Once upon a time in the West
Sheriff Eisenhower lived in a little town of Texas: Gabesville. In that city there were
five hundred inhabitants and everybody knew everybody. In that town the sheriff WAS the
law and his gun WAS the order. This man was impressive, tall and strong. Nobody could fight
with him. He was at home cleaning his sheriff star when he heard someone knock at the door.
Beverly Hilton came in, afraid and worried. She was a beautiful woman dressed in her
dancer’s dress. Indeed she worked in Gabesville saloon as a dancer. The sheriff loved her but
it was another story… She came to him crying, and she said:
"Young Kingston ! He’s dead, hanged at the mast of the city, The US flag on him! "
"Oh … err… it’s bad, I think …" Rob Eisenhower wondered.
"Yes it is!! You won’t do anything?" Miss Hilton shouted, going mad.
“Of course yes, I’ m going to have a look!”
He thought for a while and said:
"I’ll be back in thirty minutes, would you like to have a drink with me?"
The sheriff was a seducer.
"Away! Right now!" she said angrily. Beverly didn’t like seducers!
When Rob arrived on the crime scene it was half past eleven p.m. and there were
many people around the corpse. The whole city was there, the mayor, the baker, the barber…
"There is no problem, I’m here, you’re safe!" he shouted.
And every body parted. The sheriff went near the corpse and examined it.
"He’s dead, it’s sure", he said ten minutes later. Everybody sighed.
"You can go home! I’ll start investigating tomorrow morning, I’m tired tonight" Rob said.
And everybody went home…He came back home hoping that Beverly would be there, but
there wasn’t anybody at his place so he decided to take a scotch and go to bed.
The following day he went to Bill Raver's house. Bill Raver was the undertaker of
Gabesville and James Kingston worked for him. He was tall, thin and always dressed in black.
He had a white face and never looked happy. When the sheriff saw him, he was looking after
the corpse of the victim.
"Tell me about young Kingston" Rob said.
"What do you want to know about him?" the undertaker answered slowly.
"You know… things we ask in whodunits… About his family…"
"He didn't have any family."
"Oh well … tell me about his personality."
"He was lazy, he never did anything!"
"So why did you employ him?"
"Because nobody wanted that job, of course! He needed money… Additionally he was an
agitator and was often fighting."
"Do you know who with?"
"No. But the mayor might do."
"Ok, thanks I'll remember that! Ciao buddy!"
Rob Eisenhower left the undertaker and went to the town hall, but before he went to
have a drink at the saloon. In the saloon, there was the mayor! Indeed mayor Henry Marvey
was a Bon vivant and every day he went to the saloon to drink a glass of whisky, of course
only a few people knew that vice. And when the mayor saw the sheriff, he panicked and spilt
his whisky on his shirt. Henry Marvey was a big man but he was very clever and knew
everything about everybody. That old man was always well-dressed so he was a little angry
his shirt was stained. Rob sat down in front of him.
"What do you know about James Kingston? I heard he had many fights but I don't who with."
"Oh yes... sad story … I liked this young boy, of course he wasn't always shy and wise. So,
it's true, he had many fights, with a racist band."
"Aah ok! But why?"
"Are you stupid? He was black! Racists don't like black people!"
The sheriff started being angry, it was the second time that we said to him that he was stupid!
He decided to stop being friendly.
"Mmmh, can you tell me the names of these racists? And don't tell me I'm stupid, Ok? I'm
not, well I think …"
"Well, there is Thomas Harris and his uncle, John."
"I know them. They have already been to prison."
"Yes! And with them there was Mr Wayne, the farmer, you know "crazy Paul"?
"Yes I remember him he is really enormous!" the sheriff said, laughing.
"What do you have against fat people?"
"Ah …errrrr … nothing, I wanted to say that he was …funny."
"I think I will stay here, I love this saloon."
"If I say something else about the gang will you leave this table?"
"Of course, tell me everything!"
"Last night … errr… I was here, sitting at this table"
"Oh yes, you have your habits."
