By Joe R. Lansdale
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By the time we were finished, Golden Apple was gone. I threw it in a drawer and forgot about it. Later, I rediscovered it, packed it off to the library that keeps my manuscripts. Bill Schafer wanted a look at it. He contacted the library, read it, liked it, and here it is in its original first person form. I also like this. It’s no Western classic, but it is fun. I wouldn’t mind seeing it picked up in paperback. Mostly, I just hope you enjoy it. —Joe R. Lansdale (his ownself) Chapter One 1 Watching from the hills we could see the Northern Pacific coming into view, chugging rhythmically, coughing black smoke up to the clouds.
It’s good,” I said. ” I lay back in the seat and felt my stomach churn. Horse. And not even fresh horse at that, I bet. “I reckon we ought to be leavin’ here pronto,” Johnston said. ” He eyed me. “Reckon you know what I mean. ” “I’m a good guesser. ” “I didn’t want to kill the passengers. ” “Figured it was somethin’ like that. I wouldn’t’ve shot no passengers, either. ” Johnston grunted. “I caught one of them Indian ponies for ya. Had to cut one of the saddles off a dead horse, it was so belly-swollen.
He had graying black hair and a mustache that had already made it to snow. His eyes were slitted. ” the man said. “Mr. Carson,” Mix said, removing his hat, “I think I got you some new boys. ” “Of course,” Carson said, as if that were understood. ” “Name’s Melgrhue,” I said. “This here is Bucklaw. Being a major in the Confederate army don’t mean a damn thing in 1875. ” “Nor mine either,” Bucklaw said. Carson smiled at him. ” “I don’t like smart mouths,” Carson said. “Snaps my heart in two,” I said.