Carol was an outlaw. Born in Boston, he came with his family to the territory in 1864, when he was about five years old. They homesteaded a ranch just outside Bayard on the banks of The Whiskey River. His father was killed in a poker game when Carol was eight and his mother took up with a hotelier, named, August Blake. She abandoned the ranch to move herself and the boy to Silver City. Blake adopted Carol who then took on his name.
Carol Blake had almost a complete year of schooling at the one room schoolhouse in Silver City. He learned to write, a little, and learned to read a little too. It was there that he met, the two people who would help to shape his life. He fell in with William “Billy” McCarty and Juana Montoya Patron, whom everyone called La Tullida, as she walked with a limp.
Like most boys of the day, Carol and Billy were delinquents. They started by taking penny candies from the jars at the General Store, but quickly the severity of their crimes grew and soon they were robbing rooms of the guests at August Blake’s hotel. It was about that time that both teenage boys took a fancy to their mutual friend, La Tullida. All was well and good till the time that Billy found Carol with Juana and called him out. In the ensuing gunfight Carol Blake lost the ring finger and the pinky finger of his left hand, Billy was unscathed. Carol Blake slunk out of town, and drifted to Arizona. There, with the help of his pistol, he gained a modest amount of notoriety by robbing stage coaches, trains, and the occasional bank. His picture was on the walls of most every Post Office. He continued to evolve into a merciless killer and outlaw who would not let anyone or anything stand in the way of something he desired. He cut a swath of terror across Arizona. The Yuma Weekly News published a story in ’76 where they called him and his crew of five, curs. Carol quite fancied the moniker and adopted the name Carol “The Cur”, aka Cur Blake.
It was about that time that word reached him about his old friends, Billy and Juana. Word was that they had gotten hitched and set up house somewhere back in New Mexico. “Cur” determined he would go back and extract revenge on his one time friend and rival, Billy. He just wasn’t sure where they were in the territory, and it was a large territory. He rode east to Silver City, figuring that was as good a place to start looking as any. On the ride he began to dream of rekindling his romance with La Tullida.
Blake pulled Cerveza, his pony, up short at the top of the hill overlooking the town he had once called home. He knew that Billy was a drinkin’ man and he figgered he might just start lookin’ for him at the saloon. He clucked with his tongue, pulled his hat low over his eyes, and moved the reins against the horse’s neck. They moved slowly down the hill and into Silver City. Outside the “Miner Saloon” he looped Cerveza’s reins around a post and pushed his way into the barroom. His reputation had preceded him and someone there recognized his face under the brim of his Stetson.
“Blake!” was whispered from the long bar and the whisper quickly spread. He stood at the doorway allowing his eyes to adjust to the gloom inside. Slowly a hush fell and he moved deeper into the room, his spurs jangling with each slow, measured step. It was deadly quiet when Carol stopped and took a place at the bar.
“We don’t want no trouble, Mr. Blake,” the barman squeaked.
A grin spread and Carol replied, “Me neither.” The room remained quiet as the drama at the bar unfolded, the girls were watching from the landing upstairs. The gamblers were watching from the card tables. The piano man was watching from his stool. The tension was so thick it could be cut with a knife. “You know what they call me in Arizona?” he turned and asked the room.
No one answered “Cur Blake’s what they call me, and I’m lookin’ for Billy,” he said softly.
No one said a word. The silence pressed down suffocating all except Carol.
Blake held up his mangled left hand, “I’m lookin’ for the man who shot my paw.”
I had to rise to this challenge, I just had to. Sorry it’s so corny. Hope you got a smile out of it.