"La Giganta y El Pistolero" (or "Big Red and the San Blas Kid") by Carycomic
Summary: A Greatly Thrilling Story of the Old West.
Categories: Giantess, Adventure, Crush, Growing/Shrinking out of clothes, Growing Woman, Instant Size Change, Violent, Vore Characters: None
Growth: Brobdnignagian (51 ft. to 100 ft.)
Shrink: None
Size Roles: F/m
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Female Self-Gigantism Through The Ages
Chapters: 17 Completed: Yes Word count: 11189 Read: 119605 Published: February 28 2014 Updated: September 20 2015

1. Chapter 1 by Carycomic

2. Chapter 2 by Carycomic

3. Chapter 3 by Carycomic

4. Chapter 4 by Carycomic

5. Chapter 5 by Carycomic

6. Chapter 6 by Carycomic

7. Chapter 7 by Carycomic

8. Chapter 8 by Carycomic

9. Chapter 9 by Carycomic

10. Chapter 10 by Carycomic

11. Chapter 11 by Carycomic

12. Chapter 12 by Carycomic

13. Chapter 13 by Carycomic

14. Chapter 14 by Carycomic

15. Chapter 15 by Carycomic

16. Chapter 16 by Carycomic

17. Chapter 17 by Carycomic

Chapter 1 by Carycomic
SOMEWHERE IN NORTHERN MEXICO (1875)

* * * * *

The pueblo was semi-affectionately referred to, by its inhabitants, as "El Hoyo De Mierda."

The Shit Hole.

The young man who rode up to its main gate was quite striking. He was obviously a full-blooded indio! But, of which tribe, it was hard to tell. As he wore a black-banded gray Stetson hat with the brim pulled down over his eyes. This was off-set by a snow-white shirt (with matching trousers) beneath a red poncho decorated with a most unsual motif sewn with black thread.

A man astride a rearing horse...in the palm of some kneeling giantess' right hand.

The young man's own mount was a blue grullo Morab. And, he carefully reined it in when they found themselves confronted by a pair of bandidos armed with Civil War-surplus Henry repeating rifles.

"Whoa, Gunmetal."

"Como te llamos?" demanded the older guard.

"El Muchacho de San Blas," replied the youth: "Aqui para hablar con Don Julio."

"Don Julio?" echoed a third voice.

The San Blas Kid looked up, and beheld a man in his mid-thirties to early forties. Just as sun-browned as himself; but, sporting a goatee. And, where the Kid was armed with a single-action Colt Peacemaker in basic blued steel, the bandit chief (for he could be none other) was armed with a pearl-handled, nickel-plated, single-action Starr revolver (Model 1863) in .44 caliber.

The latter now cantered up to the other side of the main gate astride a white stallion that looked to be pure Andalusian.

"Yo soy caballero, ahora?"

"Just tryin' to be courteous, senor."

"Esta verdad," replied Julio Valdez: "And, what manner of courtesy do you expect in return, extranjero?"

"Well, now that you mention it? I'd liked to speak to a Haqihana Arapaho name of Prairie Wolf."

Valdez smirked: "And, what if I say 'no' to this little request?"

The San Blas Kid remained stone-faced.

"I'm afraid that ain't an option."

There was an awkward tension for the next sixty seconds (though it felt more like the proverbial eternity). Then, quite surprisingly, the bandit chief...

...began to laugh!

"Tienes mui grandes cajones, senor!!" he finally managed to exclaim, before adding: "Perhaps, too big."

"Take my word for it," replied the Kid: "There are other things in this world a whole lot bigger."

"Tal como su boca, por ejemplo?"

"No!" came a thunderous (and decidedly female) voice: "Like _my_ mouth!"

Valdez turned around in his saddle, looking behind him. And, then (with increasingly wider eyes), above him. Because, standing there, was a woman. A white woman with short red hair and jade-green eyes. Yet, wearing not one stitch of clothing. Which should not have been surprising...

...seeing as she was a hundred feet tall, at least!

"Madre de Dios!" muttered Valdez.

"Not quite," smiled the giantess: "But, we can fix it so's you meet Her in person!"

The bandit chief did not fail to notice the plural. He looked back at the San Blas Kid for all of thirty seconds, before finally yelling:

"Un brujo!!!"

Valdez went for his gun, and so did the Kid. The Kid proved faster, however. Pulling his first bullet right between the bandit chief's eyes! And, even as he was re-cocking the hammer of the Peacemaker, he was drawing a double-action Starr revolver (Model 1858, hidden beneath his poncho) from its holster on his right hip. As a result, he put a bullet between the eyes of the second guard almost as fast as he killed the first one!

He then urged Gunmetal forward, at full gallop. Picking off those bandidos who proved too elusive for his giant sweetheart's bare feet.

To be continued
End Notes:
* Morab: a Morgan/Arabian cross-bred

"How are you called?"

"The San Blas Kid. Here for a talk with Don Julio."

"I am a gentleman, now?"

"Is that true...stranger?"

"You have big gonads, mister!"

"Such as your mouth, for example?"

"Mother of God!"

"A warlock!"
Chapter 2 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
Certain now-pejorative terms, used herein, are meant only for historical authenticity.
* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON (L&F Pub. MCMIV)


"Many's the dime novel that's been writ about these two. But, I'm the only one who can tell like it was, on account of I was there at the beginnin'."

"First off? I was born Malachi Johnson-Smith. But, most folks call me 'Malarkey,' account of that's what they call my claim that I'm the great-great-great-great-grandson of Cap'n John Smith and Pocahontas (afore she up and left him for John Rolfe)!"

"It's Gospel truth, however, that the Brit whalin' ship, Henry VIII, dropped anchor off Galveston, Texas, in 1868. Seems that a sperm whale they'd been a-chasin' (near the San Blas Islands, on the Atlantic side of Panama) had rammed and capsized a Cuna Injun fishin' canoe! Drownin' the grown-up man inside it; and almost doin' the same to the ten year-old boy they presumed to be his son."

"The first mate, who was ramroddin' Whaleboat Number One, thought fast and saved the boy. And, when that young'un finally woke up, the ship was fifty miles south of Cuba. With her skipper in no mind to turn around and head back!"

"The ship's doc, who'd learned his craft at the Brit naval hospital in Gibraltar, tried askin' the boy's name in Spanish. But, everytime he did so, the boy just up and replied with one word, over and over. A word that sounded a lot like 'Dooley!' So, that's what they gave as his name when they dropped him off at a Catholic mission-orphanage in Galveston."

"He got the rest of his name from my good friends, the Reardons."

"Echota Reardon was a part-Cherokee Irishman who worked as a gunsmith, when he wasn't too busy bein' a sergeant in the Texas Rangers. While his wife, Yvette, had been born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. The daughter of a Louisiana Cajun who'd scouted for Uncle Sam's army durin' the Second Seminole War; and the maternal granddaughter of one of them Bonapartist Frenchies who'd founded Demopolis, Alabama!"

"The two of 'em had wanted children for a long time. But, a near-fatal miscarriage had left Yvette unable to risk havin' anymore, the old-fashioned way. And, that's where I come in. You see, I used to be a circuit-ridin' preacher afore the Civil War (in which I'd served as a Union Army chaplain). So, I was good friends with the tejano priest who ran the orphanage. And, when I told Echota and Yvette about Dooley, I'll be danged if them two didn't high-tail it to Galveston on the first train headed there!"

"Well, sir; the three of 'em took to each other, right off. Two weeks later, they returned to Tonkawa Springs. And, the day after that? The town newspaper advertised a hootenanny bein' held by the Reardons in honor of their new son's eleventh birthday. Their new son now bein' full-named...Brendan Dooley Reardon."

"In hindsight, maybe Echota and Yvette should've been a heap more careful in the wordin' of that invitation. Because, among the guests who showed up was none other than Ezekiel Cousins. The biggest and crookedest cattle rancher in them parts! Though no one could ever prove the second part."

"He also brung with him his three boys--Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (identical triplets)--and their younger sister, Rebecca. Becky was what you might call the 'white sheep' of the family. An angelic-lookin' moppet with curly red hair and jade-green eyes. And, I'll be danged if she and Dooley didn't take to each other, right off!"

