ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing»
  • Creative Writing

Jimmy Walker - A Western Short Story - Conclusion.

Updated on August 7, 2012

Conclusion


The morning dawned cool and damp. They made a breakfast of bacon, beans, and tortillas bought from the Felix ranch. The trail was somewhat washed out but still easily visible to a skilled tracker like Ty Conners. His father had employed several Apache cowhands, and they had taught the boy well.

To the east loomed the brooding Superstition Range, and as they crossed the shallow Salt River, the small village of Phoenix lazed in the morning sun, far to the west. The trail then led north, and in the general direction of the Cartwright ranch, Seven Springs, and the Verde River.

It was noon of the following day before they found the next body. For a long time, the sheriff and deputy stared at the dead man and then at each other. He was laid out on the sand, with his pants down around his ankles, and a hole in the center of his forehead. There was a combined look of fear and astonishment on his face.

They dismounted, and while Logan Newberry studied the body, his deputy scouted around, returning in a few moments with another note. He read it, chuckled, and handed it to the sheriff.

“I was looking for a spot to relieve myself when I come up on this Jasper. I reckon he had the same notion because he was just squatting down when I come around them rocks yonder. We was both took back some and surprised, with him having his gun belt hanging on a mesquite limb, like that. He tried for it, but with them pants down, he couldn't run, so I shot him. Maybe you and Ty should just go home.”

Since he knew Ty was there, that meant that Jimmy Walker was watching his back trail. Sheriff Newberry sat on a flat rock and filled his pipe, deep in thought. Behind him, a silent audience of giant saguaros lifted their massive arms in bewilderment at the strange ways of man.

Ty regarded him for a moment and then rolled himself a smoke in a piece of paper; a Mexican method that was becoming popular with the cowboys. After a few minutes, he spoke to the sheriff.

“Looks like we’re now following Jimmy Walker as much as the men who killed Jimmy’s woman. This killing might be seen as a fair fight, but that first killing was pure-dee murder, and torture at that..”

Logan Newberry regarded his tall, wiry deputy for a long moment. Then he spat in the sand and stood, arching his aching back.

‘You never saw what they done to Bird. I did, and so did Jimmy. Them cuts was meant to hurt, and hurt bad, and from the way it bled, they scalped her while she was still alive. What Jimmy did back there was just a tickle compared to what they done to his woman.”

Ty nodded thoughtfully. “Do you want to go on home, Sheriff? No one will care if Jimmy kills the last one, and it won’t be no mark on you.”

The sheriff walked to his horse, lifted the stirrup, and adjusted the cinch. “No, I have it to do, but you can go home if you like.”

Ty Conners grinned at Logan Newberry. “Hell, Sheriff, you couldn’t trail a herd of buffalo if they was fifty feet in front of you. I’ll go along. What about the body?”

“We’ll cover it with rocks. That’s all he deserves.”

That night, they camped at Seven Springs. Thunder rumbled far to the south, but this time, there was no rain.

They were some thirty miles from the Mogollon Rim when they discovered the last body. The trail had led them up into the foothills, and into a mixture of scrub cedars and juniper that suddenly opened into a small clearing, bordered on one side by the bottom slope of a small hill. The other side was a mix of jumbled rocks and heavy brush. Near the rocks was a dead horse, with no saddle. Ten feet away was the body of a dead man. On the far side, a big gray, stood, ground hitched and still saddled. He watched them for a moment with his ears perked, before returning to cropping the grass in front of him. Ty spoke up.

“That dead horse there is Jimmy’s. He rode bareback most times. That gray belongs to the last man, and I think that’s him lyin’ there.”

He dismounted and began to study the tracks and sign. Sheriff Newberry sat his horse for a few minutes, using his vantage point to look around. Overhead, a lone hawk called out from a cloudless sky. At last, the sheriff dismounted and walked stiffly over to the body. He recognized the face as the last of the men he was pursuing. Jimmy Walker was nowhere to be seen. Ty Conners was staring at a spot where the ground was disturbed, scratching at his four day growth of beard. At last, he walked over to where the sheriff stood, catching him by the arm and walking far enough away to be out of hearing range. He spoke quietly.

