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Desert Cats.

Desert Cats

The dust was swirling around like gunfire. Each grain felt like a bullet. It burned the moment it touched your skin and then pain accelerated to area of impact to assist in creating even more misery. This is just a moment in the desert, a single, painful moment that’s only part of a life that never seems to have much dignity or relief from the harshness that slaps you in the face everytime you think about what you’re doing out here.

It doesn’t get any better. No matter how hard you try, and no matter what whiskey you drink, the sun beats down on you, the women are tricky, and you’re always getting’ shot at by some weasel that thinks he can jump your claim.

I wouldn’t tell anyone not to come out here.

Yes, it’s lonely. Yes, it’s dirty, and yes your life can end the minute you find the mother lode, but why should I keep all this misery to myself? Come on out if you think you can handle it. Heck, I’ve seen women gun down the meanest, foul talking hombres this side of Texas, and that’s the one warning I’ll give to anyone: beware the women.

They got their words, which is bad enough for any man, but if they know how to handle a gun? Well, you might as well go find yourself a tombstone, because if you cross one of these “Desert Cats” that’s going to be your new head-board.

I nearly went under last week.


She wasn’t sweet at all. In fact she tried to gun me down and take my stake on the river. She was sly at first. Real nice and friendly. She was asking me all kinds of questions, like how long I’ve been out here, was I working with a partner, where my camp was. Stuff like that.

I was on to her though. Nobody’s gonna’ ask those questions unless their looking to steal something, so I told that she was pretty and I appreciated her being so kind, but I didn’t feel like talkin’ too much and told her to come back just before sunset.

She stood there and looked at me. Her eyes were faintest color of blue I ever saw, but I noticed her hand slide down her hip and she yanked up her skirt just a little and I got a glimpse of her leg. I never saw a woman’s leg that was so clean and silky looking, but I realized that she was only trying to distract me and make me change my mind.

I told her to skedaddle.

She didn’t.

She smiled and then told me she didn’t feel like leaving.

Well, I didn’t have much else to do. I couldn’t keep panning and keep my back to her. She’d knock me on the head with her pistol and tie me up and leave me for dead in sage brush. She was bein’ to forceful in a nice way, and that’s a dangerous situation with any woman, especially a desert cat.

I sat down and started talkin’ to her about what she wanted. She had a good story about her man leaving her out here after they started fightin’.

It sounded like it could’ve happened, because sometimes a husband and wife will come out here looking for gold, but then the heat gets to them, and the man will usually start drinking and then the woman will start shootin’ her word bullets, and then the next thing you know, the guy leaves the woman in the desert and she either dies, or starts fending for herself by using her feminine charms and wit.

And women are smarter than men.

They can survive in the desert better than we can. They know how to get people to do thing for them. Now some people think that makes them weak because they can’t handle the demands of being a prospector. That ain’t true in the least. They’re smart because they can get some fool to do the work they don’t want to be doing!

Men take the easy way out. They drink, or they shoot. Not women. Especially these desert cats.

So anyway, I was talking with Rosy. I knew her name because I knew her reputation: If Rosy approaches, you better make sure not turn your back on her. I told her to come back later, but I wasn’t counting on it because of who she was. It would’ve given me some time to pack up my things and get out of there before she did come back. I thought by telling her to come back toward nightfall she might be tempted to do it because it be easier for her to rig me up and leave for dead, but she was too smart for that and now here she is sittin’ across from me, her skirt hiked up, her legs showin’ up to her knees.

I asked where she thought her man was. She just shook her head and pointed at the ground and said he’s dead. Real cold the way she said it, and I was getting’ kind of nervous. She told me he was drinking too much and that his brain must’ve swelled up because he was acting real weird. He started shooting at her because he thought she was going to steal his gold and then kill him. She started laughing right after she told me that.

I was in deep shit this one. She was a cold blooded killer.

She stopped laughing all of a sudden. She starred at me like she could see right through me. My blood was running so cold, it felt like ice, and here I was sittin’ in the desert in the mid-afternoon.

She looked at my hands and asked why I don’t wear a ring. I was getting awful twitchy when she asked me that.

I pointed at the ground, and then made the motion of cutting my throat with a knife. I wanted rosy to know that I wasn’t as nice as she thought and that she might be messin’ with a desert dog.

Rosy asked if I killed my wife.

I waited a few seconds as I looked down at the ground. I made sure Rosy was watching me as I let my eyes dance over to her feet, and let them slide up her legs before I looked her in the eye and told her “No.”

I didn’t kill my wife.

She killed herself. I came back from trading in my gold and I found her laying next to a cactus, face down with some scorpions crawlin’ on her arms.

Rosy was shakin’ her head back and forth.

I was thinking that maybe she was feeling sad for me, but then it dawned on me; how did she know I was married if I didn’t have my ring on? I looked at her and she was pointing at herself and then she made the motion of cutting her own neck with a knife.

Rosy Killed her.

Rosy killed my wife. I didn’t have time to think, I just whipped out my gun and pointed it right between Rosy’s eyes. She didn’t care. She told me go ahead and shoot. Get even if it makes me feel better. I pulled the trigger, but I grazed her ear.

She didn’t scream or nothin’. She stood up and pulled out a knife. She told me this is what I killed your wife with. She chucked it at me and it nearly nabbed me in the crotch.

Before she turned and left she told me she was only coming here to confess what she had done. I told her I don’t care about her confession and if she doesn’t leave right now I’ll shoot full of so many holes she’ll look like a slice of swiss cheese.

She started walkin.

I shot her anyway.

She didn’t fool me.

She was just playin’ me like a fiddle, except she didn’t like the tune.

Never trust a desert cat.


The End.

Desert Cats.

A gold miner tells his story about his encounter with a Desert Cat. The men who roam the desert looking gold are desert dogs, and then women who they meet out there are their equal, except they are much more wiley and can't be trusted. They're referred to as Desert Cats, and when they start to purr you can be assured you are in for some trickery.

  • ISBN: 9781370296613
  • Author: Von Kambro
  • Published: 2017-06-28 04:35:08
  • Words: 1349
Desert Cats. Desert Cats.