SHOWDOWN AT WILD HORSE PASS – GARRY ARMSTRONG

Story by Garry Armstrong
Pictures by Garry & Marilyn Armstrong

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More than a week in Arizona and we couldn’t lose them. We couldn’t see them. The big country that protected us shielded them, too. It was the posse from Hell!

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We kept to the high country, hoping the cactus, tumbleweed and narrow trails would distance us.

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Scorpion Gulch was the way to the mountains and beyond. We saw a few pilgrims here and there taking in the view. They ignored us. Good for them.

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This was the same trail used by Waco Johnny Dean, Long Tom and Dutch Henry Brown in the relentless chase for that Winchester ’73.

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The same trail used by Sheriff Pearly B. Sweet and the posse from Welcome and Carefree who pursued Bob Hightower, Pete and the Abilene Kid, the three Godfathers.

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There was no losing our posse from Hell.

Rawhide, we figured, might be a good place to lose those guys … whoever they were.

Rawhide — a place where dudes are welcome. We wouldn’t be noticed as the pilgrims sashayed up and down Main Street. Maybe the posse from Hell might have paper on a few of these strangers.

Rawhide also was a good place to grab some grub. Maybe even some shut-eye. But no time for real fun if you get my drift. Those pilgrims kept giving us shifty looks.

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Back on the trail, I thought we saw an old saddle pal. He rode with us in the old days. He was a good old boy. Turned out he was dead and just a statue, probably done in by the railroad men who dogged us for too many years. Close up, our old pal still looked good. They don’t make men like him any more.

We had to move on. No sense chasing memories. We wanted to head back to the high country and the safety of those mountains. But time was running out. We knew the end was near.

Just as well. We were running low on luck and bullets.

The posse from hell finally cornered us at Wild Horse Pass. They stayed with their long guns as we faced them down. It was a long day’s siege into night.

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We would not go quietly. We could see the fear in their eyes as we held our position. Clearly, we  had them on experience, as we stared across the pass and other confrontations which have blurred over the years.

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In the distance, we heard the strains of “Shall We Gather At The River” sung mournfully by the good folks at The Light of The Desert Lutheran Church. Was this a boot hill elegy?

Print the legend.



Categories: Fiction, Gallery, Garry Armstrong, Humor, Photography

Tags: , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. Yes … very nicely done Garry.
    I see some owlhoots hanging out at the Honky Tonk. Watch out for that one with the pink hat !!

    Like

  2. Well Done, Pardnr…!!!

    Like

  3. Lol. I see you enjoyed your shooting – with your cameras. Great shots

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well pardoner, do think they catch us?
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the West, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cool, great photos and accompanying story! I bet you can easily imagine yourself in a Western amid all that scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not 100% sure, but I think Garry often sees himself either in a cop show (NCIS in particular), or in a John Ford western. It’s easy out here because the scenery is so familiar. We’ve seen that trail and those mountains in so many of our favorite movies and it’s a lot of fun to really BE here 🙂

      Like

    • Yes, Dral. So very easy. We’re burnin’ daylight.

      Like

  7. Love this geocentric story/photos! I don’t usually see things in the clouds — funny that the clouds that run through this post are full of scorpions — beautiful photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great shots. Very moody and atmospheric.

    Liked by 1 person

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