I got shotgun dreams, rusted wishes, when you coming home, God it hurts like hell. (Rusted Wishes - Charlie Terrell)

Teaspoon was beyond ignoring the noise.

He'd stuffed his ears full of cotton and was about ready to replace them with bullets, or put a bullet in the man creating the disturbance. "Barnett!"

The caterwauling only seemed to get louder.

Teaspoon slammed his door shut with a *BANG.* "Barnett!" He pushed himself out of his chair when even that didn't bring any kind of intelligible answer. The uneven floorboards grabbed at the soles of his shoes, loosened by the last soaking rainfall and Teaspoon was forced to do a little dance to right himself on the way to the jail cells. "Damnit all the way to Hades and back, Barnett, quick yer wailin'!"

Laid out on a cot in the first cell, Barnett Hamilton's long lanky legs dangled over the sides of the cot and his forearm was draped dramatically over his forehead. "Oh I can't help it none, Teaspoon. I may look live, but I'm a dyin' inside for sure."

"Then go to the doctor's office and leave me in peace, son!" Teaspoon leaned against the bars and shook his head. "You've been moanin' and groanin' for the last few hours and I can't stand it no more."

The younger man turned on his side and pillowed his rumpled head on his arm. "There's nothin' that can be done until she comes back to town."

"She?" There was a deep gnawing hole opening up in Teaspoon's middle, "I jus' knew there had to be a woman involved somehow." He pulled up a stool and plopped himself down on top of it. "Go ahead, son… tell me about her."

Rejuvenated by the thought, Barnett pulled himself up onto his elbow and gave Teaspoon a rapturous smile. "Her name is Cecile." He drew out the two syllables like he was sippin' on a fine wine or in Barnett's case a good cold beer. "She's got herself the prettiest head of hair all golden and glowin' like a squash in the sunlight."

"That sure is one interesting way of puttin'"

"And she's got a voice. It's real deep, like the bottom of the swimmin' hole… all murky and dark… just deep enough to drown yourself in when it gets all warm outside."

"Deep? Well never really thought about it like-"

"And her body," he whistled long and loud, "her body is like one of them roamin' goddesses." He paused and looked over at Teaspoon, "you know what I mean? I've seen 'em drawn up in them periodicals that come to the General Store. Them women got all them," he waved his arms around in crude approximations of voluptuous curves, "bumps and things."

"And that's what you woman has?" Teaspoon pondered it for a moment, "Your Cecile?"

Barnett gave the Marshal a sharp look. "I don't recall you knowin' her, Teaspoon."

Confused the old man blinked back. "Well, I don't rightly think I do know her, Barnett, but what's that got to do with the price of eggs?"

"Eggs? Teaspoon, keep your mind on this here conversation… if'n you don't know my Cecile you ain't got no right to call her by her Christian name!"

Teaspoon's fingers itched to reach for his pistol, too bad it hung safely from a peg in the wall over by the desk. "Well, Barnett," he clipped the end of the boy's name with a sharp explosive sound, "just what would you have me call her since you didn't tell me what her last name was?"

Barnett sat full upright and scratched at his head. "I guess I didn't… did I?" He pushed himself to his feet and stared. "I guess it would help things along if I told you that, huh?"

Grabbing onto the bars in front of him, Teaspoon stood up from the stool and let out a long sigh. "Son, it would be a help to me if'n you could heft yourself up by your bootstraps and get back to work."

"But Teaspoon, I'm heart-sick with love for my Cecile!" Barnett was seized with a sudden fit of moaning and breast thumping.

Teaspoon leapt across the floor and grabbed the butt of his pistol and aimed it at the Deputy's head. "I swear Bartnett, if you don't hush up and stop yer bellyachin'…"

"Then kill me, Teaspoon!" Barnett sank down to his knees and held out his arms in surrender. "Go ahead! Shoot me down and put me out of my misery, then! If I can't have her then life," he sobbed, "life just ain't worth livin'…"

Teaspoon shoved the pistol into his waistband and gave Barnett a hiss of displeasure. "Darn it, Deputy… you're a sore excuse for a man."

"I'm a man in love, Teaspoon and I've got me dreams of marryin' the sweetest little filly I've e'er seen round this town."

"And who would that be?"

The poor deputy fell to floor clutching this middle. "It's like my innards'r all rusted up like that pail I bought from the tinker. My love is eattin' me up inside and makin' me sick… sick for her… "When'r you comin' back, Cecile!"

"That's it," Teaspoon gruffed and stomped his foot into the ground, "I'm goin' to get me a drink and when I get back, Barnett if you're not pullin' your weight around here and doin' stuff that needs to be done, I'll put you out of your misery and consider it my good deed for the day."

With a final sniff at the fatalistic young man he stomped outside into the night.

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