Western Short Story - The T-J Connected War

War on the T-J Connected



I knew who it was as soon as I saw the cloud of dust off to the east. And I knew James would be riding with them. That foolish young pup thought those Brenton boys were someone to look up to, but all they were was Dentonville trash.

I looked over towards the barn and Tom was outside the big doors shading his eyes against the morning sun. He looked up, saw me standing on the porch and nodded. He disappeared back into the gloom of the barn where he had two Henry rifles hidden under the hay. He would be ready. Tom was steady as a rock. It was hard to believe Tom and James were brothers.

My father, big Tom Jackson, bought the two hundred acres where he built the house and barns and claimed another hundred thousand acres by right of possession and sheer will power. He dammed up four runoffs for water holes and developed three good springs. As a result, he had water when no one else did, but he shared it. He was a good neighbor, and people respected him.

He had fought off Indians, weather, and bandits. When rustlers ran off a small herd of cattle, he tracked them down and hung those who survived the gun battle. After that, wiser folks decided to leave the T-J Connected strictly alone.

When I was fourteen, a band of marauders left over from the war rode into the ranch yard and demanded horses and food from Pa. My brother George and I emptied three saddles from the hayloft and Ma blasted the leader with two loads of buckshot from the double-barreled Greener she kept by the stove. The rest wisely raised their hands and Pa fetched some rope from the barn. While he was shaping up a noose, he quietly suggested they might find Missouri more to their liking that time of year. They gathered up their dead and left out of there in a hurry.

George was my older brother, and Pa set a lot of store by him. It was generally accepted that he would inherit being the oldest and all, so I made plans of my own. I wanted to go east to Saint Louis and study for the law. Pa didn’t think much of it at first, but Ma slowly changed his mind, as she was prone to do. She made Pa think it was his idea, and if it was his idea, hell wouldn’t have it until it came to pass.

The dust was nearer now, so I stepped around the corner to the summer kitchen and checked the loads in Ma’s old Greener. I took it back to the front porch and laid it in her favorite flower box where no one could see it. Then I went into the parlor and strapped on my gun belt, checking the loads in my Colts .44. I went back on the porch and looked to the barn. The hay loft doors were now slightly cracked open and I could see the glint of a Henry barrel. Tom was ready.

The summer before I was to go to Saint Louis, we had rounded up five hundred head of fat cattle, and got them ready to drive to the railhead by Santa Fe. I had my gear packed and ready for the drive, but Pa had different plans, and he took me aside.

“I know you’re every bit a good a hand as your older brother, but I need someone to stay with your ma. You’re in charge while I’m gone.”

I was disappointed, but then, Pa had left me in charge, so I swelled up some with pride. He left behind two broken down old cowhands, and I bossed them around pretty good. We mended fence and cut three big stacks of hay against the coming winter. We cleaned out the barn and spread manure on Ma’s garden plot. By the time Pa got back, those two old cowboys were worn to a frazzle and glad to see him, at least until we all learned the news.

Pa was driving a wagon instead of riding astride, and in the back of the wagon was a box with my brother George’s body in it. It seems they were fording a river when George’s horse stepped into a hole and panicked. George was thrown and despite being a good swimmer, he disappeared under the roiling water.

It took two days to find his body where it had snagged on some underwater roots. Pa sent the herd on with his foreman and took George to a nearby town tied across a saddle. There he had him put in a decent coffin and brought him home for burial.

After that, Pa was never the same. Oh, he still went about the business of the ranch, but his heart wasn’t in it anymore. Ma lived her own hell of losing a child, and I gradually took over the operation of the ranch. A few years after, Ma and Pa died within a week of one another, and I was left alone with the ranch.

Now, twenty five years later with two sons and my own love dead and buried on the knoll, it had come to this. The Brenton brothers had hired lawyers to research the deeds and holdings of the various ranches. They had driven off the weaker owners with threats of lawsuits and the one who resisted had been found dead. The brothers had succeeded in amassing a huge holding and all they lacked for building a cattle empire was sufficient water for their stock, so they were now after the T-J Connected. But the worst part was that my own son had thrown in with them.

