this is a new story, written today because HeadBurro has been asking for Mr. Bu stories. It's based on a situation that happened in the first months of the Deadwood sim--it wasn't really rp, because the man who attacked us was little better than a second-rate griefer -- no rp at all, just pulled a gun and started shooting. But Bu did in fact gun him down, and it provided the inspiration for the invented aspects of this story:
Ye know, nowadays, when the stage rolls into town an disgorges yet another sweet young thang -- or hell, even some pinch-face, leather-handed crone like m’self -- I generally get ‘em aside at the earliest opportunity an express to them the opinion that in Deadwood, it don’t hurt fer any gal over the age o’ twelve to be packin’ iron. I know everyone don’t necessarily agree that this is fittin’ an' proper, but ye do understand I have been a proud resident o’ this misbegotten hog-wallow purty much since dirt was invented. I reckon m’ suggestions fer a healthy, long life bear some consideration.
Oddly enough when I first got to Deadwood ridin’ shotgun on one o’ Colorado Charlie’s big freight wagons from Cheyenne, I was so flat-ass, stony broke I din’t own a firearm o’ my own. The big ol’ double-barrel Belgian I was usin’ fer the trip was borrowed, an I had to surrender it to the wagon master upon completion o’ the journey. But I figgered, what the hell, I had m’ skinnin’ knife in a belt sheath an' m’ boot knife in it’s usual abode: I’d be able to look after m’ self in a more than satisfactory fashion. At least fer a spell...right?
Well, not too long after I had taken on runnin’ the laundry back on China Row, I was haulin’ some water for to boil a goodly number o’ miner’s shirts what had accumalated in a malodorous pile on the “to do” table. An’ as I was headin’ up from the crik, I saw m’ neighbor, the esteemed Mr. Bu, out in front o’ his very popular an' well-run opium parlour, a-brushin’ down his favorite donkey. He looked up an’ smiled in that beatific sort o’ way he had, an’ waved, so I strolled o’er to say how-do.
“Afternoon, Mr. Bu, I trust you an' yours are well.”
He replied in his gentle, grandpa-type voice, “Ah, greetings. Missus Dy-oh. All are well. Bathhouse girls very happy, using Missus Dy-oh stove for heating of wash water. Very happy, they are. So...Bu is happy..."
I had jus’ set down m’ bucket to continue exchanging pleasantries when suddenly, in less time than it takes to explain it all in words, his eyes went wide. He sprang like a hungry cat on a lazy songbird, knockin' me to one side as he shouted, "DOWN! MAN WITH GUN!" And whilst I rolled one way, I could see Bu rollin’ t’other an' pullin’ a short-barrel revolver from Christ-knows-where, an’ openin’ up in the direction o’ the crik.
I looked o’er that way to see a grubbly-lookin’ white man with a drawn weapon who was blazin’ away in our direction. Best as I could tell it looked to be an’ ol’ cap an’ ball Navy. Rounds seemed like they was flyin’ all around, an' I knew some of ‘em was close, as bits o’ wood from the porch post next t’ me was spatterin’ in m’ hair. Anyhow, Bu proved to be the better man, or mebbe jus’ had Providence smilin’ down on him that day, for I saw the mud-eatin weasel what had assailed us go down, a-clutchin at his leg an’ yowlin’ like a kicked dawg. He scrabbled off, headin' up Deadwood Street, outta’ sight around the side o’ the lunch tent.
Bu jumped up an’ called out in his native lingo, and before ye could say “the divil pisses brimstone” a squad o’ Chinamen had suddenly appeared out from multiple doors, an' mebbe a window or two, all well equipped with axes an' clubs. They was listenin’ to ol’ Bu, tensed an ready to go into action. Altho’ at that time I understood but a few words o' the Celestials' language (mostly what I got was, “Somethin’, somethin’, Cocksucka! somethin’...” comin’ rapid-fire from Bu’s mouth), I could tell from his manner he was issuin’ orders...
An’ it struck me, it was a very different man I was seein'. Instead o’ my friendly neighbor, the soft-spoken, smilin’ ol’ gentleman who was like some gran'fatherly philospher o’ times past, here was this fierce elder o’ his people, talkin’ fast an hard. Even with not understandin’ the words themselves, I had no doubt he was settin’ in motion a response that was gonna be of a decisive nature, an’ that would conclude with a harsh finality. Clearly, if’n ye elected to fuck with the man who was m’ neighbor back on China Row, ye was doin’ so at yer own peril.
He gave one last command to his axe-wieldin’ posse an’ pointed up Deadwood Street. They all nodded as one an’ shouted somethin’ in unison that I reckon was “yes Boss!” an’ they was off.
He turned to me, an’ while his eyes was still hard as flint in winter, the gran'father voice had returned.
“Missus Dy-oh, you not hurt?”
“No, Bu, I’m fine..are you...”
My voice trailed off, as I saw a look comin’ o’er his face, an I turned to follow his gaze. I saw right away what he was starin’ at -- his beloved lil’ donkey had gone down, struck by a couple o’ pistol balls fired by the cockchafin’ rascal who had tried to kill ol’ Bu fer some reason or t’other.
Probbly just bizness...
Anyhow...almost as quickly as the look of pain and grief had evidenced itself, Bu’s expression returned to its usual calm, unreadable state. He walked quietly o’er to the fallen beast an knelt down to gently caress it’s fuzzy lil’ chin. Though obviously hurt dreadful bad, the donkey was an exemplar o’ the patience an resilience o’ his kind, neither bawlin’ in pain nor thrashin’ about. He jus’ looked up at his master with them large dark eyes.
Mr. Bu smiled slightly an’ said softly, “Missus Dy-oh, he good Donkey. “
Then he opened the loadin’ gate on his short-barrel revolver, an’ ejected the empty casin’s. He proceeded to slip in another cartridge, advanced the cylinder to line up the round, an’ without another word, shot the por lil’ fucker in the head.
I was not shocked nor disturbed by his action, bein’ as in my time, I have had to do the same to more than a couple o’ critters, as well as a man or two. But what did trouble m’ heart was that I had been caught flat-footed in a life-or-death situation that I could take no hand in, other than to keep m’ head down an’ hope it warn’t m’ turn just yet to pass on to the Other-Side Camps.
Next day, I took some o’ the earnin’s from the laundry an’ went down to Dryke’s store to peruse his case o’ used revolvers. Found a big ol’ Walker Colt like the rangers used to carry, an fer it’s age, twas in fine condition--nice an’ tight, an’ not shot-out at all.
Now mind ye, I was grateful to m’ esteemed neighbor, the elder o‘ his people in Deadwood. I shall never fergit that of a certainty, he saved m’ life, bein’ as when that belly-crawlin, spit-dribblin’ puke pulled iron to take his shots at Bu, I was in betwixt ‘em. But I had no intention o’ havin’ in future to rely solely on the marksmanship o’ others to ensure m’ own hide would stay intact.