Authors: Robert J. Conley
I was riding alongside a' the big clump a' rocks what set beside a' the road out there, when I seen a gang a' five men riding toward me. I turned and went behint them rocks. I dismounted and tuck my Henry with me. Laying that rifle acrosst a rock, I cranked a shell into the chamber. The riders came to a halt out there in the road.
“Barjack,” one of them called out.
“It's me,” I answered.
“You might just as well get back on that horse and ride back into town,” he said. “No one's getting out.”
“You bastards think you can stop me,” I said, “you just come right on ahead and try.”
He laughed. “You're already stopped,” he said. “You ain't going no farther.”
I tuck my Henry in my left hand and reached inside my coat with my right to find a stick a' dynamite which I brung out. I helt the fuse to my ceegar tip till it begun to fizzle, and then I helt it a little bit longer. Final, I stood up behint that rock and heaved that son of a bitch just as hard as I could. It went a-flying up and out and landed in the road just in front a' the five a' them . . .
books by Robert J. Conley:
BARJACK AND THE UNWELCOME GHOST
NO NEED FOR A GUNFIGHTER
INCIDENT AT BUFFALO CROSSING
BACK TO MALACHI
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Copyright Â© 2011 by Robert J. Conley
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
ISBN 13: 978-1-4285-1174-3
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I was just setting in my favorite chair in my own saloon, which was knowed as Harvey's Hooch House on account of a previous owner, and I was drinking my favorite whiskey from a big tumbler, and mostly minding my own business, whenever Owl Shit come a-walking in and looking to me like as if he was a-looking for trouble. Course, there wasn't nothing unusual about that. Owl Shit always looked thattaway. He was wearing his six-gun the way he always done. The holster on his loose-fitting belt was hanging right around in the dead center a' the belt right smack in front, so it looked kinda like it was his damn pecker a-hanging down betwixt his legs. I reckoned he had done had him some whiskey somewhere on account a' he seemed to be just a mite drunk already.
He kinda staggered up to the bar and knocked a couple a' men sideways outta his way and banged his fist down on the bar. “Whiskey,” he hollered out. Aubrey was plumb down to the other end a' the bar serving a drink to another feller. “Hey,” called Owl Shit. “Oberry. You hear me?”
“I'll be right with you, Owl Shit,” said Aubrey.
“Now. I want whiskey now.”
Well, I kinda scooted my chair back so I'd be ready to get up if it turned out to be called for, and I checked my Merwin Hulbert self-extracting revolver to be damn certain it was where I could get at it if I was to have need of it. I picked up my tumbler and had another long swig a' that wonderful stuff. Damn, it was good. I begun to get pissed off that Owl Shit was disturbing my relaxing pleasure.
“Excuse me, sir,” said the cowhand on Owl Shit's left, “but that's my drink in front of you.”
Whenever Owl Shit had knocked him outta the way, he had stepped up to the bar right there where the feller had been a-standing. Owl Shit looked at the man and picked up the drink. “This'n?” he said.
Owl Shit drank it down and put the glass on the bar in front a' the man. “Thanks,” he said. Aubrey come up just then and set a glass in front of Owl Shit and brought out a bottle. He was about to pour a drink when Owl Shit grabbed the bottle outta his hand. “'Bout time,” he said.
“Owl Shit,” said Aubrey, “we don't want no trouble in here today.”
“I ain't going to start no goddamned trouble,” said Owl Shit. “Just leave the bottle here with me. That's all.”
“You owe me a drink, mister,” said the cowhand to Owl Shit's left.
“How'd you come up with that, dumb ass?” said Owl Shit.
“That first drink you had was mine.”
“I thanked you for it, di'n't I?”
“Now, see hereâ”
But the cowhand never got nothing else out. Owl Shit whipped out his Colt and shot him point-blank in the chest. I think he hit him in the heart. Blood spurted out all over Owl Shit and all over the bar, and the poor cowboy leaned back on the bar with both his elbows and a real dumb look on his face. He was done dead. He slid down real slow till he was setting on the floor and leaning back against the bar.
I got up real damn fast and took about four long strides over to the bar. I come up behint Owl Shit as I was hauling out my Merwin Hulbert, and I whacked that damn bastard hard on top a' his head. He stood there rocking for a minute, his head a-bobbing from side to side. Then he started in to turn his head and look at me, but just as he got his head around, he pitched forward, landing hard on the floor. I kicked his Colt across the floor on over to my table. My Bonnie come a-flopping down the stairs about then. “I heared a shot,” she said.
