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Short Riders

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Location: Tahoka, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Short Riders Reply with quote

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DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 11:00 pm:

My dear readers
This is a purely fictional story and does not reflect on anyone associated with any CAS club. It is intended for the private or public use of my readers. Any copy or reproduction is OK by me.
This story will be in several parts as my typin is none to bwano.
If any feelins are hurt, all I can say is cowboy up and be a man.
Yours truly,
DeeLouis LaHorne


St. Patricks Day 1880 dawned cold and wet. Steel gray clouds hung low and a cold spitting rain kept the four desparadoes hunkered down in their saddles. The Short Gang rode in silence. Each member too miserable to talk. Luke Short, the leader was a surley cuss and a deadly killer. Wau O'Bansee, the shortest of the four was of Irish descent. It was rumored that he had a pot of gold hidden at an old folks home in Andrews. The other two, Mikey Rooney and Danny the Vito were much taller, but not as ornery as Luke are Wau.
The bank in Sprayberry was the only thing these four little outlaws had on their minds other than being cold and wet. They would stop at nothing to get their grubby little paws on the banks money. Through the wet and muddy day they rode on.
Rangers Bodin and Horne had rode into Sprayberry the day before. Sheriff Hoodoo Brown had called them in to investigate a stolen buffalo from Caprock Leatherneck.
Sheriff Brown was busy pouring himself a cup of black coffee and his deputy, John Henry was changing his bed sheets for obvious reasons.
The door of the jail flew open and a wild eyed ex lawman turned drummer named Jonus Cord stood. "Hoodoo", blurted Jonus, "I just came from the telegraph office and Morse said to give this to you." He handed Hoodoo the message. Sheriff Browns' eyes turned cold. Without looking up he told John Henry to go and find the two rangers. Trouble was slinkin' into Sprayberry. TO BE CONTINUED..

John Larn
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 12:15 am:

MORE,MORE, I got to find out how this story ends.

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 11:06 pm:

John Henry and Jonas found the two rangers eating breakfast at Memphis Belles. " Mighty fine fixins, Miss Belle", Tex said as he stood and stretched his long legs. "Tex is right ma'am, that was good", said Ranger Horne as he stood and took notice of the pair that had just walked in. "Sheriff wants to see you two. I'm afraid it's trouble", said John Henry. "Yeah and I was wonderin if either of you would be interested in a few items I have fer sale out in my cart," added Jonas. "Not now Jonas", said John Henry.
The four walked down the board sidewalk and across the muddy street to the sheriffs office. As they walked in, a worried Sheriff Brown looked up from his desk and told the two rangers what was in the telegram.
About 4:00 that evening the temperature dropped and the rain turned to snow. The already muddy street turned to a half frozen slush as the Short Gang came into town.
The warm, yellow glow of the kerosene lights, the swell of wood smoke and a taste for cheap whisky was enough invitation, that the four weary outlaws pulled up in front of Johnny O'Tooles Black Irish Rose Saloon. With cold stiff legs, that took a few minutes for the feeling to come back to after dismounting, they walked into the saloon.
Tired horses stood three legged in the muddy slush in front of O'Tooles. The four desparadoes stood at the bar and drank rye in hopes of stopping the icy chill that ran through their short legs and into their bones.
In the waining West Texas twilight the the stage was being set for a life and death struggle to come. Tomorrow evil would be played out on the frozen, muddy streets of Sprayberry and men would die!!

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 11:09 pm:

Sorry pards, at the end should be.. TO BE CONTINUED...

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 10:59 pm:

