Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Deadwood story -- yeah, I shot the sheriff, part one

This is a story based on an rp scenario that just happened -- nothing planned, but it all worked out remarkably well. It was a complete hoot to be a part of. The original transcript that it was developed from is posted on the The Road to Deadwood forum.

The side by side, break-action double gun that features prominently in this story...still well loved today even if sort of retired...

Dio had just acquired a new toy: a lovely Belgian-made break-action, breech-loading, double-barreled 10-bore shotgun, with a 3-and-a-half-inch chamber and 32-inch damascus barrels. It was big, the barrels had a gorgeous browned finish, and Dio had it loaded up with double-aught buckshot--18 big pellets to each round. It was, quite simply, a monster...and Dio was in love with it. As she was heading up Main street towards the hills to try it out, she was suddenly distracted by as series of noises -- shots, and then shouting -- from the direction of the Bella Union. Dio instantly rushed over to find a small crowd gathering outside: Sal, the Bella’s manager, a cluster of her working girls, and Federal Deputy Marshal Sand Rau.

“What happened Sal?” asked Dio.

Jesse, one of the Bella girls replied, pointing up the street at a large figure that was disappearing towards the creek, “That man there! The one walkin' down the street...he shot Pel!!”

Sal interjected in an air of disgust, tinged with anger, “That Mr. Hawk shot Pel, my new bartender, when he asked him to pay for his cigars...”

Jesse went on somewhat frantically, “He's walkin' down toward the river...past doc's office!...He jes’ up and shot 'im! Fer no reason ‘cept a seegar!!!”

Dio peered up the street at the man, who even at this distance she could tell was unusually tall and solidly built. She turned to Marshal Rau and said calmly, “Go git ‘im Sand, I'll look after the feller what got shot.”

As the lawman took off loping up Lee Street, and the other girls tried to get Jesse settled down, Dio accompanied Sal into the Bella. There, leaning against the bar was a thin, strikingly handsome man. This apparently was Pel, the new bartender. Old Bill Deerhunter was pressing a bloody bar rag against the man’s leg trying to staunch the flow of blood.

“Let’s get him settin’ down, so Miss Dio can look after him,” said Sal in a calm and determined voice. Dio carefully set her new shotgun behind the bar, while Old Bill and Sal assisted the injured man in hobbling over to the sofa.

“How bad ye hit, pard?” Dio asked, as the others helped Pel to ease painfully down on to the poor sofa, the upholstery of which already had more than the usual number of stains from various body fluids that had leaked out of Sal’s customers and employees over the last few months.

Pel, grunted and lifted up the bloody cloth. “I believe it is nothing more than a wound through the flesh...I don’t think the bone was hit, but it does seem to be bleeding rather freely...”

Dio was about to say something about how she “had seen worse,” when suddenly, Marshal Rau dashed in.

“Hey who was it or who am I lookin’ for?"

Old Bill looked exasperated. “Twas that blasted Hawk again!”

Sal looked even more irritated. “DAMMIT SAND...MR. HAWK!”

“The big man, with a big beard!” added Jesse.

Old Bill chimed in again, “His name is Hawk and he just went down the street!”

Marshal Rau still looked a bit perplexed.

“Yes,” said Sal...he’s a large bearded man....a bit ripe, you can’t miss him.”

Old Bill nodded. “Ugly too. Ugly and MEAN.”

The light of comprehension seemed to be dawning in Sand’s eyes. “Which way?” he asked.

Miss Zoe came in at that moment. “Hawk? He was just walking down the road right behind me!”

Jesse had an expression of extreme frustration. “Like I said before, past the doc's office!”

“OK!” said Sand and he rushed out again. Old Bill looked at the people in the room and shrugged. He then followed the Marshal.

Jesse watched them go and sighed. “Nobody ever hears me,” she commented plaintively.

Meanwhile, Dio was concentrating on Pel’s wound. She unsheathed her skinning knife and cut away the blood-soaked cloth of his trouser leg. The bullet seemed to have passed through Pel’s upper leg, going at an angle from the front to the side. Dio noted that the entry wound seemed fairly tidy, but the exit point was a bit more ragged and appeared to be the source of most of the bleeding.

Sal came over to watch. “Can you fix him up Dio?”

Without looking up from her work, Dio replied matter-of-factly, “Reckon so, Hon...say, Sal, could you start boilin’ some water, heatin’ up a poker in the stove, and git me some clean cloths?”

“All right.” Sal nodded and set her girls to the requested tasks.

