January 0005

 

ST JAKE AND THE MOLE ASSES 

 

One time old Jake here was a-married again, an things was kinda draggin’, bicuz I’d bin a-married to this darn woman for more’n six months, and I hadn’t got round to havin’ no showdown with her yet. I figure I musta got through more wives than any other saint.* Anyway, one day this wife –an’ I just caint remember her dang name – she a-said to me that I’d got to go into town for her an’ do some shoppin’. Then she said somethin’ amazin’: 

“Jake, you gotta get me some mole asses!” An’ I said “What the tarnation you a – wantin’ with mole asses woman?” an’ she said “Just go to that there store an’ get me some mole asses”, an’ threw a fryin’ pan at me, an’ then some plates an’ a chair, an’ started reachin’ for her gun. Oh yeah, I remember, she was called Esmerelda. Purty little piece, but violent, real violent. That’s why I got outa the house as quick as possible, didn’t even throw nothin’ back at her, an’ got hossed up, an’ rode into town. I even got away in one piece, ‘cept for a lump on the head. That Esmerelda couldn’t shoot too good, that was one good thing about her, so all her bullets missed by a mile. Come to think of it, there was another reason I wanted to git away. A new bank’d just opened up in town, an’ I was a-wantin’ to have a look at it to see if it was the kind of bank that robbed easy. Guess I was a-thinkin’ goin’ shoppin’ for Esmerelda could be a kinda alibi, but I couldn’t have bin thinkin’ too good, Way I figure it now I look back on it, who’s ever goin’ to be a – beleivin’ of a reg’lar cowpoke a – runnin’ errands for a woman?  

Anyways, as I got inta town, I rubbed that lump on my head, and figured maybe I oughta get them mole asses, to stop any more fights a happenin’ just yet. Then I could have a nice long look at that there bank. So I moseyed up to the store an’ hitched my hoss to the rail outside. Then I walked inside.  

“Ma woman’s a wantin’ some mole asses” I said, long and slow and cool, “’N first I figure you gotta tell me what them’s for. I ain’t a – buyin’ o’ nothin’ till I know what it’s good for.” I don’t know why, but that hombre behind the bar in that there store looked kinda frit when he saw Jake here. That was mighty strange, coz I wasn’t a-pointin’ of no gun at him, just had my hand a – hangin’ near it, kinda to be safe. Anyways, he said: “Oh, they’re to eat, sir” only he kinda stammered a bit. So I said “How much?” An he says “Fifteen cents a jar sir” an’ held up this big glass thing. Kinda black inside it was, on account of them mole asses. An’ I got to thinkin’, and I figured that I could get maself a shot o’ whiskey for fifteen cents, so I said “What’s a mole anyways?” an’ this hombre a - looked at me kinda strange like. I figure he didn’t like a – givin’ out of no information, not unless you paid him first, but then he looked like he was a thinkin’ mebbe he’d better tell me anyways, an’ he said “A mole’s a small black animal that lives in holes under the ground Sir. Taxonomical name, talpus. Nearly blind.” So I thanked him, real polite like, figurin’ a man that knows stuff can turn out mighty useful, an’ asked him one last question. “Is a mole the same kinda critter as a gopher?”, an’ he said yes, it was, more or less, so I even tiped ma hat at him, ‘n’ I went out, leavin’ him a-lookin’ mighty relieved.  

Course, Jake here had a plan. I rode outa town someways, an’ hid myself behind this cactus. Soon I seed a whole mess of gophers, an’ I pointed my gun at them. After a while, I had a mighty big pile of dead gophers, an’ I figured the sun was startin’ to get low, so I’d better get on with the rest o the job. An so I got out my bowie knife, an cuts out all them asses, a thinkin’ of how women’s always got men a-doin’ of really stupid things, and that mebbe Elmo the F*gg*t’s got the right idea after all. Then I put that big pile of mole asses in ma saddle bags, an’ rode off ta look at the bank. 