“It's took care of,” I said. Then I turned to Aubrey. “Aubrey, go find my two worthless depitties and send them down here right away. Bonnie, sweet tits, you get behint the bar till Aubrey gets back.”
“Yes, sir, Barjack,” said Aubrey.
“And while you're out, send the damn undertaker down.”
Aubrey pulled off his apron and headed for the door while Bonnie hustled her fat ass behind the bar. I walked back over to my chair and set back down, picking up my drink and having a long snort. I looked over at the corpus, still bleeding pretty bad, and at Owl Shit laying there flat out on the floor. I drained my glass and held it up high for Bonnie to see. She grabbed my bottle and hurried on over to the table, tits a-bouncing, to refill my tumbler.
I was thinking what a bunch a' shit it was for us in our little town of Asininity to have to put up with the likes a' Owl Shit. He was the younger and worthless brother of ole Chugwater Johnson. Chugwater was all right. He was one of our most prominent citizens. Well, he didn't live right there in Asininity. He had the biggest ranch around, and he lived out there. Owl Shit was always getting in some kinda trouble, and Chugwater would bail him out, most usually by pulling out a wad a' bills and paying someone off. There weren't going to be no one to pay off this time. The dead cowhand was a stranger in town, and there was a-plenty a' witnesses in the Hooch House who seen what Owl Shit had did. It was almost for damn sure he would hang this time.
Happy Bonapart and Butcher Doyle, my two depitties, come in just then. I waved them over and pointed to the seeming corpse a' Owl Shit on the floor. “Lug him over to the jail and lock his ass up,” I said.
“What's the charge, Barjack?” Happy ast me.
“See that dead corpus over there by him?” I said. “Owl Shit kilt him. What do you think the goddamn charge is?”
“Murder?” said Happy.
“You got it on the first guess,” I said. “Now get him over there before he wakes up.”
They went to hustling as ole Bones, the undertaker, come in, and I pointed him to his job. “Who's paying for this?” he ast me.
“Marshal's office,” I said. Actual it would be the mayor, that damned Peester, but I didn't see no need to go into details with that grave-digging man. Bonnie was busy at the bar with folks who was wanting fresh drinks. My own was about half gone. I would need a refill in a short while. Dingle, the writing feller, come a-walking in, and he come over to my table and set across from me. I waved at Bonnie and she brung him a drink. He tuck a look at ole Bones a-messing with the dead corpse. “What's happened?” he said, hauling out his notebook and his pencil.
“Not much,” I said. “Owl Shit come in here and kilt that man without no provocation. That's all.”
“Well, where is he?”
“Happy and Butcher hauled his ass to jail,” I said.
“They were in here when it happened?”
“No. I had to send for them.” I looked up to see that Aubrey had come back. He was tying his apron back on, and Bonnie was headed for my table. She come right to the chair right next to mine and set her wide ass down in it and reached over
to grab me and hug me to her in a tight-ass bear hug, most nearly squashing me to death. “That's enough, sweet ass,” I said. “Let me a-loose.”
“Barjack knocked Owl Shit out cold first,” she said to Dingle.
“How you know that?” I said. “You wasn't down here yet.”
“Feller at the bar told me,” she said. She looked back at Dingle. “Barjack always takes care of trouble whenever it dares to come around where he's at.”
Dingle went to scribbling. He had done wrote three or four books about me, and we was both a-making money off of them. Happy and Butcher come back in then, and they both come over to my table. “Set your sorry asses down,” I said. I waved at Aubrey. “Have a drink. This here is likely to be the last drink we'll all of us have together here at the Hooch House for a spell.”
“How come you to say that, Barjack?” said Bonnie.
“Soon as ole Chugwater hears about his baby brother setting in my jail,” I told them, “he'll be a-trying everything he can think about to get him out. We'll have to keep at least one of us down there all the damn time. Maybe two of us.”
“He'll hear pretty soon,” said Happy. “News travels fast around here.”
“We got a couple hours at least,” I said.
Aubrey fetched the drinks over to the two depitties and I helt my tumbler out to him. He tuck it back to the bar and come back in a hurry with it
full again. Dingle was still a-scribbling. We had got to where most a' the time we just ignored him, and he liked it like that.
“Barjack,” said Happy, “are we going to have to take Owl Shit over to the county seat to be tried?”
“Nope,” I said. “We got us a new percedure here now. We got a judge a-coming to us every two weeks. We'll have the trial right here. And the hanging.”