Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

Albert's was a great character in the 1971 movie "something big", but it was a supporting role. His story was the subplot. Let's fix that. Let's rewrite it so Albert's character has the lead:


"SOMETHING BIG--REVISITED"
by Klaus D. Haisch

This story takes place in 1870.

Cast of Main Characters, and the Actors who portray them -

1) JONNY COBB, lovable outlaw rogue. 6'2". Albert Salmi was 43 when this movie was made in 1971, but in this story he is 25.

2) JOE BAKER, outlaw rogue, leader of a gang. 6'0". Dean Martin was 54 when this movie was made in 1971, but in this story he is 30.

3 & 4) POLLY and CARRIE STANDALL, 2 man-hungry (to the max) sisters. Joyce van Patten and Judi Meredith.

5) SHIRLEENA the Stagecoach Lady: big, blonde and buxom. Shirleena Manchur.

6) COLONEL MORGAN, the Cavalry was his whole life, except for his lovely wife who lived back East. Brian Keith.

7) MARY ANNA MORGAN, his wife of 30 years, one month each year she'd visit her husband, and let him soldier the other 11 months-- now she was going to take him home. Honor Blackman.

8) BOOKBINDER, a scout who is so inept, the Colonel sometimes wonders whose side he's on. Ben Johnson.

-------

Famous Quote:
On the invention of the Crossbow, a weapon designed to pierce metal armor: "This is such a terrible weapon, it will surely end all war."--
the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III of Germany, 1138 A.D.

New Invention:
The Gatling gun-- an early prototype machine gun having a cluster of barrels that can be fired in sequence as the cluster is rotated. (patented 1862) Named after the inventor: Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903).

-----------------------

And now, our story begins...

OMNISCIENT NARRATOR: The year is 1870-- the Civil War had ended 5 years ago, but New Mexico would not become a state until the next century. The U.S. Cavalry fort at Dry Wells in the New Mexico Territory is commanded by Colonel Morgan, who is just days away from retirement, and his wife is on her way by stagecoach to escort him back East from his desert post.

JONNY COBB: Enough of the omni-shunt narrator. I'll tell this muh way. As I'm talkin' to ya now, there's 48 states in the U.S. of A. But back then, I was gettin' squeezed out. Cause I couldn't live in no civilized place, ya see. I was down ta livin' in a 4-territory area, right where the 4 corners of Utah, Colorady, Arizona and New Mex'co come together. Now, to the east of where I lived then, an' a bit south, there was the great state of Texas, and that was the problem-- it become the 28th state in 1845. I kint live in no state, just terr'tories. To the east of me, and a bit north, was Kansas, but that become the 34th state in 1861. Only place I could hide out, I mean LIVE around theres was the Oklahoma territory, the small panhandle that run between them 2 states. Oh, there was some great folks runnin' around there, like Belle Starr and her Injun husband Blue Duck, though I don't rightly knows for shure if'n he was her husband #2, or #3, or if for that matter they was married legal or not atall. But, on muh horse, ridin' like the wind, through the Oklahoma panhandle, that's how I come out here.

Yep, Utah, Colorady, Arizona and New Mex'co, the last of the 4 territories in the southern half of the Old West. Now, if'n I went fu'ther west, I'd hit Nevada, which become the 36th state in 1864, and all the way out, next to the ocean, was Califor-nigh-ay, but that become the 31st state in 1850, right after the Gold Rush an' the 49ers. And, no suh, no ma'am, ain't no STATE a rightful place fer me ta live. Now, I was stuck in the territories.

I had me some money, which I got... well, never mind HOW I got it, let's just say I had me some money. And a whole lot of time on muh hands, cause I couldn't go ta no town, nor no place I was knowd. I'd send this guy called Moon, an owlhoot that I was in cahoots with, to get vittles and booze and cigars. He run the errands fer me. All I could do was remember how much fun I'd used to've had.

Oh hell, I'd knowd everybody in the Old West-- good old Keeno Nash, though he was a sad feller, like he was borned under a Dark Star. An' I got along great with Sam Gallatin, though he hardly got along with nobody-- he was, ya might say, a lone wolf, or even the Last Wolf; kind of a dusty feller, but I liked him. Then there was good ole Brother Thaddeus, named after th' Patron Saint o' lost causes. Sometimes he'd try to change my stealin' and cheatin' ways, and I'd cuss him out a blue streak, but he never got mad. He'd just say, 'Why, bless ya.' Most even-tempered feller I ever knowd.

NARRATOR: Well, at the Fort, the Colonel got a visitor. The Colonel had been at the Fort for 30 years-- 10 years as an enlisted man, then 10 years as an officer, and finally 10 years as Commanding Officer. And, at least once or twice a year, for the last 30 years, he'd run into Junior Frisbee and his shiftless partner Bill. This time Frisbee rode into the fort on his horse, with his dead partner tied to his horse. Frisbee cuts the rope, and unceremoniously dumps his dead partner Bill on the ground. Colonel Morgan is watching.

FRISBEE: "This here dirty old bag of bones was my partner for 30 years!"

MORGAN says he ought to bury him. Morgan doesn't care who shot him (it was Baker, for kicking his little dog Tuffy), he just asks: "How many men do you suppose Bill shot?"

FRISBEE, taken aback a bit: "Why, none that didn't deserve it."

MORGAN: "Aha... and how many men have YOU shot?"

FRISBEE: "None that didn't deserve it. And I never shot religious folks, neither, I was very particular about that," (short pause while he remembers), "well, a Baptist got in the way once..."

When Morgan says he will do nothing about it, Frisbee threatens to get someone who can write, and he'll send a letter of complaint to Washington, D.C.-- a letter with fine, delicate handwriting, because that's all they understand in Washington. (Of course, even with the Pony Express, it would take several months for a letter to get to Washington and back, so this threat means nothing to Morgan.)

----

Inside his office, Colonel Morgan crosses another day off the calendar, putting a big "X" through Saturday, April 16, 1870. Yesterday was Good Friday, and tomorrow would be Easter Sunday. (There will be a full moon tonight-- Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon in Spring.) "Thirty years," Colonel Morgan says to himself. Then he thinks: 30 years of living in the desert, 30 years of serving in this fort, 30 years of the likes of Junior Frisbee and Bill, and the 100s of other outlaws like him-- 30 years of being with his wife only one month a year. Yeah, he thinks to himself, time to retire, and move back East... time to enjoy his remaining years, living on the small pension he'll get as a retired officer, and being with Mary Anna, his lovely wife. Morgan sends for Bookbinder. Morgan is concerned that he hasn't heard any news about Baker and his gang in 4-5 months.

MORGAN: "Where does he make his base?"

BOOKBINDER: "He ain't got none. Gets around like a fever and lives on a rock. Word has it he's planning something big."

MORGAN: "Bookbinder, you do work for us, do you not? You are employed by the U.S. Cavalry as a scout?"

BOOKBINDER: "Scout-- Cavalry-- yeah."