"Most folks, nowadays, might call such a thing 'puppy love.' Then, again; that's what them Montagues and Capulets first thought about Romeo and Juliet. Now, ain't it?"

tbc
Chapter 3 by Carycomic
* * * * *

The Valdez gang quickly overcame their initial shock and awe. Rallying just enough to scatter and run for whatever cover they could find and counter-attack from. But, it was really no use. Even concentrated fusillades of Henry rifle fire did no more than tickle Becky Cousins' bare skin. Whereas her feet crushed every hiding place these bandidos took shelter in. Dislodging them into the path of bullets from the San Blas Kid's Winchester Model 1873 (which he switched to after emptying both revolvers).

It ultimately reached a point where Jon Echegaray--a Basque mercenary who had joined the gang after deserting from the Foreign Legion, during the French occupation of Mexico--took a desperate gamble. Standing up on two galloping horses (one foot on each of their backs), he used a jai alai cesta to throw a bundle of lit dynamite sticks right towards the giantess' face!

Becky saw it in time, however. Kneeling down on her right knee, and flicking it back in the Basque's direction with her giant right index finger. Consequently, the terrified mercenary had no choice but to sacrifice his tenuous footing in order to catch the explosive bundle in the cesta and re-direct its trajectory behind him! Thereby landing flat on his face, and knocking all the wind out of himself. As a result, he was still face down on the ground when the dynamite exploded. Showering him with dirt and loose gravel!

When he finally did regain enough second wind, to roll over on to his back, he found the business end of the Kid's Winchester pointed right at him.

"Donde esta Prairie Wolf?" the latter bluntly demanded.

The Basque mercenary weakly pointed, with his left hand, at the one building still standing; the horse barn. So, Becky stomped over to it and (quite literally) raised the roof with her right hand.

There, cowering in the hay loft, was the mixed-blood Arapaho who had once worked for her father. Still wearing that dome-shaped black sombrero that resembled nothing less than a cross between a top hat and a derby.

* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

"Over the next five years, it became real obvious (to all concerned) that Becky and Dooley's 'puppy' love was becomin' a heap more'n that. You could see it the way they looked at each other, whenever they went horseback ridin' together. They didn't know it at the time, o'course. But, them rides was bein' spied on by Prairie Wolf. An Arapaho mestizo who served as Cousins' interpreter whenever he bartered for other people's cattle that had been rustled by Comanches!"

"That, in turn, didn't sit well with Cousins. He had plans to marry his daughter off to Jeb Daniels (son of the local bank president), five years down the road. And, he'd be danged if he was gonna see them plans ruined by some Injun b*****d!"

"Well, sir; all that steam came to a head the night of Becky's sweet sixteen party, back in 1874. Dooley's sixteenth birthday had been a couple months, earlier. And, Becky had managed to attend it. So, the Reardons felt it only right and proper to reciprocate."

"Every eligible lad in Tonkawa Springs was lined up to take turns a-dancin' with her. And, she was lady-like enough to dance with each one at least twice. But, when Dooley tried to cut in, for his second turn, Jeb Daniels just flat out ignored him. So, Dooley tapped him on the shoulder a second time. Only a tad more insistent-like than the first."

"Jeb lost his temper and shot off his mouth."

" 'Get lost, Injun! Go dance with the squaw who misbegot you!' "

"Dooley immediately swerved him about, belted him in the jaw, and knocked him flat on his keester!!"

"Well, sir; everybody stopped in their tracks and stared. Not sayin' a word...till Jeb Daniels pulled out one of them over/under derringers and aimed it at Dooley!"

tbc
Chapter 4 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
EL HOYO DE MIERDA, MEXICO (1875)
* * * * *

With her left hand, Becky reached in and downward. Grabbing up the understandably frightened mestizo with very little effort. She then reset the roof into (nearly) its original position before glaring at Prairie Wolf.

"Alright, you. I'm gonna ask you just one question. And you'd better answer with the truth, the whole truth, and nothin' but the truth. Or, I'm gonna pop that worthless head of yours clean off your neck...and swallow it like a grape! Comprende?"

"Yeah-yeah-yeah!" he fervently chanted with rapid-fire nods of his head: "I got it. What do you wanna know?"

"Where does Chief Red Bear hole up?"

"R-Red Bear? Who's thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!"

Becky had started squeezing upon recognizing an evasion tactic when she heard one.

"A'right! A'right!!" Prairie Wolf managed to scream through gritted teeth: "H-He's holed up in a box canyon about fifty miles due south o'here. There's a played-out old copper mine at the bottom of it. It's where he killed the cinnamon bear that first gave him his manhood name! So, he considers the place big medicine."

Becky's answering grin could only be describes as feral.

"Like my cute little husband said; 'There are other things in this world a whole lot bigger.' "

* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON.

"What happened next happened too fast for anyone else to do anything about it, at the time. It's only in hindsight that the folks involved move with any kind of slowness."

"Jeb Daniels began to draw a bead on Dooley with his derringer. This caused Becky to scream and jump in between the two of 'em! That, in turn, distracted Jeb long enough for Echota to run forward and wrestle with Jeb for the gun. Unfortunately, both barrels got fired off in the process."

"Right into Echota's heart, point blank!"

"Everyone was stunned for a moment. Not sayin' a word. It was only after his pa slumped to the floor that Dooley finally reacted. He flicked open the spring-bladed D'estaing dirk (that he'd been usin' as an eatin' utensil) to full length...and ran straight at Jeb. Yellin' like a maniac, and topplin' both of 'em to the floor like trees in a twister!"

"Dooley landed on top o'Jeb, and did his utmost to stab that boy in the throat. But, Becky's brothers were among the first to run to Jeb's aid and pull Dooley off of him. Nine provin' required for that, altogether!!"

"Well, sir; to make a long story short, the jury at Jeb's trial found him not guilty. Rulin' Echota's death at his hands a tragic accident. And, naturally, that didn't sit too well with the Reardons, in general. Nor Dooley, in particular."

" 'Everybody knows them jurors have mortgages held by Jeb's pa!' he complained to me: 'He probably threatened to call in most of 'em if they voted guilty."

" 'Well, that may be,' I told him: 'But, what's common knowledge on the street ain't always admissible evidence in court.' "

" 'Oh, really,' he answered back (real sarcastical): 'Are you a lawyer now, too, Malarkey?' "

"Nope! I've just ministered enough last rites, to condemned prisoners, to pick up some of that legal double-talk.' "

" 'WELL, I AM SICK AND TIRED OF LEGAL DOUBLE-TALK!' he screamed at me: 'I'm goin' for a ride on Gunmetal to clear my head.' "

" 'Wait up!' I called out to him: 'I'll saddle Old Absalom and come with you.' "

"It was that, of all things, that finally brought a smile to his face."

" 'Sorry, Mal. But, I'm itchin' to go full gallop. And, the best your swayback old mule can do is canter.' "

" 'Absalom ain't swayback!' I replied, real indignant-like."

" 'Well, then, you've got only the camel in the whole world with an upside-down hump.' "

"He just laughed and ran off, as I threw some ice cubes from my glass o'lemonade at him. Little did I know that all that verbal horse-play had been to keep me from findin' out that he and Becky..."

"...had decided to elope."

tbc
Chapter 5 by Carycomic
From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

* * * * *

"What I'm about to tell you next I didn't find out till a year later. Becky had vowed that, if Jeb Daniels was acquitted of killin' Echota Reardon, she'd up and disown her family...by runnin' off to get hitched with Dooley."

"Well, sir; she was true to her word."

"Becky got together with Dooley and hashed out the followin' plan. They'd meet each other at Tortoise-shell Rock, which was the southern-most part of the county. Dooley, atop Gunmetal; and Becky astride her skewbald pinto, Crazy Quilt. From there, they'd high-tail it south towards Mexico, and find some priest to marry 'em, down there!"

"Well, sir; Dooley got there ahead of Becky. But, he weren't exactly the _first_ to arrive. Because, while rubbin' down his horse, afore lettin' him drink from the pond next to that rock, four riders came pourin' out from behind it! Namely,..."