“Far as I can tell, that dead feller ambushed Jimmy from them rocks up there. He shot his horse deliberate-like to put him afoot. Damn a man who will shoot a horse!”

He spat on the ground, and wiped his mouth.

“Then he shot Jimmy. Jimmy’s canteen was holed too, just in case. There’s sign where Jimmy was lying on the ground, and he was bleeding from the head. My guess is he was unconscious for a time. It looks like this feller thought he was dead for sure after a while, and come on down. That’s when Jimmy killed him.”

The sheriff looked all around. “I wonder where Jimmy is?”

Ty Conners spoke softly. “See them creosote bushes over by that granite outcropping?”

The sheriff nodded.

“Well, if a man did not want to find Jimmy Walker, I would tell him to stay away from them bushes.”

The sheriff filled his pipe and lit it. “We’ll drop a loop on Jimmy’s horse and drag him back down the slope to that ravine. I saw a place where we can cave in part of that sandy bank on top of him. Then we’ll bury this man.”

Ty Conner’s eyebrows went up. “You want to bury this one?”

“Yes. After that, we will head for home.”

While taking care of the dead horse, they spotted the remains of a discarded wooden box, and the sheriff retrieved a board from it. Ty wondered at that but said nothing. They pulled a shovel off the pack horse and dug a grave. Ty Conners pulled the saddle off the gray, gave him some water and picketed him out on some new grass. He checked the saddle bags and canteens. Both canteens were near empty, and there was no food in the bags.

The sheriff finished filling in the grave and mopped his brow. Then he handed the shovel to Ty Conners. “Put that back, water our horses at the creek, and then saddle up. I’ll be done here in a minute and follow you down there.”

“What about that feller’s horse, Sheriff? The big gray?”

Sheriff Logan Newberry put his hat back on and turned to his deputy.

“What horse? I never seen no horse.”

Ty Conner stared at him, and then pointed over the sheriff’s shoulder at the peacefully grazing animal.

“What the hell’s wrong with you, boss? He’s standing right over there!”

The sheriff put his hand on the pointing arm and gently pushed it down. He looked directly into Ty Conner’s eyes.

“There aint no horse over there Ty. There never was.”

Realization slowly dawned on the deputy, and without another word, he gathered up the horses and went down to the creek for water. Half an hour later, the sheriff joined him and mounted up.

“You ready Ty?”

“Just about. I forgot and left my knife up there. Wait here and I’ll be right back.”

They were five miles down the trail, and Ty was in the lead when Logan noticed that his deputy’s extra canteen was missing, and his saddle bags looked empty, so he spoke up about it. Ty answered without turning around.

“I never brought no extra canteen, Logan, and I reckon we ate all the food that was in them bags.”

“Well, now I’m real sure that you brought that extra canteen, Ty, and them bags looked pretty full this morning. We better go back and find ‘em”

Ty wheeled his horse and rode back to the sheriff, halting beside him and looking directly into his eyes. “There weren’t no horse sheriff, so there weren’t no canteen or extry food neither.”

Logan Newberry stared back at the young man and then his hard set mouth turned up at the corners a little in a brief smile. He waved his deputy to take the lead, and after a few hundred yards, he spoke.

“You are a damn poor liar son.”

“So are you, sheriff, and it‘s a pleasure to know you.”

Jimmy Walker watched the retreating lawmen until they were out of sight. He had a raw furrow along his scalp, and his head ached, but he was feeling better, although he had lost some blood.

He had seen Ty Conners drop the spare canteen full of water and the sack of food. He had also watched Sheriff Logan Newberry carving on a weathered old board, before he placed it between two stones at the head of the grave. He walked over and read the inscription:


Here lies Jimmy Walker

Killed resisting arrest by Sheriff Logan T. Newberry

July 1891


He spotted one stone on top of another, and pulled out a note:

‘I have a brother in Montana name of Jubal Newberry. Just ask around. Tell him to write me when you get there.’

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      You've done it this you can get it printed it's so great. Try Smashwords it's free.

      Voted up and truly awesome, Joyce.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Joyce! That was very kind of you!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      This is a great story. I love your stories Will.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      This story is one for the books -- or book -- Will. It'll sure attract lots of readers -- just like me. Excellent story and superbly written. Best/Sis

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Becky!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Angela!

