"A whiskey bottle comforts me
And tells me not to cry
While a full moon says a prayer for me
I try to close my eyes."

Sitting in a saloon, somewhere in the middle of the desert, Jimmy sat thinking of his old days in the Express. He needed to return home…HOME…the only place he ever felt he could call home. Home was where ha had a family that loved him, & he could depend on to watch his back. 'Wild Bill' had dogged him for too long.

Jimmy quickly downed the rest of his whiskey, left money on the bar, & then left the saloon. He'd made a decision. It was time to go home…Dyin' ain't much of a livin'. He strolled out into the light of the full moon & headed for the stables. He had decided that he would spend the night there, so he could leave at first light. He entered the stall that was housing his horse, then laid down next to it, & tried to close his eyes. Flashes of his past decided to return at that moment, just like always. It was hard for him to sleep these days. The last good night's sleep he'd had was just before he had left his family behind in Rock Creek.

"But the night's there to remind me
Of the gun & the early graves
The ghosts appear as I fall asleep
To sing an outlaw's serenade."

The next couple of days were a blur of prairies, dust, & rocks. All that was on Jimmy's mind was going home & asking for forgiveness from his family before it was too late. Forgiveness for being away for so long; forgiveness for not letting them know he was okay; forgiveness for running away from love.

"Dyin' ain't much of a livin'
When you're livin' on the run
Dyin' ain't much of a livin' for the young.
Is it too late to ask for forgiveness
For the things that I have done
Dyin' ain't much of a livin' for the young."

As he rode into town, Jimmy noticed the amount of change that had come over the old town. It had grown so much. Jimmy stopped outside the Marshall's office, dismounted & slowly climbed the steps. Just as he was about to enter, he heard a distant voice calling his name. He looked up to see his 'father' walking towards him. Jimmy watched as his mentor walked up to him & embraced him in a bear hug that said 'all was forgiven'. He returned the hug that said 'I'm sorry'.

Together they returned to the old express waystation & began the repair of their friendship, together with the rest of the 'family' - Buck, Lou & Cody. They all sat around reminiscing & discussing what the past few years had brought about - Buck was married to a lovely Indian woman, Cody had started a Wild, Wild West show, Jesse was an outlaw, Lou was a mother…& a widow. Ike, Noah & Kid had died...all died too young. Jimmy told them about his lonely days & nights. His fight for life on a daily basis, his want & need for it to end.

"The desert's been a friend to me
It covers me by night
And a snake bite's not my enemy
But it taught me how to fight."
"All this fame don't bring you freedom
Though it wears a thin disguise
When an outlaw is just a man to me
And a man has to die."

Jimmy & Lou consoled each other over Kid's death. They went on walks around town, & down to the old pond. Then one day it happened. As Lou & Jimmy were returning from a walk in the prairie, someone was standing in the middle of town, calling out 'Wild Bill Hickok'. Jimmy looked at Lou with remorse, then kissed her hand & set out towards the middle of the street to answer the call of the man. 'Damn J.D. Marcus to the fiery pits of hell'. It was all over quickly, & the man stood there laughing, then fell down dead after another shot rang out.

"And I hope someone will pray for me
When it's my turn to die…pray for me"

"JIMMY…don't leave me. Oh, GOD, don't take him from me too" Lou cried over Jimmy. The pain was immense, but he was determined to stay with Lou forever. As long as he concentrated on her eyes, he was sure everything would be fine. Soon someone was picking him up & carrying him to the doctor's office.

When he awoke, he felt sore but alive. He awoke looking into the loving eyes of the woman he had only ever truly loved, & he had lived. 'Wild Bill' had died, but Jimmy had lived. Rumour quickly spread throughout the country that 'Wild Bill' was dead. But Jimmy was Alive!

"Dyin' ain't much of a livin'
When you're livin' on the run
Dyin' ain't much of a livin' for the young.
Is it too late to ask for forgiveness
For the things that I have done
Dyin' ain't much of a livin' for the young."

The End

Email Helen