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King size chocolate covered coconut!
Heavy Bounty
George H. Lafferty


I rode into the small town of Charleston, Arizona Territory, slowly, trying to watch everywhere at once. The town looked sleepy enough, only a few souls stirring at this hour of the morning. I left my horse with the still sleepy-eyed hostler at the livery stable, with word I wanted him rubbed down and grained before being stabled with plenty of hay.

It was just daybreak and the cooks in the two restaurants, if you could call them that, were just fixing to open their doors. The first, a small café really, had only four tables and a square hole in the wall to where the cook was slicing bacon in a skillet. I wasn’t crazy about his looks, none too clean, so I drifted back out and went to the other one. It was a little larger and cleaner looking, though I could see right away the prices were higher here. That was probably the only reason someone would rather eat at the other place.

I took a seat with my back to the wall and where I could see out the window and watch the door as well.

The waitress, and owner as it turned out, came over to my table and gave me a long looking over before she said, "maybe you would be more comfortable down the street at Hank’s Diner."
"No, I said, "I don’t think so. I just rode in and figured to get a bite to eat before I get a room with a bath and then sleep about twelve hours."

"Been nice if you would have cleaned up first," she said, "but what will you have?"

"Sorry," I said, "been out in the rough country, ain’t eat in two days, and nothing to drink but water, hunger got the best of my manners."

"That ain’t the only stink on you," she said and turning back towards the kitchen, "you’ll be wanting coffee first then."

"Yes, Mam," I said to her back as she walked away.

I’ll admit I ain’t had a bath in a week, nor shaved either for that matter, and my hair could use cutting but I’ve seen dirtier cowhands not get treated this way. Problem was, she knew what I am, she has seen others like me and doesn’t have any use for any of us. I suppose it is pretty obvious, I could only be one of two things to her, a gunman or a bounty hunter and both are just killers to someone like her. She is right too, that’s the hell of it. I am a bounty hunter but I am not ashamed of what I do. I track down bad men who need to be taken out of circulation. That it usually means having to kill them, is because they are hardened killers themselves and know capture means a noose. Most choose to fight it out with guns, rather than surrender.

She brought my coffee and I ordered steak and eggs with some fried potatoes. Once I had eaten, she looked pleased and relieved to see me leave. I decided to stop at the saloon, which was just opening, the swamper out sweeping the boardwalk, and get a bottle of "who hit John’ to take to my room. I looked into the mirror behind the bar, while the bartender fetched my bottle and wasn’t too pleased with what I saw either. I’m only five feet seven in my boots, not nearly as big as I would wish to be but I am as tough as the next man. I guess I ain’t the best looking fella around either with the scar on my right cheek. Brown hair and eyes, husky build, dirty Levi’s tucked into my dirty run down brown pointed toed boots. With a faded blue flannel shirt, a dirty gray Stetson and an even dirtier red bandanna around my neck about completes the picture of a down and out cowboy. What gives me away is my gunbelts and my knife, I guess, that and the look in my eyes, the look of a hard man who has killed and will again, least I’ve been told I have that look.

I wear two crossed gunbelts, both right handed ones, so as the butt of the left Colts Frontiers Model .44-40 Peacemaker faces out. Both have extra bullet loops sewn on, so that I carry more ammunition than the average man. My Bowie is in a back sling with the handle sticking up just over my left shoulder. If they were to see my horse, they would see the .10 Ga. scattergun tied across the pommel and a Winchester .44-40 in my saddle boot. There are also two more Colts Frontiers Model .44-40 Peacemakers in my saddlebags, along with several boxes of extra ammo.

I’m not making any excuses, mind you, I am what I am, a manhunter. It’s what I do for a living and I am good at it. That’s how I came by the scar on my face, a shot ricocheted off a rock wall and grazed my cheek. Bled like hell, stung worse and left a scar nearly an inch wide, all red and sort of puckered. That was a couple of years ago and it still looks the same. I been shot twice, other than that and I don’t recommend it, it is hard on a body to keep going with a chunk of lead in your body, where it ain’t supposed to be. Takes a spell to get over it and get back up and around too, not to mention going right back out after the hombres who did it.

