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Western short stories Bio. of Tom Sheehan
Sheehan (31st Infantry, Korea 1951-52; Boston College 1952-1956) has multiple works in Rosebud, Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Literally Stories, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Indiana Voices Journal, Frontier Tales, Western Online, Faith-Hope and Fiction, Eastlit, Rope & Wire Magazine, The Literary Yard, Green Silk Journal, Fiction on the Web, The Path, etc. He has 16 Pushcart nominations, 6 Best of the Net nominations (one winner).
Later book publications include The Cowboys, Beside the Broken Trail, In the Garden of Long Shadows, Between Mountain and River, Catch a Wagon to a Star, and Jock Poems and Reflections for Proper Bostonians, by Pocol Press, and Jehrico by Danse Macabre. Back Home in Saugus (a collection) is being considered, as is Beneath My Feet This Earth Slips into the Far-side of Another’s Telescope and Pages from Fallen Books. In production status is The Grand Royal Stand-off at Darby’s Creek and Other Stories at Pocol Press.
Recent releases include Small Victories for the Soul VII, from Wilderness House Literary Review, and Alone, with the Good Graces from Pocol Press. He was Danse Macabre’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence in Las Vegas.
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.
The Saloon Keeper’s Runaway Son
Jackie Mulrain was getting tired of it all, lugging kegs all the time for his father, who paid him no other mind, as if he didn’t count worth a nickel, nor did he know of Jackie’s dream of being one of those customers who seemed to parade into town, the tall-in-the-saddle cowboys, now and then a sheriff on a search, the sun catching and tossing reflections off their six guns on the belts, and the mahogany shine of rifle butts catching at the sun. Read the full story HERE>>
The Sheriff Standing Tall
Carson, Colorado was rotten to the core, all the way from the barkeep at The Great Horn Saloon, who cheated at drinks, to Elrod Jenkins, land owner from here to there, who manipulated land deals ad nauseum, to his wickedly hungry appetite for more space, more deals, more signings, him never the loser in the tricky game where who got hurt never mattered to him., never once in a blue moon, as though he changed the color scheme. Read the full story HERE>>
Billy Basswood, Lookout
Not much of the hillside was visible from the trail below, as if the trail had been carved through a few centuries of rock-fall and mountain failure, and the posse’s lead scout, Bill Basswood, was as good an eye as an eagle, in reverse, if you’re particular about such things while running after a breakout specialist like Homer Crosby, recently breaking out of his third jail, and him not yet 20 years old. Seems he was a quick learner about jails and jailers, like some do the job front to back and side to side as best there is, no flaws or cracks in their conduct.
But silent forces work as they are directed. Read the full story HERE>>
Of Sheriffs and Hoodlums
The sun came on in sheer and pounding waves like a kettle at a new boil, and Sheriff Nate Gabry thought he’d never get used to the feeling, even as those screens of flittering light brought him sight of his quarry, out on the dry grass, having his own problems: horse down and likely not to get up again. He felt sorry for any man who loses a good horse, a good pal. a steady comrade every day of their union, and a relentless officer of the law, Parasol’s only badge man, on the trail of a killer of another man, most likely a stupid, dumb, unremembered reason yet to surface. Read the full story HERE>>
The New Hand Makes the Grade
In the early part of dusk, Earl Tolliver, often called Tollie by family, friends and hired hands on the LT spread in Nevada, saw the stranger coming down the draw towards the ranch house, and wondered if he wanted a meal, a job, or both; he rode tall and comfortable in the saddle on a good-looking fully black horse reacting to slight reign directions, one sign of good care. His interest deepened when he spotted two pistols on his belt and a rifle in his scabbard, recent activity in the area, indeed on some of his holdings, spiked more interest. Read the full story HERE>>
Bruce Gentry, Saloon Owner
He’d been a herder and a roamer on and off for a number of years, when he saw an eagle tearing at a man’s body with claws and giant scissor-like beak. One shot from Bruce Gentry’s pistol drove the eagle away from the dead man. Searching the body first for anything useable, of any value, he found a bag of gold tied to the belt at the waist, and dropped down inside one pant leg. The poke felt good in his hands and set old dreams back on course, an exhilarating warmth coming on him, a sense of sharing in attendance. Read the full story HERE>>
