Lucky Jack - A short story

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Lucky Jack


Bob Grace was a contented man as he sipped his sweet coffee and gazed out the window at the last, lazy flakes of the previous night’s snowstorm. The henhouse had yielded two dozen eggs this morning, plus the three he had for breakfast. He’d take them up to Larson’s later, and give them to Matilda. The only remaining chore was to slop his hogs.

No one knew just how old he was, and it pleased him to keep them guessing. He was closer to seventy five than he wanted to admit, but most folks thought he was still in his late fifties.

He’d come west with the early mountain men, and shot buffalo for a time. Then he’d prospected in the territories, and rode the Chisholm with the big herds. He marshaled in Kansas, and drove for Wells. Finally, he made a small strike, and bought the Diamond O.

After Millie passed, he handed the ranch over to Dale, Leroy, and Marvin, his sons, and moved to this small house on the west edge of town. The boys saw to his needs, and kept his bank account up, so he wanted for nothing. Marvin, the reader, stocked his shelves with the classics, so he could sit in his chair and read. But his real joy came at night.

Entertainment had been sparse on the frontier, so most folks developed what talents they had. Sometimes it was a mouth organ, or maybe someone could sing. Some memorized whole passages of the Bible, and others recited poetry. Bob Grace discovered that he could spin a tale from scratch, and a darn good one. Many a campfire had Bob telling a story full of humor, daring, and heroics and the listeners had to guess how much was actually true and how much was pure malarkey.

Later, Bob entertained his own family and the ranch hands with tales that were both entertaining and tall. The combination of his smooth voice and delivery delighted the listeners, even if they were somewhat skeptical. The conclusions were always a bit of a surprise, and usually evoked a few groans and lots of laughter. But that part of his life was over now, what with Millie gone, and the ranching days with her.

These days, and of an evening, Bob Grace strolled down the dusty street to the Buzzard’s Roost, where a bar stool smack in the middle of the long row was reserved just for him. On the back-bar was his personal beer mug, and he drank three per night. No more, no less. He never drank the hard stuff, but he had a liking for a cool glass of suds.

He usually sat with his back to the bar, nursing the one beer he would buy and watching the goings on of a western saloon. There were always poker and domino games in play, and sometimes a fight would break out, just for entertainment. But sooner or later, someone would buy Bob another beer, and that was the signal that his listeners were once again willing to be deceived. The piano silenced, and players left their games, gathering their chairs in a half circle in front of Bob. He always stroked his beard solemnly, and began, “I remember the time…”

He looked out the kitchen window again, and the snow was coming down faster. He had thought the storm was over, but a Wyoming blizzard was unpredictable. He pulled his heavy coat off the hook, and donned it. Those hogs would not feed themselves.

The squeals greeted him as he entered the hog house. He had four breeding sows, including Daisy, who had become somewhat of a pet, and she watched him intently as he filled the trough with swill. He smiled at her, and she approached the pen wall as he pulled the biscuits out of his pocket. The other hogs paid no attention as he fed Daisy three biscuits from breakfast. Finally, he held out his open palms signaling that he had no more, and she joined the others noisily fighting for position at the trough. This was her last litter, and at over six hundred pounds, she was overdue for slaughter, but he had decided to just let her live out her life as a pet.

He stepped out of the hog house, and out of the corner of his eye spotted something in the far corner of the pigpen through the curtain of snow. He walked over and peered over the fence. It was the body of a young girl, half covered with snow. He instantly realized that someone had dumped her there, knowing that his herd of thirty hogs would make short work of a dead body. But why hadn’t they? He could see where they had approached, but had not touched her. He was just wondering why when he saw her hand move slightly.

Doc Bailey accepted the coffee from Bob. “She’s a tough one. She has a little frostbite, and she’s been stabbed three times. He must have missed her vitals, because she’s still with us. She’s been bothered too. Damn a man who would do such a thing!”

Bob sipped his coffee. “Who is she, Doc?”