James had always bucked my authority, from the first time he climbed into a saddle. He was a top hand on the ranch, I’ll give him that, and he was never lazy, but if I said black, he said white. Of late, he had been running with that Brenton crowd, and the last time Tom had gone to Dentonville, his younger brother had braced him. Tom simply put his big hand on his younger brother’s shoulder and gave it a powerful squeeze. As James’ face turned white, Tom quietly reminded him that he could whip him three ways to Wednesday any day of the week, and asked if he wanted Tom to demonstrate right there on Main Street in front of everybody. James shook his head no, and that was the end of it.

The sun was now in the lower branches of the big cottonwood, and I could hear the steady drum of hooves. From the sound, I estimated about ten riders, and from the dust, they would just be crossing Woods Creek, which was dry this time of year. In the barnyard, three young hens were pecking at something under the watchful eye of an old rooster. The horses in the corral had their necks craned in the direction of the coming riders, their ears perked and alert. Far off to the south, three hands were supposed to be mending fence. I couldn’t tell if they were aware of the coming confrontation, but in any case, they were far too distant to help.

The drumming of the hooves paused. They had arrived at the east gate. I went back into the parlor and picked up my old Henry. I levered a round into the chamber as I stepped back on the porch and laid it beside the shotgun in the flower box. I was as ready as I could get.

I seated myself in the porch swing and waited. I glanced at the barn in time to see Tom wave at me from the doors of the hay loft. Then he closed the door to a crack and I looked down the road.

To the east, the ranch road dipped into small wash and then climbed a small rise before disappearing from sight on the other side. The dust boiled up on the far side of the rise and then the first riders’ heads appeared. I counted nine, and James was in front, alongside the Brenton brothers.

The chickens scattered in panic as they rode into the barnyard and wheeled their horses to face the house. I stayed seated and looked my son in the eye until he became uncomfortable and shifted his gaze. Then I stood and walked to stand by the flower box. John and Harvey Brenton watched me with small, unconcerned smiles on their faces. Finally, Harvey spoke up.

“Reckon you know why we’re here. Lawyer Davis says you got no legal claim to nothing other than the two hundred acres your buildings sit on. The rest is open range that you got no claim on.”

He paused, waiting for me to answer, and I did.

“We claim the entire T-J connected by right of more than fifty years possession, and we also hold proved up deeds to all the water holes, springs, dams and water rights.”

Harvey glanced at his brother. They had not known about the deeds Pa had filed on the water holes. Without the T-J water, their scheme was worthless. They decide to bluff. John Brenton nudged his horse forward a step or two.

“Them deeds ain’t worth nothing. We’re claiming the T-J.”

I looked at James.

“Are you going to side with these skunks against your own kin? They’re determined to have the T-J and I’m just as determined to deny them, so in a few moments, there will be blood spilled in this old barnyard. Where will you stand, James? I won’t shoot my own son, so I guess you’ll have to shoot me.”

His eyes widened in realization. This was not some lark where he could visit old resentments on me. This was serious business and people could die, including me. He hesitated, glancing sideways at the Brentons. Then he shrugged.

“Reckon I’ll put my horse in the corral. I can’t go against kinfolk.”

He wheeled his horse and started for the barn.

‘Hold up there, James,” Harvey Brenton barked. “You stay put until I give you my leave!”

James turned and faced the remaining eight riders. A look of anger crossed his face, but was quickly replaced by a look of resolve that I had seen many times. But this time, there was a maturity in it, rather than the sullen, resentful look I had come to know so well.

I looked over the Brenton riders. They were all saloon slugs and Dentonville low life, but they were all armed. I glanced up at the hay loft and was gratified to see an unwavering Henry barrel poking out of the cracked doors.

“You and your thieving brother can just turn around and ride on out of here, Harvey Brenton. As I said, I hold deeds to all the water on the TJ, so you just take your collection of bums and drunks and head back to Dentonville where you belong. The TJ is ours, and it will stay that way.”

If it hadn’t been for Red Saunders, a local bully-boy who sat his horse off to my left, it might have ended then and there. But I guess he must have taken real offense at my description of the Brenton crew because he jerked his Winchester out of its scabbard and tried to pull down on me. His horse spooked a little at the sudden movement, and before he could get set again, Tom’s Henry spoke from the hay loft, and Red’s worries were over.

The Brenton boys spun as one toward the barn and both Tom and James were firing. John Brenton jerked and fell from the saddle, and I felt Ma’s old shotgun slam my shoulder as a load of buckshot found Harvey Brenton. For a moment, he stared at me in astonishment and realization. Then he slumped to the ground. I swung the barrel to cover the others, and Tom kicked open the hay loft doors, jacking in another round. James nudged his horse and moved behind the remaining men, gun drawn and steady. We had them boxed.

