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Short Pirates Stories
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:45 am    Post subject: Short Pirates Stories Reply with quote

1. Yo-Ho-Ho and an Epidural

Grace O'Malley (born Gráinne O'Malley) was the Irish Sea Queen of the 16th century. Earning her sea legs as a kid on voyages with her father, O'Malley went on to lead a crew of 200 sailors as part of her Celtic Sea "protection service." Her specialty? Intercepting merchant ships to negotiate their safe passage to Galway and ruthlessly pillaging any "uninterested customers." Infamous for being lewd, gambling too much, and cussing like—well—a sailor, O'Malley truly proved her mettle when she gave birth mid-voyage. Soon after the delivery, Turkish pirates attacked the ship, and when the flailing crew came running to O'Malley, she reportedly snapped, "May you be seven times worse off this day 12 months from now, you who cannot do without me for one day!" When the postpartum hell-raiser finally emerged on deck waving her gun, the attackers quickly remembered they had other engagements.

2. Pirate Panache

Legendary and ruthless sea-raider "Black Bart" may win the award for the most prolific pirate, with more than 400 ships reportedly falling to his sword in the early 18th century. But Bart was much more civilized than history would have you believe. The Welsh-born Bartholomew Roberts (sound less tough now, doesn't he?) always wore a damask waistcoat, snappy breeches, and a dashing red feather in his cap. The refined Bart also drank only tea and water, commanded lights-out by 8 p.m., and had musicians play hymns for him on Sundays.

3. X Marks the 401(k)

When pirate icon Edward "Blackbeard" Teach met his Waterloo at Ocracoke Island (his pillaging hub off the coast of North Carolina) in 1718, his enemies confiscated 25 hogshead of sugar, 145 bags of cocoa, a barrel of indigo, and a bale of cotton. Not exactly the sacks full of rubies and sapphires the British Royal Navy was hoping for. When asked where the real treasure was, it's said he replied, "Only I and the devil know." Since that time, beachcombers have donned Hawaiian-print shirts and scoured the Carolina coast with metal detectors—most likely in vain. Blackbeard's treasure is almost certainly more legend than fact. Pirates usually acquired their pieces of eight (Spanish silver coins), gold doubloons, and pricey jewels from black market trade of the coffee, tea, slaves, textiles, and medicines they stole from ships. But for all the talk of buried treasure, pirates weren't known for their retirement planning. They usually blew the money on women, booze, and gambling.

4. Playing the Parrot Card

Picture 72.pngOur modern-day image of a pirate usually comes fully outfitted with peg-leg, eye-patch, and parrot. Why? The stereotype comes directly from the fictional character of Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Silver's feathered sidekick, Captain Flint, was a nice touch, but it's doubtful pirates had pets. With long voyages and scanty rations, a parrot would have a made a better snack than companion.

5. Stealing Second

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven't always been named after the thieves of the high seas. Originally, the Major League club was known as the nature-loving Pittsburgh Alleghenies (after the mountain range in the eastern region of Pennsylvania). But in 1880, after stealing away second-baseman Louis Bierbauer from the Philadelphia Athletics, a local newspaper called the team "a bunch of pirates." This suited them just fine, and they've been flying the Jolly Roger ever since.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Allegheny Mountains are in western Pennsylvania (been there).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:04 am    Post subject: Bloody Knife Reply with quote

Bloody Knife

A Novia Scotia Ghost Story


From the Micmac Tribe

retold by

S.E. Schlosser


Many and many a year ago, two Micmac warriors from rival villages got into a terrible argument. Harsh words were exchanged, and then knives were pulled. The warriors battled back and forth on the banks of a small creek. They fought with the ferocity of grizzlies, tearing at each other with their knives, ripping at each others clothes and hair.

Suddenly, one of the warriors slipped on the muddy bank and fell into the waters of the creek. His bloody knife slipped from his hand and sank down and down to the bottom, landing upon a rock just beyond his reach. The warrior strained his pain-wracked body towards the knife as his blood filled the waters of the creek, but it was just beyond his fingertips. He thrashed and clawed towards his knife, desperate to reach it before his rival killed him, but no matter how he stretched, it always slipped out of reach.

On the bank above, the victorious Micmac warrior saw his rival sink into the blood-stained waters and lay still, the knife just a hair-breadth beyond his fingertips. He did not rise again. The fallen man's people found him a few hours later and tenderly rescued his body from the rippling waters of the creek. But when they tried to retrieve his bloody knife from the rock beneath him, it always slipped beyond their reach, though the creek was not deep.

