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Red Saunders His Adventures West & East   By: (1869-1930)

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His Adventures West & East


Henry Wallace Phillips




A Chance Shot

Reddy and I were alone at the Lake beds. He sat outside the cabin, braiding a leather hat band eight strands, and the "repeat" figure an art that I never could master.

I sat inside, with a one pound package of smoking tobacco beside me, and newspapers within reach, rolling the day's supply of cigarettes.

Reddy stopped his story long enough to say: "Don't use the 'Princess' Slipper,' Kid that paper burns my tongue take the 'Granger'; there's plenty of it."

Well, as I was saying, I'd met a lot of the boys up in town this day, and they threw as many as two drinks into me; I know that for certain, because when we took the parting dose, I had a glass of whisky in both my right hands, and had just twice as many friends as when I started.

When I pulled out for home, I felt mighty good for myself not exactly looking for trouble, but not a going to dodge it any, either. I was warbling "Idaho" for all I was worth you know how pretty I can sing? Cock eyed Peterson used to say it made him forget all his troubles. "Because," says he, "you don't notice trifles when a man bats you over the head with a two by four."

Well, I was enjoying everything in sight, even a little drizzle of rain that was driving by in rags of wetness, when a flat faced swatty at Fort Johnson halted me.

Now it's a dreadful thing to be butted to death by a nanny goat, but for a full sized cowpuncher to be held up by a soldier is worse yet.

To say that I was hot under the collar don't give you the right idea of the way I felt.

"Why, you cross between the Last Rose of Summer and a bobtailed flush!" says I, "what d'yer mean? What's got into you? Get out of my daylight, you dog robber, or I'll walk the little horse around your neck like a three ringed circus. Come, pull your freight!"

It seems that this swatty had been chucked out of the third story of Frenchy's dance emporium by Bronc. Thompson, which threw a great respect for our profesh into him. Consequently he wasn't fresh like most soldiers, but answers me as polite as a tin horn gambler on pay day.

Says he: "I just wanted to tell you that old Frosthead and forty braves are some'ers between here and your outfit, with their war paint on and blood in their eyes, cayoodling and whoopin' fit to beat hell with the blower on, and if you get tangled up with them, I reckon they'll give you a hair cut and shampoo, to say nothing of other trimmings. They say they're after the Crows, but it's a ten dollar bill against a last year's bird's nest that they'll take on any kind of trouble that comes along. Their hearts is mighty bad, they state, and when an Injun's heart gets spoiled, the disease is d d catching. You'd better stop awhile."

"Now, cuss old Frosthead, and you too!" says I. "If he comes crow hopping on my reservation; I'll kick his pantalettes on top of his scalp lock."

"All right, pardner!" says he. "It's your own funeral. My orders was to halt every one going through; but I ain't a whole company, so you can have it your own way. Only, if your friends have to take you home in a coal scuttle, don't blame me. Pass, friend!"

So I went through the officers' quarters forty miles an hour, letting out a string of yells you might have heard to the coast, just to show my respect for the United States army.

Now this has always been my luck: Whenever I made a band wagon play, somebody's sure to strike me for my licence. Or else the team goes into the ditch a mile further on, and I come out about as happy as a small yaller dog at a bob cat's caucus.

Some fellers can run in a rhinecaboo that 'd make the hair stand up on a buffeler robe, and get away with it just like a mice; but that ain't me. If I sing a little mite too high in the cellar, down comes the roof a top of me. So it was this day. Old Johnny Hardluck socked it to me, same as usual... Continue reading book >>

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