Part III

The next morning came just as ugly as the day before. March winds howled across the West Texas landscape. A light snow continued to fall and had drifted up on the south side of the Main Street.
The Short Gang woke early. Each member was hungover and smelled of sweat and stale cigerette smoke. All needed a shave, and for sure a bath. Their bellies crawled and heads pounded from too much cheap whiskey.
Sprayberry was still asleep, except for few early risers that braved the raw cold north wind and snow.The rangers were awake and down at the livery, saddling their horses. They were due in Midland later in the day to investigate a hold up at a dry goods store. Seems someone had broken in and stolen several pairs of platform boots and a fresh shipment of peach colored pants.
Luke Short and Wau O'Bansee were the first two to enter the Bank of Sprayberry when it opened. The other two stood outside as lookouts and tended the horses.
"Hands high and no one gets hurt", shouted Short. Banker Jason Bullwhip spun around and upon seeing the two laughed and said "You two boys best get to school. John Larn'll tan both your hides for playin hooky". "We aint school boys and we mean busness", snarled the shorter of the two. "Shut up Wau and get to sackin up the loot", said Short. Now, Bullwhip knew these boys meant busness and opened up the banks safe. After opening the safe, O'Bansee climbed up on a chair and smashed Jason over the head with his pistol. Gold and paper money was stuffed into two dirty pillow cases as the robbers made their getaway.
The blow to the head had only stunned the tough ol' banker and he made his way up off the floor and to the door of the bank, a Colt's .45 in his hand. He yelled and fired at the escaping bandits. The bullet whizzed over the heads of the two and struck O'Roony's horse in the chest. The bay reared and squealed in pain. It fell, thrashing in the street, it's lifes blood mixing with the frozen mud and slush, as the four outlaws drew their shooters and returned fire.
The two rangers, who were about to mount up and ride off, heard the comotion and burst through the livery door. Both had cleared leather and were prepared for business. O'Bansee caught sight of the two rangers as they raced into the fight. He stood straight, leveled his pistol and fired. The bullet caught Bodin just about 4 inches above and outside his left knee. He went down on the good knee and went to work with both hoglegs. Ranger Horne saw Bodie go down but continued pouring lead into the gang. O'Roony, who was already on foot, turned and tried to take cover in the bank. A shotgun blast from inside changed his mind as a full load of double ought in the chest sent him into the street and eternity.
By this time, Luke Short, who had taken shelter behind a watering trough stood to finish off Tex. Both Bodin and Horne saw him make his fatefull desision and two .45 slugs from each ranger dropped the wretch where he stood. He died before he hit the frozen street.
O'Bansee and the Vito had mounted and were trying to escape. Lead whizzed past their heads like angry hornets. As they rounded the corner by the school house, a bullet ripped into the Vito's head and tore off half his jaw. He slumped in his saddle as a second round hit him in the neck. He fell from his saddle and hit the street like a limp dish cloth. John Larn, the school teacher, racked another round into the Winchester and walked to the fallen polecat just to make sure. Larn had no doubt the condition of the third fallen skunk, as he stared at the mangled head.
Four men had rode into Sprayberry and only one left. The county would have to take care of the three that stayed. The sole survivor had headed north. A posse was being formed as Ranger Bodin was being tended to by Doc Grayfox.
"Hell Tex, that bullet didn't even tear your pants, much less break your skin," laughed Dee.
"Yeah, but it stung like fire," Tex replied. "I'm glad O'Bansee was shootin them light loads or ol'e Doc Grayfox would be diggin lead out of my leg," Tex said as Doc Grayfox checked the leg. "You'll be OK", said Doc, "I suspect you'll only be a little sore for a day or so.
Doc picked up his little black bag and bid the rangers goodbye. "You know Dee, if we don't get started soon we will lose that little cuss up north in the shin oak country," said Tex. " Yeah a little varmit like that can hide where a normal sized feller caint", replied Dee. "We best get mounted and head out quick", he added. "Your right pard, but first I want to stop on the way and pick us up a tracker", said Tex."And I know of only one that is good enough," he added. Without answering, Ranger Dee Horne knew his comrade was referring to the famed tracker, TumblePunkinWeed Dan.
Evil and it's ally death had come to the quiet little berg of Sprayberry. Blood had been spilled on the muddy half frozen streets of town. An act, so malisious that it would be talked about for a long time had been commited against the people of this peacefull village. Now the worm had turned. The folks were riled at the actions of these who dared enter and defile their domain. It was time to bring this tragic episode to an end and bring the escaped outlaw to justice, what ever the cost... TO BE CONTINUED

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 12:52 am:


By noon the two rangers were well on their way in pusuit of the lone rider. Sheriff Brown and his deputy had other business to attend to and the rangers had decided to go this one alone, except for the tracker. Jonas was left with no sale, except for the plastic cot liner he had sold to the deputy, for obvious reaseons.
The two lawmen made a dry camp by a small spring, just south of Cotton Flats. The weather had improved a little, but was still cold. Hard tack and beef jerky were on the menu that night. A cold miserable night lay ahead, but they could not chance the luxury of a fire.
As they lay in their blankets and stared into the sky, a million stars twinkled in the clear dark moonless West Texas night. A few hours ahead was an outlaw lepercon on his way to the New Mexico badlands. Tomorrow they would find Tumbleweed Dan and the wee lad would be brought to justice by a judge or a .45. TO BE CONTINUED...

