The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons. All characters engaging in sexual relationships or activities are 18 years old or older.
This is the first part of a series of tales I want to write centered around the pistol. Each tale will be a stand-alone piece with a common theme. As this is the first part, I have included a fair amount of backstory, so please live with it. I’ve no schedule for the later parts; they will be written as the muse takes me.
I can’t thank Blackrandl1958 enough for her guidance and editing expertise; thank you R. All the remaining mistakes are mine as I just can’t resist making that last tweak.
The Walker Colt: Billy’s tale.
I was in my office, sitting at my bench putting the finishing touches to a Purdy shotgun I was restoring, when my business partner, John Davies, called me into his office. His office smelled fresh after the metallic twang and the ever-pervasive aroma of gun oil of the workshop.
“I’ve got something for you; it was found in a concealed drawer in a dresser from an estate sale in New Mexico,” he told me. He opened a box sitting on his desk and pulled out a handgun transport case. He unlocked the case and pushed it in my direction. Nestled in the foam interior was a large and very dirty, revolver, only it wasn’t just any revolver; it seemed to be an 1847 Walker Colt. If it was one, then it was one of only 1100 ever produced.
I whistled in admiration. “Christ, that’s a beauty; it’s traveled a long way to get here,” I said. “How did you get hold of it?”
“A guy I know spotted it on an online auction site and told me about it. It was described as a replica in bad condition, but there was something about it that made me wonder. I took a gamble that it was not a fake and got him to buy it for us. It cost us $2,000, and now I need you to make sure it’s the real thing, work your magic and restore and research its history.”
I reached into the box and placed my hand on the revolver. The metal was icy cold. The lights in the room seemed to flicker, and for a moment I swear I could hear an out of tune piano playing in the distance.
Who am I? I’m Robert Moore, a transplanted Brit, now living in the land of the free. I’m 38, six-feet-tall, and weigh 12 stone 2 lb (that’s 170 lb for you nonimperial heathens). Five years ago, I’d been working as a gunsmith at the Purdy’s in London when I got a letter from a lawyer’s office in Texas. A distant cousin had died, leaving me, his only living relative, his entire estate, some investments and a ranch, west of San Antonio
I’m a Londoner; what the hell did I know about ranching? My first thought was to sell up, so I could afford to ask my girlfriend to marry me. That was the same week Katie decided her boss was a better prospect and moved in with him.
Texas suddenly seemed a much more interesting prospect. I took a week leave and bought a ticket to Dallas. I naïvely hired a car thinking I could only be a couple of hours away from the ranch. Yes, I know everything thing in the states is larger, a fact the GPS in the car was quick to point out. A seven-hour journey and it was already five in the afternoon.
It was mid-afternoon the following day when I found the postbox with the name Earl McAlister painted on it. A dirt road headed off through fields of sunburnt grass in the direction of a low rise about a mile away. I’d called the lawyer earlier, he suggested meeting me at the ranch and had given me directions. As I rounded the rise, a shallow valley opened up before me. The land was much greener, and sunlight glinted off the surface of a large pond.
A long low Adobe ranch house sat in the shade of a stand of trees. A barn and several other work buildings sat off to one side. Without understanding why I knew this was where I wanted to live for the rest of my life.
A dusty SUV sat in front of the house, and as I pulled up a figure in blue jeans and a denim shirt came out onto the porch. He introduced himself as Justin James, my cousin’s lawyer. Everyone calls me JJ, he added.
I took a moment to gaze around me, and JJ said, “Your cousin, Earl, has left you all of this, I’ve got the full list back at the office, and you will need to come in to sign a batch of forms.
“So, this,” and I gestured at the valley, “is all mine?”
JJ laughed, “This and another ten square miles, Bob. You’ve been on your land ever since you pulled off the highway. It stretches a couple of miles either side of the drive and goes back another mile and a half, all the way up to that escarpment.” He pointed at a line of cliffs in the distance.
He added, “There’s about 1800 head of prime beef and dozen or so horses. Earl, employed a foreman and a hand to help him run the place, I guess you’ll be keeping them on?”
