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Linn Keller, SASS 27332, BOLD 103

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Linn Keller, SASS 27332, BOLD 103 last won the day on October 27 2016

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About Linn Keller, SASS 27332, BOLD 103

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  • Birthday 03/31/1956

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    Firelands Peacemakers

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    Lorain County, Ohio
  • Interests
    History, calligraphy, any game that burns powder
    BOLD 103, Center Township Combat Pistol League
    Skywarn, ham radio, and no idea what I want to do when I grow up!

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  1. 180. A LITTLE BUSINESS Sarah Lynne McKenna smiled ever so slightly as she touched her hair, turning her head a little to the left, a little to the right. A very proper young lady looked back at her from the mirror, a young lady with just a trace of a line down her face, legacy of a kidnapper's whip who thought to murder a cab driver and take his unsuspecting fares that night, to be robbed, murdered and dumped out of town. Sarah, of course, objected to the dacoit's plans; his response to her sharp-voiced admonition was the hard-swung short whip favored by city cabbies, and Sarah's reply was a few .44 pistol balls, starting at his soft ribs and going uphill from there. The outlaw came out in second place. A light dusting of powder served to render the light line less than conspicuous. Sarah Lynne McKenna paced backwards, away from the mirror, taking a critical look the length of her McKenna gown: she turned a little to the left, a little to the right: satisfied, her eyes shifted for the stylish little hat that went with her gown, at least until the door to her hotel room was hit by something hard and heavy. Sarah Lynne McKenna turned -- as would any young woman, startled in what should be the safety of her hotel room -- she was, after all, in one of the best hotels in Denver, and she should be safe: any young woman would turn, startled; any young woman would raise her hands, startled, to about shoulder height: some might bring a knuckle to her lips, others might clutch her high stomach: Sarah, instead of turning, with a flare of skirts and then freezing, did not so much dart to her left, as she kind of squirted, as quick and as liquid as milk from a cow's teat, or blood from a severed artery. The door burst inward and two men swarmed in, one with a short club, the the other with a pistol: they were casting back and forth like a pair of hounds, grim-faced, looking for their quarry, looking for a slight-built little man all in black that had earned the displeasure of their employer. Sarah spun around the corner of the doorway, a whirl of skirts and bright smile, at least until she thrust one step toward them and fired one, then the second, barrel of a short shotgun, a murderously short ten-gauge howitzer cut off at the beginning of the stock's comb, and deeply checkered, the barrels cut just ahead of the checkered-walnut, splinter fore-end: as she spun, she thrust it forward and triggered the first cannon's concussion, driving a cloud of heavy shot into the nearer intruder's belly: she was close enough that the shot-swarm was open about as big around as a man's hand can span, and the net effect was like being kicked in the gut. By a mule. Her momentum carried her around, her second barrel discharging almost on its own, knocking splinters out of the second intruder's upraised cudgel and then through the second man's chest: Sarah danced on the balls of her feet, still spinning, safely across the open doorway separating the hotel room's parlor from the more intimate interior room: she broke open the double gun, daintily plucked the hot brass casings and let them drop, palmed in a pair of shining replacements, closed the double gun and wiped the hammers back with a quick sweep of her thumb. Then, and only then, did she reappear, gun held close in to prevent a grab; swing left, swing right, and she danced across the intervening space, out into the hallway: a quick look left and right and the she drew back, checked once more. Sarah Lynne McKenna, daughter of one of the most successful businesswomen in Firelands County, hesitated, then took a quick, deep breath of the gunsmoke-fouled air: she tensed her operatically-trained lungs; hearing doors open in the hall, knowing curious heads would be poking out and looking, Sarah Lynne McKenna did what any pretty young woman would do when faced with murderous intruders. She screamed. Downstairs, another woman, seated at a table in the dining room, froze as two deep, muffled concussions upstairs shook the floor beneath her shoe-soles: she'd just started to lift her bone-china teacup to take a delicate sip of carefully-brewed oolong with just a touch of burgamo, her