2004 by Lois Armstrong
There was this man named Cobbs who lived in a shack on a hill on the outskirts of town. He wore big boots and a large cowboy hat that made his long beard look very strange. He would walk through town not saying anything, with the wind blowing his beard and long hair. He was a strange man and seemed to be lonely. He would cook his soup on a table top burner and eat by his one light, lay down on his bed to sleep.
Then, one night Charles Foot's child was found dead in a ditch near old Cobbs shack and the people became a riot. They stormed his shack, pulled him out and hung him from his own tree.
Weeks Later a man in the next county confessed that he had killed the child. The people in Franklyn County changed, because at night a large Man was seen walking down the street at night. In the day time foot prints were found in the dirt of the road. Stories began to tell the tale of old Cobbs; how he walked the streets looking for the men who Killed him.
Young Sid Andress was found hung in his closet. People went into a panic, locking their doors at night. George Goof got drunk and Started mouthing off how old Cobbs didn't frighten him. They Found him hanging in his bathroom. There were foot steps leading from The door to the bathroom, dipped in water. No one was safe.
There were two left and they found themselves alone. Even though There were others who stood and watched it all; there were four who Did it all, with one man holding the rope.
Keith and Joe found themselves Alone, ignored; by the people they had known all their lives. For Their own safety, the sheriff locked them up. No one, not even a ghost Could walk through bars.
Night came. The deputy sat in his chair with coffee, trying to Read the paper. Norma Peters looked out of her window, she saw a Tall dark shadow with a wide brimmed hat walking down the middle of The Street. She watched as he walked until he disappeared into the Shadows. She closed her window and pulled down the shade, and went to Read to her children.
Morgan Abby called his dog in, and saw the shadow move through the night. He closed the door shaking so bad that he could hardly stand. He grabbed a hold of a chair and sat down. " Oh please, God." He cried out loud.
Business was bad lately and Anna Elizabeth had been forced to Sleep in the streets. She stood in a darkened stoop watching the tall Shadow walk down the middle of the road. She watched as the figure Moved slowly toward the sheriff's office and she prayed, then ran Toward the church..
The deputy had always wanted to be a cop since he was a kid; the Romance of carrying a gun. To get the bad guy and save the lady in Distress. It sounded good. It felt good. When he turned twenty he Went to the sheriff and asked him to let him be his deputy. " You Won’t be sorry." He promised. That was ten years ago. He met and Married Mattie, and had a kid. He couldn't ask for more, a cop, a Husband and a kid.
He heard something at the door. It was locked and he had the key. He sat up. The door was opening. He went for his gun, the door opened wide. Cobb's looked at him; dead on, he pulled his Gun out and fired. Cobbs looked at him then went straight to the Side door. Harry screamed, the deputy got up and fired again, Cobbs Opened the door and went into the cells.
The town did not sleep that night. You could feel it holding it's breath. They listened and they heard it. In a way they were glad That it was over or was it? Time would tell.
They found Harry, the Deputy, in a state of shock but they also found Keith and Joe dead, Hung by their belts in the cells that had been meant to protect them.
They call it Cobb's county, and the population will tell you over a beer, of how he walks in the night down the street, and if you Don’t believe it; look for his footprints in the morning, when the Sand is soft.
Wide open hat walking down
the middle of the street
and if you Don’t believe it go out when the dirt is soft and
them. They are always there. Or at night, if you are brave enough, look
Out your window and believe me that’s not a bit of dust blowing
night. The hat will tell you
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Lois Armstrong's Story list And Biography