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Dry Gulch


The stranger from somewhere else arrived in town,

hot and dirty and thirsty.

He needed to clean his throat first after the long dusty ride

through some of the most miserable scenery he had ever seen.

He strode over the packed dirt to wards the Swinging Bell Saloon.

As he approached the batwing doors he heard voices raised and

Something crashing to the floor. 'Sounds like a fight', he said

to himself and pushed on in after steeping over the pine box.

Between himself and the bar there was an overturned chair and table.

Cards and money were scattered across the floor.

Two men faced up to each other, anger showed hotly on their faces.

Now for no good reason other than Lightnin' Lewis casting a lascivious

look at Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore, the saloon singer,

which made Hot Lead Henry madder than a stepped on rattler and

could strike faster.Hot lead called Lightnin' a low down lascivious skunk

and said 'slap leather cos' your gonna die for yore leering at mah

Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore'.

Lightnin' said 'well step outside ya mealy mouth son of a..'

That's as far as he got afore Hot Lead Henry drilled him so full of lead

it took four hefty cowhands to lift him and drop him in the pine box outside.

All this happened while the stranger looked on with his jaw sagging with disbelief.

He got to the bar and before he could speak the barkeep banged a cold beer

in front of him followed by a shot of Old Red Eye.

'What the hell was that all about'?, asked the stranger.

'No one gits to gaze at Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore and live',

said the barkeep, swiping a dirty cloth over a dried bloodstain on the bar top.

Hot n parched as he was , he took the shot of Old Red Eye first.

A commotion outside found the strangers ear and with curiosity picked up

his glass of now not so cool beer and sidled over

to peer over the batwing doors.

He saw a man about 5 feet tall with his ten gallon hat on,

running toward the saloon while trying to keep his sixgun from

dragging in the dirt of Main Street with one hand

and holding his ten gallon hat on with the other.

He made the stranger snigger softly.

'Clown' he thought to himself.

'Fer gosh sakes don't ever let him hear you a-sniggering',

Our sheriff don't take kindly to folks a-sniggering at him, He might think

it's because you think he's small and needs to wear a ten gallon hat',

said the barkeep or as shore as Sweet Miss Georgia Brown is from Baltimore,

his deputy Quick Draw McGraw from Tombstone, who's killed 22 men and a mule,

will have you in a pine box too.

The stranger from somewhere else needn't have worried as he watched yet

another scene unfold before his disbelieving eyes. The barkeep looked over his shoulder.

'Oh No', he muttered under his breath, I should have known this would happen'.

'Now what the hell is happening?' said the stranger from somewhere else.

'Hey mister',said the barkeep, 'you must be from somewhere else to ask that'

'Your darn right I am, how did you know? said the stranger from somewhere else?'

'cos everyone hereabouts knows that Lightnin Lewis is Sheriff Kincaid's cousin

by his mamma's 3rd marriage to the undertaker of this here town of Dry Gulch.

No sooner had he said this when Hot Lead Henry pushed past them and stepped

out into the Main Street ready greet Sheriff Kincaid in his ten gallon hat and his

deputy Quick Draw McGraw from Tombstone who's killed 22 men and a mule.

Sheriff Kincaid stopped in the dirt of Main Street and raised himself up to his

full height of 5 feet including his ten gallon hat and snarled at Hot Lead Henry.

'You doggone coyote you shot my cousin full o lead just fer looking at

Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore'.

'Now you gotta draw or die here in the dirt on Main Street'

'Who's gonna take me?, said Hot Lead Henry. 'Not you in your ten gallon hat,

yore gun is full o dirt from ya dragging it in the dirt of Main Street'.

'No' said Sheriff Kincaid, 'I'll leave that to my deputy,

Quick Draw McGraw from Tombstone who's killed 22 men and a mule.

Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore ran out into the dirt of Main Street

and begged Hot lead Henry not to fight as she didn't want to lose her true love.

Hot Lead Henry held her in his arms and kissed her on her ruby red lips.

'I shore am sorry my Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore,

but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, so now step aside and out of

the dirt in Main Street.

Everyone, including the stranger from somewhere else held their breath as

Hot Lead Henry and Quick Draw McGraw from Tombstone, who had killed 22 men

and a mule, squared up to each other in the dirt of Main Street.

No one really knows how it happened that day in the dirt of Main Street.

Both men pulled four guns and commenced to fire a hail of lead at each other.

The air was thick with blue smoke from their four sixguns belching hot lead and

the smell of gunpowder hung heavy over the dirt in Main Street.

When it cleared both men still stood with smoking guns at their sides.

Sheriff Kincaid and Sweet Miss Georgia Brown from Baltimore lay dead.

The stranger from somewhere else gasped and said what the hell just happened?

He decided it was time to get the hell out of town which he did.

As he reached the town limits of Dry Gulch he saw something that made him

shudder with horror at how close he came to a pine box in Dry Gulch.

The sign said 'Goodbye Stranger from somewhere else, you made it out of Dry Gulch alive,

The town that died in 1871.

The stranger from somewhere else, put his car into gear and drove away

© Dave Timperley 30 March 2017


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