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A Cry for Help on a Downtown Street

The young man, who looked to be in his early twenties, got off his skate board and came over to where my wife, mother and sister were standing in front of the restaurant.  They were waiting for my brother-in-law and me to join them after we parked the car.  He approached the women.  His two friends stood several feet away.

“Do you have some spare change?” he asked.

Rather than answering his question, my wife asked him some questions of her own.  “Why are you begging? You are not too sick to skateboard.  Can’t you work?”

His tone changed.  He said to my wife, as he skated away, “F_ _k you, you selfish bitch.”  Apparently, he believes that he is entitled to expect money from strangers and it made him feel uncomfortable to be asked about his situation.

I was returning from the car parking and close enough to hear what he said to my wife.  I guess I didn’t like it much.  Or him.  I am kinda sweet on my wife, Miss Sugar.  I am protective of her.  So I walked over to the rude kid and his two companions.

Before I could give it much thought, my left hand suddenly gripped the front of the young gentleman’s shirt and knocked him off his skateboard.  It rolled away but he was still within my grip.  I am a professional communicator.  I communicated to the young man something along the lines that I did not like that kind of language around my wife, sister and aged mother.

Unbeknownst to me, my right hand had instinctively formed a fist and my right elbow had cocked my arm into a position by which that very fist was pulled back and pointing at the young man’s head.  Apparently, he recognized the predicament in which he had placed himself.

He turned to his friends for assistance.  “Call the police!,” he requested of them.  His voice had become less confident than the snotty tone he had used when addressing my wife.

Life can change in an instant.  In this particular instant, he seemed to change from feeling entitled to feeling frightened.  His friends seemed scared too.  Armed only with cell phones, they were not brave.  They were not loyal.  They did not come to the aid of their imperiled companion.  They stood by while an older gentleman (that would be me) was presenting a danger to the young man who insulted my wife and, in their perception, to themselves as well.  Smart kids.

Three against one is usually in favor of the side with the larger number of combatants.  But strength is not always in numbers.  Strength also comes from being on the side of right.  The two fellow skateboarders might not have felt it to be the right thing to do to come to the aid of a person who insulted another man’s wife.  Plus, I probably looked scary to them.

Jimmy Dean, before he started selling sausage, had a hit song called “Big John.”  Some of the lyrics describe  “A crashing blow from a huge right hand sent a Louisiana fella to the Promised Land.  Big John.  Big Bad John.  Big John.”  I like that song.

What saved these frightened young men from physical harm?  It was not the police. There was not time for them to arrive. Rather, it was an eighty-two year old woman who is 5’1″ and weighs 110 lbs.  She called my name in a stern voice that is familiar to me from my earliest memories.  When she uses my first name and middle name together, she means business.  It means stop what you are doing.  My mother had previous experience with me bruising my fists in the halcyon days of my youth.

So, obedient to my mother, I dropped my right fist and unloosed the grip of my left hand and gently shoved the foul-mouthed youth towards his stalwart friends.  And towards the curb.

The three skateboarders anxiously scooted away, as if in a hurry to be somewhere else.  Maybe they heard their mothers calling them too.

Tennessee Ernie Ford had a song called “Sixteen Tons.”  I am dating myself again.   It goes like this: “If you see me coming, better step aside.  A lot of men didn’t and a lot of men died.  One fist of iron and the other steel.  If the right don’t get ya, then the left one will.”   I like that song too.  I am a product of my upbringing.  My mother should not have let me listen to such songs.

The young skateboarders  were perhaps influenced by a recent Clint Eastwood movie, “Gran Torino.”  Beware crazy old men.
UsSantaFe
The photo above depicts the lovely woman I always will protect as well as one of the hands that frightened the ill-mannered youth.  My fist looks kinda big from certain angles.

In the movie, An Unfinished Life, Robert Redford’s character was told by a man whom Redford had ordered out of town because the man was stalking a woman he had abused, “You have seen too many Westerns.”  Redford replied, “I don’t see how that is to your advantage.”

History of Violence

I met a young man who shared with me that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of “being involved in a murder trial.”  (I did not meet him as a law client or potential client, but in another manner).

I asked if he had been a witness or juror or defendant.  Defendant was the answer.

He explained further that when he was only 17, he entered into a plea bargain to avoid the risk of a murder conviction as an accomplice to assault and accomplice to murder.    It seems that his father had beaten a man to death and he, the son, was accused of being involved.  He had gone to prison as a result of the plea deal.  He told me that a book was written about his father’s case and trial.