“Oh, and I'll need some whiskey, too,” Dio added.

“So will I,” said Pel.

Sal smiled at him. "Well I know Miss Dio wants the whiskey to clean the wound...I assume you want some of that whiskey to take the edge off?"

Pel tried to force a smile. “Ladies, I trust you won’t think any the less of me that I could use a drink right now.”

“Of course not,” Sal said gently, as she handed Pel a glass of rye, and then passed a full bottle of the cheap stuff to Dio.

“Thanks, Hon,” Dio nodded as she took the bottle of raw whiskey and began cleaning the area around the wound. While mopping up the oozing blood with a towel, she peered at the various holes in Pel’s leg. She took some large tweezers from her hunting bag and carefully pulled some bits of cloth out of the entry hole in the man’s limb.

Pel made a hissing noise and his eyes watered slightly.

Dio grinned at him in spite of herself. “Oh, by the way, Pel, did I mention that most o’ this was gonna really hurt?” She began cleaning out the wound with the whiskey, pouring it liberally over the injury. “Matter o’ fact I guess I shoulda let ye know it was gonna hurt jus' like the Divil himself was pissin’ brimstone into that hole there.”

Pel was a greenhorn, and something of a dude at that. Educated, well spoken, a lawyer back east. All in all, Dio was pretty favorably impressed with how he was handling this ordeal so far. But he needed to be prepared for what was coming.

“Pel, I am gonna fix yer bleedin’ by puttin’ on a hot poker to sear it closed. If’n ye thought the cleanin' part hurt, this is gonna be like a visit from the grandmother o’ that pain...Sal, I’d be obliged if’n ye’d give him some more whiskey.”

Sal came back over and handed Pel a bottle. Without a word, the man began draining its contents. Sal looked at Dio and asked, “Ready for the cauterizing and then bandaging?”

Dio nodded. “Ready, Hon.”

Sal turned to Jess and instructed her to fetch bandages and the poker from the stove. The girl brought over the clean cloths and the poker, which was now glowing a dull cherry red at the tip. She looked at the wound and winced.

Dio carefully took the poker and noting Pel’s blissfully vacant expression she went ahead and pressed it to the source of the bleeding in the exit wound. Pel’s eyes went wide for a moment and then he made a curious gurgling noise through his gritted teeth. Otherwise he was remarkably quiet.

The room filled with the pungent fragrance of burning flesh and blood. Dio handed the smoking poker to Sal who set it into the coal scuttle by the stove.

"Done with it?” Sal asked.

“Yep.” answered Dio. “I think we’re good.“

To her surprise, Dio looked up to find that Pel was watching her intently, his face streaming with rivulets of sweat.

Dio smiled at him. “Yer gonna be fine I think...we din't havta cut out the pistol ball or nothin’....looks to be you took it clean through the fleshy bit o’ thigh here.”

Pel grunted, “Did it have to be the painful fleshy bit?”

Dio shrugged as she bandaged the wound. "Well shit pard, better than hittin’ a bone or big blood vessel or some such...Jess, Hon would you bring me that pot o’ water what’s a bilin’?”

Jess wrapped a cloth around the handle and brought it over. Dio dipped the last clean towel in the hot water and began washing off the blood that had run down Pel’s leg. Then she began washing the clotted gore from her own hands.

At that moment Sheriff Daz Perun entered the Bella. “Good lord! What the hell is goin’ on here?!”

As Sal was explaining the situation to Daz, Old Bill came in, his eyes flashing with disgust and anger. “Lost his blasted trail down around the chinaman’s place...Sand is still lookin’ for him, though...”

Just then, Mahaila Bertrand entered the Bella and dryly observed, “Well if Sand is still looking for the man, he’s just going to have to go in a big circle.”

Everyone in the Bella bar room went silent and as one, looked at Mahaila with a mixture of curiosity and befuddlement.

Mah looked back and continued, “Sand’s looking for Hawk, right? Big, crazy bearded man, right? Well he’s right outside -- across the street by the Gem.”

to be continued


  1. I hope, madam, that you did not shoot the Deputy.

  2. well Hon, yer just gonna have to wait and find out. I'll post the conclusion this weekend.

  3. You write well enough for me to be grossed out by that medical scene. That's a good thing, right?

    Waiting for the next installment...

  4. Hey Merry,

    Thank you...I think. The medical scene grossed you out? really? Hmmm. I thought I was being pretty restrained.

    Anyhow, I will see if I can get the conclusion posted tomorrow.

  5. Yopu sure are the gal to have in a fix!