An international group with members in AZ, CA, CO, FL, IN, NM, OK, OR, SC, United Kingdom and Canada
Dedicated to the lives and times of the men and women of the Old West, and to the spirit of the era, 1860 through 1890
Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
Call In The Wild @2002
The cowboy is uniquely American. He stands beside his horse, rope in hand battered and stained hat pushed back from his weathered brow, squinting into the distance as if searching for something and never quite knowing what it is, to take his place among our historic American icons. He is recognized the world over and his character has been formed by both Hollywood and history. But had it been left to the cowboy himself to tell his story, it would never have been told for he didn't consider himself worth much. He knew the hardships of living from the first day of his awareness until he could no longer pull himself into the saddle. He came from back there, stopping here for awhile before heading out yonder.
It was a cold windy day when Smokey Jack threw the saddle across the back of his long legged bay and jerked the cinch in place. He led him over to the porch to make mounting easier because his clothing compelled it. He was dressed for January in the Mojave Desert, and with a two and a half day ride ahead of him he wanted to be as warm as possible. Dropping his rump into the big Denver saddle he knee'd the bay into motion and struck an easy gait along the dusty road, his neckerchief snapping in the strong southwest wind. He wanted to make Cottonwood before nightfall.
Another three hours into his ride brought Jack in sight of Deadman's point. But his mind had turned from the anticipated good times in Colton, to things more pressing at the moment. The leftover chili he had eaten for breakfast had suddenly acquired an opinion of its own and his belly implored him to exonerate the condition. Problem being, the desert offers little opportunity for decent acquittal and this particular stretch of the trail offered even less than usual. While Jack's aspirations were set on reaching the shelter of the rocks in the distance, his body apprised him that this was not realistic. So sliding unwillingly from the saddle, he dropped the reins and cast anxiously about for a suitable place to conduct the matter at hand. But there was no suitable place. And Jack's grace period had suddenly expired.
It would be here where he stood or it would be discord. Tossing his gloves, his hands began to fly from unfastening his gunbelt to the buckle of his bandoleer, his coat and on to the spreading of his suspenders. Jack inhaled as he went for the buttons of his shirt because he knew his efforts were just beginning. He had slipped into his unionalls this morning and he would have to strip them away before the campaign could begin. His shirt was taken away by the wind as he began tearing at the buttons of his britches. The tops of his boots was as far as this operation could go. But now he could get at his unionalls and he did so with the gusto of a scalded bobcat.
Shrugging out of the tops of them he shoved them down mightily to join with the other obstructions lodged around his boots which by now were noteworthy. But Jack's dilemma wasn't done. His red flannel long johns had a single button located critically in a place where getting at it with cold hands was almost impossible and certainly improbable. So he acted as only he could, reaching back and with a hand on each side of that long slit he tore it open and dropped into a hunkered down position forthwith. And just as the portals of blessed relief were about to open he noticed that his clothing was all bunched around his ankles and directly in the proposed line of fire. grasping hysterically at the garments gathered there he saved all he could from the onslaught.
With eyes closed, body chilled to the bone, and naught to hold onto for balance, Jack faced into the cold wind valiantly and remained captive of his condition for what to him seemed an eternity. Finally he eased himself forward in an effort to clear the polluted place, dragging his wind battered clothing with him. There remained but one last act in this process. Wiping himself clean. But with what? He had no paper, and no sticks anywhere. Not a leaf within 50 miles. Moreover, his suspenders obviously hadn't escaped the barrage and were also in need of sanitizing. Maybe he could just disregard it? The wind could dry things in another ten minutes.
It was well after sundown when Smokey Jack drew rein in front of the hotel in Cottonwood. He had lost two hours on the desert dispatching a simple deed that had resulted in a frenzied situation rivaling childbirth in its pain and suffering and the siege of Vicksburg, in its logistics. His coat was blown three miles away and lodged in a greasewood bush else he would've lost it altogether. He lost his neckerchief and suspenders as it was.
Jacks gaze turned toward the purple mountains in the distant dusk and his eyes squinted as if searching for something and not knowing what it really was. Cowboys are a rugged breed. They endure a lot from their age of awareness to the day they can't mount their horses. They all have their stories and tales of hardship to tell. But y'know, they seem to be a closed mouth lot and seldom talk much about themselves.
~ Weakeyes Cody