Red Joker: 'The Clown'
Everybody knows that the Dead Man's Gun, the Black Joker, is a tool of Old Scratch himself. Owners that have it never die in a gun fight, but that ebony pistol'll getcha one way or another, and less pleasant than bein' shot too.
S'fer the red one... The red one's a bit... different. No fancy platin', no engravin', and most certainly not a slick cityboy six-shooter. The ol' red clown actually looks like a Baker, them Brit rifles. Some people say 'zeke Baker made it himself.
Funny thing, using a flintlock in the Wild West. The wood's red, an' most people reckon the color is from the wood bein' stained with blood and all but you know how folks like to talk. One thing for sure though : havin' it around just makes a man feel *good*.
What's that you say? You want to ken how I know what I'm talkin' about?
Fancy a youngin' wanting to hear an old dog bark on and on in this day and age. Figger I might as well tell ya, on account of you buyin' me that sasparilla 'n all. Well, it was eighteeeeen eight aught. I was takin' my wagon out past Tombstone; such a shame about them folks, although I can't say they were the nicest bunch. Anyway, I was takin' my wagon past Tombstone (since I heard there was some gold veins cleared up by the town bein' removed in so much) and I swears I seen a fella with no hat or so much as a poncho walking right into the desert.
Now hold on, hold on. Don't be getting all excited. I couldn't tell ya what he looked like if I wanta ta. It's not that I don't 'member so much as it's like I never knew in the first place. What? Sit down, sit down. I kin tell ya this much, and that's that the man had a steely glare that'd settle an injun down. He was holdin' a Card I swears it. Cradling that red Baker in his arms like a baby boy, trudging forward in the sand.
What direction was he headin'?
West? East... no West. Definitely... maybe East. Whichever way it was, s'definitely away from Tombstone, that much s'fershure. Now lean in close here. Reeeeeal close here. Now, some folk say, not me, but some folk say, that fella went to Tombstone. And some folk say that every other fella with a Card was also at Tombstone that day. We're talking a Full Deck here. All of 'em. The whole ball of wax. And thens they figure that the Black Joker was there, and he decides to play a game of 52 Card Pick-Up and that Red's not invited. Y'see... there's whispers that the Red Joker only gots one bullet and one bullet only. And that man been saving that bullet for Old Scratch and that Black Joker.
Figger it's the only bullet kin kill a man holding the Dead Man's Gun. Some people say it already been shot; was how the dead man got deaded in the first place.
People say a lot of funny things, huh?
Back to Wild Cards: Stories of the World
Back to Wild Cards