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Frontier ustice, Liberal Style

by c/o tpfkamw Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 at 5:01 AM

The idea of individualism, of personal responsibility, is the centerpiece, the granite foundation, of the very idea of a free people. For that reason, it is under direct attack on many fronts from people, who, through motives well-intentioned or ill, find such an idea intolerable because a nation of individuals is immune to repression, coercion, social engineering and control by the elite. The threat, as Lincoln so eloquently foresaw, comes from within and it is here, now, well-established and growing.

The American West: 1884

From afar, the only sign of the small homestead was a thin line of smoke from rising from the chimney in the small, wooden-frame house. A dusty porch overlooking a small corral, where horses were bred and raised. Out back, a small garden grew just enough vegetables for this small frontier family: a father, worn and weather beaten, looking far older than his thirty-six years of rising before the sun. His wife, in the kitchen, baking a fresh pie for the two of her four children that survived to the age of four – but she too was bleached, severe, her hands those of an old woman from years of lye soap and scrub brushes. A shot rang out from the woods beyond, and moments later, a boy of thirteen emerged, holding a dead rabbit by the ears, while a girl of six hauled bales of hay larger than she was from the barn to the small corral.

A small group of men rode up from over the nearby hills. The father made a move for his rifle, but squinting hard --- his vision has been failing for years – he saw at the head of the party the local sheriff and deputy, along with five other riders, one of which appeared to be handcuffed, his head hanging in shame.

The wife stepped out off the porch, wiping her hands on her apron, and her husband took an unconscious step to place himself between her and the men that had ridden to the small homestead.

“Sheriff… deputy,” said the homesteader, nodding. He was a man of few words.

“Howdy Luke,” replied the big man with the badge, his stern face tightening into what was almost a smile. “That a huckleberry pie I smell, Sarah?”

“It is,” she replied. “We got just enough for you and your men.”

“Well that’s right kind a ya, Sarah, but we’re here on business.” The sheriff turned to the handcuffed man in the middle of the posse. “Luke, you recognize this feller?” The Deputy knocked the prisoners dusty hat off and raised his chin. He was grizzled and mean, and his pale blue eyes made contact only for a second.

“Son of a bitch--!“ Luke took the hunting rifle from his young son, cracked the breech to see if he had re-loaded – he had – and snapped it shut, leveling it at the man on horseback.

“That there’s the son of a bitch that tried stealing my horses two nights ago! I missed him in the dark; I ain’t about to miss him now! Move outta the way fellers!”

“See what I tole ya?” said the prisoner.

The sheriff frowned, shook his head, and looked down at the ground. He nodded at the deputy. “Show him the leg, Bob.”

“Yessir”

Bob pulled up the prisoner’s torn trousers to reveal a nasty red gash.

“Luke,” said the Sheriff, looking down out of embarrassment, “I’m afraid I’m gonna hafta take you in.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Pete?!”

The Sheriff sat straight in the saddle. His job was not a pleasant or an easy one.

“This here feller injured himself on your property, Luke—climin’ over yer barb wire fence . He done got hisself a lawyer from Harvard university and I need ta take you in to get you deposed and such-like.”

“It’s all infected, too,” mumbled the prisoner, sullenly.

“I cain’t believe what ah’m hearin’ here!” Luke shouted.

“Luke, his leg’s all infected-like.” The Sheriff surveyed the corral with a cool professional eye. “I notice that none a yer barb-wire there got any ah them OSHA-mandated cork tips on ‘em. That’s why this feller here got that nasty scratch on his leg.”

“If’n he didn’t want a leg-scratch or a hole in his head, he shouldn’t a been in my corral a- tryin’ ta steal my god-damn horses in tha middle a tha’ night!” shouted Luke.

“Whoa, now, Luke! This here feller’s had a rough time,” said the Deputy, getting a little too worked up for his own good. “He was sittin’ there at the Starbucks cross from the Dry Goods store ---“

“Naw, that Sturbucks ain’t worth a shit, “ said the prisoner. “Them fellers always put way too much sugar in their Grande Frappuchinos. Was the one below the whorehouse, right next ta tha saloon.”

“Anyway,” continued the Sheriff, “his pants got all tore up, and some t’ other fellers started laughin’ at him.”

“Done lowered mah self-esteem,“ said the prisoner, more confident now. “Ya couldn’t understand it – it’s a horse-thief thang.”

“You just can’t go roun’ lowerin’ a man’s self-esteem like that Luke. You oughts to know that,” said the Deputy.

“You shut the hell up, Bob!” thundered Luke. He turned to the Sheriff. “Pete, that son of a bitch tried ta steal all my god-damned horses! That’s all I got! We should be hanging that low-life horse thief! How the hell am I supposed to feed my family with all them horses gone?! We oughts ta shoot that thievin’ sack a shit!”

“That there’s hate speech!!” said Deputy Bob, pulling out a notebook. “I’m writin’ Luke’s name down!”

The Sheriff’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Now Luke, you listen to me now, and you listen good. As long as I’m Sheriff ‘a this here county, we are gonna maintain a commitment to a diversity of ownership viewpoints. Do I make mahself clear?”

“So that’s it,” said Luke, eyeing the rest of the posse. Their hands rested nervously on the court-ordered injunctions and restraining orders they had strapped to their waists and legs. “You gonna hang me now, is that it?”

“Oh hell no, Luke! We’re aimin’ to break tha cycle ah violence! I rounded up the therapy posse so we could have ourselves a little man-to-man sensitivity trainin’ seminar, maybe a little group drummin’ and some visualizations, tell you and yer kids and the misses about some ah the root causes concerning horse-thievery and the like. Then we’ll hafta safety-cork that barb-wire, get it up ta code. And I reckon yer gonna need to give this feller four, maybe five horses to make up fer the humiliation and sufferin’ he’s had to endure…”

“And throw in that huckaberry pie, too!” barked the prisoner. “I cain’t even look at a horse no more without getting all nervous and twitchy-like!”

“That seems reasonable enough to me,” said the Sheriff.

“Right! That’s it!” Luke turned to his wife, disgusted.

The Sheriff looked down, shook his head. He dismounted in a fluid motion, spitting a bullet of chewing tobacco into the dust. He advanced on Luke with arms outstretched. “Well, now, I reckon it looks like someone here could use a hug,” he said, his voice rattling like a sidewinder.

Luke turned his back on him. “Sarah, you pack up everthang we can fit. Jake,” he said, turning to his son, “fetch Rachel and get the cover on tha’ wagon. We’re packin’ up outta this chikenshit country and goin’ where men are men and a man’s word is his bond!!”

“Where we going, daddy?” asked the young man.

“We are movin’ ta France, God-damnit!” said Luke.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
What? No vehement denials? tpfkamw Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 3:13 AM
Perfect Randolph Scott Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 3:47 AM
Who is Randolf Scott? Monitor Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 5:34 AM
Monitor Randolph Scott Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 5:49 AM
Randolf Scott is KOBE SCOTT Who cares who some other Randolph Scott is? Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 6:05 AM
Monitor & Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 6:17 AM
Error Correction here Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 6:26 AM
and in Coted'France pepe leskunk Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 4:48 PM
You all need to read the entire essay... tpfkamw Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 5:15 PM
I LOVE A GOOD COMEDY systemfailure Sunday, Aug. 24, 2003 at 10:03 AM
I would just like to add... tpfkamw Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003 at 6:33 AM
fake poster, real coward tpfkamw Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003 at 6:43 AM
tpfkamw anti-psycho Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003 at 6:46 AM

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