Monday, August 13, 2007

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in: Colorado Death-jackal

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in: Colorado Death –jackal

((1869)(Colorado Territory, by Mesa Verde)) It was a dim, cold night, not excessively cold, perhaps five above,--and the moon seemed to diffuse within the mist of its light, which covered up a good portion of the stars. The ground was a pale-greenish brown, from the dim radiance which exhaled its due. As the night creped on, it ploughed overhead into a heavy ghostly blacker descent, almost like ash. A commotion was nearing, a twisted one, with an angry roaring to it, the sky all around seemed to brood, right and left, under his feet, then came a silence, and several howls, long drawn out howls, that would have brought shivers to most men. The man in him was aware of the Colorado lands, the wolfs, and tornados or twisters the dark nights, the cold it produced, the vague whispers, and shadows that appeared out of nowhere and vanished, as if burning up with the stars.
Ebbing was the beast as if to the rhythm of Blue’s his heart, a glimpse now and them from the luminous fragments of light from the moon, into the campsite. The canopy of purple mist mixed with a deep purple-blended in, interwoven around the man, as the night flourished. Even he was airily shaken. As he looked up from his spot, there seemed to be a dome over head, immense, and the stars blinked one by one, the sounds of he wolf-beast mourned once more. He was a wanderer like Blue.
Arizona Blue, was only a gunfighter, bred of a long line of shooters, mean and carnivores, and his ethics were as crude and simple as his any jackal. And his long periods of no-contact with civilization had given him an insight into the ways of a contemptuous secret world, the Indians and the lone gypsies, and other gunfighters, and gamblers, he knew their secret soul, and perhaps even the wolfs and jackals. He had previously worked for many ranchers in one way or another, response to the hard times, and needed money. He was perhaps considered at times lax but vigilant. He was all this and more, and the wolf that neared his campsite, was his equal, at least under these circumstances.
Ha-how, is what he named the large circling jackal (more like a wolf), it looked up and down his camp, and at him, their the heavy veil of mist of the night made them both barely distinguishable to each other, yet the beast could smell his flesh, but could not see his eyes, while his hat looked like a hood to the wolf, effectually concealing his eyes.
On the other hand, all Blue could see was the outline of the beast, it was huge, perhaps six feet on all its fours, a few more feet if it leaped backwards onto its hind legs; it had a long dark black body, slim with a powerful chest, and large head, and saber teeth, incased, and rooted deeply into its gums, and ascended upwards, drooping inches outward.
The jackal passed again, looked cunningly at the campgrounds, as if looking for a crack, one that would allow him a moments advantage; on the other hand, Blue not too familiar in the vague outline of the beast, tried to keep focused on its eyes, once the light of the fire hit it, they looked a deep glowing red, and he learned the unmistakable pose of the beasts head when it bobbed back into a fixed position as if it was zeroing in on him, for a shot in the dark, thus, Blue moved so he was not a standing target.
Then Ha-how’s eyes went blank, dark, it fled into the thick of the foliage, running around the camp wild like, inspecting to see if life would emerge. Blue’s own brain soared in a disorder of confusion, his emotions were bewildering, abstractions—nothing but marred facts, and unerringly he moved back closer to the fire expecting the beast to leap out of the woods and onto him, at any time, his gun in hand.
Blue was now talking to the beast, but could not see it, informed the beast he was ready for a showdown (he talked like a gunfighter, perhaps he was thinking like one, maybe this was not good, possibly the beast knew this), but the beast would now show himself. With even and friendly tones Blue beckoned the beast to come and fight get it over with.
“Much better we go this way quickly, than sit around waiting,” informed Blue to the Ha-how, as if he was human. Then he added, “Much better if you go,” and repeated, stolidly.
The beast scowled from the woods, as if it was taunting Blue. Perhaps was thinking also, who was this man to think he is the superior race at this moment; Blue, he had not shaken off the grip he had on the handle of his gun. The beast simply took notice of it, and started running again around the inner rim of the camp. Blue glanced expectantly at the wolf-jackal in dismay. Gripping the gun, wanting to aim it, but not quite knowing where, and even when.
Ha-how grunted, and howled, for he could not withhold it anymore—a haunting sound it was, and the beast knew it brought shivers to mankind. And Blue shot a bullet in that direction; it fell to the ground, but got back up. An accident or wound thought Blue. Did the sound startle the beast, I mean, they don’t reason—right?
In the next sweep, the vision of the beast dimmed, and it fell again, and Blue shot again. And again, Blue thought: another accident, or another wound? He extended his body closer to see, the foreground was empty of foliage, just dainty grass, sweat rolling off his forehead, his nostrils sucking in the cool night air, his own boyhood rose up in front of him, and smote him as he turned his head, bleak eyed to every nook and corner of the woods.
“I’m glad you came,” Blue was saying, “But do come out of the cold and get some warm heat from my fire, please.” So he said, almost sarcastically, as he looked into the woods, yet, all he could think of was how thick it was, and perhaps he could use the beast for its fur after he killed it. Thus, he was counting on the shrewdness he had learned in life, and I suppose, he figured the beast never got any brighter beyond its incapable limits, one that God Himself put upon beast, and gave to man.
The beast now sank down into a low –seated posture, with grace almost, he did not want his prey to escape, and it was the beauty of the kill, the capture that was enthralling: it was warrior against warrior; seldom did Blue or even the Beast find a good opponent, an equal. And with a proud pose head sticking out of the woods, silent eyes, tongue, inside its mouth, it listened for the movements of Blue, the seconds ticked away; both observed one another, almost in amusement, painful toil.
“What have you come for…?” asked Blue; for usually such beasts would simply move on. A slip, Blue fell on one knee; he had stepped on ice, and then resumed to get up. The beast could sense Blue’s warm blood, and vulnerable moment, and leaped its sleek body across the unfathomable gap, from the woods to the nearby fire, onto Blue.
Abruptly, the beast’s face was unheralded into a grinning form, over Blue’s, and Blue’s hand quaver, dropping the gun, sailing three feet in back of him, next to the fire.
It all happened in less than a minute, Blue’s mind flooded with definitions, on what he did wrong, those black red rosy eyes rosy and perturbing tongue, in front of him, over him, in a point of immobilization, its teeth next to his neck.
Then the beast moved back off Blue, it’s faced blazed. As if to say, I have a heart.
Blue stood up warmly, slowly, left his gun where it laid. When Blue looked at his gun, the beast sneered. He had won the battle fairly, thought Blue, both now clear-eyed. Blue tapped a finger to his forehead, as if to wipe sweat off it. The beast moved backward into the woods, and that was that.

