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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.





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897) : Regardin' Nasty Pete, A Gossipin' Newspaper, And Train-Wreck At Haver's Rock




To the Publisher of The Federal Marshal Magazine

In answer to your letter and interest in my book, which has now sold 3,223 copies, and gone to five printings to keep up with interest, I have not yet decided to do a follow up  of all the various diary entries as I am now engaged in being a very active grandfather and successful horse rancher.  


However, I am offering you a select story for publication at the amount we agreed upon, which I also will put into a next book if I choose to make one at a later time.  


Kind regards,
Deputy B.  (Retired) 
February 1, 1901.  



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Entry of  July 13, 1888


For the last several years now I spent a respectful time being almost retired, just workin' an average of about a month a year all spread out over the course of the year, each year  since a little after the Deaths of Marshall Jackson and Sheriff Bond.  

Sometimes things are good, and sometimes things are a bit embarrassin', so that folks love to recollect your shame as if it is a good thing to remember.  But with the passin' of time, most of that doesn't hurt your pride so much as when it first happens...especially the first one or two days.  

 In  June of 1884, speakin' of somethin' that was embarrassin',  I recollect bringin' back a fugitive that was a run into the ground trackin'  down job that killed two of my horses in exhaustion in the doin'.  Once I got him and roughed him up a bit to settle him down,  he was tied upright to the saddle of a jackass he stole from somewheres and alive at sundown, talkin' almost without takin' a breath for what seemed hours if not days, but was probably about 40 minutes.  And then when he stopped, I tok it as bein' all out of words and was glad he shut his moth.  My head was achin' the whole way back, because he had hit me over the head  (in the exact same spot where the wife two days earlier had tenderized me with an iron skillet) with a rock so hard he broke it in three pieces, and I was fightin' to keep from passin' out myself.   So I kept pushin' on, while on my third horse (a stomach near to the ground plowhorse I bought for 60 dollars from a farmer).  I  didn't realize my prisoner was dead all night as we traveled by moonlight on the stagecoach roads until rigor mortis set in on him just as we came into town along come dawn the next mornin'.   All that purple in his legs I saw  in the dawn light through his torn pants and his pale white as a sheet face should have clued me a bit earlier at first light, but I was tired.  I reckon he died round about an hour after first dark.  I felt foolish.   I held the rein of his jackass and trailed it all night at a slow pace behind (exceptin' the 5 times I got off to water the grass and stretch these old bones a minute or two).  

So there I was, comin' into town with more than half of it up with the crack of dawn, and near half of that already in the streets with first light.    The plow horse I rode all night had a slump in his middle that must have been a drop of two feet, and the fact I was also ridin' in bare back with a propped up dead stiff on a jackass behind me,  it must have been near 600 folks of all ages in the town who quickly gathered to line the streets as if I was the parade, and laughin' and cheerin' and makin' snide remarks and jokes.  To this day, the joke that those who recollect the event is usually somethin' to the effect of, on that particular mornin' they couldn't tell which was the bigger jackass, the one ridin' or the one trailin'.  

But aside from that, folks in general sure miss my not bein' a Special Deputy Marshal, because as a regular U.S. Deputy Marshall there are so many things I can't engage myself in, like someone just disturbin' the peace, for example.  

Afore, under Marshall Jackson, and Sheriff Bond, I had special court appointed jurisdictions to engage in makin' the town peaceable from disorderliness, and to profit by such arrests, especially if I had to use a persuader to the back of their head to do it.     Nowadays, every now and then I still have to tell folks to run and git the Sheriff, with the exception of the case of Nasty Pete.

  Nasty Pete was a stout and hair so thick it was almost like fur  all over
sort of a fellow who spent too many years up in the mountains.  Every so often he would get drunk, drop his britches and hang his naked bottom out the open window of Fat Kate's Saloon.  But because he was a big spender of gold dust, Fat Kate would usually give out more free drinks and rein Nasty Pete's bad behavior in herself.   But while Fat Kate was passed out in the outhouse, Nasty Pete received his bitter end in her absence.  