I paid the bartender and he turned his back on me without a word and went about polishing the glasses on the backbar. I pushed out through the batwing doors and headed across the street to the only hotel in town.

I got me a room for the night and the clerk sort of raised an eyebrow when I signed the register. He had apparently heard of Jeff Kincaid and didn’t much care for the idea of me staying here, he didn’t say a word though. I had them lug the tub up to my room. It cost extra that way but I like my privacy. While they were getting my bath ready, I went back across the street to the barber shop, just down from the saloon and got my hair and mustaches trimmed. Crossing back to the hotel, I went on up to my room and had my bath, a local boy hauling the buckets of fresh water up as I needed them.
When I was finished, I tipped him extra and then seeing there was no lock on the door, I wedged the only chair in the room under the knob. I draped my gunbelt over the end of the bed, so as to keep a Colts close to hand, then stretched out to get some much needed sleep.
I went back to the Busy Bee for breakfast, the next morning and my clean clothes and haircut failed to favorably impress the waitress. She just brought the coffee and asked what I would have. I ordered the same as yesterday morning and ate my meal in silence, disturbed only by her pouring more coffee for me every once in awhile.

I stepped out onto the boardwalk just in time to come face to face with the sheriff and two deputies. I said excuse me and started around them but it was not to be.

"Hold it up right there," said the sheriff, "I want to talk to you."

"What can I do for you sheriff," I asked.

"Get a straddle your bronc and get out of my town," he said. "Now."

"Cain’t," I said, "got reward money to collect and it’s your bounden duty to see I get it."

"You’ll get no blood money in this town, ever," he said, "just ride on out of here afore I throw you in jail, or worse."

"I’ll get my reward money first," I said, "if I have to go see Judge Crawford first, then I will."

"You won’t be staying long enough to see the judge," he said, then, "boys, if he ain’t out of town in five minutes jail him or call me to see the body, which ever is necessary."

"That will be enough of that," said another voice, from behind me.

"Now judge, you know I don’t cotton to this riffraff coming to my town wanting blood money for killing," said the sheriff.

"Doesn’t make a damn what you cotton to," said the judge, "I put out the reward, dead or alive, and I’ll pay it when it is earned. I have a telegram here from a marshal down in Uvalde Flats, says it is done and this man has earned his reward. Now, if you will both accompany me back to the courthouse, I will see he gets his reward, then you will let him leave peaceably, do I make myself clear on that."

"All right, your honor but I don’t have to like it," said the sheriff.

"If you was man enough to do your job sheriff, I wouldn’t have to do it for you," I said.

"That will be enough of that smart talk too," said the judge.

"Sorry, Judge," I said, "but while I’m at it, my pack horse got killed by them sidewinders and I lost most all my supplies. I’ll need time to buy another horse and some supplies, before I leave town."

"So be it," said the judge to me, then to the sheriff, see to it. Now let’s get on to the courthouse and I will authorize payment and you will pay the man, sheriff. Then maybe I can have my breakfast in peace."

Once I was paid the reward on the two men I had killed, I went back to the livery where I was able to purchase a horse, with bill of sale, and some rope and canvas to pack it with.

Moving on to the mercantile, I bought a whole new outfit and some supplies. It was going to be good to have a camp with coffee again, along with some trail rations to keep the hungers away. I could also have my shelter back, in bad weather, by using the canvas and rope to make my standard lean-to, after I had unpacked my packhorse. My mistake was in going back to the saloon to pick up a couple of bottles of hooch to take along with me. I was just asking the bartender to wrap them up good so they wouldn’t break in my pack, when I was shoved hard from behind.

"Get out of a man’s way shorty," said a loud rude voice.

Now, being short, I just naturally take offense to having my nose rubbed in it, so I said, "who you calling shorty, cow dung."

