The Bloody Song of Dilly the Spud
What follows is an excerpt from Boingers! A Club for Gentlemen. This is exclusive, jerks, so git yer boots on.
from: Chapter XVIII: The Lonesome Trail or: A Certain Grimness on the Horizon Nears
It was long about a fortnight after Dilly the Spud raped all them Mexicans in San Antone–Dilly being referred to as “the Spud” as a tip o’ the hat to his particular heritage, of course, him being from the country of Ireland. We was gettin on toward Fort Worth, moving the cows a steady pace, all the while expecting to look back and see law coming over the horizon arear us. Then, one night when we was making camp, as I said, about a fortnight after all the rapin’s, the cook, Cookie, broke out the jugs of whisky. I guess it was decided that if the law was coming they woulda caught us up by then. Maybe they heard better than to be discourteously engagin’ the roughest cow outfit in the whole country just over a buncha raped Mexicans. The boys all got good and soused.
I was settin there by Dilly, by the cookfire near the wagon. It was custom that Dilly and me set together when the rest of the boys were drinkin cause we was the only ones what didn’t touch the stuff. I didn’t touch it cause I was only eleven at the time of the drive. Dilly had other reasons.
We set there and didn’t talk for a long time, Dilly drinkin his coffee that he took so black and thick you’da thought he scraped it outta the tar pits. He had that squinty look in his one good eye that told you he was ruminatin’ on something. I didn’t say nothin as a rule most times. I figured it unwise as a youngun to go openin’ up my pie hole around such a rough crew until I earned some more salt. Maybe after I whacked a few more injins or got my bean wet I’d have more to say.
Suddenly, Dilly tossed the dregs of his cup into the fire. It sounded a sharp slap & hiss. “Fuck ‘em them rangers didn’t come a lookin’ fer us!” Dilly spat. He had a blind hatred of the Texas Rangers, law of any sort, but the rangers especially. “Lookin forward to killin’ a passel o them boys, I bet,” I said to Dilly. He didn’t respond seein as how the sentiment was probably quite obvious.
Since Dilly had started the talkin’, quite a rare occurrence, I felt the compunction to see what else I could get out of him. “You plan on stoppin off in Fort Worth?”
“I reckon we might,” said Dilly, and his face took on that defiant character it tended to achieve whenever contemplatin’ or otherwise materially runnin up against some kinda presumed earthly authority. I figured Dilly the Spud would look that same way in consideration of God Almighty his self.
There rose up then a centralized hootin’ & hollerin’ amongst the boys that compelled me and Dilly both to look that way. Turned out they had roped one of the beef and Smokey Johnson, a free nigger from Missouri, was fuckin’ it. This got a good laugh out of Dilly the Spud, a sound I had come to know as one of the most rarely occurrin’ on the range. “I guess we better stop off in Fort Worth at that,” he said. “Better to get these boys some whores fore they fuck through all our cows an ruin our profits!”
Next day we stopped the cows in a little valley a short ride from town. Everybody gathered up their coins, spit-shined their faces, slicked their hair with barber’s grease and rode on in to Fort Worth.
Billy Buckskins stayed with the herd. Billy didn’t mind. It was said he’d had his nuts cut off by an Apache brave some years back and so he didn’t go in for whorin’ or rabble rousin’ anyhow. I been told it’s the juice in a man’s nuts what make him so fast for the bawdier pleasures in life.
It was clear that something had changed that day in Fort Worth. I suspect word about our outfit had got around. The bartenders were all quick to fetch the boys whatever they’d have to drink and weren’t overly insistent about any outstanding tabs. But what was really telling was the way the boys had with the Fort Worth whores. Everybody knows there ain’t nothin stingier than a whore except for the madame that’s dealing ‘em. Such so that whenever I hear somebody talk about the King of the Jews, I always picture some fat, painted lady in garters tellin him what to do. And collectin a painful tax. But the boys had their run of the whores. They maybe payed what they could, at first. But as would naturally happen with some young hands that been out on the range with a herd of cows for a month, the boys quickly got carried away. Instead of ruttin’ on a transaction by transactional basis, they carried on to do whatever they pleased with them Fort Worth whores, all day and all through the dusty night. Their madame, a fat, pink lady in garters, of course, just set around the bar, sweatin & drinkin and casting nervous glances at the rooms upstairs, from which came every manner of howl & scream.