I had to interrupt him. “JJ, I know nothing about ranching and cattle, I’ve got a job back home. I work for Purdy’s as a gunsmith, and I’m only here for a week.”
“Purdy’s, don’t they make those fancy British shotguns?”
“Yes, and rifles.”
“They are fairly pricey ain’t they?”
“They start at around 100,000.”
“No, Pounds, so that’s something in the region of 150,000 dollars.”
“I think you are going to like Earl’s gun collection.”
I’d handled firearms all my working life, yet because of the gun laws in the UK, I had never owned a gun. Now it seems I owned a whole collection. JJ went over the contents of Earl’s will. There was the ranch and all its contents, and then there were his investments. Actually, it was the other way around; cousin Earl had been an investment banker, and after a lifetime of making money, he’d retired and bought the old family ranch.
It seems though you can’t keep a good investment banker down, and he’d invested into several of the local business. The one that made me sit up and pay attention was a company called Lone Star custom firearms. Unfortunately, JJ didn’t know much about it, other than they built and repaired firearms, and I would be an equal partner in the business.
It took a few months to get organized, but with JJ’s help, I moved into my new home after probate was sorted out. My residency status was approved by immigration, and I was the holder of a green card with all that it implied.
Sam, the ranch foreman, a weather-beaten grizzly man in his fifty’s, was keen to stay on and took over the running of the ranch. He employed a second ranch hand, and the three of them worked the ranch, employing casual laborers when needed. Sam’s wife, Leigh, looked after the house. I helped out around the ranch when I could, but I’ve never felt comfortable around the stock, I was still a city boy at heart, and I knew where my interests lay; I wanted to find out more about the gun store.
My first meeting with John Davis, the partner at Lone Star Custom guns, was interesting!
Walking in through the front door, I entered a store that was completely different from the Purdy showrooms. It was like a pawn shop off the television. Glass counters full of handguns with racks of rifles and shotguns lined the walls. The only point of reference I recognized was the tang of gun oil and the hint of spent ammunition that pervaded the chilly interior.
Three shop assistants eyed me warily until they saw JJ enter behind me. They relaxed and moved their hands away from their sides. Christ, they all had a holstered handgun at their waists. A far cry from the bespoke-suited assistants at Purdy’s showrooms that I was used to.
JJ asked one of the assistants, a pretty young blonde woman, if she could get John. While we waited, I walked around and studied the guns on display. My eyes were drawn to a lone shotgun in a case and I grinned, for it was a classic Purdy sidelock shotgun.
“Can I see the Purdy?” I asked.
“Sorry, not without the bosses say so; that’s his prize possession,” the assistant replied.
JJ laughed and said, “You might want to let him take a look; meet John’s new partner.”
“This is Earl’s cousin, the one that’s supposed to know about guns?”
JJ said yes, and I nodded. He opened the case and passed me the shotgun. I broke the piece and checked the serial number. I could remember every piece I’d worked on, and this was one of mine. It was a custom order for a Canadian, one of a pair I’d worked on ten years ago
“When did John get this?” I asked.
“Five years ago,” a new voice said.
I glanced up to see a man standing next to the female assistant. I assumed he was John. “You’ve got the pair?” I said.
“The other one is in my office.”
“How did you get them, they were made for a Canadian in Vancouver.”
“From an estate sale, and how the hell do you know who they were made for?”
“Because I worked on them. I’m Earl’s cousin, Bob, by the way.”
“And I hear you’re a gunsmith.”
“Yes, Purdy’s gave me an apprenticeship when I was 16. I’ve been working for them since then.”
John looked happy at this and ushered JJ and me through to the back of the store and into a network of offices and workshops. The young woman came with us, and I took a moment to enjoy her beauty. We all got comfortable in John’s office.
“Patsy, sweetheart, could you bring us a fresh pot of coffee.” The young woman murmured an agreement and disappeared.
“Patsy’s my daughter,” John explained as I watched her leave the office. I didn’t say anything and waited while JJ opened a packet of papers. She returned with the coffee and poured it out into mugs.
