tagLoving WivesBad Day at the Greasy Grass

Bad Day at the Greasy Grass


Wow!! I grew up reading stories about the wild west. Now I get the chance to write one. I want to thank Randi for her vision and leadership, in setting up this event, as well as for her super editing. Toss in my buddy Pixel the Cat, too. He catches things that mere mortals miss. I hope you enjoy my little tale.


I hated O'Brien. The fucker came over in fifty-two, just at the end of the Great Hunger. And, by sixty-three he had recruited every Fenian thug in Five Points. So, he was "Boss O'Brien" now. And there wasn't a pie in the Sixth Ward that he hadn't gotten his corrupt fingers into.

I was a twenty-year-old copper back then. Molly and I had been married for a year and we lived in a twenty by fifteen, tenement shack. It was on Mulberry, right behind the Church. Nobody in lower Manhattan had to ask, "Which church?" For we Irish, it was Transfiguration Catholic.

Our place was drafty in the winter, and broiling in the summer. But we loved each other and that was good enough for both of us.

Molly was the light of my life; beautiful, winsome oval face, high cheekbones, a long Irish nose and full kissable lips. But, it was her wealth of copper colored hair and her mischievous, laughing eyes that were her real glory. She was always happy and smiling and she never met a person she didn't like. She was the prettiest girl in the whole of Five Points. And she was mine.

She worked hard, doing washing for Myrtle O'Byrne. Myrtle laundered bed linens for the toffs. Molly didn't make much money doing it. But she wanted to contribute. She was like that, you know; very loving and loyal.

We were young then, and we had more than our share of urges. The Church told us that what we were doing was sinful. I didn't believe it. Nothing that felt THAT good, and brought us so close together, could be evil. Father Flynn said that he abstained from sex. So, what would he know about it, anyhow?

Molly had a sturdy crofter body, wide hips, strong legs and the best tits in lower Manhattan. We'd fuck every night. a lot of the time, Molly started it. She really didn't have much else to do in the evenings. She didn't know how to read.

Fucking was a pleasant way to end the day. That's probably why her friends were constantly pregnant. Molly never was. There must have been something wrong with one of us. But I, for one, thought it a blessing. I had Molly all to myself.

Most evenings, she'd just stand up, unlace her dress and drop it off her lovely round shoulders. That was a sight to behold, because she didn't wear anything but a petticoat under the dress. Her big, round, Mick tits and those delightful pink nipples were like the sun rising over Galway Bay. You might see it every day. But the vision still moves you.

Then she would turn and climb up into our bedroom loft. The only thing more spectacular than Molly's boobs were those two muscular buns as they disappeared up the ladder. I'd be right behind her with my personal truncheon in my hand.

Molly was a different woman in the loft. Everywhere else, she was bright and cheerful; with a sunny nature and a lot of Irish humor. But, she was a wild Celtic lass up there, serious about her satisfaction; demanding and aggressive. Her family came over from the Burren, in County Clare and those girls are all as fierce and relentless as the stormy Atlantic.

She was a true daughter of Ireland though. A powerful woman, built to work and birth babies. We didn't do anything elaborate up there. There wasn't enough room for fancy stuff anyhow. She would just lay back panting with lust, and slowly open her legs. I would slide my cock into her hot, slippery hole. She would utter a loud groan of sensation and we would set to it.

She took and gave in equal measure. She didn't get tired and our moments together were long and passionate. She always seemed like she was starving for sex.

The oddest part about Molly were her frequent out-of-control spasms. It was the one thing that she did during the act, that none of the other husbands talked about. I was thinking maybe, she might need to visit a doctor. But, she assured me that those fits were natural and enjoyable for a woman.

I walked a beat out of the Franklin Street Station, which is near the Collection Pond. It was along Worth to Mulberry and back. It paid a little extra since Mulberry was the dividing line between the Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys.

The Rabbits were a bunch of Mick thugs who worked for Tammany, and the Boys were the muscle for the nativist Know-Nothings. Tammany recruited every Irishman they could find. While the nativists, wanted all of us Hibernians shipped back to the Ould Sod. So, there were frequent get-togethers between the Rabbits and the Boys. And we coppers had to attend every one of them.