MORGAN: "Well, then, do some scouting! Find out what Baker is planning to do!"

But, all this doesn't really have anything to do with Jonny Cobb, except to show the kind of man (Joe Baker) that Jonny was dealing with.

JONNY COBB: Enough nare-ray-shun! Now, let me tell ya th' important stuff! So there I was, me an' Moon, out in the middle of nowhere-- an' I mean nowheres-- waitin' for Baker. I waited a coupla hours, with no one ta talk to. Moon don't talk much. Even when he does, he's not much fer conversation. He's a book reader. (I spit, 'cause I'm chewin' tobacco.) I onest asked him how he got the name Moon. Said he was borned at night, under a moon. Showed me a book with a picture of th' moon, and a bunch of writin'. Book said somethin' about the moon being "Hecate". So's I give him the nickname Heck-ett.

Well now, when Baker and his gang of a dozen or so rode up, th' fust thing Baker did was askt me a stupid question, "Why couldn't we have met at Badwater, or some civilized place?"

Well now, a lot of towns in th' Old West had colorful names like Tombstone and Dry Gulch and th' like. Badwater was kind of a common name, 'specially round here. There was a coupla Badwaters in New Mex'co, and more in Arizona. And a Badwater in the salt flats of Death Valley, Califor-nigh-ay, where I hear tell it gets up to 134 degrees in the summer, though I'd like to know what kind of fool hangs around there with a thermom'ter to measure it.


Photo courtesy of Dr. John Crossley

Well now, I just told him, "I could get SHOT in a civilized place." And then we jawed a bit. I told him, "Heard you were plannin' somethin' big."

And Baker says, "Where'd you hear that?"

And I says, "On the wind."

And Baker says, "You oughtta stay outa the wind, Cobb, you could catch your death."

That's the kind of talkin' ya do in the Old West. Ya bring up somethin', but don't say what. Then the other guy tries to get information from ya, and you don't say where ya heard it. Goes back-an'-forth, and usually ends up with one of 'em sayin' somethin' like, "A fella could get shot-- or hung-- for sayin' somethin' like that."

So's I decided to git to th' point, and I tells him, "I could get my hands on somethin' that might interest you." (Now, this was big news, so it required a big spit from that wad of chewin' tobacco before I said it.) I says, "A Gatlin' gun."

And Baker asks, "What are you willin' to take for this big gun?"

Well now, this was somethin' I needed ta discuss wit' Baker, but I didn't want ole Heck-ett Moon hearin' this. Course'n he'd find out sooner or later anyways, but I was kinda embarrassed ta say it in front of Baker's men an' all. I quickly glanced right at Heck-ett Moon, then straight at Baker, then nodded muh head over to the left, wheres we could talk without'n the men hearin' us. And then Baker got off'n his horse, an' we walked off a spell, and we's had us a palaver.

About 30 paces away from the men, with our backs to 'em, Baker and me standin' side-by-side, real close, I says to him, "I'll trade ya that thar big gun for a woman."

Now, Baker was surprised and says, "A what?"

Well now, that was the 2nd time he'd said somethin' stupid. So I spit out again, and said it louder fer him, "A woman!"

An' here Baker says, "What do you want with a woman?"

Well now, I gotta tell ya, I think I coulda shot a man for sayin' less. But I had ta deal with him, so I just says to him, "Whatta ya mean? Whatta ya mean, 'Whatta I want with a woman'? What does ANY man want with a woman?"

Baker still give me a stupid look, and then says, "I'll pay ya for the big gun."

I tells him, "Yeah, and I'll spend it all on the fust water hole I come ta." I didn't tell him I had a bunch of money anyways-- heck, Baker was a' outlaw, he might wind up robbin' ME. I says, "You know I can't leave the territory." Feelin' real hemmed in by territories all turnin' inta states, what with their law-an'-order an' all. I says, "It's a woman or nothin'," and I swears, if he woulda said, okay, then it's nothin', I woulda drawd my gun on him, gang of a dozen men or no.

Baker turned around to cast a quick glance at his men-- yup, they was still back there, waitin' patient. Then Baker tries ta reason with me, he says, "Where am I gonna find a woman out here?"

Hell, if'n I knowd that, I wouldn't need him! I tells him, "Well, that's your problem." Then, I leaned forward, puttin' mah face close to his, nodded my head a bit, and kinda grinned as I asked, "Is it a deal?"

Baker looked away for a moment, thought about it, breathed out real hard, but then said, "Yeah, it's a deal."

Hot diggity! Now, Baker was a crook and a' outlaw, a varmint, a robber, and he'd shot at least one fella I knowd of (Frisbee's partner Bill), but Baker was a man of his word! He'd rather get shot and face the devil hisself rather'n go back on his word, which he'd give in front of his men. Man, oh man! After all this time, I was gonna git me a woman! A WOMAN!

NARRATOR: Well, to continue, Baker and his men ride to that "civilized place" called Badwater. You couldn't even call it a town, it was just a few run-down, shanty buildings-- one of which was the local saloon.

The barkeep gives Baker a letter which arrived 2 weeks ago. Dover MacBride, whom Baker had proposed to once amidst too much romantic fervor and/or booze, was coming to get him. Baker's 2nd-in-command was Tommy, her brother. Neither Baker nor Tommy wanted to see their rogue, outlaw days end... by having Dover take Baker back to Pennsylvania!

They decide to step up their efforts to do "something big." About 300 miles south, which is a rugged week-and-a-half ride through desert and bandit territory (with them knowing the desert territory very well, and knowing where every watering hole is, and where every tiny, out-of-the-way cantina is, built around a well), Baker and his gang check out the Mexican village which Emilio Estevez, "the biggest bandit of them all," has made his treasure town-- the richest cache of stolen treasures anywhere in Mexico and the U.S.A.

Right now, it would be hopeless. Baker and his men are only a dozen guns, against 100 guns guarding the town. But, with the Gatling gun, the big gun, he can do it-- sacking this treasure town will be the "something big" that he will be remembered for!

Bookbinder winds up in Badwater, and talks to the barkeep. Over a glass of whiskey, Bookbinder finds out Baker was there 7-8 days ago. When Bookbinder mentions that Baker is up to "something big," the barkeep says, yes, "mucho, mucho, mucho." But when Bookbinder asks him what, the barkeep just smiles, shrugs his shoulders, and says, "uh, I don't know." Bookbinder thinks: Colonel Morgan won't like this report.

Meanwhile, in central to northern New Mexico, Baker and his gang have been holding up one stagecoach after another. But every time, all the passengers are men! Baker is about to go out of his ever-lovin' mind. Finally, they stop a stagecoach with a lovely, buxom blonde in it-- Shirleena. She is about 20, with an hour-glass figure, pretty hat, long, blond tresses, a ruby necklace and a big ruby ring on her right hand to match, and big rubies set in golden oval earrings. And a tight, bright red dress with golden trim, that is showing WAY too much cleavage of her pale, white skin. She is wearing eye shadow and lipstick, something unheard of for a woman who wasn't working on stage or in a saloon-- "a painted woman." Friendly, too.

