I finally finished a western novel I’ve been working on and will post the first chapter here. It’s a humous story of life in the early west. Please check it out and let me know if you like it. I’ll send you the rest of the ebook.
Tales of Heater, Texas
The Continuing Tales of the tiny Town of Heater, In The Republic of Texas
Lance Von Prüm
© May 28, 2017
Lance Von Prüm is an artist, writer and author of over a dozen books, who currently lives in Fredericksburg, Texas, the heart of the Texas hill country and center of many historical adventures that took place in the old west. The area is a rich inspiration for several of Von Prüm’s stories of the old west, including, “Tough, A Cowboy’s Life In The Early West: A Hundred Ways to Die Before Sundown.” The story is a hilarious revelation of life in the old west, lived in ways most have never imagined. Von Prüm paints vivid mental images that put the reader into the story, seeing, feeling and oh yes, smelling what life was like for our forefathers. His colorful descriptions and humorous antidotes make for very entertaining reading. “The Tales of Heater, Texas” are a knee slapper, a heart grabber and a tear jerker, as Von Prüm puts it. The story is rife with Texas euphamisms that will produce laugh after laugh. Although the story is somewhat “R” rated, it is not vulgar and should not offend most adults. It is written in the language of the old west using words and terms we’ve all but forgotten, adding to its authenticity, interest and humor.
“The Tales of Heater, Texas” and “Tough, A Cowboy’s Life In The Early West” are both available on Amazon-Kindle, along with his other books an a variety of subjects, fiction and non-fiction. Mister Von Prüm has painted professional watercolors for over forty years, many of which can be seen in several local establishments in the Fredericksburg area, including The Fredericksburg Brewery, The Hangar Hotel and Diner and The Herb Farm Restaurant, although most have been sold to private collectors. Although semi-retired, Von Prüm still works part time in the custom car indusrtry for a local establishment called One Eyed Crow, and over the years has built quite a number of award-winning exotic, custom and classic cars. Quite talented in many ways, Mister Von Prüm is quite a character. You can check out his web site at www.vonprum.com.
Tales of Heater, Texas
The Continuing Tales of the Tiny Town of Heater, In The Republic of Texas
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 My long lamented an parlous tale o’ mah problematical encounter wit trepidation
Chapter 2 Mah convoluted an confusing recovery from mah evening o’ questionable decisions
Chapter 3 The repercussions an shame o’ poor decision makin
Chapter 4 The transformation of a young cowboy in a tiny town
Chapter 5 The convoluted an quizzical beginnin’s o’ da tiny town o’ Heater
Chapter 6 A perilous confrontation wit cantankerous characters an a uther look at death
Chapter 7 The miraculous transformation of a young wrangler an a tiny young town
Chapter 8 The further transformations an serious developments of a young man an a tiny town
Chapter 9 The tumultuous transition of a young man an a tiny town
Chapter 10 A tumultuous, turbulent, festive an joyous day in da tiny town o’ Heater, Texas
Chapter 11 A big day fer a tiny town an a young couple
Chapter 12 The evolution of a tiny town to a thrivin community
Chapter 13 The tremendous transformation of a tiny town to a thrivin community an back
Most tales of the old west, the old TV shows like Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Laramie, Have Gun Will Travel, The Rifleman an others, and many of the western movies most often depicted the period between 1880 to 1900. We are familiar with stagecoaches, steam locomotives, the telegraph, the general store and the town marshal, but the early west, before the Civil War was a much different place.
Imagine a time before the stagecoach and railroad were able to deliver goods from the big cities back east. There was no general store to get even the most rudimentary supplies. There was no newspaper to inform folks of events around the country and the world. It was called the wild west for a reason, because there was no law enforcement, either. There was no marshal, no sheriff or court of law, but there were plenty of men with guns. Every man carried a gun out of necessity, for protection and defense against others, the equalizer of all men out west.
Hilariously funny and historically accurate, this is the humorous and fascinating tale of how the fictitious town of Heater, Texas came to be and how it developed in those wild times, through the eyes of those that lived and died there. Imagine a time when the six shooter was the only law and getting drunk and gambling was about the only thing to do for a young man’s entertainment. Imagine a saloon full of gun-toting, trigger happy cowboys, drinking and gambling, and imagine how that plays out.
The tale of Heater, Texas promises to entertain and enlighten, leaving the reader with a greater understanding and appreciation of life in the early west.
