Showdown at Sunrise in Sunset

by Tony Stevens

Copyright© 2013 by Tony Stevens

Western Story: Folks in the Town of Sunset had no end of trouble from The Bickle Boys. But the tough new Marshal was intent on doing something about that.

Tags: Western  

This here town, Sunset, would be a quiet, peaceful kinda place if it weren't for them Bickle Boys. Them Bickles is the meanest, nastiest bunch you ever seen.

You know how some folks'll get testy when they been drinkin'? Them Bickle boys start out actin' ugly when they is still stone sober. An' after that, every shot they swaller jes' turns up the meanness another notch!

There ain't never been no controllin' them four boys, nor their rascal hired hands, neither. We've had a whole mess 'a sheriffs and deputies come 'n go here in Sunset and mostly, none 'a them ain't never really tried.

'Cain't blame 'em much. Jes' puttin' a tin star on a feller ain't never gonna stop flyin' lead, and we knowed — all of us — that if you mess with them Bickles, you gonna soon be deader'n Lazarus after Jesus left town.

So, every bless'ed Saturday, them boys come ridin' in at daybreak to tear up our town. They stay all day and into the night, with no kind a' law to slow 'em down nor stop 'em. They insult our wimmen, bust up our onlyest saloon, drink everythin' that come in a bottle and take quick offense if a man so much as looks at 'em funny! They don't even pay for their liquor after the first round, and Moe, the barkeep, counts hisself lucky to git that much!

All a' that was before Marshal Marshall come to the Territory.

Now, Marshal Marshall, he was a man's man. He was tall in the saddle and had shoulders on him so wide that when he first rode into town from the west, he like t' blocked out the settin' sun! He was clean-shaven and dressed reg'lar, but one look and you could tell he wuz tough enough to bite a bear's ear clean off!

Folks wanted t' crack a smile when he introduced hisself as Marshal Marshall, on account a' it sounded kinda peculiar. But nobody made no fuss about it, because one sidewise look from the Marshal and strong men would shrivel right up like bacon in a hot skillet.

Well, the Marshal told all us folks that he'd been sent by the Territorial Governor to clean up the town and that, the way he'd heard it, them Bickles and their hired hands was pure-D trouble and always had been.

We allowed as how that was the gospel truth, but we cautioned the Marshal that them bad boys was crazier 'n wounded rattlers, and right numerous, t' boot.

The Marshal, he jes' kinda smiled, 'n said he understood them boys always came in t' town from the west when it was barely sunrise, here in Sunset. He figured on waitin' for 'em, right out there in the street, with both his .44 caliber Remingtons loaded and holstered.

"Them boys come ridin' in here, and the morning sun is comin' up right behind me, I reckon if they're of a mind to resist, they'll have a packet a' trouble aimin' and firin' ... on account a' they'll be blinded by that risin' sun," the Marshal said. "I don't figger to wait on 'em to cause another ruckus here in town, I'm gonna take 'em out while they's still thirsty and timid. Ain't never seen a cowhand could shoot straight when he's still hankerin' for that first drink."

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