Perhaps the Beast sensed Blue was a wonderer like him, a warrior like him, or perhaps it had seen him before, but it didn’t kill him, it was in essence telling him, he was on his territory I would think, and it was just a useless test of dominance, and perhaps the beast knew Blue was not afraid of death per se, for who ever lives like Blue or the Beast, lives more lives than one, and thus must die more times than one, die each time until death captures him completely. Whatever, Blue learned (for in 1869, he was young, and just out of the Army four years), pride comes before destruction.

Notes: it might be of interest to the reader, that in most every story Dennis writes, or poems, he himself has visited that area; to include Colorado a number of times, and Mesa Verde, once (Written 8-12-2007 (10:00 PM) Huancayo, Peru). Episode No: 38

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in: Stranger at Pig's Eye

Arizona Blue rode old Dan along the banks of the Mississippi from St. Louis, to St. Paul, Minnesota, better known to old timers as Pig’s Eye, it was November, 1885. The last time he had been in Minnesota was back in 1877, in the far north country, in the dead of winter.
The air was filled with smoke, and there had been a break in the water, the ice had thinned, and some flooding was taking place, it was unusual, in that flooding took place in Spring, but it was a early winter, and December was around the corner, and Indian Summer had crept in late, it would last a few weeks, then the harsh winter would roll back to stay until March or so. The levee was flooded with ice water, and the sixty or so homes on it seemed to be packed in among the mud. Carriages were hard to pull even with two horses in front. The mud was soaking into everyone’s shoes except for the high rubber ones.
It was a bad summer also, bad harvest, there would be a shortage of corn, wheat and sugar this year, things looked a little bleak. His quick eye saw two Indians canoeing down the Mississippi. The whole river would freeze over by the end of December, or early part of January.
A few folks were fishing on the banks of the River, ice fishing, the high cliffs behind them, and the city on the mesa above the cliffs. He greeted a few passers-by, and he was sure no one in this part of the country knew him by sight, perhaps by reputation; he had been in most every paper in the country at one time or another.
In the bottom of his jacket pocket, he had a leather pouch; it was filled with silver and gold, perhaps five-hundred dollars worth. On the back of his horse, he had a sack, it had some grub left in it, and a coffee pot, and a frying pan. He knew he had to find a place quick to warm up; his hands were numb, cold as the ice on the river. He saw a wooden sign, it read “Pig’s Eye Trading Post,” under the sign was anther one, that said, ‘Hot whisky and food…!”

“Whiskey Stranger,” said a giant of man behind the wooden bar, he must had been 250’pounds of muscle, “Big Ace is the name,” the barkeeper said.
“Yup…!” replied Blue, a whisky sounded good, it would warm up his insides, “and how about some soup?”
“Sure,” Ace said, pouring whisky in one small glass, and handing a hot glass of water to wash it down, Blue pulled out a twenty dollar gold piece, grabbed the whiskey, and walked over by the wooden stove that was in the middle of the saloon, and warmed himself up, drinking from the bottle.
The bartender kept a close eye on him, he wasn’t from Minnesota, he knew that, and therefore, was suspicious.
“The bluffs around here are pretty high,” commented Blue. Ace shook his head as if to agree. To Ace, the first omen was he simply walked away with the bottle, he looked like trouble to him, and he could handle trouble. But as Blue opened up his jacket, he noticed he had two revolvers, one on the right hand side of him, the other in a holster upper left-hand side of his belt, a bit slanted so he could make a quick draw with his left right hand either way.
The barmaid brought the soup over to Blue, moved a table over by the stove, so he could sit down and eat, she did a double take on him, Blue barely noticed her, but he did notice she was checking him out, and it wasn’t the face of a whore, or prostitute. She went to serve a few other folks, but kept looking back a Blue, and Ace kept looking at her looking at the stranger.
Blue took another look as she walked around the stove slowly, staring, she was in her late 30s or early 40s he guessed. A shapely woman for her age, and still some beauty in her face, but she had scares he could tell, a hardness to her eyes, and chin, as if suspicious, or guarded.
The bar was filled with the levee folks, Italians and the Irish, not a good combination when they got drunk. An Indian and his wife were also at the end of the bar drinking some beer, perhaps 20-folks in this early morning bar, on Saturday. It was half past ten AM.