Stunned at the sudden violence, the remaining five riders stared in silence, slowly moving both hands to their saddle horns and far way from their guns.

“Drop those gun belts and rifles and then back away!’

They complied, and James dismounted, gathering up their arms.

“I’ll leave your guns with that no account town marshal in Dentonville. You can pick them up there. Now pick up this trash from my barnyard and get off my land. And if I ever see any of you on the TJ again, I‘ll kill you without warning.”

Tom came down from the loft and stood beside his brother as we watched them ride away. He briefly put his arm around James’ shoulders, and then went to the pump for a drink.

“James.”

He looked up to me where I still stood on the porch.

“Come up here James.”

He mounted the steps and stood there looking at me, his eyes no longer defiant. I backhanded him hard across the mouth. He took a step back and stared at me, his upper lip beginning to bleed.

“Don’t you ever go against your family again. Not ever!”

For a moment he just stood there and then he began to smile with his still bleeding lips.

“Reckon I had that coming. I’ve been sassing you for years when I should have been respecting you. It won’t ever happen again.”

I nodded and smiled back at him.

“Good. A son should always respect his mother.”



More by this Author


Comments 108 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Well that was a surprise ending.


Ginn Navarre profile image

Ginn Navarre 5 years ago

Excellent as always and the endings are the special twist of surprise that I admire.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

You are amazing. The ending was a total surprise, but your talent is not. Voted up and awesome!


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

Up, awesome and as surprised and impressed as everyone else. Great story and wonderful twist!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Bravo! Your stories are so engaging that I forget where I am.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Nifty reading WillStarr!;)


Diane 5 years ago

THANKS AGAIN WILL AND WHAT MAKES YOUR STORIES DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS

IS THAT TWIST AT THE END. REALLY ENJOYED THIS ONE.


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

Another great tale Bill, have you ever thought of writing and entering these stories for a play? Poetic justice from this one along with lovely descriptions of the surroundings. Well done my friend.


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya Will, Darn! You got me again! Outstanding! I just love your stories and the twist you give at the end. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story from beginning to end. You are such a talented story teller. Definitely thumbs up and awesome!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks dahoglund

Gald you enjoyed it.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks breakfastpop, but you are the genius because you do it every day!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Poohgranma.

Your approval is special.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you cat on a soapbox!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Mentalist acer.

Nice praise from an admired writer!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Bluestar,

It has also been suggested that my three Christmas stories would make good Hallmark specials.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you sweet Rosie!


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

I had to read this twice! Had I missed something? Nope! You are a trickster! Nicely done.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi RJ

There were hints, but yes, I love the twist.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

You made my day Willstarr. I always wait for your next story with great anticipation, and here it was. Up and awesome.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks Mike!

Your approval is always welcome. Some day we'll get together for Mexican food and a cold beer!


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 5 years ago from Illinois

WillStarr Your story was full of suspense. I know that you are personally a winner!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Nan!

I really appreciate your kind words!


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Wonderful work. Beautiful picture. Awesome . God Bless You.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you stars!


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042

You have a nice touch with western stories. Excellent work! Peace!! Tom


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Tom!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This is another excellent story that kept my eyes glued to the screen and I liked your surprise ending as well. voted/rated awesome.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 5 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Great story...surprised like all the other's...!!!! Have a nice evening...:O) Hugs G-Ma


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Pamela!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you G-Ma Johnson.

Happy to please!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

I love the way you weave your stories, pulling the reader in...and giving the surprise ending like only you can my friend. Always a pleasure to read from start to finish, candy for the eyes!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you b. Malin!

Your comments are always welcome.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Old West myth and legend, spun with action and praire dust. Quiet smoke drifting from barrels and bullet holes. WillStarr, you've done it again!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you mckbirdbks!


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 5 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you Will for another macnanimous story, keep them coming. Thanks for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Faye!


Ghost32 5 years ago

Well done, Will; it was worth the wait. You finally snuck one in on me, too. Either I'm off my game tonight, or you're getting better and better at disguising the twist.

It also reminded me of a situation back in Montana. My kid sis and her husband took a vacation one year, left their place unattended for a bit. While they were gone, neighbors down the road just ran a herd into their corrals--a mighty fine set at that, which my brother-in-law had built post by post--and used the pens to cut the herd like they owned the place. Insolent trespass, and plenty of it.

