Today I received a letter from a miner from east of the Pecos.  
He had gotten word from Judge Roy Bean that the Gorman
Gang was making its way to the Arizona Territory!  These
varmints had a long history of bank robbery, horse thieving,
murdering and dirty underwear.  How they ever escaped the
clutches of the law back east was a wonder.  The real problem
was that they counted me as a friend back in the day.  But that
was before my conversion.  After that close call in Tombstone
where I took a couple slugs while holding up the Wells Fargo
stage, I changed my name and became a lawman.  I was now
the Honorable Marshall Wyatt Rush of the Arizona Territory
and I knew the Gormans were banking on my help to get them
over the border.  A showdown was looming and it was going to
throw me into a pickle that no dogie in a stampede could survive.

The Gorman Gang was led by the meanest Ma
'am to ever strap
on a stirrup, Calico Cathy Gorman.  Raised on the dusty streets
of Pittsburgh she made her way out West after narrowly escaping
a date with the hangman for plugging a lawyer who had the gall of
questioning her moral turpitude.  Soon she was rustling cattle and

pulling down stages full of pay for the cavalry.  Willing to draw
against any slinger earned her a reputation of being reckless and
fickle but she had an organized mind and could talk her
way out of any jam.  With the face of a stage actress
and the body of a soiled dove she would charm the
uninitiated before blagging them down in a hail of gunfire.

Riding alongside her were the three of the most

desperate desperadoes to ever put a shadow on
Cleveland.  That's saying a lot!  First there was
Banjo Bud Gorman.  Not related to Calico Cathy by
blood but by marriage, he was the brother of Pioneer
Paul, who had once lassoed Calico Cath in her
younger days.
Calico Cathy on the Run
(Click On Links for More Photos)
Marshall Wyatt Rush & Calico Cathy Go Way Back
Banjo Bud started in the Seminary but soon became
a wayward soul in search of action and adventure.  
Despite his clear-eyed disposition and wearing his
age well he fell in with his dark side and soon was
shooting it up over things as small as bad omelets.  
His wife,
Lucky Louise, tried keeping Banjo in line
but soon her penchant for fine living and exotic
locales had her encouraging Banjo to take up with
Calico Cathy in her gluttonous pillage of perverse
pirating.  It is with this fine upbringing Mesa Mike
did grow up.  The youngster of the gang and the
offspring of Banjo & Lucky, Mesa Mike grew up on
the mean streets of Cleveland with little hope of ever
knowing what it was like to cheer a winning team.  
Left to his own devices, he would spend most his
time under the card tables of Saloons.  This is where
he picked up the habits of lifting bloomers on
women and kicking spittoons.  Rarely could he be
found without a fresh slap mark on his face or spittle
on his jeans.  Although he was an affable sort, he
kept to himself.  This led to a lot of confrontations
with the roughnecks who took his quiet air for
disgust.  No matter, Mesa Mike could out draw
them all.

It wasn
't until two days later when Do-Si-Do Di
came breathlessly into my office with the news that
the Gorman Gang had been spotted on the outskirts
of town.  Her heaving breasts could barely pant out
the words.  
"Calico Cathy and her Gang have been
spotted in Tempe!  They say they
're here for some
big hootenanny but I think they
've come to get
you!
"  The locals didn't know about my past and
they all assumed that the Gang had come to gun me
down for the way I treated her brother,
Tommy
Smiles
.  But Calico Cathy knew that was between
me and her brother and she was only looking for a
way station on her trek to the border.  I had a few
places in mind where she could hole up but my
better nature flirted with turning her in for the reward
money.  The Gorman Gang would bring big money
and then I’d have enough to finally buy that
cabin in Montana and be able to write my
manifesto!  Alas, I couldn
't bring myself to do it.  
Calico Cathy had done me a good turn in me
younger days.  She had let me whitewash her whole
house when I didn
't have two bits!  She paid me
handsomely for slopping it on like a farmer on a pig.  
This small gesture by her would now save her life...I
would find a place to hide her.  
Do-Si-Do Di, Lucky Louise & Calico Cathy Lost in the Desert
Mesa Mike & Banjo Bud of the Gorman Gang
Do-Si-Do Di had to be told the whole story.  She would find out
sooner or later anyhow.  
I tell those heaving breasts everything. So
she side saddles with me down to Tempe to meet with the Gorman
Gang.  I tell them of a place I know where they can avoid the real
law, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  In the shadow of South Mountain, way off
the beaten path, lies the
Mystery Castle.  Abandoned years ago by an
eccentric recyclist, it now stands alone in the desert.  There had been
rumors that his
Daughter has taken the place over but she doesn't get
any news other than what the Indians tell her.  A little gold dust would
keep her curiosity at bay and the Gorman Gang could shack up there
for a while.  We arrive only to find her giving a tour to some of local
Navajos.  After some small talk and bribery, she shows Calico Cathy
her accommodations.  The house is filled with so much bric-a-brac
and knick-n-knack
this lady must be Patty Whack!  But she goes by
the name of Joan Wayne.  I tell her of my
upcoming nuptials to Miss
Do-Si-Do
and she insists on showing me her chapel and honeymoon
suite
.  They have some strange customs in these parts, including
brides that
"leave their shoe so that the groom will be true." Mesa
Mike is more interested in what is in the cellar but
no one is going to
tangle with that gator
to get to it.  It is no wonder this is such a great
hiding place, with
stairs going nowhere and lookout spots that cover
the
whole valley.    