Blue’s body was becoming unthawed, his hands no longer numb. The soup was gone, and the once full bottle was half gone. Again the woman looked at Blue, a glimpse here, there. He stood back up, put his hands closer to the stove, also his knees, and feet, then he took his boots off, sat back down to warm his feet up, socks and all.
She now was starting to look familiar (he had saved her life back in the winter of 1877, and perhaps she saved his also, it was an Indian raid in the north of Minnesota).
‘Yes,’ she said to herself: I know this man…then as if she had awaken from a dream, a spark flooded her insides, and she leaped on Blue, who was standing by the fire, and put him into a bear-hug, saying “It’s me, Feba, you know, the one with the wolves nest…” Then it dawned on him, yes, it was her alright, and he started thinking while in that bear-hug:

((Blue thinking)(Winter of 1877)) As Blue reached for his thoughts, he now remembered her, Feba, from the Northern Country of Minnesota, it was the winter of 1877 when they met, when her and her husband gave him shelter, as he had rode through the thick of the snow of the woodlands, he had come to a cabin, up in an area where the deer was running wild—to and fro—; he remembered smelling the smoke from a nearby chimney. He was a hundred and fifty plus miles north of St. Paul at that time, but it seemed like he was in the Artic. He had asked Feba at that time, why she kept wolves and she had said, “I raise them. They can come in handy.” It was Indian country, Chippewa’s, and he supposed it made sense. In the back of their cabin was where they kept a nest of wolves. Yes, he remembered her quite well, and her boy, Tony, whom the Indians killed. It was near Christmas time he recalled. Many of the Indians had burned the cabins of neighbors. Her whole family was dead, and they had to make it back to civilization in the middle of winter. Yes indeed, those memories were flooding his cerebellum.’

“Gentlemen,” she screamed loud, her giant of a husband behind the bar, Ace, who was almost ready to jump over the counter, but was unsure who to battle with for his wife was the aggressor. She then said with a trembling lip, “This is my friend, my dear, dear friend who saved me …” everyone seemed to know what she was talking about, and there was great pride on her face, and Ace stepped back from the bar to catch his breath. Blue put a comrade smile on his face, and for that following moment, everyone seemed to know Blue better than he knows himself.
“Mr. Blue…” said Ace, “catch,” and he threw the gold piece he gave him back to him, “Your money is no good here, you can have what you want, you saved my little wife from…” and he had to wipe his eyes.

The bear-hug was over, and Blue just stood there idle moment thinking, how well she mended her wounds. I mean she had lost a boy, a husband, a home, everything. Somehow in Blue’s mind he was not surprised in Feba’s recovery, he had classified women into three categories, Good, Evil, and half good and evil, and usually the half turned into the full evil if you allow it to; and women were strong when it came to survival after a grieving process, they cried it out, men usually got angry and tried to battle it out, and it took much longer, if ever to get over it. Another one of his beliefs were: good or bad women wanted to change good or bad men into incontestable men, but they liked to marry the strong and demanding man usually in the beginning, fickle he called them.
Thus, he said cordially, “I need to check on my horse Dan; he needs to be fed and put up for the night…”
Feba responded by saying, “You will be our guest here as long as you wish; we can talk about old times.”
And he walked out to his horse, never to return, lest he parish, for no man wants competition.

Blue had strange ideas, he figured life is given to every person with so much energy to spend, and once used up on one thing, there usually is none left for the other. He was not true to his thinking, but he made his escape, he felt people are usually good because of the circumstances, evil because of opportunity, envy, and jealousy. And who can read a man’s pretense. He had fought over the air he breathed ever since he was a child, thus, he had not cared to have his energy spent on Feba where would it go, at his age now, and there was no surplus energy, and why uncover old wounds, she had healed well, and so he felt, leave well enough alone.

Note: St. Paul, Minnesota was referred to (for many years) as ‘Pig’s Eye,’ dating back to the 1840s thru the ‘60s, when a saloon owner opened up one on the banks along the cliffs of the Mississippi, first in a cave like abode, and then as time went on into a wooden structure. It was a drinking place, as well as a trading post of sorts. Thus, the name has stuck onto the city. Now there resides a dump that is referred to Pig’s Eye, in the lower part of the city. As the city grew in the 1870s and 1880s, Pig’s Eye, now refereeing often to the city of St. Paul, created a levee to slow down the Mississippi, and on this levee, Italians lived, and at one time the Irish. In the early 1960s, the last house was torn down, because of the constant flooding, plus the levee was not useful any longer, for dams were built to control the water flow. Mark Twain visited St. Paul in the 1880s, saying in essence: what a growing city. Well, likewise, Arizona Blue visited the city in 1885, it was for a short period of time, but he was there.