The nativists had gotten here first, and they didn't want to share. So, saloons had signs that said, "No Dogs or Irishmen;" and they meant it. Their justification was that the Irish couldn't control their drinking and fighting. They might have had a point. But as far as I was concerned, lumping all of us in the same category was nothing but ignorance. We Irish worked hard doing jobs the toffs were too grand, or too lazy to do.

Michael O'Doul shot Bill Poole at one of those affairs and Chief Schwartzwalder sent seven of us boys to "apprehend the miscreant;" his words not mine. I was wondering why a Heinie was running a station full of Micks. Maybe it was because, he spoke better English.

When we got there, O'Brien was standing in the doorway of O'Doul's shanty. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the Boss was putting on a show for the Rabbits and the rest of the bog-trotting scum loitering about.

I was a junior guy. So, Sergeant O'Toole did all the talking. He said, "Now don't be givin' us any trouble Shamus. We gotta arrest that boy, and that's all there is to it."

O'Brien got up on his high horse. He didn't give a shit about O'Doul and everybody knew it. But he was pushing his cred with the Sixth Ward crowd. So, he puffed up like Saint Patrick driving out the snakes. It played well to the throng of itinerant Irishmen, and it was a big crowd indeed.

Everybody was angry back in those days. Work was hard to find. And of course, we all blamed the newly freed blacks, who were making their way north into the City. None of us Micks ever thought that demon rum had anything to do with it.

Then somebody threw a rock. It hit Timothy O'Higgins and the fun began. I might not be the tallest Paddy. But I am built like a bull and I love to fight. O'Brien stepped off the porch with a brickbat in his hand. O'Toole had his back turned, facing the crowd. It was clear that O'Brien was going to hit the sergeant over the head. So, I belted him in the ribs with my truncheon, just as he raised his arm.

I had the satisfaction of hearing a crack and O'Brien bent over wheezing in agony. The fight didn't last long. It was truncheons and saps against fists. We dragged O'Doul out of his house. And we added O'Brien to the pile, just for good measure. He wasn't going to be doing anything for a while, anyhow.

It didn't take Tammany long to spring them both. That was as sure as the sun coming up in the mornin'. I had to hand it to O'Brien. He was on his feet. But, he was bent over holding his ribs. He turned to me, as he walked out of the station-house, and said, "This ain't over Riley, not by a long shot me bucco." And he was right. I had made an enemy for the rest of HIS short life.

***** It was a gorgeous Spring day on Mulberry. I was whistling as I finished walking my beat. I strolled into our little downstairs room with a cheery smile. That quickly changed. Sitting there large as life was Shamus O'Brien. His sneer told me everything. He was going to return the favor through Molly.

Molly is preciously naïve. She just doesn't recognize that true evil exists. So, she was excited. She bustled over to plant a chaste kiss on me and said, "Councilman O'Brien has honored us with a visit dear. He wants ME to be the Maid of Erin, at the Tammany reception for Councilman Tweed."

The choice was understandable. Molly was really a very special woman. And she was the embodiment of pure Irish femininity. But it was clear by the glint in O'Brien's eye that he had more in mind than Molly presenting Boss Tweed with a bouquet of shamrocks and roses.

O'Brien stuck out his big meaty paw without missing a beat. He said, "No hard feelings about that little disagreement last fall Patrick." I thought, "I'll bet."

He continued with, "I wanted to smooth things over by nominating Molly for the Maid of Erin. She's goin' to be a perfect specimen of Irish womanhood." The glint in his eye told me that he wasn't going to rest until he'd fucked my wife.

***** The War had been going on for two years. And it was never far from anybody's mind. That's because the casualty lists from foreign places like Antietam and Fredericksburg kept reminding us. Everybody lost a brother, son, or nephew.

The motto of the Irish Brigade was, "fág an bealach - clear the way." So, the "Fighting 69th" New York had been at the forefront of grisly places like, the Bloody Lane, and the Stone Wall. And Colonel Meagher had lost a lot of good Irish boys. Worse, the way things were going it was for no apparent gain.

The Union needed more men for the meat grinder. So, the damned Congress instituted something called The Draft. The "Enrollment Act," as they called it, said that you could be yanked out of your life and made to serve in Mr. Lincoln's army. Any able-bodied man between the age of twenty and thirty-five was on that list.

Of course, they wrapped the whole thing in the American flag. It might have appealed to every fella's patriotism. Except, the toffs immediately bought themselves out. The cost was absurd; three-hundred dollars. That, left nobody in the pool but the Heinies, and us Micks.