SHIRLEENA: "Are you a bandit?"

BAKER: "No, ma'am, just an old cowboy, tryin' to get along."

SHIRLEENA (smiling): "Well, honey, I don't care what you call yourself, but if you're after our valuables, I'll tell you now-- mine you can't put in a saddle bag."

BAKER (smiling): "You wanna bet?" Baker thinks she is perfect for Cobb (and he's right), but he has a powwow with nitwit Tommy. Tommy says it would go against the Good Book, because the Golden Rule (as he interprets it) means Baker should get the kind of woman for Cobb that he'd want Cobb to get for him.

Baker goes back to the stagecoach and tells Shirleena the news.

BAKER: "I was gonna get you for a guy I know, but I'm gonna let you go instead."

SHIRLEENA: "And why is that?"

BAKER (a bit surprised): "Well, he's not the right man for you."

SHIRLEENA: "Why do you say that?"

BAKER: "Well, you... you'd want a better man than Jonny Cobb..."

SHIRLEENA: "Has Jonny Cobb ever hurt a woman?"

BAKER: "Well, no ma'am. He's the rugged cowboy type, and might have shot a few men, but I never heard tell of him harming a woman."

SHIRLEENA: "And how would he treat a wife?"

BAKER: "Oh, he wants a woman more than anything else in the world. He'd treat a wife like she was royalty-- a queen."

SHIRLEENA: "And I should turn down a man like that? How do you know what I want, or need? I'll tell you something. I just came from Kansas. A dust storm destroyed all our crops. My husband died of the fever. I was a widow before my 21st birthday. The women outnumber the men 2-to-1 back there. They said, 'Go West.' Well, there are mining towns in California where the men outnumber the women 10-to-1, but they're also roughnecks, lowlifes and scalawags. And they only want women for one-night stands. I hoped if I met enough men I'd find one-- just one-- man who wanted a wife, and would treat me good."

BAKER: "Well, I can't take you to Jonny Cobb now... Tommy and the boys would make fun of me..."

SHIRLEENA: "You just tell me where I can find this Jonny Cobb."

Baker and Shirleena talk for a while, the whole time Tommy and the rest of the gang are watching from a distance. The gang doesn't know what all the jabber is about. Shirleena writes a few notes.

Finally, she kisses Baker on the cheek, and says, "Thank you. You saved me from a long journey. I might have met dozens of scoundrels, and had to fight them all off. I'm gonna look up Jonny Cobb."

The stagecoach drives off.

TOMMY says, "What was that all about?"

BAKER tells him, "Nothin'." Then he gives Tommy a push, and they all get on their horses, and ride off looking for another stagecoach.

----

JONNY COBB: Well, Baker and his gang rode into that small little village ya could hardly call a town. Here I was, all gussied up, expectin' a woman. I'd done took me a bath-- a bath! I got a haircut, and a shave! (except'n fer muh nice-lookin' moustache, of course.) I even put on some clean clothes. I was all duded up! I'd took a purty, lacy, sky-blue garter (that I'd got a coupla years ago from a dancin' gal in a saloon) and put it around muh left arm, me being left-handed, ya know. I even had a bookay of flowers-- harder'n hell to get a hold of out here in the desert, an' cost me a purty penny, too. I was gonna show the woman I was a gen'leman. Puttin' on the dog and dressed to the nines, I was, in what could pass fer Sunday go-ta-meetin' clothes.

And then, that nitwit Baker walks inta muh office alone! Heck-ett Moon escorted him in, and Heck-ett Moon was a-shakin' his head back an' forth.

I was sittin' real patient at muh table. When I seen Baker, I throwed the flow'rs on th' table, disgustipated.

I didn't waste no time gabbin', I come right ta th' point and says, "Baker, where's a woman?"

Baker don't say nothin', the big dope.

HECK-ETT MOON tells him, "Jonny's talkin' to you, Baker."

BAKER opens his big mouth an' says, "You start somethin' with me, Moon, and they'll be collectin' you in a gunny sack."

This guy Baker has the attention span of a gnat. So I says to him again, a little stronger, "Where's a woman?"

BAKER puts his hand out, like a 'pology or somethin', and says, "When I have her, I'll let ya know, alright?"

I was sittin' at th' head of th' table, and Baker sits down next ta me, on my right side.

"When?!" I yells, right in his face.

BAKER starts makin' excuses, "Whatta ya think I am, Cobb, a magician?" he says real soft, tryin' ta calm me down. "You think it's easy to produce a woman out of nowhere? Don't you think if I could find a woman in this territory, I'd have one or two fer myself?"

I nodded quick, and mumbled, "Yeah," but that was HIS problem, not mine. Then I told him, "Well, what about th' time they stole your cook's wooden leg outta that cathouse in Badwater, an' used it fer firewood-- you found him another. Where'd you find a wooden leg way out here?!"

BAKER says softly, "Well, it wasn't easy..."

"And that HORSE of yours!" I yells at him, "You got th' only horse in th' world with gold teeth!"

BAKER looks at me stupid and asks, "What's your point?" Man, is he DUMB!

HECK-ETT MOON says, "His point is: if you can find them things in this country, you can find him a woman." (I liked old Heck-ett Moon)

"Yeah," I says, and got up outta muh chair, aggressive like. I put muh hands on the table, and really leaned inta Baker's face but good! "Now, now you just listen to me. An' you better listen good." By now, muh face was about 5 inches away from his. "If it wasn't fer th' $5,000 price on muh head outside this terr'tory, I wouldn't even be talkin' ta you. We got a deal, you an' me, a deal-- a woman fer a Gatlin' gun. Now, I can get muh hands on that Gatlin' gun this week-- where's a woman?"

BAKER tried ta calm me down, explainin' how another week or so don't matter. I exploded. I couldn't wait no more-- not another day, not another hour. "Baker," I says to him, "it's been so long-- it's been so long, I can't remember! I can't remember what it's like ta have a woman!!"

BAKER says real calm, "Oh, well, I'll tell ya what it's like. Ya see..."

Now I REALLY got mad, I yelled at him at the top of muh lungs, "I don't want ya ta TELL me! I don't want ya ta TELL me what it's like--I WANT A WOMAN!!" I got so upset, I took out muh gun and held it to his head.

Course, Baker hadn't lived as long as he'd had in outlaw terr'tory by bein' stupid. Real quick an' silent, he pulls out his gun and holds it to muh head. A real fast-draw, he is. Still bein' real calm, an' talkin' soft so as not ta set me off, an' have one or both of us get shot, he says, "A man who can't control himself is a sorry excuse for a man."

It was a stand-off. He still needed me for th' big gun, an' I still needed him ta get me a woman. We both put our 6-shooters back in our holsters, and I let Baker walk out. He'd have some more time. I didn't like it, I didn't like it one little bit, but there was nothin' I could do about it...