Written 7-30-2007, Huancayo, Peru on the Platform.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Arizona Blue, Gunfighter, in: The Strutting Negro (1883(36))

Arizona Blue, Gunfighter, in: The Strutting Negro (1883((36))

Now we come to the story of Thomas Jean Le (he never gave his last name to the guards, or police), a stocky, credulous, creature with whom few folks would have nothing to do with. But whose tales of Paris—outrageous as they seemed—gave amusement to the inmates in jail the first night he was there, and to his whites of his eyes they were always gleaming; he would read when bored. His kinky hair was always standing on end, and he had great angrily for dancing, among other things. He was content by himself, playing cards, or games or whatever, as I said, reading, an educated Blackman for his times: himself, perhaps too beguile for the times, in wanting to know and see what he could, and at the same time, not be taken advantage of. I should mentioned, while in jail in New York City, the few days he was there, he did have one friend, a Belgian, whom spoke only when spoken to, never completely happy, unless that is, he was reading (a bookworm you could say, and a scared one at that, fearful like a rabbit looking to be eaten at any moment by rats), so you see, both Thomas and the Belgian had this in common, not much else, and so they clicked, but again I must stress they had little time to click.
He was brought to the jailhouse by two guards, clubs in their hands—as if they were fearful of him, as the tall heavy Negro fumbled about, he was then thrown into the cell with a half dozen other folks, a few whites, an Italian, the Belgian, and a few Irish folk. Arizona Blue was kept in the cell next to this one, alone. Blue was snoring when they brought the big guy in, a huge strutting man, muscles from ear to toe, a young man, perhaps twenty-eight or so (born in the mid-1850s). When he smiled he had the whitest display of teeth god had ever given to any man. As the guards brought him face to face, toe to toe with the members of the cell, they had to throw a cot into the center of the cell, for there were no beds left: he plowed politely through the bodies standing alongside the archway of the iron bared door.
When he spoke, it sounded funny. It wasn’t English completely, but with something foreign connected to it, something his cell mates could not make out, “French;” said Thomas, with a big smile, and cautious eyes.
“I’m called “Sneaky Jack, I’m from down in New Orleans, what’s with the accent, it’s no French thing, and you coming in strutting like a peacock.”
Thomas wasn’t sure if that was a statement or a question, so he paid little attention to it, and broke eye contact, and sat lightly on his cot, the Belgian introduced himself to Thomas, and he commented on the book the Belgian was holding, and that started a conversation.
Blue had gotten drunk the night before and he got two days in the county jail, he was simply getting over a hangover. Then Blue was woke up, as was the evening guards disrupted by the laughter and brawling inside the cell of Thomas’. Sneaky Jack, had hit the Book Worm, the Belgian, a surprise knockout punch, and took the change he had in is pocket to buy some tobacco later on. No one said a word, except Blue looked at the Negro, and the Negro looked at Blue, and the two Irish brothers, known as the Fighting Irish Boys from Dublin, they both looked at Blue and Thomas, looking at them.
“Don’t say a word,” said the two Irish, “Sneaky Jack is alright, who cares about a bookworm anyhow, he don’t need a dime in here, doesn’t smoke or drink.”
Well, Blue was not going to say anything in the first place, but he didn’t like being told he couldn’t. And the Negro just laid back, didn’t say a word either, he knew he needed to sleep and if he got involved with such things, he’d never wake up.
It was December in New York City, and the cells were cold, and the Belgian woke up, and didn’t say a word of his several dollars in change missing, and Jack was now chewing tobacco, he knew Jack didn’t have a dime, and here now, he was chewing.
It was the third day for Arizona Blue, and he was to be let out of jail, he paid a small fine, but before he could leave, he had to wait for the jailer to go to the bank and get his money and guns out, they kept them in a safe deposit area for the inmates, during there incarceration period, and now, during this interval of less than an hour Thomas had woke up, and Sneaky Jack was drinking down a pint of booze. Where again did he find the money, Thomas put his hand inside his pants pockets, and his three twenty dollar gold pieces were missing.
It was a rule of the jail you could keep money up to $100-dollars in the jail, but beware they told the inmates, lest someone sill it, and they would not be responsible. With this they could buy extra items, those who were in for long term, like Sneaky Jack, who had six months, and Thomas that was to be bailed out that very afternoon, his second day.
“Sneaky Jack,” said Thomas, in a calm quiet way, “it is best you give me back my gold pieces.”
“I didn’t take them,” he commented.
“Then let me check your pockets?” Thomas asked.
“Not today negro, maybe tomorrow,” then he laughed, looking at the Irish brothers, and they started to laugh also.
Then Thomas quicker than a normal man, hit Jack several times, and he flew against the bars, the depth and power of his blows were remarkable, and the two Irish went to help, and before they could put their fists up, Thomas threw several blows to their stomachs, heads and as they went down, they hit the floor like timber falling in the forest. Carelessly, Jack got back up, put his fists up again as if to continue the fight, “What a fool you are,” said Thomas, because he could reason at this point, so Thomas felt, his opponent must be a professional fighter, and then as Jack leaped to throw a punch, Thomas connected to Jack’s right side of his head, and Jack fell to his feet, as if he was hit with a bullet.
The guards now came in, gave Arizona his guns and money, as they tried to wake up Jack, only to find out he was dead. Then a stranger came into bail out Thomas, and the guard on duty said, “This negro just killed this white man…!”
Said this French looking older man, “But it must had been in self defense, and plus he has a sparing, fighting engagement with John L. Sullivan this very afternoon.
Said the guard, “I think before sunset, he’ll be hanged, if I know the judge, and I’m sure the Irish brothers saw it all, and I doubt it will be self-defense, and I would guess the Belgian wants to keep reading his books, so I think the odds are against him, he’ll make the boxing ring ever again.
Blue walked out of the jail, he knew the people, the laws of the land, the laws nobody looks at, and the people who—for a laugh over a few drinks down the road—would sacrifice a life or two, that was a part of America, the French fighter didn’t know about, but would learn quickly.
Written 6-8-2007, in Lima, and rewritten 6-28-2007, in Huancayo, Peru