On May 9th, I had just spent the afternoon (after losin' a bet) helpin' the wife, now a substitute teacher 21 days a year, teach her class of  22 children how to make Danish Butter cookies... when I got word to hurry on down with all haste and fly to the Cattleman's Bank, which was located next to Fat Kate's just past the old Wells and Fargo office and depot that was now left dormant.   But because the water trough was still daily changed out there, I rode up and stopped at that water trough with still slippery buttery hands I couldn't quite seem to wipe all off on my clothes, and jumped off my well-trained blond Palomino horse named Norse,  and let him drink while I walked past Fat Kate's.  Before I reached Fat Kate's I heard Nasty Pete laughing and yell out, "Marshall!  I have somethin' you want Marshall!"  

As I walked almost even to the window, just inside the hitchin' rail and about 8 feet from the wood porch, Nasty Pete shoved his naked bottom and pulled his back part open with his left hand.  Suddenly, he shoved a single barrel shotgun at an upward angle almost right at me with his right hand.  Instinctively and faster than I could even think, or perhaps faster than a blink, I drew and turned right at him, and as suddenly as I drew, I thought felt the hammer cock on the .45 revolver as it flew off like a Sioux arrow right for the target I was aimin' at.   I could almost feel the butter on my fingers drippin' away as I lost my grip on my right revolver.  And as I reached to draw the left revolver, the right hand revolver flew like an arrow right up into Nasty Pete's nasty bitter end, and as soon as the whole barrel penetrated, the revolver went off.  As Nasty Pete fell forward back into Fat Kate's Saloon,  the shotgun that was protrudin' next to him fired, and took out a lantern hanging from the overhead of the porch 5 or so feet to my left and sprayed me with glass and flamin' whale oil from a $12 whale oil lamp  imported all the way from Maine that Fat Kate made me pay for.   When they buried Nasty Pete before sunset that night, they buried him with my revolver still up his backparts.   I didn't want it.   I never did have the nerve to tell Buffalo Bill Cody what happened to that favorite .45 of his he lost to me in that card game we played a year  or more before.   If he reads this or someone tells him, just remind him of the rodeo rider he once hired who backed into a rifle barrel while wrastlin' naked  with a fat lady and accidentally blew his brains out.  They left the rifle where it was when they buried him, too.       
   
    From actions and activity I did or participated in from  January to March this year, 1888,  I gained a word of mouth reputation that was so honorable, you would have thought we was back in the Confederacy in 1861, and my name was General Robert E. Lee.  You would have thought with such a high praise I could just get a lick of recognition in print in the dang newspapers somewheres.  No sirree, not a single word.  I read stories about babies bein' born, about lost dogs, a cat stuck up a tree and a man breakin' his leg fallin' out of it and killin' the cat by taking it down with him and landin' on top of it so hard the cat's insides was 6 or 8 inches out of the critter's mouth.  But about me?  Not a dang word.  Oh, correct that, they did mention me once in gossip.  

  They had lots of room to print the town gossip.  In February of this year, the newest Marshall, the Governor's no good brother-in-law (who left his wife and two children behind at Capitol City),  spent all winter always at the whorehouse, too engaged in his vices to do his job.   He engaged himself with a loose woman that had just come to town,  and he contracted a disease which clogged him up from passin' yellow water.  That outhouse paper of a newspaper  was all full of details of how he died from tryin' to fix it, but that it was not  afore his shootin' the "concubine" who gave him the disease dead. 

       But in passin' gossip, they went too far. 

 They wrote, 
       "While Deputy B. was home, snuggled up with his wife for the night, cozily asleep (not that his being awake makes any difference); Marshall *** killed his concubine with 3 gunshots to the head, 2 more to her heart, and one more to (you know where) before finding himself out of ammunition."  

