The California Widow
I ain’t no infamous outlaw like Jesse James or Black Jack, they go and make themselves a name and people praise them from high and low, having a cup of Arbuckles’ at the bar talking about some big bang up heist.
I ain’t even half famous, I’m just another scum on the earth, enjoys a good bender from time to time, get me best bib and tucker and go to the gospel mill every damn Sunday, sitting with the coffee boilers as Gospel sharp Blake talks nonsense about some holy messiah in Jew country.
Damn shame what they did to him, crucified on a cross and all. I mean he comes into Nazareth or Jerusalem or whatever sand heap of a town it was coppering a bet, if I was him and I knew the big plan I’d light a shuck and be out of town before they could say presto.
Why is it always the idiots who get the power, anyway, I just your average man. Well, almost average, if you exclude my pathological need for murder and violence, but really everyone has it. Even them dudes with their fancy talk and sharp suits have it in them, the thirst for blood.
Me name be Malcolm Kramer, or so is the name I am using at the moment, its the name on the wanted sign. I like it, they really did an ace high job with my jaw, most people get it wrong. Now your probably balled up as to what I’m getting at. I’ll be very clear so no one gets confused.
Starting with the California Widow, Laura Winifred, wife of a flannel mouthed Pinkerton. Hell of a woman, I was just riding into town, my Crowbait ass feeling tired of the long walk, we had after all went through fifty miles in less than five hours, and the sun was coming down, desert ain’t a place one wanna be at during the night.
Riding into a little known burg of Ballarat, it was dark and I could still hear them miners hard at work, working their asses of and exhausting themselves just so they could hand it all over to some flannel mouthed politician cutthroat.
No one took real notice of me, riding by quietly I got a few stray looks, that’s what you get for being a complete stranger, riding a Crowbait with a stained hat, worn shirt holier than Jesus Christ and denim pants that are more like shorts if you would rip all the ripped part of the lower part of em.
I suppose I was Crowbait myself, I sure felt like it. Dehydrated, out of money and nothing but Bear sign to eat, I was famished but how would I get food without money, the fun way I suppose.
My hands going down to ensure my peacemakers were in their place, it happened from time to time that on a long ride one might lose their six guns, now to find a place to stay. Then she came, the California Widow in her blue overly large dress, the type that were all puffy on the bottom and all tight on the top.
She was flush, which meant she wouldn’t mind sharing some of her goods with dear old Malcolm. Tying my ass with a lick and a promise I began to walk after her, glancing sideways in the tavern, piano music blasting out filled with laughter and yells. Walking away of the fandago, pushing the saloon doors open stumbled out a full as a tick pinkerton.
Standing in the middle of the street I admired his blue pinkerton suit, fine as cream gravy it was, probably made of silk. Not very good for travelling, but it would be good enough. Walking past two old men who had followed his gaze as he approached the roostered dude.
Hearing one mutter, “ On a hot as a whorehouse on nickel nigh as this and we have this hard case, heeled and on the shoot, what’s the world coming to.” Taking a long swig of his oh-be joyful the second old man belched loudly, “ You croaker you, maybe your right. Personally I don’t care a continental, you done with that?”
Smiling at their comments I faced the pinkerton, hugging me he said loudly, “ Bend an elbow my young fellow, on the house.” Hugging back I reached back with my left hand, grabbing the large hunting knife on my belt and digging it deep in his back.
Look of pain filling his face I said calmly, “ I will, and while I’m at it I mise well just take the whole kit and caboodle.” Putting the knife away he dragged the dying man to the bone orchard, beefing an innocent man was good but the fighters were the real excitement, but I’d been taught not to be picky.
Not being a shy person I stripped right amongst the dead, watching as the woman in blue walked into the most elegant house in the town, unsurprisingly blue, I’d beta hundred dineros that the inside was blue, her husband had probably done it all for her.
Feeling the sandy wind blow against my naked body was the worse feeling in the world, usually when people thought of geniuses they thought of that guy that created the train, and that automobile that dudes from the big city liked to Blowhard about, but as far as I was concerned that Adam and Ever were the real geniuses, clothes was the best invention, or second best next to guns.
