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  2. my prayers as well - i wish i had had the opportunity to meet up at a shoot , there have been way too many posts of this nature lately
  3. You CAN safely stage a revolver with hammer down on spent cartridge / empty / fired chamber to clear the jammed revolver and then resume the shooting string without penalty.
  4. ARE you using a true Round Nose bullet, or the Round nose Flat Point bullet in common use? I noted the same problem with the RNFP ; took to using the semiwadcutter seating stem . Worked fine. Would not help with true round nose bullets, obviously.
  5. I don't shoot gunfighter style very often, but I think you would be allowed to stage OR holster one revolver with the hammer down on a fired chamber, clear the jam (use one hand to rotate the cylinder while cocking the hammer with the other, and continue, either by completing the stage Double Duelist Style, or by re-drawing the holstered revolver and continuing to alternate shots until the revolvers are empty. I wait for more knowledgable folks (Pale Wolf Brunnelle) to confirm or correct me.
  6. Howdy- Don't have an Uberti '66, but do have an Uberti '73. It slugged at .452". Shoots that diameter bullet ( at typical cowboy velocity ) well enough, have tried some Hornady swaged lead , dry lubed bullets ( soft, no lube groove ) ; they shot fine as well, but being so soft, there was no advantage to trying to push them faster. By contrast, I have a late production JM Marlin with the SHALLOW "Ballard" rifling that had become typical of marlins just before they closed down and were sold to Remington ; it slugged right at .450". Shoots well ( did have a Marble's tang sight installed, as they just flat work better for me. The 73 has the usual semi-buckhorn ).
  7. You can safely stage one of the revolvers on an available table or prop and work on the other.
  8. Linn Keller 3-16-11 It was two days later that the Sheriff rode out to Bonnie's ranch. During the Rosenthal reign, there had been constant rumors of rustling, of mysterious riders, cattle missing, all denied steadfastly by Caleb and his hired men: the Sheriff, believing a man he thought friend, had not acted on these reports. He had, however, noticed Caleb's herds were always kind of thin. Now, with Sam looking after their live stock, the herd was much more robust: far more numerous, better tended; the fences were in better shape and there was a general feeling of ... well, of a properly run ranch. Bear Killer came pacing up to Rose o' the Mornin', yow-wowing a happy greeting, and the Sheriff tossed the massive black canine a hush puppy: Bear Killer caught it neatly, chomped it once and wagged his tail, hoping for another. One of the hands greeted the Sheriff: he was obliged to take the nails out from between his lips and drop them back into the canvas carpenter's apron he wore. "She's out in the back pasture, Sheriff," he said, pointing, and the Sheriff thanked him: Rose-horse made easy work of navigating the field and directly he saw Sam and Clark, beside a small fire, and heard the bawl of a branded calf. Sam's braids were wrapped around her neck as usual; tucked in under her coat's collar, her flop brim hat suffering the effects of rainfall and gravity, boots and britches dirty and smeared as a working hand's clothes always are, she was indistinguishable from Clark: they turned the calf loose, and the Sheriff followed it with his eyes as it hobby-horsed painfully back to the herd, back to its worried dam. Sam stood, turning. Clark stood also, setting the branding iron near to the fire but not in it. Sam thrust a gloved finger at the Sheriff. "I wanta talk to you!" she snapped, eyes blazing, and the Sheriff blinked, surprised. A little voice in the back of his head warned, "Stand still for your beatin', you've earned it," and he shoved the voice out of the way as he dismounted. Sam walked a little stiff, as she'd been squatting for a while: her jaw was thrust forward, eyes narrowed, and she fairly bristled as she stopped and put gloved fists on her hips and glared at the grey-mustachioed lawman. "You didn't jail that kid!" she snapped. "I jailed him," the Sheriff said mildly. "You didn't keep him!" "Nope." Sam threw her hands up, turned, turned back, dismayed. "Why in the world NOT!?" The Sheriff opened his mouth to reply and Sam punched him in the chest with a stiff finger. "He come into MY BUNK HOUSE" -- punch! -- "he come with a rifle" -- punch! -- "he come to cause trouble" -- punch! -- "I held him SO YOU COULD TAKE CARE OF HIM! -- punch! -- AND YOU TURNED HIM LOOSE!" Sam made to punch her finger into the Sheriff one final time. The Sheriff slapped her hand aside, stepped in and drove a fist into her gut, and the fight was on. Clark stepped back. He'd not seen Sam get good and mad for a good long time, and she'd been simmerin' over this ever since she heard the Sheriff turned the kid out and sent him back East. Fair was fair, he figured, and the kid needed taken care of, but he was content to let the Sheriff handle it as he saw fit. Sam, on the other hand, had been harshly treated in her lifetime: orphaned at a tender age, passed from one relative to another like unwanted baggage, barely educated, she'd had to grow up fast and learn fists