Thing was, the fella what done this was an old classmate of mine, clear from first grade through high school graduation. We only ever had words once, when I called him out for teasing my sis--and he knocked me flat with a single punch. Taught me a fair bit right then and there, that pure speed and aggression can cover a whole host of shortcomings. I've learned a little more every year since then, and a set-to between us today wouldn't be pretty from any angle.

But had it been my place where he'd helped himself like that, a settling-up would have been absolutely essential.

Fortunately for all concerned, I reckon, my little sister ain't 6 years old any more, and--all things considered--the corral thing wasn't my fight. Far as I know, she & her husband simmered a bit and swallowed the insult. Best for all concerned, most likely.

But I'm just as glad I live out of state these days...:)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Ghost and thank you.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Great. I like the sting in the tail. I still remember the Lonesome Dove books, and old Max Brand, Lamour, and some of the others if I think for a bit. Are these exerpts from a larger work of yours?

Well, time for breakfast. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do! Bob


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Very well done Will. You are THE "western" writer. Keep up your great work!


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Will, you are a masterful writer. The images unveil in constant motion, not unlike a movie, drawing the reader in.

You write magnificent westerns.

voted up and awesome.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Oh, how I love this! To share a secret, the Old West and the tough people have always held a special place for me. To be Miss Kitty and have Matt Dillon for a sheriff and a huge ranch with all those acres....

A masterpiece here WillStarr!!

I especially loved that Ma had her own piece. Yeah!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Whoa..what great twist at the end there, Will! I love your use of words when you write a story...they are perfect for the telling of it, and always keep me fully engaged if not enthralled. Voted up and awesome!


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

I can ONLY say that this is another stunning tale, and (as you name is W)you come last on my list, but first on my reads!

Thanks for my pleasure! Great twist in the tail.

John


Literary Geisha profile image

Literary Geisha 5 years ago from Philippines

dang, i did not see that coming! WillStarr you are a GENIUS.

i love cowboy stories (if that's what they're called). there's a certain quality to them that you won't find in other fiction stories. i'll be looking forward the next pieces.


TimBryce 5 years ago

Will -

Nice job, good way to start my day.

All the Best,

Tim


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Will, I didn't see that one coming! That is one tough Ma!

Like always, I enjoyed this very, very much.

:)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi diogenes

No, this is a new story. I get an idea and start typing!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi micky and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

H Fay and thank you!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Hyphenbird!

Lots of western women had their own firearms. Many kept a derringer hidden in their clothing.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Genna!

Glad you enjoyed it!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi aguasilver!

My most faithful follower!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Literary Geisha!

Feel free to browse.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Tim!

Good to see you again.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi CMerritt!

Thank you for the kind words!


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Man, I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your work. As you know, I was one of your original followers Will. I told you then how you impressed me, and now in such a short time, I think you have more followers than me. I told Mike (Old Poolman) that you were going to be a super star, and you're making me look like a genius.

My comments are just like the other typical warm fuzzy types, but Will, you DO have something special

jim


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you TheManWithNoPants!

I hope you're right, buddy!!


Radioguy profile image

Radioguy 5 years ago from Maine

Great job, Will. You have a gift for realistic dialogue and keeping the reader guessing, all traits of the master storyteller.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Whoa, I had to re-read a portion of this one as the ending through me for a loop! Dynamic tale of the west with a wonderful eye-opener ending. Love this! You are in class of your own, Will.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Outstanding tale Will. Once you write your book, you should tell us how to get an autogrpahed copy. Me first! Thanks for sharing.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks Amy!

I'm glad you enjoyed.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks AA!

If I'm published, I'd be happy to oblige!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

A great Western story, depicting a family who fights for their rights and the wayward Son comes home, enjoyed very much Will, really written well too.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Cute, cute Will - MY kinda mom!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

And mine akirchner!

In fact, mine was like that (except for the Backhand!)


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

An excellent write Will, you should put these into a book, I love reading old western stories.

God Bless


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi VV!

The attempt to publish in book form is underway.

Thank you my friend!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I told you before, Will, and I'll tell you again. You ARE the man! I was enthralled by just your story but absolutely knocked for a loop by the denouement at the end. Bravo!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you drbj!