The cleanness of his clothes was top notch, feeling the silk caress against his sunburned skin he threw the naked corpse into a freshly dug up hole, gun belt back on he checked his purse, at least five hundred dineros, this would be enough but I still wanted to pay a visit to that woman, some pleasures are just too powerful to put aside.
Straightening my clothes and spit polishing the small badge I almost looked like a gentleman, but I would never be able to eucher her with the disarray of my dirty blond hair, spotting the shining of the whisky bottle on the ground I smiled, a unorthodox idea appearing in my head. Running along I popped the cork off and poured it all over my hair, combing it right I knew it would get sticky but it would do the trick.
Hair slicked back, not having to worry about facial hair because no matter what I tried it never grew, I was twenty four for Pete’s sake, even the ones between hay and grass grew some facial hair, but it had never been a big issue considering the fact I was left for dead in savage territory.
Knocking gently on the door I put on a face like a thoroughbred, waiting patiently I could hear a gentle whistling sound getting louder and louder. Tapping my waxed boots against the cement step the door opened, rather than the woman in blue I found myself facing a curly wolf, six feet five, bare chested showing his extremely oversized muscles.
Smiling I took my hat off, placing it to my chest, keeping the badge visible I said, “ Why howdy there my immensely muscular fellow, you may not be aware but I believed your mistress to be in grave danger, if you would be so kind as to let me in.”
Glowering at me he opened the door, walking in I smiled at how easy that had been, he walked directly behind me, escorting me up the blue carpeted stairs of the ocean blue interior, she sat in her rocking chair, peering outside with great sadness, probably missing her husband.
Smiling I made sure to make some space between myself and the big mammoth of a man, I’d have to be very fast if I was to beef him fast and quick, guns would make too much of a fuss, the law would be down on him like vultures to a corpse. Then I seen the solution, the woman who was looking at me said, “ Why your no deputy at law, your that Kramer boy, five hundred dollars on your capture.”
I grimaced at this, “ Is that a bluff, or do you mean it for real play? Its just a wee little murder, can’t we just let it slide, all I need is a food, money and a place to stay.” Catching the large bodyguard moving in him from behind he moved into action.
Lunging at the tea table he grabbed the pipping hot tea pot he quickly turned, swinging it over his head, smashing it in his face. Upon impact the tea covered his face, the scolding hot water soaking into his skin he grabbed at his face, skin covering with boils. Before he began to yell I grabbed the knife, slitting his throat he fell, blood pouring out of the open wound.
Falling hard to the ground, beautiful blue carpet with a large circle of blood, calmly turning around I wiped the bloodied knife against my sleeve, beaming a jovial smile I as the woman in blue stared, paralysed in fear. Sliding the knife back in its scabbard I said, “ Sorry about the tea, and the stain. Is it still five hundred dollars on my capture or you going to prepare a meal for me?”
Walking by me I walked directly behind her, nearing the door she suddenly launched forward, catching me off guard she opened the door, “ Help me! Somebody help...” Cursing I grabbed her by the hair, pulling her back until she landed hard on the ground I slapped her across the face, “ Hobble your lip woman! You pull off a stunt like that again and I’ll slit your throat.”
I hated resorting to anger but sometimes people just left me no choice, everything in this house was so posh, too bad I couldn’t steal all of it. As she prepared sandwiches, I asked casually, “ Where’s your hubby? Off to war, being a puppet cutthroat for the company?” She ignored me, cutting the onions I spotted a little letter on the counter.
Reading it my eyes narrowed as I finished reading it, I had to leave now. Before I could even turn I heard the familiar noise of a pump action shotgun, turning around slowly to came face to face with the barrel of the shotgun. Smiling I said, “ Let me guess, drop the guns to the ground, hands on my head and I’m off to Hoosegow for murder, and holding a hostage?”
Not even waiting for a response I slowly reached for the pistols, slowly grabbing them I put them gently on the ground, looking up with a large smile I said, “ Now here’s what I’m going to do, lets forget about Hoosegow and I get away after being forced to perform two more murders.”
(To be continued)