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 11:05 am:

Part V

The rangers awoke next morning, well before dawn to find their tracker squatted Indian style by the spring. The night had been cold and again the light snow had begun to fall. " Didn't think you two would ever wake up, Thought you was dead", said Tumbleweed Dan with a slight smile being detected under his gray mustache. "Well I'll be damned, Dee. Look what the wind blew up", said Tex. Dee Horne opened an eye and looked at the tracker. "Hope he brought breakfast", said Dee as he sat up and pulled on his boots. "Heard you two were lookin for me. Who we after this time", asked the tracker? A short silence fell on the group. The happy reunion turned serious. The wind picked up a little and Ranger Horne pulled the collar of his coat up. Tex put his head down and used his hat to block the icy wind off his face. "Wau O'Bansee", said Tex. With the name, Dan's face turned a hot red and the veins in his neck bulged. Anger rose up in him from deep down. An anger he hadn't known in a long time, but one he remembered and it scared him.
Both lawmen could see it in the trackers eyes. "You OK", asked Tex? "I will be in a minute", said Tumbleweed, through clinched teeth. He turned and walk out of earshot, mumbling to himself. The rangers could not understand what he was saying.
"What's wrong with him Tex", asked Horne? "Oh, a while back, when you was down south, he had a run in with our little friend. Seems they were both in Carlsbad and got into an argument over a pistol. Dan bent down to swing and Wau ran between his legs. That tall hat Wau wears caught Dan right where it hurts. Wau never stopped. Just kept runnin'. Took Dan several months to recover. Gave him that limp he's got." " So that's why he...," Dee's sentence trailed off, "No wonder he's actin strange," Horne finished. While Dee and Tex talked, Tumbleweed had come back to camp and was saddling his horse and checking his weapons. The rangers did the same. All three mounted and were three miles down the trail when the eastern sky began to brighten behind the persistant overcast.
A few miles north of Midland there had been no snow. The ground, however was frozen. No sign was there to the untrained eye, but Dan could track a bird across the ocean.
Looking at the ground TW pulled up his horse and motioned the rangers over. "Look under that shinoak bush". This is where he made camp last night", said the tracker as he dismounted. He then began to circle the sight on silent feet. He squatted down and picked a small, peach colored thread off a shinoak limb and handed it to Tex. "That's our boy", said Tex. "How far ahead is he, Weed", asked Dee? "Two, maybe three hours", the tracker replied and added, "Looks like he's headed for Andrews". "I've been told he's got gold hidden there", said Tex. "Yeah, plus he likes to take advantage of them poor souls in the old folks home", said Tumbleweed. The trio turned their ponies northwest and in a ground eating trot attempted to close the gap between them and O'Bansee.
Wau O'Bansee was a hunted man and he knew it. The cockiness and boldness he had come to know as a member of the Short Gang had turned into deperation. He was now running for his life. Just a short time ago he had seen three of his wee friends bite the west Texas sand. His peach colored britches were still spattered with Danny the Vitos blood after the bullet from John Larn's Winchester had removed the outlaws jaw. Mikey O'Rooney, the man he had looked up to for so long, had been sent to his judgement day by a blast from Banker Bullwhip's scattergun and the leader of this gang had been shot down like a dog in the street by two Texas Rangers. His world had crumbled and lay like shattered pottery around his short legs. And Why? He had started out in life like everyone else. He had lived by the Cowboy Code at one time. Where did he go wrong? Was it the lust for bright clothing? The desire to be the best, at ANY cost? Even to go as far as dressing like an old lady and shooting in the Grande Dame catagory at a local shooting contest! These things raced through his mind as he pushed the little palomino towards Andrews. Where did he go wrong? Cheap Whiskey? The wrong friends? Baldness? What was his problem? With the last question fresh in his mind he stopped. At last he had his answer. His problem was two Texas Rangers and a white tracker that had closed the gap between them and would not stop until their job was done. TO BE CONTINUED...

