Sunday, November 15, 2015

This 'n That

THIS: I've reached page 93 on my first draft of the next novel. I should have been finished a long time ago, but just too many interruptions and I fall asleep too early. It won't be too much longer before it's finished. Here's an excerpt from Chapter Seven:

     "We been travelin' two nights and a day and we finally got here this mornin' to deliver this immoral outlaw to you Sheriff. He and his brother was tryin' their best to defile Miss Merik under some trees on the trail to Great Salt Lake when we came upon 'em. Lock 'im up and throw away the key," said Kid Ferry, looking the sheriff of Idle Springs in the eye and trying to avoid seeing his big, red nose.

     "Me and Junior was just holdin' her up on her feet, Sheriff," said Castinat, staring at the man with the star on his chest. "She fell to the ground when she got off her horse and Junior grabbed her arm and I took the other one and made sure she didn't hurt herself. That was all we were doin' when these  two bastards rode up and shot Junior afore he had a chance to say anything."

     Sheriff Tubbins was perplexed. These strangers turned up at his door with that older Castinat feller and that pretty Miss Merik, Dale Merik's daughter, and Junior Castinat dead on the back of a horse. Helluva way to start a day. Nothin' ever happened like this in Idle Springs before. And that Injun , hah. By God, I never heard of such a thing. Do I lock up Serge Castinat or let him go? Was he tellin' the truth? That means that stranger is lyin;, and I'll have to throw him in jail.

     "Wat did Junior do that you had to shoot 'im, Stranger?" said Sheriff Tubbins, scratching his head and blowing his big nose before looking the Kid in the eye. He was still standing on the wooden sidewalk in front of his small office eyeing the small party astride their horses.

     "That crook is lyin',Sheriff. I didn't shoot nobody. This feller's brother, Junior, he called him, tried to kill us for interruptin' their dirty pleasure and Bobby, here, beat him to the draw. It was unfortunate for Junior that the bullet hit 'im in the throat area and he died from loss of blood," said Ferry, taking a look at the bulbous, red and purple veiny nose on the sheriff's face. His eyes moved lower over the big paunch that stretched the sheriff's shirt and the missing button over his large belly, exposing his dirty long johns.

     "That's right, Sheriff Tubbins," said pretty Miss Merik, blinking her eyelashes. "Junior and Serge were fixin' to defile my body and these gentlemen came to my rescue. If Junior hadn't pulled his gun, he wouldn't have been hurt. The Castinats are always tryin' to get me alone and they almost succeeded."

     "Let us pray to the Lord that we found her before it was too late," said Bobby, dismounting and untying the rope around Serge's waist and the saddle horn.

     Ferry dismounted and took the reins of Junior's horse and tied them to the hitching post. He pulled Junior's body from the saddle and let it drop to the ground.

     With all eyes watching Ferry, nobody noticed Serge turn his horse with his legs and race down the middle of the short street. He disappeared around a corner of the last building in town before anyone could get his thoughts in order.

     "Wat the. . .", said Ferry turning his head to see the man and horse disappear.

     "By damn, he's excaped!" said Tubbins, watching the rider turn the corner.

     "The Lord acts in mysterious ways," said Bobby, still staring at Junior's body lying in the dirt among the horse droppings and small rocks and sand.

     The only one with any sense, Daphne Merik, took off after Serge. The Kid and Bobby mounted their horses and took off after Daphne. The sheriff ran down the middle of the street after them, yelling, "Let 'im go! We'll catch 'im later!"

     Tubbins returned, huffing and puffing, and stared at the corpse lying by the horse. Raising his head to look at the bystanders, he said "Nordell, go see if Doc Sycamore is in his office and tell him to come and git Junior out of the road before gits stomped on by a crazy horse."

     Sheriff Tubbins heard a commotion and turned his eyes in the opposite direction of the sudden departure of Serge Castinat. He saw a lone rider racing toward the group of bystanders. Before he could wipe the sweat off his big face and nose, Castinat slowed to a lope, yelling, "Don't bury Junior until you hear from my Pa, Sheriff!" and whipped the horse with his feet and disappeared around the same building again.

     Daphne's horse slid to a stop and she climbed from the saddle and told Tubbins, "My horse came up lame, Sheriff, darn it, and Castinat is getting away. Here comes the two men that saved me. They'll never catch him with the old nags they're riding."
      The Kid and Bobby plowed to a stop near Daphne in a cloud of dust. The Kid dismounted, waving his hands at the dust, saying, "Which way did he go this time, Sheriff? Our horses are worn out and we'll never catch up with him without changin' horses. We'll go look for him as soon as we can."

     "I don't know how he's able to stay on with his hands tied behind him," said Bobby, gazing at the small crowd that had gathered near Junior's body. "May the Lord carry that man's soul to Hell." He climbed off his horse and stood facing the sheriff.

     "We'll catch that scoundrel later," said Tubbins. "Let's go to my office. I got more questions to ask you, Miss Merik, and your two friends. Doc will take care of the body."

'N THAT: We attended TWO funerals in the last few days, I'm sorry to say. One was a waitress that worked in the small cafe where we eat breakfast practically every day. She had told us she was going to be off for a few days to have an operation to remove a small tumor. She passed away with cancer, which she never mentioned. 61 years old and it came as a big shock to us. You just never know when your time is up. The other funeral was for a neighbor, a nice lady, widowed, who really enjoyed life. She was about 95 years old.  A good, long life. We'll miss her on our condo board.

'ND THE OTHER; Life goes on with the tragic attacks in Paris. I lived not too far from one of them in my time in Paris a long time ago in the '60's, and I wonder why they pick restaurants to shoot up when there are much bigger crowds at other places and probably better targets. Our condolences go out to all the victims relatives and friends. 



  1. You're making progress with the novel - that's the important fact, not the speed.

  2. A lot of sadness at the moment. Sorry to hear about the funerals.

  3. The one was entirely unexpected, but life goes on. Thanks, Charles.

  4. Novel sounds like a good one. Keep plugging away (attempt at western humor). The sheriff sounds like a nasty sort and not much to look at either.
    Sorry to hear of the passing of your friends, always tough.

  5. I hope it turns out well, Neil, after all the "plugging.". Thanks a lot.