Friday, June 08, 2007

Arizona Blue--Gunfighter, in: "The Baby-snatcher" (#34)

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in:
“The Baby-snatcher” (#34)

(Galveston, Texas, 1882)) Heading towards Yellowstone)) He came down the street escorted, hands tied to each other. The delegation that followed him consisted of two deputies, one sheriff and the mayor, in addition to the culprit of course, Ned Mace (he snatched babies from their cribs, in stores, whenever he had a chance: sold them and bribed all and everyone who wished to stop him).
The winds were heavy in Galveston that summer, the ocean seemed to have produced waves as high as houses, and the winds seeped through the streets. Ned Mace, obeyed every word the Sheriff said, as if he was a toy, but that was not Ned’s nature of course. During this journey, which consisted of walking several hundred feet in the twilight, to a stagecoach, that would take him to a prison the ropes were not once removed.
One of the two deputies, by the name of Allison, had to urinate, and asked the others to halt, and he ran in an alley to do his thing, during this time, the culprit complained of his wrists were swelling to a point it was unbearable. The sheriff took a look, ever so attentive it seemed, then the deputy examined the rope closer together with the Sheriff, it was over-tightened, but the duty said, “So what, this isn’t a beauty contest…so they’re red and swollen…!” and the Sheriff left it alone. Then suddenly a bullet hit the shoulder of the sheriff, he fell back, and a great array of bullets came—one after the other—at the rest of the entourage, the conclusion was: all but the sheriff and Ned were dead, and the shooter, the deputy, took off like a bee after honey, and so did Ned Mace. The sheriff stood up looked about and yelled for help, as if he was feeble with his wound, which was a very light wound indeed, just scratching the flesh.
It would seem to an onlooker, accuracy and speed helped this escape, thus it was planned, but who saw it? Who witnessed it, it was twilight, and no one could say for sure, and so the sheriff of course knew this, and it would remain a mystery for which the slayers were, but one could say it was the deputy, not even the town drunk could have seen this.

There were many side streets, dark and dingy around that area of twon, and the one the deputy ran down, was next to a hotel, and in the morning, Arizona Blue, walked out of the front door of the hotel, he was on his way to Yellowstone, stopped for a moment to rest up. Now in the bar he saw the sheriff, quietly he walked up to him, asked how he was, the sheriff knew who Blue, was, and simple said, “A bit of trouble last night!” And perhaps the sheriff should not have, for Blue responded, “I know, I saw it all!” The sheriff took a swallow of his beer, “All you say…? too bad the deputy got away and Ned!”
So, said Blue, “The deputy was the bad guy?”
“Of course, he even shot me here in the shoulder!” Then the sheriff pointed to his shoulder.
Said Blue, “I killed the Deputy.” And the sheriff become lost for words, and just at that time, “Ned Mace came down the street, his horse aimlessly crisscrossing main street, his body was like a sack of potatoes laying over the saddle, tied to the horse, the town folks all ran to Ned, looked at the sheriff. The barkeeper overheard the conversation. And Blue went on to Yellowstone.

6-6-2007 (EP/Lima, Peru)

Arizona Blue: Scarlet with Rage (1844)

Arizona Blue:
Scarlet with Rage (1844)

(1844) He hadn’t forgotten his gun, it was in his hand—although he looked at it, but the sight that greeted his eyes was greater, his mother, and that was more important to focus on, she had vivid eyes, the man behind her made him grip his gun tighter, he would be her brave man, if need be, he set every nerve in his noble body on alert, truthful to the tingling he was but twelve-years old at the time,—expectantly he knew he had to do it.
“Attention,” screamed the voice behind his mother—rapidly he pointed the gun upwards, “Fire” the drunk said, as if he didn’t care, then a smug remark followed, “…if you can!” The drunk was scarlet with rage, the boy cool as steel, his gun heavy in his hand.
“Pa—step back from Ma…!” he demanded, taking aim, his mother bloody, broken nose, bruised ribs, weakly wobbling on her knees back and forth, sideways, and her eyes both closing from the red soreness that circled around them: the old man was drunk again, Blue had seen this before, but not quite like this, and now he knew how to fight back, his father taught him.

Blue made one last appeal—which would be his last in his lifetime, he so generously lent; then out of the corner of his eye he saw his father reach for a weapon (alongside him, believed to be a hunting knife he kept in his boot). A few seconds after this, with his father’s last fleeting glimpse—of insanity, and insensitivity, and a last look of devotion from Blue, a bullet penetrated his father’s flesh: he fell over backwards, and as he fell, Blue heard a cry, “Too late!”

(1882) Arizona Blue sat back by his fire, against a rock in Yellowstone National Park, Camping by himself with his horse Dan, now fifty-years old, and this reelection came back. Then he remembered his mother’s hands, and lifting her up from her knees…then going into the back of the wagon, and her tucking him in tightly with blankets to keep him warm for the night.

