Jimmy Walker - A Western Short Story

Jimmy Walker, Part One


“Figgered you should know.”

Cooley Watters spat a stream of brown juice into the dust of the street, and wiped his bearded mouth on his greasy sleeve. He lived in a sod hut down by the river, and hired out as a part time cowhand when he needed whiskey money. He looked at the sheriff with watery eyes.

“There was three of ‘em, and two of ‘em held that breed, Jimmy Walker, while the third pounded on him something fierce. Then they set to with his squaw.”

Cooley wiped his mouth again, and glanced at the saloon doors. He swung his eyes back to the sheriff, a hopeful look on his face. Sheriff Logan Newberry walked to the batwing doors.

“Nat? Draw a glass of beer and bring it out here, Put it on my account.” He turned back to Cooley.

“Go on, Cooley.”

“Ain’t much else to tell. When Jimmy Walker finally come around again, his squaw was dead, and them three was gone.”

“They murdered her?”

The saloon keeper came out with the glass of beer, a question on his face. Sheriff Newberry pointed at Cooley Watters, and the saloon keeper handed it over, a look of distaste on his face. Cooley took a few swallows and scratched his jaw in thought. “Well, no, it wasn’t no real murder, I reckon. Like I said, she was just a squaw.”

“Where is Jimmy?”

“He sent someone to tell her people what happened, so they can fetch her if they want, and then he set off on their trail.” He shook his head sadly. “Would not want to be them fellers, when Jimmy catches up to them. He set some store by that squaw-woman.”

Sheriff Logan nodded, as Cooley drained his beer. “Anything else?”

Cooley looked uncomfortable. “Well, like I say, she was just a squaw, but they sliced her up something fierce, and then scalped her to boot. Weren’t no call to do none of that.” He pulled off his hat and wiped his brow. Then he pulled a folded piece of paper out of his hatband and handed it to the sheriff.

“Almost forgot this. Jimmy said to give it to you. Never did learn to read none, but mayhap you can cipher out what it says.”

Jimmy Walker was a half breed. His father was Davis Walker, a brilliant lawyer and a drunk, who came from South Carolina. His mother was a Cherokee, and the reason his father left South Carolina to come west. They had both died of diphtheria when Jimmy was twelve, leaving him with a sizable inheritance, and no friends, other than Logan Newberry. He attended an Indian school, but no college would accept him, Nevertheless, he was more educated than most.

Two years ago, Jimmy had found Sialea-lea, a Navajo maiden, wandering in the desert. She was an outcast for some reason that neither Jimmy or Logan could ever discern, but she was beautiful, and Jimmy soon took her for his wife, much to her own joy and delight. Her name meant “Little blue Bird”, but Jimmy just called her his Bird. They were deeply in love.

Sheriff Logan Newberry poured a cup of coffee from the battered pot in his office and unfolded Jimmy Walker’s note.

“I know that finding those men is rightly your job, Logan, but I have it to do after what they did to my Bird. They need to pay and the law is far too slow. I know you’ll follow, because that’s your way, but don’t try to stop me. I would not take it kindly. Jimmy”

Deputy Ty Conners was Sheriff Newberry’s best tracker, even if he was a bit green and way too cocky, so it was the two of them that set out the next morning. The trail was quickly worked out, and so plain that they were able to follow at miles-eating pace. By evening, they were a few miles west of Florence, at the Felix ranch.

“Si, they were here yesterday, Senor. We feed all strangers, but we did not like these hombres. Their eyes were too bold with the senoritas, so we fed them, and invited them to leave. They were persuaded that my humble wishes were best, and left. Perhaps it was the way my vaqueros were seeing to their pistolas and cuchillos. I am a simple man and do not know of such things.” Juan Felix raised his hands, palms up in bewilderment, his face innocent and bland.

Sheriff Newberry nodded, and made a note to himself that Senor Juan Felix was not a man with which to trifle. No one had seen Jimmy Walker, and his tracks had veered off the trail just before the Felix ranch.

They ate beef, beans, and tortillas on the moonlit patio, to the strains of a Spanish guitar. To the west, a lonely coyote yipped his appreciation of the music, and somewhere, a young man sang his song of romance to his lady love. By dawn the next morning, they were miles away.