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:22 am:

A few miles north of the shinoak country the trio crossed Seminole Draw. Tumbleweed continued to trail the escaping bandit. "He's not trying to cover his trail very good", stated Dan. "Nah, even I can see that", replied Dee. "It's almost like he wants to catch him", added Tex. "Reckon it's a trap", asked Dee? "Not likely," answered Tex, "O'Bansee is a good shot and fast, but he aint real bright. I seen this once before down in the Pecos country. You remember Pecos Pat don't you Weed", asked Tex? "Yeah, now that you mention it," replied Punkinweed. "That feller got into a bad scrape. Me and Weed tracked him down into the lower Pecos country. He acted the same way". Tex continued,"The closer we got, the easier it was for us to follow. When we caught him, he said he was glad his runnin' days was over. He served his time and now he's a right respectable rancher." "Could be Wau is doin the same thing," added Horne. "Maybe so", said Tex,"Maybe so".
It was late in the afternoon, when the three lawmen rode into Andrews. The sky had cleared and the wind had lay. The last few rays of the winter sun bathed the western sky with pinks and reds.
Yellow light began to fill the doors and windows of the saloons and the few businesses that remained open. The streets were deserted, as most had made it home to their families and supper. A piano played "Danny Boy" and it's sad words drifted across the empty street.
The lawmen rode straight through main street to the north side of town. There they found, tied to a hitching rail in front of the Andrerws Co. Home for the Elderly, Maimed and Desitute Civil War Veterens, the palamino.
The little mustang stood tied, his head down low and his sides heaving trying to catch his wind. Covered in lather the little feller was done in.
The two rangers and their tracker dismounted and threw rein over the same rail. Horne and Weed drew their shooters and went around back. Tex, still limping from the bullet bruise he had received from O'Bansee, drew his pistol and went to the front door and entered.
The bright lights of the room made Tex blink and the smell of bisquets and ham made him remember how hungry he was, but what he saw made him take a step back. There in the room full of elderly, maimed and destitute Civil War Vets was O'Bansee. The little cuss was apologizing his heart out for taking advantage of them during checker games and shooting contests. He even had his pot of gold out and was giving it all away to the old men.
Horne and Weed had made their way through the back door and were watching in disbelief from the opposite side of the big room. O'Bansee looked up and saw the lawmen. Big tears filled his eyes as he sobbed out his apologies."Come and Wau, it's time to go," said Tex. O'Bansee finished giving out his gold and then walked outside with the trio. Tears continued to stream out of the little fellows eyes and fell on his peach colored britches. Dark spots appeared on the pants where the tears fell.
All three lawmen were taken aback. Here was a desperate man, an outlaw, a lepercon that few days before had robbed a bank and seriously bruised a Texas Ranger. He continued to cry like a baby. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," sobbed O'Bansee. He apologized to Tumbleweed Dan and he apologized to Tex. He said he was truly sorry for impersonating a grande dame and for taking advantage of the old men at the home. "And I'm truly sorry for pushing down those old ladies at the cake walk," he continued.
The three escorted the broken outlaw outside the home and helped him upon his palomino. As they rode toward Sprayberry the sun had finally set and only a faint hint of gold remained in the western sky where only minutes ago it had been. The weather had warmed somewhat and a light, but pleasent breeze drifted past their faces. With the north star at their back the four men began their journey back to Sprayberry. TO BE CONTINUED...

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:59 pm:


Back in Sprayberry, O'Bansee was put in Sheriff Brown's jail, while he waited to go before Hangin' Judge Yankee Texan. Judge Texan was tough on lawbreakers, pimps, whores, bunko steers, card sharps and other low life that roamed the west, but she was fair and threw a jim dandy party. The three lawmen hoped she would go easy on a remorsefull Wau O'Bansee, but were afraid she would throw the book at him. They had pleaded with her to go easy on him the day they had brought the little lepercon in and had told her of how he had given his own money away to those he had wronged. She said that she would weight their testimony, but would not promise them anything.
In the predawn of the trial, stars shined bright and clear. Spring was trying to come out of hibernation and push old man winter out of the way. The recent rains had greened the countryside and West Texas was trying to put on her Sunday best
The two rangers had walked down to the jail before daylight. Deputy John Henry had stoked up the big pot bellied stove and was frying bacon. The coffee he had cooked was ready and it's aroma filled the jailhouse. "Hey Tex, you seen Weed", asked Ranger Horne as he poured his coffee. "Yeah, replied Tex, "He woke me about 2 and said he was headed out." "I figured he would stay for the trial", said Dee as he sipped the strong black brew. "Well, he wanted too, but yesterday he caught wind that his wife had run off with a junk drummer and was headed to Waco. I guess it got to eatin at him early this morning and he lit a shuck," answered Bodin. "I'll be damned," said Dee flatly. The door of the jail opened and Sheriff Brown came in wiping breakfast out of his mustache. "How's the prisioner?" he asked. "Sleepin' like a baby", the deputy replied. "Well get him up and fed. Trials at eight," Brown replied. That was the last word spoken for a while. The men drank their coffee in silence. Each one knew the seriousness of the matter ahead and the fact was, that the lepercons fate was in the hands of Hangin' Judge Yankee Texan. TO BE CONTINUED...