She hesitated and gave me a look, “Would you prefer tea?” Her voice was as beautiful as she was.
I shook my head, “No, coffee is fine; I’m not a big tea drinker.”
“To business,” JJ said as he sipped his coffee. “John, as you are aware, Bob is Earl’s only living relative and as such he has inherited Earl’s share in Lone Star.”
“Yep, I was going to ask if I could buy some of your shares back. I didn’t want a stranger to have an equal say in the business, especially not a Brit.” He said the last with an embarrassed smile. “But now I think you could be just what this place needs. From what JJ has told me you are a fully qualified gun maker of shotguns.”
“Not just shotguns, Purdy makes custom rifles. I’m also a member of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers. We are responsible for the London proof house where the barrels are tested.”
John looked pleased with that. “We sell new firearms and offer a customization package on them. Just basic stuff, nothing too fancy. We also offer a restoration service. That’s how I met Earl, he had an old Sharps carbine he wanted to be restored.”
“Yes, I’ve seen it, it looks good,” I replied. I wasn’t going to tell him it looked a damn sight better now after I’d taken it apart and done a bit of work on it. Earl had a fine collection of early western firearms, a dozen pistols and several rifles, including the Sharps and a Model 1873 Winchester. There were a few modern guns as well, but they were just off-the-shelf pieces.
John smiled, “I’m pleased you think that. I thought you might want to become an active partner here. Keep your hand in, so to speak. What do you think?”
“It depends on what you think my role should be. I’m not going to play around customizing a cheap, off-the-shelf piece. I’ll restore a gun if I think it deserves it, and I’d like to make a few shotguns and rifles from scratch.”
“When you say ‘from scratch’, how much of them would you really make?”
I pointed at the Purdy I’d placed on his desk. “Every part of that is made by hand, and I know how to make each part. That’s what I mean ‘from scratch’.”
“How long did it take you to make that one?”
“I worked on each of the pair for a couple of months. All in, they would have taken six months to produce.”
“So how many could you make in a year?”
“All depends on the type. I could probably make six of those a year to that standard.” I picked up the Purdy. “This is a custom piece, I’d guess the previous owner paid a quarter of a million for the pair.” I could almost see the dollar signs in John’s eyes as I spoke. “Remember that’s because it’s Purdy; anything I make won’t have that cachet, and a lot will depend on what equipment you’ve got here.” I added.
Within a month I had resigned from my job in the UK and settled into my own office at Lone Star. I’d fitted out the office with a custom workbench, and all the tools I needed, and started work on my first custom rifle.
Over the next few years, Lone Star’s reputation grew as the place to go to in Texas if you had an unusual firearm that needed restoration, and my standing as a premier gunsmith grew alongside the business.
“Bob ... Bob, Christ, son, are you okay?” John’s voice broke into my consciousness, and I looked up at his concerned face. “You zoned out there for a few moments.”
“Sorry, John,” I replied as I shook my head to clear it. “I’m fine,” I muttered. ‘What the hell was that?’ I thought. I hesitantly placed my hand on the pistol for the second time, and nothing happened. The metal was cool to the touch, but that was all.
John gave me a curious look as I stood up to leave. Case in hand, I walked back to my workroom and placed the case on the workbench. I gave the case my close attention for a moment, but I didn’t open it. Reluctantly, I turned my attention back to the Purdy and spent the next hour applying the finishing touches to the restoration.
This Purdy was a beautiful example of a master gunsmith’s devotion to detail. Unfortunately, thirty years in the damp attic of a Scottish shooting lodge before the present owner had bought it had done it no favors. The restored fifty-year-old piece now looked as good as it would have when it first left the shop in Mayfair all those years ago. I boxed the Purdy up and placed on a shelf in the dispatch room, eager to start on the Walker Colt.
Back at my desk, I opened the revolver case and gingerly removed the foam tray holding the heavy pistol. Nothing happened, and I gave an embarrassed sigh of relief. Set into the second layer was what looked like the original black powder flask, powder measure, and bullet mold. A rusty tin of percussion caps sat beside them. If this was a reproduction, someone had spent a ridiculous amount of time on the accessories.
