Sun and Dust

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Westerns  |  House: Booksie Classic

Three outlaws think that they are safe after elimating thier pursuer. they are proven wrong in the nearby town.

Authors note: For this about to read, you might be pleased to know that I wrote this story in a simplier format, that focuses on the scenerio and not the details of the western fiction. i.e guns models,calibrs, and historical info. I almost didnt put a place and year but decided at very least that was needed. I



Sun and Dust

1989 New Mexico

The young two riders behind Jude King were a boy and girl, not brother and sister but well paired to be so. Jude only had a Repeating Rifle, The girl had a Sharps distance rifle, the boy had a measly first model Colt navy Revolver, Jude had given him a double short barrel shotgun as well. He also wanted to give the girl a revolver but he didn't have one to give.


Jude called out behind him.

“ His distance is closing, keep yer fast pace. Never mind the condition of the horses.” They obeyed him and followed with haste.

Danger and excitement coursed through the veins of the two youngsters. Jude king was only several years older then them but he came down hill on that horse like a man. His features stood out as more mature then theirs, his face remained stern during the ordeal. The two young guns came down hill together, screaming in unison, with hats in hand waving wildly. “ Country is full of old men!”


From a top the hill a man on horse came into view. He was attired in black, like an under taker. Rifle in one hand, command of the horse reigns at the palm centre of the other. A rifle shell roared in the air, followed by another, they both missed target. This man had appeared a mile back on his stallion horse, giving them chase and airborne led .


“ And foolish young thieves!” He shouted.

From the top of that hill he had vantage. He remained up there, taking aim and firing. The shells zoomed by like fatal flying insects , but all three were unharmed.


Jude's own horse was better breed, had more stamina. The other two horses were grey and meagre, they couldn't keep this chase going for long. The three of them had travelled from San Fran. Two straight days without rest, because they had stolen California gold and cash and needed as much distance between them an San Fran as possible.


Jude led himself and the two uphill. It was a steep elevation of rocks, jagged protruding ones provided cover from shells as they moved. There was small signs of trails up ahead. The two weaker horses had to tread slowly to arrive up. Jude remained last, from the bottom, fired back with his own Spencer Repeating rifle, pulled from the large holster on his horse saddle.


The two ascended up, finally reaching an evening slope. Jude kicked the spurs into his horse and rushed it up. The girl above was competent enough to provide more cover fire with her rifle. Jude caught up to them uphill, the man below now slowly began his ascent of the first steep slope. From where they couldn’t be seen, Jude stepped down from his horse, and put the reigns in the boys hand. He ordered him and the girl to ride up to the ridge with the extra horse.


“ Hopin he thinks the three of us are still scurrying up hill. I'll surprise him from here.”


Jude stayed behind the rock, the bounty hunter didn't seem aware of the decoy. He made his difficult travel upwards, and when he rode passed the rock, he was struck unsuspectingly. Jude whacked him with the stock of his rifle, across his skull knocking him from the horse. While still in shock, Jude took quick time to aim and execute him in the head. The stock of the rifle had cracked but it could still handle firing. His blood sprayed into the sand, there was a hole in the back of his head that let sunlight go clean through and come out under his cheek. He checked the dead mans gear, he had two hundred in bills in his wallet. A special modelled Colt Peacemaker with a cross on it's ivory hilt. And an ammo belt with the same cross on the buckle. Jude broke the wooden compartments of his Spencer rifle into pieces and tossed the barrel away. He took the Winchester as his own. He took the mans horse and rode uphill.


He put the mans revolver into the girls hands, she rubbed over the smooth polished metal.

“ I bet he cleaned and tended this like it grew from between his legs.” she strapped it with the holster he took as well. He gave the ammo belt to the boy, he fixed his holster into it and wore it proudly. Then he gave them each a fifty dollar bill from the mans wealth.


They finally got to the outskirts of the town, they entered into the main street and could see this town was bigger then the usual size. It had two banks across from each other and a sheriff’s office nearby.


Jude made an order. “ Keep it cool in here. Don't attract any attention, this place is off limits understand? Go sit in the bar. I'll get some new horses and meet you there.


He should have brought them with him though. The pay didn't amount to as much as most robberies, but the two had cash and were young. With two fifty in each pocket they came into the bar with over confidence, arrogance and more youthful spirit then ever. The girl bought drinks and tended to the poker table, drinking, playing, and flirting , she took all the men's attention with her young skin and loud butch voice. She always had to make a point of making herself seem older to men. Except in the presence of Jude and the other boy.