 The wife went down and beat that newspaper  publisher from one side of the office to the other, and then outside, and down the street with a log of firewood, and it took him all told 4 months (that is, until last month)  to recover.  No charges was ever filed, and had they been, not only is she always packin' two revolvers,  she's by that time was almost as fast on the draw as I am, and durn near as accurate.  When she gets angry, I ain't crazy.  I look for the nearest way out and run.  The only way she gits me anymore, as rare as those times are, is when I ain't lookin'.  And yes sirree Bob, I look!!!  And after that beatin' that outhouse newspaper publisher took, I ain't the only one.  

 But in regards to the Governor's no-good brother-in-law, now deceased, folks was surprised he didn't save the last bullet he shot into that loose woman and commit suicide right then.   Instead, right over her dead body, the Marshall stands thar' and tries to hot wire hisself to pass water.  But not bein' a doctor, instead he burnt his whatever-the-doc-called-it shut.    

I was senior Deputy Marshall so I had to assume the duties of his office Pro-Tem, and take a prisoner up to Capitol City and report in to the Governor and the Marshall's wife who wanted to know what happened as the telegraph was not into specifics.  And just hours afore I returned back to town, the Marshall died from infection and bursting his bladder from the cysts as a result.   

On February 10th, I was given signed official orders from a Federal Courier from the President of the United States to carry out a special assignment.    


Bandits, had been sneakily makin' attempts to steal gold and foldin' money for Trade shipments bound for Canada, and the Treasury in the nation's capitol was askin' fer some good men to help transfer near $2,000,000 in gold coin, gold bars, silver coin, and foldin' paper money that was to be sent by the United States Treasury in Denver into the middle of Canada.  The Governor insisted that I would be on that train that would depart from Denver and eventually run on up to Winnipeg  in Canada.  Once in Winnipeg,  the currency would be released to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police and British Military escort and transported east to Ottawa.    

I had with me my two sawed off 12 gauges and three bandoleers of shells,  a saddle bag of 400 .45 shells for my two revolvers in one side and 400 .44-.40 shells in the other side for my Winchester repeatin' rifle.  I rode on 5 different trains in order to arrive in Denver.  

I arrived in Denver at 8:20 am on February 19th and left by rail with an already waiting shipment and men some 20 minutes later.  I was refused a use of an outhouse or even to have access to a place to alleviate myself on the train I was boardin'.   Instead,  I was placed on the outside of the caboose's back platform, and told explicitly by a no good Yankee Colonel Varrick and the Conductor, that for the next 12 hours that this was my post, and anything nature called for me to do, I was to do here.  So as the 10 car train was pullin' out and as we left the station moving well away from the station platform, I set many women near over 100 feet away aghast and cussing unlady-like at me as I let loose all the (now putrid smellin' yellow) water I was holdin' , and shot it out in a long stream off the back of the caboose onto the tracks behind.  

City life!  Ha!  Them women was just lucky I didn't have to go out the other side and then get a bad wind of that.    The only one with a right to cuss was the fella who was ridin' a horse next to the tracks, as my stream was blown by the wind and  got him and his horse in the eyes from that wind that picked up out of nowheres.  The horse bucked him off and he landed head and shoulders first afore gettin' up and throwin' rocks farther and farther short of where I was.  As I pulled my britches up, I saw the incomin' train then run into and over his horse.  Even from the distance we was by then, it sure looked messy. 

 City life! Ha!  They can keep it!

Come 8:42 pm. February 27th, we crossed the Canadian Border without incident.  About 12 hours later, we found that sometime during the night, we had spoked off and was near 100 miles or more out of the way.    We were about two miles or thereabouts from a final along the creek rail path that was called Haver's Rock, when we stopped yet again for wood and water.  At Colonel Varrick orders, the entire Army detail but for only 2 men to guard the gold, were ordered to help load the wood for the boiler.  This left just the Colonel, the Conductor, 3 porters, and me on or in any of the cars.  I got up on top of the cars and I walked back to front and front to back scanning the surroundings for signs of ambush.  While wearin' a long hide coat with 4 pockets full of ammunition,  I had a twisted scarf  used like a rope attached to both stocks of the sawed offs, and carried them like a heavy scarf, while carryin' the Winchester and packin' two .45s at the waist.  

