CHARLIE WHIPPLE--AKA CHUCK TYRELL, WESTERN AUTHOR
The Posse Sweethearts
Hi, Y’all, I’m Charlie Whipple and I write westerns under the moniker of Chuck Tyrell. Some time ago, I got the chance to write for the anthology we’re giving you a look at today. The Posse. And it’s a hard-hitting bunch of western romance stories that carry quite a punch. Now, so’s you won’t get the wrong idea, love with the right man or woman was important in the west. Take my own grandpa Willard Whipple for instance. He borrowed a team to take his girl on a ride down the hollow. Thing is, he was tardy getting back, so the man he borrowed the team from came to find him, did so, removed his horses from the traces and took them home. Grandma Emma said, “And there we sat like fools in the hollow. Fools Hollow is still the name of that place. Grandma Emma married Grandpa Willard, too. And I’m one of the results.My story is the one called “To Set a Thief.” You see, ranchers all along the Outlaw Trail were losing cattle in a big way. The law, not even U.S. Marshal Meade, couldn’t seem to put a stop to the thievery. So then went to the Pinkertons for a good man.
Mort Eggertson killed a boy in Holbrook and got arrested in Saint Johns by Sheriff Hubbell. He was supposed to wait in Hubbell’s jail until Marshal Meade could get there. He’d not been there three days when Cy Gibson and Jess Simmons, part of the Wilkins gang, busted him out. They grabbed their horses and lit out up the mountain, headed for the Coronado Trail into Mexico.
Two days out of Saint Johns, with Hubbell’s posse on their tail, the outlaws lost a horse. Stepped in a crack in the rocky trail and went down, breaking a leg. Nothing to do but put him down. Cy and Jess together were only about the same size as Mort, so they rode double while he forked the big chestnut sorrel.
They saw the smoke coming off the shoulder of Mount Ord and down into Sycamore Canyon. A little further on and they could smell the breakfast bacon. They shucked their six-guns and rode on in, but what they didn’t expect to find was a girl kid with a tame paint mare and a wild black filly.
She was just a little spark of a woman, a bit over five feet tall, but feisty as a wildcat backed up against a cliff. Still, she made them all breakfast along with some coffee, and Mort saw to it she was tied up so’s she could get away. Might take some time, but she could get away. As they were leaving, with Cy aboard the girl Kimberly’s paint mare, Mort couldn’t help looking back a time or two.
Mort got in with the Wilkins Gang that worked out of Alma, New Mexico, and found out how they ran stolen cattle down into Mexico, using Canyon Diablo as conduit. He got that information to Sheriff John Slaughter down in Coconino County, and the whole gang, Mort included, was caught red handed. Once the gang was in jail, Sheriff Slaughter thanked Mort Eggertson for his help, calling him Russ Taklin, and turned him loose.
Russell Taklin turned his horse’s head for the green meadows that lay below Alpine. When he arrived, Kimberly McCullough was training her black filly.
The moment she saw him, Kimberly ran for the house and came out with a Winchester cocked and loaded. But her pa wouldn’t let her shoot. This here’s Russell Taklin, Pa said, He’s a Pinkerton man. And Russ said he’d come calling on Kimberly McCullough.
Here’s a snippet from when Mort Eggertson (Russ Taklin) first meets Kimberly McCullough.
Daylight brought the aroma of frying bacon. “Smell that?” I said.
“Bacon, I reckon.” I pulled in a deep lungful of mountain air. “Yep. Bacon. Let’s go have a look-see.”
We eased off the Mormon Road into Sycamore Canyon, walking our horses in the soft grass, making as little noise as possible. Maybe fifty yards from whoever cooked that bacon, I dismounted the sorrel, pulling my One-of-One-Thousand Winchester from its saddle scabbard. Through the sunrise haze, a little girl stood at the cookfire. A woman, maybe, but as short as a schoolgirl. When she finished cooking, she swiped a hot biscuit in the bacon grease in the pan. The paint mare in the holding pen whickered, spoiling the moment. The girl reached for her rifle.
“Lay the rifle on the ground real slow, little lady,” I said. “Real slow.” I eared back the hammer of that almighty accurate Winchester.
She dropped the rifle like a hot poker, then stumbled back like her knees might be shaking.
“That’s a good girl. That grub you’ve fixed smells right fine. Got enough for visitors?”
“Quit lollygagging around, Mort. All we need is her mare,” Cy said.
The girl dipped her head before pivoting to face us.
My neck jerked stiff while my jaw dropped. Cuter than a bug’s ear flew into my mind.