I’d only ever seen photographs of a Walker Colt, and the gun that lay on my bench looked like those. If it was one, then it was one of only 1100 produced. One thousand had been ordered by a fledgling army unit in Texas: the United States Mounted Rifles; the remaining one hundred had been kept by Colt for private sales.
First things first, I got my camera out of the desk drawer and took some photographs of the pistol from all angles. I began to strip it down to its component parts. At each step, I took some photos. Was this an original Walker? At first glance it was looking promising. Everything matched the reference documents I’d found online, but I was aware that there were some very good fakes out there.
I picked up the barrel, and a chill went through my fingers and seemed to creep up my arm. There were the distant sound of ... chains? No, horse tack, it was the jingling of bridles. The room seemed to dim and there was the smell of horses, sweat, and dust.
The barrel fell from my nerveless fingers, and the office snapped back into focus. I stared around me, nothing seemed out of place. I coughed, my throat dry and my head throbbing. This was just too weird; I needed to go home.
I packed the pieces of the pistol back into the case and went to put it in my secure cupboard. I hesitated, and then tucked it under my arm and walked out of the building. I drove back to the ranch with the case on the seat beside me.
The ranch house had changed very little since the first time I’d seen it, but my personal circumstances had. I parked the truck; I’d gone full native and owned a Ford pickup. I took the case and walked inside.
A beautiful voice welcomed me with, “Bob, you’re home early,” and a woman as beautiful as the voice wrapped her arms around me. Lips kissed mine, and I breathed in the heady aroma of my wife. I caressed the small bulge that that was our unborn child. Patsy was four months pregnant with our first child and beginning to show.
Yes. I’d married John’s daughter. Patsy had been 24 when I’d first met her, and she’d been in the midst of a nasty divorce. She’d married her school sweetheart when they were both 21 and had graduated from the state university. She’d grown up; her loser of a husband hadn’t. He’d carried on trying to live his frat boy lifestyle, and a couple of months before I’d arrived she’d walked in on him and two women.
I’d found the beautiful girl fascinating, hell, the woman wore a Glock 19 pistol at her hip for work. Patsy admitted that she, in turn, had been intrigued by the quiet soft-spoken Englishman who had appeared suddenly. She was intrigued enough that she had made the first move and asked me out on a date a month after I started at Lone Star.
The first date started well, good food at a nice country-style restaurant then fell apart when Patsy took me to a local bar to go dancing. Dancing, for me, had been a Friday or Saturday evening in one of the numerous London clubs packed in like sardines with a crowd of swaying sweaty adults.
Patsy’s version of dancing was completely alien to me. She directed me to a barn-like roadhouse a couple of miles out of town. The place fulfilled every fantasy I’d ever had about a western bar. Wooden floors, a bar counter that seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. To the side was a low stage with a band playing country-style music, and in front was a dance floor with some couples dancing.
She dragged me out on the floor, and I hung onto her, desperately praying I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. I lasted two songs before Patsy took pity on me and led me to a table where I collapsed in a chair in gratitude. She grinned and sat down beside me. Two couples, friends of hers, approached the table and after saying hi, joined us.
All four had gone to school with Patsy, and I, as a newcomer, was treated with some suspicion. It seemed that they were all friends with her husband and were convinced that Patsy should give him a second chance.
“Fuck second chance,” she said. “I caught the cheating bastard in our bed with the Pollson sisters, and what does he say? That I should strip off and join them, he’s man enough for the three of us.”
“Christ, Patsy, you know what Randy’s like. They don’t mean anything to him. It’s you he’s always loved ever since sixth grade,” a tall red-headed guy said.
Patsy turned to me, “Bob, these ‘friends’ of mine are too rude to introduce themselves, so let me do it for them, and then they can leave.” She pointed at the redhead, “This is Carl, he’s my soon to be ex-husband’s cousin.” He nodded in my direction.
She pointed at the other three, “Cindy, his girlfriend, and David and his wife, Zoe. We all went to high school together with Randy, and for some reason they all want me to forgive my cheating bastard of an almost ex-husband.”
