Charles Reynolds


Five Years to Late: The story of Charles Reynolds

I was born in 1864 to a well to do family in Philadelphia. My father is a judge, could be on the supreme court one day, but this is my story not his.

My father pushed me hard to follow in his footsteps, I attended the finest schools and by the age of fifteen I had an apprenticeship with one of the best lawyers in town. On outward appearances everything was how it should be, the truth is I was a bit of a wild child. At the age of twelve I liked to run around with a group of ne’er-do-wells, as my father called them, we liked to live out what I read in the dime novel. Being kids in Philadelphia we could not pull off bank robberies or stage coach we just practiced our skills on easier targets.

Like all would be gangs we were eventually caught, my father did what he does, and I did not get punished at least by the good people of Philadelphia. I did my best to make my father happy I did my studies, but I never stopped reading my dime novels, the wild west, cowboys, Indians I wanted so much to be apart of it.

As I was in my apprenticeship I started practicing the quick draw, the way I figured why do anything if you don’t look good doing it. I then turned my attentions to gambling games, unfortunately the better I got at the cards the worse I did as a lawyer.

When I was twenty-one I could not take it anymore I had to leave Philadelphia and go west, so I went and got a custom-tailored suit just like the ones from the dime novels, then packed my things and boarded a train to the one place that had everything I ever wanted Dodge City Kansas.

When I finally arrived in this promised land of debotury I discovered that due to some cattle disease the Kansas State legislature set a quarantine line. This caused the cowboys to stop showing up, no cowboys no saloons, no saloons no gambling. They all headed more west and to top it all my new clothes is not what people are wearing.

I stayed in Dodge City for a couple of months taking in what was left of the once great “Cow town”, it turns out I was five years to late to the party. I traded my suit for some more practical clothes and bought a ticket back home, I sat down for one last game I ended up winning big, so I decided I was not going to end my dreams. So, I packed up and headed to the next wild town Dallas, Texas, apparently, I was only three years late for that party, the city council decided they wanted to clean up their public image.

The party did not move far just up the road in Denison, finally I could do everything I wanted and look good doing it. For a couple of years, I traveled back and forth between Denison and Breckenridge chasing the game some would say. I would get into arguments from time to time, I guess people don’t like me taking their money or their women. Most of the time I could talk my way out of any situation the ones I couldn’t being the fastest draw changed the minds of the others. To be perfectly honest I never had to use my Colt until one day I was on my way to town outside of Buffalo Gap called Abilene. I had caught wind of games taking place with some high stakes, as any gambler would do I packed up my buggy and along with my valet and headed to Abilene. I was an hour out from Abilene when I got jumped by a couple of ruffians I may have taken advantage of during a game of Farrow.

Just like I scene from one of my favorite dime novels I was in an actual gun fight. It was not at all how I had always envisioned it, I mean I know how to shoot I’ve been hunting with my father on countless occasions, but the animals never shoot back at you. In the end I killed the two men, not wanting to put my family’s name thru the mud with a murder trial, I panicked and decided to get out of town quickly.

I knew a lawyer in Abilene from my old life, borrowed $150 and he would hold my buggy and my belongings until I get settled, then saddled up and rode to the nearest train station to head to El Paso. The way I figure it with this gold rush in Mexico means miners with money, I can make enough to pay my friend back and Hell I might even decide to retire, but I doubt it.

Charles Reynolds

Mexico: 1889 Bud Bud