favorite blend: her violet eyes widened and she felt something like ice shoot through her veins as an instinct -- a mother's instinct -- told her that her child, her daughter, was in danger. Bonnie Lynne McKenna powered out of her chair, skirt snatched with her left hand, her right hand welded around the smooth walnut handle of a Colt Navy revolver, a gift from a pale eyed old lawman, a revolving-pistol she'd used in years past to defend her little girl when the absolute need charged them, greedy hands grasping and evil eyes gloating: Bonnie charged the wide, ornate stairs, octagon gunbarrel in the lead and grim determination firing the boiler of her matronly engine: no man could have crested the double staircase more quickly, and no warrior could have charged with greater determination did this mother tiger, running to the defense of her cub. The hotel detective was sprinting across the lobby, first at the sound of concussions and a scream, and then at the sight of a running woman with a pistol. The detective was a man with a bit of weight to him; he was still muscled, but he was not as swift as a lean woman: he was running in defense of his employer's property, but he was not sprinting with the swiftness of an aroused mother knowing her child was in mortal peril, and when he pounded past curious heads, swung through the open door, he was met with a set of blazing violet eyes and a finger driving into his necktie, punching into his chest, and he ran face first into the full wrath of an incensed mother demanding to know what kind of a hotel he was running and why were these murderers allowed into the hotel and how did they make it upstairs and how could an innocent girl expect to keep her virtue when footpads and mashers broke down doors and threatened mere children with murderous clubs and pistols and JUST WHAT DO YOU INTEND TO DO ABOUT IT, punctuating her sentences with vicious stabs of her finger: nonplussed, this retired police officer, this veteran of brawls and broken bones, knuckles and knives, found himself utterly at a loss in the face of the righteous wrath of a justly aggrieved mother: he stumbled backwards across the threshold and the door shut with a SLAM! and shivered back open as the violet-eyed woman, her face wheat-paste-pale save only for bright red spots on her cheeks and her white-around-the lips streak of color, jerked the door open and shouted, "AND GET THESE DEAD BODIES OUT OF HERE!" SLAM! and the house detective blinked as the door was jerked open again and the woman shoved her head out and screamed "AND FIX THIS DOOR!" -- SLAM! The house detective stood in the shocked-silent hallway, staring at the damaged portal, wondering just what kind of a hornet-nest he'd just encountered, and then he looked to his right as the manager came worrying industriously up the gas-light-illuminated hallway, wagging his head and wringing his hands. "How, how, how bad, bad, bad is it?" he managed to blurt, and the detective looked at the closed door, remembering the sensation of an indignant woman's stiff finger punching into his breastbone. "It's bad," he said. "I'll send for the police."
  2. Sobering. Remarkably compassionate, but brutally factual.
  3. I slept out away from everyone else. I'd circled back and my place was still secure, Sailor-dog was happy to see me and Chester snarled and slapped at me so I tucked him in close ag'in my chest and rubbed his upturned belly and had I not been wearing gloves he'd have brought blood, he had them hind pistons diggin' fiercely into the deer hide I wore. 'Course they were already scarred up some for we'd done this before. I rode on back and had a palaver with Doc for I was restless and 'twas a thing I'd felt before, somethin' I'd managed to lay like a priest will lay a wandering ghost, only this ghost clumb up out of the grave when my wife died and I take my broken heart and rode away from Stone Creek and come out here. I'd come onto a mountain witch not long after that damned war was over and she'd told me I'd die holdin' hands with my wife, settin' in a rockin' chair with her, and she pointed to the far western horizon as she spoke: I looked to where she pointed and when I looked back she was gone, and I figure that was a sign, and all that come back to mind oncet I rode in and swung down and had me a palaver and a powwow and some coffee, and not in that order. "Doc," said I, "I reckon the Law has enough information to send the Law after Hammond and he knows it. He'll either light a shuck out of here and not stop until he's fur enough away nobody knows him, he'll stay and fight like two hells, or he'll sneak in and try and kill anyone that can testify ag'in him." Doc considered this for several moments and then nodded, slowly, eyes busy in the gathering dark. "He'll not run," Doc said thoughtfully. "He'll more than likely do everything else." I closed my eyes and taken a long breath. "I reckon that's so."