“She’s that Palmer orphan girl. She works for Old Lady Parsons for room and board. She has no one else. Must be about sixteen”

“Did she say who did it?”

The doctor hesitated. “She said he had one ear and his nose was slit.” He held up a hand. “Now you just hold your temper, Bob, until we know for sure.”

Bob’s nose flared in anger. “Lucky Jack! The son of a bitch finally made a mistake!”

Lucky Jack had killed three men in shootouts. One man’s gun jammed, and another tripped just as he fired. The third was much the faster man, but his shot went wild. Jack’s did not.

Jack had also escaped a hanging when the limb broke. Before they could find another, he had come untied, grabbed a rifle, and rode off as the lynch mob watched helplessly. But his most spectacular escape came when the only witness in a murder trail against him collapsed and died on the witness stand. After that, ‘Lucky Jack’ was his nickname.

Not all of his life had been lucky. He lost his ear in a knife fight, and Apaches slit his nose over a gun deal gone wrong. He was thoroughly despised by all, but he was also feared. He was expert with both gun and knife, and many a found body was attributed to him, although there was never sufficient evidence to bring charges.

Until now.

Two weeks ago, Bob had just finished a yarn, and the tavern was still laughing when Lucky Jack appeared, wanting to know what was so damn funny. When he was told it was Bob’s tale, he demanded that Bob retell it. Bob refused, and Lucky Jack drew his revolver. Then he heard the multiple clicks of hammers being drawn back, and he was facing a saloon full of hard, angry men. He retreated, and hadn’t been seen since.

Bob Grace rose and went into the bedroom to check on Lori Palmer. She looked somewhat better, and the color was returning to her cheeks. Her eyes were closed, and just as something caught his eye through the window and snow, she uttered a small moan.

Sometimes a man’s fate rests on a split-second decision, and as soon as Bob realized that the man walking down the road was Lucky Jack, he made one of those decisions. He pulled on his heavy coat and went to the closet.

“Going uptown, Doc. Make yourself to home.”

The doctor was reading a medical manual, and nodded absently.

Lucky Jack had halted, and was lighting a cigar as he peered from under his hat brim at the hog pen. Bob Grace stepped out from behind a big oak, shotgun at his shoulder, and both hammers back. He eyes swept the street. It was deserted in the morning hours, and the snow was falling heavily and quietly

“She ain’t there Jack. She’s alive and well and she named you as the villain who did her such evil.”

Lucky Jack slowly turned and stared at Bob Grace through the white curtain. “Don’t know what you speak of, storyteller. Put down that scattergun and we’ll talk.”

“Not this time, Jack. I mean to kill you for what you done to that girl.”

Jack grinned, and spat into a snowbank. “That would be murder, storyteller. Cold blooded murder.”

“Yes, I know it,” replied Bob, and he pulled both triggers.

The bar was closed and most of the tables were stacked in the corner. The chairs were lined up in rows and filled with onlookers. Mayor James Clements was serving as both judge and prosecutor.

“Court is in order. Doc Bailey will tell us what happened.”

“Bob Grace here found Lori Palmer in his hog pen, left for dead.” The crowd murmured. They all knew what that meant. “He picked her up and put her in bed. He heated water and filled water bottles to warm her up. Then he fetched me. She had been stabbed three times, and she had also been molested and was bleeding from her privates.” He paused and let that sink in. “She came to and told me it was a one-eared man with a slit nose. There’s only one man who answers that description and we all know it. It was lucky Jack.”

He looked around. He had his audience so he continued. “Bob Grace here saw Lucky Jack walking the road and looking at the hog pen, so he took his shotgun and confronted him. Jack went for his gun, and Bob shot him down before he could get it out.”

The doctor took his seat, and Mayor Clements called the next witness. “Bradford Dixon, say your piece.”

