From the searing heat of the Sahara in the East,to the drought stricken Serengeti,in the North,to the trickle of water at the Great Barrier Reef in the South,right up to the Great Plains now resembling a desolate,dusty and forlorn landscape in the West.
All over the world the weather was hot,damn it,hot was too cold a word to use! The weather was cataclysmically hot,the climate was akin to a burning furnace day and Night.The sun was burning down more intensely and ferociously today,for whatever un-explicable reason that maybe,perhaps future Astromenors and stargazers would be able to en-lighten us as to why? (if the Earth has a future,God willing)
The Sun was erupting and letting forth it's never ending solar flares with un-remitting disregard to ALL life on the planet Earth The sunshine was blistering hot the usually busy and jam packed street below was empty not a single living soul was out and about,for all intelligent beings knew,if they wanted to stay alive another day then they would have to stay indoors until nightfall !!!
Up in the cloudless sky were a dozern or more beasts out and about as usual in the intensely hot noon day sun,flying upon the thermals to their little hearts content,knowing full well any individual foolishness below them,would result in their happiness of a full belly and with plenty of afters to keep the " Vultures" fully satisfied,well at least until tomorrow's banqueting feast...
Obviously for one's continued survival nobody dared set foot outside into the mid day sun,absolutely no sane living soul would have such scant disregard for his or hers most precious gift - the gift of LIFE !
But as I sit here writing the daily journal,safe and sound with my loved one's in our modest abode,I rub my eyes in dis-belief,I wipe my spectacles hastily and vigorously with the dark blue soft cloth,thinking perhaps my own persperation and sweat had impaired my vision,but no,to my utter amazement & bewilderment there were two men in the middle of the street! they stood apart approximately twenty meters facing each other, eyeing each other up and down hoping to spot a weakness,so as to gain an advantage in their duel to the death...
The newspaper proprietor had been so utterly astonished at the two strangers total stupidity that he had lost all sense of time for when he reached across his messy bureau for his lit Havana,reassuringly expensive with it's distinctive three gold rings motiff at the butt of the cigar,the burnt tobacco ash crumpled to pieces into it's tray and left just the very end and smouldering gold label between his fingers...
Meanwhile the two protagonists in the deserted street outside still stood motionless and silent,the only sound that could be heard was the squawking and flapping of feathered wings impatiently waiting for their interrupted and delayed lunch time pickings.The cowboys looked into each others eyes,I sensed NO hatred or animosity,curiously thoughts of buddies,close buddies,No more than that,I sensed that they had once been FRIENDS a true and lasting friendship had once existed between the pair of them. Suddenly and without warning the older of the two men facing up to each other in the empty street,spoke up...
" Billy don't be a hero,don't be a fool with your life,let me take you peacefully and quietly into custody "
Billy's reply took the Sheriff by surprise,Billy didn't reply in the negative,he didn't utter a singlle sylable,his actions speaking louder than any words could do.The incandescent vultures circling over their heads were certainly taken by surprise with the sound of Billy's LAUGHTER cancelling out the Buzzards very own high pitched sqawking. The Sheriff was incensed with Billy and said,
" Stop it Billy,Stop it now,show some respect to your own ....... FATHER! "
At these words Billy immediately stopped his laughing,Billy's face turned into anger and he hollard back at the sheriff.
" You are NOT my Father, My Mother and Father were massacred at Dawson's Creek,two days later you rode on by and saw the resulting devestation and it made you sick,uneqivocally sick as you surveyed the alfullness you heard crying and lifting up my mothers lifeless body you found ME, blood stained,shivering and warbling un-controllably,a four week old baby boy,crying out for some food,affection and LOVE. After you had given my parents a decent christian burial and said some sincere and moving words to ease their passage into heaven,you took me home,to your homestead and your loving wife "
" That's right Billy.that's what I done, I found you still alive and brung you back to my place. Where I found my blessed Matilda had prematurely given birth to a beautiful baby boy,Unfortunately it all ended tragically,my darling wife AND new born son didn't survive the traumatic child birth ...... and I brung you up Billy as my SON !!!
Billy hadn't turned all bad,being reminded of long lost,painfull,and bitter memories,two tear drops fell down his face from his sparkling sapphire eyes. (the same colored eyes that the Sheriff's wonderfull wife Matilda had always looked lovingly at her devoted husband with) Billy said " I remember Sheriff,I re - before Billy could finish the Sheriff angilly shouted out,
" For crying out loud Billy,you know my name,every day you used my name untill you turned eighteen and you upsticks and left me with a empty home and an even emptier heart"
Billy took a long,deep,hard breath and shouting at the top of his voice bellowed out " Johnathan Delancy Algernon Cartwright" Billy lifted up his right gloved hand and wiping away some saliver from his lips shouted out again but much,much more loudly "Johnathan Delancy Algernon Cartwright "
The Sheriff removed his black stetson and removed a black and white polka dot handkerchief from within it,and wiped away some sweat from his forehead and then replaced the hanky back inside his hat,before replying to Billy and saying " and what did my FRIENDS call me?" Without any hesitation Billy responded " John,sir they called you JOHN"
A small smile broke out accross the Sheriffs face and he said to Billy " You remembered Billy,you remember,that makes an old man happy,yes sir an old man very happy indeed,tell me Billy,is we enemies or friends? what's it to be Johnathan or John"
Billy suddenly overcome with long lost happy memories of his childhood with John,wept un-intentionally after a short while,Billy regained his composure and repeatedly shouted out John,John,JOHN ........ until Billy could shout out no more and Billy fell to his knees sobbing un-controllably. The Sheriff walked the short distance to where Billy lay crying and lifting him upright,put his arms around Billy and embraced him tenderly (and then John began to cry in unison with Billy's tears they were not cries of sorrow but cries of affection and LOVE! ...........