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Bookbinder makes a report to Colonel Morgan. Bookbinder had ridden out to Badwater and talked to the Mexican who runs the cantina, ridden to the stage stop to talk to a mountain man, and then gone 100 miles to Lost Boy Pass to talk to a couple of Navajos. His report: Baker was up to "something big." The Colonel throws Bookbinder out of his office in disgust.

Baker and his gang keep stopping stagecoaches, but the passengers are all men (with an occasional grandmother). No marriageable age women.

Colonel Morgan calls a meeting in his office, and tells his men Baker has held up 4 stagecoaches this week alone, 11 in all, but robbed no one. Obviously, he is looking for something or someone.

Then, Stagecoach No. 17 pulls up at Apache Flats; the driver is Trooper Duffy, freshly retired from his 3-year stint at F-Troop, after the Civil War. The passengers go inside the building, and Baker and his gang are waiting there. Finally, among the passengers, there's a suitable woman-- about 53, very attractive, expensive store-bought off-white full-length dress, vest and feathery hat, white blouse, gray designer purse and white gloves for accessories. Her hair has recently been curled at a beauty salon. Quite fancy for this territory.

Baker walks up to her, eyes her while he walks around her (getting a full 360-degree view), then pats her belly twice.

She slaps him, and says firmly, "I'm going to see you shot!" The woman explains she is Mary Anna Morgan, the Colonel's wife.

Baker doesn't believe her, instead he asks, "How's your health? Your belly ever hurt you? Or your head?"

Later, at the Fort at Dry Wells, Colonel Morgan with a bouquet of flowers in hand, walks to meet the incoming Stagecoach No. 17. Duffy explains to the Colonel that his wife was "tooken" at Apache Flats; Morgan figures Baker did it, and Bookbinder says, "something big."

As she's being kidnapped, Mary Anna has taken off her hat and vest, riding under the hot sun in the desert. She is riding sidesaddle. Baker offers her his canteen, saying, "I'll make a deal with ya-- you can hate me, but you can still drink my water." As he notices her wiping off the mouth of his canteen with her hand, Baker comments, "I don't have a disease."

Mary Anna quips, "Neither do I-- and it's going to remain that way."

Back at the Fort, the Colonel interrogates Duffy some more in his office. Duffy reluctantly tells them, "He asked Mrs. Morgan how her belly was... then he give her a probe or two... seemed real pleased."

MORGAN: "Who seemed real pleased?!"

DUFFY: "Baker."

"Tyler!" the Colonel yells at his Captain, "we're taking the troops! Issue 3 days' rations, we'll pick up their trail at Apache Flats. Bookbinder!!" and he storms out of his office.

After a hard ride, the Colonel and his troops arrive at Apache Flats, and meet a man who is more help than Duffy-- he tells them Baker and his gang headed east. Bookbinder says, "I figure they're headed for the Guadalupes."

Baker and his gang arrive at another small, out-of-the-way place. Inside a building, Joe Pickens, the one-legged cook, is making a meal in a big kettle. Joe Pickens, 50 and spry, looks like a leprechaun, with his neatly trimmed beard (adobe colored), greenish-brown Irish hat and vest, and his crooked, long-stemmed pipe. With his hairy face, and since he carries the groceries, they nicknamed him Hairy Carry.

He is the only one who recognizes Baker's captive as Mary Anna Morgan-- the Colonel's wife. Pickens laughs uncontrollably, only managing to get out, "Is she the one you got for Jonny Cobb?" between guffaws. He tells Baker she really IS who she claimed to be.

Baker's face shows apprehension, while Mrs. Morgan's face is set and resolute. After all, she had said she'd see Baker shot for this kidnapping.

Mary Anna Morgan is now in a position of some power. She argues with Baker about her "sleeping quarters." After a dinner (consisting mostly of large loaves of bread, a big block of cheese, and a pot of coffee), Joe Pickens dumps buckets of hot water into a big, wooden tub. That is where the 4 men would take turns using the same bath water; only now, with Mary Anna, there are 5 in their group.

Mary Anna balks, telling Baker, "I seriously doubt whether you've ever known one-- but I happen to be a lady."

Baker tries to get assertive, telling her that's the only water to bathe in between here and Dry Wells. Baker explains that the routine was: since he was the leader he'd bathe first, and Tommy would scrub his back. Then Tommy would bathe, and he'd scrub his back. Then Joe Pickens would bathe next, and Mex would scrub his back. Then Mex would bathe, and Joe would scrub his back.

That was with 4 guys. Baker is irritated that having this woman here is "messing up the whole routine," since now there are an odd number of people, instead of even.

Now (and here Baker was trying to be generous), he told her, her being a lady and all, he was going to give her the privilege of using the bathtub first. Baker says, matter-of-factly, "so then I scrub your back, and then I take a bath and you scrub my back..."

*slap*

Next thing you know, there is a big sheet hung up, blocking the bathtub from view. And Mary Anna is taking a bath and nobody, not even Baker, scrubs her back.

Later, Baker is talking with the leprechaun-looking Joe Pickens. Pickens explains that he rode with Colonel Morgan during the Civil War. Also, that he'd still be a horse soldier, if he hadn't lost his leg (not in the War-- an angry father cut it off because he was fooling around with his daughter).

After a long ride, and about 50 miles from the Fort, Colonel Morgan decides that this is "a personal matter" and sends the men back. Only Bookbinder stays with him. Bookbinder says things had been a bit dull back at the Fort, anyway. However, Bookbinder was wondering what he was doing out in the middle of the desert. He longed for greater adventures. (He remembered a man from New York, named Armstrong, who asked him to go on safari in Africa and look for giant gorillas. Now that's adventure. Oh well, maybe someday his son or grandson would have that adventure.)

Meanwhile, Baker had taken quite a detour. He'd gone east, all the way to where a boulder had the words "Boundary-- Texas, New Mexico Territory" carved in it, as a marker. On this little, out-of-the-way spot were the Standall sisters, who eked out a very modest living by finding occasional nuggets in an abandoned mining shaft. The only thing that kept them going was the occasional male visitor, and they always made the men welcome.

The older sister was Polly, 20 years old, 5'8" and about 150 pounds. She had long, blond hair, which was mainly covered with a red bandana topped off with a brown cowboy hat. She wore a mannish white pullover, the only feminine touch being that the sleeves only went a few inches past the elbow. She wore rugged blue pants, and used suspenders instead of a belt. She had a leather tobacco pouch stuck in her waistband. And she wore work boots. Polly had a sly, good-time-gal look on her face.

The younger sister was Carrie, 18 years old, 5'5" and about 115 pounds. She had brunette hair, a wide-rimmed woman's hat with frilly, colorful ribbons, and wore a red scarf around her neck. She wore a white blouse with very short sleeves, and feminine ruffles on the ends. She wore a dress, giving her a more feminine appearance than Polly, though she still looked like the rugged outdoor type. She had a reddish-brown belt, and shoes. Carrie's face was a bit impish.

Baker says everytime he rides by, he half expects to find them gone.