One after another, men came forward to testify that they had seen Lucky Jack pull a gun on Bob Grace, although each story was slightly different. At last, no one else came forward, and the mayor spoke. “Since no one else has anything to say, I will render my decision. I find the defendant…” Bob Grace came to his feet, and the mayor looked at him questioningly.

“I’d like to speak on this, Jim.”

“Defendants don’t have to testify, Bob.”

“I know it, but I want to.”

The mayor shrugged his shoulders and waved him to the witness chair. Bob sat down and looked around. Then he began to talk.

“A man is lucky to have so many friends. But what they said here today ain’t the straight of what happened. Lucky Jack was far too dangerous to be given a fair chance, he was too lucky to have a court trial, and he was too evil to let live, so I cut him down like the coyote he was. I shot him in cold blood with both barrels, and he never had a chance. He never touched his gun. I murdered Lucky Jack, and I’m ready to pay for it.”

The room was silent as Bob Grace rose from the witness chair. In the back of the room, he spotted his sons, white-faced and looking scared. He nodded and smiled, as he took his defendant’s chair. Mayor Clements studied him for a moment, and rose.

“The court has heard all the relevant testimony and finds this to be a clear case of self defense. Therefore, I find the defendant not guilty and free to go. The bar is now open.”

Bob Grace was on his center stool that night when Mayor Clements came in and took a table by the wall. Jim Clements ordered a whiskey and began to read the paper from Billings. After a moment, Bob took his beer from the bar and pulled up a chair at the mayor’s table. The mayor nodded at him and finished reading his story. Then he folded the paper and regarded Bob, who spoke.

“Hell, Jimmy, I looked you right in the eye today and told you flat out that I murdered Lucky Jack in cold blood, but you called it self defense! Didn’t you hear a word I said?”

Jim Clements took a sip of whiskey and bit the end off a cigar. He lit it and puffed it into life before regarding Bob Grace from under bushy eyebrows.

“Well, of course I heard you, Bob, but everybody knows what a damned liar you are.”

More by this Author


Comments 109 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Some people just deserve to die. I guess Lucky Jack was one of them.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I wondered how he was going to legally justify it. Can't take the word of someone who has proven untrustworthy.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

Execllent tale, well told. Now why haven't I read more of yours? I apologize for the omission.


Diane Reece 4 years ago

WELL, AFTER ALL THIS TIME OF READING YOUR MIGHTY FINE TALES OF THE OLD WEST I NEVER SAW THIS ONE COMING AND WHAT A GOOD ONE IT IS! YOU SURE CAN SPIN A YARN! LOL


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

Dang it, how many ways you gonna twist that story! Good Job! WB


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

This is one of my favorites! Do I say that every time? Maybe, but still....

"Real" authors (ones who make big bucks) are often asked where their ideas come from and I think most of them think of that as sort of a silly question. I think it's a huge compliment so:

Where do your ideas come from?

Voted up!


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

Well hunnie, another fine tale from your pen. You never cease to amaze me with your characters Bill. Each and everyone of them individual. You are in fine form on this day that I am able to catch up. Well done. Net:)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Marvellous Will. You can't "put one of your tales down"

I was hoping he was going to feed him to his favorite hog, too!

Bob


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 4 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

Wonderful! You have churned out another amazing story - I have no idea how you pour out so many. Loved it. Voted up and shared!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Becky,

The more I came to know Lucky Jack, the less I liked him.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Don,

This sort of thing actually happened in Missouri. A well known bully was shot and killed on a busy main street in broad daylight, yet nobody saw it.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Rochelle Frank, and welcome to Will Starr world!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Diane and say hi to Doug for me.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Wayne,

One of these days, I'm going to write a no twist story just to confuse everybody!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Ronnie!

I have no idea where my ideas come from. They just pop into my head. I have learned that when I do have one, I have to write it down before I forget it!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Annette!

Good to see you again.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Bob!

Never thought of feeding him to the hogs! Great idea. Maybe you should write one.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Loved, loved this Will!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi LABrashear!