“Your mounts look like they need a rest and time to graze,” she said. “I can feed the three of you while those poor horses are eating, too.”
We musta been a sight. Three bad men who’d not seen a razor for at least three days. All with cocked guns in hand.
The girl shrugged. “From what he said, you must be Mort Eggertson.”
“I am,” I said.
“My brother told me they had you in jail. How come?”
“Killed a man,” I answered, frowning.
Her face grew just as hard as mine. “Then you deserved jail.”
“Ah, but he’d of killed me if I’d been a hair slower with my Remington. They say he wasn’t heeled, but he had a hideout Derringer.” I waved the Winchester a bit, but not far enough for her to get any ideas about going for her rifle again.
“Come on, Mort. That posse of Hubbell’s cain’t be all that far behind us. Let’s git.”
“I could whip up a bit more bacon and biscuits if you want,” she said.
I reckon she thought to stall us to let the posse catch us.
She wore a six-gun, but unbuckled the rig to lay it by the rifle. “That’ll keep you from getting the wrong idea, making it an excuse to shoot me. Ain’t got no hideout, neither.”
“You don’t seem all that scared of us, Missy,” I said.
“Mr. Eggertson, you give me the feel of a better man than you carry on. If you were all that bad, I’d be dead. I reckon you don’t like killing. Maybe you’ve even rode with a posse your own self.” She talked big, but a little tremble hid in her voice.
I smiled. Women say I’m good looking, but I never gave it a thought ’til she smiled at me.
She took the biscuit and bacon from the frying pan, placing it on the grub box. Then she built another sandwich from what remained. She handed it to me, but I gave it to Jess Simmons. He took a big ol’ bite. He hadn’t eaten in nearly a day, and it showed.
“Go ahead, Missy. Fix some grub.” I held the Remington on her. No sense taking chances.
She stirred more biscuit dough. Quicker than you can say whodunnit, she cooked biscuit and bacon sandwiches for us. While we ate, she set a coffeepot on the fire. Always did like good coffee.
When it steamed, she filled a cup, handing it to me. “Only got one tin cup. The other men’ll have to wait on you.”
I took the cup, tasting her coffee. “Strong enough to melt horseshoes,” I said. “Just my style.” I slugged it down before I returned the cup. She filled it, giving it to me. I passed it to Cy.
“What’s your name, Missy?” I asked.
“Kimberly,” she said, “but everyone calls me Kid.”
I couldn’t help taking half a step back from her. “You kin to the McCulloughs south of Alpine?”
“Family,” she said. “You been around here long, you’d know ’em. There’re my brothers, Kane and Kenigan. Then there’s Kris. I bring up the rear. Oh, yeah, my pa’s Kieran McCullough.”
“Mustangers,” I said.
“Among other pursuits.”
“Well, Kid,” I said. “We’re gonna have to borrow your paint mare.”
About our guest:
Charles T. Whipple is a native of Arizona who resides in Chiba, Japan. Whipple writes fiction and nonfiction. His articles have appeared in many magazines, including Time, Newsweek, Honolulu magazine, Tokyo Journal, Cruising World, Boating New Zealand, Sport Diver, and more. His nonfiction books include Seeing Japan, Inspired Shapes, and several in Japanese. He writes western novels under the pen name of Chuck Tyrell for Black Horse Westerns, Edition Bärenclau, Piccadilly Publishing, Sundown Press, and has contributed short stories to the Express Western anthologies Where Legends Ride and A Fistful of Legends, and Western Fictioneer anthologies. He is part of the Ford Fargo persona that writes the Wolf Creek series from Western Fictioneers. He has won prizes for both advertising and journalism, and received the first-place Agave Award in the Oaxaca International Literature Competition in 2010. His novel, The Snake Den, won the 2011 Global eBook Award in the western fiction category. Whipple was a lifetime member of the now-defunct National Association for Outlaw and Lawman History. He is a current member of Western Writers of America, Asian-American Journalists Association, Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators (SWET), Tauranga Writers Inc., and, of course, Western Fictioneers. Whipple is married, has one wife, two sons, four daughters, and 19 grandchildren. He is fluent in spoken and written Japanese, and understands many forms of English.
The WEB page is: www.thepossebook.com
The FB pg is: https:www.facebook.com/thepossebook.1
The FB Launch page is: https://www.facebook.com/events/218447238560116/
We gave away 33 books and $110 at Cover Reveal.
We will give away 10 copies of The Posse in addition to other books and prizes at the launch on Mar 15 6-11 PM CST
Thanks so much for the help.Posted by Celia Yeary