Eventually the Sheriff spoke " It's going to be alright Billy,trust me everything is going to be all right,first your coming back to Kansas City to face trail,if you are found guilty or innocent,either way when you've repaid your debt to society,your coming back home where you belong and ...... At the mention of some of these words Billy recoiled in abject horror and pushed John violently away!
Billy shaking and full of blind anger shouted profanities at John and boasted " you ain't taking me to NO stinking court of law,I is innocent,do you hear me OLD man,I is innocent"
John replied to Billy " Then come along with me Billy,if you are as innocent as you claim then theres nothing to fear! "
Billy retorted " I ain't a fearing or scared of no one,and no body,is you hearing me old timer,I repeat myself,I ain't a scared of no one and no nothing! - When you brung me up all by yer self after my folks was taken away from me forever,you John,yes You John taught me right from wrong,you also showed me how to use a fire arm,you were damn good with a gun,and you showed me all YOUR skills and tricks on how to master my gun. When I high tailed it off your property (at eighteen) to seek revenge on them desperado's that slayed my kin,it was with all the confidence and mastery that you taught me to handle a six shooter !!! - I searched high and low,the weeks turned into months and the months turned into years and eventually I found those vermin responsible and exacted MY revenge and MY justice,and it was all down to you John,thank you for sharing YOUR expertise with the gun with ME! "
With a heavy heart,full of disapointment,John answered back " I taught you how to use a gun Billy for sure,but only to use for PROTECTION not to become an outlaw and - before John could finish his sentence Billy replied " YOU showed me how to handle a weapon and learn't me every trick in YOUR book and then some,now I know how to handle a gun even better than you !!! "
The Sheriff pleaded with Billy " Am a duly deputised enforcer of law and order and it's my duty to bring you in alive or dead,what's it to be Billy,Dead or Alive,it's your choice"
Billy answered back " Don't make me laugh Sheriff,why you taught me everything,absolutely everything you know,you don't stand a chance in hell against me and you knows it - John"
John replied " Is you sure about that Billy,did I really teach you EVERYTHING there is to learn about using a gun! ........ How come all the outlaws is going to their graves younger,while St.Peter has given up waiting for me to arrive"
Billy responded to the Sheriff " That's what am going to miss most about you Sheriff you can still talk the talk,But you can't bluff me old man,you is lying to me because you don't think I would shoot you"
The Sheriff spoke quietly " So be it Billy, I KEPT one secrect from you,and today's the day,your going to say howdy to your maker!!!"
Johnathan and Billy stood apart facing each other,Johnathan was Cool,Calm and Serene,but Billy was sweating profusly and shaking un-controllably from head to toe,a single question racing through Billy's thoughts,time & time & time AGAIN! - God damn it, what trick hadn't John SHOWN me. Both of the men's hands were at their sides ready to drawer their gun,quicker then in a blink of an eye - Suddenly and without warning ONE of the men with drew his weapon and fired first .......
A thunderous blast and a sea of crimson red splashed out all over the victims garments,the blood red liquid was spilling all down the body and on to the floor,quickly placing a hand over the mess hoping that this act would some how stop the bleeding only finally realizing the futillity of this action when removing the hand and seeing it soaked to the skin in the red mire .....
Mrs Jeffries,Mrs Jeffries, are you o.k.?
Oh my goodness what a mess you are in,What an awfully loud noise that car exhaust made,just now when it just BACK FIRED,it sounded just like a gun shot!!! - YOU were so engrossed in reading your Western novel whilst sitting under the dryer waiting for your roller set to dry that it made you spill your glass of red wine all over yourself. Luckily you are wearing one of our plastic hairdressing gowns and it's protected your pretty summer dress underneath from getting wet and soiled in red wine ...
Here's a replacement nylon hair gown for you to wear,and here's your cowboy novel," Do you remember what page you were up to in your story,Mrs Jeffries?"
" Thank You so much Pamela,that cars exhaust back firing outside the hair salon just now certainly took me by surprise,it's funny I was just reading about a gun fight in my paperback novel "
" You still have fifteen minutes under the dryer for your hair curlers to fully dry,that's plenty of time for you to discover who won the gun fight "
" Actually Pamela, I am returning this cowboy adventure back to the Library for my husband when am finished at the salon here. I would much prefer reading the latest blockbuster book by Danielle Steel,any day. Pam, can I have a hair magazine to read instead of this silly and boring cowboy book? "
" You surely may Mrs Jeffries, you surely may "