I have no idea where they come from, but I'm grateful they do! I also need to catch up on you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, AudreyHowitt, and thank you so much!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Another great story WillStarr. I suppose being a "storyteller" is a good thing in any era. Thanks for a great read and a chuckle.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is another great story Will. Written by a great 'storyteller' Justice was done..


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Wonderful Story Will, with just the Right twist at the End. You've become an Excellent story teller...and so Justice was served once again, and We all benefit from your Tales.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I loved this story. I was with Diogenes and thought he would finish up as pig tucker. Lol

Just love those twists. :)

Voting up all the way


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

A perfect ending to a perfect short story. You did it again, Will. Lucky Jack got what was coming to him. I thought Bob was going to feed him to his hogs but I like your ending even better. Justice triumphed!


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 4 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Did you draw Bob in your own image?

You surely can tell a story Will, and I unashamedly say that when I see your name on the page, I read it straight away.

Excellent work.

With so many witnesses against him, who could have believed Bob anyway?


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 4 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

You are THE MAN...such a storyteller, can we believe you ?...:O) Great, just great,,,God Bless and HAPPY EASTER...:O) Hugs G-Ma


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Brenda, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Ruby!

Sometimes, a tall tale reputation can be useful!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi b. Malin, and thanks for the great comment!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Rosemay50 and drbj!

Maybe I should do a rewrite, and feed Lucky Jack to the hogs!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi John!

"Did you draw Bob in your own image?"

Sooner or later, all storytellers tell a story about storytellers...we just can't help it!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi G-Ma Johnson, and Happy Easter to you too!


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What a great, gripping story. It seemed so real!

Voted up and awesome.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Will - Great story.

The Frog


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

LOL...you do spin 'em! Adios, lucky jack! How long does it take you to think up and write one of your stories, Will?


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A brilliant story teller that's you Will.

Keep them coming;take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Ginn Navarre profile image

Ginn Navarre 4 years ago

Hey you,excellent as always and I'm old enough to tell you that I have personally wittnessed this type of JUSTICE and sometimes it is needed.

I and many others would like to see all these great stories put in a book??? I did this and am having some success on Amazon????


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

OMG, Will, this has to be one of your best stories. As usual I had no idea how it was going to end, but you nailed it, my friend--excellent work!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Blossom, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Jim!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, ImKarn23,

"How long does it take you to think up and write one of your stories, Will?"

Once I have an idea (the hard part!), the story typically takes about two hours or so to write.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Eddy!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Ginn!

Yup! Sometimes it just happens that way. A dope dealer who was selling to neighborhood kids suddenly disappeared years ago, leaving everything behind. Nobody saw a thing.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi James,

Praise from an accomplished author is always appreciated!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

This is another wonderful story from you! I am beginning to think they are all real since they feels real to me when I read them. You have a marvelous talent to tell stories about people in a way that makes them come alive from your words. Voted up!

Tina


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Your characters jump right off the page from the start, then the story makes it impossible to stop reading until the end. I like that justice was served in both cases on this one, Will.

PS I became rather fond of Daisy the pig too! Soooeeee.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you as always, Tina!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Peg!

I've always had a soft spot for pet pigs! I had two as a boy, and they followed me around like two puppies.


prettynice profile image

prettynice 4 years ago

Great story! Love it.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

We've talked about a "Book" over and over. If you don't hurry and get one pub'd, we'll have to have roller cart for it! It'll have to go in volumes, of course! Like Bob and a few others, I thought Daisy??? (pet pig) was gonna come into play. But I like your twist so much better, as usual. And, Rochelle, if this is the first of Will's you've read, don't skip any! Up, funny, awesome and interesting and all else!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Teylina!

The problem is getting a publisher interested in a collection of short stories. I can publish electronically tomorrow, but not in print.