"...Jeb Daniels and the red-headed Cousins Brothers."

" 'You lookin' for someone, Injun?' " Shadrach Cousins taunted him."

" 'Yeah,' replied Dooley (his hands already inchin' towards his double-holster rig): 'Someone a mite more attractive than you.' "

" 'Keep your hands where we can see 'em,' Shad snarled."

"Well, sir; that caused the other three to draw their Winchesters as one. Trainin' them in Dooley's direction, just like Shad's rifle already was."

" 'Our sister ain't ridin' off with the likes of you,' Shad continued: "Matter of fact, Pa locked her in her bedroom just to be sure! And, he ain't a-fixin' to let her out till you're six feet under. So, start sayin' your prayers. Assumin' you know any!' "

" 'How about this one?' a new (and very LOUD) voice interrupted: 'Now I lay me down to sleep. My brothers' hides to shear like sheep.' "

"Five pairs of eyes suddenly looked behind them and up. Up towards the top of Tortoise-shell Rock. And there, starin' back at 'em (with nothin' preservin' the modesty of her nether-portions but the rock, itself), was the topless upper torso of Becky Cousins, herself."

"Twenty-five feet tall if she was an inch!!!"

"Well, sir; before any of them four trigger-happy knotheads could think of firin' up at her, Becky came around from behind the rock and picked up Shad and Jeb, by the scruffs of their shirt collars, with her right hand. While doin' likewise, to Meshach and Abednego, with her left hand at the same time!"

" 'When you get back to the Crown-Bar-C,' she told 'em all (after givin' them a good, tooth-rattlin' shake): '...tell Pa that Rachel ain't the only one with the power in the family, now.' "

"At which point, she marched off a hundred yards, due west, which is where she'd left Crazy Quilt and her ridin' clothes. There, she kicked Jeb and her brothers--two by two--in the general direction of the Cousins ranch. Then, she picked up Crazy Quilt and her clothes; ran back to Tortoise-shell Rock; shrank back down to a normal person's size; and got re-dressed afore re-saddlin' her horse. All in less time than it takes to tell!"

"After that, they didn't stop ridin' till they hit the Mexican border. And, it was only after they had bedded down for the night, t'other side of it, that Dooley got the nerve to ask her how she'd been able to do what she'd done."

"That's when she revealed the Cousins family secret. Her mother came from a Swedish family in Minnesota. But, not just any Swedish family. It seems that Becky's ma's ancestors belonged to a Viking tribe called the Varangiants. And, at first, it was only the men-folk who had the power to grow giant-sized! Usually, bein' passed down from father to son."

"But, as time went by, this so-called 'magic power' began passin' down from mother to daughter. Then, finally, skippin' every other generation or two!"

" 'My older sister Rachel got hit with the power when she turned thirteen. Doublin' her inches, everyday. One; two; four; eight and so on. It got to the point where Pa's hands were rustlin' cattle twenty-four hours a day just to keep her well-fed! So, Pa telegraphed Ma's relatives in Minnesota for help.' "

" 'Ma's brother Peder is one of the two who came down. The other was their granny, Ingrid. The last one in the Ericcson family to have the power afore Rachel! And, Great-grandma Ingrid agreed to help train Rachel to control her power. But, on one condition. Rachel had to go back with her and Uncle Peder, to Minnesota, for that trainin'!' "

" 'Pa agreed. But, not afore addin' a condition of his own. Ma had to agree to stay at the ranch to help raise the boys and me (as I was only two at the time). And, she did!' "

" 'The War 'tween the States broke out, the followin' year, and Ma lost all contact with Minnesota. When the war ended, though, she couldn't take it any longer. She lit out, northward! Anxious to see how her first born was a-doin'. And, that's why Pa has never left me completely out of his sight, ever since.' "

tbc
Chapter 6 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
SOUTH-CENTRAL CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO (1875)
* * * * *

They rode into the canyon side by side.

Bringing Prairie Wolf along with them, they had traveled high into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental before reaching the entrance to the box canyon. The passage to which now seemed to be proportionately descending!

The San Blas Kid watched the walls on both sides of the passage.

"I can see why Red Bear and his renegades hide out here. Real easy to defend against the Mexican army."

Becky Cousins merely nodded, as she was too busy keeping the barrel of her husband's Winchester trained on Prairie Wolf. The latter was now riding El Blanco, Julio Valdez's Andalusian. And, the hands and upper arms that had been tied up, just prior to their entering the canyon, were only now starting to regain some feeling.

Finally, the passage leveled off. As it did so, however, the odd trio suddenly found themselves confronted by a coterie of Southern Cheyenne Dog Soldiers!

"Hola!" said the mestizo: "Yo soy Prairie Wolf de Haqihana Arapaho. Aqui con mis amigos nuevos para hablar con Jefe Oso Rojo!"

The Dog Soldiers looked at each other. Clearly puzzled by Prairie Wolf's use of "new friends" to describe the people keeping a literal gun to his head. Even so, they gestured for the trio to continue riding forward. With the coterie evenly splitting up, so that one half preceded these visitors while the other half kept a rear guard.

Five minutes later, the entire procession reined their horses to a stop in the middle of a collection of teepees. The Native Americans who came to ogle them were comprised of not only Southern Cheyenne and Penateka Comanches (as Prairie Wolf had forewarned them). But, a large number of Kiowas, as well.

Among the latter was an elderly Kiowa-Apache shaman named Half Moon, who stepped forward wearing a horned headdress made from a buffalo's hide.

"Greetings, Prairie Wolf," said the older man (in perfect English): "Who are these you bring with you? And where is Valdez?"

"Valdez is dead," answered the Kid: "My wife and I killed him. And we plan on doing the same to Red Bear and the rest of you unless he shows himself in the next ten seconds!"

Whereupon, the Kid aimed his double-action Starr at Half Moon, while Becky started the count backwards from ten. Uttering the words "one thousand" between each numeral. It was only after she had reached "four," that they finally got a response.

"ALTO!"

The thunderous shout came from a cavernous opening in the dead end canyon wall. And from out of that opening came the Comanche war chief they had come so far to see. A seven foot-tall figure who looked to weigh two hundred pounds, at least.

All of it, solid muscle.

No wonder it was said that he had to ride a stolen plow horse on all his raids north of the Rio Grande! Because, as soon as he came down from the tunnel mouth, it was clear to all concerned that he stood half a head taller than any ordinary saddle mount!!

His clothing was simple. A reddish-brown bearskin vest with matching boots; with a horsehair breech clout in between. And, adorning his chest...was a hand-painted likeness of a bear's clawed foot.

"I am Red Bear," said the massively tall figure, at last: "And it is more likely _you two_ who shall die."

tbc
End Notes:
Special note: "Penateka" is the name of a Comanche tribal band. Translating as "honey-eater," it refers to an extremely aggressive species of insect known as the Eastern yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons).
Chapter 7 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
Once more, all Spanish translations come after the chapter.
* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON


"They told me later how they gradually made their way to the Pacific seaport of Mazatlan, Mexico. Probably in the hope of catchin' a ship bound for the Hawaiian islands. Or, maybe even South America! But, Fate seemed to have different plans for these young lovebirds."

"With the last of their combined funds, they bought themselves an equally meager supper. And, while eatin' it (as slow as possible), they watched a couple knife dancers perform. It was durin' the applause, afterwards, that a tall, white-haired mestizo approached 'em."

" 'Hola, senor y senorita. Mi llamo El Peyotero.* May I join you?' "

"Becky nodded, and Dooley gestured to one of the two empty chairs at their table."

" 'Mil pardones for my asking,' the old man continued: 'But, are you hombre y esposa, by any chance?' "

"Dooley squinted at him, real suspiciously and slowly crept his right hand towards his Peacemaker."