Carrie walks over to Baker, and takes the horse's reins in her hand.

CARRIE: "Everytime we think of leavin', Polly finds another nugget."

POLLY: "We ain't got nothin' but a cow and a hole in the ground."

CARRIE: "You might say we live 'from nipple to nugget'." She gives him a big smile.

Polly smiles at Baker, wiggles her shoulders suggestively, and says seductively, "I got a' itch that needs scratchin'."

Next day, Dover MacBride rides into Dry Wells, and inquires about Baker at the Fort. Baker is back with his men, and now he has a lot of things to consider. Dover's brother, Tommy, is talking to Baker, and he's not making things any easier. He asks Baker what he's going to do, since he has the Colonel's wife, but no Gatling gun.

Baker gets irritated, and tells Tommy, "I don't know what I'm going to do with her." He starts counting his problems off on his fingers, "Dover's after me, Cobb's after me, the Colonel's after me... go away, Tommy, you're giving me a headache!"

JOHNNY COBB: Well, me and Heck-ett Moon rode on out ta th' most desolate-- an' I mean gosh-forsaken, desolate-- part of that burnin' desert. No man nor beast in his right mind would be out thar. We figured it was th' perfect spot we had picked, ta meet up with that owlhoot Malachi Morton, like we'd planned.

Well now, Malachi was a fat man, real fat. He was sittin' on the ground, beside his wagon eatin'... and a-eatin' and a-eatin'. He had loaves of bread, and blocks of cheese, and I swear 2 whole chickens he was wolfin' down, all spread out in front of him on a blanket. Big as his shirt was, he couldn't close the buttons around his belly. A real porker.

Now me, I was real business-like. I just wanted the big gun. I still had that purty sky-blue garter around muh left arm, as a reminder of why I was goin' through all this work. I rode up to Malachi's wagon, and pulled up the canvas over his cargo, and thar it was-- th' Gatlin' gun. And I could almost see me with a woman!

I dropped my bag of gold coins next to Malachi, ready ta make th' trade. "Count it," I says real happy-like.

"Not enough," Malachi slobbers, while chewin' with his mouth open.

"Well now," says I, "why don't you try countin' it, Malachi?" A deal's a deal. What kind of low-down, shiftless, varmint-skunk cheatin' was this sidewinder up to?

Malachi burps and says it ain't enough, again.

I was tryin' real hard to stay calm and business-like, so I reminds him, "You know how much it is, then you know it's what we agreed on in Dukem Carey." Still stuffin' his face and eatin' like a hog, he looks up at me and says contrary, "this ain't Dukem Carey."

Now what in blazes is this scalawag up to? I just wanted him to come out and say what was on his shiftless mind. "Say what ya got ta say-- I'm in a hurry," I told him.

He says, "words in Dukem Carey ain't money in El Paso." Tarnation! I never met a fella like him, could talk and talk and not say nothin'! What the hell was he drivin' at? Then he goes with that "half ag'in as much," once more, and says, "take it or leave it."

I says, "you must think my mama raised a fool." I knowd he was greedy, but I didn't know how greedy. While I turn away from him in disgust, Malachi puts his hand down like he's reachin' for another drumstick of chicken-- but he pulls out a gun he had hidden under the blanket. He wants it all-- my money and the big gun!

Malachi woulda shot muh head clean off, except Heck-ett Moon yells, "Cobb! Look out!" And I been in enough gun fights and barroom shoot-outs ta know when ta duck! A second later, Moon throwed his knife at Malachi, hit him square in the chest. Moon had saved muh life. I owed him. I took the gold coins I'd gived Malachi, and split them with Moon, 50-50. Then we took Malachi's horse, saddle, wagon, and the Gatlin' gun, of course, and rode off.

Now we was gonna meet up with Baker.

Colonel Morgan and Bookbinder stop at the small cantina in Badwater, and talk to the Mexican barkeeper who runs the place. When Morgan and Bookbinder want to order some meat, the barkeep says he has horse meat; that makes the cavalry Colonel cringe. On offering goat meat as an alternative, the Colonel still isn't happy, but Bookbinder asks, "billy or nanny?" While eating their nanny goat, the Colonel tries to question the barkeep. He says softly to Bookbinder, that if you treat these people nicely, there's no end to what you can find out. But after repeated questions about Baker, the Colonel still hasn't learned anything about Baker nor his whereabouts.

Bookbinder quips, "Plum full of information, ain't he?"

Colonel Morgan and Bookbinder ride another day, and wind up at the modest home site of the Standall sisters, just on the other side of the marker between New Mexico territory and Texas, on the Texas side. Polly is outside by the well, she's still in a happy mood, smiling as she thinks of Baker's recent visit. She is feeling real feminine, and is wearing a purple skirt, instead of her usual pants. She runs inside and announces to Carrie, "Two men coming!" They quickly wash up a bit and apply some lilac water. Polly answers when the Colonel knocks on the door. Polly is wearing a frilly, low-cut blouse. Polly's fingers constantly play around her bosom, as if to draw attention to it.

When the Colonel asks about Baker, Polly tells him, "He come through here last year like a dose of salts." (Actually, it was just a few days ago.) She adds, "He didn't even take his boots off."

Meanwhile Carrie, seated in a chair, has been eyeing Bookbinder, virtually undressing him with her eyes.

Colonel Morgan asks them for their hospitality-- he requests that he can sleep in their shed.

Polly is shocked, and asks, "What's in the shed?"

Bookbinder is more than willing to give in to Carrie's advances, and go to bed with her. Polly, however, finds the Colonel resistant (he's a married man, and so faithful!), and resorts to pulling a gun on him.

The next morning, after a night of wild whoopee, as the 2 cavalry men get on their horses, Colonel Morgan says in a low, but threatening voice, "Bookbinder-- if you ever breathe a word of this to anyone!..."

Meanwhile, Baker finds out Dover has arrived at the fort at Dry Wells. He tells Joe Pickens to set up a rendezvous at Potter's Mesa.

*******

JONNY COBB: I'll pick up th' nare-ray-shun frum here. Now, me an' Heck-ett Moon was ridin' along, mindin' our own bizness, off ta meet with Baker, and finally trade that thar big gun for a woman. I was still wearin' that purty garter on muh left arm, and it made me feel real good, remindin' me I was gonna get me a woman.

I was on muh horse, Moon was drivin' the wagon, pulled by 2 horses, and we had Moon's horse and Malachi's horse tied to the back of th' wagon.

Then what in tarnation do I see? Some CAV-alry officer, with his scout, ridin' on over towards us. Jehosaphat! NOW what kinda trouble was a-brewin'? They rode on over, real nosey like. The officer, looked like a colonel from his insignia, sees our little caravan, and says real sarcastic-like, "Gone off on an ocean voyage, have you?"