and feet like her boy-cousins. She'd learned early and fast how to fight and fight dirty and she'd taken the hard and dirty jobs nobody else wanted, and she'd kept a lid on the simmering, bubbling resentment that she'd built up over a lifetime. She'd been happy with her husband: she'd finally found someone who treated her with respect: she'd come to be friends, and good friends, with the Sheriff, back East while he was a lawman in the coal country: he'd been one of the only men she knew that never made a pass at her, and she'd come to respect the man. Sam had been betrayed too many times, though, and when her temper heated up, there was no hold-back to her. Tall and rangy, Sam was strong as a man her size. Clark had seen her pick up a smart mouthed fellow one handed and dunk him three or four times in a horse trough before throwing him half way across the dirt street. He'd also seen her fight a drunk to a bloody standstill, both of them bleeding and panting, neither one ready to give up, until finally she got a fist into the other fellow's wind and he run up the white flag. Clark stood back and just watched. He'd expected the Sheriff to take a step back when she poked him like that. He'd felt that stiff fingered poke and it stepped him back. The Sheriff never give an inch: he stood there and his eyes turned pale and Clark figured this was not a good sign, and when he moved, Clark thought Katy bar the door, here we go, and he was right. The last of Sam's reserve snapped when the Sheriff drove his own gloved fist most of the way to her spine. Sam shoved forward to grapple and the Sheriff sidestepped, grabbed her arm and yanked. Sam didn't lose her footing but it was a near thing. She turned, hands open and ready to grab, and the Sheriff stood side-on to her, waiting. Sam screamed, a deep, visceral animal sound, charged. The Sheriff ducked deep and took her just south of the belt buckle with his left shoulder, coming up and throwing her over him: he stepped right and waited. Bear Killer gave a distressed ow-wow-wow and sidled up to Clark, and Clark rubbed the midnight canine's ears gently, murmuring reassuringly, soothing the restless dawg as best he could. Sam rolled, shaking the snow off her: she came up on all fours, face red and nostrils flared. She came up, slowly, legs apart, raising her fists. The Sheriff's eyes narrowed. Sam came at him, hooking a right at his gut. The Sheriff stepped the wrong way and the fist caught him in the wind, sickening him instantly: he glided back two steps and Sam, sensing an advantage, moved in for another low hit. The Sheriff spun and his fist caught Sam just above the jaw, knocking her head sideways and introducing her rather abruptly to the frozen, snow-covered ground. Sam hit and rolled, coming up a little more slowly. Teeth bared, she snarled and took a running step toward the waiting lawman. He met her charge, knocked her fist aside and grabbed her braids: falling back and yanking hard, he put both boots in her belly and threw her overhead, rolling and coming up on all fours and launching like a sprinter off the blocks. Sam landed on her back and the Sheriff on top of her, knees first: he hit her belly, rolled off, came up. Sam curled up, coughing. The Sheriff came up slowly, on all fours, shaking his head. He'd fought on no wind and he still couldn't breathe and the world was turning kind of spotty. He threw his head back and tried to get some air and his lungs didn't want to work but he got a little bit in them. Sam got to her feet first and advanced. The Sheriff tried to rise and succeeded in introducing his cheek bone into her fist. He might not've seen stars, but if a body was to ask, he would probably have admitted in that moment to seeing several planets and a comet. Sam bent over with a groan. She, too, was fighting to get some wind in her. The Sheriff grabbed her shoulders, pulled her upright. The two of them wrapped their arms around one another and swayed a little. Clark shivered a little, left hand busy with Bear Killer. Bear Killer looked up at Clark and muttered something, then paced over to the pair. The Sheriff was almost not panting now. He coughed. "You hit like a girl," he husked. "So do you," she gasped. He took her chin betwen thumb and forefinger and turned her head, squinting at the side of her face. "That's gonna bruise," he said, turning his head and coughing again. He spat and was not surprised to see blood on the snow. Sam took a good look at his cheek bone. It was cut and trickling blood and starting to purple up. "So's yours." The Sheriff put his arm around her shoulders. "How's for some grub?" She put her arm around him and patted his chest with the flat of her other hand. "You never change, do you?" she asked, and the pair made their slow, pained way back to the fire. "Maybe later on the grub." The Sheriff's off arm was protectively across his bruised and tender middle. "Yeah," Sam grunted.
  9. Howdy- how is the bore? No defects ? - hate to sound picky, but have looked down bores in the past to see the tell-tale ring were a squib bullet was hit by the next one fired, then somehow both got clear of the bore. Best to ask before assuming anything. Not trying to be smart, just trying to avoid being stupid ! Where in AZ are you? Conestoga Smith, 18219