Calico and I do some catching up on the good old days and she tells
me of her two boys and how they managed to live the straight and
narrow.  
One of her boys writes for a big eastern daily and covers the
exploits of up and coming gamers.  She brags that the boy has his
own byline!  The boy has my dream job and probably still complains!  
The other boy is, of course, a lawyer.  No doubt he cut his teeth on
the law by going to the many trials of his mother...or was it his
Aunt?  
I bet it was his smooth-talking soliloquy that got Calico Cathy out of
the noose in the first place.  The boy had already gotten one murderer
off; imagine what he
'd do for his Mom!

While Calico and the rest of the Gang tried to
blend into the crowd, I
was surveying the high plains for
Sheriff Joe and his "Posse of
Publicity Poodles." It wasn't long when word got out that Calico was
at the Mystery Castle and Sheriff Joe, one not to miss a photo-op,
was on his way!  The Navajos scattered like sand in the desert.  
Sheriff Joe was a cold blooded opportunist who would willingly hang
everyone in sight, as long as it got him mention in the newspaper.  I
told Calico it was high-time we went.  So we jumped on the horses
and rode into the desert like coyotes after a rabbit.  In the mayhem
we soon found ourselves lost in the sweltering heat.  We rode for
miles and miles only to find out that
one saguaro cactus looks like the
other saguaro cactus
!  In our haste we had forgotten to bring water
and now we were surveying plants in the hope of finding what us
desert dwellers refer to as
"Liquid Gold"  We hacked at plants hoping
they would turn into fountains only to find that this was only an
old
wives tale
.  We couldn't decide which way to go.  We were lost in the
desert!
Finally, Calico Cathy had had enough!  She knew which way
to the border but knew we would never make it without water.  
"We
are going this way!
" I don't know if she was pointing at water or the
border.  Banjo Bud had other ideas,
"Head for the hills! We can hide
up there and bushwhack the Sheriff!
"  In the hope of saving my own
hide, I convinced them to get to Scottsdale and to avoid a
confrontation with the wacky Sheriff.  After a few more hours of
wandering lost we managed to find the pass to Scottsdale.  Over the
hills and through the arroyo we go to Scottsdale.

Scottsdale would be our last respite before the Sheriff would track us
down.  Scottsdale is not your typical western town.  Run by greedy
saloonkeepers and high-priced ladies of the night, it has gained a
reputation of overpriced excess. We wandered its broad avenues
with a low-profile and high anxiety.  
Calico & Mesa Mike sit a spell
as we try to figure out what to do next.  I warn them that they ought
to get something to eat at the chuck wagon (The Grapevine
Restaurant) before they have to mosey along.  We eat heartily and
gorge ourselves on fondue.  Time seems to pass like a stampede.  
Calico Cathy, Banjo Bud, Lucky Louise & Mesa Mike pause for one
last photo on the streets of Scottsdale.  The posse is hot on their trail.  
Do-Si-Do and I bid adieu.  As a now law-abiding citizen and officer
of the law, I can no longer be seen with these scoundrels.  I wish them
luck and good riddance, farewell and hightail, Godspeed and Bye-
Bye.  There are tears shed and then they fled.  
Off into the sunset...
Calico Cathy Looking For a Place to Hide
Do-Si-Do Di & Calico Cathy in the Prickly Heat
Mystery Castle
Phoenix, Arizona