The Easterner: Repost

I noticed recently that Lumo had me blacklisted from his blog, so I thought I might repost this legend from our mutual past:

The slight, exhausted man steps off his bicycle on a dusty Las Cruces street.

His bike tires are flat and encrusted with goatheads. So is his hair. He looks like he has ridden the last 800 miles through a duststorm.

He has.

No matter. He is on a mission of vengence.

He speaks to the first man he meets: "I'm looking for a pig."

"No hablo Ingles."

He tries again on the next guy, a wiry guy in a Stetson and cowboy boots.

"Sorry, this is cattle country. Cattle and goats."

"A Capitalist Pig."

Stetson: "We don't hold much with Communists here boy. You sound like one of them European Commies. Just what is your business here anyway, and do you have a green card? What's your name anyway? The avenger tells him.

Boots and Stetson: "Shit! I can't pronounce that, much less spell it. How 'bout if I just call you Dusty. I think I know who you are looking for - a kinda tall, mean, lean customer? We usually just call him killer - not to his face of course. His real name is Leslie, but we don't call him that either. You might want to call him Les, or maybe just CIP - unless you're looking for a fight, that is."

Meanwhile, a couple of miles away in Mesilla, Leslie was sitting on a barstool at the Brass Balls Bistro and Tattoo Parlor. A small stack of empty rock glasses sat in front of him. He was pissed. He had been waiting for the Easterner for weeks. Didn't they know about airplanes in Cambridge? The bartender had run out of Marashino Cherries and was running low on Sasparilla.

Reflexively, he checked his backup weapons: .22 caliber shirtsleeve Derringer, check; shoulder holster, .40 caliber Glock 22, check; revolver, .357 Ruger 100, check; sniper rifle, Steyr-Mannlicher .50 caliber with armor penetrating incendiary rounds, check; automatic shotgun, Berreta AL 391 Urika Gold, check; automatic weapon, M249 SAW, check. The heavy weapons were in the Hummer.

The primary weapon was here, too, piled high on the nearby pool table. 12 dozen field-aged cow patties, neatly stacked and uniformly sized.

Britta, the pole dancer, comes over and starts to massage his muscular shoulders: "Killer Baby, you seem tense. You want to get some re - LAX - ation? Wanta show me your new tatoos?

"Not tonight honey. I must face a man who hates me, or lie a coward, a craven coward, in my grave."

"Whoa - is that from The Virginian?"

"Naw. I think it was High Noon."

Britta and Les had been students in the same film studies class.

(to be continued)


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