He stopped cold and turned around to face me saying, "you better watch your mouth little one, before I move its location around to the back of your head."

I always figure, why argue and dance first, if your going to fight then just get at it, so I fainted with my right and when he stepped inside it, I let him have my left right against his nose. It just sort of spattered, spraying blood and I heard the bones breaking. He jerked back like he was poleaxed and I let him have a right and then a quick left in the gut. When he came back forward because of the pain in his middle, I helped him along with a swift knee to his crotch. Then when he was bent over real good, I gave him an upper cut I brought clean up from the floor. He staggered back and went right on over on his back. Before he could move or roll away, I drop kicked him up alongside his head, knocking him all the way out.

I didn’t even see the punch from his sidekick coming. To tell the truth, I hadn’t even realized they were together. I took a punch to the right side of my head that I thought was going to tear it clean off and staggered away trying to clear my head. I didn’t get much chance for the stars to stop swimming in front of my eyes before he hit me again, this time in the mouth and I felt a tooth go loose. My lips were split too and I spit a lot of blood on the floor before I got a chance to do more than keep back pedaling. Next time he swung, I stepped up inside his swing and hit him in the mouth, in the same place twice, once with each fist. The first one split his lips and the second just sort of mutilated them. Before he could come back to his senses, I put both hands together and rabbit punched him on his ear. His eyes sort of glazed but he stayed on his feet, backing up quickly enough that I was too slow to get to him and he was ready. We just stood there then, toe to toe and hit each other. He had size and weight on me and length of reach as well.

I must have a better punch though, as he was first to start backing up. I let him get just far enough away, then kicked him in his shin as hard as I could. He was hopping on one foot and howling, so I kicked the other shin too. Down he went but he rolled around so much, I didn’t get a chance to kick his head off his shoulders, which was what I was wanting to do.

The sheriff and his trusty deputies came in about then and arrested me for fighting and disorderly. I had to spend the next two days in jail waiting to see the same judge. When I reminded him he had given the sheriff orders to see I got out of town peaceably and if the sheriff had done as he was told their wouldn’t have been a fight, he just grinned. He fined me twenty dollars and let me go, with a warning that I better get out of town pronto.

I gathered up my possessions and got my horses and did just that, with a sour taste in my mouth for that one-horsed town. Before I left though, I went to the sheriff’s office and with him watching, ripped down all his reward posters and took them with me. He looked as if he knew I was mad enough to start shooting and didn’t say a word.

I rode that whole night and all the next day with just brief stops to water and rest my horse. I wanted some distance between me and Charleston. I pitched camp a little early the next evening and strung my canvas over a low branch to make a small tent. I pegged down the sides with some stakes I cut and piled some thorny brush at the other end to discourage anything or anyone from trying to get in that way. Then I drug my supplies inside and stacked them at that end as well. I put my saddle blankets down with my saddle for a pillow, the started a small fire out front and went to the stream for coffee water. When it was sitting on a flat rock and starting to boil, I dumped in some

Arbuckles and then shaved some bacon into my skillet. I dug a couple of wild onions growing close by and added them, cut up small, to a pan of beans I had soaking in water from when I first unloaded the pack horse. With another shaving of bacon in the beans, I was fixing myself a good supper. I was drinking coffee, eating bacon and watching my beans come to a boil, when I noticed some dust in the distance. Apparently someone was following me from town. I watched for awhile, then got me a plate of them beans and ate while they kept coming on towards me. When they were close enough, I set my empty plate down and grabbed my Winchester. I backed off into the brush a ways and waited for them to halloo the camp. They did no such thing though, they rode in fast firing into my tent. I snapped my rifle up and squeezed off the first shot real slow so’s I wouldn’t miss, then levered and got off another real quick. The first bullet took the lead rider in the forehead and he was dead before he hit the ground. The second hit the other man’s horse and when the horse went down, it sent him sprawling. He tried to get up fast and was going for his belt gun, so I sent him to hell, to join his partner, with a round dead center in his chest.