  4. Oh my good heavens ... I've known wood splinters in the flush mechanism at work, there are still wooden potable water lines in the vicinity of what used to be Elyria Memorial Hospital, and at times some sloughs off and is washed downstream I believe these were made of white oak. There are cedar plank sewers in Old Washington, in Guernsey County. Looking at this Lewiston water main ... I'd always imagined hollowed out tree trunks ... but this would make more sense, build it like building a barrel on its side, just make it longer. Thank you for this!
  5. Waxahachie, you speak truly indeed! They are now exactly as you describe, and they used to be exactly as you describe!
  6. 179. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Saddles looked at the clerk and the girl looked past the off-duty medic and said, "Go," and Saddles did not have to be told twice. It was her day off and she'd been doing some shopping, but the rising whistle of the squad's electronic siren grabbed her by her ear and pulled her head around. She turned, pushed the heavy door open, turned and leaned forward into a flat-out sprint: the squad was going to her left, she ran to her right, ran to her car, slid behind the wheel and twisted her little Popcorn Popper into life. She looked over her shoulder, looked ahead, turned the wheel, hit the throttle: she knew it was quite against statute, but she pulled a U-turn right out of the parking spot, pointed her little blue car's nose downhill and mashed the pedal, hard, and for perhaps the seventy thousandth time, she damned the day she let herself be talked into a sensible, economical little car, instead of something with a monsterhorse of an engine under the hood. She pulled her compact little car into a vacant space behind the firehouse, jumped out, hit the back door: she bounced off the locked steel portal, turned, punched the combination into the keypad, seized the doorknob and pulled, hard. The squad was out, and she'd reported to station for coverage. "Saddles, that you?" Murph bent a little, looked under the cabinets, grinning: "I thought you might be coming!" "Anything for me?" "Not yet, darlin', but you know how it goes!" "Yeah," Mary Jo, laughed. "If I didn't show up, we'd have two more runs before the squad got back!" "We've got leftovers," Murph offered. "Coffee?" "I would murder for coffee," she groaned, swinging around the end of the counter and running up to the firefighter in the stained white apron: she gave him a quick hug, accepted the steaming mug, walked very carefully over to the refrigerator. "Mmm, hot," she hissed after slurping out enough scalding hot Joe to add a little milk. "That's good!" "Made that 'specially for you, darlin'," Murph grinned, turning back to his bread dough. Mary Jo Thrapp, in blue jeans and saddle shoes, a denim jacket and a contented expression, sank into a chair, planted her elbows on the tabletop and took a slow drink of coffee, her eyes closed and a contented expression coming over her face. "Frosted last night!" Murph called cheerfully, his footsteps approaching: Saddles heard him stop, felt the plate hit the table, opened her eyes. "Bless you," she sighed and set down her coffee, reaching for her fork. She jerked her hand back like she'd been scalded. The house phone rang, shrill, demanding: Murph strode over, plucked the receiver from the wall phone. "Firelands Fire Department, Murphy." He listened for a moment. "Okay, hold it, hold it, hold it," he said quickly, then turned: "SADDLES!" Mary Jo was on her feet and moving: she reached for the receiver. "Paramedic Thrapp," she said briskly, her voice hard, professional, then it softened: "Linda, what happened?" She nodded once, then again, her eyes distant: Murph strode across the vacant bay, seized the big orange box, brought it back, set it on the table: Saddles turned, nodded once and seized the handle. "Talkie," she said as Murph pulled a slim, watt-and-a-half Motorola from his hip pocket. "The half-wit, great," she muttered, and Murph blinked innocently: "The five-watt's like shovin' a brick in me pocket!" he protested. Saddles turned, strode for the back door. "Whattaya got, Saddles?" Murph called. "Diabetic!" she threw back over her shoulder as she shoved out the back door. Saddles yanked viciously at her back door, planted the box on the back set and slammed the door -- cheap tinny son of a Bessemer blast furnace, she thought profanely, then yanked open the driver's door, slid in behind the wheel, twisted the key like she wanted to twist the column ignition out of its socket. Saddles looked over her shoulder, backed out, pulled the chrome T-handled shifter into gear, stomped the throttle. "RUN, YOU