Marshal Sigmund JungEdit
Marshal Sigmund Jung ~Frontier Psychiatrist~ *1* ~The Confrontation~
It is a hot and windy day in Ford City, Kansas. Folks are either in their homes or in the Longhorn Saloon, drinking warm beer and feeling up the local dance hall girls. Marshal Sigmund Jung is tending his jailhouse across the street from the popular saloon.
Deputy Fester busts in the door, wild-eyed and breathless. "Marshal, Marshal! That mean Micky McMaster just rode inta town! He tole the boys he's-a callin' you out!"
Dr. Sigmund Jung looks up from his desk. "That is most inconvenient," the well-dressed marshal frowns. "I am due at Lady Albottom's Social Club shortly." Jung pulls a gold pocket watch from his shiny silk vest. He checks the time and shakes his head. "I am giving a lecture on my newest psychiatric theories on the meaning of dreams. I'm afraid he will just have to wait, dear boy."
Deputy Fester rolls his eyes toward the ceiling. "Marshal Jung," he squeaks. "McMaster is waitin' in the street, now! He says he's-a gonna shoot you deed on account-a what you done to his brother!"
Marshal Jung stands up, adjusting his black bowler. "Very well," he sighs, "I will meet the gentleman. I am quite certain we can come to some civilized accord." The handsome marshal saunters into the dusty street, brushing imagined lint from his three-piece suit.
"Thar y'are!" McMaster bellows from the deserted street's center. "You the low-down ornery pole cat whut shot ma brother?" McMaster snarls, with his palm hovering over his Colt .44. Then he notices the marshal is not wearing a sidearm. The outlaw wrinkles his lumpy nose and spits. "Not packin' iron ain't-a gonna save yor mangy hide, Marshal!"
Jung looks horrified. "My dear Sir...I am quite sure violence will not be necessary! In point of fact, I did not shoot your sibling, Mr McMaster. I merely administered a sedative to Boomerang Bruce. It was his own boomerang which proved to be his undoing."
The outlaw shakes his head, trying to figure out the meaning of what he had just heard. "Whut kind-a lingo ya spoutin', fancy pants?" His weather beaten face wrinkles in a frown. "Ya light in the boots or sumpthin', boy?"
"I have lost weight!" the marshal beams. "Though I cannot imagine how you would know that! I do try to watch what I eat and I recently formulated my own vitamin drink. Concerning my lingo, as you so colloquially phrase it, I have recently traveled a great distance before arriving in this charming little village." "I never wudda guessed!" McMaster hoots. "Never in a month-a Sundays!" "Oh, indeed, the marshal smiles, "all the way from New York City, in point of fact. I gave up a quite lucrative practice there to fulfill a lifelong dream. I simply adore your marvelous rough-and-tumble west!"
Jung shows a hint of discouragement in his clear, blue eyes. "Sadly, I found little calling for the sevices of a qualified psychiatrist upon my arrival. So I accepted this post as marshal of Ford City and surrounding territory." Sigmund bows from the waist. "Dr. Sigmund Jung, at your service," he smiles amiably.
"I'll be sheep dipped!" McMaster grumbles. "Ma brother...brought down by a back-east dandy!" The desperado cocks his head, studying Jung for a full minute. His cracked lower lip is hanging from an open mouth, spittle drooling onto the dry street. "Afore I plug yor worthless hide," he finally growls, "I gotta know how such a thing cudda happened."
The marshal takes out a notepad and begins to take notes. "How interesting that you used the word, 'plug.' Do you imagine that in killing me, that deplorable act of aggression will somehow plug the pain caused by the untimely demise of Boomerang Bruce?"
"Whut?" Mean Micky seethes. "Why, ya prancin' little daisy-stringer! The only pain is a-gonna be the fire in yor belly, fancy pants! I'm a-gonna gut shoot ya, just like I did ta ma side-windin' pa fer whuppin' up on ma dear sweet ma the way he done!" "I see," muses the marshal. "You may well be suffering from a condition known as the Edipus Complex, Mr. McMaster."
"Whut I might-a et, or not might-a et, ain't none of yor dern concern! An', 'sides, there ain't nuthin' complex 'bout it! Any dang fool with a tongue can do it, if'n the woman don't mind it none."
The killer's grimy fingers begin to twitch over his holstered pistol. "Git yor dirty thoughts outta the gutter, ya filthy-minded varmit, an' tell me whut happened ta ma brother!"
Sigmund Jung clasps his hands in glee. "I think we are making real progress here, Mr. McMaster," he smiles broadly. The marshal scribbles more notes in his little black book. "First, why don't we address those unresolved issues concerning your father?" "Whut?"
Marshal Sigmund Jung ~Frontier Psychiatrist~ *2* ~Addressing the Problem~
"I ain't a-gonna jaw 'bout my pa, ya gussied-up, panty-waist!" screams the outlaw. "The no-good pole cat whupped up on ma an' I plugged his ornery hide!...I mean drilled....Dang ya!" McMaster's dirty face turns deep red with frustration. "I done went an' blasted the varmit! Now tell me how my brother got hisself kilt or I'm a-gonna shoot ya down like the dirty dog ya are!"
Just then, four pretty dance hall girls walk over from the adjacent Longhorn Saloon. "Afternoon Marshal. I hope we're still on for supper, tonight," smiles the lovely redhead, sporting a short, green petticoated dress.
"Who in blazes are you, lady?" McMaster snaps. "Don't-cha know I'm a-fixin' ta blast this parfumed little weasel from har ta kindom come? He's done et his last supper, Missy!"
"I am Alison Wolfworthy," the fancy lady replies. "I own the Longhorn Saloon." She studies the scruffy outlaw for a moment, then seems to dismiss him from her mind. "Marshal," the lovely Alison smiles at Jung, "we have some new faces in the Longhorn, fresh off the morning stage. May I introduce my new saloon manager, Jolen Casper?"
