There was a lot of interest shown the day the Stranger rode into town.
He sat high in the saddle, and his grey pony was more a curiosity than anything else as grey ponies were not a common sight unless you were attending the circus and this Stranger didn’t look like any circus performer.
The girls along the top floor of the pub swooned collectively as he rode past and were disappointed when in pulled up in front of Ma Beasley’s Boarding House.
He took his saddlebags with him and entered the boarding house and emerged some hours later looking as though he’d used his time wisely to smarten up.
It was the six-gun hanging on his hip that worried most people. It was a small quiet town, off the beaten track and on most days life happened and no one got in its way.
Was he here to seek out someone, or was he just passing through?
In the pub, he drank alone. The locals thought it prudent to give him space and not attract his attention; after all, they didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of him. He asked if they had an Undertaker. They told him about Shoveller Grover, he asked them if they knew Shoveller’s story.
Most didn’t apart from the fact he dug a very neat grave.
Everyone in the pub that day shook in fear when the Stranger told them Shoveller needed to dig a new grave.
“Who for?” they asked.
“Shoveller,” he replied. He then told them why he was there. He was a law officer and had been on the hunt for Shoveller for years and had finally tracked him down. Shoveller had killed a family back east and had run off and hidden in their town. It was time for him to face justice.
Just then the bar doors sprang open, and Shoveller stood in the doorway, he was dressed; differently, his drab undertaker clothes had given way to a smart grey suit, his shoes polished, and on his hip, he carried an equally impressive gun as the Stranger.
They went out into the street and faced off with one another. Shoveller never said anything but knew the Stranger and men like him. His anonymity gone, it was his time, and he was determined to go down fighting.
It was quickly over. There was a volley of gunshots; the town held its breath, one body lay in the dirt of the main street.
The Stranger placed his gun into its holster and walked over to the dead Shoveller.
He looked around and signalled to the Sheriff who had been standing by that he was finished what he came to do. He took off his gun and walked back into the pub.
He decided to stay around, there was a job going for an Undertaker in the town, and in his estimation, it was largely a safer occupation than law enforcement.
And so William Enright, one-time gunfighter, law officer and Stranger took the Undertakers clothes as his own and settled into the quiet country town way of life.
Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/10/08/tale-weaver-296-stranger-8th-october/
I do enjoy a good western… 🙂
Very nicely told story. You can easily expand it into a western movie
That was a little bit different for you, Michael. And suddenly the main theme music for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is running through my head 😀