GUTLESS WONDER!" she screamed at the steering wheel, and the little four cylinder cheapmobile accelerated down the alley, turned to parallel the railroad tracks. "Firelands Dispatch, Firelands medic second response enroute, house call," she chanted into the talkie's grille. "Roger your second response, give location." Saddles twisted the wheel, accelerated, turned again: left, then right, another two blocks and left. "Second response signal three, 107 Washington Street, diabetic," she called, thrusting the talkie into her inside jacket pocket. "Roger second medic," the dispatcher said from between blanket lining and body-warmed flannel. Saddles strode up the walk, the big orange box in her left hand: right hand fisted, she pounded on the front door. "GRANT!" she yelled. "GRANT, YOU IN THERE?" Saddles set the orange box down, hard, threw the latches, opened the left hand hip roof, pulled out a stethoscope: tips in her ears, bell against the door, she listened, frowning, then pulled the eartips free, threw the steth around her neck and flipped the lid shut on the box: dog the latches, snatch up the box and run around back of the house. Pound on the back door: "GRANT, THIS IS SADDLES! OPEN UP!" She reached into her coat, pulled out the talkie, carefully hit a square pane of glass in the back door: she knocked the glass out of her way, carefully, ran her arm inside, found the lock: her fingers read its operation, turned the knob: she gripped the knob, twisted, pulled, and the back door came open. "GRANT!" she yelled as she crossed the threshold. "GRANT, YOU OKAY?" Mary Jo strode into the still house, looking, casting back and forth like a hound seeking a scent. She did not have to seek very long. A man in his twenties, a barefoot man in pajamas, lay on the floor, the phone still off its receiver. Saddles laid her fingers in the sprawled man's carotid groove, felt life pulsing slow, strong against her touch, picked up the handset. "Linda?" She smiled a little. "I'm here, I'll take care of it. No. No, I don't need the squad. The emergency is over when the medic arrives and I am here. I'll talk to you in a bit." Saddles rubbed Grant's hand, patted it briskly, called his name. No response. He's diabetic, she thought, and he told me he has 30 seconds when he gets up to get some orange juice in him before he goes down. Linda said she called him. Interrupted his routine. Saddles had gone to school with Grant, and she knew him to be a juvenile diabetic: they discussed his condition with the frankness of old friends, and when she became a medic, she discussed it just as frankly, but with the professional interest of the medic who knows she could get information she'd need from someone very well versed in the condition. She rose, turned, ran lightly, almost skipping: into the kitchen, to the refrigerator. She opened the door, smiled. Orange juice wouldn't be the right stuff, she thought, but this will work. He'd drown on orange juice. She picked up the Karo syrup. A dip of her little finger into the cold, clear corn syrup, set the bottle back and flip the cap shut: she skipped back to the unconscious figure, parted his lips, ran her cold-slick little finger along his gums -- left, right, then lower gums, left, right. She pulled her finger free, wiped her finger on her jeans leg, and Grant took a little deeper breath, opened his eyes, blinked a few times. "Take your time," Saddles cautioned. "Not too fast." Grant, never one to listen to sound advice, sat up and crossed his legs, looking quizzically at his old classmate. "What in the hell are you doing here?" he asked, honestly puzzled. Saddles laughed. "Linda called me and said she was talking to you when you quit talking and she thought you fell." Grant grunted. "Yeah, I remember hearing the phone." Saddles tilted her head, smiled a little. "I owe your landlord a windowpane," she admitted. "Can you take it from here?" "Yeah." She reached down, squeezed his hand, quickly, let go. "You take good care," she cautioned. "You're the only one of you we've got." Grant watched as she rose and skipped for the open back door like a happy little girl, her twin braids bouncing as she dipped and picked up the big orange medic box: she pulled the door shut behind her, and a moment later, he heard her little car start. "Dispatch, second medic returning station, no treat no trans." "Roger second medic, call for times." Saddles pulled the cold, chrome T-handle into gear, twisted her heater knob hopefully, thrust curved fingers over her defrosters, sighed. "Now the damned heater quit," she muttered as she looked over her shoulder, then accelerated into the empty street. "I gotta get a better car."
