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Palomino Valley - Willie Dixon's short story persona

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Willie Dixon:

My final in my creative writing class was to create a short story.
I thought I'd share it with everyone here


~For Boyo~
Arizona Territory, 1866
   It was a hot, dry day with little wind when two brothers strolled into town.  Palomino Valley was like any other southwestern boomtown, with little to it minus the saloon, hotel, shop  and livery stable.  Everything else was little more than shacks or tents.  There was one main street, a thoroughfare that ran from the north to the south parallel to the mighty Colorado River.  At the very north end was the hotel, to the far south, the saloon.  Both the saloon and the hotel were the only buildings more than thirty feet in height. One of the two strangers wore what appeared to be an old Civil War Sharps three banded rifle and even the leggings of the Union’s Sharpshooters.  He looked out of place on his horse, a giant blue Appaloosa.  The other brother, although looking similar in stature and build looked at home on his horse, a sooty buckskin horse with all the trappings of a former Cavalryman.  These men looked weary, and tired by the heat from the western ride out of what had to have been the train stop in Seligman.    

“Evenin’ mind telling us where we might find some coffee?”  The shorter of the two brothers asked as they gingerly walked into the only hotel in town.

“Wah, sure mistah, I’ve got the best joe in these parts.  Wouldn’t you like some whiskey though or something else over at the saloon?”  The man at the front desk was obviously from the south given his accent.  The other thing that struck out immediately about this man was his size.  He was easily over 6 feet with massive shoulders and strong wide hands. The fact that he was of African descent didn’t even mark the boys’ first thoughts about the friendly giant.

“What can you tell us about these parts, sir?”  The taller brother asked, as it was obvious now they were, even though he had redder hair.

“Sir!?”  The big man said laughing heartily, “Sir!? He says.  You must both be from the north.”

"Yes, sir, we are.”  The shorter man followed and they all started to smile. “Well, sort of.”

“More like southern Ireland, and then by way of Boston in Massachusetts,” Seamus explained to the big man with the now quizzical face.

“Don’t know my real name no more, so just call me Cookie.”  The hotel operator said next, “everyone else does that bothers to care, I’m the owner and operator of the finest hotel in the area.”

“That’s because you have the only hotel in the area.”  The red-haired brother replied smiling.

“And what might your names be, sirs?,”  Cookie asked, nodding to them while handing them two fresh hot cups of coffee.

“Dixon,” They both replied at the same time. “I’m Seamus and my vertically challenged brother is Willie.” Seamus, the ginger haired brother finished.  The hotel owner just looked at them, and then just sighed, got himself a cup and then grabbed for his whiskey bottle as well from behind the counter and sat down to join them at his small, square table.

“So, your’n here cuz of that lettah your sis sent ya huh?”  Cookie’s accent was getting thick now, obviously a man born and raised in the bayou areas of the Deep South.

“Yes, Cookie, we are.”  Willie took control of the whole room with that little statement, even though his low brimmed hat covered his eyes, there was definitely fire in them, and a score needing settling.

“Look, I try to keep outta other peeps business,” Cookie started, “but here, there is no way to.”  With that, he added his whiskey to his coffee and drank it quickly.  “Your parents werend kild by that damn plague or whateva was writtun.”

“We know,” Seamus said, starting to get up and reach for his hat.  It was then that Cookie noticed how well armed the brothers were, they both had pistols, not too fancy except they were cartridge conversions.  They were custom, very well used and well taken care of.  Seamus was checking his New Model Remington Army and after that grabbed his hat and nodded to his brother.

“We also figure that she didn’t fall either.”  Willie said while also getting up.  Willie had on him two of the new Colt Army cap and ball revolvers, but they looked to be showing brass at the end of the cylinder.  Again these were conversions as well, to fire the new Henry .44 rim-fire self-contained bullet so that both Seamus’ rifle and their three pistols fired the same bullet.

“Don’t bother goin lookun for the marshal” Cookie stated, “won’t do you a damn bit of good, he’ll be over wherah ya need to go anyways.”  Cookie then rose, offered them both a friendly handshake and added, “Go to the saloon on the other side of town.  Try to stay out of trouble, tell no one your name, and good luck.”

With that, both brothers nodded to one another and then to large hotel owner.  “Thank you Cookie, we appreciate it.”  Willie said and the two brothers walked out.

~there's the first part of five.

hope you enjoy my story.  thanks for reading, and if you have any critiques, I'd appreciate any and all of them.