  10. Buds...CBD Oil...made from marijuana...marijuana buds...
  11. https://allthingsliberty.com/2016/05/untangling-british-army-ranks/?fbclid=IwAR0b5vrTVXBafu2SiQyFlp-hhAJDMl15s5eCURTIJczhst7tWzwZUcLKC5g
  12. Today
  13. Linn Keller 3-15-13 "That's fur enough." I drew Rose o' the Mornin' to a stop and set there. "If you got tobacker, I got coffee," I countered. There was a long silence. "Cunnel?" I dismounted and tied off Rose to a convenient branch, then I walked into the campsite as if I owned it. I picked up a handful of dry stuff, laid it on the fire so it came up and showed my face plain. "Well I'd be damned," the voice said quietly, with that Suth'n flavor I remembered from years before. I stood and extended my hand. Gavin came out of the shadows, suspicious but curious, and soon as he come close enough to grasp my paw, he grinned. "It is you!" he breathed. "If it ain't," I said dryly, "I got a very confused wife back in town." "Well hell!" Gavin exclaimed, "give an account o' yerself, Cunnel! I ain't seen you since ..." "Yeah, I know," I nodded. I looked to his camp fire. "You got a coffee pot?" Gavin's face fell. "No sir I surely don't," he said mournfully. "I burnt th' bottom clear outta that other'n I had." I nodded, turning. I don't normally turn my back on a man, especially when I was satisfied Gavin was the one who put a foot of steel in another fellow's gut, but Gavin and I went way back. Besides, I'd promised him coffee. I came back with a brand new blue granite coffee pot and two cups, and a bundle of coffee. "I missed your birthday last year," I said quietly, offering the lot to the worn-looking man in the frayed brown coat. "Take that for your birthday present." He relieved me of pot and bundle. "I'll jist take y' up on that," he said tartly. "I'll fetch the water." He'd gathered plenty of wood -- he'd chosen his hide well, and must have figured he could stay a day or three. Frankly I had no plans to change that. Gavin came back with a dripping pot. I'd worked two small chunks into place on either side of the fire and Gavin set the coffee pot down on this. He untied the bundle, carefully trickled in the fragrant grounds, re-wrapped the cloth and tied it. "Obliged for this," he nodded, thrusting the bundle in a voluminous side pocket. He peered at me, eyes bead-bright and curious. "Now how come you show up here t'night?" I spread my hands, soaking up the fire's warmth. The wind eddied, carried smoke into me, around me, then away: it was quiet, and stars ran like a milky river across the night sky. "You recall," I said quietly, "you recall back durin' the War, we used to sit like this?" "I recall." Gavin looked around, unfolded a piece of canvas, set down on it. I raised an eyebrow. "Cain't hunker like I use' to," Gavin explained. "Hard on an old man's knees." I nodded. "You ain't supposed to imitate my bad examples," I rumbled. Gavin chuckled. "You always was one f'r fine language," he nodded. "I recall we use' t' quote one another poetry." "Yep." "You oncet brought me a pair o' shoes when y'saw mine was held up with strips." I nodded again. "That was kindly of ye." "I brought socks the next night, if you'll recall." "Yeah, that y'did." I looked around, set myself down on a handy rock. "Your knees too?" "Yep." Gavin shook his head slowly, regretfully. "Cunnel, whatever happened to us?" "How's that?" Gavin gestured, almost a throwing-away motion. "We was young then, Cunnel. Any more I wake up full of aches an' pains, I get up of a mornin' stiff an' sore an' ma joints crack." He shook his head. "Hell, it ain't but yesterday we marched all day an' slep' on open ground an' thought nothin' of it!" "Sure feels like yesterday," I agreed. Boiling coffee added its fragrance to the night's chill. "Say, you ain't got some hoe cake with ye?" Gavin asked hopefully. I smiled a little and rose, my left knee snapping loudly. Gavin winced. "Daggone, Cunnel," he exclaimed, "I heard that'un echo!" I came back from my second saddle bag trip with another bundle. "Hoe cake?" Gavin's expression brightened considerably. I handed him one of Esther's rolled up bread, cheese and sausage whatever-they're-called. Gavin looked at it curiously, held it under his nose, sniffed loudly. I took a bite out of mine. Gavin took a cautious bite out of his, then another. Apparently it met with his approval. I handed him another and we tried the coffee. It wasn't quite ready; Gavin got a cup of creek water for when it was done, to settle the grounds. Silence grew long between us. "I reckon you heard about town," Gavin began. I looked up at him, nodded. "You know, that ain't much of a town." "Oh?" Gavin tried the coffee again, found it to his liking, poured in the cup of cold water: he took it off the fire, set it near and watched it owlishly. "Cripple's bigger," he grunted. "Got more saloons." He looked sharply at me. "An' Cripple's got whore houses!" I nodded, slowly. "You ain't got none!" I shrugged. "An' you ain't got but th' one saloon!" I nodded