The Widow Woman, Lila Etheridge
She was big and boisterous and when she fired her rifle at horse thieves, trying to scoop up her half-dozen horses, there was no shaking or reservation about her. One man was shot in the leg, right where she aimed, and he was carried off by his comrades; they would not bother her again, she was sure; saying aloud, “Once injured, twice cautious. It’ll keep their attention. I’ll be damned if it won’t.” Lila loved terse statements that carried a message. Read the full story HERE>>
The End of a Peaceful War
Morning came upon the prairie with a suddenness, as though shot there by a mighty rifleman at a universal distance, an echo in its haste the way horse clops are deciphered from a valley, from behind a pillar of stone. Mark Gentry was only half awake at the most, caught by the single sound of hoofs at a beat, between eve and dawn, not a shot had been fired from either side in a contest for water rights off the spur of the Kettle River, as stated, between them and us. Read the full story HERE>>
Old Sheriff at Home, Peace for the Weary
Sam Walters was barely comfortable laid back in his old rocker on the porch, the sun warming him to his britches as it paused on the horizon, the single rider coming his way, barely upright in the saddle, which could free up a dozen stories if Sam let himself go. Read the full story HERE>>
Barney Pike Cleans Up Chasta Hills
Chasta Hills in Central Texas was at last entirely, literally, figuratively and formally, in the hands of Duke Desmond, thief, gunner, demander of his cut from every last business in town, tailor to barber to Hick’s General Store to Eleanor’s Knitting Spot, Eleanor being the last one to yield to the oppressive leaning from Desmond. Read the full story HERE>>
The Green Horn
It was a new rendition of “Reveille” coming from Bud Daley’s newly painted bugle. dubbed The Green Horn by him because he had painted it as green as he could, like new grass coming out on the Plains after a long, dry spell. The spur and the motive on its first morning wake-up call caught on quickly among the other ranch hands on Gil Farley’s spread, The Eagle’s Nest, soon to hold enough cattle to make a profitable drive to market, probably taking about three weeks on the trail, give or take a month by rustlers, Indians, or other interests among the cattle profession. Read the full story HERE>>
Part-Time Sheriff in Over-Reach, Texas
Slow Gargon, on a practical joke set up by the barkeep, Jeremy Sloan, at the Spilt-Over Saloon, saw his first murder before he got out of the saloon and would run home to tell his ailing father and mother he was the new sheriff in town. Slow was the only name ever carried by him since birth, neither parent too smart and kind of oblivious to jokes and verbal horrors they even understood were meant to hurt them, like “them plain damned fools” flung anonymously out of crowds gathered for any purpose. Read the full story HERE>>
Of Scabbards and Quivers and Sheaths and the Like
The argument began at the Folly Legend Saloon in Porter Hill, Arizona between riders from two local ranches on a Saturday evening of August, 1884, half the consumption already in the tanks, and Harry Ghenter, barkeep, knowing it would all blast off on some silly and unimportant point of discussion. He was usually right about such things, this being the third saloon he’d worker at, and this one for seven years already in a most sociable position, judge, jury and often on trial himself, if he’d admit it for once. Read the full story HERE>>
Jiggs Kelly and the Stranger from Afar
It was day’s end, the sun falling to sleep, the first star a show-off on the fringe of distant plain and sky at juncture, he’d guess about ten miles, keeping things at an even quote, when he saw what he believed to be a rider, on the plains, or even in the sky. The sight teased him most of the night of a sleepless night, his mind stirred and stirring at all hours. He felt numbed by possibility of miracles, worldly or not worldly, real or not real, comfort or disturbance, whatever he could make of it all. Read the full story HERE>>
The Ironmonger, Stable Master
Burt Blevans was a husky, dark-haired man, six-foot-two if an inch, who worked on iron and steel and shoeing horses when required. He kept horses in the barn behind his shop, a bevy of them waiting new shoes, new owners, posse-loaners when the sheriff asked for mounts, as needed in Lawson’s Wells, in high Arizona. Read the full story HERE>>