Wade: A short story

The West is a hard place for most men. The West is about rugged terrain and the hot sun blazing down without mercy. But not for wade, he was just hard, plain hard to the core. Wade never cared about nothing—no family, no women, and no cause. Wade was never no joiner. He didn`t give a damn about company; he liked being alone and he loved the trail. He loved a good cup of black coffee over a fire and piece of salt jerky. Wade loved his pipe, and a good drink of whiskey, and he didn`t mind makin` his livin` killin` men. Men like Wade are few and far between. They have no conscience
and their eyes are dark caverns into hell. That`s where the legends of the West come from…
He was on his way to Yuma to find some dude that was in the way of a cattle baron`s waterin` hole. Wade didn`t give damn about cattle or expanding the west, but hell, there was money in it for Wade in the form of getting rid of problems. Wade was a problem solver. He laid down that night, drank his last sup of whiskey, and put his pipe out, tomorrow was gonna be a long ride.
The next morning` wade loaded up his pack horse, lit his pipe, and hit the trail. Wade had killed some 13 men as best folks could remember, and this one had a good price on his head. The cattle baron told Wade he`d pay $5000 to see this man dead. He would pay $2500 up front, and the other half when the job was done. Hell, Wade could retire after this one, he thought.
Wade rode in to the outskirts of Yuma that evenin.` He wasn`t much for bein` seen, he kinda liked layin` low in a new town with a job that needed doin`—his kinda work didn`t need no extra attention. Wade spent the next two days scoutin` out the dudes place, learnin` his habits, and lookin` for his chance to take care a thing`s. Wade noticed the dude went out to the back side of the barn every morning about 6am. It looked to Wade like a grave site from where he was watchin` but he couldn`t quite tell. Wade decide to make his move the next morning; he`d be a waitin` for the dude just behind the barn in an old brush pile.
Wade was fast as lighnin` with his Colt and always liked to give the man he was killin` a chance to draw. Wade told a feller one time it kinda made things right in his mind after it was done. The one thing about this job that was di`fernt was that this was a family man and Wade was more use t`a killin trail bums, gunfighters, and cowboys. Wade didn`t much care tho` cuz this one was payin` enough to let him retire.
That morning, Wade saw the dude comin` out to the grave site bout quarter t`a six. He waited till the dude got `bout twenty paces from the grave and Wade jumped out, stood up straight, and looked him dead in the eye. The dude froze—lookin damn scared—and said “can I help ya mister?” Wade answered back and said, “Sorry to tell ya friend, you`re in the way a progress and I gotta get ya outta the way.” The dude stood and looked at wade for what seemed like hours—he knew he had to draw, but all he could think of was his young son.
What Wade didn`t know was that the dude had lost his wife a few weeks back when the baron sent out some cowboys to take care of business. It seems that one of the men made a mistake and shot the dudes wife instead. Their boy was all the dude had left t`a live fur. Now here he was staring straight down the barrel of Colt 45, and he had no chance a getting out of it without a fight.
BANG!! The sound of a gun blazed through the early morning air and echoed up through the hills—and suddenly—Wade tilted over, a strange look on his face, and fell to the ground. The dude stood shocked—he froze in his tracks…who? What? The dude hadn`t pulled his trigger. Suddenly, he heard a voice say, “Pa…are you ok?” The dude swung around and there was his boy standin there with a Winchester lowered down. They ran to each other, dropping the iron they both held. They embraced, it was over, and the stranger was dead.


I been sheriff in Yuma for 20 years all told. I seen a lot a bad men come and go. I ain`t never heard of Wade before he come through, but I learn`t his story from others who knew him. The one thing an outlaw with a fast gun better never under-estimate, in these parts, is the love of a family. The love between a father and a son. That young boy took down one of the meanest SOB`s these parts has ever known. Love knows no fear and love will stand up to all things. Love will rule the day.

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

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