Tales of Heater, Texas
The Continuing Tales of the Tiny Town of Heater, In The Republic of Texas
Mah long lamented an parlous tale o’ mah problematical encounter wit trepidation
It all began awhile back when I come ta town ta git more powder an shot fer da rat killin, a jug o’ cheap rotgut, a plug o’ chewin tabackie, an maybe a apple for mah beloved horse, Gertrude. Lately it had been hotter’n two clinkers in a coal stove an drier dan a mouth full o’ sawdust. The creek was only runnin about twice a week an da fish had tics on em. I got mah jug from da saloon and was pickin up da powder an shot an a plug o tabackie at da tradin post when I perceived Clementine Vogel givin me da eye wit some serious intent. I could tell by her gaze dat she had a powerful determination ta make mah acquaintance, but her reputation had preceded her an I wanted no part of it. Her former husband, Sven died last year in a outhouse relocation incident when he fell in da old outhouse pit face first an drowned cause no one wanted to jump in an save him. That’s a true story. I saw it with mah own eyes. Ever since, da widder has been tryin ta git her hands on a new man. Why, just a while back I see’d her trying ta throw a bridal on ol’ One Eye’d Bob in back o’ da saloon. One Eyed Bob lost his eye in a knife fight wit Stinkin Pete over a poker game dispute, an contendin wit da widder Vogel was a mighty challenge fer Bob cause she kep a goin ta his blind side, but he managed ta slip away when she dropped da reins.
Ol Clementine had a face that could curdle milk. She was so ugly it took two dogs to bark at her, an had a reputation fer cantankerousness wit a voice what could cut through a anvil. She approached me wit eyes fixed, as I attempted ta avoid her gaze. Then I heard dat voice, like a knife twistin in mah ear. It sounded like someone beatin a baby wit a cat, “Fester Vermin, issat you? I ain’t see’d you since we buried Sven. You’re da one what shot da nose offa Coyote Jack, ain’t ya?”
She had me cornered between a box o’ apples an da salt pork barrel. Regretfully I replied, “Yessum. That varmint tried to make a move on mah horse, so I shot his nose off ta keep his filthy hands offa Gurtrude.”
She retorted, “Coyote Jack weren’t da sharpest tool in da shed,” her voice grated like fingernails on a chalkboard. “He weren’t no sharper than a sack full of wet leather, but you’re sure a handsome young cowboy.”
It was obvious, even to a pile of manure dat she had a fierce determination ta sink her hooks inta me so’s I set one eye on da widder an one eye on da door, hopin fer a chance ta make a break fer it, but gettin past da widder proved harder dan tryin ta teach a rock ta swim. As she shifted her weight over ta one foot, I did a head fake and commenced ta slip past her, but she out-guessed mah move an stepped back ta cut off mah escape. Mah opportunity was lost. She commenced ta edgin closer an dere was no way out, her bein’ between me an mah freedom. “What’s your hurry there, cowboy?”
I quickly spat out “Pardon me, Ma’am, but I’s got some serious rat killin ta git done.” I grabbed mah ammunition, da tabackie an Gerty’s apple an bolted out da door.
She called out after me in a voice dat sounded like a pig caught in a barbwire fence, “I make a powerful good porcupine stew Fester, if you’d like ta stop by fer supper when you’re next in town.”
I made tracks back ta ol’ Gertie and began ta puttin ground between me an da widder Vogel, dat voice of hers still ringin in mah ears. Back at da ranch, while spending nights wit da boys in da bunkhouse, I begun ta thinkin, after several wakeful evenins, thoughts o’ Clementine’s home cooked porcupine stew. Them thoughts was makin mah mouth water and mah stomach growl. The boy’s beans an hominy din’t hold no truck to porcupine stew an I ain’t had no porcupine stew since Homer was a pup. And den dere was dat longin o’ da loins dat was keepin me up at night, so to speak, an after some conflicted thinkin, I decided I might could sample some o’ da widder Vogel’s porcupine stew after all, an maybe have a chance ta git in her knickers.
The followin day, as circumstance would have it, ol’ Gertie threw a shoe, an I tole Nate, da foreman, I’d be goin ta da livery ta get her fixed up, since Buck, da ranch blacksmith was still comin off a good drunk an coon’t be roused. Ol’ Buck hadn’t drawed a sober breath since a mule he was shoein kicked him in da haid when he was soldierin during da Injin wars. Ol Buck was dumber than two sacks o’ hair but was a fair ta middlin horse shoer, although he always had a sore thumb ta go along wit his sore haid on account o his chronic drunkenness an resultant poor aim wit da hammer.