I commented to the young man that I had gone to school with a guy with the same last name, but in another state.  I told him that the kid I knew was named Butch.

“That is my Dad’s name,” he said.  I told him where I grew up.  It was a match.  He told me the year his father was born.  It was two years before my birth.

Same guy.  What a coincidence.  I did not tell the young man the nature of my relationship with his father.

My wife researched the old news story about the murder trial.  Part of it described the father’s criminal history.  Butch was known in his town as a bully it said.  He had many arrests for assault and, well, various violent crimes. Tough man. Had pulled a straight edge razor on the victim in a bar during an argument about high school wrestling.  He wanted his 17 year old son to fight the 28 year old who had criticized his wrestling.  The 28 year old, 6’1″, 245 lbs, was invited by Butch to their home to finish the conflict resolution.  The result was a dead 28 year old.

Decades earlier, when I was 12 and Butch was 14, we went to the same junior high.  Butch was in 9th grade.  I was in 7th.  Butch was a bully, supposedly, by reputation, very tough and mean.  I had a foolishly exaggerated sense of self esteem.  I had watched too many cowboy movies.

So, since my peers were afraid of Butch, I thought it would be hilarious to mock Butch.  Remember the song about not tugging on Superman’s cape and not pulling the mask off the Lone Ranger by Jim Croce?  Well, the song had not come out yet when I was in 7th grade.

It would make a better story if I had saved someone from the school bully.  Rather, I teased him to show I was not afraid.  As he ran by on the way home from school, I ran after him.  It was unthinkable to the other 7th graders.  They were smart.

So Butch noticed the laughter and turned around and saw me imitating him.  He came over to me and knocked the books out from under my arm.  In those days, we did not carry books in backpacks nor, heaven forbid, brief cases.

The onlookers watched, fascinated, as I faced a beating.  To their surprise, and probably mine, I retaliated and knocked Butch’s books out from under his arm, to the ground.  Then he shoved me.  I shoved him back.  A crowd gathered in a circle.

Then a miracle happened.  Butch picked up his books and left.  I like to think that he wondered why I was not afraid.  I wonder too.  It has worked for me on other occasions.   My wife, Sugar, has witnessed the same phenomenon.  (See “A Cry for Help on a Downtown Street ” https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/?s=+cry+for+help+).

Butch was either scared of me or he was just in a hurry to beat up some other kid.  I ain’t saying I could whip Butch.  I am just saying that he did not beat me to death like he did that other poor feller.

Sin of Materialism

Everybody likes my lovely wife, Sugar.  Or should.  I myself am quite fond of her.  She is kind, generous, smart, talented, and, like the beauty queen she was, easy to look at.  So far so good.

We have some guests at our bed & breakfast.  Sugar helps in her own way.  She makes wonderful breakfasts.  Now let’s talk about me for a minute.  I am the person who makes the coffee and, get this, pours it.

Miss Sugar tries to assist me in the many important tasks required of “the coffee guy.”  Today she handed me a crystal thing from which to pour cream.  When she entrusted me with it, she sternly warned me, “Don’t break this.  I have had it for 30 years.”

I know what you are thinking.  You are expecting me to say that I broke it.  I most certainly did not break it.

All I did was use it to feed the dogs.  It serves well, with the pouring part, to measure and pour dog food.  (That’s right.  I do more than serve coffee.  I also feed the dogs.}

So, Miss Sugar noticed the multiple uses to which I employed her precious crystal pourer thing and, nice as she might seem to the rest of the world, she put this object ahead of my personal emotional feelings.  She criticized my judgement.  She accused me of endangering that object.

How materialistic.

I thought that she loved our dogs.  And me.

I will pray for her immortal soul.

I guess that goes to show you — nobody’s perfect.

The Stabbin’ Cabin(s)

So, like I was saying, we had a fire at our house last week. There has been a lot to deal with. One of the things to deal with has been the lingering smell of smoke in the house. The insurance adjuster told us that we could stay in a hotel and get reimbursed as part of our claim. At first we did not leave. We stayed in the bunkhouse on the ranch the first night. It was 11 below zero and the pipes froze in the bunkhouse. My wife, Sugar, got up at 2:00 a.m. and said she had to use the bathroom in the big house, but warned me that she might not come back if she decided the smoke was not as bad as the cold, leaving me and the dogs in the bunkhouse until morning.

