This story uses the X-Men as characters. It has no sex, and the worst curses are along the lines of Damn and Hell. Umm...I wouldn't mind the whole archive thing, if it's worth the time, or being poked at by a critic. Oh yeah, there's some iffy racial stuff in there, but not in any way "hateful." When you read through it you'll see it's in context.
From the way the sun was glarin' down on me, I could tell it couldn't be more then four o'clock when he blew into town. 'Bout every month'r two this dude comes through ma town, Clearwater, lookin' fer some job snatching up a "Villain" er two for cash. Yeah, 'bout that time me and ol' Doc McCoy were conversatin' 'bout the weather and up comes this dude in his long black trenchcoat, bolar hat, en those weird goggles a' his. Folks hereabouts called'm "Redeye" Summers.
He strode in like a fresh-fed donkey, bit'a chaw in his gape, and went right up inta my office, looking through the wanteds. Not even a nod ta me er McCoy, though we weren't expectin' no pleasantries from a hombre like him.
So I says ta McCoy, "Hank...think this here kid come inta town looking fer another cattle rustler en some quick cash? Er maybe he thanks he can get hisself a REAL job, settle down like a good church-goin' man, eh? Whatcha thank, Hank?" Well, he looks up et me, bit'a straw hanging out his mouth wavin' at me, and says, "Yep." Hank's a man a few words.
The Dude turned to me then, nodded his hat good day and made like to walk off, but he stopped first en said, "Drake...you may be Sheriff in this town,but men like me are Law."
That got me right riled up then, ruffed ma feathers, so I called back at'm, "Okay 'Law,' lessee you wear a badge and do it the right way! Wait till a law is broken before yah go'in drag in a man by his coat tails ... Damn dudes thank they got Justice in their pea shooters -- well, I signed on to 'serve and pertect.' Ta watch out fer folks, not run around lookin' fer trouble en a quick buckskin. Go 'head, Redeye, git yerself killed...hell, go en hunt yerself a real killer like that Wolverine!!"
There en then I knew it was a bad idea to go en say that, but it was too late; those shiny red goggles turned and focused on me. "What killer?"
"Now Summers, the man had charges against'm, but seein' as they were dropped I couldn't do a thang about'm."
"What he do?"
"Well ... they say ... he killed a man over a card game, big important man by name of Xavier. Banker he was ... left behind a beauty of a Wid'r ... Mrs. Jean, soon ta be school marm, poor child..."
"Looks like me en this 'Wolverine' need ta have a chat."
"Don't you go stirrin' the rat'ler's nest, boy. He's a free man, so says the law!"
He turned in his tracks and made up the street, but not before sayin', "I told you, Sheriff ... men like me are the Law..."
I couldn't do a thang but stare at em then, that and ask the Doc, "Doc, you thank he ken do it? Take down that Mr. Logan?"
Ole' Blue Boy, lil name a made when'e ah slipped some funny dye inta his hair tonic, he looks up et from under the brim of his hat en says, "Yep." That Hank, a man a few words.
No more than a hour later, I walked into Rogue's Saloon, lookin' ta wet ma whistle, and there's Mr. Logan puffin' away on a c'gar with his favorite girls, two slanty-eyed miners' daughters, Jubilee en ... well ... Can't recall the other, only that she had a tattoo on'r face. Orientals'r half as weird as those Ingins ... Anyway, he was playin' a card game with one rough en scrappy lookin' polecats daughter who like ta call herself "Marrow." Fer the life a me can't figure why. Maybe cus she's just so damned ugly -- cow musta kicked the marrow outta her cheek bones.
Yeah, that Mr. Logan was a rough-lookin' feller with those wild eyes en mut'n chops. Yusta hear stories 'bout'm havin' claws like the devil, made of metal as hard as rail iron. He didn't pay me no mind though, never did, so I made my way through the reg'lars and took up a stool to face the crowd. There was a Nigress up on the stage, a songbird with white hair en blue ah's. Well, I don't have ta tell you what a sight that'un was! She was up there showin' some leg, all long and dark, and croonin' with a voice that'd melt snow. Hell, it melted my heart en I'm the Iceman Himself!
Well, I knew what was comin' but aimed to have maself a drank before hand, so's I turned to the barkeep, Remy. He asked me what I wanted en that parlee vu franzee way'a his en I got maself a tonic. 'Bout two sips in, Redeye comes a tromplin' into the saloon and stands at the door. Looked like he was posin' a bit, but no one paid em any mine besides Mr. Logan en maself. That's how you ken tell a real desperado from a tendertoe: that otherworldly sense tellin'm someone was gunnin' fer'um.
Eyes meet, but no guns were pulled. They stood sizin' up one another before Red goes and pre-empts hisself a seat. That girl, Marrow, she glares et um, but leaves em be as Jubilee sets out another hand. I just watch.
They don't say a single word to eachother thru six games, both winnin' en losin' pretty well, both good bluffers if I've ever seen one, till finally a woman rouses their attentions. Miss Rogue erself comes down er stairs looking like the Queen o' England with the accent ta match. Miss Rogue was a class act, even for a streetwalker. She was so classy I only knew of one man who'd dare brag'a baggin' her breeches en that was 'er bartender, Remy. Tried askin'm about it one day, but damned if I could understand a word outta that frenchman's mouth! She moves to their table, maybe sensing somethin's up too, and sets a gloved hand right thar on the poker winnins. Even the Nigress had to stop'r singin' to stare. She leaned forward and said, "Now gentlemen, I'm quite sure this is a friendly card game, with friendly wagers and even friendlier aquaintances playing it. So, I'd think these..." she reached down into Red's lap, gettin' a blush from everyone on that, and liftin' out his wesson, "are unneccesary, aren't they?"