6-7-2007 (AP/Lima, Peru)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Arizona Blue--Gunfighter, in: "The Written Word" (#33)) 1843))

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in: “The Written Word” (#33)

The Summer of 1843 (A Story out of Chicago)

Arizona Blue, could not of course, write or read for that matter any language whatsoever, and he was but eleven years old; he pronounced words of one to two syllables for the most apart, as was his vocabulary simpler.
Subsequently, he wanted to learn, but he was too anxious, busy fighting at school, working at home, always anxious, restless—unstill.
Every morning he’d consequently direct himself down a path to the school, with good intentions to go, but in the interest of truth, I must say, he seldom make it to the school, Sid Milliard, a close friend, a year older, would be waiting somewhere along that path, waiting for him, and most of the time he found Blue, and they’d go get drunk in the nearby crematory, putting their homemade whisky jugs on the tombstones, talking, drinking, until they’d pass out from the moonshine Sid’s father made in the back of his store in Quincy, Illinois. His mother, Maria, simply said “Son like father,” but it worried her to the marrow of her bones that he was not getting any worthy education in reading or writing. But again she confessed to her sister Sally by letter, “In my life so perfectly I understand, Blue is like his father, in many ways, he is a most exquisite nuance for a son, but I love him.”
And in the summer of 1843, Sally invited the family down to Chicago, both sisters had an idea. (It should be said, Maria was cleaver indeed, well read, and knew the written word well, and perhaps to a high degree the unspoken word as well, for she was a survivor; her vocabulary was a master of intricate words if she wanted to use them; she was breed at an all female college, one a famous poet attended during her times, in New England.)
Blue often thought, ‘If I had one third, just one measly third of my mother’s intellect, I’d be ranked high among my peers, but he liked the art of fighting, and shooting, similar to his father. And he was torn on the drinking part, but he drank nonetheless, often, but at his young age, it seemed more of an emulating thing, than anything else.
I suppose one could say, Blue’s father—in comparison to his mother—was extraordinarily simple, and many of his words were unutterable, thus, communication lay very deep in respect for his father, and the son gave it (father like son; or the other way around), and of course this concerned Maria.

—One day after their arrival in Chicago, Maria introduced Blue to his Aunt Sally Cowden, and her daughter, Sheila. She was all of seventeen years of age, and Blue of course six years younger, but he was big for his age, and serious in his composure, they took a liking for one another, like white on rice, right away. In any case, the two sisters enjoyed the summer together, as Blue’s father was working on a farm outside of Quincy trying to get enough money together to head out west once they got back to the city, in early September.
As a result, the secret of Blue’s learning was really connected to his attraction to Sheila, one Blue would never forget. That summer proved to be an intense study into words, reading, spelling, and Blue concentrated very deeply on this, it would be a period of time he’d never replicate again.
It began and ended with an innate and homogeneous tactile liking between Sheila and Blue—one that seemed to appear with an almost unspeakable ease. As always his mind raced, and thus, picked up her daily lessons quite easily, and in time, she would become a teacher, her life’s goal.
But it would be back to Quincy for Blue and his mother, and then out west, as his father was buying the wagon and supplies needed for the long journey, and on that journey is where Blue would earn his future reputation.

Written EP, Lima, Peru, 6-6-2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Arizona Blue--Gunfighter, in: The Shooter from Lima (1881))#32))

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in:
The Shooter from Lima (1881))Episode #32))

Advance: They had all gathered outside along Main Street, Abilene was the town: Amos—from New Orleans had just got into town, heard the commotion, a gun fight was about to start, he stood by his horse, hung on tight to its bridle, and Bill the Bartender from the local saloon, stood scratching his thick neck, and Zelda, the prostituted was hanging over the balcony, trying to get focused from a long drunken night, it was forenoon, and a cold darkness, a silence crept over the muddy street, through the soupy sky…(It was the day his father died, which was July 1, 1844, he was only 46-years old back then. His Mother Margaret Teresa Dalton, had to raise him then after. It was a rough childhood, coming west from Quincy , Illinois, he couldn’t remember the exact year he was born, he thought his father once said it was 1832 (he would die in 1885), now standing in the sun, he felt like the kid said, ‘Old man’ to him, he was 49-years old to the best of his knowledge, longer than most gun fighters ever got to be (Wyatt Earp, would grow old, but not many like him did, he had met him once in Tombstone). Anyhow, today was a hot day in Abilene, and some kid from the far south had come up through Mexico, he said he was from Peru, Lima to be exact, and he had just killed someone in the bar. But Arizona was really thinking about his dad, and his mother, but not for long, not after the kid smack into him.

[The Shooter from Lima] He wore a clad shirt, the young shooter from Lima, his long lean muscled legs were planted far apart in the mud, in the middle of the street, he shook his head from side to side at the recumbent (the tall man he called to have a shootout with ((His name was Manual something…no one got his last name, they just called him, ‘The shooter from Lima)).
Curiously enough (at least to Arizona Blue), the Peruvian said in English
“Go for it Mister!” then he added “Mister Blue…or whatever they call you!”
Blue murmured ‘I’ll kill you sunny…go on while you can to wherever that place called Lima is…!’
And the Shooter laughed, slowly laughed, and Arizona said in his whispering voice, ‘Enough of this nonsense…!” and like a drummer, he shot four holes in his chest, faster than you could blink an eye; the shooter barely got his gun out of his holster.
As Blue’s bullets climaxed in a thundering push, knocking the young kid down into the mud, steadily cramming through flesh and bone and internal organs, Manual’s voice echoed a producing, but dim vocal cry, “I’m actually dying…!” He said. The young man’s laugh became less and less as Blue approached him—the demonstration was over, complete, Arizona told himself. The shooter from Lima was dying, slowly.
His lips became yellow, his face expressionless, his feet, jerking as Blue approached him with his rawhide look, it had been a long ride from Mexico to Abilene, and he was tired, wind and sun burnt, and now he seemed to produce a fascinating grimes, as he stood over the dying lad, “Old, you say, haw…” commented Blue to the dying man. “I see you got no more profanity for me.”
The Peruvian puffed gently as he lay, internally gasping for air, helpless with miner gestures, and Blue, pitiless with grace; thereat, Blue turned to walk into the bar, allowing the shooter delicately to escape for an abstracted interest, his dying wish, quietly and quickly he removed the gun from under his leg, with a burningness in his chest, and his last efforts, he lifted the gun a few inches, shot it off, and a bullet plunged into the left back thigh of Blue. He stopped, hesitated, then without acknowledging the wound, he walked into the bar as if nothing happened, ordered a drink (he’d not allow himself, or the kid, nor the onlookers a show…he’d take care of it later, and suffer the pain now).