The next few nights the dogs and I joined Sugar in the main house. The smell was dissipating until the high winds blew the burnt smell back into the house. On the sixth night we went to the hotel.

I don’t recall staying at a hotel in our town before because there was no reason when we could go home to sleep. But now we did not want to go home to sleep in the smoke and wind coming from the hole in the north wall where the fireplace used to be. (See photos in previous post.)

Well, I picked a nice place so Sugar could rest up in relative luxury — the Hilton by golly. It has a nice restaurant. We had been to the Sunday brunch in the past. It has a spa and exercise room and pool. It has a ballroom where Sugar had put on a big art and craft show in December 2013, called “Handmade for the Holidays.” There is a beauty salon off the lobby where Sugar had gone for a haircut in the past. We felt kind of at home there. We stayed three nights.

In the morning after the first night, we went down the glass elevator into the lobby and there was crime scene tape on one side of the hall where folks exit the elevators. There was more crime scene tape around the front desk and more by the revolving door at the entrance where cars park while guests register or taxis drop guests off or pick them up. You have seen such entrances to big hotels. Some have valets. On that day, the yellow tape put a damper on the elegance.

I asked the woman at the front desk what happened. She told me that they “are not allowed to talk about it.”

So when we sat down in the restaurant to have the breakfast buffet for $15.00 each, Sugar asked an employee stocking the buffet what happened. Then she asked in Spanish. He replied in Spanish that someone got stabbed. He illustrated with a motion to his stomach. That information did not diminish my appetite. I got my $15.00 worth. The crime scene tape was marking off where the victim was bleeding throughout the hotel and out side.

A lady serving coffee and juice told us that nothing like that had ever happened at the hotel in the 28 years that she had worked there. I believe her. (It does happen other places, which I will explain later).

She said that someone on the 5th floor had been stabbed in a room and took the elevator down to the lobby, past the front desk and on out the doors. She did not say what happened to him next. Maybe he called a cab. Anyway, he is now in the hospital and on the front page of the local newspaper.

Who stabbed him? There are two suspects, who are accomplices. One is a 19 year old woman. The other is a 31 year old man. That is a big age difference for dating. I do not know whether they are romantically involved. However, it is alleged that the man who was stabbed was meeting with the girl for a business transaction when for some unknown reason, one of them stabbed him. Some speculate that the meeting involved the payment of money for something offered by the girl. It appears they did not agree about payment. Maybe the stabbing victim did not bring enough, or his credit card was declined. He obviously caused some disappointment.

Sugar thenceforth called the place The Stabbin’ Cabin, an inside joke between us, referring to a bar wherein I had a run-in several years ago. I was supposed to meet Sugar to go out to dinner later that particular day but I was in town early and had time “to kill.” Almost literally.

I am not a frequent drinker, nor a heavy drinker. I have never been drunk in my life, believe it or not, but on this Saturday afternoon I was thirsty, probably after mowing the lawn or some manly hard physical labor. I noticed a sign about half price beers and went into the establishment. No sooner had I sat at the bar by myself, and before I had even ordered a half price beer, a man entered the barroom and yelled some bad things to and about another man who was playing pool. There was a fight. Some of the patrons tried to break up the fight. I should have stayed out of it, but concerned about justice and even peace, I inserted myself into the altercation. I am a fairly large guy and was easily able to pull the combatants apart. I encouraged the attacker to leave the premises and, guess what, he did. The guy who was the victim was grateful. I felt important, like I usually do. I felt like John Wayne. (Like I usually do.)

I returned to the bar. The bartender seemed apologetic. He defended the reputation of the establishment. He told me that it is usually not that rowdy there so early in the day. It was like a Western movie. “Thanks, Stranger, for keepin’ the peace. What’ll ya have? It’s on the house.”

So when I later met Sugar at the fish place where we had planned to eat, I proudly told her what had happened while I was killin’ time. She had seen me do similar things in her presence and even on her behalf (See https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/a-cry-for-help/). She reminded me of my age and the distinction between chronological advancement and actual maturity. Overall, I got the message that she was not impressed. Well, I take that back. She was impressed by my stupidity, which apparently is way above average in its enormity. Our waiter, however, had overheard my tale of brave exploits and asked the name of the saloon. When I told him, he was familiar with its reputation. He told us, “We call that place the stabbin’ cabin.” That did not make Sugar feel better. Still, she remembers that name to this day and thinks it is funny to re-name the Hilton.
phonestache

The Bridges

riverwalk
A river runs through it — it being a corner of our place. Our Labrador Retrievers enjoy that feature of ranch life. But this is a story about a cat.