There was a dead silence in tha room when Miss Rogue's ah's meet ole Wolverine's. No one had even thought to tryin' take that man's gun. She did it without a flinch, only winked et'm and brushed soma that white part of her hair out uv'r eyes. That got Logan grinnin' ... He gave up the gun right easy like. Music started up like nothin' even happen en the black beauty goes ta singin'r heart out up there. Watchin'r for a moment, I thought of a canary bird, locked in a cage ... But hell, that Nigress had it better than mosta'r kind, she was a free woman. Wasn't she?
I looked back to the boys, and found the game had ended. Logan looked ready ta follow Miss Rogue like a lost puppy, but Redeye collected his winnins and stepped out, stoppin' once to glance back. Only he and Logan had winnin's that night; tha girl lost all her money and was lookin' uglier than usual. Logan gave a wink ta his girls, who scampered off. He stood up, and stepped outside behind Red. Seein' as I'm law in this town, I tailed'm. Wasn't plannin' on stoppin' 'em -- hell, makes ma job that much easier -- but someone had to call the undertaker.
It was just gettin' near dusk, sun hangin' low justa bout ready ta tuck hisself in, and Mr. Logan was out on the porch facin' Redeye. Red was a cool hand, that was sure.
Logan looks'm up en down a minute then up and says, "Ah ain't got no quarrels with you, bub, don't know you from enybody."
"Well, I know you ... Mr. Logan, murderer."
Logan gives'm a real sharp grin then, like a bar catchin' 'is first fish a the day, "Most calls me Wolverine ... But Ah like yer respectful-like tone..."
"No respect here, Mr. Logan. I call men Mr. for that very reason ... they think it's respect, but it's contempt ... makes me laugh how shallow a fell'r has to be to fall for that."
Now I was a bit away from Logan, watchin' off to his right, so's I can't say fer sure if what I heard was a barkin' laugh ... or the wild dog growl.
Summers went on ... "For the crime of murder, Mr. Logan, I charge you. Defend your honor, polecat ... come out here and prove yourself with steel."
"Ma steel? Well, if yah be referrin' ta ma piece, the good lady has it. Now ... if yah want another kinda steel..."
Next part's a bit tough ta swallow, but it's true -- so help me, it is!! Mr. Logan touches his wrist and out jumped three long metal claws, hadta be a few inches each. He leaped, tacklin' Red down and showin' me e'zactly why they calls'm the Wolverine. Man was a animal! Logan was slobberin' like a hound dog while Red was a' retchin' and a' strugglin' under'm. Red kicked 'em off with both feet and pulled another wesson; this'un Miss Rogue musta "conveniently" missed. He fired two shots right then, Logan still off'is feet en unarmed. Honor en justice er two dif'rent things, friend. Men like Redeye Summers have justice, the kind that calls blood for blood, but honor? Justa word to'um, long as the job gets done. Mr. Logan took both shots and fell ... And personally, I thought'm dead. Sep, he wasn't even close.
Red stood up quick as a cat en stepped over to Mr Logan. He wasn't movin', that was fer sure. Not until Red got close enough -- then he was on'm, clawin' away at his gun hand and leavin' a nasty gash. I moved fer ma gun, but assault's no kinda crime ta be usin' it fer. They took the brawl out inta the dirt streets, Logan clawin' like a madman en Red workin' ta stay well away.
Finally, Logan got one good hit on Red's left goggle. Fer a minute, while he was screamin' and holdin' the bloody mess, I coulda sworn I saw a light, like the holy spirit done leap outta his eye. But it wasn't white, like Holy light; no, it was as red as the blood thet was makin' it useless. Fer whatever reason, Wolverine stepped away from em with a weird look in'is eye.
Just then, outta the blue, a shot rings. Everyone in tha town musta heard it, even ole Doc McCoy who was half sleep on'is porch. On one side of the road was Mrs Jean Grey-Xavier, the Wid'r, and on the other ... Mr. Logan, shot dead. Don't ask me how she knew, though I say she gots witch powers, but she knew ... The man who killed her husband was right ready ta pay tha price. She didn't so much'is glance at Red, who was still bleedin' to hisself, though not as loud. She looks ta me instead and says, "I don't think a crime's been commited here, Sheriff..."
I nod to'r en say, "Yep ... looks like justice ta me, en what's the law compared ta justice?" She nodded, dropped the shotgun like a hot iron, and walked away.
Redeye Summers still comes around, still wears his goggles, though one has itself a patch beneath. He still goes lookin' fer a rustler er two. Only, he's a Marshal now. The wid'r is still a wid'r, only she's married now. Ta ... me! Thet's right, me. See, we fell in love en...
"Bobby!! Bobby, would you wake up? You're in my favorite chair again."
Bobby Drake feels a hand on his shoulder, shaking him. A furry blue hand. Wiping away some sleep, he stands, dropping a crumpled western novel from his lap.
"Hank, I had the weirdest dream!" Just then, Logan enters the room puffing a pipe cigar; Bobby points to him. "And you were there!! And you too, Hank ... But I'm home now, and there's no place like home..."
Big Blue stares at him for a moment before saying, "Bobby, my friend ... see someone about your head, I think you may have knocked it very hard ... And remove your posterior from my chair."
Bobby yawns and says, "Thanks, 'Doc.'" As he makes his way up the stairs to bed, Hank's only reply is "Yep."