New Western Adventure Story
The life and times of Marshall Luke Johnson
by a. j. Lombardi Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved
My name is Marshall Luke Johnson
They kept on staring in my direction. The last thing I wanted now was a confrontation…
Much to my surprise, they walked over to my table removing their caps as they got closer. One of the men was very tall and looked about thirty years of age. His face was lined with the look of a man who knew sorrow and grief. The other two walking with him looked no more that seventeen years of age. The tall man put out his left hand to shake mine. It appeared that his right hand was bandaged. In a slow backwoods drawl he said “Sir, I would like to thank you for what you did to those no-good yellow-bellied thieving, murdering renegades last night. If my wife Tara was alive, I know that she would sure be “a” thanking you herself. We would be much obliging if in we could sit with you a spell and chew the fat and have a drink. “Hearing this was something I did not expect. I then slowly took my right hand off my Colt 44.” My thought was that the news of my killing the two renegades and returning the horses had spread about the town. Apparently, folks saw me in a different light!
I encouraged them to sit and called for the barmaid to bring three more glasses. The tall man introduces himself as Lucian, and the other men as, Jubal and Riley. I noticed the guy named Riley had what looked like a healing scar on the left side of his face. He noticed that I stared at it when he sat down. “No need to ponder Sir, I got this here scar after a tussle with two injuns. Those dang red skins tried to steal my horse and fixins near the canyon a few days back. I don’t recollect exactly what tribe they were from, but I do believe they were Blackfoot or maybe Crow! “Sorry to hear that Riley, I sure hope that they did not gain from their malicious intentions. “Ya dang right Yankee boy, I dun shot those injuns both dead!” Hearing that statement caused Jubal to bang his hand on the table and laugh. “Don’t you go about believing this hear fool liar Yankee boy! He ain’t never did shoot no injuns, Maybe a few Yankees at the Battle of Palmito Ranch.
As the night continued, we all shared a few drinks and intently spoke about what the country’s future would be. Jubal had a lot of questions about General Sherman. At one point he looked intently at me and said, “I hear tell that you were in the battle of Bull Run! We done sure did give you Yankee boys a sound thrashing there!” I nodded my head in agreement so as to make him enjoy the one up moment. “Tell me Yankee boy, what kind of fella was General Sherman! My cousin Jim done told me that Sherman’s pappy done named him after an injun. “I ain’t never did hear such a dang fool thing in my who life!” “Is it really true?! I responded yes, “Your cousin Jim is right! If I have the story correct, I hear tell that General Sherman’s Pa always admired the Shawnee injun chief Tecumseh. So, he gave his son the middle name of Tecumseh. Riley seemed amused at this and turning to Lucian he said, “Hey Lucian, do you think maybe you would have a notion to name your next born Geronimo, or maybe Yellow Dog after that Crow woman scout? The laughter suddenly turned quiet when he remembered that Lucian’s wife was murdered by the renegade soldiers that I had shot dead. I guess the strong liquor made him forget the reality of it. An awkward silence followed.
Riley then poured another shot into Lucians glass while giving him a comforting pat on his shoulder. He followed by pouring us another drink to which we enjoyed together. The silence broke when Jubal kept on pressing me to talk about General Sherman. In that I believe I may have had a few to many drinks, I decided to have a little fun and indulge the inquisitive soldier. I do believe that I mixed the facts about the General with a bunch of hogwash about myself. His continued admiration and wide eyed look kept me feeding him with more hogwash. “He seemed to enjoy every fib I told. I proceeding to indulge his naïve youthful mind by telling him that I was a personal bodyguard to the General, and spent many hours in long conversation with him. After a while I think he caught onto my joshing with him. “Well Yankee boy, maybe the reason why we wooped you Yanks at Bull Run is because the General listened to your plum fool advice! As I look back in time, I truly believe that my time sitting, drinking and talking with these Confederate soldiers was one of the most memorable and cherished experience I have ever had. The new found welcome I gained in town made me feel that I had a place and among these folks. I thought about the Lieutenant’s offer to swear me in as a Federal Marshall. Without further thought I knew that the name Marshall Luke Johnson fit me just fine!
Please note that this is an ongoing story that will contain several additional parts that will continue to be published until it's completion.