Beau, our male Yellow Lab, has taken upon himself many responsibilities. Some of them I share with him. For example, at the crack of dawn’s first light, he barks. Since we let the dogs sleep in the house to prevent fraternizing with coyotes, his bark requires me to get up and let him and Sadie go outside. Sometimes I return to bed, but if I slumber too long, Beau barks again from outside. This is my signal to feed him and Sadie on the back deck. I also put out food for the cats, in the elevated feeding station described in another blog. Beau is very vocal and very bossy. He has a routine. He likes all of us to follow his desired routine.

This particular morning, I did not return to bed. I gallantly allowed Sleeping Beauty aka Miss Sugar, my hot trophy wife, to sleep longer, and to sleep, I had hoped, undisturbed. So I fed the dogs without prompting by Beau. Nevertheless, as I was making coffee, I heard him bark again. He sounded troubled. It reminded me of Lassie, or Rin Tin Tin, or Bullet. What is it, Lassie? Is Timmy in the well? Yo! Rinty! Bullet, show me where Roy is! Beau ran to the river. He barked at something on the other side, wanting me to look. So I looked out and saw why he was barking. One of the cats was on the other side of the river. That bothered Beau. Maybe he wanted it to come for breakfast, per the routine. But now the cat was stuck on the wrong side of the deep waters. This was a job for SuperDog!

Beau believes he is responsible for the safety of the cats. I was fascinated to watch him swim across the river and come up the bank to where the cat was crying. The cat was directly across from the house, but the direct route meant swimming across the water. Apparently, the cat forgot where it had crossed the river. To get back to the house without getting wet, it needed to go to one of the two bridges, neither of which are by the house.

Beau sniffed it and then trotted toward one of the two bridges. He wanted the cat to follow him. He did not swim back across because everyone knows, including Beau, that cats do not enjoy swimming, hence the problem this particular cat was facing.

I have a lower opinion of the cat’s intellect than does Beau. I went to get my rubber irrigation boots on so that I could walk to and over the bridge, which is past the barn. I did not want to walk barefoot in order to rescue the dumb cat.

Instead of needing to rescue the cat, by the time I got to the bridge, the cat was already on the house side of the water. He had, as Beau desired, followed Beau across the bridge. Now who is the dummy? I guess it is me! The animals had solved the problem with no help from me. It seems that Beau at least is capable of critical thinking and problem-solving.
beau and cat
Below you can see the bridge they crossed. This is me riding Scamp another day. Some horses don’t like to cross bridges. I think the hollow sound of the clopping of their hooves and maybe looking over the side spooks some, but not Scamp. Beau is with us in this photo too.
scamp crossing bridge
the bridge
Above you see the other bridge, the one the county road crosses over. We don’t like our pets out on the road, so Beau made a prudent choice.
waterfall
This is one of the waterfalls about three miles downstream. The cat probably would not have enjoyed going over the waterfall. Thanks to Beau, the cat did not have to find out.

Mentoring Manliness

cowboy eating icecream

My wife has recently hinted that I am not in touch with my sensitive side. She recounted two recent events. I do not get her point. See if you do.

We were out to dinner with another couple last Saturday night. We were talking about the other couple moving to another home.

The husband addressed me and said, “I hope you won’t think less of me, but I cried when we left that house.”

Apparently, he wondered whether I understood how he felt. I do understand his sadness at leaving that beloved home. What I do not understand is why he would admit to me that he cried. T.M.I. — Too much information!

I was about to mentor him a bit concerning the inadvisability of sharing his emotions when Sugar squeezed my leg under the table. She can read my mind. So, I shifted to a different take on the topic.

“You wept?” I asked.

“Like a baby,” the man confessed.

“Well, the shortest verse in the Bible is: ‘Jesus wept.'” I thought that would comfort him as well as display my knowledge of Bible trivia. Then I changed the subject.

“Did you see Peyton Manning headbutt that Houston linebacker who put Wes Welker out of the game with another concussion? That sent a message. His teammates love that leadership even with a 15 yard penalty for taunting an opposing player! I loved it!” Now we were on a subject I could enjoy. There is, as you should know, no crying in football. Baseball either.