I looked to make sure it was just the two of them then walked over and rolled the closest one over with my boot tip. Walking over to the second one, I looked at what was left of his face and wasn’t surprised at all. It was the two tough guys from the saloon, looking for revenge, I guess. It really got me riled up, no posters on them meant no bounty and one of them had put a hole in my saddle blanket and stirrup strap, breaking the cup of the stirrup in the process. I figured they owed me, so I caught up their horses and stripped the best saddle off one of them and kept it for my own. I took what meager supplies they had and added them to mine, then sent their horses off back towards town. I had to bury them two and I ain’t sure they were worth the trouble.

I figured I better get away from this part of the country and that sheriff who didn’t cotton to me anyway, so I rode for the next couple days before stopping in at Harshaw, just long enough for a good nights sleep. The next morning, before I set out for breakfast, I took a look at the wanted posters I had snatched in Charleston.

There were seven of them and apparently they were all riding together. They were on a killing and robbing spree the likes of which I hadn’t seen since the war and Quantrills bunch. I rode on from there all the way to Prescott and made a stop at the Federal Marshals office. I knew Marshal Tomlin, although I wouldn’t call us friends. We had sort of worked out a bargain where we could tolerate each other without the normal pissing contest between the law and the bounty hunter.

He told me more about this bunch that called themselves the Stuart-Waysinger gang. They had held up six banks in as many towns and in only a matter of weeks. They also robbed two trains and one stagecoach. They didn’t hesitate to kill and had left seven dead bodies in their wake so far, just in the hold-ups. Posses, that had gone after them had suffered another three killed and several wounded. These boys were playing for keeps and were as bad as a war party of Indians had ever been. They had hit three ranches that Marshal Tomlin knew of, killing everyone on the place and raping the women before killing them.

I think Tomlin was glad to see me decide to go after them, as he wasn’t relishing sending out more deputies in another posse. "The reward is a thousand dollars apiece, on them, dead or alive" he said, "if you can live long enough to collect it. I have worked with you often enough to know you are as good as your word, so you just telegraph me if you get any of them and I’ll send the reward to you wherever you are, no questions asked. Just make sure they are dead before you make the claim though."

"I take it you would rather I just killed them," I said.

"Nothing more than they deserve and it will save a trial and some hangings," he said.

"I’ll see when the time comes," I said, "that’s all I will promise."

"That’s good enough for me," he said, "and if you get in bad with the law anywhere, just have them telegraph me and I’ll tell them I sent you."

"Well," I said, "you have never done that for me before."

"You ain’t never gone after a bunch like this one before," he said, "they deserve what I can’t legally give them and I think you might be just the man for the job."

"I only kill when I feel I have to, Marshal," I said, "no matter what you may think of me, I don’t care for killing, it’s just a necessity of the job a lot of the time."

"I know that," he said, "I would just feel differently if you were wearing a badge instead of hunting them down for the money."

"Law work don’t pay well enough," I said, "and puts too many restrictions on a man to suit me."

"While I can understand that," he said, "I can’t work up a lot of respect for a man that kills for the bounty posted on another mans life."

"You may be right Marshal, "I said, "but someone needs to take these killers out, why shouldn’t I earn my living doing it."

"Each to his own," said the Marshal and turned away to go about his business. We would never see eye to eye, on this and could never really be friends because of it. He would never change his mind about my chosen profession and I will never change as long as bounties are being posted. I figure they wouldn’t post the bounties if they didn’t need some one to go out and collect them. After the war there were a lot of men like me. They had to do something to get by during those tough times, but most of them had either quit or been killed a long time ago. There are only few of us left and we are very good at what we do. We have to be to survive but it doesn’t make us very popular to have around and most everyone hates the sight of us.

