The fire had left in its wake not only the devastation of property but so many who had been injured. I stayed as close as I could to those who needed my help. At one point, once the fire was out, the men sat, soot covered faces and limbs, waiting patiently for a cool sip of water. There staggering and exhausted I found Wyatt Earp, whom I had observed earlier.
Without thinking I handed him the cup of water in my hands. I must have looked as much a fright as he did having fought the great beast of a fire. He took it gratefully but as he did so he looked as if he could have keeled over. Letting the bucket in my hands drop with a slosh, I held his arm and guided him to the boardwalk. He said something softly that sounded like thanks but I didnae respond. I was myself aching and threadbare from the efforts of helping those who were burned, directing those who didnae know much of nursing to tie bandages and asking after herbes that we might commandeer for the cause.
It was then that I realized that Wyatt had not been looking at me in the street but rather beyond me. I turned slightly to see Johnny Behan out of the corner of my eye, no worse for wear and looking as clean, pressed and dapper as he had when he had arrived at the Hacienda Las Glorias. If seeing the rest of the townfolk knee and elbow deep in soot and slosh didn’t shame him I didnae know what could possibly have done so!
I turned to Wyatt and gave him a small smile, “Well, I guess you all have earned your hero’s pay today,” I said softly, “I just wish that we didnae have to show off that new fire engine so soon.”
Regaining my bucket I made my way back to the pump to get more to help quench more thirsts. Just as my hand closed over the handle, I looked up to see Johnny Behan standing next to me.
“My dear,” he said rubbing his moustache and sniffing the air, “You really should see to yourself. We wouldn’t want anyone to see you in such a state now would we? Besides, you have done plenty here today for the good people of Tombstone. Here, “ he offered a crook in his arm and attempted to take the bucket from my hands with the other, “let me escort you to your hotel you can freshen up. I am sure there are more than enough to see to all that needs to be seen to.”
“Take your hand off my bucket, please,” I seethed, my voice was even but hard.
He did not relent but thought to press his issue with me. “Fanny, darling, “ he oozed, “you’ve already missed your dinner. You must be hungry and exhausted.”
“Give my dinner to them, “ I jerked my head toward the firefighters that sat on the sidelines and leaned my body weight into retrieving my bucket back from Behan. There was still a little water left in it, and my action caused it to slosh all down the front of his lightly coloured wool trousers. The impression made it to look as if he had wet himself.
Without flinching and keeping a straight face, I looked at him unwavering, even though some who must have been watching the scene snickered. Before turning back to the pump I nodded at Johnny who looked agape at me.
“You’d better see to that,” I said matter-of-factly, “We wouldnae want anyone to see you in such a state, now would we?”
Muse: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology / History