Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
The Turn Of The Century? @2000
It was a long way from the little settlement of Phoenix, down to Tombstone, but by riding hard we made it about an hour before sundown. We stabled our mounts in a pen provided by the Silver Nugget Hotel, and after a short while were dropping our grips down on the carpeted floor of some very find lodging. Windy Bill and Cutter, took the John Wayne room, while Snuffy Swift and Peaches shared a two bed suite with Miz Eula and I.
It was all very comfortable. A kitchen with cooking facilities was centrally located and even a place to store cold beer was provided. It didn't take our ladies long to get out on Allen Street and start their shopping. A millinery shop was soon busy with the three of them chattering over those little pieces of feathers and fluff. I wandered off down the street and managed to find a nice pair of boots and a shirt. Snuffy and Windy Bill soon latched onto other things they took a likin' to. Snuffy found a frock coat he had been handerin' for. It was just a darn good town to find bargains in. The Muleskinners soon had just about all we could haul in light buckboards.
While sitting around the table in the Silver Nugget, we found a couple of books filled with comments written by past guests. We noted with interest, some comments they had penned referring to 'the ghost' that seemed to have acquired a reputation for prowling the property. It effected uneasy humor among us, because being old west reenactors, none were about to completely dismiss such comments as foolishness or the wanderings of alcoholic apparitions. After all, the west is haunted still by tales of unexplained events and stray spirits.
Mind you, I have never seen a ghost, but remain open-minded about them. And maybe while I've never actually seen one, one has messed around with my pants?
Let me illuminate that statement a bit. The second morning I set foot on the floor and tried to steer a straight line for the bathroon to begin my morning ritual, dragging my clothes, toothbrush, razor and other necessities along. After I had completed the basic preparations, I picked up my pants, adjusted the suspenders just so, then as I was about to slip a leg into the starboard tube, I noticed that they were buttoned. It's true I tell you! Completely buttoned up the front and even the flap that crosses over the upper part near the belt. Now who, I asked myself, would do such a thing? This bunch was capable of pouring whipped cream into my hat, or gun barrel. Even tying knots in my pant legs, but none of 'em would stand and methodically button the fly in my absence.
I hesitatingly mentioned this at breakfast and noted the expressions on each face as I related the event. "The Ghost!" Was Cutter's first exclamation, and the others nodded their agreement. So, there you have it saddle pals. I've rode the western range for all these years and I reckon I expected something more imposing or somber in the way of a ghost rather than a playful wraith with a penchant for buttoning the fly of my WAH Makers. But I reckon I shouldn't complain - I could have found the whole rear end tore out of 'em as well.
After another hard ride, Miz Eula and I pulled into the wagon yard at Goldfield just in time to watch the very last sunset of the century. The Goldfield boys had a big fire going and it felt mighty good against our backsides. After my eyes got adjusted I saw Laredo and China. Windy Bill and Cutter walked over to greet us. Bill had been fighting a bad case of the Indiana consumption he brought with him and looked about like the end of the trail icon commonly seen in historical pictures. Snuffy Swift and Peaches rode in from their ranch west of Goldfield, and Smokey Jack rolled in from out of the shadows followed by Doc, Desert Lil, and Josh.
We spend some time up in the Mammoth Saloon, discussing Y2K and other important happ'nins, then returned to the campfire.
At the awaited hour, shotguns roared, sixguns flashed, and a lot of whoopin' and hollerin' ensued. Next day, being the first day of 2000, we wuz involved in a number of shootouts up on the street of Goldfield. Ol' Windy Bill, still feelin' the effects of his malady, looked more like the dying Doc Holiday, than his true self, but he held his own and emitted a smile when he was smiled at.
The second night we spent at the Goldfield Boarding House. A spacious place where we lay our weary heads and listened to the rain fall on the roof. This place was every bit an escape into the 1880s with flowered pitchers sitting in a washpan, towels, and everything.
Rainy weather doesn't mix well with black powder, so most of the Muleskinners rode out. But it was a time we'll not soon forget.
~ Weakeyes Cody 2000