" 'Why you want to know?' "

" 'Because I am shaman for a village of the Huichol tribe, in the foothills of the neighboring Estado de Nayarit. And it was long ago prophesied, by my one of my predecessors, that there would come to our village two people. Un indio y una gringa. The gringa would have red hair and green eyes. While the indio would be her warrior consort. Furthermore, it was stated--in the prophecy--that the gringa would be the reincarnation of our patron goddess, Nakawe'. Also known as Bisabuela Crecimienta (Great-grandmother Growth)!' "

"I have been searching for just such un duo these past two years. For the conclusion of the prophesy states that our village would need their help...as a result of sheltering another tribe. Which we did, two years ago!' "

" 'They came to us as remnants of a Yaqui indio village, whose people had been captured by slavers from La Costa Oriente. Selling the hombres into slavery, as sugar cane harvesters, in Cuba. And, the mujeres...as wives for los labradores chinos engaged as same.' "

" 'Now, not two days ago, those same slavers have captured both the Yaquis and my people! So, if, indeed, you are el duo of the prophesy, I beg you. Ayuda me, por favor!!' "

"Dooley looked at Becky, who nodded...without the least bit hesitation."

* * * * *

EL CANON DE COBRE (1875)

As soon as Red Bear had uttered his death threat, he immediately reached behind him and removed something from a rawhide archery quiver. Something that the San Blas Kid immediately recognized (via his gunsmithing experience) as a Remington/Beals Model 1868 revolving rifle in .44 caliber. And, factory-refitted for conical bullets, at that!

Evidently, Valdez's Comancheros had not been stingy with what they had traded to Red Bear in exchange for rustled cattle and horses.

"Uno momento, jefe!" Becky suddenly exclaimed: "There's no need for anyone to die, this day. All we want is the white woman you recently took captive."

She nodded toward the Kid, who slowly reached into his right-hand saddlebag. Whereupon, he just as slowly removed a wooden-framed photograph of two people who had apparently just gotten married. Namely; his adoptive parents!

Echota and Yvette Reardon.

The Kid gave the photograph to Becky, who then gave it to the seven foot-tall Comanche chief. And Red Bear's eyes lit up with triumph.

"Ah, si! Her father was a man of many winters. Yet, he killed six of my finest braves--warriors more than half his age--before we finally killed him! I shall therefore take her as my next wife. And, between her father's seed and mine, the Penateka Comanche will be supreme!!!"

tbc
End Notes:
* "Hello, sir and miss. I am called The Peyote-user."

"A thousand pardons..."

"...man and wife...?"

"An Indian and a white woman."

"...a couple..."

"...The East Coast..."

"...the Chinese laborers..."

"Help me, please!!!"

The Canyon of Copper.

Comancheros: those who used to supply guns, ammunition, and whisky to the Comanche Indians of Texas during the 19th century. And, more often than not, illegally so!

"A moment, chief!"
Chapter 8 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
Special note: the military conflict between the United States and Mexico (1846-48) was referred to, in American history books, as simply "the Mexican War" well into the 1960's. So, I use that obsolete nomenclature simply for the retrospective feel of it in Malarkey's "flashbacks."
* * * * *

The moment Red Bear uttered that pronouncement, Becky looked at her husband...and vice-versa. They each knew that Yvette Reardon might not be able to survive another pregnancy. Especially, at her current age!

So, with her free hand, Becky surreptitiously gesticulated the following to the San Blas Kid in Cherokee sign language (which they had both learned from Echota Reardon).

"Do you trust me?" is what she had "said."

The Kid was naturally puzzled. But, he kept a good poker face and nodded. So, she then shouted aloud:

"Chief Red Bear! If you promise to release the older woman into our custody, unharmed and right this minute, I will take her place...and bear your seed."

It would have been difficult to tell, without a daguerrotype, which of them was more surprised by the offer: the Kid or Red Bear. But, the former was even more surprised when the seven foot-tall Comanche began to laugh! Which, of course, made Becky blush redder than her hair.

"What's so funny?" she muttered through clenched teeth.

"Do you think so little of He Who Rides Beside You that you would willingly throw yourself at another man? Begone with you, both! You are not worth killing. At least, not today."

Whereupon, Becky resheathed her Winchester and jumped down from Crazy Quilt's saddle. This, in turn, made the Dog Soldiers aim their Winchesters at her. Prompting the Kid to stand up in his stirrups, and aim his Peacemaker at them!

Becky, however, merely smiled. Holding up both her hands, palms toward them, before she slowly brought them down to her shirt...and began to unbutton it. The Dog Soldiers looked at each other in confusion. Red Bear and Half Moon shared identical looks. But, the Kid now realized where this was heading. And, so, he just smiled.

Even when Becky had become totally naked before everyone's very eyes!

* * * * *

FROM THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

"Accordin' to El Peyotero, the head of the slaver gang was an ex-Juarista named Nestor Ramos Aguilar. He had ridden with a lancer outfit, called 'the Jaguar Knights,' durin' both the Mexican War and the war against the French. But, that outfit had brought no honor to itself, or its causes, with the atrocities it had committed against any wounded prisoners. Namely..."

"...cuttin' their still-beatin' hearts out of their dyin' chests, Aztec-style."

"So, now, he ran a gang of slavers consistin' of himself and several score of Otomi Injuns still loyal to him from the Juarista Revolution. Slavers who captured able-bodied Injuns from other tribes, and then dragged 'em in chains all the way to Tuxpan, on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz. Tuxpan is where some die-hard Johnny Reb expatriates had set up a small colony.* And, a few of them helped to transfer the enslaved Injuns to the Cuban seaport of Niquiero. Oh, sure, some of the enslaved Injuns tried to escape, en route! But, they never got far. Not once Aguilar unleashed his not-so-little pet. A falconry-trained harpy eagle by the name o' Cesar!"

"And, that dang feathered monstrosity was feedin' on one such poor soul, halfway through the mountain forests of Zacatecas, when Dooley and Becky caught up with the whole bunch o' them."

tbc
End Notes:
*Johnny Reb: derisive Northern term for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Union Army soldiers were just as derisively known as "Billy Yanks."
Chapter 9 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
ZACATECAS, MEXICO (1874)
* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON.

"By all accounts after the fact, Nestor Ramos Aguilar had been tradin' the enslaved Injuns for arms and ammunition. His hope bein' to eventually get enough of both that he could overthrow Presidente' Tejada; and rule Mexico, himself, in the name of the pagan goddesses he worshipped!* If so, he must've been a-cursin' under his breath when he had to sic Cesar on another would-be escapee. Thereby deprivin' himself of one potentially valuable rifle."

"That's when Becky made her presence known. And, I only wish I could've seen the looks on those Otomi faces when she demanded the release of all those chained-up Yaquis and Huichols!"

" 'Release 'em, now!' she reiterated: 'Or, face the wrath of Bisabuela Crecimienta!' "

"Aguilar must've been used to seein' giant topless women. Because, from what I was told later, he sneered at Becky! Downright defiantly, too."

" 'I obey only Las Hijas de Ixchel, puta!! Begone with you, before I have Cesar peck your eyes out.' "

" 'I give you one more chance, pendejo!' she yelled back: "Release your captives, or else...' "

"She pointed to her mouth, as she brought her upper and lower jaws together. Makin' her teeth sound like castanets!"

"Aguilar's only response was to scream like an eagle, until he got Cesar's attention. Then, he screamed again; pointin' up at Becky. And, the dad-blamed bird took off in the indicated direction! It didn't get far, though. Because, half way towards Becky's head, there was the scream of a .44-40 bullet. And, Cesar the harpy eagle..."

"...fell back to Earth."

"The shot had come from Dooley's Winchester '73. With Dooley perched atop Becky's head...and concealed within the outer edge of her red curls. He then fired a second shot. Aimed directly at Aguilar's head. Because, that s******d had already dived off his horse, while orderin' his men to return fire!"

"Which they did. Firin' bolt-action Vetterlis made in Italy (and smuggled to Mexico by Corsican expatriates from Puerto Rico). Of course, most of the bullets only managed to hit her as high up as her--ahem!--mammary glands. Causin' no more discomfort to her than a mosquito might if she were just as stark naked at normal size."

"There were some bullets, though, that ricocheted off her forehead. Promptin' Dooley to return fire. And, with his bullets findin' their targets a lot more often than t'other way 'round!"

