The Fatuus brothers rode like men possessed. Their silhouettes dancing on and darkening the ridge above the town. Three of the brothers led the charge the other running fast behind, trying to keep up. The townsfolk laughed. Poor ole Claytus they thought, always the last.
‘C’m’on boys,’ Eli encouraged. ‘we’re catching him!’
Gil and Arlo didn’t respond, panting hard they kept their eyes on the trail hoping Eli would soon see sense and give up the chase. Claytus didn’t hear, but yelled all the same. “Wait for me! C’m’on guys, wait for me.”
Word got around. Townsfolk now exited the saloon, general store and barbers, all gathering in the main street. They started cheering the boys on, many in hysterics rolling on the ground holding their sides. ” You can catch him boys – go for it.”
The Fatuus brothers were famous in these parts. Famous for being stupid. They had a hankering to become famous criminals. And famous they had become. But not as the gang of evil villains they aspired to be, but as complete imbeciles.
At first, they couldn’t afford guns so they got jobs in the towns only factory. The Union Pickle Company, figuring they would save their wages and buy guns afterward. Eli, the eldest telling his brothers, “nothing will stop us then.”
But working on the onion line proved too much for them. After just half a day they resigned telling the boss they were hard men and cowboys shouldn’t cry. The boss didn’t want to lose ’em so he offered them googles. So for the next two years the boys wandered about town with deep strap impressions on their faces making them look like wrinkly beavers.
Then there was the tragedy involving Old Man Fatuus! Cody Fatuus was famous in these parts too. Famous for the manner of his death. He fell into the town well after losing his spectacles. Thinking they may have dropped into the well he peered into it, he over balanced and fell in. Drowned. Then, when they finally pulled him out, the arms of his glasses were securely resting on his ears and the frames and lens’ sitting on-top of his head!
Outta decency the townsfolk attended his funeral but it ended in a right shemozzle when the boys dropped and broke the casket. Poor ole Cody Fatuus starting rolling down Cemetery Hill! That was a few years back and since then, the Fatuus boys have continued to be complete morons.
Looking up at the ridge the townsfolk noticed Claytus stop, clearly exhausted. Not long after that Gil and Arlo also stopped peddling as they approached the steepest part of the ridge. Only Eli kept going. His legs pumping as quickly as they could. All the while his cocky stallion jaunted silkily 100 yards ahead of him.
It had all started earlier in the day. The Fatuus brothers coming to town for their Saturday drink. Eli riding his horse in, his brothers following behind on their bicycles. The boys had a few drinks, played a few rounds of poker and chatted up the local whore D’arcy. But when it comes time to leave Eli finds his horse missing. He steps back into the saloon and starts shooting up the bar. The piano player stops, the drinkers hush, the poker players drop their hands and D’arcy, well she just scratched herself and adjusted her corset.
Eli looks around for a minute and says. “I’m gonna have one more whisky and if my horse ain’t returned by the time I’ve finished my drink, I’ll do what I had to do in Skeleton Corral.” Everyone gasped!
Luckily when Eli finished his drink his horse was standing untethered outside the saloon. But when Eli went to saddle up, his horse bolts. Then the chase was on!
After twenty more minutes Arlo, Gil and Claytus amble back into town, dusty and dry. The Undertaker keen for business approaches them.
“Boys, what exactly did Eli do in Skeleton Corral?”
The brothers narrow their eyes and hiss, “he had to walk home.”
Kia Ora Roly
Pic Credits – Unsplashed