      Your opinion is always treasured.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      WillStarr - This ending to a great story makes my day complete. When can we expect the next story?

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      As soon as I read a great story by a good friend of mine!

      ^_*

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wonderful ending that had poetry, justice and reason. I was sure it would resolve in a gutsy twist with a quiet elegance, and you never disappoint. I just love these stories.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Genna!

    • profile image

      Nan Mynatt 5 years ago

      Great ending and justice was done. When are you going to write your chapter book so we can purchase it? Marked you up.

    • tjdavis profile image

      Teresa Davis 5 years ago from Moscow, Texas

      Will loved your story..so glad Jimmy Walker got his justice. Voted you up.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I was so pleased that you had published this conclusion, which I had to immediately read... as this entire story was compellingly wonderful. I always find your work to be a treat and this was well crafted and memorable.

      Voted UP & UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • mckbirdbks profile image

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

      Will, I always have to empty sand out of my boots when I finish one of your western stories. This was no exception. Your descriptive powers become more keen with each telling.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      The ending to this story gave me a smile. Justice was done and Jimmy has a new begining.

      Awesome story Will

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      A lot goes on in the desert that doesn't make the history books. Great story.

    • JaydenMiller profile image

      JaydenMiller 5 years ago from USA

      Terrific story! Bravo!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wow! I didn't put it together until the very end. Ty is on the side of Jimmy Walker!!! Never saw it coming. I can't wait for more. I hope there is a continuation.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      A mighty fine tale that I wish I had written! LOL! Great stuff, Will. WB

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Will! This is simply a masterpiece!

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      You did it again maestro!

      Publish as an eBook (Lulu dot com) and start seeing a return on your endeavours (though I guess you do that already!)

      Excellent.

      John

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Do you ever get tired of me saying "Excellent!" ? If you do you'll just have to quit writing such excellent short stories! I'm reading a western short story compilation titled "Cowboy Stories" with entries by Larry McMurty, Louis L'Amour. Zane Grey and Elmore Leonard. Your stories are just as good.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 5 years ago

      Yes in my 80 years I saw the desert help many of us to accomplish OUR justice as you know. love it!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      The conclusion to the story was so fascinating, I'll have to go back and read the beginning now. That photo is gorgeous too.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I never thought I was a "western" fan (despite my hat)....I'm glad I crossed paths with you, Will Starr, since it took you to prove me wrong. Enjoyed every righteous moment where the bad guys got what was coming to them. After the recent Aurora, CO massacre, your story of cowboy retribution gave me vicarious thrill. Magnificent writing, cowboy.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Nan,

      Chapter books are usually children's stories, and I don't think this would make a good children's story.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, tjdavis, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Maria!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Mike, and speaking of descriptive authors...!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Rosemay, and maybe we'll bring these characters back!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Don,

      There are a lot of forgotten bones in the deserts.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, JaydenMiller!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, shiningirisheyes,

      Hmm. Maybe there will be a sequel!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Wayne, and I say that about your stuff all the time!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Dex!

      Would it make a good movie?

      ^_*

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi John!

      "Publish as an eBook (Lulu dot com) and start seeing a return on your endeavour..."

      Unfortunately, I'm a complete dunce at that sort of thing!

      Want a job?

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Ronnie!

      Wow! What a great compliment! You are putting me right up there with the masters!

      Thank you.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Ginn Navarre!

      There are lots of unsavory characters out there, drying in the Arizona sun.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Sherry!

      I read some of your knucklehead Hubs! Good stuff.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm with Amy, I never read westerns until i found you, and now i can't wait for the next adventure. I loved it....

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Amy!

      While the 'who drew first' shootouts on main street were mainly fiction, old diaries and journals recorded lots of stories like this one. The old west was rough, and required sturdy men and women, but the the thread of decency ran ran through most of them, and the others were usually hung or they simply disappeared.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Ruby!

      I love the old west because it was a time of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Most of what I write is a fictional account of life on the frontier.

      Thank you!

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Another great story! Thanks.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This is another excellent story. I really liked the ending.