Many and many a year has passed since that bloody day by the creek, and still the blood-stained knife lies beneath the rippling waters of the creek. Whenever anyone tries to reach it, the knife slips out of reach. It is like trying to touch something on the bottom of the sea, although the creek itself is not deep. Even the rushing waters of the spring season do not move the mysterious knife or wash away the blood staining its blade.

For this reason, the creek is called Wokun - meaning "knife" by the Micmac people, and the white men call it "Bloody Creek
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:06 am    Post subject: Bloody Mary Reply with quote

Bloody Mary

excerpted from Spooky Pennsylvania


retold by S.E. Schlosser


She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living. Folks living in the town nearby called her Bloody Mary, and said she was a witch. None dared cross the old crone for fear that their cows would go dry, their food-stores rot away before winter, their children take sick of fever, or any number of terrible things that an angry witch could do to her neighbors.

Then the little girls in the village began to disappear, one by one. No one could find out where they had gone. Grief-stricken families searched the woods, the local buildings, and all the houses and barns, but there was no sign of the missing girls. A few brave souls even went to Bloody Mary's home in the woods to see if the witch had taken the girls, but she denied any knowledge of the disappearances. Still, it was noted that her haggard appearance had changed. She looked younger, more attractive. The neighbors were suspicious, but they could find no proof that the witch had taken their young ones.

Then came the night when the daughter of the miller rose from her bed and walked outside, following an enchanted sound no one else could hear. The miller's wife had a toothache and was sitting up in the kitchen treating the tooth with an herbal remedy when her daughter left the house. She screamed for her husband and followed the girl out of the door. The miller came running in his nightshirt. Together, they tried to restrain the girl, but she kept breaking away from them and heading out of town.

The desperate cries of the miller and his wife woke the neighbors. They came to assist the frantic couple. Suddenly, a sharp-eyed farmer gave a shout and pointed towards a strange light at the edge of the woods. A few townsmen followed him out into the field and saw Bloody Mary standing beside a large oak tree, holding a magic wand that was pointed towards the miller's house. She was glowing with an unearthly light as she set her evil spell upon the miller's daughter.

The townsmen grabbed their guns and their pitchforks and ran toward the witch. When she heard the commotion, Bloody Mary broke off her spell and fled back into the woods. The far-sighted farmer had loaded his gun with silver bullets in case the witch ever came after his daughter. Now he took aim and shot at her. The bullet hit Bloody Mary in the hip and she fell to the ground. The angry townsmen leapt upon her and carried her back into the field, where they built a huge bonfire and burned her at the stake.

As she burned, Bloody Mary screamed a curse at the villagers. If anyone mentioned her name aloud before a mirror, she would send her spirit to revenge herself upon them for her terrible death. When she was dead, the villagers went to the house in the wood and found the unmarked graves of the little girls the evil witch had murdered. She had used their blood to make her young again.

From that day to this, anyone foolish enough to chant Bloody Mary's name three times before a darkened mirror will summon the vengeful spirit of the witch. It is said that she will tear their bodies to pieces and rip their souls from their mutilated bodies. The souls of these unfortunate ones will burn in torment as Bloody Mary once was burned, and they will be trapped forever in the mirror.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:07 am    Post subject: Connecticut Yankee Reply with quote

Connecticut Yankee

A Connecticut Folktale


retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Now, here in the South, we all do not approve of your so-called Connecticut Yankee peddlers. So when one appeared in the yard of my tavern, I was not of a mind to give him room for the night.

He was a scrawny fellow with a mop of white hair and a withered face. He did not seem like a crafty Yankee peddler. He looked more like a grandfather on his last legs. Surely this Connecticut Yankee had no harm in him!

Curiosity being my downfall, as my wife would be the first to tell you, I was keen to see a real Yankee trick. So I told him that he might have lodgings for the night if he would play a Yankee trick before he left. Well, he promised me the trick, but said he was tired and went directly to bed.

The next morning, everything went wrong. My yard boy never showed up. I was forced to care for the horses myself while my wife cooked breakfast. When I finally got inside, my wife was leaning over a table full of the peddler's wares. She was fingering a coverlet which matched the ones we had upstairs. The peddler named a ridiculously low price and my wife nodded eagerly. Just then one of our other customers called me to his table to pay his bill, so I did not see the peddler finalize the sale. It was only after the peddler had called for his buggy, paid for his room, and begun to drive away that I suddenly remembered his promise.

"Peddler!" I called. "What about the Yankee trick your promised? I did not see any trick!"

"You will," he said, whipping up his horse.

Just then, my wife stuck her head out from one of the rooms upstairs.