Afterward: The Sheriff was in his office looking out the window, holding a curtain with his left hand, and outside his office was Judas, the drunk of the town sweeping the wooden sidewalk clean, and around the pole, his attire—rages. The sheriff shook his head, murmured ‘had not the young man learned a lesson in the bar, when he nearly got his gun out and shot old Zulu, and then bumped into Blue, and called him on, Zulu was not half as fast as Arizona Blue, alas, no one counseled the Kid from Lima.’

Written in Lima, Peru, 6-5-2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

The History of writing: Arizona Blue—Gunfighter

The History of writing: Arizona Blue—Gunfighter

( I think the original idea for the stories of Arizona Blue, were invented in my mind, back when I was perhaps ten or eleven years old, those far off dreams come back do them not.)

The Arizona Blue stories: first imagined, and were written down in 1990, was but two stories, and put into a stack of papers in the basement of my house in Minnesota, and forgotten for the most part (today, May, 2007, there are now 31-stories, and on 226—internet sites, and three of the 31, are in a book called, “Everyday’s an Adventure,” and perhaps someday all will be put into a book, should I find someone willing to publish them).
The first story was suppose to be the last story 1) “Lady in White,” (six chapters) being the first of the two, although if I recall right, in 2001, and 2002, I reconstructed it a little. And the second one was 2) “Wild Flower,” which was not it’s originally name; it was really part of the first and original story. Then I wrote the third in 2001, and completed it in 2002 called “Deadwood,” (after I went to Deadwood) I added as a subtitle 3) “The Mexican Stand off (Deadwood)” and in July 2005 (was created in episodes, but made in chapters: for example: ´Showdown on Main Street,’ and ‘The Barber Shop’ and ‘Chickamauga’ and ‘The Rooming House.’ Thus, we have five episodes individually published but later on sewed together) I added to the five part story, about 2500-more words, making the four parts more of a five part short story, connecting to one another, instead of one interconnecting long story, which it is in essence, if one wishes it to be. So Episode four could really be #8.
In the third story, originally called “Deadwood,” which later on became part of the full title “The Mexican Stand off (Deadwood)” a story of Chickamauga was added to the narrative. The rock of Chickamauga was put in after review of the battle. The author me, during my Army stay in Germany, prior to going to the war in Vietnam, in 1970-71, I was stationed at a military base, called Reese Compound, in Augsburg, Germany 1/36 Artillery, where there was a huge rock their with the inscription, “In Memory of the Battle of Chickamauga.” This I never forgot some how, and so out of respect and memory I added it to his story, or series as it has now turned out to be.
I spent 11-years in the military service. In the first part of August 2002, when I was editing the three stories for the book “Everyday’s An Adventure,” of which many of my short stories were put into the book, my wife Rosa of three-years, at the time, liked the stories so much, I wrote a forth story, called 4) “Arizona-Blue, and The Wolf Nest (in the North)”. I completed it except for the conclusion, which it was already designed to be a two part story; but felt later on it was not necessary, and entered a short summation to the story.
Thus, it was revised, and is as you see it now; it surfaced August of 2005, and became very popular on the internet.
I did start to write another Arizona-Blue story, my fifth, called 5) “Another Town,” in 2001, but it was just an outline and until this day, has never surfaced beyond that; in July of 2005, I did revised it and added about 300-words to it, it was meant to be a chapter within a story, or an Advance for a story.
Consequently, all the stories are new for the most part, with the same themes or topic, and plot, but perhaps, better motifs [or designs].
July, 2005, I added the sixth story to the ongoing series 6) “Crazy Sam,” and in August, 2005 (which I wrote on a napkin and can’t find), added number seven, 7) “A Rough Year—1844” which was really an extension of “Another Town,” and “Crazy Sam,” an extension of “The Mexican Stand-off” 8) Purple, Gray Skies (1844—Flagstaff, Arizona) 8/2005; 9) In the Wagon (1844) 8/15/05; 10) Abilene-Loreto (Arizona-Blue, 1887) written 9/15/05 and 11) A Fools Draw (1870s) Written 11/29/05. 12) “At the Red Dog,” was rediscovered 1 December, 2005, the idea was planned out on the computer 1/2005 (after visiting the Red Dog Saloon, in Juneau Alaska, where the Idea came from), but never fully constructed; when discovered in my files #2 out of #9 files where at that time I kept some of my stories I put it on the internet. Number #13 “One Horse and Six Men,” was written on 12-12-2005, spontaneously, as most of these stories were written, especially the later ones (2001-2007).
In 2006, I wrote several more Arizona Blue stories, such as (#23) “Rawhide and Whale Bone,” written on: 6-2-2006. “Roofless Hades, in Mexico”; Episodes number #24 & #25, (written on: 6-24-2006)

and up to May of 2007, I wrote four more short stories ¨#27 thru #31, all interconnecting (linking that is) with the theme and plot constructed in number #27, “Death Along the Canyon’s Rim!”