"Seein' that for himself, what Aguilar did next was the only thing he could do. He ordered his men to scatter! Promptin' Becky to go into action, now."

* * * * *

THE CANYON OF COPPER (1875)

Red Bear was about to hurl another insult, when it happened. The crazy white woman who had totally undressed herself--in front of him and the whole encampment--suddenly grew to a height of one hundred feet tall!

And she smiled in undisguised pleasure at his slack-jawed amazement.

"If you think I'm tall, you should see my older sister. She who single-handedly chased the Santee Sioux out of Minnesota, ten years ago! We have the power to keep in touch with each other, through our minds. She can see whatever I think to her, and vice-versa! So..."

"...will you release your white she-captive, now? Or, do you wish for me to send for my sister with the power of my thoughts?"

tbc
End Notes:
*Tejada, Lerdo de: President of Mexico in between Benito Juarez and Porfirio Diaz.
Chapter 10 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
Writer's block finally eroded.
* * * * *


ZACATECAS, MEXICO (1874)

[From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON]

"Between his height advantage, atop Becky's head, and the sharpshootin' he'd learned from Echota Reardon, Dooley had better luck pickin' off the Jaguar Knights, as opposed to the other way round. Unfortunately, the ammo belts criss-crossin' his chest were startin' to run low on bullets for his Winchester. And, all the remainin' reloads were in Gunmetal's saddlebags, back where he and Becky had left El Peyotero to guard the horses!"

"When he said as much to Becky (whose giant-sized ears had no trouble pickin' up his point blank 'whispers'), she told him to cease firin' and grab on tight to one of her locks of red hair. So, as soon as he'd re-sheathed the rifle into the scabbard on his back, he did just that. Whereupon..."

"...she began playin' hopscotch."

"Now, mind you, she was still a hundred feet tall, and still buck naked. So, the Jaguar Knights must've thought she'd gone plum loco in her cabeza! At first, anyway. But, pretty soon, it became downright obvious there was method to her madness. Namely; the moment her right foot came down atop one of them pagan fanatics!"

"Well, sir! The rest of 'em started high-tailin' for their horses. Lookin' to mount back up and scatter to the four winds! But, Becky was already way ahead of 'em. Scarin' those horses into stampedin' away, completely riderless. And, after that? She continued playin' hopscotch all over that mountainside forest. Crushin' all the other Jaguar Knights--quite literally--underfoot."

"All, that is, except for Nestor Ramos Aguilar. Him, she spared, as per her earlier promise. Namely; puttin' him down her hatch! Though, not afore gettin' him to tell her where, in Ciudad Veracruz, he was supposed to drop off his latest 'cargo.' "

" 'A c-c-compania along the waterfront,' he managed to gasp out (through the pain of his broken ribs): 'The Delta Import/Export Company. Owned by a gringo named L-L-L-Lebaron.' "

" 'Muchos gracias, pendejo,' " she'd replied: " 'Y, adios.' "

" 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo!' "

" 'GULP!' "

"After that, El Peyotero came down from his hidin' place, leadin' the two horses. By which time, Becky had easily snapped all the chains on the Yaqui and Huichol captives. Only when that was accomplished did she shrink back down to normal, so she could get re-dressed into her ridin' clothes. And, while she was a-busy doin' that, Dooley went round on Gunmetal, gatherin' up all of the Jaguar Knight horses. Naturally, there weren't enough of the latter for _all_ the captives to ride! But, most of the women, children, and old folks could do so, while the able-bodied men went afoot."

"Then, just afore all them liberated Injuns proceeded to start back for western Mexico, Becky told El Peyotero to start off without her and Dooley."

"As she explained it: 'We're fixin' to pay that company a not-so-little visit.' "

"Now, most folks old enough to remember that particular outfit will probably tell you that the Mexican branch of that business went bankrupt as a result of bein' nationalized by Presidente' Diaz. But, the real truth of the matter is this: Becky kept her promise."

"Two days after liberatin' El Peyotero's people, Dooley and Becky rode into Ciudad Veracruz along about midnight. And, after goin' up and down the main thoroughfare of the waterfront a couple times, they spotted the front window of the place they was lookin' for."

"DELTA IMPORT/EXPORT CO.
Richard T. Lebaron, Pres."

"The two of 'em dismounted. And, while Dooley watched both horses, Becky crept round to the back door of the place, through an alley to their right. And, the moment she got there, she disrobed. So she could resume her hundred foot-height, of course!"

"After that? Well, let's just say she...raised the roof."

tbc
Chapter 11 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
Oops! I forgot to apologize for the long delay in updating. Let's just say it took longer than I anticipated to erode this latest writer's block. I also apologetically remind the politically correct that certain now-pejorative terms are used only to provide historical context (i.e., the narrator is supposed to be speaking, in hindsight, from 1904).
* * * * *

[From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON]

"Back when Texas was still the Lone Star Republic, a bunch of Houston-based slave traders had themselves a specialty. Whereby they'd smuggle in West African Negroes from Cuba...and then re-sell 'em, in New Orleans, as 'recaptured American run-aways.' Thereby gettin' around the post-1808 Federal ban on the 'importation' of West African Negroes!"

"Them slave traders became the founders of the Mississippi Delta Import/Export Company (with the 'Mississippi' part dropped soon afterwards)."

"One of the sea captains employed by this company was a Dutchman, out of Sint Maarten, named Boojum Vandersnatch. Boojum's father had once been a merchant mariner for the Dutch East India Company. That is; till the company's dissolution in 1798. Then, he became a free-lance smuggler of opium from India to China. With Boojum initially takin' after him. Only to make a bigger name for himself, as a blockade-runner, durin' the American Civil War!"

"It was in the latter capacity that he first met the man who was to become his closest 'business associate:' Richard Thibideaux Lebaron from Beauregard Parish, Louisiana."

"Lebaron had founded the Veracruz branch, of the Delta Import/Export Company, durin' the French occupation of Mexico. And Juarista prisoners of war soon proved a plentiful alternate source of slave labor for American cotton plantations along the Gulf Coast. Especially those who were losin' more and more Negro slaves, every day, followin' the Emancipation Proclamation!"

"Yet, when the Union's victory, in 1865, officially put an end to slavery in America, once and for all, Lebaron was left with only one other customer who could keep him in business. The sugar cane planters of Cuba. And, with the French expulsion from Mexico, two years later, that left him only one other way he could satisfy their incessant demands for 'volunteer contract labor.' "

"Hence, his diabolical deal, with the Jaguar Knights, to 'recruit' such laborers from among the Injun tribes of Mexico's Pacific Coast!"

"It was Vandersnatch and Lebaron whom Becky found conferrin' with each other (over Cuban cigars in Lebaron's dimly lit back office) when she tore the roof off that buildin'. And her giant-sized ears had had no trouble discernin' what they'd been talkin' about! Namely; the impendin' arrival of Aguilar's latest 'acquisitions.' "

"I can only imagine how stunned they must've been; seein' a buck-naked, redheaded giantess. And, then, bein' picked up by her, one in each hand, as if they were no more'n rag dolls! What I do know for a fact, however, is that the next thing Becky did was head further southeastward. With Dooley followin' close behind, atop Gunmetal, while leadin' Crazy Quilt at the same time."

"They headed towards San Juan Bautista de Villahermosa; the capital city of Estado de Tabasco. I can't bring myself to tell you why, specifically. Let's just say that Dooley told me, later, that he used money from Lebaron's wallet to buy himself a milkin' goat. So's he could put out the fire, in Becky's throat, caused by her swallowin' of hot sauce made with genuine tabasco peppers!"

"After that, they high-tailed it back to the village of El Peyotero's people, in Estado de Nayarit. Stayin there a whole year, as man and wife, after gettin' hitched by El Peyotero! The only reason they didn't stay, permanent-like, is because of a vision the old mestizo shaman had, one night."

"A vision in which he saw Yvette Reardon gettin' kidnapped by Comanches on account of the Red River War of 1875!"

tbc
End Notes:
Next chapter: full circle!
Chapter 12 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
EL CANON DE COBRE, MEXICO (1875)
* * * * *

When the drop-jawed Red Bear still had not regained his senses enough to reply, Becky took matters into her own hands. Or, more specifically, her gigantic right hand!