again. Gavin poured coffee, handed it to me, poured one for him. "So what happened back in town?" Gavin blew on his coffee, steam curling into the chill air. "I thought you heard." "A man hears quite a bit that ain't so." Gavin grunted again. "Well, y'see," he said, then looked levelly at me. "Cunnel," he said finally, "you ain't never lied to me so I ain't gonna lie t' you." I nodded, chewed on Esther's traveling bread. "I run m' knife in that fella's guts backair an' I reckon he's dead." "Oh, he's dead a'right," I agreed. "Folks said you pulled a Singer sewin' machine on him!" "Oh I did, I did that," Gavin agreed. "You still usin' the hornet?" Gavin's grin was broad and genuine. "Why Cunnel!" he said, delighted, "you remember!" -- and so saying, he slid a long bladed knife out of somewhere. Slender and straight, it was double edged: gleaming, polished, and I knew it was very likely honed to a shaving edge on both front and back, it was a gem of the knife maker's art, and had taken more lives than just the one back in the saloon. I'd known Gavin back during the War. Towards the last there, we got to crossing the lines and trading tobacco for coffee. The Confederates were short on supplies of all kind, and I took Gavin a pair of shoes and then some socks, knowing the war was but days from ending; it was a kindness he hadn't expected, and I can't say we'd become friends, but we came to respect one another. I saw him knife men, in combat and otherwise, and knew him to be fast and deadly. He'd called his knife a hornet's stinger, Hornet for short. "Cunnel, I was havin' me a peacable drank." His expression changed; he was looking at the scene in the Jewel, and it troubled him. "I taken a drank an' some fella grabbed my shoulder an' allowed as I'd oughta get outta the way so a man could drank. "I didn't want no trouble so I just looked around an' ast him, "Man? Where?" -- well, it made him mad an' he put his hands on me. "I don't take that from no man." I nodded, slowly. "He allowed as t' bring me trouble, an' he was wearin' a gun. "I figgered he was bought an' paid for so I fetched out the Hornet an' I drove up through his belly an' figured t' cut his heart up some." I nodded. Gavin grinned. "Y'know," he said, "I never seen a bunch s' quick t' help a fella out in all m' life!" "How's that?" "Why, attair barkeep, he leaned acrost th' bar an' had attair shotgun in th' other fella's face, an' damn near ever' man in th' place stood up an' had a gun in hand, ready t' take this fella off my hands!" He sighed, shaking his head. "Nah, he had it comin' but I was a stranger there so I lit a shuck down the pike." I nodded. Silence grew long again as we sipped coffee. Somewhere in the distance a yodel dog pointed his nose to the stars and sang. "I don't reckon that's a town t' cause trouble in," Gavin finally said thoughtfully. "How's that?" "Ain't you heard?" Gavin asked, surprised. "Why they got deadly law there! Why I seed attair deputy out in th' street an' that musta bin his sister --" Gavin's expression grew doleful. "I seen a cute girl there an' I figgered hell, she might like a fella to come shinin' up with her all pretty an' all, an' then I lost sight of her ... next day she was in town ag'in but damn if she didn't have a set o' britches on 'er an' a pair o' Colts, and her an' attair long tall skinny depitty was out in the middle o' the street." "Oh?" I feigned disinterest, knowing it the best way to keep him talking. "Oh yeah!" he exclaimed. "He'd toss a silver dollar up an' she'd draw an' hit it, then she'd toss one up an' he'd draw an' hit it!" "Do tell!" Gavin leaned toward me as if sharing a confidence. "I think she was his sister," he almost whispered. "Did you try to shine up to her?" I asked, stifling a smile. "Good Lord in Heaven, no!" Gavin declared. "Attair depitty is a snake with a sixgun an' his Pa is twicet as fast!" "His pa?" "Oh hell, you ain't heard? Where you bin?" Gavin blinked, genuinely surprised. "Attair depitty is th' Sheriff's oldest son!" "I see." I nodded slowly. "Do you reckon that deputy will be after you?" Gavin nodded. "I reckon so," he said hollowly. "I figgered here was hid enough to lay up for a day." "Where you headed now?" Gavin sighed. "Californy I reckon. 'Twas where I was headed til I got a hankerin' for a woman an' ended up in Cripple. Then I heered you had good honest games at attair Jewelery Palace an' figgered I'd try it." I nodded again. "You ain't gonna turn me in, now, are you?" Gavin asked hopefully. I looked at him, smiled a little. "Gavin," I said, "I can't help but think you're right." "'Bout whut?" "That fella had it comin'." I stood, drank the last of my coffee, set the cup down and extended my hand. "If you're headin' for Californy, I don't reckon you'll have to worry about that deputy or his Pa either one." Gavin stood, took my hand. "Now how do ye figger that?" I turned back my lapel to show the six point Sheriff's star. "I ain't lied to you yet, Gavin," I said. "I ain't about to start now."