"Harry!" she cried. "That sneaky Yankee just sold me the cover from off his bed!"
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:44 am    Post subject: Don't Turn on the Light Reply with quote

Don't Turn on the Light

retold by S.E. Schlosser


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She commandeered the room in the basement of her dorm as soon as she realized she would have to pull an all-nighter in order to prepare for tomorrow’s final exam. Her roommate, Jenna, liked to get to bed early, so she packed up everything she thought she would need and went downstairs to study . . . and study . . . and study some more.

It was two o’clock, when she realized that she’d left one of the textbooks upstairs on her bed. With a dramatic sigh, she rose, and climbed the stairs slowly to her third-floor dorm room.
The lights were dim in the long hallway, and the old boards creaked under her weary tread. She reached her room and turned the handle as softly as she could, pushing the door open just enough to slip inside, so that the hall lights wouldn’t wake her roommate.

The room was filled with a strange, metallic smell. She frowned a bit, her arms breaking out into chills. There was a strange feeling of malice in the room, as if a malevolent gaze were fixed upon her. It was a mind trick; the all-nighter was catching up with her.

She could hear Jenna breathing on the far side of the room—a heavy sound, almost as if she had been running. Jenna must have picked up a cold during the last tense week before finals.

She crept along the wall until she reached her bed, groping among the covers for the stray history textbook. In the silence, she could hear a steady drip-drip-drip sound. She sighed silently. Facilities would have to come to fix the sink in the bathroom…again.

Her fingers closed on the textbook. She picked it up softly and withdrew from the room as silently as she could.

Relieved to be out of the room, she hurried back downstairs, collapsed into an overstuffed chair and studied until six o’clock. She finally decided that enough was enough. If she slipped upstairs now, she could get a couple hours’ sleep before her nine o’clock exam.

The first of the sun’s rays were beaming through the windows as she slowly slid the door open, hoping not to awaken Jenna. Her nose was met by an earthy, metallic smell a second before her eyes registered the scene in her dorm room. Jenna was spread-eagled on top of her bed against the far wall, her throat cut from ear to ear and her nightdress stained with blood. Two drops of blood fell from the saturated blanket with a drip-drip noise that sounded like a leaky faucet.

Scream after scream poured from her mouth, but she couldn’t stop herself any more than she could cease wringing her hands. All along the hallway, doors slammed and footsteps came running down the passage.

Within moments other students had gathered in her doorway, and one of her friends gripped her arm with a shaking hand and pointed a trembling finger toward the wall. Her eyes widened in shock at what she saw. Then she fainted into her friend’s arms.

On the wall above her bed, written in her roommate’s blood, were the words: “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Golden Hand Reply with quote

Golden Hand

excerpted from Spooky Oregon
retold by
S. E. Schlosser


He never paid much attention to the neighbors living on his city block until the day the pretty middle-aged widow moved in two doors down from him. She was plump and dark with sparkling eyes, and she always wore dark gloves on her hands, even indoors.

He went out of his way to meet her, and they often "bumped" into each other in the street and stood talking. One day, as she brushed the hair back from her forehead, he caught a glimpse of gold under the glove on her right arm. When he asked her about it, she grinned coquettishly and told him that she had lost one hand a few years back and now wore a golden hand in its place. In that moment, a terrible lust woke in his heart - not to possess the lady herself, but to possess the solid gold hand that she wore under her long black gloves.

He courted the widow with every stratagem known to him; flowers, trips to the theater, gifts, compliments. And he won her heart. Within a month, they were standing in front of a minister, promising to love one another until death parted them. Within another month, he was a widower and had buried his ailing wife in the local cemetery - without her golden hand. It had been so easy. A slow poison, administered daily to resemble a wasting disease. No one - not his wife, not the family doctor, not their neighbors - suspected murder. And the night after the funeral, he slept with the golden hand under his pillow.

It was a dark night. Clouds covered the moon, and the wind was whistling down the chimney and rattling the shutters of the town house. He was deeply asleep when the door to his room slammed open with a loud bang and a wild wind whipped around the room, scattering papers and books and clothing and table coverings every which way. He sat up, startled by the sudden noise, and his pulse began to pound when he saw a greenish-white light bobbing slowly into the room. Before his eyes, the light slowly grew larger, taking on the shape of his dead wife. She was missing one arm. "Where is my golden hand?" she moaned, her dark eyes blazing with red fire. "Give me my golden hand!"

He tried to speak, but his mouth was so dry with fear that he could only make soft gasping noises. The glowing phantom moved closer to him, her once-lovely face twisted into a hideous green mask. "You stole my life and you stole my hand. Give me back my golden hand!" the dead wife howled. The noise rose higher and higher, and the phantom pulsed with a strident green light that smote his eyes, making them water.

