Have you ever heard the story of the Gallopin’ Galloot?
Gallopin’ Galloot was a Texan from the far off Judge Roy Bean Pecos County, West Texas (that’s way out where the mountains and the desert meet). Gallopin’ Galloot rode a really big mule. He didn’t like horses, so he rode mules. Gallopin’ Galloot was a very stubborn cowboy. He didn’t like guns, so he used switches (big tree branches) off of trees to fight his battles. You see, in the Old West they used to have gun battles and gun battles were always between the good guys and the bad guys. Gallopin’ Galloot was kind of both. He would help old ladies hoe tomatoes in their gardens if they couldn’t do it themselves but he could also be real tough during battles.
One day, he rode into town on his mule and went into the saloon and said, “Give me a sarsaparilla!” A sarsaparilla is kind of like a root beer. Gallopin’ Galoot said, “Give me a sarsaparilla!” The bartender said, “You usually drink milk when you come into the bar, why are you drinking sarsaparilla today?” And he said, “Because I feel like it and I like sarsaparilla!”
Well, there was a guy over in the corner named Bad Bart. He spit into the spittoon because he chewed tobacco. He was a really bad dude. He had a rough shave and was really mean. He said, “I don’t like you, Gallopin’ Galloot. I’m gonna fight you out in the street at high noon. I’ll be out there with my pistols and rifles. We’ll fight it out to the death!”
“Whoa” Gallopin’ Galloot said, “Well, I don’t fight with pistols and rifles. I use switches. I use the best birch bark switch I can find and they’re hard to find in West Texas because we don’t have many trees. You have to really look for a tree with a switch that I fight with, but since you’re mean… I’ll fight ya!”
“Go get your switches. I’ll see you at noon tomorrow,” Bad Bart said.
Twelve o’clock came and Bad Bart showed up for the battle. In fact, Bad Bart was standing out in the street waiting for Gallopin’ Galloot to show up. He had two holsters right at his hips, a six-shooter Colt in one pocket and another pistol in a scabbard. He also had a rifle and his buffalo gun with him too. Boy, he could knock a buffalo down from miles away! Well, here comes Gallopin’ Galloot riding in on his mule slowly. He gets off his mule and he’s carrying this huge tree switch. This switch must have been thirty feet long and at least four inches in diameter. It was a big switch!
Bad Bart says… “Draw when the clock strikes one.”
Gallopin’ Galloot said, “Well, that’s an hour from now and that’s a long time to stand out in the heat with my big switch. Would you mind if I go in and get me a glass of sarsaparilla?” Bad Bart barked, “Yeah… Alright. Go get you some of that sarsaparilla. I’ll wait.” So Gallopin’ Galloot went in and got him two sarsaparillas and drank them quickly. It was getting pretty close to one o’clock so he went outside in the street with his switch and told Bad Bart that he was ready to fight but then Bad Bart said, “I’m thirsty now. I need a drink. I’ll be back.”
So, Bad Bart ran into the saloon and he ordered chocolate milk because he likes chocolate milk. He drank one up, real fast. He told the bartender, “Gimme another chocolate milk!”
He drank his second chocolate milk and went back out into the street to fight Gallopin’ Galloot. Bad Bart got his right hand close to his scabbard. He was ready to pull his gun when the clock struck one. Bad Bart quickly reached his right hand down towards to his pistol clasped his finger on the trigger guard and grabbed the back end of his gun. He quickly drew it out of his scabbard and started aiming it toward Gallopin’ Galloot. All of a sudden…”POW!” That switch came through there and knocked the gun out of Bad Bart’s hand so he quickly moved his left hand down toward his other pistol, grabbed a hold and started to aim at Gallopin’ Galloot again when, “POW!!!” That switch knocked that gun out of his other hand. Bad Bart reached for his buffalo gun (this thing is heavy). His buffalo gun had an octagonal barrel on it with a big, big, heavy muzzle. Bad Bart picked it up and started aiming it toward Gallopin’ Galloot and all of a sudden… “POW! WHAM! SWAT!” Gallopin’ Galloot’s switch hit Bad Bart’s gun and guess what? Uh-oh. That switch didn’t knock the buffalo gun out of Bad Bart’s hand. Oops.
Gallopin’ Galloot was in trouble now! He turned sideways as Bad Bart was aiming his buffalo gun right at him and sucked in his stomach. The buffalo gun went off and the bullet whizzed right by his belt buckle, but missed him. So, Gallopin’ Galloot with his hand on that switch, reached back and swung with every bit of strength he had in his right arm and “POW!” He hit Bad Bart right on the nose! Bad Bart dropped to his knees holding his nose. He was crying and it hurt somethin’ fierce! His nose was swelling up, swelling up and swelling up.
The Sheriff of Pecos County stepped in and said, “Bad Bart… you’ve been a bad, bad man. I’m gonna lock you up. So, he took Bad Bart to the county jail and locked him up. “The judge will be here tomorrow. You’re gonna have to answer for this crime,” the Sheriff said. Gallopin’ Galloot thought, “Well, maybe he’s gonna arrest me too?” The Sheriff looked at him and said, “How can anyone fight a gunfight with a switch. You’d never be convicted. You better go back, grab another sarsaparilla and get outta town before the judge comes back though.”
Gallopin’ Galloot went into the bar and got his sarsaparilla and sipped it. He went over, got on his mule, took his switch and gently tapped the mule on the right ear. The mule moseyed right on out of town and up the hill to where his log cabin was…over the creek, up by the mountains.
So that’s how the story ends… Bad Bart and the Gallopin’ Galloot.