Beamo’s Gold part 22
Beamo gets assigned a surprise task.
Midday brightness clawed into my still weary eyes when I stood up out of my tent. Tee was barking orders at everyone to get moving, so I ate a quick breakfast of pecan trailbars washed down with teeth-chilling spring water then packed up.
Standing next to my cycle, I pulled out my binnocs to study the trail ahead. The trace of an ancient Merican freeway ran through these mountain valleys. Blasted out back in those far-away days into a U-shaped, rounded evenness for miles and miles. The scooped-out bases of the mountains looked not natural–almost an argument for Bonehead’s theory that only a-ilien giants could accomplish its construction. The long distance view was jacked though; when I focused in on the actual trail, blockages added up from rockslides all along the serpentine stretch as it slithered up towards the highest pass far out of sight behind the misty crowns of the mountains.
After I packed my binnocs away, I turned around and there was a baker’s dozen of the Sawbird Gang staring at me.
“What are you thieving magpies looking at?” They wanted something from me for sure and it was no time before Bonehead’s goofy mug spouted.
“Wese all wants to be bab-tized,” he demanded. The hardcore pillagers stood behind him all deadeye serious.
At first, I laughed at him and them, but the outlaws would not have any no-can-dos from me. According to Bonehead, since I taught the others from the Holy Bible last night, I was now responsible for their salvation, was now their pastor. Tee just gloated at me sporting his wry grin.
To get it over with, I led them over to the short stream that ran out from the spring seep in the mountainside. The Sawbird Gang lined up on the bank except for Tee, Little Bit, and Sass Hootie who stood back to watch. The stream gently flowed a short distance into the aquamarine lake. Major Kaim’s goons weren’t interested and used the extra time to keep working on their cycles.
First to go into the frigid stream with me was Hopper Leap. After I dunked the tall dude under then let him back up, I made him swear off any killing and rampaging not needful. It went like that with the others.
The dollmolls starting with Smooth Sharp insisted on stripping naked before going into the biting cold mountain spring water. When each of the outlaw girls waded back out from the belly-button-deep stream, dripping water from her long hair and curved backside, she sported a saucy smile and a newfound glowing, nipples sticking up as hard as bullets, rejuvenated and ready for a second round at a wanton life.
When Chuckles’ turn came, I lit into him: “What in the name of all goodness is in your brainsick head, you moonlighter murderer? Doing pervo shi with waterfowl. What the phuuk is that?”
“I, I, couldn’t help it! I was too horny. I was thirteen and couldn’t think about anything else! I’m sorry! I’m sorry I did it!”
“You don’t like girls, you like animals?” I shook him by the collar and he started bawling.
“Yeah, I like them.” He said through sobs. “I think about naked girls every minute!”
“Then why didn’t you get one instead of a duck?”
“Girls scare me! I’m scared to talk to them!” A grimace twisted on his pimply mug. The whole thing eating at him all these years since he got caught then kicked out of his family home by his grossed-out dad.
Some people claim I’m verbose, like the sound of my own voice a little much, able to mouth-off back at anything, but this stopped cold any caustic comments leaving my pie-hole. I just stood there not able to express myself in any meaningful way for what must have been a half a minute. Looked straight up into the azure sky and there soared an osprey directly above us.
Finally, I looked back down at him and shouted out: “The whole rationale for you being in the most feared bandit band in the Midwest is so you can slam-jam with primo hoochies! Girls are supposed to be on-their-knees terrified by the sight of you, not the other way around, you moron.” I shook him harder; his head bobbing back and forth like a stuffed doll. “After you go under then come back up you’re going to swear off web-footed game-birds and you’re going to pledge to be a respectable outlaw and not a pathetic doo-foo. Get it?”
“Yeah, yeah, I promise!” Chuckles stammered out too fast.
“Not yet, shi-head. After I douse you.” I gave him several dunkings just to make sure it took.