"Ain't nobody's business where I been," I tells him, "I ain't wanted in thish here territory." When he asks what I'm haulin', I tell him ag'in, "None of your business." Then this busybody asks out our horses. Our HORSES. I tells him, "Th' one thar's Mr. Moon's, th' other's mine-- I bought him." Then he asks, "Who from?" Jumpin' catfish, he's nosey! I snaps at him, "What diff'rence does it make?" But he's insistent. "I bought him from a man named Malachi Morton," I tells him.

"Saddle, saddlebags, and all?"

"Yep. That'sh right," I says, cause this cavalry feller ain't got nothin' on me. Then he pulls the canvas off th' big gun.

Moon an' I reach for our guns. The feller with him pulls his gun on us--I act like I was jest scratchin' myself, not reachin' for no gun.

"I didn't steal that thar big gun!" I says, "I bought it from Mr. Morton."

The colonel says the gun's stoled.

"I didn't take it!" I yells.

He shakes his head, an' says, that ain't the point. Then he goes flappin' his gums about me an' Moon going ta prison for 10 ta 20 years. Then he starts talkin' 'bout makin' a deal. Says we could just ride off.

"What are you gettin' at?" I asks. An' he says HE's lookin' for Baker, too. I mighta knowd! Of all th' nerve, he wants me ta help him find Baker! "Why should I?" I yell.

He just looks at me and says, "10 ta 20 years", ag'in.

OMNISCIENT NARRATOR: Meanwhile, at Potter's Mesa, Dover gives Baker an ultimatum. He's got one more week to do his "something big"-- or else she goes back East, to marry Angus MacNamara.

Baker is shocked. Oh, the humiliation. What would the boys back in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio say about that? He'd be a laughing stock. Baker meekly protests, "you wouldn't do that to me. You wouldn't shame me like that."

But Dover is firm-- "One more week, or it's back to that wee, small gnat of a man from Pittsburgh."

JONNY COBB: Enough interruptions! "What is it you want with Baker?" I yelled in the colonel's ear. He was ridin' his horse, and I was ridin' right next ta him. He says, evasive like, Baker has somethin' that belongs to him. I says, "And you want it BACK, huh?" He reckons he does, so I probe him, "It must be valuable." That Baker! So I asks, "Hey, he steal it?"

We been ridin' together for quite a spell. Finally, I point, and says, "There it is. That'sh where you're gonna find 'im."

Then he wants ta get rid of me and Moon, so I tells him, "Well now, if it's all th' same to you, we'll just tag along." He still wants to lose us, so I tell him outright, "Baker's got somethin' fer me, Morgan. Soon as I git it, I'll leave," and I smile at him. Finally, Morgan figures out I was headin' that way th' whole time-- (I said I was gonna deliver th' big gun, an' I was doin' jest that).

Ya know, the colonel and his pal might've got the drop on us, but they wasn't the brightest stars in th' sky. So Morgan asks what Baker wants with th' big gun.

I says, "I never asked him-- none of my business," an' that was th' truth. Then I add, "Course, if I was to make a guess-- I'd say he were planning..." and the colonel says, "something big." I laughed. "Yep-- somethin' mighty big," I says.

We rode on, ta meet up with Baker and his gang. Now, this colonel wasn't too bright, like I'd said. Him and his pal got th' drop on me an' Moon, but it was just the 2 of them-- how did he figure ta take on Baker and his whole gang?

Next thing ya know, there we was. Me and Moon, the colonel and his pal, and Baker and his 20 men. Well now, I was tryin' ta figure out what was goin' on here. Th' colonel gets off'n his horse, an' th' first thing he done was hit Baker in th' mouth. They got inta a REAL good fight. An' th' colonel hits Joe Pickens, an' Tommy, an' then he hits Baker ag'in. Man, he was goin' ta town-- and I STILL didn't know what had him all riled up. An' then he hits Tommy ag'in, an' Baker ag'in. An' then he sees his wife, an' she calls him "Donald." Then he hits Baker, an' then he hits th' brick wall! Man, he was all riled up!

NOW I figured it all out. "You got that thar woman fer me?" I yelled. "His wife?" Now I knowd who they was-- th' whole territory knowd about a army colonel that has a purty wife stashed back East. Now I saw it all... that dern fool Baker! That woman, th' colonels' wife, that's who he got fer me! (And here I heard tell about a purty, bosomy blonde in a red dress almost got kidnapped off th' stage over a week ago, Shirleena or somethin', her name was. Well now, HER I woulda loved.)

"BAKER!" I yelled, "you an' me, we got a deal. Th' big gun for a woman. I don't git th' woman, you don't git th' big gun." And that was that, I figured. But Baker figures, he's got 20 guns. Th' dirty, double-dealin' sidewinder! At least th' colonel wasn't gonna get th' big gun, neither, no sirree. I throws down muh hat, I'm disgustipated! Then, Baker climbs up on th' wagon, and throws Heck-ett Moon off. Moon takes out his trusty knife-- but Luis, that Mex workin' fer Baker, shoots Moon in th' left shoulder.

I yells at Baker, "You're a thief! A thief an' a liar! I'm gonna tell th' whole territory what a low-down, thievin' snake you are!"

Baker's a honest guy, at heart. He looks at me, real serious and solemn, an' says, "Cobb-- I swear to you, if I get that treasure, I'm gonna cut you in for your rightful share."

"How are you gonna find me?" I asks, while I'm kneelin' over Moon, layin' there on th' ground.

Baker says, "I don't care how long it takes, someday I'll give you your share." He walks over ta me and shakes my hand on it. Funny, but I believe him. Then he goes ridin' off, him and his gang, and th' big gun.

I get Heck-ett Moon back up on his feet. That Luis only winged him. Moon tells me, he's had it with the wild West. Tells me he's goin' back home, to a place called Cliffordville, Indiana-- if that don't beat all. Says he's gonna adopt that nickname I give him, Heck-ett, so's he can start all over with a clean slate, instead of usin' his real family name. Says he's gonna go by th' name Hecate from now on. I shook his hand and wished him luck. (Huh. I wonder what's gonna become of him, and if he'll ever have kids an' raise them in Cliffordville, Indiana. I liked old Hecate, but I figure his kids won't amount ta much-- probably wind up bein' custodians.)

Now I was all alone. All alone and dejected. I hung muh head. Th' colonel walks over ta me, an' asks me where I'm going.

"Jest about as far away from here as I kin get," I tells him. I was shakin' muh head and chewin' terbacky, "I gotta have a woman... all I wanted was a woman." I walk away.

Then th' colonel's pal nods his head at him, an' th' colonel walks over ta me ag'in. Ya know, th' colonel's a real good feller. He tells me, him and his pal knows about a couple of women.

"On this side?" I asks him.

He says on th' other side of th' border, over in th' state of Texas.

"Well now, that don't help me an awful lot, then." He says, he just thought he'd let me know, and pats me on th' shoulder.

Then I watch him, as he goes over and kisses his purty wife. I can't stands it no more! I might get killed, crossin' th' border-- but right now I need a woman more'n life itself! I don't care if'n I get killed-- I'm gonna get me a woman!

