Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy
THE LUCK BROTHERS
Fred and Frank Luck were identical twin brothers. They co-owned the farm inherited when their Pa died. Trouble was, those two hated each other somethin' fierce.
Pa turned to me and says, “Wanna go
for a drive, Eddie?”
“Sure, Pa.” It was fine with me as
I’d been cleanin’ out the chicken yard and anything’d be better
than that chore.
Pa and I pushed the Model A out of the
barn and cranked her up. We jumped in and proceeded up the road to
the Luck’s farm.
It didn’t take but a half hour to
drive the six miles. When we were gettin’ close, we heard the sound
of a shotgun firin’ off. As we pulled off onto the road leadin’
up to the Luck’s house, we heard shoutin’ as well.
Pa looked at me and says, “Be sure to
watch close and be ready to duck down behind the truck.”
It made me a little nervous. It was
well known Fred and Frank would go at each other just about anyplace
they happened to be. Once, they both spent a night in jail when they
got into a fist fight at the General Store. The Sheriff didn’t much
care which one started it, so he just let them both spend the night
in the pokey. He let ‘em out early enough to go take care of the
livestock and didn’t do anything else.
Now, they pretty much kept their
fightin’ at home. Most often they’d just flail at each other for
awhile and then one or t’other would go off in a huff. Hearin’
gunfire made me think the feud was only gettin’ worse.
When we get up to the farmyard, we saw
Frank, or maybe it was Fred, standin’ by the corral kind of hid
behind a post and he was firin’ off shotgun blasts toward the
granary. We could see the wood splinter as he fired. I glimpsed the
other one, most likely Fred, around the side of the building.
“Frank, you cut that out!” Pa
“I ain’t Frank, Mr. Perkins,” the
shotgun holder answered back.
“Well, then, Fred, you cut that out.”
“But, Mr. Perkins, that no-good
brother o’ mine called me a dirty lowdown skunk. I can’t rightly
take it without answerin’!”
Pa motioned to me to stand behind the
truck bed and I went round as quick as I could. Pa started walkin’
slow toward Fred movin’ his hands in a placatin’ way.
“Well, I’m sure you two can work it
out if’n you’ll just put the gun away, Fred.”
Then, Pa calls out louder. “Frank,
come on out.”
“No sirree! I ain’t crazy, Mr.
Perkins. That idiot will just shoot me if’n I come out,” Frank
yelled, peekin’ round the corner of the granary.
While the talkin’ was goin’ on, Pa
kept gettin’ closer to Fred until he was an arm’s reach away. He
grabbed the double barrel of the shotgun and snatched it away and
tossed the gun behind him about ten feet.
“All right, Frank, you can come out
now. Fred doesn’t have the shotgun anymore.”
Frank come out slow from behind the
buildin’ lookin’ hard to make sure what Pa said was the truth.
When he seen Fred didn’t have the gun, he walked on over. He gets
up a couple of feet away and he lunged out at Fred and grabbed him
round the neck.
The brothers fell down on the ground
and started wrestlin’ and screamin’ some pretty bad words.
“You low-down weasel!” Bam! Frank
smacked Fred right in the eye.
“You yellow-bellied hornswoggler!”
Whap! Fred hit him right back.
Pa stood there a bit with his hands on
his hips. He looked to be ponderin’ whether or not to separate
them. Finally, he bent down and grabbed both the Lucks by their
collars and hauled them right up on their feet. My jaw dropped as I
didn’t think Pa had it in him. He held ‘em both at arms length
until they quit strugglin’, then he let them go.
Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.