A Cowboy's Revenge
All he wanted was a bit of western justice...
Thoroughbred my *ss! Shadow threw me off the saddle after getting spooked by a tumbleweed, yes a little tumbleweed! He left me to walk the rest of the way to the town of Sweet Water.
I’ve got cotton mouth that could kill a rattler and bone dry cactus flesh that weeps for rain. One foot in front of the other I walk…the soles of my shoes worn with the desert sand seeping in along with the little critters that burrow in it.
I’m on the quest to find my daddy’s killer and bring him to justice.
No man in his right mind would gun down such a kind hearted fellow, not to play family favorites, but he never hurt a fly.
Just as the raw, suffocating heat becomes unbearable and I see Sweet Water in the distance. It is a small thriving town that don’t taken to strangers very well. I didn’t care…Sweet Water is where I’ll have my vengeance, I can only hope that the law doesn’t get in my way.
Tully tip toes into Sweet Water Saloon to get some water. He immediately feels uncomfortable eyes tearing him apart with tension in every breath. His gullet is too sticky and foul to challenge anyone.
“Whatta you’ll have?”, the bar keeper grunted while slowly cleaning a glass, reluctant to take his eyes off such a stranger.
“Water!”, Tully gasped while collapsing on the red painted wooden bar stool.
“Water ain’t free, afraid you’ll have to buy something boy”, the bar keeper snarled.
“What does it look like?”, Tully asked while tossing his last piece of silver on the counter.
“One shot of whisky”, the bar keeper summed up while biting the silver to satisfy it’s worth.
“I’m much obliged”, Tully said while the bar keeper shoved the silver into his pocket.
“You know we don’t taken kindly to strangers around here…so just keep your mouth shut and your gallon hat down over your eyes”, the bar keeper smiled dangerously.
Tully downed his whisky and then gulped down the tin cup of water. It was truly sweet water…the best he ever had.
Everything was going smoothly until the Sherriff’s deputy came with some of his tagalongs.
“Hey Emmit how’s about a round for me and my friends!”, the deputy yelled while sitting at the table.
“You haven’t paid the tab in a week!”, Emmit the bar keeper pointed out while he swept the dusty wooden plank floor.
“I told you my daddy will take care of it…he takes care of all my affairs!”, the deputy insisted.
“Your daddy may be the mayor of this town, but you are the one drinking my liquor so…pay up or take your dusty bottoms elsewhere”, Emmit sharply said.
“I’m the deputy of this town…my word is my bond…just give us a few rounds and I reckon I will pay you back in full plus interest tomorrow at high noon”, the deputy cleverly insisted.
“You think just because you are the deputy of this town you can do what you want!” Tully said underneath his breath.
“I don’t believe we have met freckles”, the deputy said while leaning back into his chair.
“Tully’s the name and revenge is my game”, Tully speaks.
“Well I’m Bo St. Claire AKA Boomer”, he laughed.
“Charmed I’m sure”, Tully tips his hat sarcastically.
“Boy…do you know why I’m called Boomer?”, Bo intimidated.
“Because you sh*t your paints and knock off your spurs!”, Tully fires back unshaken by his star badge and funny drunken clan.
Bo became quiet…his teeth grinded, his eyes bulged…he was livid.
As Bo stood up and faced Tully…Tully noticed his side arm…as Tully leaned forward he realized it was his daddy’s gun.
“Are you eying my gun boy?”, Bo asked while stroking his shiny gun resting in the holster.
“That’s not your gun!”! Its my daddy’s gun!”, Tully screamed while quickly reaching inside his coat for his revolver.
The bar keeper ducked under the bar and the deputy shot Tully in the shoulder without a blink.
Tully dropped to the floor in pain as the deputy and his “entourage” drug him out of the saloon.
Tully laid on the dirt road crying in agony and firmly pressing on his wound.
“I never miss center mass! Your one lucky son of a bit*h! Sadly I have to take your life so I can defend mine!”, Bo said while hocking back on his gun.
“Boomer leave the boy alone!!!”, a voice sternly ordered.
A husky man dismounted off his white high horse and marched towards them.
“Henry…this boy reached for his gun first…I had to shoot him…he gave me no choice”, Bo cried.
“Remember Boomer I am still the Sherriff of this town and you can’t go off killing anybody that hurts your feelings… mayor‘s son or not”, Henry reinforced.
Henry helped Tully to his feet and had Bo hold him while he did a pat down.
“You said you shot him because you were defending your life…right?”, Henry asked.
“Yeah, that’s right!”, Bo answered.
“Funny…you shot an unarmed man!”, Henry yelled.
“But Sir he was reaching for it and….”, Bo tried to explain.
“Boomer…you are hereby suspended until further notice, hand over your gun and badge”, Henry demanded.
“But Sir…”, Bo cried.
“Now!”, Henry sternly ordered.
“I’ll tell my daddy about this…I’ll have your job before the end of the week!”, Bo snarled.
“Go ahead cry to your daddy…I’ll be delighted to explain the details to him”, Henry replied.
Bo shuffled down the street with his gang and soon was gone.
“Boy…what’s your business here?”, Sherriff Henry Sprocket asked.
“I’m here to find my daddy’s killer”, Tully honestly grunted while hunched over in pain.
“I’m sure you’ll go far without a gun!”, Henry chuckled.
“How do you know I even need a gun to do the deed?”, Tully asked while making strides to walk along with Henry.
“Cause you don’t look like the axe swinging type nor the one who can kill with his bare lady hands”, rationalized Henry.
“Your right…a gun is my weapon of choice and the truth is I did have a gun on me, but I had forgotten I traded it for food and shelter after my horse ran off ” Tully admitted.