I rode and rode. It seems I was tore in two. Half of me says, "You're a dang fool, Jonny, you're gonna get shot fer sure, with that Wanted: Dead or Alive, $5,000 price on muh head." Th' other half of me said, "Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me-- tonight nothin's worse than this pain in muh heart." Yeah, maybe someday they'll make a song about that fool Jonny, got hisself killed jest ta get a woman. I rode some more. Fin'lly, two days later, there I was. At the marker, tween New Mex'co territory, and the state of Texas. But stead of bein' a-feared, I smiled at what I saw. I smiled large. I was grinnin' like a bear.

Thar, runnin' at me fast as they could, was two of the purtiest gals I ever seen. Wearin' skirts that flew up to their purty knees as they run. And dang, if they didn't jiggle as they run. I knowd I'd done th' right thing, I could die a happy man right here an' now.

Polly & Carrie both yelled, at the same time, "He's so doggone cute!" Then Polly grabbed muh right leg, Carrie muh left, and I swears they jest pulled me off'n muh horse. With a gal in each arm, we all went runnin' to their house. Oh, thank you, Lord! No matter what I'd done, ya'd forgave this poor soul, and let me get a woman-- two wimmen, even!

Well now, for th' next week, I wus on what ya might call a honeymoon. Them two purty gals cooked fer me in the day, and then we had wonderful lovin' all night. And they wouldn't let me lift a finger doin' no work-- I even offered ta chop firewood, and push them wheelbarrows, but they'd have none of it. I was in heaven.

Durin' this time, I wus ta find out later, Baker fin'lly done his "something big" an' got richer'n Midas, or Cresus, whoever.

And Colonel Morgan retired. Then Baker and his girl, and the Colonel and his wife, all went back East. I figured I'd never hear from Baker again, what with him movin' ta Pennsylvania an' all.

After a week or so, I started getting muh head back together. I loved these two purty ladies, but they wanna get married. MAR-ried. They got me shavin'. And takin' baths! And it's so domesticated-- I find their stockin's hangin' on the towel rods. Part of me said, "Jonny, you got it out of your system. You're a lucky man to have purty ladies for a week, and not get shot by no jealous husband or nothin'. Now don't press your luck-- go back home." When Polly and Carrie pressed me about marryin', I said, "Well now, I can't rightly marry BOTH of ya, now can I?" An' had I knowd then, whut I knows now, if'n I'd stayed in the STATE of Texas, I couldn't a got hitched ta but one of them.

I decided ta head back to muh home, by Four Corners. Them Standall sisters reckoned they'd follow me. They didn't have hardly nothin' ta pack up, and the shed they called a home was about ta fall apart, so they's was leavin' nothin' behind. But lookin' back on it, they had whut ya call a ul-tear-ee-or motive. They knowd in the territories, specially Utah, a man can have more'n one wife.

I told them Standall gals, I was a-ridin' back ta muh home at Four Corners, and durn if'n they didn't ride along with me the whole ways, on their horses. I never seen such devotion in wimmen. Sometimes we'd ride fer hours, and I wouldn't say much, and then Polly would look at Carrie, and they'd both smile, and say, "He's so doggone cute!" and then giggle. And who wus I ta disagree with 'em? I guess they wus hooked on muh good looks-- who could blame 'em?

When I got ta Four Corners, who was a-waitin' fer me there but a purty, blond-haired gal named Shirleena. I fell in love with her, too. She spent a night of pashun with me, and in the mornin', she wanted to get hitched ta me, too. First, I couldn't find me a woman. Now I was attractin' 'em like cow pies attract flies-- well, I should've thought of a better way to put that!

Next thing ya know, I was packin' up and ridin' off with muh wagon. Only this time I had 3 wimmen ridin' along with me, each on her own horse. I headed up to Salt Lake City, Utah. I'd done promised each of th' three gals that I'd marry her-- if'n I could. But then I'd said, they're all so purty I can't decide. And a man can't have 3 wives, now can he? Next thing I knowd, they had me shaved, bathed (!), all gussied up in muh go-ta-meetin' clothes, and I wus standin' in front of a Mormon preacher. Gettin' married. And that day I said "I do" to Polly... and "I do" to Carrie... and "I do" to Shirleena.

I remember it was awful cold that winter, in December 1870, and January 1871... and by September an' October 1871, we had three young 'uns! And by next year, two more. I was a pappy, five times over. And I never been happier in muh life. We wus poor as church mouses, but a big, happy, lovin' family. And them Standalls couldn't a been nicer about Shirleena, they called her their "3rd sister."

Now, right here'sh where I gots ta back up a bit with muh nare-ray-shun. Ya see, livin' by Salt Lake City, Utah, was a lot diff'rent than I was used to-- the place was civilized. And it wus all account of this thing they called th' transcontinental railroad. Ya see, just north of Salt Lake City, a few years back, on May 10, 1869, Promontory Point was th' site of a grand celebration, as the Union Pacific's No. 119 and the Central Pacific's Jupiter touched cowcatchers to complete the transcontinental railroad. Here's a photo, showin' the big crowd of people they had as they droved in the last stake...

and this here'sh a map ta show ya where it TIS...

Used ta be, it took months for folks back East to get to Utah, and points west, takin' them slow wagon trains. Th' trains changed all that.

Now, here it was, summer of 1873, (and two of muh wives wus with child ag'in), an what do I see comin' over to our little bit of farm land but 6 wagons, each pulled by a coupla horses. Me and muh wives watched 'em come closer an' closer, and we all got out our rifles. Fin'lly, the rider of the first wagon comes to a stop, bout a hundred feet away from muh house, and yells, "You Jonny Cobb?"

"I ain't wanted in this terr'tory!" I yells back at him, "and if you don't want your head blowd off, ya better git off'n my property!"

He yells back, "but we got something for you."

I yell back, "Who from?"

He yells, "From Baker-- back East."

I yell, "What is it?"

He yells, "It's something big!"

It was something big, alright. The driver of the first wagon give me a letter, writ by Baker. Muh 3 wives looked over muh shoulder as I read it aloud...

"Jonny Cobb,

"I never forgot you, and how your Gatling gun helped me pull off something big. We had a big haul from those treasures in Mexico, but it took me months to hock it all. I couldn't even spend it, since now I have a wife, and in an attempt to go legit, we have bankers and accountants. I took your share and invested it for you.

"You are the proud owner of a tobacco farm, now called Cobb's Acres. 640 acres (one square mile) of fine tobacco land, located in Virginia. We (my gang and I) all invested in different businesses, and knowing how you liked chewing tobacco, I thought you'd be pleased with this choice.

"I am sending you some of your tobacco crop. The rest I will sell and send you cash shortly. The net profits, that is, minus the cost of growing and processing. You are receiving fire-cured tobacco (cured over a large open fire), used for chewing tobacco, strong cigars and heavy smoking tobacco. This brand is only grown in central Virginia, western Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee, so you have a large share of the market.

"Hope you can sell this at a nice profit in Utah, where I finally found out you were (it took my Pinkertons two months to find you).

