A CHEMICAL BAPTISM LEADS TO AMPUTATION OF A LIMB BY LEAD
Old cattle town on the rocky ford, somewhere up a crazy river…
Iredell, Tx – “There is a solid rock bottom there, water comes up to about the bottom of your doors; people used to pull their cars out there and wash them. People did.”
He looked thoughtful, speaking in rueful tones.
“I was down in the river bottom. Had my gun with me. I didn’t care to live any more. Just didn’t care. She knew it, too. Woman about 40, good looking, just hot as could be.
“She knew it, too. Knew what was going on, little town like that. People talk. People do.”
Her dress: “Had on short shorts, barefoot. We were standing out in the water, talking. Water come up to about here.”
Her demeanor: “She told me, said, ‘You bout to shoot yourself, aren’t you?’
“I didn’t say anything. Couldn’t. She was right. Said, ‘How do you know you will kill yourself? How you know you won’t just cripple yourself, set up there, and crippled ’til you die?’ She was right. I didn’t. Didn’t know.”
He said she was right. “People talk, little town like that. They know. They know all about it.”
That’s when the woman got out her drugs and showed him. “Mashed the top of a soda water can down flat and put the drugs in there, crushed them down to a fine powder. Then she set it on a rock and pulled her shorts down, and I mean didn’t have nothin’ on. Bent over – you could see everything. Then she taken the drugs and added water, drawed it up in a syringe.
“Hunted around and found this biggest vein, here,” he pointed out the femoral artery in the crotch. “Shot them drugs in there. Said, ‘I got enough of this stuff here to kill a horse.”
From that point on, every man in the room began to think of him as “Hoss.” He had tagged himself with a brand new road name.
“That’s when she drawed up another syringe full of drugs for me. Put it right there.” He pointed out the crook of his elbow. You could see scars, there. “I ain’t no good at it, like her. I mostly miss. Burns, too, It’ll eat right through your skin, it will. Sure will.”
This was before he lost his right leg. That hadn’t happened yet, the day of the drugs.
It was in a domestic dispute with his wife. “I’d been drinking whiskey all day long.”
She called the law. When they showed up, he walked out the door with a pistol in his hand and, “They shot my leg plumb to pieces. Shot it completely off my body.”
When the fifth and final round fired cut into his leg, “I felt my heel come up and kick me in the behind, and then I fell out and didn’t know nothing.”
He spent months in intensive care. Lives and moves around in a wheel chair. Went to drug rehab to kick his meth habit.
“It was because of the whiskey,” he recalls. “That’s what did it. I just didn’t want to live any more.”
So mote it be.
- The Legendary
Solid rock, low bottom crossing, a natural ford on the Bosque River
SHE TOOK ME TO THE RIVER, WHERE SHE CAST HER SPELL, ETC.