  7. ... now that's proper! Good Subdeacon, thank you! We are richer for having known such men as have been mentioned here!
  8. No sacrilege to it, good Subdeacon: they are not consecrated, therefore they are simply ... wafers.
  9. Captain Burcher stood slowly, rifle in hand, and so did I. Not a word was spoken; no word had to be: each of us knew something was coming, and we both eased into the saddle and started to flank out. I faded in amongst some rocks and the Captain took a liking to a patch of brush, and we waited, each of us kind of spreading our spirit out like we was runnin' an oily puddle out from ourselves -- I don't pretend to understand how it works, but it does and that's the closest thing I can think of to describe it, if you figure the puddle moves quick and covers several hundred yards across -- and then the Captain looked squarely at me and made a short hand gesture. I waited. Burcher came out of the brush at a right brisk trot and rode straight toward the cause of our alarm, a slender man who rode with the erect posture of Cavalry -- and from the look of the horse he was mounted on, I'd lay money it was Suth'n cavalry, those boys were just a marvel on horseback and made the Union cavalry look sick -- the two rode up to one another and shook hands and spoke a little, and then from behint this newcomer, an arrowhead of beef on the hoof, and I recht up and scratched my head, for I had not expected this. I rode out and Burcher and this newcomer kind of faded off to the side torst me and the Captain looked at me with a quiet look of satisfaction about him. "This is Capper," he said simply. "We rode together. Capper, Linn Keller. He was Union but God will forgive him for that." I thrust out my hand; his grip was firm, his gaze level, he had the look of a man who would get a job done and he didn't much care what the job was -- and when Burcher said they rode together, I surmised it was during the War, and that was good enough for me. "Cattle, sir," Capper said, turning his head to Burcher, speaking with the brevity of a man on task, "and other supplies following." "This is the first load." It was a statement, not a question. "Yes, sir. Enough to start." "We may have a fight on our hands." "Yes, sir." "Second shipment on the way?" "In three days, yes, sir, just as you ordered." Burcher smiled a little and nodded. "It'll be good to have my own roof overhead again." "Yes, sir." Now I didn't know exactly what was going on, but from the size of the bovine flood moving slowly a-past me, it looked like Captain Burcher had plans for his property. "Captain," said I, and I used his title a-purpose as he was with one of his men, "have you hands enough to keep the cowans and eavesdroppers from runnin' off your stock?" They both looked at me and they had the guarded expressions of men who listened intently when information came their way. "Strikes me the Philistines we face might look at this new wealth and covet it right into their own pastures." The Captain raised an eyebrow and his hired man looked thoughtfully from the Captain to me. "I don't preach behint the local pulpit," I said, "but I might not want to see my fellow man fall because he covets." "Knowing Hammond," the Captain opined, "and knowing you, he won't fall from covetousness." "No." My smile was tight. "I reckon he'll fall when I smite him with a sling stone." Their eyes shifted just a little and I reckon they were looking at the rear stock of my .44-40 sling I had in the saddle scabbard.