The summer heat was stifling with the monsoon humidity, and to the south, vast thunderstorms were building when they found the first man. He was propped up against a mesquite tree, and his shirt was missing. His chest was covered with hundreds of tiny cuts, and his neck was raw from rope burns, and it was also broken,. He was very dead. A nearby palo verde tree had one high limb with damaged bark.

”I wonder why he didn’t just leave him hanging?”

Deputy Conners had worked out the trail and confirmed that this was one of the men they were following and also that Jimmy Walker had hung him. It looked like the killer had chosen to go his own way, and it had cost him his life.

“I guess he thought he might need that rope again. Waste not, want not.”

Ty Conners chuckled at the sheriff’s words.

The sheriff walked over to the dead man, and checked his pockets, but there was nothing. He was about to turn away when he noticed one stone resting atop another stone. He lifted the upper stone, and found a note.

“I know you are following me, Logan, because you are a good man and also a good lawman. This man admitted what he did, after some persuasion, and he knew things only the killers would know. I showed him more mercy than he showed my Bird.”

“Do you want to bury this man, Sheriff?”

“No. We do not have the time, so we’ll just cover him with enough rocks to keep the critters off.”

They camped that night under a ledge miles away, and after they rolled up in their blankets, the rain began, accompanied by the far-off muttering of discontented thunder. They slept well.


Conclusion


More by this Author


Comments 82 comments

mejohnson profile image

mejohnson 4 years ago

I like a good western and this has intrigued me. Can't wait for the second part. voted up.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

No, they didn't like anyone messing with their women. Woe be they that do. Good story, is there a part 2?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, mejohnson!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Becky, and yes, there is a part two!


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

Good story, I'll be looking for the next part. The characterization of Cooley Watters left me disliking him, and wondering if he's going to end up having his own run-in with Jimmy Walker or the sheriff.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Got us all hanging and waiting for the next part, Will, can't see which way this one's heading unless it has something about the Bird's beginnings and why she was in the desert...

Excellent narrative as per...

Bob


Ghaelach 4 years ago

Morning Will.

So far I'm enjoying this story of Jimmy Walker. Very well thought out and I can't wait for part 2.

I don't suppose you have any connection with John Houston or maybe John Wayne? The way you write these westerns there must be a cowboy connection somewhere down the line.

Have a good weekend.

LOL Ghaelach


tjdavis profile image

tjdavis 4 years ago from Moscow, Texas

Loved the story. Love your use of adjectives. I know Indians first hand, being from the Cherokee and Choctaw's myself. I love westerns!!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Good story. I'll stay tuned.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Please don't keep us waiting too long for the next chapter. This is shaping up to be an awesome tale.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Another good one in the making...I'm waiting...and enjoying. Best/Sis


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Great tale and it has me wanting more. Up and awesome.


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 4 years ago from Illinois

Excellent reading and that's the way they did in the wild west, years ago. They had their own law! I marked you up for the best told story.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Jim,

There's Cooley Watters in every town. Usually, they are just an irritation.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Bob,

Maybe this one has no twist. Maybe it's just a story.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Ghaelach,

My earliest heroes were all cowboys (except for Superman!), and I've read everything ever written by Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour. I've lived in Arizona since 1962, and my relatives own a ranch here.

Does that help?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, tjdavis, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Don!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Part two and the conclusion on the way, Mike!

BTW, I hope you plan to publish your story! It's very good!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Sis!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

More is on the way, BPop!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, sweet Nan! I appreciate you!


Ginn Navarre profile image

Ginn Navarre 4 years ago

Yes indeed, this ole Florence born gal remembers how we just took care of some of the crime in a way that saved the courts the trouble.

THIS ONE WILL BE GREAT---as always


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Ginn!

As a Florence native, you probably know that the ranch was real. So was the rancher!


Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

A good start!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Johan.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

I've been waiting for this western story, I really enjoyed your western stories and it's been a while.

Voted up and awesome, Joyce Great work I appreciate.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

As usual, you had me interested right from the first paragraph. I'm hoping for a little more payback from Jimmy Walker. They should'na done that to his little Bird. No sir-ee.

I don't know. Reading your work always makes me talk like that for a while. Enjoyable as ever, Will, and waiting on that second chapter.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Joyce, and thank you, my dear!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

LOL @ Peg Cole"

And thank you darlin'.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

Awesome story so far. Looking forward to the next installment.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Ronnie!


