Written 27 January, 2010
Friendly Greetings From Tombstone
Part IV. There Ain't Room in This Town Fer the Both of Us
When me and my pard-- that would be the notorious Sweetie Kid-- rode into Tombstone, we were mighty thirsty.
We tied our prim horses to the rail outside the Krystal Palace Saloon and moseyed inside.
"Whiskey," I said to the barkeep.
"And none of that rotgut," said Sweetie menacingly. "We want the stuff on the top shelf."
The bartender put down two dirty glasses and started to pour. Sweetie looked at her glass in disgust, pushed it aside, and produced a paper cup from her limitless inventory. "I'll just use this," she said.
"Suit yourself," said the bartender. He poured and Sweetie tossed back her whiskey before it could eat through her Dixie Cup. I nursed mine.
"Where can a body get a leg shave and a bath?" I asked.
The bartender started to answer, but stopped, staring at the swinging doors.
"That would be the sheriff," Sweetie said.
"Yep," I said.
A long blonde drink of water walked up beside us and put her thumbs in her vest so we could see her tin star and said, "You gals just ride in?"
"Yep," I said. I liked saying yep.
"You planning on ridin' out?"
"Yep, I said.
'We're stayin' only long enough to get our prim horses tended to and get a good meal and a bath," Sweetie said. "That a problem for you?"
"It just might be," said the sheriff. "I"m Authoritarian Annie. I run this town."
"How nice for you," Sweetie said, and Annie pulled her Colt from its holster and made the cylinder spin.
"I just might run you two in," she said.
"We were just sitting here minding our own business," I said.
"Anything happens in Tombstone is MY business," Annie said. "I'm tellin' you gals. You'd best be outside the city limits before the sun goes down."
"And don't come back?" Sweetie asked.
"Not if you know what's good for you," Annie said.
I stood up and rezzed a prim and made it round and colored it brown and flexible and put it on top of Annie's boot and made a Pat-Tooey sound.
That's when the lights went out.
When I woke up I saw bars. I was in the calaboose and I had a massive headache.
"What's that infernal noise?" I asked.
"That's the carpenter," someone said. I sat up and saw Annie, her prim boots propped up on her freebie desk. "She's building the gallows for the hanging."
"Hanging?" I asked. "What hanging?"
"Yours," she said.
"I've had no trial."
"Oh, you'll be given a fair trial," Annie said. "And then you'll be hung."
Outside I could hear the trap fall as the hangwoman tested the gallows.
"First thing in the mornin','" Annie said.
"You can't hang me for spitting on your shoes," I said.
"Watch me," Annie said. "I"m Authoritarian Annie. I wear the star here, and I can do anything I want."
"What happened to Wyatt?" I asked. "I thought he was sheriff."
"Earp was a pussy," she sneered.
That Pussy Wyatt
"I didn't ride into this one-horse town looking for trouble," I said.
"Well, you found it," she laughed. "I'm lookin' forward to tomorrow.
"Of course," she added, "You're mighty purty. If you was to be good to me..."
"I'll not be cavorting with no tin horn law woman," I said. "Not when I have the notorious Sweetie Kid to bust me out of here."
"Haw," she said. "This place is bustproof. Come mornin' you'll still be here to keep your appointment. And if the Kid tries anything, I'll be ready for her."
"Wake me when it's time," I said. "I'd hate to sleep through my own hanging."
I was awake at midnight, though, ready for Sweetie.
Time passes slowly when you're in jail. I sorted my inventory, sent IMs to all my friends, tried on every outfit I owned (to Annie's delight), and turned a pair of prims into dice and played craps with myself.
I put a clock script in one of the dice and checked the time.
Damn! I said to myself. Only thirty minutes had passed.
Then I heard it.
At first it was a small sound, but it grew rapidly louder. It sounded like... yes, it was!
The front door of the jail suddenly burst open.
"You gotta come, sheriff!" cried the deputy.
Funny. I didn't remember seeing any deputy.
Annie struggled to her feet. "Huh?" she said. "What is it?"
"It's the newbies," said the deputy. "They're stampeding!"
"Damn!" said Annie. "Who knows what damage they'll do!
"Here," Annie said, tossing the key ring to the deputy. "Keep an eye on that Palisades woman. Shoot her if she tries to escape." Then she rushed out the door.
"Yessir," said the deputy to her back. "I mean ma'am."
As soon as Annie was out of sight the deputy limped up to my cell and opened the door.
"Sweetie!" I said. "You've come!"
"Yep," she said, "And I didn't even have to use my exploding lipsticks. Let's vamoose."
"Just a second," I said. I walked over to the gun rack and picked up a Winchester and shot the lock off the desk drawer and pulled it open. Inside were group invitations, dozens and dozens of them.
I picked up two. "Now we can go," I said.
"Yep," said Sweetie. "The prim horses are outside."
We were ten miles out of town before I remembered.
"Dammit!" I said. "I never did get that leg shave!"