GENERAL TOPICS > Saddlebag Tales

Writing a book about my family

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Texas Miller:
Both men lay on the bar room floor, one now in pain and bleeding, and the other dead.  It was a good thing Marquez had been drunk or his shots would likely have found a better mark, and it would have been Smokey lying there with a blank stare on his face.  Smokey was good with a gun, better than most, and that was why he'd been hired by the railroad.  That, and his cool, unshakable temperament.  But he hadn't checked Marquez for that second pistol that many men carried, especially gamblers - even Smokey carried more than one backup.  Most lawmen don't get a second chance after a mistake like that, but Smokey would live to tell about it and he would never make that mistake again.

A doctor, of sorts, arrived quickly and began treating Smokey's wounds.  The "Doc" was the local veterinarian, dentist and undertaker.  He ordered two of the men still standing in the room to help carry Smokey to the hotel where he could be looked after more thoroughly.  An officer in the nearby town of Carrizozo, Sgt. Will Dudley, was summoned and he arrived that night.  Dudley was a New Mexico Ranger (mounted police) assigned to Alamogordo, and he escorted Smokey there personally by train that same night.  There was a good hospital in that city, where Smokey spent the next several days.  His wife arrived two days later, grateful that her husband was still alive, and she stayed by his bedside throughout.  After his hospital stay, the pair rode the train back to Oklahoma where Smokey spent the next four months recuperating from his wounds.  "This job, it would appear, is almost as dangerous as working my own ranch," he thought to himself.

End of chapter.  Copyright 2014 - all rights reserved by Angie O.   Hope you enjoyed it.  Any comments?

medic15al:
That was a good short story! Some more background into ol Smokey would help. Childhood? Where he learned to handle a gun?

Forty Rod:
Not a bad yarn, but I'm having some doubts about any two shot derringer of the time being that powerful.  They were not known for great impact nor penetration.

Of course I don't know every derringer that was produced, either.

Delmonico:

--- Quote from: Forty Rod on July 25, 2015, 07:37:51 PM ---Not a bad yarn, but I'm having some doubts about any two shot derringer of the time being that powerful.  They were not known for great impact nor penetration.

Of course I don't know every derringer that was produced, either.

--- End quote ---

Nope and even a big gun don't shove, it's all muscle reaction.  As for the derrigeners that 41 rimfire was about as good as it got and they ain't much, about like a good wrist rocket.

RobMancebo:
Hi, Tex,

Just a quick critique-  You’ve got a good start.  She stumbles about a little in the beginning, but you reach your stride when you get into the action (And I’ve edited plenty of action scenes by experienced writers who have trouble with their flow.  Yours doesn’t have that problem.)
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 “where he auctioned of(off) supper baskets”   
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You write, “He was a cowboy, as a matter of fact.”   Then you say:  “He had land,” and “His hotel in town had been for sale for several months and it had finally sold.  He spent most of his time, now, working his own ranch”  Well that makes him a ‘Hotel owner’ or a ‘Rancher’, not a ‘cowboy’.  A cowboy was a hired hand.  By the time you get to his restaurant and security work, the reader can see that this guy is an entrepreneur and a jack-of-all-trades. 
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sole(soul) 
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“and moaned something about, "Damned hard for a man to finish his drink around here." (‘Moaned’ would indicate pain or distress.  You should probably use ‘grumbled’ or ‘grumped’ to indicate irritation.)
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”But he hadn't checked Marquez for that second pistol that many men carried, especially gamblers - even Smokey carried more than one backup”     That begs the question, ‘How many backup guns does he carry???  Three?  Four?” 
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“But Marquez' next move was unexpected and surprisingly agile, in the condition he was in.” 
A comma is used if a qualifying statement is placed before what is going on:  ‘Considering his condition, Marquez’s next move was surprisingly agile.’  It is not added when a qualifying statement is add onto the end of a sentence. 
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"This job, it would appear, is almost as dangerous as working my own ranch," he thought to himself.   A good finish, except you never established that there was any danger at his ranch.  If he had some action there you should let the reader know.  If he’s had trouble with bandits, bad horses, rabid dogs, or predatory wolves, the reader will want to hear about it.   

Keep pluggin’ away.  If you finish it , you can always fix the nit-picks later.

Rob

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