“So…boy who was your father?”, Henry asked while assisting Tully to walk.
“His name was Verne Swanson”, Tully slurred.
Tully passed out cold….Henry placed Tully across his horse and walked to the home of Dr. McCormick.
Tully could feel his arms handcuffed to an iron bed frame, he struggled to get free.
“Take it easy son…the doctor patched you up, but you are still fighting an infection”, Henry reassured while placing his mature right hand on his heated forehead.
“Where am I? and why am I cuffed to the bed? I didn’t do nothing!” Tully growled.
“You are in Dr. McCormick’s home and you have been asleep for days. Don’t worry your not the one in trouble, I am”, Henry gently said while peaking at his open wound through the dressings.
“I don’t understand”, Tully said.
“You will…that is why I have you cuffed”, Henry said.
Henry placed Tully’s father’s gun on the sheets and waited for Tully to respond.
“That’s my father’s gun!!! Boomer killed my father to get it!”, Tully cried.
Boomer didn’t kill your father Tully…I did!”, Henry sadly confessed.
“You son of a bit*h!!!! You murderer!!! How could you!!! How could you!!! I’m going to kill you if it’s the last thing I do!!!”, Tully roared while trying to break free leaving bloody contused wrists behind.
“Please let me explain what happened”, Henry said with tears in his eyes.
“You greedy bast*rd!!!! He had gold and you had to pry it from his dead hands because you wanted it so much!! How could you do that to him! He would of never done anything like that!, Tully cried not wanting to hear the blubbering excuses that surrounded his murder.
“What exactly were you told about your father’s death? Were you even there?”, Henry asked.
“I didn’t have to be! My mother told me everything!”, Tully raged still trying to break free to break Henry’s neck.
“Everything you were told about your father’s death was a lie!”, Henry expressed with conviction.
“I don’t want to know anything else…I came here to find my daddy’s killer and I don’t want to know anything else!”, Tully shouted.
“Tully listen to me….I grew up with your father…he was a good man, but he made some wrong choices that got him killed!”, Henry eased while being spitted on.
“If you knew him as such a good man, then…why would you do such a thing? When he died we were left with NOTHING!! Did you hear me…NOTHING!!! We would have starved to death if mama hadn’t prostituted herself and wed a gunslinger from Utah!”, Tully gasped with a rapid breath.
“I know how poor your family was. You had twin sisters and grew up on your grandfathers ranch, your father did everything he could to provide for you and your family…but….he was prideful when I offered help, he was foolish!”, Henry confessed.
“The only fool here is you! Only a fool could murder an innocent man!”, Tully yelled once more, but he tired easily and allowed the cuffs to cradle him.
“Do you want to hear the truth or not? You know I’ve got better things to do!”, Henry said.
“Suit yourself, but it won’t change how I feel about you, your days are numbered”, Tully stuttered with a fresh round of chills icing his chest and upper back.
“Tully do you know why your father came to Sweet Water?”, Henry asked.
“Yup…during the drought he found gold on the ranch and went to cash it in!”, Tully responded resting his head on his suspended arm.
“Alright…but did you know that the gold he found was worthless?”, Henry revealed with a sharp stare.
“What are you talking about…I saw it…it was beautiful…it was going to feed us for a long time”, Tully cried.
“Tully…the gold was not pure”, Henry whispered.
“But…that can’t be…he sent us a message saying we wouldn’t have to worry about money anymore!”, Tully said.
“Once your father found out…he was so distraught and heartbroken that he couldn’t face you and tell you that he failed. During that time of desperation he met Billy The Kid…Do you know who Billy The Kid is?”, Henry asked.
“Yeah a wild cowboy like me!”, Tully smirked.
“That he is…but he is also an outlaw, bank robber and murderer. You see Billy the Kid made your daddy an offer he couldn’t refuse. Your father joined Billy The Kid and robbed Sweet Water Bank for half of the pot”, Henry explained.
“My daddy wasn’t a criminal! You’re a pathetic liar!”, Tully sassed.
“Believe what you want…but the truth doesn’t make me sleep better at night”, Henry said
“Why did you gun him down?”, Tully cried.
“The robbery went terribly wrong when the bank teller decided to fight back so Billy shot him. I didn’t have a clear shot on Billy because there was a man standing in front of him with his face covered with a blue and white bandanna, so to get to Billy I had to shoot him.
Billy escaped using your daddy as a shield and then threw him at me on the way out. When I removed his bandanna…I knew it was your father…I was crying as I tightly held his hand. I asked him if there was anything I could do. Your father said I’m so sorry…and his last words were Lord please forgive me”.
“Even if you knew it was him….would it have made a difference…would you have still shot my daddy to get to Billy?”, Tully asked.
“I would like to think that I would never do such a thing, but I’m the law in these parts and your father accepted the risks when he agreed to ride along with Billy The Kid. My life’s work is to enforce the law, preserve lives if I can, and protect the people”, Henry honestly explained.
“Where is Billy now?”, Tully asked.
“ Last I heard he was sprung from jail by some governor”, Henry said while unlocking the cuffs to Tully’s blistered hands.
As soon as Tully’s hands were freed he struck the Sherriff hard across the jaw with his feverish fist and took a firm grip on his father’s gun.
“I guess I deserve that!”, Henry grunted.
“Which is the way towards the jail?”, Tully asked while getting dress and standing on his swollen feet.
“East…that way”, Henry pointed.
“I’m going after him…for half of the loot my father died for…and if he refuses to hand it over…he will never see twenty-two!”
This was my first Western I have ever written…hope you enjoyed it!