Dilly didn’t take part in the whorin. He gathered up supplies and I tagged along to help. Dilly quickly came aware of the differential treatment we was gettin in town and for some reason, it struck him kind of salty. Truth is, there wasn’t much about Dilly the Spud you’d call entirely common.
We was sittin’ in the saloon, each of us enjoyin’ a sasparilla, when Dilly called the bartender over. “C’mere, keep,” he said. Bartender was a short, fat man with a greasy moustache. He looked real nervous. “Who’s the law in this town?” Dilly asked flat. “Why, that’d be Sheriff Wiggins,” the man answered. “Why don’t you get someone to bring him on in here,” Dilly the Spud suggested, pickin’ at his nails with a big skinnin’ knife.
Well, the sheriff couldn’t a been too terribly predisposed, cause they fetched him in two minutes. Prolly he was cowerin around the corner just waitin fer us to clear out and leave his poor cowshit town alone. He presented himself in fronta Dilly like a guilty boy before his school marm. “What can I do for you, sir?” Sheriff said. He actually called Dilly ‘sir’, just like that.
Now I don’t rightly know what the proper way fer this sheriff to address Dilly woulda been, wishin to avert trouble as he was. Probably the only thing to do woulda been to draw his gun and just shoot ol Dilly in the neck. I know it sure didn’t do that sheriff no good in Dilly’s eyes to come in tremblin like a skeert faggot.
“Here’s the deal, sheriff. We been purty long on the trail and with scant amusement. Watchin a buncha greasy cowhands fight & fuck the dogies just don’t quite tickle me no more.” Here Dilly casually turned his knife so it caught a ray of sunshine comin in through the saloon windows and flashed in the sheriff’s eyes. “So, Sheriff Wiggins, I want you to entertain me.”
A rather mystified look came over the sheriff’s face. Unfortunately for the sheriff, he reacted to this mystification by gettin his fool back up. “Now see here, Dilly Spud, I ain’t no entertainer; I’m the law in this town! And I think it’s time you and your crew…”
The sheriff didn’t have no chance to finish his proclamation. In a flash, Dilly knocked off his hat and took him up by his hair, his feet actually danglin’ off the ground. He put the big buck knife to the crown of the sheriff’s head. “I’m only gonna warn you one time, sheriff; I taken the scalps off of lawmen, injin chiefs and bad Mexican pistoleros. I wouldn’t think more’n once to have yours. Now get on all fours! Make like a dogie! Git!” And Dilly tossed that sheriff to the floor.
Wiggins’ eyes were like frightened saucers, lookin up from his hands & knees. He looked for all the world like he might just piss.
“Git on!” Dilly hollered and he kicked the sheriff in his droopy ass. “Git along, hear!”
Sheriff Wiggins began to scramble around, rather poorly, on his hands and knees.
“Shit almighty, Kid, we got a lively one here!” Dilly said, addressing myself. “Let’s see if ol Dilly the Spud can bust this cow.” Dilly had a wild look in his non-glass eye that we’d all come to know quite well over the course of the drive.
Dilly hopped right on top of the sheriff’s back and proceeded to try and ride him like a bull. But the sheriff hadn’t much luck supportin Dilly’s weight and was soon sprawled flat upon the floor with the Spud on top of him.
“Whooie! What do you say we brand this calf!” Dilly reefed down the sheriff’s trousers and gave him a loud smack on his bare backside. He then proceeded to take out his bean and fuck the sheriff out in ten or twelve hard strokes. After he spent his seed, what Dilly did then was take the big buck knife and saw off the sheriff’s hair.
The sheriff screamed like a witch at the stake and Dilly like an Apache brave.
When we crossed the Red River it seemed we left civilization far behind. Now it was only the endless plains. To most of us, that meant one thing. Injins. In Texas, the fightin’ injins was mostly whipped. But, according to Dilly the Spud’s plan, we were gonna drive this herd of skinny, stolen Mexican beef all the way to Montany. Now Montany was a place so distant as to be almost mythical. But what weren’t no stretch of the imagination was to figure on every variety of bloodthirsty injin terrorizin’ the dusty planes between this place and there.
It didn’t take long for our injin fears to be quite realized. The second day after we crossed the Red, the two Delawares Dilly had scouting for us came ridin’ in hard, their horses in a lather. They come across some Kiowa tracks ridin parallel the herd. A war party, alright, they said, twenty-five or thirty strong.
Dilly took the news like he’d been waitin for it all along. Like drivin these shit-stinkin cows was just an elaborate excuse to get up into wild country and fight savages. “Shit,” Dilly spat. “There’s near twenty of us. With guns. I say let ‘em come.” Really we only had twelve hands on the drive.
