Just days after his adventure at Siesta Mountain, Archie Ledbetter finds himself in Phoenix being tried for robbing a bank. At the same time, Charlie Locke, a reporter for a newspaper back east, lands in Phoenix with the assignment of bringing the "west" to the paper's readers in New Jersey.
The two of them then travel together, trying to find the identity of the real robber. Each tells his own story of the events that happen. They cover Arizona from corner to corner, following leads and hunches before finding themselves back in Phoenix right where they started.
The Nurk News
I do not claim that any of this is fifty percent true. I can admit that some a it might a been, although I cannot place things in their proper times and places, nor can I always place the proper people in the proper story, and I most certainly disavow any possibility that I played any active or watchful part of what might or might not a transpired.
So much for the lawyer talk.
Back when I was in Montana, which was of a time that I was much more adventuresome than I am now, back when I was in search a my third or fourth fortune, I’m not sure which, and when I was forced by fate to be a cowboy, although some real cowboys would say that even though I went on some cattle drives and rode a horse for a few thousand miles that I wasn’t considered a real cowboy, on account a the fact that I could never rope a steer, and to some cowboys that was the only thing that determined if you was one or not, and back when I was capturing some a the most disrefutable outlaws that has ever been in existence, like Long Tom Haddix and The Calico Kid, all a which seems like so long ago, and at the same time seems like only the day before last Friday, and there was a conversation I remember there in Montana about the Kings from Orientar, the ones in the Bible that brung the baby Jesus the presents a gold, frank, cents, and a purring cat, and I never forgot the story, or the fact that there was a real town in Montana called Orientar, except it didn’t have no kings or queens or even Presidents, but it did put itself into my memory and give me another idea a how to get rich again for the tenth time, which goes to show that it isn’t the making a the fortune that’s hard, but the keeping a it, which you don’t think about until you got a fortune and half the world is trying to get a hold a it, and then when one slips in, bang, just like that, it’s all gone and all you got is the memories a it, some a which is good and some a which is bad, but this story ain’t about what use to be, since all a that is gone and ain’t coming back, but there is the future in front a us, which can be saw by men like my Indian friend Woyer, but not by others a us like me and Percy Larson, who is white and don’t have the gift a seeing tomorrow, so we can only set ourselves on a path that we don’t know how it is going to turn out, and then tell it while it happens instead a after it is all did, which is when people starts to exaggerationering and making up stories and outright lies about what happened and there isn’t no one there to say otherwise so they get away with it, but we don’t have to on account a our stories is busting at the seems with things that don’t need a shred a exaggerationering to make them what they already are, which is way more than most people’s stories after they have been goosed up real good with a bunch a stuff that isn’t really all that interesting or dangerous or anything else that makes someone want to know more about what really happened on such and such a day in such and such a place at such and such a time, and that it also happened that the teller a the story was really there, and really saw and heard all that happened, and so you can’t tell no one that it didn’t happen; so, by way of nothing more than relating the truth and the hole truth and nothing but the truth, which I know is what they make you promise when you’re in court, since I personally have been in that particular situation more than most anyone alive who never did nothing to deserve to be in court, but still was, since someone claimed I done something I didn’t did, and I had to prove that I didn’t did it, and only twice or thrice did I rely on having my fingers crossed when I made the promise to tell the truth, and every one still knows that crossing fingers is an acceptable and allowed practice, so if they don’t want you to cross your fingers, they should say at the end a their question that you got to answer without relying on that so you can get out a the jam you got into, whether it was actually on account a something you done and got caught at, or on account a something that someone else said you done, but you really didn’t, which is where this story would start if it was going to start there, but it has to start way before that or else the part about being in court and saying you ain’t going to lie don’t make as much as a anthill a sense, and nobody wants to read about something that don’t make no sense right from the beginning, and at the same time, it don’t make sense to go back too far, like to when you was borned or something, so you got to find somewhere in the middle, which is actually closer to where the story wants to start, so that’s what I'm going to do, accept this story ain’t about me, since I got so many stories about me already that it takes people six ways till Some Day to read them all, so this story is about some a the boys I met along the trail, on account a it is a story that’s worth bein tole, mostly on account a the fact that not everyone gets to meet a person like Muskrat Smallwood or Ruben Washington, or Ernie or Long Toe or any a the others.