Tales of “Wolcher” Gulch
“Wolcher” Gulch is our fictitious Western town that our regular shooters inhabit. There is always some excitement just around the corner but our townsfolk
always seem to be able to solve the problems, usually with the help of a .45. By the way, if you don’t know, a “Wolcher” is a big bird that in other parts of the
Country is known as a Vulture. Our local Dutchmen sometimes get their V’s and W’s mixed up. That is why we live in “Wolcher” Gulch.
Each “episode” is written by one of our shooters. He is encouraged to use his imagination to take the story wherever he wants. He tries to end his story with a
character that can continue on the next month.
by Tin Ear
The winter in Wolcher Gulch was long and cold with an unusual amount of snow. Things were quiet for Ranger Smith and Rusty Pipes as the inhabitants of this
small western town were busy surviving the cold and snow. Everything was peaceful between the Badlanders Gang and the townsfolk, but with the Spring thaw
that was about to change.
When we last left Wolcher Gulch, the Straight Shootin’ Women and Black Smith Mart’s realistic figures of cowboys and stampeding cattle had saved the town.
Ranger Smith must have made some good investments over the winter since, when we saw him last, he looked more like a banker than the local law. He wore
formal wear, complete with a top hat. Tin Ear was also seen sporting a rather dubious mustache at the latest gathering of the townsfolk. Some of the regular
visitors to town were missing, however, other new folks filled their place. Most of these early tourists of the Old West arrived, ready for action against hostile
Indians, thieving outlaws and berserk buffalo. Armed with a rifle, two pistols, hunting knife and a lasso, they were an army of one.
The first Sunday in May was typical of an early Spring day in Wolcher Gulch. It was starting to get warm, and the winter mud was beginning its yearly change to
summer dust. After the morning services, the townsfolk gathered at Roadkill Cookie’s Saloon and were all talking about how the Ladies saved the town.
All of a sudden, a shrill whistle was heard out on the street. Everyone ran out the door to see if the Devil hisself had arrived in town. It turned out to be one of
them new fangled motor wagons driven by Tin Ear, the local line man who worked for a new company in the area called A.T.&T. This company had recently run
the local telegraph line. Although Wolcher Gulch was a small town, it was not a backward town, and each day more new inventions were creeping into every day
life. Now Tin Ear was starting to install a new machine called a tel-e-phone. It was an oak box that hung on the wall. If everything worked right (it seldom did),
you could talk to and hear people from as far away as twenty miles.
Getting back to the steam wagon, none of the townsfolk had ever seen such a thing, and with all its huffin’ and puffin’ were afraid to get too near. Tin Ear
explained that it ran without horses, and you did not have to feed it if you did not use it. Also there were no road apples to contend with. Rusty Pipes and Ranger
Smith decided that it looked like something the Devil sent and would have no part of it. Tin Ear said that it was a machine something like a train locomotive that
ran on the roads and did not need tracks. It was quiet and did not bother the horses, and it was reported that on a flat open road would run at least fifty miles an
hour. Just as Ranger Smith was getting a little close to the wagon, the pressure was released from the boiler and he was hidden by a cloud of steam. Ranger
Smith yelled, “holy sassafras, it is an invention of the Devil and you will never get me near it again!”
Just then Cimarron Red came running from the Sheriff’s office hollerin’ for Ranger Smith. Dakota Jack had just called to report that the bank in Guthsville was
just robbed by Poncho Villa and at High Noon they were going to burn the town. It was now 10 A.M., and there was no way that Ranger Smith could bring help
and arrive by Noon. It was a three hour hard ride on a fast horse, and they would arrive an hour after the town was burned.
Tin Ear suggests that they all get on the steam wagon, and he would drive them to Guthsville. With that announcement, Ranger Smith and Rusty Pipes turn white
as they were not about to have anything to do with the Devil’s Wagon. Lester Moore reminds Ranger Smith that it is the spirit of Wolcher Gulch to help
neighbors in need and that they must go. Rusty says they will go in the wagon if Lester joins them. At that point, Lester remembers an important meeting and says
that he can’t go. After a few minutes, Rusty Pipes and Ranger Smith decide that they will throw caution to the wind and go on the wagon and ask for a posse to
go with them. Cimarron Red, Emberado, Stump and Wrong Arm all decide that they do not want to miss a ride on the Devil’s Wagon and say they will go along.
In twenty minutes they all meet back at Cookie’s and are ready to go. They now have an hour and a half to reach Dakota Jack and save Guthsville. They are all
armed with two revolvers, a rifle and a shotgun. Ranger Smith deputizes everyone, and they are ready to go. Ranger Smith, dressed in his best formal suit and his
top hat, says that, if the Devil’s Wagon is going to end his days, he wants to be dressed for the occasion.