A waitress had appeared when they first sat down and taken our drink order, beers all around. I’d quickly learned that it was pointless trying to order a beer that wasn’t ice cold, so I’d nurse the damn thing until it was possible to drink it without suffering brain freeze. I’m sorry, beer is not supposed to that cold.
“Who’s this guy, Patsy?” Carl asked. “Does Randy know you’ll going out on a date.”
“It’s none of his damn business who I date. This is Bob Moore, Daddy’s new partner. Earl was his cousin.”
I held out my hand, “How do you do.” I said.
Carl ignored me and carried on talking to Patsy “Jesus, Patsy, he’s a Britisher. Randy’s gonna be pissed when he hears about this.”
“And I guess you’ll be the one to tell him,” she snapped back.
“I won’t need to, he’ll see for himself when he gets here. He’s supposed to be meeting us.”
Patsy gave me a look that was a mix of defiance and apprehension. “Do you want to go? If Randy’s drunk, he can turn nasty.”
I shook my head. I liked this woman and was hoping this date would lead to many more. In any case, I’d grown up in the East end of London. It was a place you wouldn’t survive if you didn’t learn how to look after yourself. Both of my parents had died when I was young, and my grandfather had brought me up. He ran a Pub near the Elephant and Castle, and his customers were some of London’s old school criminal elite, all hard men in their time. My grandfather was one of them, the pub their clubhouse, and I was quickly shown the ropes.
The old guard’s protectors showed me how to look after myself. “Never start a fight,” old Albert had told me. “Just make sure you know how to end it, Bobby boy.” He and the other bodyguards had shown me how.
It was in the back room of the pub I was shown my first gun. It was a battered old Walther, a souvenir of the Second World War. I’d fixed a few old clocks, and the owner of the pistol asked if I could look at it. I stripped it down, cleaned and fixed a broken part secretly in the metalwork shop at school. I fixed a few more, then my grandfather had a word and I was offered one of the prized apprenticeships at Purdy’s.
“Do you want to go?” I asked Patsy.
“Not really, I’m like it here, and I’m enjoying the company.” She took my hand and smiled at me.
She pulled me back onto the dance floor, wrapped her arms around my neck and pressed her body against mine. We shuffled, it could never be called dancing, for what seemed a lifetime. All I was aware of was the sweet scent of a beautiful woman and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. Electricity seemed to spark between us, and our lips were welded together. Long, long moments passed until she shivered and pulled back an inch.
“Ahem,” she coughed, “the music stopped a couple of minutes ago.”
I surfaced and realized we were the only couple left on the dance floor and the band was walking off the stage. We headed back to the table and her friends. A third man sat with the other two couples.
“I guess that is Randy,” I said. Patsy didn’t smile, but she squeezed my hand as she led me over.
“What are you doing here, Randy, I don’t remember inviting you to join us.”
“Do I need an invite to drink with my wife,” Randy growled. He was a tall man, thickset, and I guessed he’d been a football player in high school. From the look of him, he’d gone to seed. I knew he and all the others at the table were the same age as Patsy.
He turned to me, and it seemed I didn’t have his approval, not that I expected it. “So is this a British thing,” he said mockingly. “You like to steal other men’s wives? I wasn’t sure I believed it when Carl here called to say he’d seen my wife on a date.”
While I wasn’t scared, it did seem sensible not to piss him off while he was surrounded by friends. So, I held up my hands in a gesture of appeasement. “My understanding is your marriage is over, which is why I asked Patsy out on a date.”
Patsy snapped at him, “Dum dum here seems to have forgotten that our marriage is over. The fucking Pollson twins were the last straw. What part of ‘forsaking all others’ did you not understand?”
“Bitch,” he said, and he was on his feet and drawing back his arm to strike her.
I reached him as he moved forward, grasped his hand by the thumb and using his momentum, spun him and forced his arm up behind his back. ‘Thank you, Albert’, I thought. He’d shown me this move when I was seventeen as a quick way to immobilize a drunk in the pub. With the victim’s arm in this position, just a little pressure had them on their toes. A little bit more and the shoulder would dislocate.
