Western Short Stories
Tom Sheehan
Page Five

Bronco Dubbins, in Strange Pursuit

Tom Sheehan

Broccin Mac Dubbacin was his given name, all its historic way from the 12th century Gaelic Scotland, every hoot and holler of it, until his father brought him and a sister, and his wife, across the Mississippi River in a move from Scottish hills afire with torments to a section of Kansas, called Baxter Springs. It was sometime before the war of the states, the boy then a robust 13-years old. In short order, in saloon odds and ends and stories galore, he was introduced, this boy at his father’s side come hell or high water or trouble of any sort, as Bronco Dubbins. His name spilled from his father’s mouth at the first card game at a saloon table in a newer town in the territory, also looking for a proper name and found it as Baxter Springs. Read the full story HERE>>

Newt Tewksbury, Bugler

Tom Sheehan

When Corporal Newton “Newt” Tewksbury, generated aboard ship while crossing the Atlantic Ocean but Boston-born, and later an army bugler, hurt his hand in 1848 in the War with Mexico, he was discharged from service, and figured he didn’t have to go far to a section of the west where he always had a hankering to be on his own. Further north drew him across the rolling plains of the Texas Panhandle toward Iowa, which had become a state a mere two years earlier, and he took his bugle with him. Read the full story HERE>>

Shag Hannah, Cow Man, Ladies Man

Tom Sheehan

Jack Barclay, foreman from Jell’s Hill Ranch, was still in command of the crew at The Devil Crow’s Saloon in the makeshift town of Porter Hill, Texas and they were talking about the only missing member of the outfit, Shag Hannah. Jack had offered his bit in the conversation: “That birthmark on Shag’s face is so ugly spit won’t hurt it, but makes ladies weak and plain sorrowful, not just the ones working here, but all over, ladies be damned. It ain’t that he cries about it messing him up but wears it like a damned badge of honor. I guess, when you get right down to it, that’s what it is, a badge of honor for lady counting, but still ugly as sin.” Read the full story HERE>>

Spade Pickett's Murder Case

Tom Sheehan

False dawn’s first signal slipped into the trail-end town of Bountiful, Kansas, the cattle drive over a few days earlier, the train loaded and gone, some cowpokes from the drive hanging on for a few more laughs, a few more drinks, a last look at someone special, before they had to light out for a new drive, cows, dust, work galore on top of work, lousy food some days, thirst, sore rumps, campfire camaraderie, ballads with a guitar to fall asleep with, dreams of another life.

There floated on the air a tinkle from a sick piano, or a player who wasn’t a player, a tinkerer, caught up in dawn’s reality, only another drive sitting in the wings of his life waiting to happen, be something to do.

Read the full story HERE>>

Shropshire Transport

Tom Sheehan

Bergund Columnard, from Shropshire, England, was reflecting on the trail he had used getting to this place in the absolute middle of nowhere in Hell and hoped to be outbound from there. He was, fact up front, in the Southwestern part of the United States, and bound by hot sands; lots of sand every which way he could see. Read the full story HERE>>

The Heel or the Spur

Tom Sheehan

The shot had come down from the needle-like Nail Mountain, killing the second of Rico Belotti's sons in a month, and former sheriff Doyle Pickler, on the scene less than a month as temporary sheriff, was sure of a few things: "The shooter, a sniper first class, you gotta admit, was the killer, and he's been hiding out on Brother's Cliff since the night before at least." Read the full story HERE>>

Wagon Wheels

Tom Sheehan

Nicky Consolo, from horseback, was studying the situation down below on a valley road, and was only three days from jail in Valley High where he'd been tried and found innocent of murder. The verdict, we all know, never moves as fast as news of the charge, and he was prepared for the differences ahead. Read the full story HERE>>

Swapping Badges, Troubles of Mutual Support

Tom Sheehan

In Bristol Hills, Oregon and Newville Point in Iowa, in early 1847, troubles leaped about the two townships related in more ways than one. Oregon, for example, was still a Territory, while Iowa had attained statehood a year earlier. But status didn't play favorites in any quarter in those days where thugs, robbers, killers and kidnappers often were the order of the day, to use a phrase for the misbegotten, abused, broken in pocketbook and spirit, subject to doctoring if they were lucky.

Times were risky, and many men thought salvation was carried in the holsters on their hips, or, for long range corrections, the rifles in their saddle scabbards.

There were choices at base level..

Read the full story HERE>>

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