But I'm still looking!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

The great thing that I have heard Will, is that after you have self-published, sell a bunch and then the publishers get interested in a hurry.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

I may try that!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Another fabulous story Will, loved it!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

I'd heard that, too, Becky, and thought about trying it for a novel. But Will's are soooooo good, it's a disgrace for somebody out there not to pick up on it!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee

Sweet. Now you just need to bring Lucky Jack from the grave, Will, or provide him with an even more villainous twin sister or something!

Good writing and enjoyable story :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Lesley, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Teylina, and thank you for the kind words!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Beth, and you have me thinking!

^_*


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Will, when I hit the big lottery, I'm gonna grab you and go to hollywood,and get these stories of yours on TV. It will be a western version of the Twilight Zone, and YOU will be the host of a 30 minute WillStar adventure.

I have fell in love with many of your charactors, but I really like this Bob Grace fella.

As always, up and awesome!

Chris


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

And, as always, thank you, Chris, for the kind words!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

You know what? Chris actually makes sense!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Ok, Teylina, You, Chris, and I are going to Hollywood!

Yay!


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

I agree with SubRon - this was one of your best. Bob Grace is an awesome character. Great atmosphere too. Rated up and shared!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, suziecat7!

"The Good Egg" was great!


Ghaelach 4 years ago

Morning Will and happy Easter.

I always look forward to being taken back in time by your stories, to the saturdays mornings so long ago where mum would give us a penny to go to the local saturday morning cinema to watch Zorro, Wagon Train, or Rowdy Yates on another cattle trail. Thanks for the entertainment.

Take care and have a great Easter monday.

LOL Ghaelach


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Ghaelach,

Those were the days, weren't they? My main guy was Roy Rogers, but I liked the rest too. Gene Autry was on the radio and so was Bobby Benson. I also had a Red Ryder BB gun. I have dozens of old radio shows if you want any.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

Good grief! I couldn't wait for Tom Mix movies. My cousin and I were always playing "cowboys and Indians" and once I "shot" him (all play guns, of course) and he pretended to be hurt bad and fell backward. You guessed it if you thought of a hard rock that poured blood! His mom passed out; he lived; I got in trouble! Oh, for the old wild west!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Teylina,

We played cowboys and Indians almost every day with our cap pistols, but our BB guns were real guns, and we treated them that way, so I was appalled when we moved to South Carolina to see kids shooting at one another with BB guns, playing cowboys and Indians!

Kids were graded by their ‘dying’ skills, and who was the most dramatic. Of course in those days, we all went to church every Sunday, and we would never have dreamed of taking a gun to school and actually killing each other. We have lost our moral compass.


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 4 years ago from Vancouver BC

Thanks for another perfect story Will.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Miss Marsha, and thank you!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

Seems we were playing the same game the same way--my cousin's bloody (if not fatal) faked fall outranked anything any of us did. And, like you and most others, I'm horrified at the guns and knives that are confiscated, much less the ones we hear about or get used--caught or not! I personally believe many of their games (tech) and saturation w/violence via t.v., etc. have damaged imagination. "It's okay...."


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Will,

Loved this story, and loved the name you chose for the hero, Bob Grace.

And, don't know if you've ever spent time around pigs, but your information is on target. A pig pen would have been a perfect place to dump a body.

Hogs are brilliant, but they're not picky eaters.

femme


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Teylina,

My boyhood days were without the benefit of TV, so we used our imaginations. They were better days, I think.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi femme,

I've raised hogs since I was a kid, so I'm very familiar with the critters, and yes, they will eat a human if it's a dead body, especially sows who are about to farrow, and need the protein.


klyaksa profile image

klyaksa 4 years ago

I just joined hubpages and I just read your story. It's great, the writing is wonderful.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

femme, thanks for the info. We, too, had pigs, but I wasn't privy to having to deal with them (think I'm supposed to be grateful for that), but I like learning new things about animals so thanks for your comment, and Will, like you, I never a t.v. Like you, think they were better days for kids.


