After trouble in town the boys take to the hills for a licking of wounds and a bit o blarney besides that for theres always stories from exploits and the hills is the best place for em. Up in the hills stories grow big like alehouse yarns and therell be whiskey to be had and good times and thats what a band o fellows wants most. More even than company with lasses I reckon true enough a fellow wants a yarn and whiskey and up in the hills is always plenty enough of both and Eddys brother Danny will most likely do a song and a jig and the world will be great like it should be. Like the Lord intended itll be with the sun shining bright on his making. So when Stevie Boy sends a message down I think sure that’s for me and I drops me shears and leaves with Cuttler cursing cause his sheeps half sheared and I take his pony too on a loan for wages and goes up there at a fair clip cause I’d not be missing the fun of it thats for sure. And the boys are there havin a fair old time and soon enough I has a bottle and a full pipe and I’s leaning back with em. The sun is warm and it makes the whiskey smooth and sure nough the airs soon filling with singing ballads and the crows joining in and theres nothing in the world as good as that and nothings going to spoil it cept thats when theres a shot – bang – in the bushes and next moment theres all hell and the clearings got troopers and dogs in it that have crept up on us and us only drinking and singing of lasses and things and Joe takes a pellet but hes up and all the rest are up quick smart and their rifles loaded too. Ready like they been waiting and next moment its shots exploding near me head and Dannys rifle smoking and the two big coppers go down before they can reload. And as quick as it started the other one is high tailing and Eddy grabs me arm and we give the dog chase and we calls to the others to clean the mess and they ought head off north where weve got another place and we get to our horses just as the yellow cowards mounting his and we’re on after him in a flash. And he aint got no chance hes getting off not with Eddy chasing whos the best horseman round and sure a match for any fat Scotsmen. At the bottom of the spur Eddys got him bailed up. When I gets alongside hes got his pistol drawn and the copper is near going to shit and Eddy just looks at first staring at him then he spits like hes got a bad taste and he cocks his pistol. The Scot hes pleading like a girl to a fellow and he says if hes shot theres others will come and Eddy says I aint never shot a dog wasn’t lame and needed putting down and the Scot looks worried then when Eddy aims at his leg but instead o shooting he says you tell them others and you tell them good it was me that shot them two up there dyou understand. And the dog nods and Eddy says true and that in defence of life and limb it was too and as God is witness that’s the truth and you tell it good. Then he takes the scoundrels gun and his horse and kicks his arse down the hill and we turn and head off north. And Eddy says to me its bad times coming.
Published by Richard Holt
A writer from Melbourne, Richard maintains a number of blogs exploring very short fiction and text-based art practices. His stories and poems have been published in both mainstream and alternative journals and collections. He is also a visual artist and was co-founder of both Platform Artists Group and zine store, Sticky. He continues to publish very short fiction and conduct microfiction workshops for practicing writers, students and others. He has created numerous text-based installations and artworks for public spaces, including at Federation Square, Melbourne and in conjunction with the 2017, Newcastle Writers Festival. View all posts by Richard Holt