Monday, the thirteenth of July was a hot and clear summer's day. We were expecting trouble. The casualty lists were just comin' in from a place called Gettysburg. And, the anti-war rags spent the weekend whipping up people; with stories about how us poor white folks were paying for the Republican's war with our lives.

They had us coppers guardin' the platform in front of the Provost Marshall's Office, up on 44th. That was where they were drawin' the names. The first couple of boys just shrugged and walked over to the Provost Officers; who were there to welcome the draftees to their fate. The boys who'd been drafted probably didn't have anything to do anyhow.

The next had his arm around a pretty girl who was obviously his wife. He said, "But I'm married." I heard a voice from the podium say, "Doesn't matter boy-o. That's your name and you're goin'." Both man and wife burst into tears. The provost guards dragged him off, with his wife clinging to his arm. It was pathetic.

The crowd begin to grumble dangerously. Then they drew the next name. I heard, "Patrick Timothy Riley." There were a lot of Rileys in New York and most of them were named Pat. Then I heard that same irritating voice say, "That's him over there, boys."

I turned to see who had said that and it was O'Brien. The sneering smirk on his face said it all. Molly's beautiful face flashed across my mind and a sense of dread enveloped me. I said, "Wait, I'm married too; and I'm a copper. You can't take me."

O'Brien said mockingly, "Yes we can me bucco, and we will!! Seize him boys!!" With that, four men in blue grabbed me right out of the police line and started dragging me toward the rest of the unfortunates.

It was between O'Brien and me, now. My first instinct is always to fight, and I am stronger than most people. So, I shook off the two soldiers holding my arms, shoved the other two to the ground, and started toward O'Brien.

I raged, "You won't get away with this O'Brien. Where are the Knickerbockers? Where are the rich? You're a traitor to the Irish O'Brien. You're sending your own people off to die. How many pieces of silver did they give you?"

The gutless bastard was cringing behind the Chief of Police.

At that point, a gang of soldiers caught up with me. The punch to the stomach drove the wind out. The sap knocked me unconscious. But, I saw the first brickbats and stones start to fly. Apparently, I'd started the New York Draft Riot.

The riot went on for two days. A lot of the City burned, a couple of thousand citizens were injured and another hundred were killed. I had no knowledge of that, since I was chained up and hustled over to Camp Astor, on Riker's Island. My Irish temper was boiling, and they kept the chains on until they threw me in a cell.

I spent a week in the dark. They fed me once a day. All I could think of was my Molly and what was inevitably going to happen to my bright shining lass. Shamus O'Brien was not far from my thoughts, either. I would survive to kill him.

Finally, the door opened and a couple of big beefy soldiers in sergeant's stripes dragged me out. I was weak as a kitten by then. So, they didn't have trouble doin' it. A couple of dandies surveyed me, while I hung by the arms between my two jailers.

One was in a military uniform. He was a neat little man, brown haired, clean shaven. Best of all he looked intelligent. That was a contrast to the other guy. I knew him. His name was Jenkins and he was the Provost Marshall.

The guy in the uniform inspected me. It was like he was buyin' a horse. He said, "I witnessed what you did at the Draft meeting. I hear from your Chief that you're a pretty good fighter?"

I said, "Let go of me and you'll find out."

The guy in the uniform laughed uproariously and said, "He'll do. We need men who can fight."

The two sergeants frog-marched me over to a table. There was a paper on the table. Jenkins said put your "X" on it.

I said, "I can write."

The military guy looked surprised. Jenkins said, "Okay Spud, sign your name."

I said, "Not until these two let go of me."

Jenkins said, "Release the prisoner." The minute they did I went after Jenkins, only to be stopped by a sword point at my belly. The military guy was holding it.

He looked very cool and calm as he said, "Sign the paper."

I knew I was signing up for the duration. I wasn't going to be able to protect Molly if I did. But they were going to spit me like a chicken if I didn't. The little voice in my head said, "Live to fight another day Paddy." So, I signed.

At that, the military guy, whose name was Merritt said, "Escort Mr. Riley to the cars and chain him up there. He has an appointment in Buffalo and I want him to keep it." He knew I would jump off the train if I wasn't chained to it. So, I rode the entire way up to Buffalo in a box car carrying boots and other military gear.