Merry CHRISTmas


Willie Dixon:
Well, I guess there's no replies or comments?  :-[
Sorry I've been gone for so long, my computer fried and it took me this long to get another one.  ;D
Anyways, here's part 2:

        It was starting to get dark as the brothers walked casually towards the saloon, ever ready to make war.  The skies had turned a blood red, fire shown across the high level clouds as the sun gave way to the night.  The air immediately began to have a crisp cold feel to it, it was dry but chilling.  It was then a beautiful Irish girl named Colleen came out toward them, she had red hair like Seamus, and blue eyes like Willie.  There was a fresh scar running down the side of her face as well, still pink with tenderness.  “Well now!” She said and then paused for them to hug her, “don’t be too brash with those irons boys, let’s go in and I’ll explain the news.”
   The two looked at her and nodded in agreement.  The saloon was busy, with probably ten or twelve men inside with twice that many girls doing their deeds behind closed doors and curtains.  A barrel-built British man with a handle bar mustache was behind the bar counter, and looked over to the brothers and his top working girl.
   “So these are the two gents you’ve been telling me about?”  The Brit asked, “As long as they play fairly, they can have anything in here.  My name’s Robert Switchzen, owner and operator of this fine establishment.”  
The two boys just nodded to him and then each other.  Willie walked beside his sister, while Seamus walked over to the Brit.  “Just let us handle this Leenie, we’ll see what’s up,”Willem whispered in her ear.
   “Yeah that’s what I’m afraid of.”  Colleen retorted.
   Seamus walked up to the bar and asked for a drink, “Irish whiskey if ya got any, sir,” finishing by taking off his hat to be polite.
   “Well, now, why am I not surprised that you want Irish whiskey.”  Robert said in reply with a thick Welsh accent, pulling out a green bottle and offering a shot to him.  “I hope you don’t mind I join you.”  Then he poured one out for himself.
   Seamus just looked at the man and immediately started to judge him, he knew the man to be right handed by the way he poured the drinks, and he also appeared to be favoring his right knee as he walked back to the bar, an old injury perhaps or just old age.  He also noted the small Colt Baby Dragoon in the man’s left pocket vest.  All of which helped Seamus get an idea of the man and his character.
   “Hey now!” There was immediately a sharp retort of a small caliber pistol as a man stepping back from a green velvet table was holding onto his stomach before collapsing to the floor. The man opposite, a crude looking miner had a sawn off Colt Pocket Model smoking and was obviously upset at the poor hand he had just been dealt, justifying the murder.
   “John,  damnit!” Switchzen yelled, “You know that will cost you ten dollars for clean up!” He then looked at Seamus who was just standing by, witnessing the murder.  “Got to keep them in check, or else I’d lose all my clientèle.” Robert said, as an excuse for the murder and the charge.
   John, the miner, just looked down and grabbed a ten dollar chip off the dead man, “Will this do?” He asked flying the chip over to Switchzen.
   “It will, tab noted.” Switchzen finished.
   John then walked up to Colleen and grabbed her from Willie, who wasn’t looking too pleased with the way his sister was being handled.  “Well, now, what do ya know, damn Mick thinks he gets a shot at the fiery lass afore me!  I ain’t taking seconds.”
   Willie just grabbed the man under his jaw and right ear, making him howl in pain.  “I’d apologize to the lady for how you just talked to her.”
   John just looked at Willie in shock, and replied, “Wha, what do ya mean?!  She’s just a whore, and if I ain’t put her in her place afore she’d have gutted me!”
   With that, all the pieces fell into place, at least with their sister.  Without even thinking, Willie drew his own shortened and bobbed 1860 from his right sided holster and shot upward, hitting John in the upper right cheek, killing him instantly.  Seamus had also drawn his Remingtons and had them on the rest of the crowd.
   Robert Switchzen just looked at them in shock, with both hands raised.  He hadn’t seen hands that fast since Wild Bill back in Kansas.  “Look boys, same goes for this kill, just pay me the ten dollars, and we can forget about it.”
   “No Robert, my good man, we cannot.  They killed that man in cold blood, she’s nothing but a whore still.”  This man was seated at an adjoining table, in the far corner with his back to the walls.  As he got up, the bright tin star was lit for all to see.  “It’s obvious they were both in it, and for good reason seeing as it’s obvious that’s their sister.  Let’s get some ropes and we’ll hold them in the hotel until they can hang in morning.”