The boy stayed at the bar drinking, listening to some other men talk, he jumped in after a story and started telling legends of an outlaw he knew. He didn't say Jude's name but he told his stories and the men were quite amused. At the poker table, one of the men was becoming annoyed. He told the girl to shut up, by now her cheeks were flushed from drink, she was more daring in her words.


“ Never speak to a lady like that, especially one that's holding a murdering piece of steel like this.” she lifted her silk shirt to reveal the holstered special model revolver on her trousers.

“ God couldn't create fine tits like this without creating proper protection.”


The man stayed quite, then when the timing did not seem suspicious, he left the table. He came to a colleague and whispered to him.


“ R'member last night Ben said he was goin on an early morning bounty hunt. That two-dime young whore is flashing his piece around.”


The other man interrupted him with his own whisper, “ I think ya proved me right then, that boy she walked in with, I've been eyeing that belt around his waist. The holster don't match with it, and I know now my thinking was right. It's Ben's.”


Between the bottle top and her lips, trickles of whiskey spilled. They landed on her card hand on the table.


Her neighbour shouted, “ There ain't supposed to be no children here dammit! Is your father going to pay for that deck missy!”


She bared her teeth at him like an animal. She had never been this drunk before. She turned her gaze for a moment, to the pile of her chips, hers had just been reduced in half by the last hand. The image of the chips being pulled away replayed in her mind, it seemed to make her more drunk.


“ Im a women not a child , ya ugly flat face. Women like me aren't born with fathers. We sprout from the ground, fully erect and grown. Chest and ass at the size required to be working. Fathers would be ashamed to have us.”


“ I'm ashamed to even know ya. Workn girl or child, I don't want you at this table.” He said with a snarl.


“ The day will come again,” She mumbled, “ The wealth will drain like this bottle. I'll be workn again,” Her voice suddenly boomed, “ Or pressing steel to temple and demanding purse. Take care where you walk old man!”


“ She threatened me,” He said as if someone else were listening. “ The nerve of this girl. Someones gotta give you a rude awakening. A couple rough cuffs is what you need!”


She shoved her chips back into a bag, she felt sober for the moment. Made a decision not to gamble any more and claim what winnings she had left. She finished what remained in the bottle and went to the boy at the bar to ask for a shot of whiskey. She stood beside him and swallowed the burning drink. Someone lifted her shirt and pulled the piece from the holster. A man held it up for others to see,
“ Look see. It's Ben's gun. These sows have stolen from one of our own.”


The boy could see, the faces that laughed and cheered with him a moment ago. Were now enemy faces, with stern expression, decorated by angry eyes and straight lips. One said to him, “ And I bet Ben's got not a single breathe left to see us again. Ya'll done made a mistake. We take care of our own here.”


Jude came towards the bar with the reigns of three fresh horses in his hands. He saw many people gathered at the centre of the street. When he came in the first time he had noticed the three hanging poles. Now the people gathered around them, he climbed on a horse to see better. Two of the hanging poles had his young friends tied below them. With a chair each between them and hanging death. The crowd cheered, as two men paraded around with the gun and belt Jude had stolen, upheld high. They cheered for the name of a fallen man, one of the two spoke to the audience.


“ Ben was a good man. More then a bounty hunter or a gun for hire. I can't tell you how many times he offered security to the people and businesses here. Since his youth. He was a true “West Territory” hero to us, we will condemn these two to the world below. They hang until died and not be let down any sooner!”

The crowd roared.


Jude pulled the Winchester from the saddle, and fired four shots at the two men. He had aimed between the chest and shoulder, they went down and he was sure they would stay. The crowd scattered in every direction, slowly the centre was becoming desolate. The bar patrons still angry were surrounding the hanging, splitting in two directions. Most towards him, with guns raised. Four men went towards the chairs to kick them out. Deputies were watching from business porches, but did nothing. The public hanging itself had been illegal, there must always be a trail. They watched amused and laughing. Jude carefully aimed, not wanting to strike his friends. He shot the rope above the girl and she dropped safely on the chair. A man kicked the chair below the boy, but Jude had managed a quick bullet through his rope. He landed hard on the ground but was alive. He emptied his rifle into the four men, then turned his horse to evade back while he reloaded the rifle.