"Best wishes,
Joe Baker"

Then I looked at the wagon train-- th' tobacco had been shipped on the transcontinental railroad, and then unloaded at Promontory Point, and brought down here by horse-drawn wagons. Six wagons, each with a ton of tobacco! What in Sam Hill wus I gonna do with six tons o' terbacky? That Baker loco?? All we had wus a small house (which was gonna be pretty crowded when 2 more young-uns was a-comin' due in a coupla months), and a few acres of desert land that could hardly grow enough crops ta support us. And that fool Baker sends me six tons of terbacky?!

Well now, the wagon drivers unloaded all the terbacky, at muh doorstep, and rode off. I picked up a 20-pound bag of terbacky (I had 600 of 'em), looked at it-- and then, disgustipated, I threw it into a big metal pot I'd been making some moonshine in. There was still about a gallon of booze in it. That night, after supper, I went ta bed, and slept late th' next mornin'. My wives-- all 3 of them-- woke me up, they wus real excited.

"What's goin' on?" I demanded. I was alwus onery in th' mornin', before I had muh breakfast an' coffee.

They all started jabberin' at me at once. That bag of terbacky had soaked up my moonshine like a sponge. The gals had been takin' bits of it, and puttin' it in these 4 ounce cans, then takin' 'em to the General Store. Customers was paying 2 bits fer each can of chewin' terbacky. A quarter a can! Th' gals had sold 80 cans of terbacky, and made $20 in one morning!

"Can you make more of it?" Polly asked, excited.

"Can I?" I said, still rubbin' muh eyes, "you bet!" Cause here I had 6 tons of the stuff! And that's how the "Jonny Cobb spit-and-chew terbacky" company got started. And me, muh wives and muh kids had all the money we'd ever need. Cause shore nuff, every year Baker would send me a crop of terbacky, from that farm I owned all legal back in Virginia.

And by 1885, me an' muh 3 wives had 21 young-uns, and wus in heaven-on-Earth all th' time.

*********

1886-- Born, left-handed (like his old man) son "Ty Cobb" to Jonny Cobb and Shirleena. Shirleena has a barren sister back in Georgia. They let her sister raise Ty Cobb, who later plays baseball, and becomes known as the Georgia Peach. Ty Cobb sets the record for most stolen bases, 892, and the word "cobb" becomes a part of American slang-- it means "to steal."

1887-- Jonny Cobb, aware of the plight of Indians in Utah, especially the Navajo, uses $100,000 of his money (a fortune in those days) to build hospitals and schools for the tribes. To honor Jonny Cobb for his generous support, the Indians bestow the name "Feathersmith" upon Jonny, the greatest honor that Indians can give a white man.

1888-- born "William Jonny Feathersmith Cobb" to Polly. They say, William J. Feathersmith will be a great businessman some day!

1890-- Jonny Cobb has been married for 20 years, and has 26 kids. Meanwhile Heck-ett Moon, who married a young wife years ago, has 5 children, the most recent a son named Wright K. Hecate.

1896-- Utah becomes the 45th state. It doesn't bother Jonny Cobb, he hasn't been an outlaw, and hasn't been wanted for 25 years. As a state, Utah would start passing laws against polygamy, but that doesn't bother Jonny either. He's already got his 26 kids, and he's keeping all 3 of his wives.

1910-- letter from Wright K. Hecate to his mom...

"Dear Mama,
"Ya should've seen the commotion, with that bulldozer of a businessman, William J. Feathersmith-- he's the son of Jonny Cobb, that my daddy (God rest his soul), rode with in the Old West, about 40 years ago. Now that Feathersmith tried to buy the 1,403 acres of land outside of Cliffordville, Indiana-- the widow Turner's land. Feathersmith found out Mr. Gibbons, the banker, owns 700 acres; Mr. Dietrich owns 700 acres; and I own 3 acres myself, which I bought at the high price of one dollar an acre, but I figure might be an investment. We all know there is oil under the land, but is it so far down, it may as well be on the Moon, (which was my daddy's nickname). That Feathersmith, first he goes saying how he wants to turn the place into oil fields, and goes on about making "200 million bucks" (there ain't that much money in the whole, wide world), and then he goes a-courting Mr. Gibbons' daughter, Joanna. That feller, he don't know if he wants to drill for oil or get hitched. Think I'll keep an eye on ole Feathersmith.
"Love,
Wright."

1928-- Born Pete Cobb, grandson of Jonny Cobb. Pete becomes interested in law enforcement. Since he does not want people to know outlaw Jonny Cobb was his granddaddy, he changes his last name to "Ritter" which is German for knight. In the 1970s, Pete Ritter moves to Arizona, works with Anthony & Maggie Petrocelli, they consider him a knight in shining armor.

July 1933-- Jonny Cobb, 88 years young, drives to Sycamore, Illinois, to attend the wedding of his favorite granddaughter, who was born in 1915. Driving along at night, he sees a wrecked car, and offers to give the driver, a shaken-up Steve "Country Boy" Parrish, a lift into town. Steve politely refuses Jonny's offer to put him up for the night. When Steve asks where the nearest town is, Jonny tells him, "That would be Five Points, about 3 miles west of here." Steve walks there. The first thing Steve saw in Five Points was the combination diner/gas station, belonging to Emmy Sarver. Steve says, "Those gas tanks changed my whole life. If I ever have a son, I'll name him Tank."

1945-- Jesse Bookbinder's great-grandson, Gregg, goes on a safari, and comes back with Mighty Joe Young.

1972-- 100 years after the first of Jonny Cobb's tobacco crops came in. Using modern technology, that 640 acres of tobacco land, owned in perpetuity by the Cobb family, is producing 500 tons of the famous "Jonny Cobb spit-and-chew Terbacco" annually. When little Billy asked his dad, William J. Feathersmith, "What is chewing tobacco used for?" Feathersmith answered, "It's used to make 8 million bucks, that's what it's used for!"

1980-- Tank, the steel-working, construction guy, son of Steve Parrish, is part of the Dream Team that builds the Kincaid Tower in Lexington, Kentucky. As they hoist the American flag on the top floor, Tank salutes and says, "This one's for you, mom and dad!"

2017-- Bookbinder's great-great-grandson, known as 6-Fingers Jake, works as a Tracker in the new Old West. Meets up with a descendent of Joe Pickens.

2050-- The Space Cowboys, an interplanetary peace-keeping force, are formed, headed by Jonny's great grandson, Alonzo P. Tucker.

2093-- Rafe Cletus Cobb becomes the first Marshal on planet Mars.

2137-- Poss Ortega Cobb is a misunderstood authority figure on Pluto.


Here's a challenge for you. How many names of Albert's real characters can you find in this story?


Back to Main Page

Albert's Filmography

Lighthearted Scenes Written for Albert By His Fans

"Cliffordville Revisited"

"The Devil & Mr. Feathersmith"

"Power Play Revisited"

Bulletin Board

Fans' Forum