A beautiful hellcat lusts after the body of a young Texan, but not the way you might think
| The Ballad of Valentina Gonzales
Hey, feller, you wanna hear my story, you buy me a drink. Thank ya kindly.
See, I wasn't always fat and bald and lazy and useless. I am what I am thanks to a woman called Valentina Gonzales. Gawd, what a hellcat.
She sure was pretty when I first met her, looking every bit a woman. Down Lajitas way that was. I'd seen her in the mercantile a time or two and kinda liked what I saw. I was sixteen and horny as a young bull, so when I caught her out behind the store, I had my way with her, just funnin' like, though she needed some persuasion.
She hated me after what I done. Can't really say I blame her but we was just kids. I learned later that she was only twelve. Wouldn't have touched her had I known. Shouldn't have touched her either way. Spilt milk, I guess.
Anyway, next day I'm saddling up in the livery when she comes at me outa nowhere and all of a sudden she's sawing at my crotch with an old bayonet.
"Maldito gringo!" she yells while I try to keep both my cojones and my fingers in one piece from that slashing blade. "No soy una puta!" I didn't speak much Mex but I figured she'd called me a fuckin' gringo and she ain't no whore. She switched to English, "You peeg, I keel you! I cut you!" That, I understood. I managed to get the knife and was gonna beat the crap out of her but she ran off while I was busy checking for blood between my legs. Damnation, I kept my wedding tackle, but she ruined a good pair of Levis.
Day after, she tracked me down where I was fencing Ma's garden patch on the home place. She wound up chasing me around with the hoe while Ma and Sissy damn near bust themselves laughing until they managed to get the hoe and chase her away. Damn, that girl was a terror.
Any rate, I couldn't take the teasing no more and left home, determined to keep away from her. Next I heard, she'd taken up with a feller in the Hodges gang, name of Monte Canesto. If she wasn't a puta, Canesto must have been one tough hombre to both tame her and to keep her for himself. The Hodges hung around Terlingua, too damn close to home, so I drifted north and lit in El Paso, a bustling city of 800 souls.
The gang must have drifted too, as I saw a wanted poster for Valentina Gonzales in El Paso, with Hodges and Canesto and a couple of others, for robbing a Wells Fargo office. Guess by then she was one of the boys and gettin' in on all the fun. They took $4,000, so a good heist, even split among the gang.
A week later, I spotted another poster, this one for murder. Seems she'd shot Canesto and castrated him. Made me clench my legs in memory. I reckoned how lucky I'd bin at sixteen and figured El Paso was a mite dangerous. I saddled and skedaddled.
Bustin' cows here and there, shootin' a buffalo or rustling the odd head for eatin' beef, I drifted up to Las Cruces in New Mexico Territory. Darned if I didn't find her singing in Barlow's Saloon. Guess she'd hauled ass outa Texas, smart girl. I listened for a while. She was damn good, even with the off-key honky-tonk piano, and some rowdies was tossing gold double eagles at her.
After her set, I got up to leave, a mistake because she spotted me. "Peeg! I keel you! I cut you!" She threw her whiskey at me and was on me before I could blink my eyes clear. Next thing I knew I woke up in a dark alley with a dog pissing on my head.
"Go! Scat!" I tried to sit up and groaned. I hurt damn near ever place. I felt a cold wind south of my bellybutton and sat up in one helluva rush. Everything important was still there, to my surprise, but a hunk was cut out of my Levis. Damn that woman, she sure was hard on britches. Still...coulda bin a lot worse. I untied my bandana and stuffed it into my jeans. My pockets had been emptied and it was three days till payday when I could buy new pants. I knew I'd be the laughing stock of the whole damn territory, so I slunk off in the dark. On the way outa town I rolled a drunk for eatin' money. Stole his trousers, too. I ain't prouda that, but felt it kinda necessary.
I went west and gambled a bit in Silver City, did okay. Met a fella who'd heard the Las Cruces story and laughed his fool head off. Seems a buncha boys had prevented Valentina from gelding some poor fool and had dragged her off spitting and scratching. It was them jokers that had beat and robbed him and cut up his pants. I laughed too and never let on that I was the gent in question.
Should have known Silver City was the kind of place she'd like, and sure as shootin' the very next day she showed up in the saloon where I was minding my business over a drink. The minute I spotted her my balls tried to crawl up into my belly. A bunch of rowdies were whistling and hooting but she just set her bag on a table and pulled up a pistol big as a cannon. Some yahoo hadn't noticed and put his hand on her leg. Calm as you please she put a bullet in his brisket then aimed the cannon at me. By then I was under the table and crawling for the back door like a snake in a rainstorm. A bullet hit the floor and splinters gouged the inside of my left thigh. I knew what she was aiming for and that was too blamed close.
I camped out that night somewhere in the Gilas, 'bout as deep in the woods as I could get. My plan was to gradually work my way southwest to Lordsburg, living off the land and keeping low. Good plan. Shoulda worked.
Instead, I woke to the sharp bite of a knife at my throat and a warm, soft body pressed against me.
"Hola, peeg. Now I keel you, si?"
I damn near swallowed my tongue. "Uh, look, Valentina, I'm really sorry 'bout that time..." The knife shifted and I felt a hot trickle down my neck.
"Peeg. All men are peegs." She ranted on about killing men who'd touched her, gelding men who'd raped her. "Now, you--you were first, you suffer beeg. I cut you slow!"
The last thing I saw was her other arm coming down with a rock. I woke up tied spreadeagled on the ground, with a sharp burn of agony between my legs.
No, mister, I never saw her again. No, I don't know why she didn't kill me. Yes, it hurt like hell. No, you can't miss what you ain't got. Any more stupid questions? Now buy me another drink or piss off.
Disclaimer: Prompt- A Quick Death in Texas. I have not researched this story and have no idea if the villages of Lajitas and Terlingua, Texas, existed in the late 1800s where this story is set, though I believe Silver City and Lordsburg did. El Paso had 723 people in the 1880 census. A double eagle was a $20 gold coin.