Gun fire had whizzed behind him, his background noise as he committed to putting individual shells into the gun. He was placing the last shell in when a bullet struck his shoulder from behind, and passed through. He swayed on his saddle momentarily, grabbing for mane and reign with free hand to keep balance. More bullets came, the horse cried out and slowly its legs buckled. He threw himself down , landing on his good shoulder. He rolled around, rose to a knee, and pelted fire in their direction. They scattered like pool balls, momentarily. Confidently gaining composure they returned a spray of fire. All he had for cover was the crying horse.

The Sherrif came out his office. The deputies stopped their laughter and straightened up. He came down from the office porch and fired a round into the air. The deputies all raised arms, the men at centre were spooked.

One of the drunken gunners shouted out, “ But he killed Ben.!” others mimicked him loudly.


“ Ben worked outside the law. There is little I can do for him. His life isn't worth the three and more that will be lost. Now scatter you darn toxic sucking vermin!” He fired his gun into the air again.


The men did not scatter. They ran straight into the bar like a pack of mice. One remained. A young man with just a rifle, just like Jude.


The Sherrif asked him, “ Are you deaf boy? You better lower the weapon and step away.”


“ Shoot me, if your going to shoot me.” He said, his rifle still in hand. “ He killed Ben. Ill see this man to his end.”


“ Foolish young man.” the sheriff turned to Jude's direction. “ You, I care not your name or who you are. You take those two there and you leave far from town and never come back. The man between you and them. He makes his own fate now.”


The Sherriff turned in. The deputies began laughter again. The man across loaded his weapon to full set. Jude knew he had at least one or two left in his own. He raised his gun to shoulder and studied the man through the iron sight. The deputies shook money around, placing bets.


Jude let the man shoot. The shot missed, too far overhead. Less then a second he had let out another but it was further away. Jude should have guessed that liqueur had brought this man to this fated road. He filled one shell into his head. Most of the betting men cheered, some were angry. One had come to the dead man's corpse and spat on him for his losing luck. “ Get your friends and start walking.” He said out loud.


Jude rode outside on a young horse he took from the front of the bar. He rode with both reigns in his right hand, his left arm hidden by a cloak over his body. The young riders were behind him on the fresh horse that he had purchased. He told the two that the bullet remained in his shoulder still and risked infection. They didn't seem to understand the severity of that.


They came atop a ridge, they could see a river below. It led north to a colder climate, Trees that made into forests and softer land. Nature was more lively in those parts, animals and plants made their presence known.


He spoke, “ North on the trail, there's a bridge across. A women east of the crossing runs a bed and breakfast. She knows me well.”


The boy spoke out “ I reckon you'll wanna rest a couple days there.”


“ I don't know if I could make it with this arm. Perhaps it's best you await me there. If I arrived there and discover she is short on supplies that I need for care. If that's the case I'm walking to a grave.”


He watched them lead down the trail, and disappear into the north horizon. Out of sight, he pulled his cloak away, and threw the sling that held his left arm. He flexed it , to get the blood flowing and feeling back. It was perfectly fine, Jude had no dispute with himself over lying to them. In truth they were lucky not to have been told the truth. The truth being that Jude no longer wished to ride with him. They didn't have the right stuff to make good outlaws, they were just eager young petty thieves.


the doctor had stitched up the bullet wound and said Jude was lucky the bullet passed. He asked the doctor for a sling, the man was stubborn about giving away supplies when they were not needed. He took the stitching needle and threatened to pluck out his eyes like birds over food. It gained him the item.

He took both reigns into both hands and fled southward top speed. Eager to make great distance before the days end. They would have a lot of worry for him, they would think him to be dead, then eventually his name would reach their ears again. Shooting and looting in the south west.


“ I wish the best of luck to them. As for me I prefer the company of sun and dust.”


He came to the bottom of the hill, he turned his horse and looked up over the ridge. It would be the last time he would imagine or think of them. He hoped they would at least survive another several months. Not because he cared but because he had risked his life for theirs. It would have been easier to let them hang, and he would've if they were not to young for it.

Second note: I hope my story was entertaining. or else I feel bad that you read this far. If you enjoyed it, you might want to know that I wrote several scenerios with Jude King as a main character. to play around and understand my character better. he originates from the Gambers Den Story where he provides little to the story. I hope in the future my mind can produce a real and complete story with him in it.

Submitted: March 20, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Culford Smith . All rights reserved.

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