Tin Ear gets in the driver’s seat and releases the brake and advances the throttle. With a quiet whoosh of steam, the wagon heads out of town. Within a mile they
were moving at half throttle. The road is smooth, and they reach the unbelievable speed of thirty miles an hour. The best horse could run that fast but would soon
tire. For everyone but Tin Ear, this was their first ride in a steam wagon.
They all had ridden on the train but there were tracks to maintain direction. The only thing that
kept them on the road was Tin Ear’s steady hand on the tiller. Ranger Smith removes his top hat and was praying to the almighty that they would be delivered
from this iron monster and into the relative safety of a gunfight in Guthsville. As they fly down the road in a cloud of steam and dust, they pass grazing cattle and
easily outdistance running deer. Finally Rusty, who is enjoying the ride, asks how fast they are going. Tin Ear yells back that the throttle was wide open, and they
are going almost fifty miles an hour. Ranger Smith starts praying even louder while the rest hang on for dear life.
Forty-five minutes after leaving Wolcher Gulch, the steam wagon puffs up the last hill overlooking Guthsville. The scene below was worse than they feared. The
town was surrounded by Poncho’s men, and they are holding Dakota Jack at gunpoint in
front of the jail. Rusty calls everyone together and starts to explain a plan when they are spotted by Poncho. A shot rings out, and Rusty yells…………
Continued by Rusty Pipes
“Hit the dirt”, as the stray shot went right through Ranger Smith’s fancy new stovepipe hat and punc-tures the boiler on the steam wagon. A humongous cloud of
steam erupts, giving the posse time to find cover.
Wrong Arm and Stump find ample protection behind a pair of short barrel cactus, while the rest of them dive behind big rocks. They draw their six-guns and
rifles to exchange fire with Pancho Villa’s band of cutthroats. Realizing the distance is just too far to be effective, the shooting slacks off; and it appears it’s
turning into a Mexican stand-off.
An idea forms in Rusty’s mind as he runs to the back of the steam wagon to get out three Sharps buffalo rifles. Cimmaron Red, Emberado and Rusty take careful
aim at long range to work on the bandit’s hiding places. Then Cimmaron says to start shooting the horses. When Poncho realizes what’s happening, he orders his
men to mount up and retreat across the river while they still can. The citizens of Guthsville are safe for the time being, but Poncho vows to return because he
misses the colored eggs from Dakota Jack’s peacock.
A discussion starts as to how the posse from Wolcher Gulch will get home. All the horses are dead or in Mexico. Tin Ear knows how to fix the steam wagon but
he needs some supplies. Tin chimney pipe and bailing wire are needed but none can be found in Guthsville. Emberado says he knows of a store that stocks these
items. The store is just a short distance across the river. The volunteers disguise themselves to enter Mexico.
Tin Ear used to work in Mexico as a lineman for A.T.&T. His picture appears on WANTED posters across the border. He is accused of cutting the wire when
he crossed the river, causing communications to stop and the lights to go out, leaving the foreign country in the DARK. Tin Ear dresses in a serape, sombrero
and glues a road-killed chipmunk under his nose, so no one recognizes him.
Emberado dresses in his Vaquero outfit. Ranger Smith must go, to bankroll the mission, using the cash he had leftover from his tuxedo purchase. He is very
handsome in this outfit, resembling a Spanish dictator.
So our heros head for supplies at the Jackson Hole Sand and Hardware Company……………………
Continued by Blacksmith Mart
On the trail to Jackson Hole Sand and Hardware our heroes came across an odd band of travelers. Colonel Mortimer Van Cleef , Scarlet Spade, Blacksmith
Mart, an Dolly Lolly. All were returning from the famed Rodeo at Edgwood Valley.
Where are you all going asked The Colonel.
We are on our way to get supplies so we can fix our steam wagon and return to Wolcher Gulch.
What is needed to repair this contraption asks Blacksmith.
Some tin and baling wire To cover the hole Poncho’s gang shot in the boiler replies Tin Ear.
That I have in my blacksmith bag says Blacksmith.
Good deal answers Tin Ear then we don’t have to cross the Border and I can take this dead chipmunk off, lets get going, we’ll explain what happened along the
way back to Guthsville. We must be careful because Poncho and his gang might still be hanging around town. Cimmaron Red and Rusty Pipes and the others are
making sure nothing happens to the steam wagon.
Scarlet asks does this mean we might get to shoot some Mexican’s. Scarlet really doesn’t like Mexicans as you can tell.
It just might Happen replies The Colonel. We’ll have to wait and see if the others have the situation under control.