  14. Linn Keller 3-15-11 "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" "I do." "Please be seated." The cowhand sat uncomfortably in the witness chair. "Please tell the court where you were yesterday about noontime." The cowhand shifted in his seat, frowned and pressed his lips together before answering. "I was in attair saloon you got here." "Do you refer to the Silver Jewel?" "I reckon. You ain't got but the one." "And can you tell the court what you were doing there." The cowhand's expression was troubled as he remembered. "Me an' my boys was havin' a drank --" "Your boys?" "Larry and Slick." "You were having a drink?" "Yeah, we started to." "What happened?" "Slick, he grabbed this fella's shoulder an' said, 'Sodbuster, get outta the way and let a man in there,' and the fella turned around and looked around some and said "Man? Where?" "What happened then?" "Oh, Slick didn't like that. He grabbed that sodbuster with both hands and yanked him off his feet." "I see." Mr. Moulton paused a moment, thrust out his bottom jaw. "What followed?" The cowhand's face was mobile now, his thoughts visible in the rapid change of expressions. He'd gotten a little pale and fear showed in his eyes as he remembered. "Shaw yanked that fella off his feet and made to turn an' throw him, least until he saw the wrong end of a shotgun takin' a close-up gander at his best eye." "What else happened?" "Well" -- he swallowed hard -- "we figgered we'd ride in an' raise some hell, an' Slick, he figgered he was a big man, y'see, an' he'd done this b'fore, but hell, mister, we never come t' some place where ever' man in the house fetched out a gun an' allowed as we was target practice!" "So you were shot?" The cow hand shook his head. "No!" he exclaimed. "No one shot, but tattair sodbuster drove a knife int' Slick's gut! Hit 'im six 'r seven times fast!" Mr. Moulton nodded. "Was Slick armed?" "Oh ya!" "And how was this ... Slick ... armed?" "He had attair Colt in a tied down holster." "So he came in armed and picked a fight." "Ah, ya." "Thank you. No more questions, Your Honor." Judge Hostetler frowned. "The witness may step down." The cowhand walked back to his seat, settled himself in his chair, wiped the sweat beads off his forehead. Judge Hostetler turned his gavel thoughtfully between his fingers. "Sheriff." The Sheriff stood. "Yes, Your Honor?" "Have you been able to locate this ... sodbuster?" "No, Your Honor." "Have you a name for this man?" "I do not, Your Honor." "You will make diligent search for this individual, Sheriff, and deliver same to this court in due time." "Yes, Your Honor."
  15. I did not see if the folks having problems are using phones, tablets, or workstations. I run a windows 7 workstation, with Acrobat Reader. No problems at all, on my end. I don't use a smartphone, nor a tablet. My wife does both, and does have problems with undisplayable content.
  16. Linn Keller 3-12-11 My idiot dog was asleep. Dogs and young'uns, I thought. Can't figger 'em. The black horse labored through the snow, taking his time, and I let him pick his trail: we were headed back home after a day in the high country. I needed some time away, some time alone. Jacob still gave me a look that told me he was thinking about that trouble maker I kicked loose instead of prosecuted. If I'd pushed it I probably could have ended up hanging the idiot kid. He didn't need hanged, he needed a good kick in the hinder and I give it to him, just not with my boot. I'd figgered he would learn, especially being talked to in plain language and sent back East on the first train. I think myself a pretty good judge of character. Sometimes I'm dead wrong about it but most times I'm pretty well on. Dogs, now ... My gloved hand rested on Denver Bup's back, steadying him: he lay across my thighs and I held him as best I could as the black horse made his way through knee deep snow. Denver Bup was sound asleep. Every now and again a hind leg would twitch, or his tail would curve up and wag a little. Couldn't help but grin when I saw him wag his tail in his sleep. I wore a fur cap with the furry ear laps pulled down and a knit scarf wrapped around my neck. It was cold but not terribly so, and the air smelt different, and I knew a thaw was coming. I also knew any thaw this high up would be temporary. I looked around, looked down at the fool hens tied behind the saddle bag, and grinned. I dearly love bird meat and these'ns had no shot in them to break a tooth. I'd made a light wire noose and wound it on the end of a pole and snuck up on 'em. I'd known natives back East to do such. They had cat footed up under a tree where the birds was lined up on a low branch, asleep, and slipped the noose over their neck and give a quick pull. A yank, a grab, twist the neck and I had a bird for the pot. Three more and I had enough for a mess. I'd drawn them and stuffed their cavities with snow to cool them, and now they hung by the necks. Denver Bup had wanted to bay and chase, like beetle dogs do, and it had taken considerable work to teach him "stay" and "down" but dogs and men respond well to bribes. Denver Bup responded well enough to bribes he should have been in politics. Esther had made me a batch of what smelled pretty good and tasted pretty good, they were balls of corn meal and I'm not sure what else and when I bit into one Esther looked at me like I'd just bit into a live snake. Turns out my beautiful red-headed Valkyrie bride was still a Suth'n belle at heart, genteel and proper and ... well, she explained to me most courteously that hush