Most all the places, locations I’ve mentioned in these 31-stoires I’ve visited, such as Deadwood, and the boarder towns, Cheyenne, Minnesota. The only one I can think of I have not been to would be El Paso.

By the author, Dennis L. Siluk May 11, 2007

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in: Maggie O’Brian’s Quest (Episode #31)

Arizona Blue—Gunfighter, in: Maggie O’Brian’s Quest (Episode #31)

Arizona Blue was on his bed half asleep, when someone knocked at the door of his hotel room, it was May of 1877, a year since he had been down around the rim of the Grand Canyon. He was in El Pasco. He reached for his holster, and started to pull out his gun. Who it could be, he wondered, who knew he was here, no one to his understanding. He knew Tom Brady, the Sheriff, he would not be knocking, or Doc Fremont he was an old friend, taken a few bullets out of his back, legs and chest in years past, he wasn’t him, he was always coughing. It wouldn’t' be that sheriff either, the one from Falstaff, Arizona; he didn’t have the guts to try to bring him back for an inquest. He shook his head; he felt a bit washed up, empty from the drinking and card games the night before, a bottle of whisky by his bedside, half full.
The knock came again.
“Who’s there?” Blue called, thinking no one with any sense perhaps, because if they knew him, they were putting their lives on a hot iron.
“Sure glad I found you,” said Maggie, as she opened the door, saw Blue on the bed. “You took a long chance coming back to save me, and tell me about my husband being dead, I saw the grave you dug for him, when the Indians captured me they showed me. You are a very brave man, I wish I would have taken your advice but I just couldn’t at the time.”
Then abruptly, and curious, Blue sat up along side of her on his bed, she stood meekly close to him, and he said “I don’t see how you could have gotten away from the Indians…?”
Maggie shrugged from her stillness, resenting her captivity, and somewhat embarrassed by standing next to Blue, yet gratitude were on her face. It seemingly was to her kind of a kindred sharing moment, and meeting, and Blue not quite understanding the why of it all.
“I was looking for you for two months.” She stated. “I was always thinking you were going to hightail it back to find me, but you didn’t.” Blue was a tinge embarrassed, “Since the last time we met, it looks like you have been busy,” she said with an odd flat voice, almost annoyingly.
Blue smiled, she sat down on the side of the bed by him. “I don’t really have anybody, I mean, when they captured me, I got pregnant, and they didn’t want me to take care of the child, so they left me at my husband’s gravesite to die: they wanted my boy to be raised by them, to be a warrior. All of a sudden I was in the way. Then a camper came by, a hunter of sorts, smelly he was, and took me for his mate, until I got away from him, and heard you were in Texas. It was odd how the memory of you came to mind, a devil man like you, a hunter and killer of men.”
Blue buckled on his gun belt and stood up, she was still pretty and slim and eye catching he thought.
“I didn’t know were to go, and life could be lonely, you know, a lonely thing, and I knew you could protect me, and perhaps you would like some companionship?”
Blue looked out his window, the sheriff was going down his steps, Sheriff Tom Brady walking onto the road, talking to a few passerby’s; Blue he picked up the quart bottle of whisky, took a swig, looked at Maggie, she sure was cute, and he knew she had her pound of bad luck, there was a tense tone to her face and voice now, one he didn’t recognized before, one you acquire from hard times.
“Come with me Maggie, let’s have breakfast.” She smiled, figured it was all right now, as Blue was utterly astonished, in disbelief of what had just taken place. As they crossed the street Blue bumped into Sheriff Tom Brady, “Come along Sheriff, join me and my sister for breakfast.”
Maggie looked at Blue strangely, as Tom Brady said, “Did you say sister?” Blue nodded his head—yes. Tom was perhaps 35-years old, but a good man, and tough, Maggie, perhaps 23 or 26, but it seemed to Blue, a good fit, Blue was in his 40s.
As they sat and ate, Blue looked at both Tom and Maggie, it seemed to Blue it was inevitable they would like one another, he was similar to Blue, but just not as dangerous, more stable you could say, and younger.
After breakfast Blue told Tom, in his ear, when Maggie went to the powder room, “What you waiting for?”
“Right now!” said Tom, “I don’t even know her.”
“Listen, I brought her all the way down here from St. Paul, Minnesota to marry you.”
“Really?” he asked.
“Yes,” said the gunfighter. This was really the most unexpected words Blue had ever said, and he was wholly confused when he said them, but he said them nonetheless spontaneously. When Maggie rejoined him, Blue got up walked outside, and Maggie was about to follow, when Tom grabbed her hand, “Your brother said he invited you down from Minnesota to meet me, now seeing you, perhaps we can…(he hesitated),” Blue came back in the café, patted Maggie on the shoulder, “Sis, he wants to marry you; he’s a good man, and tough, he knows the west, and no one fools around with him, you’ll be safe with him, and he has a little house at the end of the street, but I can’t force you to take him, it’s up to you, think about it.” Now she was taken off guard, as she had done to Blue.
They both ended up smiling and just looking at one another, Tom to Maggie, and Maggie to Tom. “I think Tom, she’s got you,” said Blue, laughingly with a smile. Her lips were moist, sweet and they both knew there’d be no more chances like this one, ever.

Note: Episodes #27 thru #31 are interlinked. #31, written: 5-11-2007