Randy gave a grunt of pain and tried to move away. I applied a bit more pressure, and he was on his toes. Carl started to come to his aid, and I shook my head.
“You don’t want to do that, Carl. If I apply any more pressure, Randy’s shoulder is going to dislocate. Where I come from men, don’t hit women.” I resisted Albert’s voice in my head urging me to give the guy a classic East End kicking.
I eased the pressure on his arm, and he dropped down from his toes. He was spluttering incoherently, but I ignored him.
“You need to take him home before he does something stupid.” I nodded in the direction of a pair of bouncers heading our way. “Probably best if you’re going by the time they get here.”
I let go of Randy and Carl dragged him off towards the back entrance of the bar. Patsy and her other friends intercepted the bouncers. I sat down, the adrenaline rush leaving me exhausted.
Patsy surprised me by sitting down on my lap and drawing me into a long kiss. This was far more than I’d hoped for, and I think she surprised herself and her friends. The table fell silent, and I glanced around apprehensively, but there were smiles on the two women’s faces.
Patsy glanced down at her hand, “It feels funny not to be wearing my rings,” she commented. “They were his grandmother’s, and I didn’t feel right keeping them.”
Hey, I’m British, not stupid, I can take a hint. “Do you want to go ring shopping?” I asked, trying to keep the fear of rejection from my voice.
She gave me what I was to learn was her coy look. Head bent slightly forward, blonde hair falling over her face, striking blue eyes looking up at me. “What sort of ring?”
“One with a diamond or maybe a sapphire to match your eyes.”
“Any specific reason you want to buy me a ring?”
“I have this vague idea that you might like to marry me.”
“Well if you’re not sure,” and I moved as though I was going to dump her off my lap and onto the floor.
She gave a shriek and tightened her grip on me. “Yes, yes, yes. Yes, I want a ring, yes I want to marry you, and yes I want your babies.”
“How’s my daughter?” I asked.
Patsy placed her hands over mine as they caressed her bulge. “Don’t you mean our son. Tadpole is doing well, and so is his mother.”
I laughed, I’d never been happier in all my life. I spun her around and drew her into a kiss. She complained as the case I was still holding hit her.
“What’s in that?”
“I think it’s an original Walker Colt, your Dad wants me to restore it.”
“Okay, but why did you bring it home?”
Honestly, I wasn’t sure why I had brought it with me, so I um’d and ah’d for a moment, then shrugged it away and said. “I just felt like spending a couple of days at home with my wife. Thought I’d work on it in my spare time, that’s all.”
“So, show it to me then, I’ve never seen one before.”
“It’s in pieces, I’ll show you when it’s finished.”
She pulled the case from my hands and dropped it on a coffee table in the lounge. “Dad told me about it earlier, I’d really like see it.”
Nervously, I opened the case and showed her the pieces of the pistol. She picked up the frame and rubbed her finger along it, “There’s something stamped here,” she indicated the left-hand side of the frame.
I held out my hand, and she passed it to me. It was icy cold, and my fingers tingled where it touched them. The room around us seemed to phase in and out of focus and the faint inscription ‘C COMPANY No 142‘, appeared to glow on the metal in front of my eyes. The letters surged and pulsed. The sound of people shouting echoed in my ears.
“Billy,” a gruff voice called out, and a hand shook my shoulder.
“Bob, Bob, are you okay?” Pats said in a worried tone.
I looked down at the gun frame I was still holding and then up to her worried face. I swallowed and croaked out, “I’m fine, I’ve just got a bad headache.” I did have one that pulsed behind my eyes.
“I’m just going to put this away, and then I think I’m going to lie down,” I said.
Patsy took the piece from me and placed it back in the case. “I’ll put this in your study; you need to go and lie down, you’re looking pale.”
I acknowledged her and made my way to our bedroom where I stripped off and climbed under the covers. My head hurt, and I felt cold, I shivered and pulled the covers tightly around my body.