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Mr. WillStarr,

You are a great western writer---I hope you are writing books---so everyone can enjoy your perfect storytelling talent. I will be back for part two.

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi Purvis


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Another awesome story and can't wait to read the second part.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Great story Will. I'll be back..


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I pulled my hat down snug. My collar is turned up against the afternoon sun and the saddle is cinched tight. Let’s ride onto Chapter two…….


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

Sounds like a great adventure. I'll be back.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I love how you open and begin your stories, Will. No muss, no fuss, and no pretense. You’re what we call a straight shooter, and your characters are simply yet brilliantly drawn. There is integrity and honesty with each paragraph that leads us through the western trails that remind me of the Tucson I fell in love with years ago.

The desert doesn’t change much, but your riveting narratives are always as colorful and as rich as the photograph that tops your story. I look forward to reading what happens next! :-)


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 4 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

A good man exacting vengeance for his woman always makes for a great story...looking forward to more!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

As always, Will, the authenticity of your storytelling is like an interesting history lesson on the Old Wild West. Unfortunately, "just a squaw" is not fiction. The despicable picture you so artistically paint of Cooley is realism in them thar parts. Another mesmerizing tale that tells me every place in time held its own forms of danger, treachery and righteousness. Brilliant storytelling, Will.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Another great western tale, Will. Can't hardly wait for Part 2 to read the conclusion of Jimmy's vengeance. Those evil men deserve whatever they get ... and then some.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you so much, PurvisBobbi44!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Rosemay50!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

It's published, always exploring!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

It's up and firing away, Mike!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hope you like the conclusion, Jackie Lynnley!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Genna East!

I lived just west of Tucson for 15 years!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, LABrashear, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Amy Becherer!

People like Cooley Watters are always with us.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Mike,

Part two up and published!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

I am glad I was a bit late as I was happily able to read from start to finish in this excellent and compelling read...

Brilliant work, Bill! Voted UP & UABI... Hugs, Maria


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

Fine story writing partner!


JaydenMiller profile image

JaydenMiller 4 years ago from USA

I really like the first part and looking forward to reading the conclusion!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

Sure like the way you brought his one out of the chute, Will...nothing like a a colorful old coodger to get one's attention. Good story...movin' on to the next part! WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Maria!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, shiningirisheyes , and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, JaydenMiller, and thanks for reading!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Wayne!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Definitely enjoying the first half of the story and will head on to the conclusion.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Pam!


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

WillStarr,

Please let us know when #2 part of the story is published. Put it on your Face Book---and I will get it.

Thanks,

BobbiPurvis


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Bobbi!

It's already published, and there's a link at the bottom of this Hub!


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Good story, Will, and as you can see, I'm way behind.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, James! Good to see you again!


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

Wonderful as usual, Bill. Off to read part 2.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Suzie!


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Will

A great story. It's time to read the conclusion.

Voted up and away.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Read on, Sueswan!


apache13 profile image

apache13 2 years ago from Belleville AR.

Good one as always Will am going on to read the conclusion now :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Apache!


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Very nice WillStarr are you from the south? you sure speaking like em LOL .

Keep up the lovely story telling I hope if you have grand kids you read them your stories :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, lady!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

I didn't receive the notice you had written a new story, glad I found it anyhow.

How long before we get part 2? I would imagine there will be a WillStarr twist to watch for.

Great job my friend.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

This is an old one you might have missed, Mike:

http://hubpages.com/literature/Jimmy-Walker-A-West...


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

WillStarr - Perhaps I read it before but at my age there is no such thing as a re-run on TV or book I haven't read. That is just one of the benefits of old age.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

I know just what you mean. I can now read my own stuff and wonder how it's going to end.

^_^


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

LOL - You made me choke on my coffee when I read that comment.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

LOL!


Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders 2 years ago from East London, South Africa

Thanks for a good story. Can't find end-help!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Just click on 'Conclusion' at the bottom of the story. Or use this:

http://hubpages.com/literature/Jimmy-Walker-A-West...


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Will, your stories are drawing readers 2 years after they appear. It does not get much better than that.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks, Mike! I'm sure yours do the same!

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