    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 5 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Many Thanks Will for another dramatic graphic story which catches the reader from the start with tragic action, heroism, and colorful sympathetic characters.

      Your descriptions of the desert rock formations and escarpments transports me instantly back recalling wonderful hikes in the area. I loved the part where the riders saw the little village of Phoenix. I also liked the picture you added to this story. We hope you get a book of collected works printed.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Johan Smulders!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks again, Pam!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi marshacanada!

      Haven't seen you for some time! Are you doing well?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      The photo at the top, Will? Now that's what I call a view. And this compelling story about Jimmy and the sheriff? Now that's what I call a great western tale!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, drbj!

      ^_^

    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 4 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Hi Will-I'm fine thanks. I have been travelling a lot and not writing.

      Hope to get writing again this winter. Your lively stories are a great inspiration for me.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Good to see you!

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Great story, Will, I'm catching up fast.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 4 years ago from Tennesee

      Fantastic story, Will! Your fiction always entertains :)

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, James!

      Thank you, Beth!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Will,

      I loved it as I always like any story about the west, cowboys and indians.

      Your stories are so well written, and I would love to read a western by you with a pinch of romance.

      Your Hub Friend and Fan,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Bobbi,

      I have one underway!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Will,

      I am now a happy hubber.

      Thanks

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks Bobbi!

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Yup, up, awesome, beautiful and funny also. That last line, I can just see Jimmy Walker wandering all over the tiny State of Montana looking for Jubal Newberry before he realizes he got there with no horse, no water, no food, and no name. Well done.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Jim,

      In the early days, with not too many residents, anyone of any stature at all was a known man.

      Thanks for the comments!

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      And here I thought the Sheriff had made up a new name for him too.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks, Jim!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      You are so great at these westerns. It is a true gift. I just loved this one because it is so well written and contains everything I love about an Old West story. Thank you so much for entertaining us and sharing your vivid imagination with us all.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Brenda!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      As always, loved this one too!

      Hey was that THE Cartwright ranch you mentioned? As in Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe?

      I love the way you display the true gentlemen of the West....the good was good and the bad was bad.

      This was just what I needed this weekend!

      Thanks,

      Your loyal follower,

      Chris

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Chris!

      The fictional Cartwright ranch TV set is near Lake Tahoe, but the one in my story is real, and so is the Felix ranch.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Hi Will,

      You peaked my interest, so I googled the Cartwright ranch, and I see it is now a steakhouse called the Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House - restaurant, Mesquite Bar and Ranch Room.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Definitely one of your best (oh wait - I always say that). Thanks for the enjoyable read.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Mike!

      The ranch itself still exists:

      http://www.anyplaceamerica.com/topographic_maps/ar...

      Home in on it and go to the hybrid view.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      LOL!

      Thank you, Suzie.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Will

      “You are a damn poor liar son.”

      “So are you, sheriff, and it‘s a pleasure to know you.”

      It was a pleasure to read this story. :)

      Voted up and away

      Have a good day :)

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Sueswan!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm first in line for your book my friend. I love stories about the old west! Again, thanks for your talent. Up and more and sharing.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, sweet Audrey!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      If these stories are not books they should be awesome stories..

      voted up and sharing

      Debbie

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Rough justice, and, I'm sure not uncommon in that time and place. This is a hell of a good story Will. I hope you publish where there is money to be made.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    • apache13 profile image

      Timothy C. Dove 3 years ago from Belleville AR.

      That was great will you amaze me with your knowledge and I do so love these westerns you write, this brought tears to my eyes and a big smile to my face, I really like your accuracy. For sure my favorite writer on here.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I have a nephew in prison, Apache, and I send all these stories to him. He passes them around, and I guess I have a big following there!

    • apache13 profile image

      Timothy C. Dove 3 years ago from Belleville AR.

      I'll bet you they love them in there too, glad you don't judge him or those who have done time. So many think we are not people with feelings just because we have been or are in prison. Guess they didn't like Paul either :)

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      He's exactly where he needs to be after what he did and he knows it, but that's no reason to desert him.

      Thanks Apache.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 2 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Well written!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you!

    Click to Rate This Article