He cowered back against his pillows, and the hard shape of the golden hand pressed against his back. And then he felt the golden hand twitch underneath him as the mangled green phantom that had been his wife swooped down upon him, pressing his face against the pillow in a suffocating green cloud. He tried to scream, but it was cut off suddenly by a terrible pressure against his throat, cutting off his breath. The world went black.

The next morning, when the housemaid came into the room with her master's morning cup of tea, she found him lying dead on the floor, with the golden hand clutched around his throat.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gollywhopper's Eggs

A New England Legend


retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Well now, when old Johnson came to town, I knew there'd be trouble. That Yankee Peddler was a scoundrel if ever I saw one. But I was laid up with my rheumatism when he arrived, so I couldn't do anything about it.

My neighbors often came to visit with me, since I was a poor widow-woman. (Metaphorically speaking. I was actually the richest woman in town, since my late husband had made a fortune in shipping.) Mistress Sarah Smith came to see me two days after Peddler Johnson appeared with his wares. She was bubbling over with the news. She had, just that morning, bought two of the very rare Gollywhopper Eggs from Peddler Johnson, for the outrageous price of five dollars a-piece. I was flabbergasted.

"What in tarnation is a Gollywhopper?" I demanded irritably, trying to sit up in my chair. My rheumatism gave me a painful stab and I settled back against the cushions. Mistress Smith smiled at me kindly, obviously pitying my ignorance.

"A Gollywhopper is a rare sort of eating bird, like a gigantic chicken, found only on a tiny island in the West Indies called TheresOneBornEveryMinute," she explained. "Fortunately, Peddler Johnson saved the life of the chief of the island and was awarded with one full setting of eggs from this priceless bird. Everyone in town is buying eggs as fast as Johnson can sell them. I came to see if you wanted me to buy some for you. Of course, Peddler Johnson could not guarantee that my eggs will hatch out to be a breeding pair of Gollywhoppers, but I am hopeful."

I snorted irritably. "Sounds like a hoax to me."

"Now Anna, you think everything is a hoax," Mistress Smith laughed easily. "I am keeping the eggs warm by the fire. They should hatch out in a month."

After a few more kindly words, Mistress Smith left. After pondering the situation for another hour, I hauled myself out of my chair, reached for my cane, and walked stiffly down the path to the Smith household, muttering "There's one born every minute, eh? Just what are you trying to pull, Peddler Johnson?"

Mistress Smith was startled to see me hobbling painfully up to her door.

"Why Anna, you shouldn't be up!" she cried.

"I came to see these Gollywhopper Eggs of yours, Sarah Smith," I said grimly. Mistress Smith tucked me into the kitchen rocker and then proudly pulled out a pair of large hairy round objects. I recognized them at once.

"Sarah Smith, those aren't eggs at all. That peddler sold you a pair of coconuts!" I said. "You can buy them for a penny a dozen down in the West Indies."

"Coconuts? What are coconuts?"

"They are the fruit of the coconut palm tree. Good eating, but definitely not an egg," I said. "My late husband, may he rest-in-peace, used to bring cargoes of coconuts back on his ships."

"Then Peddler Johnson cheated me!" Sarah Smith said indignantly.

"Yes he did," I replied.

We put our heads together then, and thought up a plan to rid ourselves of the pesky peddler and get the town's money back.

The next day, Peddler Johnson dropped by my house to show his wares to a poor widow woman. Mistress Smith and several of the neighborhood ladies came for a visit just as he was displaying the fabled "Gollywhopper's Eggs".

"You mean these coconuts?" I asked calmly. Peddler Johnson swallowed and glanced nervously at the women assembled around his shiny wagon full of dry goods. "I've never heard anyone call them Gollywhopper's Eggs before. I will give you a penny for them."

"A penny for Gollywhopper's Eggs?" Mistress Smith said indignantly. "They are worth five dollars a-piece!"

"Five dollars a-piece for the fruit of a coconut palm tree?" I asked incredulously. "According to my late husband, coconuts are hardly worth a penny a dozen in the West Indies."

Peddler Johnson was looking rather green by now. Hastily, he told me that he had another appointment and tried to jump onto his wagon and drive away. But he was surrounded by angry ladies demanding their money back.

Finally, Peddler Johnson could take no more. He leapt away from his wagon and ran as fast as his legs could carry him down the road and out of town. The ladies gave chase, throwing all the remaining coconuts in his wagon after his retreating figure.