Patsy came in carrying a glass of water and a bottle of pills. She offered me a couple of painkillers, and I swallowed them down with a mouthful of water.
“Do you want me to stay with you?” she asked. I demurred and told her I just wanted to sleep.
She stroked my forehead and gave me a kiss before leaving and closing the door quietly behind her.
It took a while for the chills to leave me and the sharp pain behind my eyes to settle down to a low throbbing ache. I fell into a fitful sleep. It was the smells that seemed to come first. Stale sweat, unwashed bodies and horse, followed by flashes of a dusty track and a town off in the distance.
Then the town was right before me, and I was riding a horse past adobe and clapboard buildings.
I was at a table, a glass and a bottle in front of me and a pistol in my hand. The Walker Colt weighed heavily in my grip, the metal fresh and un-pitted. The cylinder was engraved and stamped on top of the barrel was ADDRESS, SAML COLT, NEW-YORK CITY.
I had no idea why it was in my hand, then it wasn’t. A woman’s nipple pressed against my palm and my fingers dug into her breast. A woman’s voice was urging me to fuck her. “Harder Billy, fuck your Eileen harder,” the voice had a soft Irish accent.
“Eileen,” I muttered.
“Wake up Bob. Wake up love, you’re dreaming.”
I started awaking and noticed one impression was correct I was holding a breast. Patsy’s breast and her blue eyes stared down at me in the glow of a bedside lamp.
I looked back at her in confusion.
“Who’s Eileen,” she asked and a savage pain shot through my head causing me to fall back against the pillow. Then just as suddenly, it was gone, and our bedroom snapped back into focus. There were red marks on Patsy’s breast where I’d been grasping it.
“Shit, I’m sorry,” I whispered. “That was the weirdest dream.” The clock on the bedside cabinet said it was 5:20 so I’d been asleep for over ten hours.
“I know,” she said and curled up against me. “I tried to wake you when I came to bed, but you were completely out of it. You’ve been tossing and turning for the past couple of hours then suddenly you grabbed my tit and tried to stick your cock between my legs.”
That’s when I realized I was sporting a magnificent hard on and her hand was wrapped around it
“Any chance you could forget Eileen and use that on me instead?” She applied her coy look and squeezed.
I pushed her onto her back, and she groaned in anticipation. She wriggled, and her panties flew across the room. She gasped as I sucked her nipple into my mouth. I groaned as she tightened her grip on my rigid cock. She let go of my cock and grabbed my head.
Her fingers, trapped in my hair, pulled, urging me to cover her. I pushed in deep and hard. Her legs wrapped around the back of my thighs. Her fingers clenched and unclenched the skin on my back, as I thrust hard and fast into her soft silky pussy.
I kept up the pace, changing the rhythm of the strokes in tune with her needs and the rolling of her hips. Her body stiffened as she came. She babbled out my name repeatedly. I kept moving; she was the only person I loved, and I was going to prove it to her.
She whimpered and cried out as her body shook while her orgasm washed over her, and she kept coming until I came with a rasping gasp, pumping my hot cum against the entrance of her womb, covering her cervix with my possessive essences.
Her fingertips were dug deep into the muscles on my back, and the walls of her passage clenched tightly around me, milking the last drop from me.
Her eyes fluttered open, and she looked up at me with a look of love and desire. I rolled to the side, but Patsy refused to let me pull out. Her finger traced a line of sweat running down my chest. She kept squeezing my shaft with her pussy.
She gave a little sob of happiness, and turning over, she pushed back and let me spoon her. She relaxed in my arms, drew my hand down to rest on the bulge of our child, and I fell into a dreamless sleep.
I sat back and basked in a wave of self-gratification. In front of me on my desk in the study sat the restored Walker Colt, clamped in a display stand. The metal parts gleamed with a bluish tinge. The brass trigger guard had polished to a golden hue, and the polished wooden handgrip shone.
There was no doubt that this was an original Walker; all the tests had come back in the correct range. The marking was correct and confirmed that this was one of the pistols that had been issued to Company C of the United States Mounted Rifles. There was no record of who it had been issued to, but I was convinced if we ever did find out, his first name was going to be Billy.