Today we were at The Forks getting ice cream. More specifically, I was getting a cone. Miss Sugar refrained. She is careful to maintain her figure as my hot trophy wife. The lady behind the counter knows us as frequent customers. She too calls Sugar my hot trophy wife.

“Are you here for your regular — Jack Daniels chip in a waffle cone?” She already knew the answer.

“And what will your hot trophy wife have?”

Sugar answered for herself. “I would not be a hot trophy wife if I ate too many of those, so I better pass.”

Two bearded young men were waiting in line. One of them asked about Jack Daniels chip. I guess he wanted to emulate me. I respect that.

I told him that I recommend it. I teased that sometimes sissies order mint chip or even caramel sea salt. We smiled at each other knowingly.

I said to his buddy, “I apologize for denigrating those who choose other than Jack Daniels, but it looks like you two are seeking guidance about the ways of the world.”

Sugar watched their puzzled faces. Helpfully, she instructed, “Denigrate means to put down.”

We went outside to sit on the porch swing as I ate my cone and Sugar watched me eat my cone with adoring eyes. In hindsight, I regret not offering her a lick.

We then walked to our vehicle, which was parked next to a Nature Conservancy pickup, and in the pickup were the two young bearded men.

“How do you like the Jack Daniels chip?” I asked the rugged man in the driver’s seat.

He could not meet my eyes. Sheepishly, he said, “I was hoping that you would not see me eating my cone here in the truck.”

“What, pray tell, did you get?” I tried to not look judgmental.

“I got cookie dough ice cream.”

The silence was uncomfortable.

The young man in the passenger seat broke the tension.

“I got Jack Daniels,” he cheerfully reported.

What a fine young man! He gets it.

ice cream

Call the Police!

As a prerequisite to reading this post, you should first read the one on the link below.

https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/a-cry-for-help

So Miss Sugar and I have a rental house in a town 50 miles away.  The tenants were to move out by the end of December.  On the last day of the month and of the year, they were to vacate the premises.  On January 1, we arrived at the rental house.  Imagine our surprise that the moving truck parked in the driveway was empty.

I knocked on the door.  It was locked.  I went into the back yard.  The two Mastiffs greeted me.  I walked into the open patio door.  They were not exactly packed up.  I looked around.  I got Sugar to come in too.  She had her camera.  See link. 

 
 I have been told that the power of my personal presence can be intimidating.  Shucks, I am just a country lawyer.  For some reason, over the years Miss Sugar has gotten the impression that I am a fighter as well as a lover.  She exaggerates about both.  Still, she was concerned when the tenants returned and I had a conversation with the male tenant, whom the police later described as “a large individual with a female companion with blue hair.” 

I might have let it slip during the conversation that I was not pleased that our house had been used to grow marijuana, that we had not given permission for a vent in the roof of the garage, and when the large individual denied the growing of marijuana, I might have inadvertantly called him a liar and encroached into his personal space, at which time he told me that I did not have to get aggressive.  I do recall gently responding that I am very aggressive and, perchance, I may have described myself, with typical self-deprecation, as a mean son of a bitch, without meaning disrespect for my own mother.  It was just a literary tool. 

In a few brief minutes, when I was inside the house and he was loading the truck, there was a knock on the door.  It was two police officers.  They informed me that they had received a call about an altercation.  I said there was no physical alteration, yet, and stated that our tenants were not out as promised, which I realize is a civil matter, and that this is a marijuana grow house, which in other states would be a criminal matter.  They did not seem interested in the latter.  

I thought, “What a weanie, calling the police on me.”

Sugar told me that she is the person who made the call.  I was insulted.  “I could take him, Sugar, you know I can, and you could handle the blue hair chick.”  

“I know.  It was not you that I was worried about.  A murder conviction could interfere with your ability to practice law.”

That Sugar is always considerate of the feelings of others.

 

Sharpshooter

My trophy wife, Sugar, was outside with the dogs while I watched Chisum.  As it turned out, viewing the John Wayne movie was a good way to prepare for my imminent deadly showdown.

I heard my wife’s alarming scream.  Then she called out to me, “Al, come out here.  Hurry!”  I moseyed up from the couch, ever obedient, ever vigilent.

I still did not know what she was frightened about.  (Girls can be overly dramatic and mysterious).  I empathetically inquired about what was troubling her.  Her response was not responsive to my question.  She uncalmly commanded, “Get a gun.”  Well, that was the main idea.  She was much more eloquent.

