Icicle Jesse




Dear Doc:

Well, we're here.

Ain't impressed that much with the city, to tell th' truth, but it's got its charm. You ought'a see th' tram, an' buildings taller'n th' top o' th' Red River Gorge, if you stood at th' bottom. Me an' Jessica, we spent a whole day just a-walkin' around and lookin'. Jessica says she wants to buy a camera if we can get paid work in addition to th' rooms, an' send you some pictures.

We had some bother about th' rooms, see. Remember how we reckoned as Jeb's brother ran th' boardin'-house, in th' city, an' we thought we might could stay a couple o' nights, until we found our feet? Well, turns out he don't run it no more, he done sold it to some city feller, an' left th' city, an no one knows where he's gone.

Now, th' city feller, he's tall an' thin, an' has black hair, an' goes by th' name o' MacLellan, an' he's a stubborn ol' cuss. He wanted more for th' room than we had. We might'a left, but we'd been to five places already, lookin', an' they all wanted just as much. So Jessica says, we can work for our room an' board, we'll patch th' roof if you will buy th' shingles, an' re-caulk th' tile, an' all th' things you need done.

He didn't believe us, o' course, tol' us he never met anyone under th' age o' thirty as knew the value of an honest day's work. Jessica didn't like that much, an' I didn't either, us as been ranch hands since fourteen, mendin' fences an' breakin' horses an' th' like. Though, since I've seen some more o' the city teens, I can see where he's a-comin' from.

So, he's arguin' wi' Jessica, an' in comes these rustlers lookin' fer trouble. They was all men, wearin' shirts o' red an' orange, with stars on 'em - decorated wi' goats heads, an' wierd writin' all over 'em. Pentagrams, them stars is called. Supposed to be full o' black magic. These rustlers weren't no magicians, though, they belonged to a gang o' no-goods called Hellions. We've seen 'em all over town. I expect they reckon th' stars make 'em look scary. Make 'em look silly, if you ask me.

Anyway, they come a-struttin' in, an' tell Jessica as how th' boardin'-house is closed, an' we'd best git gone. See, these fellas have all th' shopkeepers scared, they make 'em pay money ta stay away, an' ol' MacLellan, he ain't paid, an' wouldn't pay, an' told 'em ta git, afore we arrived. So's they've come back ta beat up MacLellan, an' tear up his boardin'-house.

We didn't know any o' that then, o' course, MacLellan told us afterwards what was goin' on. All we knows at th' time was these fellers come in an' told us ta git.

Well, you can imagine how Jessica took that. She comes right back at th' feller as said it, an' tells him that it ain't for him ta say where we can or can't stay, an' it's between us an' MacLellan, an' if MacLellan says ta go we'll go, but we ain't a-leavin' because some puffed up popinjay thinks he's suddenly th' boss.

Th' boss-feller, he didn't like that none, an' when he told Jessica ta move again, an' she didn't, he made like he was goin' ta throw her out himself. Reckon he thought we didn't look like much. His hired hands sure were surprised when Jessica up an' decked him. She ain't lost nothin' o' that right hook, an' he fell down an' didn't get up again.

The fight as followed was a treat. There was six o' them an' two o' us, an' I was worried at first, but these city fellers, they don't know how to fight proper-like. In the end we kicked 'em all out an' told em not ta come back.

MacLellan told us thanks, but they'd only be back, an' more of 'em next time. Jessica comes back an' says, iffen he'll give us room an' board, we'll make sure them no-goods doesn't come 'round no more. MacLellan says iffen we stay through the next round o' no-goods, an' beat 'em, he'll give us room an' board, if one of us will go to his brother, an t'other'll stay with him. See, he an' his brother run boarding houses, in seperate parts o'town, an' these fellers has been hittin' on 'em both. MacLellan says the Hellions are mighty tough an' he reckons we'd best get while th' gettin's good. Jessica says a bunch o' no-goods like that ain't runnin' us out.

So we stayed for a couple o' days, an' fixed up some o' th' things the Hellions had broken; replaced a few windows, an' mended th' furniture. We was patchin' th' roof when the Hellions come back, bold as brass, an' in broad daylight! An' this time they have another feller with 'em, taller, an' dressed in black leather, from head to toe. Forget what they said his name was; he were their enforcer, see. An' he were a magician, or somethin'. Maybe he was like Jessica an' me, an' didn't know where his talents comes from. At any rate, he raises his hands, and out comes black smoke, shaped like skulls, a-chompin' at th' air. Knocked me clean off th' roof! Scared me out o' a year's growth.

Seems you were right, when you said there's be folks in the city like us.

We hadn't planned on showin' anyone what we could do when we got here; all we want is a place to stay an' an honest day's work. But once that feller showed up an' started shootin' skulls all over th' place, it was gonna take more than Jessica's right hook ta settle things up.

He sure was surprised when she fired back from th' roof, an' he found himself coated in ice, from th' waist down. His rustlers were too; I iced most o' them while Jessica spent time wailin' away on th' black skull feller. When the rustlers was all down I joined her. It took some doin' but we sent the enforcer packin', an' told him ta tell his bosses as not to come back.

We was worried about MacLellan after that. We've lost plenty o' jobs when the bosses found out about th' ice: weren't we let go from th' lazy-eight, an' th' bar-W, an' a dozen other ranches, 'cause the bosses didn't like it, when they found out?

But ol' MacLellan, he was all right. Said he saw that we could handle ourselves, an' if one of us'll stay with him, and t'other with his brother, we could stay as long as we wanted. Jessica an' I weren't keen on splittin' up, but we reckon it'll be for th' best in th' long run, so Jessica stayed with MacLellan, an' I came here. I reckoned I might see trouble, but I ain't seen none yet, though plenty o' those Hellions are around.

Anyways, I'd best get a-goin'. I promised the elder MacLellan (Jessica is with the younger) that I'd get that roof patched today, an' it ain't patchin' itself, while I set here writin' to you. I'll write more, if anythin' happens worth writin' about. Hope you're well: give Martha a hug from us.

Icicle Jesse

OOC: Comments welcome as always

Jen 8)