Wednesday, August 11, 2010



The eleven riders where perched on a rise staring intently at the billowing puffs of smoke. The smoke was in rhythm with the chug-chug-chug of the Iron Buffalo named by the Cherokee Indians (ta-lu-gis-gi yo-ni-si). Bill Dolan with his Wild Bunch sat motionless on their steeds in the hot afternoon sun, sweat staining the band of their cowboy hats. Their guns hanging secure in the leather holsters.
Dolan is squinting under the brim of his hat at the oncoming iron buffalo. No one moved as they waited for the signal. His steed was at rest, head hanging low and ears flopped to the side. A slight nudge of Spurs would revive the beast quickly. Bill shifted in his saddle, the horse`s ears shot up and twisted facing bill, it was time. The spurs dug in causing a chain reaction in the remaining ten riders. The Long Riders were ready to ride.
He leaned back as his horse headed down the crested butte with the horse’s mane flowing on his descent signaling the intended direction. The eleven riders resembled a dust avalanche tumbling down the butte forming a triangle formation with Bill at the point.
The heads turned in the train to inspect the onslaught of wild riders firing at the Sun, with their long coats following like shadows. Their guns were firing into the blue creating a Fourth of July bang up. Bill spurred ahead aiming for the head of the Iron Buffalo. He reached out holding the saddle horn for stability as he grabbed the steel handle and then in a swoop of coordinated mastery his boots landed as his mount rode off.
Swiftly he clambered onto the logs in the timber car behind the head of the iron beast. He crawled looking like a lizard stalking its prey. The engineer snatched his double barreled shotgun eager to shoot the desperado he knew had invaded his domain. The top of the cowboy hat appeared just above the logs as the double barrel spoke with authority. The hat flew off like a frightened crow as the blast caught hold. I need to stop this engineer and get this train stopped, my men cannot be letdown, Bill thought. He deftly crawled to the side and locked his knees, and then in a bold move he hung over the side with one hand locked in a grip to the beast with the other gripping his revolver, he had a clear shot.
The train was weaving and the smoke and cinders from the smokestack were burning his eyes but Bill held steady as he squeezed the trigger. The bullet found its mark and the engineer doubled over falling off the train and under the steel wheels, clacking and tasting the engineer.
Bill pulled the brakes and the Iron Buffalo screeched sounding like a hundred hawks with sparks flying as the iron legs dug in. The Wild Bunch dismounted whooping and hollering firing their guns, reveling in their conquest.
The passengers were ordered off the train in single file and told to disrobe all except their undergarments. The gang went through the clothes and jewelry they were wearing as others rifled through the luggage. The mail boxcar yielded $3,000 dollars making the total haul $4,500. With glee they mounted, rode off whooping, and shooting their colts. After the robbery a sheriff`s posse was formed from Beaver County, Oklahoma Territory. The posse had gained on the gang using a reliable Cherokee scout. Scout Menawa or scout Charlie as they nicknamed him. He had a sixth sense tracking. He second guessed the gang`s direction, and took a convenient short-cut to gain on the desperados.
Dolan`s gang stopped at a wide stream to water their steeds. The horses’ lips were dipped in the cool water satisfying their thirst acquired from the train heist. From the rise in the landscape the posse anxiously waited for the Sheriff`s signal. He raised his hand and signaled his posse into action. With guns drawn the galloping posse closed the distance quickly pouncing on their adversary.
The drinking horses were the first to sense the attack. Several horses` raised their heads which alerted the gang. With guns ablaze the posse was a frightening sight descending down the hill with the sound of gunshot awakening the peaceful tranquility. The Wild Bunch spurred their horses and they lunged forward in flight causing the splash of forty four hoofs altering the flow of the stream.
The opposite bank offered a respite, lined with trees the gang dug in, returning their fire with the reverberation of eleven revolvers each bellowing. The posse was decimated as four riders bit the dust. Dolan was shot in the foot, but he kept firing in unison with his gang. The posse now lighter in numbers reversed, retreated, and high tailed it, the gang had won.
They headed for Ingalls, Oklahoma a known outlaw town. There they would rest and Dolan could nurse his injured foot.

Marshal Everett Dix meanwhile organized a posse of fourteen deputies which would engage the outlaws in the infamous Battle of Ingalls.

No comments:

Post a Comment