Upon arriving at the steam wagon everything was quiet when they arrived but this didn’t last very long As soon as Blacksmith and Tin Ear had the steam wagon
fixed the bullets started flying again. Return fire shouted Rusty.They must think we are running out of ammo. We can fool them says Dolly Lolly we have lots of
blanks left over from our Rodeo Show.Well start shooting yells Ranger Smith so they will think they are outnumbered. Scarlet asks if she can shoot a couple with
her Buffalo rifle. Shoot as many as you want replies The Colonel.
The bullets start flying and soon the Mexicans retreat back across the river again. I guess we showed them says Dolly and Scarlet. We might not have hit many
but we sure scared them off for now.
Blacksmith and Tin Ear have the steam wagon ready to roll and are ready to start back to Wolcher Gulch.
Who is riding with me says Tin Ear.
Ranger Smith says I might as well ride with you again. It can’t be any worse than the trip to Guthsville.
As our heroes and their newfound compadres ride the dusty trail back to Wolcher Gulch at a leisurely pace more trouble arises. A gang of bandits that just
robbed the Rodeo of the prize money decides they need the Steam Wagon for their getaway vehicle. Tin Ear exclaims “over my dead body” The bandito Billy
Baits explains “That can be arranged”
Continued by Col. Mortimer VanCleef
“…That can be arranged.” Scowls Billy. The notorious Outlaw eyed up the motley assortment of characters as well as the strange contraption they where riding
in. The rest of Billy’s gang watched on, eager to spill blood if necessary. “ Ya’d be better off shootin’ the whole lot.” Observed the infamous Big Bore, A tall
man dressed in black; know for his aggressive nature as well as his fondness for large caliber weapons. “We could then sell that steam wagon for quite a
pretty penny.” Added Nugget Jack as he fidgeted with the large nugget of gold he had fashioned into a ring for one of his fingers. Nugget Jack was like-wise
dressed head to toe in black, of everyone in Billy’s gang he was the fanciest dresser, but his dapper countenance and cool, steady voice did well to disguise
his cold-blooded heart. Colonel Glover, another of Billy’s gang watched the whole scene unfold wordlessly, his shooting hand never straying to far from
his six-shooter holstered at his hip. Colonel Glover had heard of Colonel Mortimer Van Cleef and was of the opinion that there was only enough room for one
‘Colonel’ in Wolcher Gulch. The last member of Billy’s gang was a small, thin, quiet woman who sat on her horse with an extra thick Indian blanket bundled
Billy dismounted his horse, his spurs rattling against his dust caked boots. “Looks like we have a little bit of a situation here Tin Ear, Ya see my gang
here has taken a shine to your fancy contraption and Big Bore hasn’t shot anyone in almost an hour.” The desperado took a few steps closer to Tin Ear. Billy
pulled his coat back to reveal his black handled pistol.
Ranger Smith and Emberado exchanged nervous glances. They had just gotten the Devil’s Wagon back together and they weren’t too keen on surrendering it to
a passel of ner’do’wells. Tin Ear watched out the corner of his eye as Scarlet Spade drew out a small derringer pistol which she had hidden somewhere on her
person. Colonel VanCleef was slowly reaching for the scatter gun lying on the floor of the steam wagon. The way he had been shooting lately that was possibly
his best bet. Blacksmith Mart had his hand resting on the hilt of his bowie knife, and Dolly Lolly was reaching into her purse for the pistol she kept there. Very
soon the quiet late afternoon would be violently disturbed with a hail of red hot lead.
Without warning, a loud booming voice called out to the assembled cowboys. All eyes turned to the horizon to view the brazen newcomer, who sat astride a
mighty steed silhouetted against the setting sun. “Y’all behave yourselves now, ya hear!”….
Continued by Rusty Pipes
The booming voice belonged to Boomer, entrepreneur of antiques, heirlooms, collectibles and just plain junk. Riding with him were his constant companions,
Griz and Kaydine -- Two of the shrewdest ex-marshals, turned outlaws.
Boomer and Griz were armed with Winchester’s latest, high speed lever action shotguns; and Kaydine was carrying his big lever gun that holds about 26 rounds.
The good guys from Wolcher Gulch and Billy’s gang of ‘ner do wells can see that they’re outgunned. Peace and quiet prevail temporarily. To the untrained eye,
these three gangs look like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Boomer says he aims to take the steam wagon, so he and his boys can make another trip to Alaska. They’re gonna pan for gold, hunt grizzlies, drink whisky till
there ain’t no more and generally just make a nuisance of themselves.
The three gangs eye one another suspiciously, then begin backing up, forming a triangle around the steam wagon.
Without warning, the steam wagon lets off a loud bang while steam and boiling water erupt from the stack. Thinking it’s gunfire, all the members of each gang
draw down on the steam wagon and open fire. Sounds just like a team shoot. The shooting stops when they all run out of ammo. The steam wagon is reduced
to a bent and twisted pile of metal.
