Sunday, February 12, 2006

An Outlaw Named Canebrake Divinity

Prologue:
The mysterious outlaw and pistoleer known as Canebrake Divinity, raised the barrel of his gun to his horse's eye.
"These are strange days." Canebrake mumbled. "Strange days indeed." And then he pulled the trigger. He was in the saddle at the time; reins wrapped around his other hand. His horse took another two steps then collapsed, and Canebrake lost a finger in the fall.

Chapter One:
It was late afternoon when Canebrake Divinity stumbled into Santa Fe. His hat had blown off in the desert somewhere and his face was blistered and raw. He kept his eyes turned down and seemed to be counting his steps. He was sucking on the oozing nub where his pinky used to be.

Canebrake lurched through the doors of the first saloon he passed. There he ordered and drank four beers in a row, then turned and faced the crowd.
"Listen up." He snarled and the room went still. "I've come to town for blood or love, and really don't care which."
He spotted a pretty young maid named Sara, serving drinks to the Rangers in the back. He was at her side in a flash, murmuring delicate nonsense in her ear and kissing the nape of her neck. Canebrake shot all six Rangers when they tried to intervene, but when Sara slapped him he stopped.

"I think you should ride away now Mister." Sara said with a glare.
"I can't." He replied. "This morning I shot my horse in the eye."
Sara was aghast. "Why would you do such a thing?"
Canebrake scratched his head. "I don't rightly remember, I think we had a fight."
"Over what?!" Sara asked.
Canebrake squinted in recollection. "I think I asked him to fly, but he said he was happy just being a horse."

And that's when Sara knew Canebrake Divinity was a very dangerous man.

Epilogue:
The mysterious outlaw and pistoleer known as Canebrake Divinity, left Santa Fe and embarked on a ten-year rampage across fourteen states and territories. He is rumored to have killed over two hundred men and robbed more stagecoaches in that time than all other outlaws put together. Historical documents show that for a while, the Empire Mining Company chose to fasten tiny pouches of gold to the feet of pigeons and point them in the direction of their corporate offices in New York, rather than risk transport on a stage or a train.

By all accounts, despite a predominantly cruel and ruthless temperament, Canebrake Divinity could be quite tender and charming at times. An elderly widow from Kansas swears he saved her farm; plowing and reaping the fields for three years, never asking anything in return and only shot four horses in the eye the entire time.

It's said that Canebrake possessed an almost carefree disregard for the well-being of his fingers, and tended to lose them from time to time in unspeakably horrific ways--but that he never forgot pretty Sara from Santa Fe, and wept like a child when he lost his ring finger in a vault door accident while robbing a bank in Abilene.

To this day the Smithsonian displays a finger bone. But which of Canebrake Divinity's it is I don't know.

5 Comments:

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Isaac said...

They say the mark of great literature is universality, being able to identify with the protagonist. This, sir, is great literature, for don’t we all have a little of Canebreak inside of us?

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger hen said...

So what became of Canebrake Divinity? He must have run out of fingers eventually.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Canebrake have a brother named Fudge?

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Or another brother named Coffee?

 
At 1:04 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

I think that's a particularly ugly thing to say about Sara, Dave Morris--and I've been known to say an ugly thing from time to time.

Isaac, some part of me becomes very uneasy at the thought of someone else actually identifying with Canebrake Divinity. But perhaps the fault is mine, for being a good writer despite myself. (Nonetheless, thank you very much.)

Ahh yes, well asked Hen. Canebrake Divinity actually died alone in a motel just outside Bakersfield, California. He'd always wanted to die in a clean shirt, but couldn't unbutton the filthy one he was wearing without fingers. (It was quite sad really.)

Not that I'm aware of Old Hoss.

It would be news to me if he'd had Peter.

 

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