"I had me some white meat, a year ago, that left a bad taste in my mouth. Even through hot peppers and cold milk! So, let's see if some 'red' meat might go down a tad easier."

Whereupon, the hundred foot-tall naked giantess popped the Penateka Comanche war chief straight into her mouth!!

Almost immediately, Becky looked like a kangaroo rat with too much food in its cheeks. Only, this particular "food" had not yet been swallowed. Instead, Red Bear thrashed around from cheek to cheek. Trying to crash through her density-enhanced skin as easily as a finger through a soap bubble. And, when that swiftly proved futile, he tried to bodily pry her teeth apart!! Unfortunately, for him, her saliva made her teeth too slippery to maintain a good grip. So, he went back to trying to burst out through Becky's cheeks! An act of desperation that would have brought a smile to the San Blas Kid's face if not for one thing.

Red Bear's loyal braves had snapped out of their own shock and awe just enough to start aiming their rifles upward at Becky's face. Prompting the Kid to draw his double-action Starr, as well!

Fortunately, Half Moon the shaman managed to regain his composure, just in time to prevent any shooting.

"Enough of this! We will release the white woman."

Whereupon, he spoke (in flawless Cheyenne) to one of the Dog Soldiers. Ordering the latter to go untie Yvette Reardon and bring her out into the open. And, when the San Blas Kid saw that, for himself, he loudly exhaled in relief.

"We have done as you asked," shouted Half Moon: "Now, release Red Bear."

The Kid reholstered the Starr so he could use his thumb and index finger to whistle upward. Becky heard the whistle and looked downward. Her husband nodded towards Yvette. And, seeing that their goal had been achieved, Becky spit the war chief into the palm of her right hand before placing him on the ground. At the same time, she removed the still-tied up Prarie Wolf from the saddle of his mount in order to replace him with Yvette!

"Como tallez vous, Mama?" the Kid asked his adoptive mother.*

"Je vais bien, mon enfant."

And, she leaned across, to kiss him on his right cheek, in reassurance.

* * * * *

[From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON]

"The Comanche raid on Tonkawa Springs had been the biggest ever made by that tribe. And, among the many victims whose funerals I had the sad duty to preside over were my predecessor, Reverend Shepherd...and Anatole Leblanc."

"Yvette Reardon's pa."

"I had just finished eulogizin' the latter, when I saw 'em. Becky and Dooley; standin' by their respective horses, just outside the churchyard. And, I'll be danged if I wasn't a-bear huggin' them both, while bawlin' my eyes out, faster'n you can say 'carpet-bagger!' "

"Needless to say, we rode back to my place. The two of them tellin' me everything I just relayed to you. And, me, havin' to detail what had happened just a week ago, here."

" 'Accordin' to the Tonkawa scouts from Fort Pecos, your family's place was hit by a raidin' party about three dozen strong. They burned down the house and barn, after runnin' off the livestock. And, judgin' from the blood on his Arkansas Toothpick, your grandpappy must've took quite a few of them with him after him and your ma were driven outside by the heat and smoke!' "

" 'Any idea who done it, Mal?' Dooley asked me."

" 'Most likely Penateka Comanch, under Chief Red Bear. On account of several plow horse tracks were found among all the other hoof prints!' "

"At which point, Dooley looked straight at Becky."

" 'We have to go back cross the border.' "

"But, I shook my head and interrupted Becky afore she could reply."

" 'It won't do you any good, son. Nobody knows what part of Mexico he hides out in!' "

" 'Prarie Wolf might,' Becky declared: 'He's been Daddy's chief translator since their earliest days as Comancheros!' "

" 'Good luck with that,' I countered: 'That mestizo left your daddy's employ, last year. I sure ain't seen hide nor hair of him, in all that time. And, if Ezekiel knows where he lit out for, he sure ain't told me!' "

"The grin that appeared on Becky's face that moment made me shiver a little."

" 'I bet I could get that information out of him.' "

tbc
End Notes:
* "How are you, Mom?"

"I am well, my son."

Carpet-bagger: pejorative slang term for any crooked politician and/or businessman in the Union Army-occupied southern U.S. following the Civil War. Derived from the sarcastic observation that such individuals did not have enough inherent honesty to fill a carpet bag (19th-century suitcase)!

Arkansas Toothpick: obsolescent slang term for the Bowie knife.
Chapter 13 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
TONKAWA SPRINGS, TEXAS (1875)
* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

"It was Dooley who arrived at the Crown-Bar-C, first. He rode up to the front porch of the ranch house, bold as brass, and called out for Ezekiel Cousins, himself. And, when Cousins finally deigned to step outside?"

"It was with a double-barrel shotgun at the ready."

" 'You got a lotta nerve showin' your face around here, Injun,' he growled."

"Dooley gave him a lop-sided smile afore replyin'."

" 'Now, is that anyway to talk to your newlywed son-in-law...Pa?' "

"I wish I'd been there to see the bulgin' of Cousins' eyes when he heard that. I've no doubt it would've been the identical reaction on everyone else's faces!"

" 'That ain't funny,' Cousins finally managed to snarl: 'You call me that, again, and I'll blow your head off.' "

"Dooley's own eyes must've narrowed a lot when he heard that."

" 'You still man enough to try...cabron?' "

"It must've been one tense stand-off for them first few seconds. Especially with his boys, and all of their ranch hands, probably gatherin' around behind Dooley, by that point!"

"But, true to the plan they'd worked out aforehand, Dooley had gotten everyone so focused on him that they plum forgot about Becky!"

"Which is exactly how she wanted it."

* * * * *

"Hello, Daddy!"

The voice was naturally like thunder. But, there was no mistaking it.

"B-B-Becky?" the cattle baron nervously stammered.

In response, a bare right foot placed itself on the ground, directly between Cousins and the blue grullo Morab called Gunmetal.

"Now, Daddy," continued that sweet (yet-still-almost-deafening) voice: "Dooley's goin' to ask you a question. And, I want you to give him a Gospel-true answer. Because, if you don't? Well, watch this."

Instantly, three sets of clothes began to shower on to the ground from above the eaves trough of the porch roof. Each article of clothing followed by a high-pitched shriek of protest! And, it was only when three gun belts (containing Colt Peacemakers with gold-inlaid walnut grips) concluded that shower that Cousins knew what had just transpired.

"Shad? Shach?? Abe?!"

His triplet sons all replied in undisguised terror.

"Pa! Help!"

"Do as she says!"

"She's gonna swallow us, buck-naked, otherwise!"

Cousins immediately ran out from beneath the front porch and looked towards the gable of the roof. Sure enough; a thirty foot-tall redhead was holding her brothers aloft over her wide-open jaws! This naturally prompted the cattle baron to spin about, one hundred eighty degrees, his shotgun instinctively leveled at the San Blas Kid.

Only to find both of the latter's revolvers already trained on him.

"Tell her to let 'em go, you...!"

"You heard the terms, viejo!" the younger man interrupted him: "She lets 'em go when you answer my question."

Cousins reluctantly lowered the shotgun, so that both of its barrels pointed toward the ground.

"What do you wanna know?"

The San Blas Kid's grin was utterly shameless.

"Where's Prairie Wolf call home these days?"

Cousins struggled not to give forth with the rebuttal he truly wanted to utter.

"He's ridin' with the Valdez gang, nowadays. Out of a pueblo somewhere south of the Big Bend."

And, with that, the young pistolero re-holstered his double-action Starr, so he could use his left hand to tip the slouched brim of his gray Stetson in gratitude. All before galloping away with a loud "Hey-yah!"

To be continued
End Notes:
Sorry for the long delay, guys. As usual, I just have too many literary irons in the fire.
Chapter 14 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
DENVER, COLORADO (1875)
* * * * *

The highbinder bowed before the head of the local Chinatown's leading tong.

"Your visitor has arrived, Illustrious Liu."

The latter, dressed like a mandarin of the now-defunct Ming Dynasty, gestured for the highbinder to show the man in. Thirty seconds later, Jeb Daniels gave a courtly bow to the hookah pipe-smoking figure enthroned before him. And, Illustrious Liu returned it with a half-nod, before commencing the conversation.