After a day and a half without sleep, I arrived at a bare patch of land in Lockport. It was a place that they laughingly called a "recruit training" camp. As we passed the encampment, they literally threw me off the train.

I rolled down the embankment, right at the feet of sergeant Michael Brennan. He picked me up and said with a big leprechaun grin, "Welcome to the army Boy-o;" that, as he was unlocking my handcuffs.

Most of the belligerence had been beaten out of me. I had finally accepted that my life in Five Points was over. And that for better or worse, my wife was now in the clutches of a guy whose only aim was to humiliate me. Killing him in creative ways was the only thought that was keeping me going.

I grieved for Molly. She couldn't write. So, we weren't going to be exchanging any flowery love letters. None of my friends could read, or write either. So, it was pointless to try to hold on to my old life. I might as well be on the moon as far as she was concerned. I hoped she was alright. I feared she wasn't.

I am one very tough Mick. But I cried a lot in the deepest, darkest hours of the night. It was SO unfair. I told God that he could forget about seeing me at the Pearly Gates. Because, any deity that would let this happen was no friend of mine.

I coped because I knew that there would be vengeance at the end of my rainbow. And the Devil was my Master. My heart was hard, and cruelty was my best mate. Molly was too good for me now.

Brennan dragged me off to a filthy collection of tents. Three guys were in the nearest one. None of them looked any happier to be there than I was.

He said, "I'll be givin' you lads a bunk-mate, make him feel right at home."

That must have meant beat the shit out of the Mick.

Like I said, I'm a good fighter. I got plenty of practice growin' up in the Points. I'm short. But, I have a neck like a bulldog and the rest of me is thick and powerful. I can also take a punch. That's because my skull is thick and Irish and I'm an ugly wall of muscle. I didn't go out of my way to get that way. It was just handed down through generations of Hibernian potato excavators.

I reached an understanding with those boys; once they had been revived. Hence, I had my pick of places to spread my new army blanket. There was also more room. Since, they had to send the one whose jaw I broke, home. He thanked me profusely for getting him out.

I could barely sit on a horse, let alone ride one. The only horses that I had encountered in the Points were pulling carts. And I hadn't fired a gun. They fixed all that in the four weeks before we were shipped down south. In the meantime, I fell off a lot of horses.

I hated the horses. Most of us were drafted from the City itself. So, I had plenty of company falling off the things. But I adored the gun. I've got a steady hand and I love the power a gun gives you. By the end of the month I could regularly hit a target at 300 yards. They hung a sharpshooter medal on me and then shipped me south.

***** That was how I came to be sitting on a moth-eaten nag in Northern Virginia; in the spring of 1865. The Second Mounted Rifles, better known as The Governor's Guard, were not the hoity-toity cavalry. We were a collection of shantytown misfits trained to ride to the party.

We fought on foot; like infantry. So, I was toting a 58-caliber Springfield rifle with an almost two-foot bayonet, instead of a sword and a fancy Sharps carbine. Colonel Fisk, was our commander. He was a fellow who got crosswise with his superiors a lot. In short, he was just like me.

The guy who'd made me sign the paper was in charge of the whole Brigade. I liked Wesley Merritt. He could fight. And, unlike Custer, he seemed to care whether the rest of us got killed.

For some reason, he liked me too. He made me a sergeant. Here I was, twenty years old and bossin' around a bunch of older guys in my troop.

Sometimes, I'd run into a trooper who didn't hear so well. That's where my bareknuckle skills came in handy. In the two years after I was coerced into the army I never lost a fight. Eventually the whole troop came to respect me, even if I was a kid.

We were in some real battles, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg. But, the generals didn't know how to use us. We were too much like the cavalry, to be trustworthy as infantry. And we were way too untrained to be much good in a cavalry fight. Most of the time we just scouted and guarded the backs of the people who were doing the actual fightin'.

What was particularly unfair about my situation, was the fact that all the other boys got time off to go back and see their folks. I never did. It was Merritt's doing. He knew I would run away if he ever let me out of camp. He was right.

The guy who'd been drafted before me was something of a friend. His name was John Blake and he was a good steady guy, quiet, decent and trustworthy. He'd been a mechanic on the docks before he'd been ripped out of his life. His wife Nelly, was an Irish lass, and he loved her as much as I loved Molly.

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