The Reno Kid
The rider gently spurred his mount
and reined him through the clay.
He thought of finally bedding down
and finding Black some hay.
They entered Pleasant Valley
the name of this small town,
the rider glancing left. then right
from roof top, to the ground.
The man and horse rode slower
than the average rider did...
he was careful coming in...
this mans.the Reno Kid.
The rider reined the horse with skill
and led him to a trough.
He put his horse to drink his fill
but first he splashed it off.
The water trough was dusty,
from being near the road.
His hand still dripping wet
for the kindness that he showed.
Reno tied one of his reins
to a hitching post, quite weathered.
Then gently tugged upon the strap
to make sure, it was tethered.
A passerby, would never know
that Reno just surveyed,
the street on which he stood...
in case trouble was arrayed.
Satisfied . he'd entered town
and no one had took note.
He walked in through the swinging doors
to soothe his own parched throat.
The men inside all watched him...
as slowly Reno walked.
up to the bar ... then to the end still watching...
no one talked.
Reno noticed all within...
the young, the old... the tall.
He seen that some were wearing guns,
and some had none at all...
He motioned for the barkeep
to come and meet him there...
while keeping his eyes focused...
on a tall man near the stair.
Reno looked him over
with his practiced cautious scan.
He knew it would be helpful
if he had to face this man.
The way he wore his pistols...
slung low.and tied down tightly...
told Reno to be careful...
not to take this tall man lightly.
He scanned the barroom closer
and noticed two more there,
both trying to be casual...
so Reno marked the pair.
The tall man flexed his fingers
and smiled an evil grin....
what Reno dreaded most of all...
was happening again.
It seemed like gunmen in each town
would like to test their skill,
and to build their reputation...
it was Reno they should kill.
The tall man said, You're the Reno Kid.
I've heard you're plenty fast,
but if you try to pull with me...
its sure to be your last.
Reno took a deep breath...
then expelled it... long and slow...
then looked the tall man in the eye,
and told him... "make your show."
The tall man drew like lightning
but Reno's guns barked first.
two shots split the air...
and gun smoke was dispursed.
The tall man dropped down to the floor,
falling hard and fast.
This duel that had just played out.
had proved to be his last.
Reno turned, and braced the others...
you could see it on their face...
they knew there was no chance for them...
so they left their guns in place.
Then he spoke ..."You seen it...
He drew first... what just took place was fair."
The barkeep said, "Yeah.
but he's got three brothers...
and they're not gonna care.
Even though he forced the fight...
I wouldn't hang around.
I'd drink up... and be on my way...
and distance from this town."
Reno knew that he was right,
he'd best be moving on.
he could travel many miles
before the rising dawn.
He gathered all their pistols.
and sank them in the trough...
loosed the reins... swung into saddle...
and He and Black were off.
He headed East, then turned to West,
to best conceal his trail.
If someone tried to follow him...
he hoped that they would fail.
It wasn't his intention,
to end up on this trail.
The traveling had begun.
cause he couldn't live in jail.
When finally Reno safely camped
and rested from his flight,
he thought about the kind of life
he'd lived up to this night.
He lay there on his blanket,
with the campfire burning low,
gazing at a billion stars...
and their brilliant show.
Reno faintly heard it.
a crunch of a boot...
He rolled out of camp sight.
Preparing to shoot.
Reno took cover, behind a huge rock...
and slowly he brought...
his twin colts... to full-cock....
Who goes there? He said.
Why this... time of night?
A voice said, I'm Lost and I'm thirsty
and I seen your light.
You're lying, said Reno
the fires in a hole.
I did that, so it couldn't be seen by a soul.
Nevertheless, the voice did reply
the light was so bright
that it lit up the sky.
Believe me my friend...
"I" sure wouldn't lie.
Come on in closer...
so I can get a better look.
When he did, there was no gun...
but he was carrying a book.
What's that your holding??
Stretch it out.real slow.
It's my King James Bible.
I take it wherever I go.
You some kind of preacher??
Or someone like that??
Yes sir, I'm Parson Smith
and he took off his hat.
Reno then softened
and his voice came less gruff.
Come on in Parson...
we've talked long enough.
The Parson was grateful
and finally sat down.
He explained he was lost...
and had wandered around.
The buckboard he'd driven
he lost early that day.
