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First And Last Drive.

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First And Last Drive Sitting by the campfire, Billy started to drift off into a light sleep. The only sounds were the snorting of the cattle waiting a few yards away, and the snoring of some of the other cowboys, dozing off in front of the warm fire. Suddenly, a series of loud shots and bangs came from the close cow town of Abilene. Billy jumped. He looked towards the town's bright lights and at the sparks shooting high above the main road where someone was shooting. "Yeah it's a riot all right" Billy turned quickly. The speaker was an old man. He was wearing clothes that were usually only seen on the old cowboys of Texas. "You better get over there young'un. A good old riot really calms the nerves at the end of a cattle drive." Billy was confused, but he suddenly realised, the aged man was right. Three long weeks on the trail had left him tired and worn. He felt that it was time for some fun. "You'll want to grab yourself a room at the saloon. I hear that there's a few new hurdy-gurdy girls", the stranger informed him winking, "The new ones are the easiest to get hold of, if you know what I mean". ...read more.


"Come on, they're waiting for you!" "But I don't play!" Billy objected. "Oh you'll learn quick enough", protested the man in the doorway. Billy found himself being dragged into the saloon. Once inside, he just stood and gaped. "Never been in a saloon before?" The bartender was calling to him. Billy went over and sat down at the bar. "How can you tell?" "Experience" came the answer, "I see a lot of guys like you. I'd be willing to bet that you grew up on a farm or homestead." "You'd be right!" Billy stared at the bottles of whisky and scotch lining the shelves behind the bar. The smell overpowered him and he coughed. As he turned round to clear his throat, he noticed the stage. On it, danced four hurdy-gurdy girls in large floaty skirts that were being lifted in all directions. Billy just sat and gaped. "Whisky. It calms the nerves." Billy started. He turned and took the shot glass from the barman. He drank it in one gulp and asked for another. The music was getting louder, and after the third whisky, Billy was ready for anything. Suddenly, he felt a tap on the shoulder. ...read more.


He joined the flank riders and grabbed his rope from the side of the horse. By dawn, the rain had stopped, but it was still relatively cold. There were many, many cowboys still following a huge stampede of cattle. The swing and flank riders had managed to get around the front of the herd and were trying to get them to turn round. "Hey you with the rope!" Somebody was shouting to Billy. He recognised him to be the same Trail Boss that had been on the cattle drive with him the day before. As he rode alongside Billy, he called out, "Bill, get out in front, we need more people." As Billy rode out in front, his head started to throb. The whiskies of the previous night had taken over. He swayed over the horse, and as he tried to turn round, he lost his balance, slipped and fell from his horse. "Help" Billy cried out as he fell, but the noise of hundreds of cattle stampeding over the dust drowned him out. Next morning, Abilene went about its business as usual. The only person even remotely remembering Billy, the young, lonely cowboy, was the undertaker, whistling happily as he counted the profits of the night before. ...read more.

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