The Gunsmoke of A Rifleman

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Westerns  |  House: Booksie Classic

Follow up to Battlestar Bonanza , starring Lorne Greene in dual roles, resumes in " Little House on the Ponderosa."

Submitted: September 24, 2017

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Submitted: September 24, 2017



Merve unbuckled Jessup's saddle and let it fall onto the pile of horse shit next to Cactus Marie.

She gave a neighing thanks, bowing her head and prancing her right foot into the dust.

Merve gave a quick slap on her ass and sent the mare out into the wild, free to roam and run with other palominos'; giving one final look back  as way to say thank you again, she sped away. The earth under her hooves stirring up little dust devils of freedom.

Gathering his own saddle from his horse, he proceeded into the Marshall's building, with his reward voucher and made claim to the bounty placed on Jessup's sorry head. He explained where he had buried the body, retorting that when the local undertaker had gone and dug it up, he would find a note attached to it. And, that he would be back to collect his purse. He knew it might take a day or so to do. He'd planned for such contingencies as he had other business to conduct, the unsavory kind, here in Battlestar.

The Marshall acknowledged his fortitude and sent one of his deputies with the undertaker to find Jessup. Most likely snarled up, blackened and blue from that old rattler bite; minus a few teeth from that old skillet pan, which had found it's way smack dab flat across Jessup's face.

Merve headed on over to the commissary, bought a few supplies and proceeded to the local tavern. 

The owner, one Miss Evangeline had been operating this here establishment for some time now, going on near a decade to estimate by some. People came and went in this town, the travelers, the wayfarers, the merchants, the transients, the locals, even the Marshall and his deputies',  but somehow Lady Evangeline remained a constant fixture.

The house of ill repute and home brewed spirits was quiet at the moment, as it was just a few minutes before high noon.

All but for a few dudes playing cards, a lonesome dove of a cowboy nursing back a mug of frothy beer and a shady man in the corner of the bar room, the only other citizen was that of, none other than, one beautiful fiery redheaded angelic damsel, standing behind the bar.

She had noticed him before he had noticed her though, and took to checking into seeing just how much ammo was loaded was in that there pistola strapped to her leg, hidden under her lacy white dress. It had been so long since she had to worry of such things. She had a sense of who he might be, long before the notion even crossed his mind. Much too beautiful to have a price on such a face and figure. He was looking for an old haggard of lady. Not this kind.

"G'Afternoon m'lady." Merve lumps his saddle on the old creaky wooden floor next to the bar stool and sits atop the wooden chair. A nice sturdy constructed mahogany bar stool, in the hopes it won't  be broken , as many had before it, when the inevitable rowdy bar fight broke out.

"Howdy there, Mister. What can I do ya' for?"

"Whiskey will do just fine, if'n possible.Thank ya' kindly."

"Sure thing Rustler." She no sooner turns around, than she turns back the other way and places the bottle and a glass in front of Merve.

"Whatch'a business here in Battlestar, not seen the likes of your handsome face 'round here 'fore."

Merve appreciated her flirtatious ways.

"Well, 'm here on O' fficial business as they say. I must parlay with a particular resident, but until then, just thought I'd imbibe on a little bit of this here  forbidden earthly delight."

"Oh I see. Well, I do declare we have a lot of delights in this here neck of the woods."

A lady of night lurking in the shadows gives a wink and a smile in Merve's direction as he makes eye contact with her.

 "Oh, no, heaven's to Betsy, just referring to the drink, mam'."

"Sure thing Boss."

The lady in the shadows retreats, semi offended.

"Actually, I did noticed this here place, is 'propriately named ' Magnificence Heaven ' , but I'm not here for that. Though, I am looking for one particular little lady.  I doubt her ornery type seldom patronizes such an establishment." He was of course referring to his next bounty, Evangeline, knowing the owner is, often not to be found inside the premises.

"Oh? What name does she go by, by chance. I know 'em all  'round these parts."

"Not at liberty to say Miss. I'm just taking my time with a little respite and solitude for a piece. I'm sure I'll come across her in time."

"Small town, every knows everyone's business here; I'm sure ya'll encounter whoever you want to find, no hindrances on your journey, cowboy."

The fiery red head fills the glass in front of Merve one last time as he requests and returns the bottle back to the shelf behind her.

"Lookin' for a nice quiet place to rest for the evenin', something a little outta' town, any recommendations, Miss?"

"Best thing I can think up of it, is, there's a ponderosa just a short trot due south, with a nice little house in the middle of a prairie. I know they can always use the income of any travelers. They don't get much business out there as it is, like you so desire, quiet and outta' the way."

"Well, then. I guess I'll be on my way. Fine talkin' with ya' mam'. I'll be back in town soon. Hope to see again," he tips the brim of his ten gallon and makes a gentlemanly exit. Gathering up his saddle he saunters out into the dry humidity of the day, mounts it back upon his horse and heads, due south.

The bartender, smiles, happy to have sent a handsome and decent traveler back toward her home, knowing she'll meet up with him again later tonight, after the taverns closes. That purse of gold coins he had carelessly exposed to her, would help her out. Merve had not thought a thing of it.

It was after all, her tavern and she might just close a little early tonight, being a weekday and all.

And, he would learn the hard way, it was her house in that little prairie that she'd sent ol' Merve too, waiting for the mysterious owner to return. As the welcome note on the front door explained, "Make yourself at home. You'll get dinner when I return."

Merve never had a suspicion and neither did the fiery red head, beautiful Miss Evangeline, that dinner might have meant something else for the both of them.

He would soon figure it out as he wandered around the empty house, discovering the truth, waiting for her return.

She would soon figure it too, when she got back home, and became hog tied to the kitchen chair for the next twenty four hours;  Merve would only have to leave for just a brief moment to collect his purse for Jessup's head, then return back to this little house in the middle of the prairie to continue his newly formed plans.

They just might end up in love after it was said and done. One never knows. Maybe, no one had to die after all.

Maybe only counts in horse shoes and snake bites though.

It was going to be a long night.



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