"My brethren in San Francisco tell me you wish to buy some opium, Mr. Daniels."

"Y-Y-Yes," Daniels stammeringly replied: "But, th-they told me that I had to s-s-see you, first. As you handle all the d-d-distribution east of the Rockies."

"That is my humble purview, yes. Exactly how much opium do you wish to purchase?"

Jeb worded his next reply, very carefully.

"Enough to put an elephant to sleep!"

Illustrious Liu arched his right eyebrow at this bit of peculiar vernacular.

"Are you, perchance, going into the ivory importation business, Mr. Daniels?"

Jeb (just barely) stifled a nervous giggle.

"Oh, no! I'm donating it to the medical school of my old alma mater, Harvard University, in Massachusetts."

Now, it was Liu's turn to chuckle: "I see. Very well! Will one hundred barrels of the powder be sufficient for your needs?"

Jeb grinned and energetically nodded. So much so, the tong leader thought he would give himself whiplash!

"Very well," repeated the former: "The price will be a great one, however. One thousand dollars per barrel! Can you meet that price?"

Jeb nervously gulped, before nodding.

"Excellent!" exclaimed the tong leader: "Do you wish the powder sent directly to Massachusetts?"

"N-N-No," Jeb went back to stammering: "P-Please send it to my hometown; Tonkawa Springs, Texas. That way, I can relay it to Boston via New Orleans as...Louisiana cane sugar."

Illustrious Liu chuckled, again: "Then, it shall be so."

* * * * *

PECOS COUNTY, TEXAS

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lancer had been born "Mateo Gallegos." His paternal grandfather, Aiden Gallagher, had fought in the Napoleonic Wars as a platoon sergeant in the British army's 87th (Prince of Wales' Irish) Regiment of Foot. While his father, nee Sean Gallagher, had helped the Mexicans fight for independence from Spain as "Juan Gallegos!"

Unfortunately, the latter had ultimately dishonored himself by putting his Mexican lancer regiment under the sway of an ancient she-demon called an empusa. One who had demanded blood sacrifices in the style of the ancient Aztecs! So, during Mexico's war with the United States (1846-48), the so-called "Jaguar Knights" had killed--and accordingly mutilated--wounded American stragglers at the Battle of Cerro Gordo.

Followed by similar treatment of wounded French stragglers, during the Juarista Revolution, twenty years later.

It was for this reason that Matt had attended military school in Vermont under a safer-sounding American name. Yet, as fate would have it, his father's sins finally caught up to both of them in post-Civil War West Texas. Juan Gallegos paying for his own with his life. While Matt's penance seemed to be deprivation of his long-overdue promotion to full colonel.

Or, at least, that was the hypothesis being ventured by Ezekiel Cousins in Matt's office.

"It could be those dang Yankees, in Washington, figure the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. It would certainly explain why the townsfolk didn't re-elect Reuben Sillitoe as mayor of Tonkawa Springs, back in '66*! But, if such is the case, you can kiss that little gold bird (let alone, any chance of someday reachin' general) adios."

There was a long, awkward pause before Matt finally replied.

"Even if what you speculate is true, Mr. Cousins, what does that have to do with your request?"

The shady cattle baron leaned forward and half-whispered his reply.

"You get those Hale rockets here, from Massachusetts, in two weeks or less? And, I'll give you a check, in your name, made out to the equivalent of what a three-star general gets in a year!"

This time, the pause was less awkward...and much shorter.

"You've got a deal."

* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

"When they got back to my parsonage, Dooley and Becky told me where they was headed, next. But, they had one request before they left. They wanted to renew their weddin' vows, Christian-style! Yvette Reardon havin' been raised a strict Catholic."

"I agreed. And, after their post-nuptial kiss?"

"They left."

"I didn't hear anythin' from or about them for the next two weeks. Then, one day, a messenger boy come over to my parsonage from the local telegraph office. With a message from Becky and Dooley!"

"It had been sent from a Mexican border town, just east of the Big Bend country. Yvette was with 'em, and just fine (considerin' all she'd been through). They were gonna need my help, though, on account of somethin' they'd learned from Tom Bigby. One of Echota's Cherokee cousins, who also scouted for the Texas Rangers. And, accordin' to him?"

"U.S. Cavalry from Fort Pecos would be waitin' for all three of them at the border."


To be continued
End Notes:
*See A "SMALLER" SHADE OF GRAY.
Chapter 15 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
OK! I sincerely did think this was going to be the true final chapter. To paraphrase the wit and wisdom of Sir Pixis, however: "Some stories just seem to keep on writing themselves!"
* * * * *


From THE MEMOIRS of "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

COAHUILA STATE, NORTHERN MEXICO (1875)

"Now, when I say that Tom Bigby and Echota Reardon had been Cherokee cousins, it's not in the biological sense that each of 'em had a parent that was siblin' to one of the other's parents. Cherokee kinship is a lot broader'n that; bein' reckoned through the mother's side of the family. In other words? Adsila Reardon and Tom Bigby's ma had been complete strangers to each other. What with the former's full-blooded folks havin' migrated to Texas as part of Chief Bowl's band of Chickamauga Cherokee. While the latter had been a Smoky Mountain Cherokee, who spent her entire life in North Carolina."

"But, they'd both been daughters of the Aniwaya (or Cherokee Wolf Clan). And, as such? They'd still been considered just as much close relatives as if they'd been born and raised Siamese twins! So that, in turn, is why Tom Bigby risked bein' arrested by his fellow Texas Rangers, for desertion, when he rode off in the middle of the night to warn his cousin's adopted son of the trap that lay awaitin' him and his two women-folk."

"Extended family obligation."

"He caught up with the trio at a little Mexican border town called Pueblo Del Vado.* Just across from where the Rio Diablo conflues with the Rio Grande in Val Verde County, Texas."

" 'Lancer's got fifty buckboards with him. Each one mountin' four skyrockets. And each rocket loaded with some kind of sleepin' powder. If enough of them explode round about Becky, even at her tallest height? She'll hit the ground like Goliath, and snooze like Rip Van Winkle!' "

"Dooley just shrugged."

" 'So what? Now that you've warned us, all she has to do is close her eyes and hold her nose!' "

"Which only made Tom real exasperated."

" 'Dang it, boy! Don't you get it? Lancer remembers the events of nine years ago as clearly as I do. So's he bound and determined that history will not repeat itself in Tonkawa Springs! Towards that end, he's also got two dozen horse-drawn Gatling guns with him. Each one loaded with ammo...blessed by the Fort Pecos chaplain.' "

" 'Zut alors!' Yvette gasped: 'C'est idiotique! Becky is not part of that unholy cult."

" 'Lancer don't care,' Tom replied: 'To him, the only good giantess is a dead giantess.' "

"Dooley just nodded, real grim-like. Then, to sort of change the subject, he asked what Tom was gonna do, now."

" 'You know you can't go back to the Rangers,' he added: 'They'll arrest you for aidin' and abettin' us faster than you and I can draw!' "

"And Tom just smiled: 'I figger I'll head further west, this side of the border. Then, turn due north when I hit Mexicali. Who knows? Maybe the next time you hear from me, I'll have been elected town marshal of Cherokee, California!' "

"With that, he turned his palomino mare to his right, and rode off with a loud 'Hey-yah!!' When he was out of sight, Dooley looked at his newlywed wife."

" 'How we gonna do this? I shoot and kill the first three dozen; you crush the rest?' "

"But, she just smiled back at him, and said: 'Let's call in some reinforcements, first.' "

tbc
End Notes:
*Pueblo Del Vado: "Village of the Ford."

Mexicali: border town in northeastern Baja California, Mexico.
Chapter 16 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
PUEBLO DEL VADO, MEXICO
(LATE SPRING, 1875)
* * * * *

FROM THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

"I was readin' from the Twenty-third Psalm when the knock came at my front door."

"Of course, back then, I still felt funny callin' it _my_ front door. After all; up until two weeks ago, the whole blamed parsonage had belonged to Rev. Shepherd! But, anyhow, I answered that knock. And, there, she was. The girl that Becky and Dooley's telegram had asked me to contact."