Chuckles stumbled out of the freezing water shivering with his head down, coughing and gasping for air, his confession still echoing in everyone’s ears. He finally stopped shivering and looked up. Somehow the process gave him release. His eyes now showed a little peace not there before. The young outlaw nodded his head when no one razzed him. His arms spread out as he turned his gaze straight up into the sky. With his head still in the firmament, he walked towards the remnants of the campfire with the others to warm up but tripped over a rock and went down flat on his face.
Now it was just Bonehead left. Shirtless to show off his puckered bullet and lengthy blade scars, he cock-walked into the icy water without flinching. As he waded over to me, I grew more and more irate for some reason. He looked straight up and his arms stretched out from his scrawny torso like plucked wings. Before he could say anything, I seized him by the back of the neck, plunged his head deep underwater, trying to push his face down into the gravelly mud.
“How do you like this, backwoods plugger? Punching and booting me when I couldn’t fight back! Stringing me up over a raging fire to burn my brain! Just like I was one of those stray cats you tortured when you were a kid. I shot you twice and you know it! All the hard-earned silver coin you snatched off of citizens at gunpoint, nothing but vulgarity coming out of your mouth since you could speak! And who do you think you are, the King of the Corn Mill, going at it with two women at a time, hoodlum?”
His bubblings started getting fewer as I kept his head under. Sass shouted at me first and then Tee shot off enraged cussing. But I was way stronger than Bonehead. Outlaws are lazy creatures and their lazy ways develop little strength to compete with a working man like me. I found it irksome to let him up to breathe so I did what came easiest, kept him under, even though he fought hard to get up now.
“Ious told yous to let my boo up!” Sass ran into the water followed by Joro but before they got to me, from high above the osprey dived down on my head, tore out a clump of my hair. Did the loco raptor think I had a fish it could steal? Did it covet some of my bushy hair for its nest? Anyway, that shock to my system caused me to let go of Bonehead. I dived under the water to escape the talons.
Ignoring Sass and Joro, the dark brown backed with white belly raptor swooped down on me twice more then flew off. When I stood back up, Sass was in my face with her pig-sticker knife. Her mouth a furious pucker and her blue eyes looking to kill. Instead of plunging the long knife in, the shorthaired, corn-fed woman shoved me backwards into the freezing water rapidly sapping the energy from my core.
“Shihole!” Sass shouted at me.
“It’s all right, Sassy,” Bonehead yelled from the bank. Already wrapped up in a high-end white robe he probably pilfered from one of his victims, sporting a wide, beatific smile that looked to make his mug split in half. “Jeez is in me now! Ious gots no worries!” He pointed at me and laughed: “Beamo Roamer, that was a good one!”
Rushing out of the icy water to my weapons and then to the campfire, I kept my eyes on Bonehead the whole time. I figured all of his screws popped out at once, making him one dangerous hombre. But his exalted face didn’t stop smiling. Everybody looked awed at the serene grinning and the new otherworldly glowing around his reddish-blond, shaggy head.
After we all dried off and warmed back up, the call to ride went out. As I mounted up, a cycle came up from behind. When I turned, I landed the best surprise of the jaunt. Little Bit pulled up next to me.
She pointed to where a blood rivulet flowed down the side of my head. So cold I didn’t feel the scalp wound. She cleaned it, applied her homemade antiseptic, and then bandaged it up.
“That fish hawk nailed you good. Serves you right. You’re a royal prick sometimes, Beamo Roamer.” Her expression both amused and vexed. It was close to the way I wanted her to feel about me for some reason.
“You sure about this?” I asked when she didn’t move away. Different outlaws were starting to notice she would ride beside me.
“I’m not afraid of my brother,” she echoed me like no big deal. If you peered close at the clenched jaw in her sweet face you could tell she was betting the house on me. That made it a little touch-and-go for my part.
“We ride!” Tee shouted out like always. Then he turned back, saw Little Bit next me and his eyelids flinched. I could see the pain in his eyes. After I gave my word to him that I would not pursue his sister. After I swore to kill her brother and her close comrade Bonehead after we locate the gold. What a tangle, kept running through my mind.