I reimbursed the ladies out of the money tin I found in the wagon and put the peddler's horse and wagon in my barn. Johnson must have crept back to get them in the night, because they were gone the next morning.

Peddler Johnson never ventured into our town again, and that was the last anyone ever heard of the fabled Gollywhopper's Eggs.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:34 am    Post subject: Jesse James and the Widow Reply with quote

Jesse James and the Widow

A Missouri Folktale


retold by

S.E. Schlosser

One day, as Jesse James and his gang were riding through Missouri, they saw a farmhouse and stopped to ask for something to eat. A widow lived there with three small children. She didn't have much in the house, but shared with them what she had.

It was while they were eating lunch that Jesse James noticed that something was bothering this generous widow. He questioned her about it, and she broke down and told him her story. The mortgage was due on the house that very day, and since her husband had died, she did not have the money to pay it. Her landlord was not a generous man, and was sure to put her children and herself out on the street.

"How much money do you need to pay the mortgage?" Jesse asked the widow.

"Fifteen hundred dollars," the widow sobbed.

Jesse James took out his money bag, counted out $1500 dollars and presented it to the widow.

"I can't take this," she protested, but Jesse James insisted she use the money to pay off the mortgage.

"Just make sure you get a receipt," he warned her, and she promised that she would. Then he got a description of the man, and left with his gang.

Jesse James and his gang waited in the woods near the house until the man had collected his money from the widow. Then they rode out onto the road and stole their money back from the landlord.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:35 am    Post subject: Joaquin Murietta: Bandit of the Goldfields Reply with quote

Joaquin Murietta: Bandit of the Goldfields

A California Outlaw Story


retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Joaquin Murietta and wife Rosita lived with his older brother Carlos in California. The three Mexican immigrants were living on a small, successful farm and the men were also working a claim near Hangtown. However, the other miners living nearby tried to run them off, telling them that it was illegal for Mexicans to pan for gold or hold a claim. The Murietta brother's ignored their threats and continued to live peacefully on their farm and work in the gold-fields.

Enraged by this flagrant disregard for the American laws, a drunken mob attacked the little family late one night, shooting Carlos, and then ravishing and murdering Rosita while Joaquin was forced to watch. The mob bound the Mexican to a stake in the yard, where they beat him with a whip. He strained angrily against his bonds, but finally his wounds overcame him and he slumped senseless against the post. The mob left him for dead, but when a few sober citizens came the next day to help the Mexican family, Joaquin was already gone.

A few months later, a dark-bearded, long-haired stranger with cold black eyes set up a gambling establishment in Hangtown. Shortly after the stranger's arrival in town, miners started going missing, one after another, and their dead bodies were turning up in unlikely places. All of them had their ears cut off. A few of the smarter folks realized that each of the dead miners had been a party to the illegal slaying of Carlos and Rosita Murietta. There were thirty-one men in the mob that night, and fourteen were now dead. When this became known, the other seventeen men scattered to the winds overnight; but one by one, they were hunted down, killed, and their ears were cut off.

Finally, a miner who had once had a claim near to the Murietta brothers came to Hangtown and identified the owner of the gambling establishment as Joaquin Murietta. His cover blown, the Mexican fled into the wilds and started to gather other wild and restless Mexicans to him. Soon he was the head of a mighty gang, riding a black stallion and robbing the Americans of their gold. Dangling from the bandit's saddle was the string of dried ears taken from the members of the mob who killed his wife and brother. Together with his bandits, Joaquin Murietta robbed the miners of a million dollars in gold. Yet for all his ruthlessness, Joaquin was kind to his fellow Mexicans, and would never turn down a friend who was in need. He gave his riches liberally to the poor, and avenged those who were oppressed. In turn, they sheltered him from the law, and called blessings down upon him.

Travel in the goldfields was made nearly impossible by the threat of Joaquin Murietta and his gang, so California's governor hired a group of rangers to track down and kill Joaquin. Led by a Captain Love, the rangers ambushed Joaquin and his men, and shot the Mexican bandit and his horse to death. Captain Love decapitated the Mexican bandit and put his head into a jar filled with alcohol, which he paraded through the streets of San Francisco. The head was finally placed behind the bar of the Golden Nugget Saloon in San Francisco, where it leered at the folks who came there to drink until the saloon was destroy in the 1906 earthquake.

To this day, Joaquin's headless ghost continues to ride through the gold fields, terrorizing all who crossed his path with cries of: "Give me back my head."