I had gotten me a room in Prescott and I went back there and looked at the posters again. Bob Stuart, Karl Waysinger, the leaders and Jed Cox, Bill Longtree, a breed, Carlos Ramiriz, a Mexican, and the Billings brothers Isaac and Abe, negroes. Quite a mixture of mean men, for a gang of merciless cutthroats, who had gone and turned the wolf loose.

I rode east for two weeks looking and listening in saloons for sign of these men and finally got wind of them near Tucson. They had robbed an inbound train not far out of town and then ridden off to the southeast.

I followed the train tracks out of Tucson and was able to pick up their tracks. I had to follow both their tracks and the tracks of the posse until the posse gave up, then I was able to follow just their tracks.

The posse gave up too easily, either they were in no real hurry to run up against these men or they were piss poor scouts. The tracks petered out but it didn’t take much riding ahead a ways then riding side to side for about a hundred yards to pick up their trail again. I followed them for several days, thinking they were heading for some remote hideout and was surprised to see dirty bluish smoke on the skyline on the third day. I scouted ahead carefully but they were long gone. I had heard they were hitting ranches but I guess I hadn’t really believed it. There just isn’t enough to take to amount to anything at a ranch. It looked as if Quantrill’s Raiders had been here. All the buildings were smoking ruins and I could smell the bodies before I even rode into the yard. One man had been killed in the doorway and was mostly burned from the fire that had burned the house. Another was tied to the side of the barn with wire around his wrists and throat and had been shot in both knees as well as the head. I can only surmise he had been shot in the knees and tied to the barn to watch what they had done to his woman. Then they had shot him in the head before leaving. What they had done to his woman was almost beyond belief. They had stripped and raped her, probably all or almost all of them taking turns. They had worked her over good, even carving her breasts with a knife. Then they had moved lower cutting her legs and probably finally, her nether regions. There was a gaping bloody bullet hole where her right eye had been.

Sweet loving Jesus, I breathed. Not even animals would do something like this. Only some sick rabid killers with no mercy of any kind, could do something as terrible as this. I made up my mind right then and there, Marshal Tomlin was right, these men did not deserve to live, and I intended to personally see that they did not. I vowed then and there, to kill every last one of them without fail and no matter what the circumstances at the time I came upon them. I would keep my vow, if it was the last thing I ever did, to avenge this mere slip of a girl who had been made to suffer so much. Though their trail was old by the time I had finished burying the three bodies at the ranch, it wasn’t hard to follow. The carnage and bodies they left behind were easy enough to find. I knew I was losing time with each new discovery of horror I stumbled across, but I could not just leave and go after them. I felt the least I could do for these poor folks was bury them before I moved on to find the next burned out ranch and yard full of bodies.

I found a total of six ranches the seven killers had raided and at each I found the dead people who had lived there. Twice more, I found a woman raped and tortured to death and all the males killed outright. One ranch must have offered at least a token struggle, which must have infuriated the killers, as every living thing on the place had been killed. Cows, horses, pigs and of course, the people, and this was the scene where I found one of the women. What horrible things they had done to her was beyond my imagination, I wept as I buried her and once more I swore to kill them all. Armed, unarmed fighting or begging for mercy, they would die.

I trailed them for days, without finding more destruction, and got steadily farther south. I was amazed to see the numbers of Saguaros, many limbed giant cactus, interspersed with stunted mesquite and green spiky paloverde trees. The ground was more flat here and covered with short golden grass, purple-brown sage and other types of scrub brush and the riding was much easier than it had been. The days were getting much warmer with clear skies and a blazing sun, though the nights were chilly enough and the sky at night was brilliant with a dazzling array of stars. I lay nights, drinking coffee and listening to the coyotes. During the day I could only follow their trail and because I was so alert to the danger in following them, I saw a plentiful display of game, from noisy blackbirds to bright red cardinals, majestic eagles, swooping red-tailed hawks and jack rabbits running everywhere. I even noticed the tracks of three small deer. I came, at last, to a place where their tracks split up. Three rode to the east, two kept on ahead and the other two rode more to the west. I don’t know if they finally realized someone was on their trail or just split up because they knew there soon would be, once their depredations were discovered. Whatever their reasoning, it was going to make my job harder but I promised myself I would track every last man jack of them down, whether it took a day, a week or a year, I would hound them till I caught and exterminated them all. It was no longer just for the reward, I wanted them dead.

