THE PROSPECTOR & THE GUNFIGHTER

Here’s a story with not one, but five lessons for each of us:

An old prospector shuffled into town leading a tired old mule.  The old man headed straight for the only saloon to clear his parched throat.

He walked up and tied his old mule to the hitch rail.  As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No, I never did dance.  Never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.

The old prospector — not wanting to get a toe blown off — started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet.  Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers.

The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.  The crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.  The silence was almost deafening.

The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No sir. But — I’ve always wanted to.”

There are a few lessons for us all here:

1 – Never be arrogant.

2 – Don’t waste ammunition.

3 – Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.

4 – Always, always make sure you know who has the power.

5 – Don’t mess with old men; they didn’t get old by being stupid.

SASS National Championship

There’s a great event going on right now in Phoenix, Arizona.  It’s the Single Action Shooting Society’s Winter Range.  This is the SASS National Championships.

It actually takes place at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility located at 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd.

If you haven’t attended a SASS event, even as a spectator, you’re missing out on a lot of Old West fun.

Not only will you see close to a thousand men, women and children in Old West costumes, there are a number of vendors.

The event is taking place right now.  And will continue until Sunday, February 26.  The best time to go is over the weekend.  Sunny, I, along with Dog Jake will be there Saturday.  If you see us, say “HI!”

Incidentally, you’ll recognize us.  We’ll be the couple being led by an American Border Collie.

EMPEROR NORTON

San Francisco has had it’s strange people.  But there were few who were as strange a Emperor Norton.  And, as you will see with this video, the people of San Francisco took him into their collective hearts.

JOHN WESLEY HARDIN

On this date back in 1894 gunslinger and killer John Wesley Hardin was pardoned after spending 15 years in a Texas prison for murder.  He was 41 years old when he got out.

 Although he supposedly killed over 40 people prior to this, he tried to change his life by becoming a lawyer in El Paso.  That didn’t last long since he was shot in the back about a year later.

THE SEARCHERS

Don Pruett of Phoenix is a subscriber to our “This Week In The Old West” weekly story…If you’re not getting the free weekly story, go to:

http://chronicleoftheoldwest.com/this_week_in_the_old_west-signup-new.shtml and sign up.

A recent story was about Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman captured by Indians, who was the mother of the great war chief Quanah Parker. John observed that the 1955 John Wayne movie “The Searchers” was probably based on the Cynthia Ann Parker story.

I think Don may just be correct. Incidentally, the picture is of Cynthia Ann Parker.

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