Joaquin's ghost tries to reclaim its head from the owners of the Golden Nugget Saloon in Spooky California by S.E. Schlosser.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:50 am    Post subject: Re: Joaquin Murietta: Bandit of the Goldfields Reply with quote

Salty Dog wrote:
Joaquin Murietta: Bandit of the Goldfields

A California Outlaw Story


retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Joaquin Murietta and wife Rosita lived with his older brother Carlos in California. The three Mexican immigrants were living on a small, successful farm and the men were also working a claim near Hangtown. However, the other miners living nearby tried to run them off, telling them that it was illegal for Mexicans to pan for gold or hold a claim. The Murietta brother's ignored their threats and continued to live peacefully on their farm and work in the gold-fields.

Enraged by this flagrant disregard for the American laws, a drunken mob attacked the little family late one night, shooting Carlos, and then ravishing and murdering Rosita while Joaquin was forced to watch. The mob bound the Mexican to a stake in the yard, where they beat him with a whip. He strained angrily against his bonds, but finally his wounds overcame him and he slumped senseless against the post. The mob left him for dead, but when a few sober citizens came the next day to help the Mexican family, Joaquin was already gone.

A few months later, a dark-bearded, long-haired stranger with cold black eyes set up a gambling establishment in Hangtown. Shortly after the stranger's arrival in town, miners started going missing, one after another, and their dead bodies were turning up in unlikely places. All of them had their ears cut off. A few of the smarter folks realized that each of the dead miners had been a party to the illegal slaying of Carlos and Rosita Murietta. There were thirty-one men in the mob that night, and fourteen were now dead. When this became known, the other seventeen men scattered to the winds overnight; but one by one, they were hunted down, killed, and their ears were cut off.

Finally, a miner who had once had a claim near to the Murietta brothers came to Hangtown and identified the owner of the gambling establishment as Joaquin Murietta. His cover blown, the Mexican fled into the wilds and started to gather other wild and restless Mexicans to him. Soon he was the head of a mighty gang, riding a black stallion and robbing the Americans of their gold. Dangling from the bandit's saddle was the string of dried ears taken from the members of the mob who killed his wife and brother. Together with his bandits, Joaquin Murietta robbed the miners of a million dollars in gold. Yet for all his ruthlessness, Joaquin was kind to his fellow Mexicans, and would never turn down a friend who was in need. He gave his riches liberally to the poor, and avenged those who were oppressed. In turn, they sheltered him from the law, and called blessings down upon him.

Travel in the goldfields was made nearly impossible by the threat of Joaquin Murietta and his gang, so California's governor hired a group of rangers to track down and kill Joaquin. Led by a Captain Love, the rangers ambushed Joaquin and his men, and shot the Mexican bandit and his horse to death. Captain Love decapitated the Mexican bandit and put his head into a jar filled with alcohol, which he paraded through the streets of San Francisco. The head was finally placed behind the bar of the Golden Nugget Saloon in San Francisco, where it leered at the folks who came there to drink until the saloon was destroy in the 1906 earthquake.

To this day, Joaquin's headless ghost continues to ride through the gold fields, terrorizing all who crossed his path with cries of: "Give me back my head."

Joaquin's ghost tries to reclaim its head from the owners of the Golden Nugget Saloon in Spooky California by S.E. Schlosser.

Some of this story sounds familiar...
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:10 am    Post subject: Red Dwarf of Detroit Reply with quote

Red Dwarf of Detroit

A Michigan Ghost Story


retold by

S. E. Schlosser

The infamous Red Dwarf (Nain Rouge) of Detroit was reputed to be the foul offspring of the Stone God, who only appeared when there was to be trouble. The Red Dwarf was called "The Demon of the Strait" and its appearance heralded disaster. Cadillac, founder of Detroit, encountered the Nain Rouge while sitting on the bank of the Detroit River. The Red Dwarf had jumped down right in front of the French Colonial governor, startling him nearly out of his wits, and thrust a long stick at him as if it were a sword. Harried by the imp's whacks, Cadillac drew his own sword and parried, beating the creature back with the flat of his blade until it ran away, cackling madly. From that moment, Cadillac's fortunes took a down-turn, and he was eventually recalled to France, losing his trade monopoly and all his privileges.

The Red Dwarf was next seen during Pontiac's Rebellion, a period in which the Native American tribes had banded together against the British following the French and Indian War. The united tribes had attacked a number of settlements, and laid siege to Fort Detroit. The British had attempted to end the siege with a sneak attack on Pontiac's encampment, but their plan was betrayed to the rebel leader. Pontiac defeated the British in the Battle of Blood Run, which took place at a creek two miles north of the fort. Several survivors of the battle claimed to have seen the Red Dwarf running along the shores of the lake shortly before the battle began.