Long Johns Wolf:
Willie's pistol: year 1866, Colt Army model conversion for .44 Henry RF...must have been a Colt Army Long Cylinder Conversion. Am I correct?
How does the story continue?
Long Johns Wolf


Willie Dixon:
Here's part 3: ;D

The two brothers gave up their arms, not wanting a fight that could danger others.  As they were tied up and kicked to the floor by the marshal’s strong-armed deputies, the marshal marveled at their fine weaponry.  

“These are magnificent firearms, really first rate.  Where did you steal them?”
“We didn’t.  They were our fathers.” Seamus said, spitting in the marshal’s face from the floor.  That earned him a kick from one of the marshal’s deputies.
As the two boys were dragged out of the saloon there were many onlookers, all of them upset.  Most were upset at the injustice of the scene and how the boys had been treated.  Robert Switchzen however, had a look of anger covering fear.  He knew who these boys were even though they hadn’t said it.  These were both John Richard’s boys, come to haunt him and his macabre Marshal had just set loose a hornet’s nest.
“I told ya boys to lay low!” Cookie bellowed out as the marshal and his men hauled them up the stairs and into a room.
“Be quiet you, or else you’ll be hangin’ good too!”  The marshal retorted, slapping the much larger man.
“Yes, sah, mistah Dillon.”  Cookie answered in a thick drawl.
Both of the boys looked at Cookie and at each other, and were again motivated to move up the stairs by a hard kick.  Once they were in the small room, really a closet with a small window, they were left alone with Marshal Dillon’s two deputies guarding their door.
“So, boyo, what now?”  Seamus asked Willie in a strained, hushed tone.
“Did ya hear what Cookie called the Marshal?  He called him ‘Mr. Dillon.’” Willie said, and then pulled out an old piece of parchment.  On it was the letterhead of the very hotel they were in, and written very beautifully by their sister was a lie about what had happened to their family since they had gotten to Palomino Valley.
“That’s right, she said a Mr. Dillon had seen to our folks.  It was made to sound as if he were the doctor or preacher.”  Seamus said darkly, “I knew that letter was a lie.”

“Right, and wrong.”  Willie said in reply, “Look, it’s all true, in this letter.  Our folks were killed by a ‘plague’, and Dillon was the man who saw to them.  Did you see the girls in that saloon?  Did you see how the men looked at us as we were dragged out?!  That is not how our father would have run a saloon!  I guarantee you that Switchzen either tried to partner up or buy out Da.”

“And his response got him and Ma killed, didn’t it?”  Seamus said in reply.

Right then there was a loud noise outside the door and then it was opened by none other than Cookie.  “Look you two, you woke up a sleeping grizzly and it’s now time to draw the line.  I’m done with this place as it is.”  

Even though Cookie’s strong accent was still present, there was a new, educated, gentlemanly manner to his speech.  It spoke volumes as to Cookie's past, and where he came from and who he was.

Cookie then cut the ropes that held the two boys together and escorted them out of the hotel by the balcony of the bridal suite.  As they were leaving the two boys noticed the dead deputies and the well balanced knife held in Cookie’s hand.  He just smirked and shrugged.  

“Look, there’s a bluff to the south of here, on the other side of the river, in California.  Yah can’t miss it, it looks like a cupcake.  Don’t bother about your horses, they were sent to the livery to be watched over by one of Switchzen’s men.  Just head for Cupcake and I, along the others of the town who are tired of this will meet you both there.”

Cookie then handed them both a pair of well worn cap and ball Dance revolvers.  “I know they aren’t anything like your boys’ arms but they’ll do in a pinch.”

The two boys grasped the big man’s shoulders and then jumped out the window.  

“I want my Sharps boyo.  We’re going to be needing it.” Willie said as they left the hotel.

“Yeah, right, while we’re all stealthy, we’re going to go to the livery, steal our horses and our rifles that are surely not there now anyways.”  Seamus said, shaking his head in a definite no.

“Typical cavalryman, all charge, no stealth.”  Willie said tisking at his brother, “Let me show you how Berdan’s finest takes care of business, while you cover me from the rear.”