  10. Speaking of her hat, I had occasion to discuss uniform headwear with a police captain in Athens, some years ago. He told me that a young cop from London stopped in at their police station just to say howdy. He'd come over to visit his girlfriend, who was attending Ohio U, and of course the first thing Cap did was throw him in the cruiser and drive all over town, and the two of them laughed and swapped war stories and lied outrageously to one another, the way lawmen will, and somewhere in the conversation, the subject of uniform covers came up. The Brit, it turns out, was one of the Queen's Guard, and he admired the hell out of the practical styling of the issue milkman hat. Cap asked him why in two hells did they wear those stovepipe Peeler hats, and the Brit squared his shoulders and sat up very straight and declared, "It mikes us stond up stright! If we bend over, th' damned things fall off!"
  11. 178. THE TURKEY KILLING DENTIST Sheriff Willamina Keller ran her eyes slowly down the old double gun. She had one much like it; this one had cloth, plugging the muzzles, and as she drew the flannel plugs from the front end, the farmer's son saw her frown a little and hesitate. The Sheriff pulled the ramrod free, ran it down one barrel, then the other, laid the ramrod along the top of the plain, lightly rusted rib, nodded. "She's still loaded," she murmured. "Have you tried firing it?" "No, ma'am," the farmer's boy admitted. "I just found it this morning and when I saw you I thought you'd like to see it." "I'm always interested in history," Willamina murmured, "and if I could only get this old-timer to talk!" "Yes, ma'am," the boy replied uncertainly. Willamina eased one hammer back a little, then the other, nodded. "She's still capped." "Is that good?" "It means it could probably go bang." "You gonna shoot it?" the boy asked hopefully, and Willamina laughed, shook her head. "No," she said finally. "No, I don't think so ..." Her voice trailed off and her eyes swung toward the barn, toward the pens beside. "Your granddad raised turkeys, didn't he?" "Yes, ma'am." "Did he ever tell you about an airplane?" The boy considered for a long moment, then shook his head. Sheriff Willamina Keller looked over to her right, saw a cut foundation stone sitting by itself where it used to hold up a building of some kind. Have a seat," she said, walking over to the smooth top rock. "Let me tell you something about your grandfather." Willamina Keller came to Firelands to stay when she was sixteen. She walked up to her Uncle, bold as brass, and said "I'm Willamina. I'm your niece and I need your help." She'd been taken in as if she were his daughter; she'd been to Colorado once, and once only, when she was much younger -- her lush of a mother wanted to beg money from family, and when Uncle Pete saw through her motive, Willamina had been yanked out the door by her wrist and almost thrown into the car for the trip home. She'd come back out when she could no longer tolerate living with her drunk of a mother; she became part of Pete and Mary's family, and she'd inherited not just family ... she inherited family history. Willamina became Uncle Pete's right hand man, so to speak: her summers were spent in the seat of a Massey-Ferguson tractor, or elbow deep in a disassembled engine, she'd run the baler and she'd thrown bales and she'd delighted in the green strength of youth, she'd gained the respect of neighbor boys who came over to help with the hay: when a sixteen year old girl can throw, bale for bale, with a native Colorado farm boy, she becomes someone who is treated with respect, over and above the native respect inculcated into rural youth. At night she helped with dishes, with housework, with sewing: she and Aunt Mary sat and sewed and talked quietly, or, rather, Willamina got Mary to talk, and she listened closely, just as she listened closely as Uncle Pete detail stripped his Garand and cleaned each part with the ease and thoroughness of a very experienced professional. He would not talk of his time in Korea, save only to say it was damned cold, and that the tough little South Koreans he fought beside were good men and true who delighted in acquiring US GI equipment -- "they never stole one damned thing," Pete was quick to clarify, "but if we discarded something, it got snatched up and either reworked or repaired and it was always reused for something! They rode together, uncle and niece, two