puppies were not fit for people to eat, they were made to toss discreetly to restless hounds under the table so conversation would not be interrupted. I nodded and looked around, then I went to the back door, whistled and flipped what was left of the one I'd bit, out to Denver Bup. I turned and said with a perfectly straight face that Denver Bup agreed with me. Esther gave me a look that was somewhere between patience and exasperation, then she made me some travelin' bread that looked to be bread dough rolled out and rolled up with chopped sausage and cheese baked into it and cut into little short chunks. These were good too. When Denver Bup and I went bouncing through the snow I'd kissed at him to get his attention. He'd stopped in mid-jump and turned to look at me, tongue and tail wagging and a tuft of snow on his nose: he'd been shoving his beak into the fluffy white stuff and sniffing, and had given a happy bay of discovery, when I held up a treat. I took a bite out of that chunk of rolled up bread dough and put a finger to my lips. Denver Bup set his bottom down and threw up a young snow-cloud with his wagging tail. He licked his chops and watched that chunk of rolled up bread with the lustful look of a cowhand at the end of a long cattle drive, looking at that first mug of froth-headed beer being drawn just for him. Denver Bup knew if he behaved there would be more goodies, and he was right: he waited silently, sitting a distance from me as I noosed off those three birds, and he stayed as I approached him. We shared another hush puppy -- Esther's gentility be damned, I thought, these taste pretty good! -- and Denver Bup looked longingly at the birds swinging by their feet from my gloved grip. I drew one away, swung it underhand: "Git it!" I said quietly, and Denver Bup bayed and bounced through the snow, ears flapping like furry wings, bouncing like a porpoise through pristine white waves: he fetched down on that-there bird and picked it up, just as pleased as anything, and wagged his whole back half as he brought it back to me. I traded him a hush puppy for the bird and petted him and bragged on him and called him a good boy, and he like to washed the chin off my face. I hung the birds behind the saddle bag on the off side and we started back home. I could see Denver Bup was getting tired. I would too, busting through snow deeper than I was. Finally I fetched him up in my arms and got back in the saddle. That black horse didn't mind a'tall to carry double and it was kind of nice to have that nice warm houn' dog acrost my legs. We spent most of the day away from folks and it felt pretty good, but by the time we come in sight of home we were all three tired and hungry: Denver Bup managed to snore some, laying across my lap like that, and my arm was near to ready to fall off for holding him all that time, but when Angela came out on the front porch, jumping up and down and yelling "Daddee! Daddee!" and Esther came out as well ... why, that felt pretty darn good. I raised my free hand and waved, and the black horse picked up his step a little, for he knew there was a nice warm barn and a rub down and grain to be had. Denver Bup raised his head and wagged his tail and gave a happy howl of greeting, and three tired hunters were glad to be home.
  17. Did you ever watch the show "Connections" by James Burke? Talk about sharp turns!
  18. Prayers to all affected in the Jefferson City area. My wife has family north of there near Columbia. Tornadoes, I think, are the most severe of storms. Helped with clean up after the one in 2008 in Windsor Colorado. Amazingly, only one life lost and such a terrible mess. They scare the H out of me.
  19. Linn Keller 3-7-11 The ice was off in a day's time, to the regret of the lads who'd skated over an impressive acreage of otherwise un-skatable real estate; the trains were back on schedule, the black horse was no longer wary of the next step, and the Sheriff's battered beak proceeded to heal without incident, other than some discoloration and swelling, which gave the local riffraff grist for their leg pulling mill. The Sheriff took it in good humor, allowing as it was quite a fist that flattened his face, and other such return jibes: he'd learned a very long time ago that not only does a soft answer turn away wrath, a humorous answer lifts the spirits of everyone involved. Besides, he was not so vain as to be unable to poke fun at himself. Jacob, for his part, was pleased to see the ice go, and fresh snow replace it: his horse was far less unsteady on new snow, and he had need to consult a wiser head than his own. As a matter of fact, that wiser head had just finished arranging the red hair with which it was gloriously crowned when Jacob's knock announced his presence on their porch. Esther opened the door and embraced her son: "Jacob," she said, and her voice smiled as she pronounced the word, and her tall son wrapped his arms around her and gave her a long, heartfelt squeeze. He hung his hat on the peg beside his father's: Esther knew he would use that peg, for it was a mark of respect that he did not hang his hat on the same peg his father used. Esther had received his note earlier that day, asking to see her, and she had made a point of being home at the appointed time: Jacob seldom asked in such a way, and she knew a matter was troubling him. They sat in the kitchen, with tea and steaming-hot bread, fresh from the oven; Jacob slabbed off thick slices for both of them, and Esther gave silent thanks that she'd had the wisdom to hire the girl, for