Th’ way it turned out, the bank looked like it was goin’ ta be really easy ta rob, on account of it was right next to Betsy’s, an’ Betsy, she was a – owing of a coupla favours ta Jake, here. So I told Betsy she’d gotta let me have the private use of her upstairs room for a coupla hours or so. Betsy said she din’t want no more trouble, an’ so I threw the man that was in there down the stairs, an’ the girl ran off afore I could throw her down too, an so I locked the door behin’ me an started kickin’ at the wall. Sure enough, in a coupla minutes I found myself in this kinda office on top of the bank. From there it was easy ta go downstairs, an’ find the safe. Did I tell ya I’d picked up Fingers Pete on the way ta the bank? Anyways, I did, and pretty soon Fingers had that safe wide open, an’ there was all them dollars just a - waitin’ for Jake lyin’ there in that there safe. That’s when I hit a problem. Ma saddlebags was full of mole asses, see, so I tipped em out on the floor, an’ filled my saddlebags with the money, an’ gave Pete a coupla banknotes, not too many, ‘n’ he was left a-lookin’ real grateful, an I rode off home again.  

‘Fore I got in, I buried the saddlebags some little ways from the house, but I needn’t a-bothered, ‘cos Esmerelda was asleep, ‘n’ snorin’ like a hog, so I turned in too.  

The next day was a Sunday, so Jake here had ta go an’ read Mass, down at the Holey Martyrs, an I actually got there about ten minutes early on account of I didn’t have no hangover, an’ that’s on account of collectin’ them mole asses an’ robbin’ that bank. All the folk that’s there was a-talkin’ about how that new bank’d bin robbed already, and some of ‘em even asked if I knew anythin’ about it, so I preached this real hellfire sermon about not bein’ a – bearin’ of false witness, an’ about how none of them varmints was a – knowin’ of nothin’ anyways, an’ that’s the way the Lord, and Jake, liked it, an’ for a while things quietened down a little, an we all had some whiskey for communion, an I told the congregation they was allowed ta go if they wanted. 

While I was a – lockin’ of the church door, the sheriff rode up, an’ said he was a lookin’ for a prevert, a real bad prevert an’ I asked “What’s a prevert?” An’ the sheriff says he knowed I didn’t got nothin’ ta do with that bank, on account of them mole asses, despite what some folks in Betsy’s was a-sayin’, an’ what he wants me for is to see if I was a knowin’ of the whereabouts of Elmo the F*gg*t. I made a kinda mental note that mebbe it was time Betsy’s place had a little fire, just ta purify it like, an’ said last thing I’d heard, Elmo was still in Carson City Jail, but if he’d bin a-escapin’ from there, an’ I wouldn’t put it past him, he’d sure be needin’ some money, but nope, Jake here hadn’t heard nothin’ about him.

And so the sheriff rode off. Anyways, it turns out Elmo had escaped, but on the way to arrest him, the sheriff got himself inta the wrong side of a gun fight with a whole mess of desperados, and by the time they fixed a new sheriff, everyone’d dang forgot about that bank. 

The way I figure it, this is a truly inspirational story, an’ it shows a whole heap o’ good things.

For first. Like I’m always a-sayin’, the ways of the Lord is stranger than a whole mess of squaws.

For second. If I hadn’t a left them mole asses in the bank, I wouldn’t have got away with it so easily on account of the sheriff’d never have thought of Elmo the F*gg*t, an’ then got himself killed on the way to find him, let the Lord be thanked for all his mercies.

For third. Even the strange things women’s always a -.getting’ you to do kin turn out mighty useful, like in this case an’ that’s a real powerful example of divine providence.  

One last thing. When I got home that Sunday, Esmerelda was a – wantin’ to know where her mole asses were, an’ I guess we musta started arguing a little. So next thing, I’d got to arrange her funeral, an’ when I was at the undertakers, I met this really purty piece that had just become a widow, on account of her husband was dead, an’ that’s where my next wife came from. An’ that just goes to show that if you walk hand in hand with the Lord, everythin’ turns out all right.  
 

*This is true. See the second half of this page.

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