Western Short Story
The Vagabond
Scott A. Gese

The Silver Saddle Saloon was known more for its tar and feathers than for its whiskey.

He was different than most. Folks in this town didn't like different, as he would soon find out.

Western Short Story

At the far end of Main Street a donkey entered town. It bore the weight of a rather rotund man wearing a colorful suit in shades of blue, green and gold.

He rode his donkey up to two men who were sitting on the boardwalk. He spoke up in a rather pompous tone.

“Ahmmm, Good afternoon gentlemen. You didn’t per chance happen to feast your eyes on a very colorful wagon passing this way have you? It is delightfully painted with the name ‘Sir William Goodfellow’ in a grand scale across the side.”

The men gave Sir William the once over before replying. “Nope, you’re the most colorful thing we’ve seen all day.”

“Well then, allow me to introduce myself. I, am Sir William Goodfellow, Minstrel, poet and Bard to the queen… and knighted by the very same I might add. I am traveling these parched and desolate lands spreading the glorious sounds of music, song and poetic verse to all those who shall lend me their ear.

I seem to have been separated from my wagon. The driver is of no account. He should not be trusted, but alas, I am at his mercy for he carries the tools of my trade. I shall wait for him at the nearest establishment of libation, if you would so kindly direct me.”

Both men carried a puzzled look on their face as they silently tried to decipher what they had just heard. Finally, one of them spoke up. “Well, my name is just plain Frank, and to tell you the truth Bill…”

Goodfellow cut him off. “Excuse me good sir, but I’m very afraid ‘Bill’ will not do. My full and rightful name is Sir William Goodfellow, the third I might add, but you may call me Sir William if you so have an affliction to the length of my good name.”

“As I was saying, Sir Bill,” replied Frank. “I didn’t understand half of that flowery talk especially that last ‘libation’ part. What the hell is that?”

“Establishment of libation, house of bibulous concoctions, a, a… what do you people call it? Oh yes, a saloon, a place where I may moisten these withering lips and quench my parched cords for I’m afraid my vocals are beginning to fail me and that will not do.”

Frank reset his hat and rubbed his chin. “That was quite a mouthful Sir Bill. If you’re looking for a saloon, you have two choices. The Silver Saddle and the Ponderosa. I don’t suggest either one of them, the way you’re dressed. But if you’re insistent on ‘quenching them there cords’, you can find them both straight ahead toward the end of the street.”

“I thank you for your kind directions,” replied Sir William. “I think I shall place an extended visit to the house of the Silver Saddle. My keen intuition assures me it will more than suffice.”

“I’m not sure if I would do that if I were you,” replied Frank.

“My good man. You shan't worry about me. I am perfectly capable of handling my own affairs.”

As Sir William headed down the street, Frank smiled a knowing smile as he thought aloud, “Betcha I smell tar in less than an hour.”

Sir William found the Silver Saddle, stepped off his donkey and stepped through the bat wing doors. The saloon went silent. All eyes were on the colorful suit that had just walked through the doors.

It was at that moment Sir William realized he should have paid heed to Franks warning.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.