Contrary to popular belief the ‘Wild West’ was not nearly as violent as it was depicted in the newspapers of the late 1800s and still is, in today’s modern stories and films. But it did have its bloody moments, as you’ll see in this tale that mixes reality with fiction.
The setting is Front Street in Dodge City - home to the original Long Branch Saloon where the beer was cold and the women were hot. Both were freely available to any cowpoke with the price.
The date is 1875, the year when Charlie Bassett was elected the first sheriff and Larry Derger was appointed as the first Marshall. A few years later, after the newspapers in Boston and New York had made Dodge famous, more colorful lawmen would come to town: Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp to name just two.
As our story starts, Dodge was home to about 750 permanent residents and host to hundreds of riders who came in from the trail as well as the cowhands from dozens of cattle drives.
The town was also, a refuge to a young man – a boy really – named Chalky Jones. Named for the trail dust that coated him after walking 1546 miles to get to Dodge, Chalky is the narrator of our story.