I went straight ahead, following the two in front of me and I finally caught up with them in their night camp. I rode right into their camp, bold as winter, and without a word to them I started shooting. I caught the first one just starting to stand up and put two rounds right through the middle of him. I swung my gun toward the other just as he fired back. His shot went wild but I hit what I wanted putting a bullet right in the small canyon above his nose. He went backwards about three feet and then down on his back dead. The firelight was bright enough for me to see his face and it was Jed Cox. I got down off my horse and walked to the other one, rolling him over with my boot. This one was still breathing but blood was running out of both his nose and mouth. Bill Longtree was dying and knew it. He asked me to finish the job but I said no. I backed off to the fire, squatted down and helped myself to their coffee while I waited and watched him die in agony.

The next morning, I rode out to the west leaving their bodies to the wild animals or to rot in the sun, I didn’t care which, I wasn’t going to bury that trash. I didn’t catch up to the next two until after I got more toward the mountains again and it was up in a rocky ravine when I saw wood smoke. I circled warily until I could see the camp and both men. I got my extra blanket off my pack horse and snuck up to a ledge overlooking their camp across the ravine and about seventy-five yards away. I lay down on my blanket and rested my Winchester on a small rock. Taking careful aim, I squeezed off a perfect shot hitting Isaac Billings right in the forehead. Abe tried to run for cover behind some rocks but I had quickly levered another round into the chamber and I shot him in the knee. He screamed and fell but after a few minutes he tried to crawl to cover and I shot him in his right elbow. He screamed again but lay still. I gathered my animals and rode down and around, coming up on their camp behind him. He tried to roll over with a Colts in his left hand, so I shot him in that elbow too. He dropped the Colts and just lay there whimpering.

"Where are the other three," I asked, "tell me and I might let you live."

"You go to hell," he said, "you’re going to kill me anyway."

"Well," I said, "I guess you’re right about that but I can kill you real slow or just get it over with. How long do you want to take to die?"

"You get me into the nearest town to a doctor, then go ahead and turn me over to the sheriff and I’ll tell you what you want to know," he said.

"Now you know I ain’t going to do that," I said, "you are going to die, just like all those poor people you helped kill. Your only choice is to die slow or quick."
He just lay there without saying anything, so I shot him in his other knee.

"God, have mercy," he screamed.

"You didn’t back at those ranches," I said, "now you reap what you sowed."

"They went to Tombstone," he said, "now please get it over with." I stood up, threw the coffee cup I was using, once again from their own campfire, into the flames and then swung up into the saddle.

"Where are you going," he said, "you can’t just leave me here like this."

"Sure I can," I said, "but don’t you worry, these mountains are full of coyotes, wolves and even some bears. One of them is sure to help you die."

Maybe he could even manage to get to his Colts and somehow work it around toward himself and get the trigger pulled, if he could cock it first, with his two broken elbows, to shoot himself but I doubted it. He would either bleed to death or the animals would finish the job. I figured he deserved whatever he got.

I headed out for Tombstone hoping to end the trail there, I didn’t care whether it was in town or out in the hills, I was going to kill the other three. The first thing I did when I reached Tombstone was ride to the telegraph office and wire Marshal Tomlin the names of the four I had killed. Then I got me a meal and then a room at the hotel. I slept the day away, then got ready to hit all the saloons, one after the other that night. I figured if they were still in Tombstone, that is where I would find them. In each saloon, I ordered a beer and drank only a small part of it, nursing it to listen to the conversation around me. I was hoping to hear word of one or more of these three but I had heard nothing after the first four saloons. It was the sixth saloon I entered, down in the Mexican quarter, that my eyes opened wide with recognition.