It's great fun to lead my readers astray. :-)


Williamdelacy profile image

Williamdelacy 5 years ago from Burma

This was certainly a good piece of writing, I enjoyed it. I liked how simple some of the writing was, the imagery was very clear.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

I love endings with twists and turns and a big surprise. What a story, very enjoyable read.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

I loved the story within a story, and the linkage that allowed your unexpected ending...right down to the last word...Your wide-open plain-speaking dialogue carries an authenticity that speaks throughout this short story...Great writing, voted up, way up, and awesome...Larry


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Williamdelacy!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Bobbi!

I'm glad you liked it!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you, maven101, for the kind comments.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

All the good comments have been taken but I must say, howdy partner, great story with an even better ending.

Yehaw.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

LOL! :-)

Thanks Peg.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

You cheater! You know darn well where you misled us with that whole older brother thing! That is one manly mamma though.

I like the subtle fact that Tom squeezed James's shoulder - that one confused me because I figure that the father is the one to deal out physically imposing threats. Most writers would never bother with that kind of detail.

Excellent work, well written and very entertaining.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Alexander Mark!


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Hello Will, I was glued to your story, however mostly your writing is so so so good, you flow like a pro, you whisper and it's loud, I enjoyed this era and also I am attracted to the wild west, however I like to write it from the prepective of the Native Americans. I feel so honored to know you and to read this most awesome story, I will be waiing for more rate up love & peace darski


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Darlene.

Have you read The Dawn Raid?


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

Wow - I've been sick and now only beginning to catch up on things. This story was worth the wait. I was completely surprised by the ending and always do love your portrayal of strong women. Good stuff as usual.


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Will you're so good at building the story and the ending comes right at ya. Well done and nicely done. Good storytelling for your captive audience here. All that's missing is the campfire.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Suzie and thank you!

(All my western women are strong, otherwise, they aren't western!)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi chspublish,

You're right...I have to do something about that missing campfire!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

So...we finally see the "T-J Connected". You sure know how to sneak up on a man, Will. This one caught me stone cold, pants around my ankles. I liked though! Thanks much! WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

(LOL!)

Thanks Wayne!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Will, this'n out spun a Mezican Bool, El Kabong....... thanks dusty (it was kpho channel 5, i thin)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

LOL!

Thanks Dusty.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Great story.....I love your endings.....I also sent this e-mail to my brother who I believe will get a big kick out of it....voted up...thanks for sharing your awesome story


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Hi Cogerson and thank you.

(I grew up near the Iowa town of Coggon, and your nic always reminds me of that.)


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 5 years ago from Vancouver BC

Very well written story Will Star and a GREAT Ending.Voted up and awesome.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Marsha!

Much appreciated.

(And thank you for the fan mail!)


Maggie-May profile image

Maggie-May 5 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

Great writing Will, I felt a part of this story... What I would give to have lived during those days.. Thanks for this wonderful story!!!

MM


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Maggie-May

Those were hard times, but they were also good times for hardy people.


Brutus Orkney profile image

Brutus Orkney 5 years ago from AZ

Mr. Starr, I hope you remember us little folks, once you sign that huge publishing contract!! Awesome story, definitely rated up and awesome!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thank you Scott!


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Right Will this time you're in big trouble, taking me for a ride AGAIN, with the last bloody word this time. I said i wouldn't let it happen. I feel like i've been branded with a hot iron. That was one hell of a great story, surely a publisher would jump at a collection of your stories? Cheers mate to our wild west correspondent.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

LOL!

Thank you attemptedhumour!


Plarson profile image

Plarson 5 years ago from Alabama

Will- Great piece!! I was totally surprised by the ending, my closed minded self had thought it was the dad! -Paul


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

That was my evil plan, Plarson! :-)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...it took me so long to scroll down to the bottom of this screen Mister Starr that I do believe they gave Billy the Kid that pardon they were talking about all these years later - and if you didn't invent the western genre of short stories then you have re-invented it.

Always love the way they flow like a Frederic Remington painting (one of my favorites) and please check out Micky Dee's new hub about the Indian chief - what a classic that is - well just like your classic writing!!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks EPI and I'll check out Micky's latest.


mquee profile image

mquee 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

What can I say Will, but great story. Just like the others, I really enjoyed it.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks Mquee!


quester.ltd profile image

quester.ltd 5 years ago

never, never try to take from a woman what is hers

q


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Thanks, quester.ltd, for the great comment!

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