she was every bit as good a cook as Esther herself. Jacob looked around, as if expecting to see someone, and Esther smiled. "She's upstairs, asleep," she said, and Jacob nodded: he knew if his little sis was about, she would be all over him, laughing, chattering, hugging, tugging at him to come see this or let me read you that. Jacob chewed thoughtfully, swallowed, and placed the half consumed slice of sourdough on the platter. "Mother," he said quietly, and Esther folded her hands in her lap, giving her son her full attention. "Mother, I ..." Jacob looked away, looked down, swallowed: he shoved his bottom jaw out, scratched his head and looked back. "Mother, I'm ..." Esther nodded, once, patiently. Jacob looked up to the ceiling, took a long breath: she saw his fists ball in his lap, and it took an effort for him to finish his thought. "Mother, I'm scared." Esther blinked. This was certainly not what she expected to hear. She knew her son had been tried as metal in the fire; she knew he was a blooded warrior, tall and slender and strong and capable: she knew him to be intelligent, of good judgment and sober nature, upright and honest and all things that would make a mother proud. Scared was not a word she would have attributed to him. She nodded again, slowly, prompting a clarification. "Mother, I --" Jacob's breath was coming a little more quickly now, and he shifted in his seat, restless. Whatever is troubling him, Esther thought, is a serious matter, at least in his mind. "Mother, I loved my birth-mother, and she was murdered. I loved that blind girl that played the piano and she was killed, Doc said it was a tumor but all I remember was her screaming in pain and I couldn't stop it and I couldn't help her and Duzy, I loved Duzy and she --" Jacob's words came in a rush, a flood of misery: grief carved his handsome young face and his eyes held a sadness, a deep canyon of loss she'd never seen in him before. "Mother, I'm having nightmares again." This, too, was surprising. Esther was a light sleeper, and for the years Jacob had slept under their roof, he'd slept soundly, silently, apparently without dream or trouble. She nodded again, the slow, understanding nod of a mother, saying without words, I'm listening, I'm here, I understand. "Mother, I dream you've died, drowned in muddy water, deep water." Esther's stomach lurched, for she had very nearly drowned in just that condition. "I dream Annette dies screaming in childbirth, I dream of my own dead mother looking at me and reaching for me, I hear Duzy's laugh and I can't find her" -- Jacob stopped the quickening rush of words, swallowed again. "Mother, I can't fix it and I can't stop it." His eyes were haunted. "I had Doc show me how to set a bone and how to sew up a cut, I've learned herbs from Morning Star and studied the classics and everything I can get my hands on" -- He stopped and fixed his mother with a pale eyed stare, and Esther felt as if she were a butterfly being skewered to a cork board. "Am I being punished?" he whispered. "Punished for not saving my birth-mother? Punished for all I've done?" He shook himself, a quick, someone-stepped-on-my-grave shiver. "Or is it just a dream, vague fears that haunt the dark?" "Jacob," Esther whispered, eyes glitter-bright as she gathered her son's big, slender hands into her own. "Jacob, you've done nothing in your life dishonorable or improper." She smiled. "You are one of the most upright, honest and noble men I know." Jacob smiled wanly and his stomach lurched: it still surprised him to hear his mother refer to him as a man, though he knew himself to be such. "It could be fears, whispering in the dark places. It could be anger." Jacob turned his head a little as if bringing a good ear to bear. "You are a strong and capable young man. You can do anything to which you set your mind, just like your father, but there are some things you can't change." She patted his hand. "You can't stop time, nor the swing of the Reaper's scythe. That" -- it was her own turn to shiver -- "that was the hardest thing for me to learn." Jacob's hands squeezed hers gently. He nodded. They sat thus for some time, silent; sometimes what needs said, is best said without words, and so it was here: a mother's touch is of comfort to a distressed son, no matter the son's age, and truth be told, the son's touch was of comfort to the mother as well.
  20. What are you looking for, as in the end result? Badlands Bud and I did a huge amount of testing back in the day for the ultimate .38 round. We defined that by both a combination of recoil management, accuracy, and fastest split times. For both of us, a 125gr bullet at 825fps did the trick. Bud's splits were fastest with this combination, as were mine (though his were much faster than mine - often fast enough the timer didn't pick it up). We ran as light as 96gr bullets at 500fps and as heavy as 158gr bullets at 800 fps. We burned a lot of ammo that day. I have the data to back this up. The reason I proposed this test was from watching splits at a steel challenge match. Watching the splits for shooters with open guns shooting 38 super (or 9mm major) and then with similarly equipped .22's. The splits were noticeably, and consistently faster with the higher recoil guns. There's a lot of ergonomics and some kinesiology (sp?) in the "why". But it boils down to the fact that our body's need the recoil and tactile sense, along with the energy of the recoil to get the muscles moving most efficiently. The quest for less recoil will end up resulting in slower splits.