"I wouldn't answer. I was saying that I was here last night and I saw them, Crazy Paul had a
rope, all the band was drinking at this table!”
”Oh, I understand but if they were here they couldn’t kill the victim!”
”Of course but they left the saloon accurately 15 minutes before Miss Hilton found the corpse.
”Ooh … it is errr… suspicious!”
”Yes, now I have helped you, will you leave this saloon? Please!”
”Ok ok, don’t be so angry … Goodbye!”
The mayor didn’t answer and asked the barman for another whisky.
When he left the saloon, Rob was thoughtful, he wondered where he could find the
racist gang and what he would tell those men who had probably killed a man .The sheriff was
a little scared, he hadn’t investigated on a murder before, the more dangerous man he had
arrested was a 16-years-old thief. He decided to go to Wayne’s farm with his favorite
Winchester. When he arrived at the farm he was a little bit more confident. He walked around
the house but as he didn’t see anybody he decided to knock at the door, a little less confident.
He heard a big voice:
The sheriff pushed the door and here, there was the whole gang .Paul was sitting
smoking, next to him there were two ginger-haired men, Rob guessed that the younger was
Thomas and the other his uncle John .At this moment the sheriff was so frightened that he
“Oh my god! I’m lost!”
Paul laughed, but not with that crazy laughter that we hear in horror films when the murderer
kills his victim. He asked Rob:
“Sheriff, you can’t find your town?”
”Err … Yes that's it, I've lost my way but as I’m here, I have a few questions to ask you!”
”Oh, ok, no problem! Ask!” He said, laughing more and more.
”Where were you yesterday night at eleven p.m.?”
”In the saloon!” John Harris answered.
”Yes I know it!”
”So why do you ask this question?? Are you stupid?”
It was too much!
”Don’t say I’m stupid!!!! I want to know what you did after leaving the saloon!!!! And why
did you have a rope?!” He said pointing his colt on the men.
”Keep cool!” Paul said, laughing more and more.
”Answer!!! Or I won't be able to control myself!”
”Ok ok, we left the saloon, we wanted to catch Paul’s horse, we had lost it last Wednesday,
and that’s why we had a rope.” John said slowly.
”Ohh, errr …sorry, I apologize … Goodbye men…” Rob said, embarrassed.
”No problem sheriff! Do you want a map?” Thomas said, amused.
And Eisenhower left the gang disappointed, his theory was wrong and now and hadn’t
any clues. He returned to his house thinking that he would be the shame of the town, an
incompetent sheriff .He was opening the door when he heard a little voice:
He turned round but didn’t see anybody.
”I’m here! Near the dustbin.”
And the sheriff saw a little child.
“I’m...” he was hesitant. “I’m Tom Sawyer and I…”
”What are you trying to tell me, little boy?” he said annoyed, “I can’t waste my time!”
”Yesterday night, I was in town, and I saw everything…”
”What did you see? Your sister playing with her doll?” Rob said, entertained.
”Nooooo! I saw everything about the murder, stupid adult!”
Rob was furious and slapped the child who cried loudly.
”Don’t call me stupid!”
“I’m sorry Sheriff… Really sorry! Don’t hit me again please…”
”Well, tell me what you have seen.”
”There was Rob who tried to hoist the U.S. flag, and Mr. Wayne’s horse neighed so James
panicked and he fell but he got tangled up with the flag’s rope. He hanged himself. A gloomy
”But why didn’t you tell me this before?”
”I was afraid because I was going to see my girlfriend and I didn’t want my mother to know
The sheriff was really angry and hit the child again.
”Stupid!” Rob Eisenhower shouted.
And Rob walked in the desert of Texas, lonely, like a poor lonesome cowboy…
He was singing:
"I'm a poor lonesome cowboy
I've a long long way to home
And this poor lonesome cowboy
Has got a long long way to home
Over mountains and over prairies
From dawn 'til day is done
My horse and me keep riding
Into this settin' sun”…
By Rémi Wallaere and Hugo Tomes