The Lone Stranger!byUncle Pervey©
The late August afternoon's heat was blistering as the Western sun made it's inevitable way to the horizon. There was an old rambling shack called the Mooney Hotel, at an angle across the street from the town's corral. A full-length porch stretched from one side to the other, across the full length of the hotel. Two old timers were seated side-by-side on some old cane-bottom chairs decorating the front of Mooney's.
One old timer, scruffy looking with a grey tobacco-stained beard and moustache, leaned forward long enough to squirt a stream of brown tobacco juice with a dead eyed aim at a brown lizzard, just as the critter opened its mouth to flick it's tongue at a slow moving horse fly. Needless to say, the lizzard was quite shocked and unprepared for the sudden influx of burning liquid. The poor critter rose straight up into the air with a suddenness that would have made a Mississippi bullfrog green with envy! It did a triple back flip and touched ground with its legs churning so fast and hard, an instant puff of dust completely obliterated it. When the dust finally settled back down, there was only a groove on the ground showing where the lizzard had scurried under the porch the two old-timers were sitting on.
Old Zeb, the tobacco chewer gave a loud snort, grinned with delighted satisfaction, and settled back in his chair with a series of side-splitting guffaws.
The other old man sitting on the porch was slapping his legs and laughing so hard his face was turning red. "Wal I never! Lord! Whut'd yuh do that fer Zeb? That poor lizzard ain't never gonna be the same! Naw Sirree!"
Zeb chuckled at his friend. "Guess thet old lizzard ain't too partial to some side seasonin' with his meat, is he? Hells bells! He plumb missed that old hossfly, and he was movin' plumb slow too!"
Brownie, wiping the tears from his eyes chuckled too, "That's a sure nuff fact! He did indeed miss that old fly!" He gave another loud snorting laugh as he continued with, "Sure did clear that dadblasted hossfly though, didn't he? I reckon that old lizzard jumped at least a good three feet in the air! Bet that old hossfly never seed nothin' like that before!"
Zeb grinned over at his friend. "Guess yore right Brownie. And speakin' of strange sights, whut ya make a them two scuzzy lookin' yahoos over at the corral? I swear thet big ugly lookin' hairy-faced faced brute looks kind a familiar, don't he?"
Brownie, after wiping his eyes clear again, looked across and answered with "Yep! He's shore nuff a Stranger in town. He do look kind a familiar now you mention it. I heared him call that scrawny injun side-kick a his Pronto. What a ya make a that?"
"Not a whole Hell of a lot!" Zeb spat again and went on. "You know anythin' else intrestin' about that pair?"
Brownie squinted his eyes and scratched at an ear as he thought. "Wal, I heard that fool injun call that burro he's forkin' hay to Scoot! That's an awful funny name fer one a them beasts, but," Brownie chuckled at his sudden recollection, "I has to say that little critter can shore 'nuff move when he's a mind to! I seed old man Wheeler's dog take out after him the other day, and that burro leaped clean plumb out a sight in three hops! That poor dog looked bout as disco-ambulated and puzzled, as I ever seed in my life!"
"Wal? What 'bout that big ugly hairy-faced galloot? Ain't ya learned nothin' bout that stranger?"
Brownie gave the big hairy-faced stranger an amused look. "Yep! Learned he ain't too partial to wood! He can cuss pretty damn good too!"
"Why you sayin' that?" Zeb glanced over at the two men as they began getting ready to travel.
"It was like this Zeb." Brownie spat a stream of tobacco juice at a beetle scuttling across the road but missed, "The other evenin', I was whittlin' over by the corral when that ugly hairy-faced galloot rode in on that pie-bald brown homely, floppy eared mule of his, an I noticed
him a pullin' splinters outa his arms, legs an backside and a callin' that mule every ornery name I ever heared, an some I never even heared before! Neither!" Brownie said admiringly, "And I heared one other name! When that stranger got done cussin' that mule out he called him Splinter!"
Zeb's eyes opened wide as he looked over at the two men, watching them mounting their steeds. "Do ya reckon?"
Brownie watched also, and murmurred a low "I don't know. I jest don't know, but maybe, jest maybe?"
They heard the injun calling to his burro as he kicked at the little donkey with his heels. "Gittum up Scoot! Gittum up Scoot!"
Old Zeb's eyes got evem wider, amd a little watery, as he watched the big ugly hairy-faced stranger climbing onto his homely pie-faced brown and floppy eared ugly mule. "I never thought I'd ever see that fellar. I jest cain't believe?"
The both of them watched the big ugly mule slam his rider's leg against the corral's rail, and heard the big stranger cuss and beat at the mule to get him away from the splintering wood. "Consarnned mealy brained son of a bitch! Git away from that wood rail!"
Zeb breathed out a real slow wondering breath of awe, "I really think that there furry-faced fellar is the, he's really and trooly the, I swan he's gotta be the!"
As Zeb and Brownie both marveled and breathed out a gush of pent up air simultaneously, "He's the Lone Stranger!"
they heard a fading screech of, "Hi Ho Splinter! Keep away from that there Pine tree ya mean-assed varmint for I wallop ya one!"