The imp was spotted once again in 1805, racing through the streets of Detroit just before the city burned to the ground. And during the War of 1812, when the forces of British General Brock began bombarding the American forces within Fort Detroit, General Hull acceded to a demand for unconditional surrender after he saw the Red Dwarf leering at him through the fog.

To this day, the creature continues to be the herald of misfortune for Detroit. The Red Dwarf dashed down 12th street, doing back flips and cartwheels on the night of the police raid that sparked the race riots of 1967. And it was observed by Detroit Edison linemen taking a lunch break in 1976. The Nain Rouge climbed up a utility pole right in front of their eyes. When they yelled at it, believing it was a child, the Red Dwarf dropped to the ground, leered rudely at them, and scampered away. The next day, an ice storm left 400,000 Detroit residents without electricity.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:13 am    Post subject: Teething Toy Reply with quote

Teething Toy

A South Dakota Tall Tale


retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Well now, you've probably heard it rumored that here in Deadwood we have such a tough neighborhood that our babies teeth on guns. And the fact of the matter is, this is the very truth.

I happen to know the lady who was responsible for the start of this rumor. Nice woman, married with a baby. One afternoon, she saw a drifter approaching her house. She knew he would bother her something fierce for food and take advantage of her. So she took out her husband's gun. To her dismay, she found that it weren't loaded. Jest then, that drifter walked right in the door without knocking or nothing. So the woman dropped the empty gun into the crib and tried to fend him off.

The drifter was all set to take every bite of food the little lady had prepared for her husband's dinner, and give her a hard time to boot. But he happened to glance into the crib, and saw the woman's little feller jest gumming away at the handle of the gun. Well that drifter turned pale and high-tailed it out of there. Left Deadwood as far behind as he could. He didn't cotton to the idea of stayin' in a place where the babies teeth on guns.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:14 am    Post subject: The Bloodstain Reply with quote

The Bloodstain

A California Ghost Story


retold by

S. E. Schlosser

The Phelps place was an old, abandoned property with a monstrous, decrepit Victorian house that was supposed to be haunted. It should have been a good resting place for the local deer hunters, but they would not go near it. A few that tried came away before midnight with tales of ghostly thumping noises, gasps, moans, and a terrible wet bloodstain that appeared on the floor of the front porch and could not be wiped away.

Phelps was an Englishman who had purchased land some 20 miles off the Mendocino coast in the 1880s. He had built a huge, fancy Victorian house all covered with gingerbread trimmings and surrounded by lovely gardens. When everything was arranged to his liking, he sent out party invitations to everyone within messenger range. It was the biggest social event of the year, with music and dancing and huge amounts of food. Sawhorse tables were set up with refreshments, and drinks were set out on the front porch. People came from miles around. The only one missing was old man McInturf's son-in-law. They had had a terrible fight that afternoon, and the boy had stalked off in a rage, threatening to get even with the old man.

Around midnight, the musicians took a recess and old man McInturf went out on the front porch with some friends. Suddenly there came the thunder of hooves rushing up the lane. A cloaked figure rode towards the lantern-lit porch. McInturf put down his drink. "That will be my son-in-law," he told his friends as he went down the steps. The cloaked figure stopped his horse just outside the pool of lantern-light. There was a sharp movement and two loud shots from a gun. Old man McInturf staggered backwards, shot in the throat and the chest. The cloaked man wheeled his horse and fled down the lane as friends ran to the assistance of the old man.

They laid McInturf down on the porch. He was bleeding heavily and they were afraid to move him much. There was some talk of fetching the doctor, but everyone knew it was too late. So much blood was pouring from the old man's wounds that it formed a pool underneath his head. McInturf coughed, once, twice; a hideous, gurgling, strangling sound that wrenched at the hearts of all who heard it. Then he died.

McInturf's body was laid out on the sofa, and the once-merry guests left in stricken silence. The servants came and wiped the red-brown bloodstain off the floorboards. The next day, a wagon was brought to the front of the house and McInturf's body was carried out onto the porch. As the men stepped across the place where McInturf had died, blood began to pool around their boots, forming a wet stain in exactly the pattern that had been wiped up by the servants the night before. The men gasped in fear. One of them staggered and almost dropped the body. They hurriedly laid McInturf in the back of the wagon, and a pale Phelps ordered the servants to clean up the fresh bloodstain.