Carlos Ramiriz was sitting at one of the tables playing poker. I walked up to the table and said, "I’m damned if I would sit at the same table with a woman killer and a rapist at that."

"What in the hell are you talking about," said one of the men there.

"The greaser," I said, knowing the slur against his nationality would anger him further.

"Mister," he said, "your mouth just got you killed," and with that he tried to stand and draw all at once. I didn’t have a table to interfere with my draw and beat him easily, shooting him in the same right eye as that little lady I had buried. He went over his chair backwards and landed in a sprawled heap of dead Mexican. "Remember the Alamo," I quipped, as I walked out the door of the saloon. I had a little explaining to do to the town marshal but a quick telegram to Marshal Tomlin took care of that and also let him know I had gotten number five. I stepped out of the hotel early the next morning and started towards the café down the street to get me some breakfast. I had just reached the door of the café when I saw two men ride out the double doors of the livery stable and head out of town. Unfortunately for them, they picked the wrong direction to leave town and were headed right for me. I recognized them from the memorized wanted posters right away and was determined they weren’t leaving town alive. I yanked my right hand Colts and rapidly thumbed off all five rounds, I always leave the hammer resting on an empty cylinder, and then holstered and drew the left hand Colts with my right hand.

The gunfire spooked their horses and both reared up, one dropping a dead Karl Waysinger to the ground with two bullet holes high in his chest and a third in the side of his head.

Bob Stuart went off his horse as well but on purpose to get out of my line of fire. He tried to make it around the nearest corner but I yelled, "fight or I’ll kill you running, you mangy yellow dog."

He stopped and slowly turned around, holstering his Colts as he did so.

"I’m not going to draw," he said, "just call the marshal."

"You’ll draw, or I’ll kill you where you stand," I said, "it makes no difference to me. I promised a lot of raped and murdered women and a lot of dead men I was going to kill you on sight and that is exactly what I’m going to do. Now, you can draw or just stand there while I shoot you to doll rags, a little at a time. Suit yourself."

He looked stunned for a second, then realizing he was going to die if he just stood there, he went for his Colts. I beat him on the draw and my first shot broke his right shoulder, causing his Colts to drop out of his useless right hand.

"Pick it up with your left hand," I said, "and get to fighting."

He bent down and got his Colts, somewhat awkwardly and tried to point it without standing back up. His shot went wild, of course, firing from such an awkward position and I shot him in his left shoulder. I walked up on him then and holstered my Colts.

"You like to butcher women don’t you," I said.

"That wasn’t me," he screamed, "that was the breed."

"Makes no difference who actually did the cutting, you stood around and watched it."

"I couldn’t have done nothing to stop it," he said, "not even if I had wanted to."

"Meaning you didn’t," I said, "and that makes you just as bad, maybe even worse.’ I walked up to him and drawing my Bowie, I bent over and put the point right in his scrotum.

"Hold on there, I can’t let you do that," said the marshal, as he came running up.

"You can’t stop me marshal," I said, "all you can do is die with him, if your of a mind," and he was looking at the unblinking eye of the barrel of my Colts.

As I pushed the point of the knife into him and the crotch of his pants turned red with blood, the crowd that had gathered quickly dispersed, at least most of them, with horrified looks on their faces, one even stopping to vomit.

His screaming soon drove off the rest, as I ripped upwards, the knife slowing as I sawed through his leather belts, then on up until the blade thunked against his lower ribcage. The marshal couldn’t take it either and walked away up the street, keeping his hands high, as he knew there was nothing he could do to help but die too. I killed Bob Stuart there, in the worst possible way I could think of, cutting him wide open, gutting him like a pig and I have no regrets.

If I wear the name of a hard case killer, then I have earned it and I don’t care if people look down on me. I don’t care if they always look the other way when they see me and talk behind my back about the killer. I did what needed to be done and those monsters got the justice they deserved.

The End

” 2000, George H. Lafferty