Thursday, July 14, 2005

Natches Murphy

Most people don't know that Natches Murphy, the infamous Fresno outlaw and pistoleer, once tried to surrender right in the middle of a daring getaway because a butterfly landed on the brim of his hat and he didn't want it to get hurt.

The posse couldn't believe it. They thought surely it must be a trick. They kept shooting even after Natches Murphy waved a white neckerchief in the air, slowly removed his hat and dismounted. Natches Murphy was shot a total of nineteen times as he sat there gently blowing on his hat brim trying to coax the butterfly safely away.

Natches Murphy gazed at his pursuers with big, brown, sorrowful eyes. (By now they weren't so much pursuing, as they were assembling into a semicircle and firing point-blank.)

"Amigos." Several more slugs smashed deep into his broad torso. "Can you not see that a butterfly has landed on my hat brim?" Now that he mentioned it, the posse did see what appeared to be a butterfly on his hat brim. The marshal raised his hand, asking for a temporary ceasefire.

In the sudden calm that followed, Natches Murphy turned back to the butterfly. "Butterfly I implore you, please flap away. I have already sustained what feels like nineteen severe wounds on your behalf. Should the next bullet happen to strike your fragile body, it will mean I have hemorrhaged in vain."

The butterfly attempted three feeble flaps then slumped on its side. "My God Amigos! She's pregnant!" Natches glared up at the posse. "We haven't a moment to loose, see how extended her belly is. Quickly now, I shall need clean cloth, warm water and a willow leaf." The men glanced at each other in confusion. "Now damn it! We haven't much time!!!"

The urgency in his voice struck like spurs to a mustang's flank. The men scrambled to fetch the requested items and as they did, Natches Murphy drew his pistols and shot each one in the spine.

It had been a trick, and that's exactly the sort of thing that made Natches Murphy, the infamous Fresno outlaw and pistoleer, so dern infamous.


At 2:52 AM, Blogger Lester T. said...

that's such a great rural legend! reminds me of the time i wondered why the butterfly couldn't fly anymore after i took that powdery stuff off of its wings. i bet that's why natches' butterfly didn't fly away. that or he's natches murphy, the infamous fresno outlaw, pistoleer and entomologist.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

Natches most likely leaked when he drank after that, but if for no better reason than to know his story got expatiated by the likes of Latigo Flint, I'm sure it was worth every hole.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

oldest trick in the book. 19 wounds, though...that's impressive.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I trained my butterfly to wear my shoes so's he could lead the bloodhounds offa my scent. But I tip my hat to the Monarch of Natches; I never woulda thought of the pregnancy ploy.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Natches Murphy is almost as badass as one Latigo Flint.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

Natches Murphy sounds pretty darn crafty. Is he a distant relation?

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Flittering and bamboozling. Always the best stuff here, Latigo.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

It's a good 'un all right Lester. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I'm thinking you just may be on to something there with the powdery stuff.

Dave Morris, you should know that Natches Murphy was gunned down in cold blood by Dashing Dave Pearson in 1864. (To learn more about it, visit my January archives - Jan 5th I believe.) But I do like to think that wherever Natches is, he knows about me, and he's proud.

Natches Murphy was an impressive man Ho. (Kinda like you... but in a different way.)

A very very good ruse nonetheless Old Hoss. I think wherever he is, Natches is probably proud of you too.

Thank you TrevorR. That's very kind of you to say. All I can do is my best, each and every day, and hope it's enough. (And of course beer.)

Yes Amandarama, Natches Murphy was pretty darn crafty. However my lineage is a complete mystery to me. It goes back twenty-five, or seven some odd years and then dead ends in a timber wolf den. I guess there's always a chance he's distant relation.

Thank you Steve, you're mighty fine yourself.


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