Willie Dixon:
*sorry for being so long, crazy real life drama!*

With that, Willie withdrew a rather small Jim Bowie style knife with a Celtic cross design made from brass tacks on the hilt from his boot.  “Fool never checked our boots; I care more about this and my rifle than I ever do pistols.”
   Seamus just shrugged, “my sword’s hopefully still in her sheath on my saddle.”
   “See this is a good idea.”  Willie said as they stalked up to the stable.  Inside was a man who just stared at them in loathing with a double barreled shotgun.
   “Not another move!”  The short red haired man said in a thick Scottish brogue.  “I was told if yous broke free, yeed be comin back here.  Mighty fine horses yah two had.”
   “Had?” Seamus asked darkly, “where are they?”
   “Oh, they’s still here, but they aren’t yours no more.”  As the scrawny man said that, he lowered his shotgun just a bit.  It was all Willie needed.  His knife flew instinctively fast towards the man’s right shoulder embedding deeply and keeping the man from firing the scattergun before they could overtake him.  In a matter of seconds the man was on the floor, bound up and sobbing.  “Please don’t kill me.”
   “Just tell us where our horses are, and deal.”  Seamus said, kneeling beside the man.
   “Look, I hate that Brit bastard!  His kind rund us back home and he be tryin that here as well!”  The Scotsman looked down at his arm, “will it ever work again?”
   “No, that’s what you get for siding with Switchzen.”  Willie said in reply.  “Just be glad I didn’t scalp you too.”
   With a look of morbid fear on his face the small Scotsman answered, “your horses are hidden behind that fake wall over yonder.  They still have their tack and gear too, including your weapons ya left on tem.”  He then got up and opened the fake wall, revealing the two strong stallions enjoying some hay. 
As the two boys were tending to their mounts, the Scotsman pleaded “Call me Jed.  And I tolds ya we took care of em, he threatened ma family, I had no choice.”
   Seamus just looked down at the wounded Scotsman, “we all have a choice old timer, you chose your normal one.  You gotta stop running some time.”
   The two brothers then rode their horses hard for the bluff told to them by Cookie.  It was a quick ride once they crossed the Colorado river, which they rode in close to the shore to help cover their tracks on their way to the bluff.  Cookie, two whores, and a shopkeeper joined them in a couple of hours.  All of the townspeople looked scared and were acting very twitchy.
   “You know, we can handle this,” Willie said as the four came up to them as he was cleaning his Sharps rifle.
   “We need to help you, this needs to be done.”  The young whore answered, who was probably no older than fourteen.  “I’m Bess, and Colleen is my best friend.  She’s looked out for me since my daddy sold me to Switchzen.”
   “It true boys, I think Colleen stayed in that saloon for all these years to watch over us,” answered the other whore, who appeared not much older than Bess and was barely five feet tall and was wavering in the crisp night air.   
   “Still doesn’t mean you need to be caught up in a gunfight.” Seamus said walking up to the shivering girl and gave her his coat.  “Bullets start flying, it changes people.”
   “We’ve had bullets flying by, near, and round us since we got here.”  The shopkeeper added, then checking his well oiled double barrel shotgun.  “This needs to end.”
   The boys then looked at their new ragtag group of defenders and started to plan the gunfight.
   “Shopkeep,” Seamus said, pointing at the shotgun in the other man’s hands.
   “Name’s Cochrahn, but you can call me Doc.  I work on the horses mainly, so everyone calls me that.”  Doc Cochrahn said, chuckling.
   “That’s good, we’ll be sure to need a medic when this is all over.  I want you to find cover, up near the front of the fight.  We’ll try to draw them out of the saloon, and have the stand there.  Try covering by the water trough, and use that wide coverage to provide flanking fire.” Seamus said smiling.  “It is good to have a doc.”
   Willie then looked to the girls, “You ever fired a rifle?”
   “Yes, sir, I have.  I used to hunt for squirrels and such back home before my ma died.”  Bess replied, looking down at the ground.
   “This is much the same thing.  Here, use this Henry.  Have the little one help you with ammo.  You have only a few numbers of rounds, so keep track.  Remember; aim small so you miss small.”  With that, Seamus handed Bess his Henry rifle and his bandolier of .44 rimfire cartridges.
   Cookie and the two brothers looked at each other.  “Well, let’s do this.” Seamus said and started to mount back onto his horse.  “I’m best moving around, guerrilla style.  I’ll try to cover all of you.”
   Cookie then chuckled, “I’ve always been a thorn in Switchzen’s side, it’s time I aim for the heart. Let me be the distraction. I’m sure he knows by now you boys have escaped.  He’ll try to gun me down knowing I helped you.  When he does, Willie, take him out.”
   Willie looked at his three band double set Sharps rifle, looked back at the brave man who became their greatest ally and replied very somberly, “I’ll try to get a bead as quickly as I can Cookie. Thank you.”


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