At last the day is here! All through the year we waited and now the celebrating begins in earnest! Frontierado, the greatest holiday this side of Life Day for Wookies, has galloped into town and bellied up to the bar for a drink and a hot meal.
Special greetings from me, the Blackwater Kid, to Amarillo Rose, Dusty Murtaugh, Doc Albany and her husband Casino Bill Kost, Cyclone Rachel, Buckshot Bryant, Lady London, Cactus Cathy, Kid Equus and Doc Robyn, plus the M.I.A Six-Gun Sara!
There are even more people celebrating Frontierado with us this year than last year, but various obligations have prevented me from writing official Sagas for all of them.
This holiday is being observed in the USA, New Zealand, the UK and Australia just like last year, but this year we add Canada, Germany and Japan to the list of nations that have realized Frontierado has a wonderful plan for their lives.
In addition to all the usual things that go with this particular holiday, like cookouts, Cactus Jacks, cowboy hats and scarves, Deuces Wilds, Frontierado Poker, potted cacti with miniature gunbelts slung across them and rocks painted to look like the Painted Desert, this year brings us a bonus treat.
Courtesy of a package mailed to me by the late George MacDonald Fraser several years ago, but which wasn’t delivered until a few days ago (you know the mail service) I am in possession of a long-forgotten 1800′s newspaper account of a heretofore unknown adventure of Joanne “Buckshot” Bryant, the woman who keeps the spirit of Frontierado alive all year ’round!
(Clipping from the Dallas Morning News. The headline was like confetti in my hands, but I could see the date was April 19th. The year, unfortunately, could not be made out)
(indecipherable) maintains it was Buckshot Bryant herself, the Queen of the Rustlers, sitting at a table and drinking fine Kentucky bourbon. The two young men who burst into the saloon, supposedly named Sam and Dean, carried Winchester rifles and were dressed in garb the like of which none of the cowpokes or farmers in town had ever seen before.
All and sundry near the Queen’s table affirm that the Winchester-toting men (henceforth the Winchester Men) told the Queen that the bull she had helped them rustle wasn’t really white after all. They had bathed it and found out it was really a brown bull under the whitewash.
Buckshot was heard to swear in a way no decent lady would and the shameless Scarlet Woman checked out of the hotel room she and the Winchester Men had been sharing (O, Lord, what sinners didst thou come to save?) and rode off, swearing vengeance on the double-crossing Cool Clyde, a well-known rival rustler.
This reporter confirmed that three nights later Bryant and the Winchester Men were involved in a fair nigh Apocalyptic gunfight with Cool Clyde and his men just north of the Maeve Ranch, where everyone knows Cool Clyde has been using old man Ailill as a front for his rustling operation. Witnesses state the cause of the tussle seemed to be a bull that was as white as ivory, and which Clyde had obviously tricked Buckshot into thinking she and the Winchester Men had made off with until the bath spoiled the ruse.
(The next paragraph was indecipherable. The following one resumes the narrative)
Back here in town the Winchester Men regaled the cheering townsfolk with a tale about how they convinced Cool Clyde and his few remaining men to give themselves and the white bull up, since they had a better chance of surviving a jail cell than they did of surviving the unleashed wrath of the Queen of the Rustlers! Clyde and his boys gave in and were in jail and there the white bull stood, right here in Dallas. Buckshot had headed back to her hideout somewhere in the wilderness where her whole gang awaited her, including Dancin’ Pat and Lariat Leo.
Now this reporter attributes what the witnesses say happened next to a little too much drinking by all involved. All the onlookers have sworn that the white bull and the Winchester Men disappeared in a whirlwind of light like they were visitors from another world or time. Like as if the white bull was the object of some supernatural quest the Winchester Men were on and with it recovered they returned whence they came.
Whatever really happened it’s clear the young men wanted that bull, and who better to help them rustle it than Buckshot Bryant herself, especially from the clutches of a desperado like Cool Clyde. That worthy must have tricked the Queen of the Rustlers into thinking she and her two pretty boys had succeeded in making off with the prize but after a night of shameful romancing upstairs had seen the error of their ways with the disguised brown bull and set out to grab the real white bull.
There are lots of earthly explanations for all this, so this reporter stakes his reputation on the fact that there was nothing at all supernatural about this odd tale, as surely as the winner of this year’s presidential election will be (indecipherable).
That’s all there was in the clipping, so make of it what you will. Did Buckshot Bryant really encounter alleged “time travelers” on a supernatural quest? Is the whole story nonsense? A person can’t help but notice resemblances to this tale with the Celtic myth about the Cattle Raid of Cooley, so who can say for sure?
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