DeeLouis LaHorne
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 07:05 pm:

The courthouse was packed to the rafters. O'Bansee and his lawyer, Fineous J. Merriweather were there in front. Wau looked a little nervous and a trickle of sweat ran down his forehead. "All rise", demanded the bailiff. As Judge Texan walked in the bailiff eyed the crowd to make sure all present were paying their proper respects to the judge. His gaze fell upon Wau. "ALL RISE,I SAID", he shouted as he rushed to the defendants table to find out why O'Bansee had not stood. "I AM STANDING", Wau shot back. The entire courtroom erupted into laughter as the bailiff sheepishly retook his place. "ORDER,ORDER IN THE COURT", Judge Texan demanded as she repeatedly rapped her gavel on the bench. The crowd came to order and the trial of the only survivor of the Short Gang and the imfamous St. Patricks Day Hold-Up and Killings got started.
Many witnesses took the stand. Rangers Bodin and Horne both testified for the state, but also put in a good word and a plea for lenency for the defendant. Two sportin gals from Hobbs tried to alibi for Wau, but they lied and the jury knew it. One gals name was Bucktooth Sallie and the other was known only as Big Petunia. Their testimony was ripped to rag dolls by the states attorny, Will Hangum.
The trial lasted for three days and finally went to the jury. They returned a guilty on all counts in less that 5 minutes. Lawyer Merriweather objected because Judge Texan had said,"The sooner this trial is over the sooner I reopen the bar." She rapped her gavel and told him to shut-up and sit down. Then fined him $50 for contempt of court. She dismissed the jury and recessed for an hour to ponder Wau's fate.
Judge Texan was hard on criminals and everybody figured O'Bansee had seen his last sunlight for a long time. After the one hour recess Judge Texan reentered the courtroom and took her place. She asked Wau and his lawyer to rise. "After hearing both sides and taking heavely into consideration the testimony of Rangers Bodin and Horne and the sworn written testimony of Tracker Tumbleweed Dan, I have decided for once in my career to go easy on a convicted prisoner; however, you will be required to do community service at the Andrews Co. Home for the Elderly, Maimed and Desitute Civil War Veterens, you will be required to help Ranger Bodin at shearing time and you will stay away from spirits, dance halls, sportin' houses and lewd women. You will do this for a period of two years. If you break parol Mr.O'bansee, you sir, will be sent to Huntsville faster that Lane McClane can shoot a '97. IS THAT UNDERSTOOD." "Yes Ma'am," Wau replied. Hangin Judge Yankee Texan banged her gavel and declared " Courts adjourned, bars open, except for Mr. O'Bansee".
Everyone cheered her decision. Hats flew in the air and several fired their pistols into the courthouse ceiling. All were happy and ready to get the trial and robbery behind them.
Wau O'Bansee was the most relieved of all. He thanked Rangers Bodin and Horne. "Please tell Tumbleweed I apologize to him also," he added, "and if he needs any help trackin Miss Judy and that junk sellin bastard down, to just let me know."
The two rangers walked outside and helped the parolee up on his palomino. He looked down for the first time and thanked them again, put two fingers to the brim of his hat and bid them adios.
As they stood on the same street, where only a few weeks ago this terrible ordeal had all started, Ranger Horne said "You know Tex, I think Wau looks a little taller in the saddle since this is all over." As Bodie gazed at the back of the slowly disapearing excon he said, "Yeah, but not by much. WAHWAHWAHWAHWAH."
Both rangers slapped each other on the back and headed to Miss Belles. Today was Friday and on Friday Miss Belle special was Irish Stew. THE END

I would like to take this time to say that I had a wonderful time writing this story and hope each one of you enjoyed it. Mizz LaHorne and I think the the world of CTS and agree you all are the best and have the best SASS club in the world.
We can only pray we lived closer.
My hat is off to each one of you, because without you this story would not have been possible. I know I did not include all the CTS, but hope another story may pop up where each can take a part. We also hope we get to know the rest of you better in the future.
If I have offended anyone, then take it up with my attorney Finnious J. Merriweather. Hey, if he can get WOB off, then he can get anyone off.
Good Luck at Silver City, be safe and we shall see you soon, the Good Lord willin.
DeeLouis and Laura LaHorne
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