Oxy Mora: David Brooks at the Budget Motel
Richard Day: Shelter From the Storm
Mr. Smith: Duchamp, the Big Glass and Chronic Illness
Marshall Mitt Dylan walked into the Longbranch with his zipper cocked and his gun sheathed. Or maybe it was the other way around.
Anyhow, this was the end of the first week since '68 that he had not been shot, pistol whipped, bow & arrowed or bitten by some critter.
Mitt was actually feeling pretty good and he thought he would visit the queen of the whorehouses, Miss Kitty P.
There was something about that beauty mark and them brand new spectacles she'd been wearing lately.
As he floated through the swinging doors his eyes caught Doc Newton in the corner playing with himself and ranting about some communist menace.
Mitt, I swear to the Almighty that if you got yourself shot or bitten by some critter again I would put you out of yer misery as sure as....
Doc, you get paid every time you send in a chit to the county commissioners so I really don't see what you got to bitch about!
Just then Chester Plenty came limping in as usual (always time for a drink after high noon).
Mittser Dylan, Mittser Dylan, he cackled as was his wont to do.
Yes Chester, yes Chester, what the hell is it this time?
Chester Plenty was taken aback by Marshall Mitt's tone. It always seemed that Mitt would put him down on every occasion when Doc was not clearly pissing on his manure covered boots. He had clearly had enough of this.
Well I gots some info for you that might be of interest, if you would just show me some respect Mitt!
Well that's fine and dandy for sure Chester. Let's hunker over to the bar and I'll buy you a Sarsaparilla!
Sarsaparilla! For chrissakes Mittser Dylan I'm a growed up man and I seek a more grown up refreshment nowadays!
Oh that is all well a good Chester, but I'll be damned if I'm goin to indulge the tastes of a pagan before sundown!
So tell me what is so darn important on a day when I have yet to be shot or whipped or gnawed at by some critter.
There are some shady fellows headed for town with some of them 'Golden Tablets' you always speak about Mitt. Some feller named The Huntsman is bringing them to town on his way to that Utah place.
When did you hear about this?
Well across the street at Miss Miches' place.
Chester, have you already been to two bars before sundown again?
I'm a growed man, now you want to hear about this great event or not?
Mitt was almost shaking in his boots.
Thirty years before he had pulled out of Utah over some issue concerning his sacred underwear. He had absconded as they liked to say in those ancient days and left his 15 female cousins alone to raise his 48 kids.
It was a history the veteran gunfighter and whorehouse frequenter did not like to be reminded of.
There is only one Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church established by the Rock upon which my Lord and Savior built His faith; Doc Newton shrieked.
Just then Ricky the milkmaid arrived with his fresh pails of cow juice. Santa Ricky as he was known, doubled as the chamber maid for extra coin. It was only when he confused the milk pails with the chamber pots that really set some patrons off!
That's what I need thought Matt; a nice tall glass of freshly squeezed milk! He sauntered over to the bar.
Yeah, what do you want! Paul the barkeep was usually more gruff than Doc.
Cool down Paul, darn! Fix me up a glass of that fresh squeezed milk and smile for once.
Smile my ass, all this religious talk infringing upon my rights as an American; Mormons to the right of me; Pope kissers to the left of me; WHAT THE HELL IS A BARKEEP TO DO? I am here to make money and the government...including you Sheriff Mitt has one duty and one duty only and that is to protect my property. I worked, I slaved, I labored to built this mighty fortress and what do I get for my investment? Nothing but holy this and sacred that and ...and for chrissakes this a saloon and a whore house! Damn!
Santa Ricky sashayed over to Doc's corner. Why must we have a barkeep that eschews my Savior and your Savior!
Ricky, you heard em! This is a goddamn saloon and whore house for chrissakes.
Mitt turned to the crowd:
We are all good Dodge republicans and proud of it. Can't we all just get along? Mitt took the milk down in one swallow.
Just so the bastard did not conflagrate the chamber pots with the milk pots this time Chester Plenty chimed in!
Mitt let out a good belch and turned to Paul the Barkeep.
Miss Kitty P around Paul?
Yeah, she's upstairs finishing off the Tea Party that crept in late last night. Must have been a score of them.
She'll brush her teeth real good before she comes down right?
Just then the beautiful figure of Miss Kitty P descended the stair case, stumbling on the second to the last step and twirling fastly until she found herself at the bar in Mitt's arms.
Who all is involved in this Tea Party thingy Kitty, as he released his grip on her fanny.
These are men who wish to keep our fair village hale and hardy, white and free! They come from the nether parts with warrants on their heads for not paying the king his fee.
You bring my cut Missy?
Oh and Mitt, I got that special underwear order that was delivered yesterday!
Kitty P reached into her bosom to pull out a few bills and handed them over to the barkeep.
Is that all you got? I mean you were up there moaning and groaning for five frickin hours and fifty-five dollars is all you got?
Well I had to take out forty to pay the Marshall, Paul; I mean otherwise the DOJ would start checkin up about all the BJ's. And how would you like them checkin up on the tax stamps pasted to the bottom of your bottles barkeep?
Taxes, taxes, taxes. I will tell you what is wrong with this country, it's the tax structure. Why they tax every goddamn thing in my place except for Ricky's milk and that is only because they heard about the chamber pot confusions of a few months ago...
Oh damn, here he goes again said Doc to Chester.
Why only a score of years ago, the Feds could not make it out here with all the fightin goin on south of these parts and we were free, really free. Why Mitt here would shoot some drunk who had broken one of my whiskey bottles and we would just bury him out back...without some worthless prayer or nothin and no one would be the wiser. Now we are supposed to take the worthless savage 'into custody' and 'book him' and have a trial and...
Just then the stranger sauntered in. He was tall and self-assured and totally; I mean totally Black with this huge scar on his right cheek. They called him the Mark of Cain.
A hush went over the crowd.
What can I get you stranger?
Kitty P. swooned in the direction of Marshall Mitt, Mitt catching her right in her right places, if you know what I mean.
The barkeep spoke up once again: What'll you have stranger? We welcome all strangers here as long as they got hard coin! And they really welcome strangers up there, looking up toward the staircase.
Well thank ye kindly sir, I will have a double whiskey and a quinine on the side if that's OK!
Okay, comin right up. Ah....say you don't happen to be part injun do you?
Cain gave him the killer stare that got him the entire block on the outside of town.
Injun? Are you callin me an injun?
Paul fixed the quenchers and asked for a buck.
Here's two Barkeep said the stranger.
A look of awe and reverence swept over Paul the Barkeep. Equal Protection under the law is of the utter import just as long as money controls and the government does not interfere, he pined. I shall be released he shrieked.
So what's your name stranger.
They call me Mark, Mark Cain.
There was a hush among the patrons are they all stared at the big ass scar on his cheek. They knew there had to be some Biblical reference there...