He was checking a wheel...
when the horse ran away.
Help yourself to some grub...
and there's coffee in that hole.
I don't know. How.you seen light...
To save my soul.
The Parson said smiling,
God moves in strange ways.
But I am telling you sir.
I seen its bright rays.
I asked God to help me,
in my terrible plight...
and right after I prayed.
I seen your bright light.
I walked here for hours...
to find your campsite.
I knew that HE sent you...
to save me, this night.
Now Parson... that's a tall tale...
you're not supposed to lie.
I halfway believed you
about the light up in the sky.
But when you say that GOD put "me"...
out here to rescue you...
that's hard for me to swallow...
HE's got better things to do.
With GOD it's not an accident,
that all this has took place.
I believe HE loves you sir.
and wants to show you grace.
You obviously are on the run,
from some kind of threat...
the way that you reacted
when You and I first met.
Your guns were drawn,
and cocked to fire.
You gave me quite a start.
but when you spoke...
I then sensed... a softness in your heart.
I didn't feel nothing,
I was ready To blast.
You shouldn't walk up
on a mans camp that fast.
More than one mans died...
when they braced me.
I never wanted it that way,
it just happened to be.
Since that very first time.
I've had to keep travelin...
and all the while...
I seen my life just unravelin.
I just don't know how,
to make change in this life.
Someday it will end for me...
and I've never took a wife.
I wanted a family.
Someone who knew how I felt...
but I guess I'll just play out,
the cards that I'm dealt.
With GOD All things are possible,
it says that. right here in my book.
No matter what you've done.
no matter what you've took.
When JESUS died,
He paid it all... for You sir.
and for Me.
He gave HIS life upon a cross,
that we could both be free.
You may think GOD is mad at you,
cause HE knows what you have done.
You couldn't pay for all those sins.
that's why HE sent HIS SON.
I don't know... why I found you here.
I could have suffered loss...
unless HE sent "me" to find "you"...
and lead "you"... to the cross.
So turn to HIM. while you still can.
and there still is a way.
Give your life to JESUS,
and follow HIM today.
Your life will change... I promise you.
in ways you cannot know.
You CAN leave this life behind...
if you really want to go.
Reno felt an urging, to finally confess,
the life he'd lived... the things he'd done...
it surely was a mess.
Two men kneeled beneath the stars...
the Parson led the prayer.
The Reno Kid met JESUS.
and left his sins out there.
Early next morning, Reno broke camp.
He said, well Parson, I guess it's time to go.
I know Black can carry double...
if I take it... really slow.
So off they went...this mismatched pair...
Reno reading Parsons"track".
Reno knew eventually.
the trail would lead them back.
Finally the pair arrived,
in the Parsons little town.
Reno stiffened in the saddle,
and lowered Parson down.
and the two stood there facing each other.
The Parson spoke first...
I'll say one thing sir.you truly are a brother.
Parson Smith, I just wanted you to know...
that I am going to change my life...
I am heading up North.to break this chain
and find a pretty wife.
I don't know the things of GOD,
or what HE just might do.
I don't want my kids to miss it...
I'd like them to grow up like you.
I know that in time, I can learn a new skill.
I'm tired of them hunting me... just for a kill.
I plan for my kids to be smart like a teacher.
Who knows, he laughed,
maybe even a preacher.
Reno placed his foot in his stirrup
and swung himself in place...
grabbed his reins...touched his hat...
and urged Black to a pace.
The Parson walked along with them,
for just a little while.
He offered up his hand to Reno...
and gave him a big smile.
The Parson said to Reno,
You never told me how you're called.
We spent this time together...
my poor manners... I'm appalled.
Don't feel bad there Parson... reason is...
I didn't give it.
I'm somewhat glad I didn't,
cause it's time my life did pivot.
Reno shaking the Parsons hand
returned his smile in kind.
I thought I'd use "your's".. Parson Smith...
that is ... if you don't mind.
I'll keep my name a mystery,
to any new folks that I may greet.
I'll be known as John Smith...
a name that is discreet.
With that reply... Reno winked his eye..
and urged Black to a trot.
The Parson watched as his new friend was gone... but not forgot.
The Parson stood for quite awhile
feeling sad of this goodbye.
The Parson's eye's grew misty...
must be something in his eye.
C.C. ©December 15, 2005