with a dozen to his short ribs, one of which I felt and heard go crunch.  As we whirl and move about, the wife, havin’ been insulted, tries to help.  First she breaks a brick over the top of my head, and then apologizes.  Then she swings a wooden bucket and hits both of us in the side of the face.  Then she jumps off a buck-board from behind me, and this Yankee swings me about and ducks, and sure as shootin’, the wife hits me with a flyin’ straight right fist that breaks my nose and sends me flyin' back unconscious.    Folks later said that I fell back over the now squattin’ Yankee, and then all agreed that I straightened out like a stiff and slid so smoothly out into Main Street, it was like I floated the whole 36 feet that the water spill from the horse trough went out into the street.  They also laughed on how that I was so laid out to rest, a little girl threw a fistful of  dandelions on my chest thinkin’ I was dead.

Marshal Jackson then came up on that Yankee corporal from behind, pistol whipped that giant Yank in the back of the head three times, and took him into custody, while 6 of the towns folk pall bearered my sorry carcass to home. 

Hearin' that I was laid up and could hardly see, the next day a professional gun slinger came to the street out in front of my house, and called me out, with two strange lookin' almost princin' fellas at his side.  I could barely see out the slits of my closed up black eyes.   Even after re-alignin’ my nose back into joint, I also had trouble breathin’ and stayin’ awake, and I was floppy dog eared  tired. 

Even so, I put on my holster with the 2 .45 six guns, and went out anyway, first orderin’ the wife and kids out the back of the house, and over 3 properties to the mother-in-law…which they did.   I stalled the gunfighter for a few moments askin’ what he wanted, and he said somethin' I had to make him repeat twice, as it was so sick, it took a third tellin' before I could believe my ears.  In the distance, I could hear even neighbors watchin' gasp and react in horror, before hearin' doors slammin' as they sent their children in the houses.  The gunslinger three times said he wanted to kill me and then have relations with my dead body.   For a moment I was stunned, and if he had a drawed, I'd have been dead while still reelin' in shock at what he had said.   In a few seconds, which was all I needed,  I recovered my wits, and  I told him sodomy was against the Law, even with a corpse; but if he and his two perversions to humanity wanted to commit suicide, and go to hell, I saw no problem helpin’ him move there right quick.  His face then quickly changed from one of confidence to one of hate.  

He then made a move for his draw, and I fast draw plugged him with the right pistol through the apple of his throat, and then through the heart.  I then  fast draw left hand shot the two fellas with him through the heart, and afore their bodies fell, I alternated on both 6 guns shootin' all three with a shot through the noses, and a third set of shots then removin’ all their privates.  Exceptin' the one on the left seemed a little squishy, so it took an extra 2 shots to finish the job, as all their essentials slipped out the pant legs and off their boots onto the road before their bodies hit the ground.    I reloaded, and then point blank shot all their eyes out, and ordered one of the two fellow deputy marshals ridin' hard around the corner to git me a buckboard.  I loaded their sorry carcasses and as Sheriff Bond came up the street one way yellin' after me, I left by the other way, and took them no good now peckerless skunks 6 miles out of town and put them in the branches of a 14' dead  and isolated pine tree and lit it up, and threw all the deadwood I could find on it.   After it burned mostly out in 3 hours, not spreadin’ or doin’ harm, I threw a lot of  wet sod on it, makin' sure the fire was out and returned.  

Once I got back to the edge of town,  I was promptly arrested by the Marshall and three of my fellow deputies and a posse of more than 20 men.   I was taken disarmed and chained up like a runaway slave at the blacksmith's, and then taken before the Judge and put on trial without jury for killin’ the 3 Sodomite skunks.  All that remained of the corpus delictii was their privates they found in the road, and these they place on a table opposite me, and the trial commenced, even without any lawyer to represent me.  6 witnesses gave testimony, and I was not allowed to take the stand.  

In about 40 minutes the prosecution rested, and the Judge gave sentence that there was sufficient evidence I acted in full accordance with the law except for the disposin’ of the bodies.  I cost the Court and those involved $43 in damages, the Mortician $12 in damages and the cost of three coffins at a purchase price of $1.60 a piece.  I was herewith restored to serve as Deputy Marshal upon payment, which was already taken out of the reward money Marshal Jackson got for Red Harrigan, which he never told me about, and had never split with me as yet. I was also to be beaten with a switch by my wife from between the blacksmith's to the house as many times as the wife wanted to hit me, as long as it was above the waist and below the neck.  If I could outrun her, it was permitted, and good luck.   Case dismissed.   

And with that, the Judge took up the privates that were shot off them dead Sodomites, put them in a small tore up wicker fishin’ basket he stopped usin’, and told his clerk to take it out an hour’s ride from town, bury it, and never to ever mention where and to make it untraceable to ever find again.  

Marshall Jackson gave my Mrs. a switch, and kept my guns.  And all the way back from the blacksmith's, a crowd of more than 600 had gathered and visually obstructed my being able to see a way to run and escape.  The marshall and the crowd stood back just far enough not to git hit by a wild swing by the wife, and gleefully watched the whole 1/2 mile back to home.   She didn't disappoint.  She laid on me 188 times with that switch until she broke it above the fist just as we got to the house,  and I was warned she was given leave to do that.   Even with a thick leather vest, I was welted up on the upper arms and shoulders like I went through a patch of thorn bushes.  And she still missed a couple of times and got me in the neck and 5 times on the backside of my britches.  

When professional gunslingers heard about what happened to the professional gunslinger they had previously to that respected and his two fellow Sodomites, after that, they either stopped comin’ round, or made sure to pass through town real quick, stoppin’ only long enough to buy supplies before movin’ on.  No gunslinger wants even the reputation after him to ever be as dyin’ a peckerless s.o.b., as everything else he ever done won’t count anymore, and the only remembrance would be that his name was added to the roster of dead laughin’ stock gunslingers killed and dismembered by Deputy B. or some other of the Law in the town we was based out of. Both Marshall Jackson and Sheriff Bond told me as it regards what I did to those Sodomites, for as long as I live, they won't forget what I've done...and if I ever do it again, they will take it as an intentional act, and it will probably mean my badge at the very least.  

But out of all this, I did learn something.  One thing fer sure, anyway;  that apart from takin’ a bath, crossin’ a deep river,  goin’ to bed, relaxin’ in the parlor of the house where I could hang them next to my restin’ chair in short reach, I would never be without my 6 guns again if I could help it.  I was determined that would be the last time I took a whoopin’ for my own bein’ without my six-guns, as the whoopin' was what I think led to the killin' and all the sufferin' I just been through. 

Second thing.  I would no longer let the wife do all the wood choppin’ as I let her do in these past 8 months…she builds up too many muscles and packs too dang hard a wallop with either the fist or the switch.      

  --  Deputy B. 

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