No More Than Just

Old man Murray got thrown by his horse and he landed bad and snap went his neck and that was it for Murray. It put us all into a pickle, and no fooling. The Brewery boys were starting to rear up on their hind legs and the john laws were cracking down due to the elections coming up in the fall and of course there’s always the other outfits looking to muscle in on our playground, and all in all it was just a damn inconvenient time for the boss to go and get popped like that. Especially in such a stupid, pointless way. I mean, Murray was a fighter, a square-jawed, cauliflower-eared palooka of a boss, and by all rights shoulda gone out like he lived, guns a-blazing and teeth a-clenched.

Anyway, we scraped it together as best we could and soldiered on. I mean, what else could we do, right? We slapped the Brewery boys back in line, but quiet-like so the bulls wouldn’t feel like they had to step in, and if we took a little heat from the muscle-men from back East, well, sometimes that’s the way things break. Longneck really put himself in the forefront, right where no one had ever expected to see him, but I guess you never really know what a kid’s capable of until he gets a break. It worked out okay. We had kind of a thin season, but by the next year we were back on top.

Oh, the horse? Heh. Well, that’s kind of a funny story. One of the first things Longneck did was, he and a coupla other kids, they went down to the stables and they shot the horse, neat and clean and proper, right between the eyes like you’d do to anybody who popped your old man. They even paid the stable for the horse, so it was all nice and legal. I mean, who complains if you wanna shoot your own damn horse, right?