Boomer’s gang heads north to Alaska. Billy’s bunch of cutthroats heads back across the river. The
posse from Wolcher Gulch gathers round the pile of rubble, knowing that they will have a long walk home.
Tin Ear is deeply saddened at the loss of his beloved steam wagon. As tears stream down Tin Ear’s cheeks, staining his new balinies, Blacksmith Mart speaks
up. “Don’t worry everyone; we can come back next spring and make targets from this pile of scrap metal!”
And so, as another year comes to an end, we want to thank you for riding the trail with us and hope you’ve had as much fun as we did. We’ll be busy, over
winter, working on our 10th anniversary BMSO and designing new scenarios for your enjoyment.
Wishing you a safe, happy holiday season.
God Bless America
Continued by Col. Mortimer VanCleef
It had been an unusually long winter in Wulcher Gulch and things had been uncharacteristically quiet. The morning sun had just broken over the horizon as
Ranger Smith stepped off his porch onto Main Street. Casting a glance at his watch he thought to himself, this peace and quiet was a welcomed change of pace
and he hoped it would last… but he knew better. This unnatural tranquility would not sit well with the local inhabitants.
Almost on cue Dakota Jack staggered out of Roadkill Cookie’s Saloon where he had spent the evening discussing with the patrons the finer points of drinking
Single Barrel Whiskey (much to the dismay of Montana Smith’s guitar case!) Closely followed by Lester Moore and Colonel Mortimer VanCleef. The trio
exchanged guilty looks as they staggered past Ranger Smith. This couldn’t possibly be good thought Ranger Smith as the three drunken Cowboys made their
way down the street and into Boomers Mercantile, snickering and stumbling the whole way. Blacksmith Mart had just finished dropping off a new load of targets
at the range and had witnessed the same curious sight. “What do you imagine that’s all about?” he asked. “I’m not sure.” Replied Ranger Smith, “But I’d better
go find out before something important explodes…or worse!” “Well, I better go with you. Your going to need all the help you can get with those three.” Added
When Ranger Smith and Blacksmith Mart entered Boomer’s Mercantile, Dakota Jack was busy stuffing sticks of dynamite into the waist band of his trousers,
Lester Moore was gathering what looked to be provisions (which seemed to be almost entirely made up of various bottles of liquor) and Colonel Mortimer
VanCleef was haggling over the price of shotgun shells and aftershave tonic with Boomer. “Don’t fergit the pancake syrup and skeeter spray.” Lester slurred as
he added yet another bottle of Fire water into one of many saddlebags assembled on Boomer’s floor. “And plenty of Pork Rinds, Jackalopes love Pork Rinds.”
Added Dakota Jack, who after running out of room in his britches, began stuffing dynamite sticks in his shirt (you can never have too much dynamite… you may
have to throw it in handfuls at something in the future!)
“I’m almost afraid to ask,” interrupted Ranger Smith. “What the heck are you three doing?”
“Uh… nothing…” replied Dakota Jack, quickly hiding the two sticks of dynamite he held in either hand behind his back.
“Uh… just shopping for uh… presents…yup, that’s it…presents for Scarlet.” Lied Colonel Mortimer VanCleef.
Lester Moore said nothing and continued to stuff saddlebags with bottles of hootch.
“Y’all are acting real strange… well except for Lester Moore, he usually gets that much liquor from Boomer.” Exclaimed Ranger Smith, “and what’s all this about
“Jackalope? Who said anything about a Jackalope, ain’t no such thing.” Replied Colonel Mortimer VanCleef. Obviously lying (one thing about The Colonel, he is
totally incapable of telling a convincible lie; just ask Scarlet Spade).
“You know a Jackalope” Lester Moore finally spoke up, “a huge rabbit lookin’ thing with gigantic, terrible teeth and a single immense horn stikin’ right outta the
middle of its forehead. A creature so rare that if’n you where to find one it would make you a rich man overnight. Heck, you’re the one who told us about it
Colonel. You said you had seen one the other night while checkin’ the bushes for Insergints up on North Mountain”. Dakota Jack and Colonel Mortimer
VanCleef both looked at Lester Moore in shock, Lester Moore had been so intent (and probably drunk) on loading up the provisions that he had failed to realize
the intended (and poorly executed) misdirection.
“You boys are outta your minds! In your current state you wouldn’t survive a trip to the outhouse never mind North Mountain!” declared Ranger Smith,
“Blacksmith Mart, talk some sense into them.”
“Huh?” Questioned Blacksmith Mart. He hadn’t heard Ranger Smith because he had been busy grabbing handfuls of .45-70 cartridges and bags of Pork Rinds
to take with him as he accompanied the three on their trip, the glint of avarice shining brightly in his eyes.
Just then, a stranger entered Boomer’s Mercantile, “What’s all this about a Jacklaope” the stranger growled…