natural equestrians: Willamina seldom used her reins, or rather she seldom tensioned her mount's bit: she had a special rapport with her Uncle's saddle stock, and many's the time he saw her standing in the field, three or four horses clustered around her, and he knew she would be almost whispering to them, caressing their jaws, telling them who-knows-what, and probably they were telling her things too. He'd heard legends, when he was well younger than she, legends passed down from native shamans, legends of those with a Gift, who could hear horses when they spoke, and he suspected she might be one such. One afternoon, as they were in almost the most distant corner of her Uncle's property, they both stopped, shaded their eyes and looked up at what her Uncle called a Beech Staggerwing. Willamina did not know what a Staggerwing was, but she did know the pilot liked to fly, and they watched as the craft did a few quick aerobatics -- "they're not supposed to do that," her Uncle explained, "but the pilot flew fighter, and he likes to cut the rug every now and again." He looked at her and she saw that knowing look, and she knew he had a story chambered and ready to fire, so she stepped her mare closer to her Uncle and tilted her head a little, clearly listening closely. "We used to have a dentist," Uncle Pete explained, "named KB Jackson. Never knew what the KB stood for. He had a two-winger" -- he thrust his chin toward the notch between the mountain peaks where the Staggerwing disappeared minutes before -- "and the man liked to fly closer to the ground than this fella we just saw. "Well, down the road a piece, Old Man Jackson raised turkeys. "When KB came flyin' over low like he did, them turkeys would see somethin' with a short neck and a long tail and they figured 'twas a hawk or an eagle come to tear 'em apart and the whole flock of turkeys would stampede, every last one of 'em. "They ended up piled in a fence corner so thick, several suffocated. "Now this old farmer, he allowed as that just wouldn't do, so he went into town and stepped up to the counter at the Farmer's Exchange. "He allowed as he needed ball bearings like a man would use to rebuild a John Deere tricycle front end, and the fellow behint the counter said sure enough and he had that very size ball bearings in stock and he set 'em on the counter and said "Didn't know you had a Johnny Putt, what size did you get?" and the old turkey farmer said "I don't." "O-kaaay ... just curious, you gettin' John Deere ball bearings and all." "They old turkey farmer grinned and allowed as he was goin' to load 'em up in his muzzle loadin' shotgun and when that damned airplane come over ag'in, he was goin' to give it both barrels right through the engine, he was tired of that damned flyin' machine killin' his turkeys!" "The fellow behind the counter turned kind of pale and said "You wouldn't do that!" and the old turkey farmer said "You're damned right I'm goin' to!" and paid his bill and stomped out. "I reckon the man behind the counter must've known the dentist, for the next time that airplane come over, 'twas way over along the horizon line and he never, EVER come over that turkey farm again!" Sheriff Willamina Keller laughed a little, nodded at the shotgun. "I'd guess she's still loaded with John Deere ball bearings." She tilted her head, a look of mischief in her eyes. "We can pull the wadding with a corkscrew and find out, if you'd like." "Can we just shoot it?" "I'd not recommend it. It's an old gun and I'd hate to have it blow up in your face." The farmer's son looked at the Sheriff and he looked at the old gun and he said, "Let's try it!" Sheriff Willamina Keller and the farmer's son spent a good half hour scouring the dusty, weathered interior of a scrap Ford coupe with two fresh, ragged shot-driven holes in the driver's door. Between them they recovered most of a handful of hardened-steel ball bearings. Next day, after school, Willamina came out with a double barrel, muzzle loading shotgun of her own, and she and the farmer's son practiced the loading, the firing, and finally the cleaning, of the pair of old farmer's guns that were both well older than either of them.
  12. Tanya Tucker and the Field of Stone. Memories from long ago, and good ones they are. Her name was Connie and she's the reason the Old Sheriff's wife was so named, back before he wore a lawman's star.
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