As an aside, in order to give some background to the scenario, I want you, gentle readers, to be informed that Sugar grew up in Texas.  Also, she is of Italian extraction.  You may combine your prejudiced stereotypes as you imagine  her emotional communication.

Further, Sugar’s desire that I bring a gun was not unrealistic.  I possess several firearms, including a pair of Colt .45s in a quickdraw holster, various rifles, and a couple shotguns.  They are part of the decor of our mountain cabin and readily available.  The NRA sends emails to me daily concerning unconstitutional threats to gun ownership.  I also am a member of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) which sponsors cowboy shooting competitions.  My SASS alias is Big Bronc.  Her’s is Miss Sugar.  Clearly, it was not unreasonable for her to ask me to get a gun.

So I emerged from the front door unarmed.  Sometimes I opt for hand-to-hand combat.  I wanted to assess the enemy’s strength before selecting a weapon.  I try to make it a fair fight.  No sense wasting ammo.

“Who needs killin’?  It don’t make me no nevermind.”   I stated the obvious.  “Womenfolk got nothin’ to fear when Big Bronc is around.  I will fight to the death anyone that threatens you and them yeller dogs.”   This little gal surely knew she could count on me.

“Oh, Big Bronc, there is an evil rattlesnake down there.  Please protect me and our precious pets.  You are so brave and strong and handsome.”  Those were not her exact words, but I knew that was what she desired to tell me.

“Get the shotgun with the snakeshot shells!,” Miss Sugar daintily suggested.  “Shoot it from up here on the porch so you don’t git yerself kilt.  I ain’t in the mood to call no hearst.”  She doesn’t talk like that either, but it would sound more like an authenic western story if she would have.

So I went to the toolshed and got a shovel.  I know she wanted me to use a gun, but this particular shovel is a narrow type of spade known in these here parts as a “sharpshooter.”   It is a weapon with which I have beheaded unfortunate snakes in the past.  Yes, this was fixin’ to be a fight to the death.

Miss Texas noticed what I had selected.  “You dang fool!  That rattler is going to bite you.  They can strike further than that little shovel.”  I wish she didn’t talk like that.

So I walked over to the snake, carrying only the sharpshooter shovel.

It was coiled and shaking its rattles.  It was a mean one, poised to strike.

Women are no help at a time like this.  I didn’t need some girly girl weeping about me.  I can take care of myself.  Still, through it all, I could hear Sugar’s sweet voice.  “Watch out, you idiot.  He is going to strike.”  I supposed that she was addressing the snake, giving him one last chance to retreat.  That is certainly how I took it.

Members of the general public are not usually quick enough or coordinated enough or brave enough to attempt what I was about to do.  That mean old snake probably did not recognize who he was facing.  He probably thought I was a member of the general public.

Instead, he was dealin’ with Big Bronc, the toughest hombre north of the Pecos, or at least the North Poudre Irrigation Canal.

I met his steely glare.  He didn’t show any fear as he hissed and rattled, but I had a feelin’ that, deep inside his cold heart and reptile brain, he knew this showdown would be his last.

My calloused hand was ready for action.

“Say when.”  I confidently offered him that advantage as I smirked.  (I have found that smirking intimidates.)

The tension grew.  Then Old Snake Eye made his move.  It was the moment of truth.   Or consequences.  One of us would soon be dead as a doornail.  He had my vote.

A blood-curdling scream broke the tense silence.  (Sometimes smirking alone is not intimidating enough.  One has to be adaptable when engaged in a fight to the death.)  I should not have called it a scream.  It was more like a war-cry.  A manly war-cry.

Well, I’m here to tell you that with one lightning fast blow, I pinned that coiled snake to the ground.  The blade of the sharpshooter got it right behind its open-mouthed head.  I did not let up until I cut its head clean off. Sugar warned that the venom is still dangerous, even after it was beheaded.  Like I don’t know that.

I scooped the detached head into the shovel and proudly showed her the proof of my victory, waiting for her to praise my skill and courage.  She did not express her admiration in words, but I could see it in her eyes.

“Shucks, M’aam.  It weren’t nothing any old hero wouldn’t do.”

I could tell she longed to reward me with a kiss.  There was things I had to take care of first.  After disposing of my vanquished foe, I put my trusty sharpshooter back in the shed and quietly rode off into the sunset.

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