Part I –Dalliances and Death wishes at Skip’s Whorehouse
Big Laramie was a town on the rise in the 1868. The Union Pacific kept building their Transatlantic railroad, and eventually it was running right by the town, and after the first trains began passing through, more and more folks started to settle, building up the small town of Big Laramie, and grabbing their slice of the west. Jeremiah Hanson called Laramie his home.
Laramie was residence at that point to about 500 or so people. Hanson had moved out west several years earlier to try his hand at owning his own ranch, when the town was much smaller, and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about the fluctuation in population. Previously being part of the police force in New Jersey, Jeremiah knew that where there’s a growth of people, there’s a growth in crime. Small town living was simple, but eventually with the influx of settlers bringing their families, and more importantly, their money, small-time cons and vicious cowboys started focusing on Big Laramie, and began targeting the weak.
It was a morning like any other, hot and dry, like hell might have felt, but without all the fire and brimstone. Jeremiah awoke in his ranch house outside of town, hearing his horses neigh of in the distance, and he only had two things on his mind. He wasn’t thinking about his previous life in New Jersey, or his college years at Princeton. Nor was he thinking about his later years as a cop in Atlantic City. Why, he was simply thinking of whiskey and women. Fortunately, he could find both of those things at the same place. Hanson washed up and headed for town, to visit Skip’s Whorehouse on the western tip of Laramie.
“Howdy Jeremiah. Two shooters and a beer?” asked Skip.
“That’d be mighty appreciated, partner.”
Jeremiah dropped both shots of whiskey down his parched throat, and then chased them with his draft. His eyes slowly wandered to the women on the second story balcony, to which he tipped his hat and smiled. Now Jeremiah had no problem with prostitution. In his mind, people have to make a living some way or another with their god-given talents. The whores likewise had no problem with him. Some of the local drunks and cowboys had a habit of roughing them up after (or during) sex, however, Jeremiah Hanson, as rough and tumble as he had become over the past several years, still knew how to treat a lady.
After a much-needed dalliance with Agnes, a young and voluptuous brunette whore, Jeremiah headed back downstairs, to partake in a few more shooters, and some afternoon poker. From the stairs he could hear some commotion.
“How much is it to sleep with one of your bitches, Skip?” drunkenly rattled Jasper Devereux. Jasper was a local bad-boy, part of “Big” Steve Long’s crew. They gained notoriety in the area for hassling setters, extorting businesses, and strong-arming families into signing over their deeds. Anyone who didn’t want to pay was typically baited into a gunfight, in which they would inevitably die, usually at the hands of Long’s quick-drawing half-brother, Ace Moyer.
“Jasper, I think you’ve had to much to drink. Why don’t you go home and sleep it off, buddy. Come back tomorrow, we’ll all still be here” replied Skip.
“That’s not what I asked, you asshole,” said Jasper, “I asked how much is it to get me with one of those dirty whores. I’ll burn this place to the ground, me and my posse, and we’ll piss on the ashes. I’ll piss on you right now if I feel like it.”
“Come on Jasper. I’ll give you a shooter, on the house, then you need to take off-” and with that, Jasper leaned over the counter and pistol-whipped Skip, drawing blood from his upper lip.
“I don’t want yer whiskey on the house. After back-talking me like that, I’m gonna go take me a whore, on the house. I tell you what, after I’m done with her, she’s lucky if she doesn’t look as bad as you do right now” Jasper drunkenly mumbled.
“You don’t want to do that, Jasper” Jeremiah said authoritatively, from the bottom of the steps. “Now why would you want to do something like that, partner?” Jeremiah paused. “It’s obvious you drank too much. I doubt you could hardly get it up. Your whiskey dick wouldn’t even please a midget prostitute, let alone one these fine ladies.”
With a look of confusion, Jasper glanced down at his crotch, then back up at Jeremiah, cross-eyed with rage and drunkenness.
“See Devereux, you’re thinking about it already” continued Jeremiah. “You’re thinking, what if I get up there, and I can’t get it up? What if she laughs? What if she tells everyone? You don’t want that kind of reputation. So go home and sleep it off. Unless you want to be known around these parts as whisky-dick-Devereux.”
“I’ll cut that sass-full tongue of your’s right out yer mouth, boy. Don’t you ever talk to Jasper Devereux like that again, you here me? I’ll shoot you right now, Hanson.”
“You’re so drunk Jasper, you couldn’t hit water if you fell out of a fucking boat” replied Jeremiah, lightly touching his holstered revolver, just in case Jasper decided to attempt to prove him wrong. Jasper however realized, even as drunk as he was, that Jeremiah was most likely right.
“Come on boys, I’ll give you both a shooter on the house. This is a peaceful saloon here, and I aim to keep it that way” reasoned Skip.
“Alright Skip, pour a whiskey for me and our new friend here” Jeremiah said, as he walked over to the bar.
“I tell you what Hanson, I’m gonna drink this here shot of whiskey, and then go upstairs and claim me a lady. Whiskey-dick or not, if she laughs at me, I’m gonna make her bleed. I’m thinking about taking that filly Agnes for a ride. I might even treat her like a horse, and keep on my boots and spurs why we fuck. Cut her up real nice.”
With that, Jeremiah grabbed the back of Jasper’s head, and slammed it into the bar, smashing it down onto the full shooter of whiskey.
Raising his bloody face in fury, Jasper yelled “For that you die, Jeremiah! You got a fight coming!”
“Sorry about the glass, Skip” Jeremiah said, and flicked a dime onto the counter. “This ought to cover it.”
“I’m riding over to the Bucket of Blood Saloon right now, Jeremiah,” threatened Jasper, “and I promise you, when my boys here of this, you’re a dead man.” The Bucket of Blood Saloon owned by “Big” Steve Long and his two half-brothers, Con and Ace Moyer, and was their well known hang-out.
“Just down fall off your horse on the way there, Jasper, and break your neck. That would be a goddamn shame” Jeremiah answered, as Jasper stumbled out of the whorehouse and headed for his horse, holding his bleeding face with both hands.
“So, with all that in order, I’ll think I’ll finally take my chance at a hand of poker.”
To Be Continued.