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.
The Lady’s Man
Sheriff Corv Magnus broke up the lynching with three shots over the heads of the mob, each man of the mob knowing that Magnus could hit any target that he aimed for; he was a deadly shooter, and now was no time for testing him. Read the full story HERE>>
Nothing but Star-dust in the Making
When young Peter Prentice looked down from the cliff-top above the winding road to Hawthorne, Nevada, he saw the stagecoach at a standstill, the driver and his up-top companion with their hands raised in abject surrender to three rifle-bearing, masked-men on horseback, one of the robbers wearing a vest he was sure he’d seen before. Read the full story HERE>>
The Sudden Riches of the Misbegotten Sheriff
The supposed mayor of Calvern Hill, Texas, one Roger Lees Butterfield, owner of the lone bank, pinned the sheriff’s badge on the newly-appointed sheriff, Clark Rockwell and handed him a five-dollar bill. “This is your pay for this day and you will get $150 a month as long as you’re sheriff of this town.”
The man’s smile was too big for his face. Read the full story HERE>>
Christian Tanger was born with the squeakiest of voices, and which his hearty father tried to hide from any listeners by saying, “He doesn’t have much to say, my Chris, not like some other blockheads I know around here.”
The father was big enough to say those words aloud, a walking load of deference, and so unlike his son who was called, behind his back, “Squeaky,” in the softest of voices lest that voice be recognized by Squeaky’s father. Read the full story HERE>>
Okred Wrawpick, in the year 1870, was the heaviest man I ever saw sit a horse and I’ve seen a few big men in my day. It isn’t just the physical description that gets justified here but the whole story, all the way back to Eastern Europe, which I will try to tell from sources every which way arriving at my doorstep, for my pen. Read the full story HERE>>
Horse Killer’s Injun
My horse was down, with a broken leg and a neck gash.
My left leg was under him.
He wasn’t going to move, and I couldn’t but he’d been good to me, that fine animal.
I put a round in his head, thankful he was out of his misery. Some people will know my misery in a flash, a ton of it on the soul.
The shot also brought company, a young Indian standing still with a rough iron knife in his hand, a strange weapon for him to wield. I was willing to bet he’d honed it every day of its creation from who-knows-what-piece-of-junk he had found on the trail to somewhere, Oregon most likely.
Execution at Skeetersville
We’re all readers in our family and, to boot, all “story tellers,” of one sort or another. That includes liars of the first order, embellishers of the same dim characteristic, false witnesses at the Commonwealth’s highest courts, bologna tossers without a split of bread, fabrication specialists in group therapy and other heady interventions and exercises, fairy tale spinners extraordinary or fabulists per se, and fibbers of the lowest level. But Uncle Amos Bohaddly (none of us believed that was his real name because we’ve never seen it in print or posted anywhere else, or heard it spoken publicly or privately, except by him) takes the cake on all of it every time out.
Jake Craddock used his mouth to chew, drink and curse; those were the only efforts he employed, be damned any other exercises come to mind. Yet his horse had more care than a child; “Derby,” he called him.
Downwind of Murder
As Shasta Corbin, sheriff of Polatta, rode into the canyon in the heat of the day, he saw a pair of vultures high overhead floating on a thermal, which most likely had risen from the heart of the canyon. With that sight, also came a putrid odor. In one drawn breath he caught the ripe smell of death. It was a stench he’d never get used to, and recognized instantly.
The Tunnel at Crescendo Rift
The echoes off the cliffsides started all the commotion, the name-tossing, the name selection, for what folks called a new place in the Utah hills, Crescendo Rift. Read the full story HERE>>
Just Take His Boots
“Just take his boots,” said the outlaw chief from his mount. They were the first words he said as he looked down at poor dead Jed Hawkins, a G-Bar 2 ranch hand, shot where he sat on the ground because he mouthed off at the chief outlaw, Skid Garner, still proudly mounted on his stallion with no care for the dead. Read the full story HERE>>
Horse of a Different Color
As he stood outside the doors of the Gray Bull Saloon, Hack Wilson could hear the sheriff, Shrug Sloane, still shooting his mouth off about himself, his duties and accomplishments,... Read the full story HERE>>
Coop and Scoop
If they wore the other’s clothes, they could walk off with his horse, too, and no one would be the wiser in their hometown of Leadville. The two of them often admitted only the doors of Hell could draw them apart, or, would even call them separately. Read the full story HERE>>
The Pony Balladeer
As a mere boy on the way up out of his small boots, a copycat background a good part of his growing, like listening to his father sing around the ranch and on his way off on a long cattle drive, singing as he rode down the stretch of grass leading away from their ranch, the echoes hanging on for days and nights of memory, Lincoln Link Houston found his own voice, one evening in 1873, around a ranch campfire rigged by his mother Pearl supposedly just for him.
Calumet Stockridge and The Odyssey
Of all the people in town, I'm the one who looks closer, deeper, measures more of what I see in front of me, behind me, in darker corners and the hidden places where danger hangs its hat any day of the week. I'm a newspaperman and as far as I'm concerned, danger's a sneak that usually rides a black horse, a fast one that is suddenly there where it wasn't a moment ago, and with a pistol or revolver it really doesn't make any difference once its fired in anger or plain threat, like "all aboard for the action." Read the full story HERE>>