  21. Linn Keller 3-3-11 Esther sighed as she put down the telegraph flimsy. The mine owners were impatient to get their ore to the mill, and she understood that; the mine owners did not want to wait for a thaw, and she understood that as well. She did not care for the tone they took in their rather lengthy telegram. Esther knew that well more than half of a conversation was nonverbal: most of a message came from gesture, stance, look, expression, tone, volume, accent, cadencing, timing; all of these were absent with the printed word, leaving only annoyance and harsh language. Fred Jerome shifted restlessly from one foot to the other as Esther looked over her spectacles and out her window, to the mountains near, high and pristine. She'd marveled at the Appalachians, as a child, traveling with her father, and imagined nothing could be higher: as a young woman, she'd toured Europe, again with her father, and her first sight of the Alps squashed her mental image of her beloved Appalachian mountain range into mere wrinkles in the earth's crust. Now, though, she considered the majesty, the grandeur of the Rockies, and knew she preferred these bold peaks of granite and of ice and pine to all she had ever seen. She blinked; there would be time for wool gathering later. She picked up a freshly whittled pencil, moved the lined pad a little to the right, and began printing: Gentlemen -- Ore spilled is ore lost, and I will not lose the cargo you entrust to my railroad. It will arrive safely or it will not be hauled. The moment the ice is off, I shall authorize my engines to move but not one minute sooner. She hesitated, debating whether to attach a formal signature as owner of the railroad; the corner of her mouth quirked a little, just a hint of a smile, and instead she printed the simple closing, "Esther." She considered what she'd just written, reviewed it twice more; satisfied, she handed the sheet to "young Mr. Jerome," as she referred to him, and asked, "Will this present a problem in sending?" Fred Jerome scanned the message, comparing the precisely formed characters to how they would sound over the metallic clatter of a brass sounder. "No ma'am, that'll send fine." "Thank you, Mr. Jerome. You are an exemplary employee, and it is a pleasure to work with you." "Yes, ma'am." Fred touched his forelock, nodded and withdrew, shiny-billed cap and paper in hand. Esther waited until he had closed the door before she rose; she stepped to the other window, looked out at the street, across their little town. Smoke rose from a variety of chimneys, and a little distant she knew a particular smoke was from her passenger locomotive: the missive she'd sent missed the departing locomotive, and they were unaware of the ice-storm ahead of them: The Lady Esther had clawed and scrambled for purchase on the icy rails inbound, and had nearly come to grief on a sweeping, river-bottom curve at the foot of a lengthy down grade: only the application of the sanders and the hand of Divine Providence kept The Lady Esther from meeting with a ruinous end. It was one of the only occasions she could ever remember when her engineer and her fireman were both whey-faced and trembling.
  22. Linn Keller 3-2-11 I was restless. Might be the coffee, I thought. It tends to go right through a man. Might I oughta take a trot around to the kaibo. With that thought, I set my blue granite cup on the shelf and headed for the front door. Soon as I stood, my suspicions were confirmed: yep, it's time to take a trot out back. Now I'm not above making a friendly wager and I'll play the occasional hand of poker, but I do so with full knowledge that whatever I put in the pot, will likely never again see the inside of my purse: no, if I play it's for small sums, and for the companionship. I don't bet on horses a'tall. I learned the hard way -- again, back when I was in that damned War -- that if I bet on a horse race, I come out consistent losers. The only horse race I ever bet on and won, I won because I figured which horse was most likely to lose, and I bet on that one. I say this because luck is a fickle beast and tends to turn on a man when he don't expect it to. Like when I set foot on the first step going down off the board walk. I reckon I distracted myself when I realized I had not told Jackson Cooper about Miz Fannie's mention of tracks in the snow, several riders moving fast. When I felt my foot start to slip I knew I was going down and I figured I could either go down on those steps and maybe bust my tail bone -- again -- or I could try and make the street and bust something else. I jumped, sort of, and twisted as I fell and landed flat on my back on the ice slick, packed dirt alley way. It was likely my imagination but I thought the earth shivered a little under me when I hit. I laid there for some long minutes, I reckon it was the better part of a week or so it felt like, fighting to get some air into me: the fall knocked the wind out of me and how, and I was fearful I might have busted a lung or something, but I started to get myself pumped up again about the time two urchins crept tentatively into my field of vision. One towhead had his fur cap in his hands, peering anxiously down at me, and another's voice asked timorously, "Is he dead?" The towhead took a reluctant half-step toward me and asked, "Mits-ter Sheriff, are you dead?" I blinked and looked at the tow head and said, "Are you an angel?" His eyes got really big and round and he shook his head. I got some more breath into me. "Well, if you ain't no angel and you ain't carryin' a pitch fork, I must be alive." He nodded, eyes owlish and uncertain, then he turned and blurted, "He's alive, Billy!" "Aw!" came the disappointed response, "I wanted his badge!" I rolled up on one elbow and bent my left leg under me. "It's nice to know I'm useful for something," I muttered, put my hands down on the ice and came up on all fours. "Can I help you up, Mits-ter Sheriff?" the tow head asked, yanking his fur cap down over his head. It dropped down to his eyebrows, obviously too big, probably a hand-me-down. "You'd best stand back," I cautioned. "This is kind of slippery and if I fall again I don't want to land on you." He nodded and took an obedient half-step back. I worked my way over to the corner of the board walk, took as good a grip as I could on the ice-rimed boards and carefully worked my way upright. "There now," I said. "Good as new." I took one step and ended up flat on my face, my hat rolling a little before falling over. The tow head helpfully picked up the hat and held it as I struggled upright again. I touched the back of my hand tentatively to my throbbing nose. It came away bloody. I looked down at blood on the ice and swore, gingerly explored my bashed beak and decided it wasn't broken, for a miracle. I looked around for a rain barrel or a horse trough and realized they were all froze solid, so I gobbed my wild rag around my bloody beak and carefully, gingerly, shuffled one foot, then the other, toward the Silver Jewel. A philosopher would probably have regarded the scene -- a grown man, balancing gingerly as a brittle old man and almost afraid to move, versus two young lads, laughing, running, slipping and skidding and getting up again -- and draw some profound conclusion. Me, the only thing I felt profoundly was that I wanted to wash the blood off my face, and I really, really had to get rid of some second hand coffee.
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