That afternoon, when the sun was still high and hot, we spied the Kiowas up on a ridge a couple miles westerly. They just set there, watching us poke along. They made no move to approach, peaceably or otherwise. That night we saw the smoke from their camp off to our east. They attacked at dawn.
Hell fire! Tarnation! Them Kiowas came on like a nightmare waked up. Red sun risin at the back of a multi-headed hell-horned beast of every skin, feather, weapon-weilding, screaming sin with vampire teeth. Huge cloud of dust & beef, rumbling & lowing & blowin off steam. First thing they did was spook the herd. Must’ve snuck some braves in amongst ‘em durin the night. I got up my gun quick as I could and fired a round into a charging demon with a buffalo’s head. Head came off, horns and all, went tumbling back into the dusty tumult, scream fading off to join the unbelievable din. Spear-wielding body went charging by, bareback atop some half-wild stallion, face painted like a glowing skull, eyes rolled back, tongue lolling like a butchered cow. I dropped to the ground to load another shot, dust, death & destruction roilin’ all around me. Billy Buck come stumblin outta the blood-brown crowd. He had a arrow stuck in the back of his head and comin out one eye. He was stumblin like a drunk, unseein’, and about to step right on me. I give him a kick in the pants and he toppled over, right under the hooves of a Kiowa’s mount. The horse fell on toppa the brave not two feet from where I was crouched. I beheld the injin’s eyes buggin outta his skull while his insides got squished. He wore around his neck what looked for all the world like a string of petrified dicks.
When it was all done, it was like a twister’d blowed through. I musta got knocked out a little, cuz I come to laying in the dirt amongst a pile a horse and man bodies that looked like the leavin’s of a whole damn war and not just one injin attack. The blood pourin’ outta every shape & size of hole was turnin’ the brown earth into a clay-colored quagmire. I guess there was a fair amount of groanin’ & gibberin’ to be heard outta bodies not quite given up their breath. But the sound that ultimately won my attention was that of one man workin’ feverishly amongst the seethin carnage. It was Dilly the Spud, hoppin’ from body to body, cuttin’ the nuts & head hair off anything that bled.
His work went on till he had a bloody pile of trophies half as high as a man is tall. Then he set down next to me in the blood & the mud, breathin like a run-down hound. “Well,” said Dilly, “that’s that,” he said. And I s’pose it was at that.
Me and Dilly loaded up all the scalps and other bodily trophies in the wagon. Then we had a big breakfast and set out, ridin on the wagon, pulled by a couple a dumb mules and with a couple a good horses tied behind. All the while Dilly didn’t talk. I had no idea what he reckoned on doin.
The beef was scattered all over the plain and we didn’t make no effort to round ‘em. But as we rolled along in the wagon, the better number of ‘em was generally in our view and, in a straglin sort of way, they seemed to wander mostly in the direction we’d been drivin ‘em in for the month prior.
After a while, we happened upon some more injins. They was camped out and looked more er less peaceable. Course I doubt any injin could ever be truly peaceable. Dilly rode right up to ‘em without breakin pace or sayin a word about it.
Turnt out they was mostly women and children and a few wrinkled old men. Dilly started dealin’ with one of the men. He kept pointin back at our beef, straggling across the plains. It seemed Dilly was tryna make a deal for ‘em. He’d point and gesticulate and the wrinkled old man would look on serious. After a while the old man said somethin to a woman, and she saw to it that some youngsters presented to Dilly and me a pile of blankets and trinkets and some jugs of whisky. Dilly disapproved and the old man had some more pieces of injin crap brought out and this went on for a while.
I had nothin to do this whole while but set there and watch. I came to notice the women and children really eye-ballin the pile of trophies on back of the wagon–which, in fairness, had begun to emanate a pretty ripe, awful smell buy this time. It took me a minute to guess these people were probably lookin at the heads & nuts of their fathers & sons & brothers on that wagon. I don’t know how they expect you end up, livin out on the plains this way.
After a while it became pretty clear these poor savages didn’t have nothin’ worthwhile to barter with. Dilly finally got exasperated and gave up. We took the pile of crap the injins had laid our for us and threw it in the wagon, then we rode off. I suspect the injins lived on that beef for a good long while. And that’s how Dilly the Spud ended up bein’ the biggest do-goodin white man the Kiowas of the Oklahoma Territory ever knew.