" 'Rachel?' I asked: "Rachel Cousins?' "

" 'It's Rachel McGee, now, Rev. Johnson,' she replied."

"She stepped through the door, so's I could get a better look at her weddin' ring in the lamp light. But, before I feasted my eyes on that little gold band, I took another gander of her face. And, I'll be danged if she wasn't the spittin' image of her younger sister! Ten years older, naturally. But, still just as much like Becky as their triplet brothers looked like each other."

" 'You bring your hubby with you?' "

" 'Ken's lookin' after our horses. We rode durin' the daylight hours, so as not to attract undue attention. I made up the time, growin' to giant-size at night.' "

" 'A right sensible precaution,' I agreed."

"You see, I'd sent a telegram to Rachel (in Peru, Indiana, where the circus she worked for had just a-finished winterin'), tellin' her Becky was in trouble, and to come a-runnin' home, pronto. As only a _big_ sister could!"

{You might've read, in them dime novels, that she and Becky can talk to each other, psychically. But, that there's just hogwash, stemmin' from the bluff she'd run on Chief Red Bear, further down in Mexico.}

"I then showed her the telegram that had been sent to me, from south of the border. Along with a second one that'd arrived, earlier that afternoon. That one said Becky and Dooley wanted Jeb Daniels' help in negotiatin' with the cavalry from Fort Pecos!"

"But, the same way Becky had negotiated for Prairie Wolf's whereabouts."

"Rachel was confused by that part, of course. But, I told her I'd explain on the way to the Daniels residence. And, as I kept that promise (drivin' my buggy at the fastest gait Old Absalom could manage), Rachel got the same kind of mischievous grin on her face that I'd last seen on Becky's, two weeks earlier."

"I pulled that buggy to a halt about a hundred yards behind the Daniels house. Whereupon, Rachel disembarked...and disrobed."

"A minute after that, she was a hundred feet tall!"

"Well, sir? You should've heard the ruckus that rose up within the house when Rachel tore the roof off it, and grabbed up young Jeb as if he were no heavier than an apple-core doll! She then used her free hand to wave to me to get goin' back to my place. Which I did! Though, I succumbed to the same temptation as Lot's wife, and looked back. To watch Rachel high-tailin' it south, towards Val Verde County."

"Luckily, for me, I didn't suffer the same fate as Lot's wife."

"Anyway, when I saw Rachel, three days later, she explained what had happened."

"By sun-up, the next day, she had reached the confluence of the Rio Diablo and the Rio Grande. And, sure enough; the cavalry was lined up right along the bank of the American side. If Becky so much as set one giant toe down on that side, the troops had orders to open fire, at will!"

"At least, that's what Dooley heard Lancer tell his troop commanders, when he snuck into the camp to eavesdrop on the officers' pow-wow, the night before."

"Anyway, all those soldier-boys were concentratin' their attention on Becky. And, frankly, in hindsight, I can't blame 'em. One hundred feet tall, in all her birthday-suited glory? You'd have to be one of them Arabian eunuchs not to be captivated by such a sight!"

" 'Hello, the camp!' she finally called out: 'Who's the Yankee in charge?' "

"Lancer yelled up to her (through one of them college boat-rowin' megaphones) that he was. Givin' his full name and rank, in the process. Then, he asked her what she wanted."

" 'Simply this,' she replied: 'You can all go back to Fort Pecos. Startin' now! Because, myy husband, his ma, and me won't be comin' back to Tonkawa Springs. We don't stay where we're not wanted! And, to prove we're not gonna turn around and change our minds?' "

"She paused just long enough to look over at Rachel, and nod. Whereupon, Rachel wound herself up like one of them baseball pitchers...and threw Jeb Daniels all the way into Mexico!"

tbc
Chapter 17 by Carycomic
Author's Notes:
Finally: the true conclusion!
* * * * *

From THE MEMOIRS OF "MALARKEY" JOHNSON

"I was later told that Jeb Daniels screamed like a frightened little girl as he arced through the air. Even to the point of soilin' his long-Johns by the time he landed on the flattened palm of Becky's giant right hand! But, that he eventually composed himself enough to look up at her when she ordered him to."

" 'Hello, Jeb. It's been a while, and a lot's happened since I last saw you. I got married, for one thing. And, I'd like you to meet my husband. Mr. Brendan Dooley Reardon...alias the San Blas Kid.' "

"Whereupon, she brought her right hand a little closer to her left. And, standin' in the palm of that hand (barefoot and bare-chested) was Dooley. His Colt Peacemaker nestled in the holster of the two-gun rig he hadn't worn since he took to usin' the Starr as a hide-out gun 'neath his red poncho."

"And he tossed that Starr over to Jeb. Watchin' it land right in front of the latter's knees."

" 'I'll get right to the point, Daniels,' Dooley exclaimed (loud enough for the cavalry to hear): 'You've caused my family a lot of misery. Well, now, I'm here to put you out of it! And, you got one of three choices how to do it. A classic back-to-back duel, where we turn and fire at the count of three. Put a bullet from that Starr right between your eyes. Or, let Becky swallow you...alive and whole.' "

"I'm told that Jeb didn't answer, right away. He just looked up at Becky, who looked back at him, and grinned."

"Like a cat what's cornered a mouse."

" 'Are you loco?!' he finally answered back: 'Th-that's...' "

" '...murder?' Becky finished for him: 'That's what you intended for Dooley, the night of my sweet sixteen party. You were _still_ tryin' to kill him even as Echota tried to wrestle that derringer away from you!' "

" 'And, now, you get to try again,' Dooley added (deliberately turnin' his back to Jeb): 'So, at the count of three, either fire that gun at me...or use it on yourself. Either way; you ain't goin' back to Tonkawa Springs, alive. ONE!' "

"Becky continued the count: 'TWO!' "

"Sure enough; Jeb didn't even wait for the pronouncement of 'three.' Instead, he dove for that other revolver and tried to shoot Dooley in the back! But, the moment he cocked the hammer, Dooley was already swervin' counter-clockwise; comin' to rest in a crouch; drawin' the Peacemaker; and fannin' four shots right into Jeb's chest."

"Becky closed up her right hand, right quick, to keep Jeb's body from fallin' to the ground. She then cupped it together, with her left, so's Dooley could recover the Starr. After that? She put him on her left shoulder..."

"...before droppin' Jeb's body down into her wide-open mouth."

"I'm told that Colonel Lancer was shocked speechless for the first twenty seconds, or so. But, that he finally regained his senses fast enough to order the Gatlin' guns to open fire, at will. Just before they did, though, somethin' unforeseen happened."

"A giant keg of gunpowder--the size of a California redwood--came flyin' through the air and landed right in front of the middle battery. With a short fuse that was already half-burnt down! And, it was quickly followed by a second...and a third!!"

"The resultin' explosions made holes the size of meteor craters. And, some folks might call it a miracle that most of them soldier-boys scattered fast enough to wind up only seriously wounded, at worst!

"Me? I call it the result of Rachel breakin' into the Reardon gunsmithy (with my help), before her abduction of Jeb Daniels, and makin' off with three normal-sized powder kegs. Which, of course, grew giant-size along with her!"

"In the confusion that followed the explosions, Rachel ran back in the direction of Tonkawa Springs. While Becky and Dooley high-tailed it to where they had left Yvette to guard the horses."

"I haven't seen the latter three to this day."

"It's for the best, I suppose. Old Man Daniels never forgave them for killin' his only boy. He even paid to have wanted posters printed up, offerin' a million dollar reward for Dooley and Becky. Just plain dead!"

"But, ain't anybody collected on it, yet."

"In the many years since then (like I said at the beginnin'), a lot of dime novels have been written about this highly unusual couple. Each one referrin' to them as 'Big Red and the San Blas Kid.' But, me? I prefer their Spanish nicknames: 'La Giganta Y El Pistolero.' It sounds more...poetic."

"And, wherever they are, right now, I want 'em to know that I love 'em."

"Vaya con Dios, mis ninos."

THE END
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