I’d had no resurgence of the dreams and flashbacks in the week I’d been working on the pistol. What I couldn’t get over was how pristine it had been under the layers of ground in dirt. I’d run all the metal pieces through an ultrasound bath and over 150 years of crud had flaked off, leaving the pieces in an amazing condition. There were the obvious signs of wear and a small degree of pitting along the frame and barrel. The battle scenes engraved on the cylinder were worn, but still visible.
The powder flask, powder measure and bullet molds all appeared to be contemporary if not original. The flask still contained several measures of powder which I’d needed to discard. The tin of percussion caps was from the 1860’s, and while I kept the tin, I’d got rid of the dozen caps it contained. A good job, too, as one exploded as it rolled off my desk onto the floor. I had puzzled over the glass jar until I’d read a few contemporary accounts and discovered that the practice had been to seal the loaded chambers with fat to prevent a chain fire.
Everything I’d read said that they used a 60-grain powder charge, but I wasn’t going to risk that for my first test firing. Half load, I thought, I’d made a batch of balls from a modern mold. The original mold could make both balls and conical bullets, but I didn’t want to risk using it.
At the back of the barn, Earl had set up a firing range. I loaded the chambers with a half charge of powder and the balls, then sealed them with an inert wax before adding the caps to the nipples.
The target was a couple of gallon water jugs, and I stepped forward, lined up on the target and pulled the trigger.
The pistol fired and kicked back twisting in my hand. A cloud of black powder smoke hid the target. Christ if that was a half charge I’d hate to think what a full charge would do. The charging lever dropped, and I couldn’t rotate the cylinder.
“I told you it would do that, Billy,” a gruff voice said. “You need to tie the damn thing up, or it’ll drop each dang shot.”
Oh fuck, not again I thought, only this time it felt so real. I took a moment to look around while my hands instinctively locked the charging lever into place. I stood at the back of a long low building. One of several that stood to one side of an open area. On the far side were what looked like stables and some smaller buildings.
“Here, Billy boy.” A hand held out a length of rawhide and tied it around the barrel and lever. The man behind the voice was weather-beaten, a couple of days of stubble adorned his chin. He wore dusty work trousers and a shirt. He was bareheaded. I had no idea who he was, yet it seemed my mouth did.
“Now try,” he said
“Thanks, Drew,” I said, and stepped back to the firing line. I cocked and fired and then fired the remaining four loads at the target, a packing case with a row of clay jugs on it.
“Good lad,” Drew said as I lowered the pistol and set it down on the top of a barrel that held my second pistol, the power horn, a tin of caps and a leather pouch of balls.
“You are going to need this,” he said, and handed me a glass jar. “It’s full of bacon fat, you’ll want to plug the loaded chambers with it. It’ll stop an extra chamber going off when you’re shooting.”
“That’s kind of you, Uncle Drew.”
“I just want you to do your Pappy proud, Billy boy.”
It was weird; I knew I was Robert Moore, yet I wasn’t, I was Billy Pruitt, an 18-year-old from San Antonio, with all his memories. I’d come to serve with my uncle, a corporal in the mounted rifles. I’d been here a month and been issued with my pistols last week. The man teaching me was Andrew Pruitt, better known as my uncle Drew
I reloaded the pistol leaving a single chamber empty as Drew had told me. The hammer rested against the empty nipple, so there was no risk of an accidental shot. I placed it in its holster and followed my uncle back to the bunkhouse. Over the doorway was painted a sign.
US MOUNTED RIFLES
Cots stretched along both walls, about a third occupied. A long line of tables ran down the center of the dark room. I headed down the room and stopped at a cot I knew was mine and flopped down on it. I was hoping that if I fell asleep, I’d wake up back in my time.
Sleep eluded me, the commotion a hundred men made, the rank smells, all combined to keep me thinking. There were two layers to my personality, and I was starting to find it difficult to separate them. Bob’s was beginning to drift into the background as young Billy’s tried to force itself into dominance.