From that day forward, the Phelps could not keep that part of the porch clean. Every few weeks, the damp bloodstain would reappear. They tried repainting the porch a few times, but the bloodstain would always leak through. In the county jail, McInturf's son-in-law died of a blood clot in the brain. A few months later, one of the Phelps servants went mad after seeing a "terrible sight" that made his head feel like it was going to exploded. Folks started saying the house was being haunted by the ghost of McInturf, seeking revenge. The property was resold several times but each resident was driven out by the terrible, gasping ghost of McInturf reliving his last moments and by the bloodstain that could not be removed from the porch. The house was eventually abandoned.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:33 am    Post subject: A Gift from Saint Nicholas Reply with quote

A Gift from Saint Nicholas

A New York Christmas Story


retold by

S. E. Schlosser

Claas Schlaschenschlinger was a wealthy cobbler living on New Street in New Amsterdam. He was a contented bachelor who could afford eight - eight mind you! - pairs of breeches and he had a little side business selling geese. He cut quite a figure in New Amsterdam society, and was happy being single, until he met the fair Anitje! She was as pretty as a picture, and Claas fell head over heels for her. He was not her only suitor, by any means. The local burgomaster was also courting the fair Anitje. But the burgomaster was a stingy, hard man, and in the end, Anitje gave her heart and hand to Claas.

At first, Claas and Anitje were very happy and prosperous, raising geese and children. But the burgomaster was a vengeful sort of fellow, who began a series of "improvements" to the local neighborhood, charging highly for each one, until all their money was gone. The arrival of a blacksmith who repaired shoes with hob nails, so that the shoes lasted a year or more, left Claas, Anitje and their six children as poor as church mice.

Christmas Eve found the Schlaschenschlinger family down to their last, cold meal of bread and cheese. Claas was wondering what he had left to sell, in order to feed his family. Then he remembered a fine pipe that he had found in one of his stockings on a long ago Christmas morning in Holland. It was a fine pipe, too good for a mere cobbler. Claas knew even then that such a gift could only be from Saint Nicholas himself.

Claas leapt up and went to dig through an old chest until he found the pipe. As he unearthed it from under a pile of clothes, a draft of cold air came from the open front door. Claas scolded his children for playing with the door and went to close it, but found the doorway filled by the merry, round figure of a stranger.

"Thank you, thank you, I will come in out of the cold," said the man, stomping in the door and taking a seat by the poor excuse for a fire that blazed in the hearth.

The family gathered around the white bearded old fellow as he tried to warm himself. He scolded them roundly for not keeping the fire hot, and when Claas admitted that they had nothing left to burn, the old man broke his fine rosewood cane in two and threw it on the fire. The cane blazed up merrily, heating the whole room, and singeing the hair of the cat, which leapt away with a yowl of indignation, making everyone laugh. It was hard to be sober around this merry old man, who made sly jokes, told riddles, and sang songs.

After sitting for half an hour with the family, the old man began rubbing his stomach and gazing wistfully at the cupboard.

"Might there be a bite to eat for an old man on this Christmas Eve?" he asked Anitje.

She blushed in shame and admitted there was nothing left in their cupboard.

"Nothing?" said he, "Then what about that fine goose right there?"

Anitje gasped, for suddenly the smell of a tenderly roasted goose filled the room. She ran to the cupboard, and there was a huge goose on a platter! She also found pies and cakes and bread and many other good things to eat and drink. The little boys and girls shouted in delight, and the whole family feasted merrily, with the little white bearded old man seated at the head of the table. As they ate, Claas showed the old man the pipe he meant to sell.

"Why that pipe is a lucky pipe," said the old man, examining it closely. "Smoked by John Calvin himself, if I am not mistaken. You should keep this pipe all your days and hand it down to your children."

Finally, the church bells tolled midnight, and the little old man cried: "Midnight! I must be off!" Claas and Anitje begged him to stay and spend Christmas with them, but, he just smile merrily at them and strode over to the chimney. "A Merry Christmas to you all, and a Happy New Year!" he cried. And then he disappeared. Ever afterwards, Anitje and her daughters claimed they saw him go straight up the chimney, while Claas and the boys thought he kicked up the ashes and disappeared out the door.

The next morning, when Anitje was sweeping the fireplace, she found a huge bag full of silver, bearing the words "A Gift from Saint Nicholas". Outside the house, there arose a clamor of voices. When Claas and Anitje went to investigate, they discovered their wooden house was now made of brick!

At first, the townsfolk thought they were in league with a wizard, but when Claas told them the story and showed them the new possessions and riches left to them by the old man, they made him the town alderman.

The transformed "Dutch House" remained a landmark for many years following the death of Claas and Anitje, until the British tore it down to make way for improvements in the neighborhood.
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