After a long day ridin’, ropin’, and sometimes rustlin’, cowpokes love to stop by a local saloon to wet their whistles. Card playing, loose talking, and fighting always ensued, some in good fun and others deadly serious. In this collection of stories, author Tom Sheehan rides and relaxes with them all. You’re in the right place for rollickingly good western yarns.
Seventeen western short stories by Tom Sheehan.
Western short stories Bio. of Tom Sheehan
Sheehan (31st Infantry, Korea 1951-52; Boston College 1952-56) has published 32 books, has multiple works in Rosebud, Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Literally Stories, Copperfield Review,Literary Orphans, Indiana Voices Journal, Frontier Tales, Western Online Magazine, Faith-Hope and Fiction, Eastlit, Rope & Wire Magazine, The Literary Yard, Green Silk Journal, Fiction on the Web, The Path, etc.He has 33 Pushcart nominations, 5 Best of the Net nominations (one winner).
Later book publications include Swan River Daisy by KY Stories, The Cowboys and Beside the Broken Trail by Pocol Press, and Jehrico byDanse Macabre. Back Home in Saugus (a collection) is being considered, as is Elements & Accessories (poetry), and Valor's Commission (a collection of war and post war tales reflecting the impact of PTSD). He was 2016 Writer-in-Residence at Danse Macabre in Las Vegas.
An hour's ride from get-up brought Dorbruk Malkev to the crest of a hill in Oregon, one of the states for less than a year, where he heard a fusillade of gun shots, the last one practically visible as the lone man standing in his sight fell to place alongside other victims, all dead for certain, grounded forever in an irregular and highly skewed valley that was perfect for murder or bushwhacking of choice, their horses scattered or fallen in place, the fusillade of gunshots sounding like the handclapping of a huge audience hidden away, tucked into shadows waiting for sunlight and, likely, their quick disappearance...Read More of Dorbruk Malkev
The name stuck. It was that simple.
The slim, black-clad stranger was thereafter referred to as Snake. Not a soul in town used his real name, Thomas Pitchpen, once of Tennessee, but, for all that matter, the town of Asheville, Utah was looking for a killer, a hired gun if they could get him for free, to stand up to the sly, devious, and artful gun-hand who came to town every so often and often tore it apart with death at the end of a challenge...Read More of Snake
Tale of Two Trail Blazers
As evening descended on Bartonsville, Texas, smoke and steam issued in cloudy funnels from the Missouri, Kansas, & Texas Railroad Company steam engine and was quickly absorbed by dusk. In the shadows cast by one passenger car, a man stood still and alone, a small night bag in one hand, his other hand close to a revolver holstered on his belt, under his coat. He stared up the tracks toward the engine puffing away in place, and waited in the darkest spot, hidden from all eyes...Read More of Tale of Two Trail Blazers
Caves of the Gods, Heart of the Mountain
Puma-Dog, heavily burdened, yet bound in belief, wondered about the inside of the mountain he was climbing, and the trail so old in the making that he could not begin to measure its age. Even the old chief and man of wisdom, One-Wing-Gone, told him the mountain was as old as the gods themselves...Read More of Caves of the Gods
The Dam at Wasahoa
The settlement of Wasahoa in the Utah Territory sat on the Wasatch Plateau and was ripe with game. This cool forest high above the San Rafael Swell provided refuge for an incredible amount of prey, which also included all manner of criminals on the run, from all over the western region. One establishment in Wasahoa was reserved for bank robbers only, the owner figuring her clients were able to spring with cold cash...Read more of The Dam at Wasahoa
Grandpa's Tale From Johnson's Ranch
Me? I’m Brady Cross, the 4th, and I am going to tell you a story told me by my grandfather, Brady Cross, Jr., as told to him by his father, the first Brady Cross in the line that ran from Heatherford, Oklahoma to this old saloon practically on the edge of nowhere, but still in Nebraska.
The voice of the story, if you get what I mean, has never changed since the first telling, which happened to be in a saloon much like this one...Read More of Grandpa's Tale from Johnson's Ranch
The Freighters' Return Engagement
Earl Friscoe and Buckeye Davidson were freighters for a long time and had weathered a few storms along the way, but the one they endured on the Shiloh Two road from Friscoe’s hometown of Mesa Cappo was the only one they went back to and spent time on; all the other losses were written off as part of the big gamble from the beginning.
There was something different about this one....Read More of The Freighters' Return Engagement
The 2nd Dead Horse Saloon
It sits at the fork of a river in Texas, The 2nd Dead Horse Saloon, and at a fork in the road. Water and wherever go two ways at once whenever you get here and look around. The name of the town is Bapst and there’s nobody who knows where that name came from, at least not living here now...Read More of The 2nd Dead Horse Saloon
Secret of the Cave
Mountain Jackson, no other name known by the few men he met in the mountains or saw at re-supply time or pelt trading, was bigger than his mule, a stubborn but hard-worker, the only kind of an animal that Jackson would lavish any affection on. “You smell that sweet water, Hildy? Smell it like I do? Up here’s someplace hidin’ on us. You be still here and I’ll have a look around. ‘Bout time we had a treat.”... Read More of Secret of the Cave
Chronicle of a Bank Robbery
Note: The following record has been reconstructed by Wm. Longley, Sheriff, Houston, as “Information assumed and/or sworn to by witnesses and a recovered victim, all the parts depending on each other like an overview reading of trail signs, and presented at resolution of the incident involved.”...Read More of Chronicle of a Bank Robbery
John Joseph “Jack” Mabry, wrangler for the Cross-Bed Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, was as outspoken as any wrangler could be, demanding that his horses be given their honest due and good care “lest that cowpoke not doin’ so be fixed one way or another. I ain’t raisin’ and runnin’ chickens for the drive, but horses good as men and smarter that some I’ve known.”
Cowboys, we know, can say a hundred ways they’re in love, and here are a few of them:
He weren’t born, mister, he was made for me. Just for me. My horse...Read more of Horse
“No way,” Jed Lawson screamed, his voice full of hate and anger not heard in Tally’s Pass all summer. He swung around at the bar and looked directly into the eyes of River Rowan as if either pair of eyes would ignite. “He ain’t ours. He’s mine. I raised him from the runty colt you wouldn’t look at a second time. No way you claimin’ him back from me.”...Read more of The Drifting