Then something strange happened.  As the engineers brought the engine back to a boil and was once again pressurized to go, Colonel Varrick gave an order for the full detail of these soldiers to walk to the bridge we just crossed about half a mile behind us.  I didn't hear what it was, but just as they was about 400 feet and more down the track, as I was about halfway back up the cars walking the tops to the front, I heard two shots.  Colonel Varrick had just executed the engineer and his assistant and lurched the train full throttle into a forward full speed run. 

 From the caboose of a 10 car train, I saw the bodies of the engineer and his assistant  dumped by Varrick from the Engineer's Compartment off the right side, and then I ran forward.  As I reached the front rail-car, Varrick was trying to release us from the fuel car, and he shot at me 3 times and missed.  I didn't.  I reached over the edge with one double barrel sawed off and let loose both barrels at his neck, did the same with the other, and then came up to give him 6 shots but his head was gone from his still standing and quivering body squirtin' 2 to 3 foot gushers of blood out his ripped in pieces neck, afore fallin' over and floppin' like a fish out of water and then floppin' itself right off the train.  I ain't never seen anything like it, nor recollect ever heard tell of such a thing afore. 

 I quickly reloaded my shotguns and jumped over to the fuel car as we came a pumpin' with all speed fast, near 11 or 12 miles miles and hour, upon Haver's Rock.  As I jumped in mid-air, all of a sudden near 30 horsemen came streamin' down in a hoop and holler out of the woods to the left of the train, as dozens of bullets whisked past me, and about 4 or 5 took out chunks of my clothes, while a 5th or 6th took a bite and grazed a chaw bite of tobacco out of my right boot's heel.    And while in mid-air, for a brief second I saw that there was boulders and trees up ahead, and that rain had washed away the land under an 80 foot long or more section of track on a sloping hill that ran back down toward the Creek we was following upstream, and we was about to crash.  About 4 seconds after I landed, I realized that I got stuck past my right knee between the deadwood logs in the fuel cab and couldn't break loose we crashed and lost weight support under the engine and fuel car, and the train began derailing and falling over to the lower elevations at the right and even over on itself , sliding down a 60 foot ravine on the right side.  All this happened near the giant boulder that someone wrote "Haver" in whitewash paint upon. 

 Where we actually was, I still to this day don't rightly know.  

     It took me all of 2 to 3 minutes to get loose, and for the bandits to make their way to the right gold cars.  As they began shootin' on the silent but still sealed rail cars, in the next 11 minutes, I shot near 9 or 10 of them dead and wounded what I reckon was perhaps as many as 4 of them while receivin' only 2 small one and two inch grazes on the side of my left sittin' place myself.   The troops, to their credit, did the turkey trot, made their way up by about this time,  and shot the other bandits  -- (and they was in good cover from my vantage point, but not so good from where the troops was comin' from)  -- dead over the next 6 or 7 minutes, the soldiers arrivin' before I ran out of bullets.  I was down to three in each .45 when the shootin' finally stopped.   

  All told, 26 bandits and all on the train at the crash but me lost their lives.   The $2,000,000....well that  was eventually transferred 3 days later to a special train that backed up near 17 miles to where we was.  We was on some  off shoot spoke rail that the Canadian Mounted Police would not elaborate on or talk about.      

For 6 days I was questioned and taken into Winnipeg.  I was then released to an American Consul sent to Winnipeg, and again questioned over and over even more for  3 more days before bein' allowed to return back to the United States,  and then home.

Although I gave a written letter of resignation from the service, the President himself caused the resignation to be refused, and I was placed on paid leave until May 1st.     I arrived home on March 26th, and what happened after May 1st, on May 9th with Nasty Pete, I have already related and you already know.  

-- Deputy B.   


[  Update note of clarification: 2/27/2016
     I notice I forgot to precede the main title with "Fictional Story" before the rest  of the title.  
The above is fiction, often attempting to be humorous in a literary slapstick style or inferences, and an attempt to revitalize a fictional work in which all of these are rough drafts and first drafts of works in progress when they appear.  They are my work product. 
 Thank you kindly.               -- Brianroy]


     

      






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