Jacob 4 years ago

Very interesting story. Thanks.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, klyaksa, and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Jacob!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

Wow I cannot wait to the end to see what! I start guessing right away. First I thought there would be another guy showing up without an ear, then I thought this mean guy would be fed to the pigs, lol, but I drive people crazy guessing and you have one big fan here that smiles all the way through knowing it will always be good!


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 4 years ago

Epigramman may be my favorite poet at the Hub, but you, Mr. WillStarr are my favorite story writer! This one drew me in and held me close right up to the absolutely perfect ending! Splendid tale!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Jackie Lynnley, and thanks for the great ideas!

^_*


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi No_Clue!

Knowing that my readers enjoy my efforts is half the fun!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Anyone who is a devout fan of the Will Starr short story reads and treasures each word and each line, knowing that the ending also holds something special in store for us all. And this story is no exception. Well done!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Genna! Thanks for the great comment!


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 4 years ago from East London, in South Africa

Couldn't "put it down." Loved the feeling of "what's going to happen next?; every little thing is leading somewhere. Thoroughly enjoyed this story, and particularly how the townsfolk all stood up and protected Bob - both in the tavern and in court.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Teresa Schultz ,

The Old West had all sorts of tough men because it was required for survival. Criminals often had their day on the gallows simply because they were a nuisance. Good cooks and entertainers were treasured and protected.

Thank you for your kind words!


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 4 years ago from East London, in South Africa

So being a good story teller in those days was a great way of being protected - and now you bring it all to life in being a good story teller yourself!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Teresa!


Ghost32 4 years ago

ROFLMAO!

Mostly, laughing at myself. For whatever reason, I see 9 out of 10 or your twists coming from a mile away--maybe due to Tam's influence. But not on this one! Like some of your other readers, I was all for feeding him to the hogs...but then Bob would've needed to get rid of the clothing, which would be all lice infested, which would mean, the heck with that.

Then the trial...and nope, never saw the twist coming at all. You did this one SO well, I got SO into the story, that I forgot you do that!

Voted Up and Across.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Fred!

Happy to deceive! Thank you, buddy.


Dani Novoa 4 years ago

I think the way it concluded was more out of the respect Bob gained by entertaining and the character he showed by rescuing the girl. They all knew Bob murdered Jack. Another great short!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi, Dani!

I guess the judge saw the wisdom and justice in Bob's decision to simply execute Lucky Jack.

In any case, he couldn't jail or hang the town's primary entertainment. The town might have hung the judge!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

"A first impression is a lasting impression" rings true sometimes.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Levertis Steele!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks for reading!


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 4 years ago from Somewhere in the West

LOL WillStarr you are good with short stories.

Keep up your work billy am sure your teacher would be proud of you today if she's still alive.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi LadyFiddler ,

I think Mrs. Greene is probably teaching the angels by now. That was a long, long time ago, and in South Carolina.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 4 years ago from Somewhere in the West

lol Will good one but they'll quicker teach her :) well if she made it to heaven she's looking down and you and smiling perhaps saying there goes billy. LOL


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

I have no doubt that any teacher who put up with me more than earned their way in Heaven.

^_^


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

Somehow, I'd believe that. If anyone writes outside the box he/she probably grew up outside the box and teachers, unfortunately, don't usually like that or even understand it!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Teylina,

I had forgotten that aspect. One of my teachers submitted a story I wrote to a state university, where it won her an award as a teacher. For my part, I was downgraded on the story because I did not follow the rules for writing fiction.

I still don't.

^_^


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

Oh, yeah, brother. Kinda been there, done that in other ways--that would have stung even worse than mine! But don't ever, ever write by someone else's rules; yours are fine enough! That does seem like such a unfair thing to do it shouldn't have been allowed!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

It was bizarre. She got an award for teaching a kid to write a good story, while at the same time, she gave that kid a poor grade for not doing it her way, and for the same story!

Now that is funny!


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

Just when I think I figured out which way the twist was going to go, it changed at the very end. This is another great WillStarr story. :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, Rachael!

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