I made it ta town an dropped ol’ Gertie at da livery wit Big Roy, da town blacksmith an sauntered over ta da saloon ta drink up a little courage and figger mah angles on da widder. So happens, ol’ Sam, da bartender had took on a new saloon girl, Miss Sallie Mae Lovejoy, an she was cuter’n a basket o’ puppies. In fact, she had a pair o’ puppies right up front what was right nice ta lay eyes on, but I digress. Ol Miss Sallie Mae kep brangin me drinks, smiling a lot an showin dem puppies, but I was transfixed on da widder’s stew an Sallie Mae’s advances plum evaded me. Finally, I was gittin so hungry I coulda et a bowl of lard with hair in it, so’s I finished off Sam’s last bottle o’ rye an contemplated mah maneuvers ta seduce da widder after I had et some o’ dat stew o’ hers.
I lost count o’ how many shots o’ courage I had put away but settled up wit Sallie Mae and da puppies an focused mah attention ta da widder Vogel’s porcupine stew. So I begun ta weave an stagger over ta da widder Vogel’s boardin house. I spied her settin in a rocker on da porch, smoking on a corn cob pipe.
“Evenin widder Vogel; nice night fer a coon hunt, don’t cha think?” I was a smooth talker when I put a mind ta it. I talked mah way outa a hangin once. When da boys at da ranch saw me, they said they thought I was hung. They was right, but I digress.
She looked me up and down as I swayed in mah boots from all da courage I had drunk up at da saloon, den she said, “Why Fester, you’s look just a might hungry an I jes happen ta have a pot o’ porcupine stew on da stove . . . an you can call me Clementine if ya like.” I din’t know she see’d me ride inta town an had been settin her trap all afternoon.
I tried not ta stumble as I made mah way ta da bench next ta her rockin chair. After four or five hours at da saloon, da widder looked a might comelier dan when I’d last laid eyes on her. She said “Take off yer boots so’s as not to git any manure on mah carpet, an come on up ta da supper table.”
That may not have been a wise decision, cause I doan be memberin much after dat. Maybe I shoulda stayed wit Miss Sallie Mae ’cause I woke up da nex mornin lyin in ol’ Clem’s bed, naked as a jaybird an I was smellin like I jes had a bath an a splash o’ stink purdy cologne. I could see da widder through da doorway as she stood at da stove in a nightgown makin a pot o’ coffee an singin ta herself, an in a better mood than mah previous experience. She seemed a might pleased about sumpin, grinning from ear to ear. She had a spring in her step at weren’t there before.
“Fester sweetie, you’s want some coffee?” That voice o’ hers screeched through mah hung-over brain like a freight train whistle an da events o’ da previous evnin come a flooding back into mah haid like a stampede o’ wild buffalo. As much as I had wanted ol’ Clem’s porcupine stew, I had let da need to prove mah manhood git da best o’ me an I had done da unthinkable. I had slept wit da ugliest an mose cantankerous woman in seven counties. I felt like I was gonna puke as I struggled inta mah long johns, pulled on mah boots, grabbed da rest of mah clothes, ran down da steps an out da door.
The stampede in ah haid rose ta a new level as ol’ Clem stuck her head out da winder an hollered, “Fester! Don’t chu run off now, I gots some leftover stew you’s could take witcha.” I din’t care bout no kinda stew nohow. I climed on ol’ Gertrude an dang near fell off as I tried ta git dem images o’ lass night outa mah haid. Ol’ Gertie knew what ta do an took off fer da barn an her feed bag as I clung ta her mane an tried ta git da rest o mah clothes on. The rot gut an stew was a churnin in mah stomach an it was all I could do ta keep it down as we slow-galloped through town on da way back ta da ranch but da distraction helped avert mah thoughts o’ da previous night.
My convoluted an confusing recovery from my evening of questionable decisions
As I passed da saloon I saw ol’ Sallie Mae a waivin at me, so’s I pulled back on da reins an Gertie slowed ta a walk an stopped. “Good morning Fester. I just made a pot of fresh coffee and you look like you could use some. Why don’t you ease off that horse and come inside?” Her voice was like maple syrup on a stack o’ flapjacks wit butter meltin down da side, plum irresistible.