Dr. Jung bows from the waist. "I am charmed beyond words, Miss Casper."
The singer flutters her dark eyelashes. "I've heard so much about you, Marshal. It's a pleasure to finally meet you."
"And this is Miss Savanah Jude," the saloon owner continues. "She comes with a guarantee to charm the pants off any lonely cowboy with her own southern comfort style." "How delightful," the marshal winks."
The stunning girl curtsies. "I'm so pleased to meet such a refined gentlemen. I just know we'll get along splendedly, Marshal." "And last, but by no means least," Alison says, presenting the third among the new arrivals, "another beautiful southern belle, Miss Glata Galore." The marshal removes his black bowler and smiles. "Ladies, welcome to Ford City." McMaster slams his stained and battered hat onto the dusty street. His unshaven face, a mask of primal anger. Suddenly his cracked voice echos off the wooden buildings. "Whut in tarnation is wrong with ya dingy female jackasses? Have y'all gone plumb crazy-loco in the head? This har mincin' marshal is a dead man! Ya high-steppin' dance hall gals jest seem too plow-mule dumb ta know whut the sam hill's-a goin' on har!"
"Mr. McMaster," Jung says quietly, "I find you to be extremely exacerbating, to be quite frank, sir." McMaster's weathered face goes from red to purple. "Ya best watch that garbage mouth-a yors, pretty boy!" he warns. "Ya ain't a-never found me a-doin' nuthin'! I aint a-never seed yer girlyfied face afore today!" A look of embarrassment flickers across the desperado's craggy features. "My ma was the onliest soul alive ta ever find me a-doin' it!" The outlaw stomps on his hat and spins in a circle, prompting the saloon girls to clear the street within seconds. "Great leapin' lizards," McMasters fumes, "looky whut ya got me a-sayin!"
The bank robber snatches his tattered hat from the street. "I'm a-gonna shoot ya so fulla holes, yer a-gonna look like a bloodied-up chaw a swiss cheese! Now ya gonna tell me how ya kilt ma brother or am I a-gonna mow ya down right where ya stand?" McMaster clears leather and points his big .44 at Jung.
Sigmund sighs heavily. "I can see we have a lot of issues to deal with before I can even begin to help you in your emotional recovery, Mr. McMaster," he says, shaking his handsome head. "But I shall tell you what you wish to know."
Marshaal Jung takes several seconds to jot down more notes in his little black book. "You and your recently-departed brother, Boomerang Bruce, must have been very close indeed to precipitate such a maelstrom of unbridled aggression within your painfully troubled psyche, Mr. McMaster."
The big outlaw looks perplexed. "Whut?"
Marshal Sigmund Jung ~Frontier Psychiatrist~ *3* ~The Breakthrough~
"I'm a-gonna tell ya sumthin'," says 'Mean' Micky McMaster. "I done got me a belly fulla you and yor flap-jawed mealy-mouth!" Mean Micky waves the long gun barrel around menacingly. "Now fer the last time, whut happened ta ma brother?"
"Your brother," Marshal Sigmund Jung begins, "was attempting to unlawfully abscond with United States currency belonging to the official local financial repository."
McMaster scratches his head and squints. "He was a-robbin' the bank?" he ventures.
"He was robbing the bank," Jung confirms.
"I got it, I got it!" the outlaw hoots. "Hey, yor fancy-pants, back-east lingo ain't that hard ta read, after all!" He looks suspiciously at the lawman. "Course he was a-robbin' the bank!...That's whut we do! So, how'd he come ta git hisself dead?"
Sigmund carefully adjusts his tie. "Well, on that fateful day, my deputy had informed me that someone was in the process of liberating funds rightfully belonging to..."
"Robbin' the bank, ya sissy tin star!" McMaster seethes, gritting his yellowed teeth. "Robbin' the confounded bank, ya miserable side-windin' snake!" The outlaw cocks his pistol and peers down the barrel at the marshal. "Why can't ya just spit it out, dang yor oily hide?"
"I will try to be more succinct," Jung promises. "In any event, I approached the bank just as your brother was walking out with his ill-gotten gains. I couldn't help but notice the boomerang tucked into his gun belt."
For the first time, Micky smiles. "Yep...Bruce was right fond-a that blasted whirly-giggin' contraption. Spent two years a-cowboyin' in Australia, he did." McMaster squints down the sight. "Then whut?"
Jung carefully tucks his notebook back into his vest pocket. "Having heard of his prowess with the boomerang," he calmly continues, "I asked if he would give me a demonstration. Your sibling seemed quite taken with my interest and agreed to show me a sample of its capabilities."
"Don't that beat all?" McMaster chuckles. "Did he knowed ya was the town marshal, an' all?"
"I thought it prudent to leave my badge in the office. I didn't wish to cause him any unnecessary alarm, you see. Your brother sent the weapon sailing in a most beautiful arc, indeed. Bruce was admiring its flight when I injected him with a strong sedative." "Come agin?" the outlaw frowns. "I gave the gentleman a shot in the side of his neck to make him somewhat more manageable," Jung explains. "When he turned his head to protest my actions, the boomerang struck the unfortunate fellow in the temple." Jung slowly shakes his head. "I'm afraid he died while still standing, poor man. Dreadful, dreadful business."
The doctor takes his notebook back out and poises a pencil above it. "Tell me, Mr. McMaster, how does hearing this account of your brother's untimely demise make you feel?" McMaster looks up at the clear sky, considering the question. "I'll tell ya how it makes me feel," the outlaw grumbles. "It kinda makes me feel like blowin' yor dang fool-head plumb off, right after I gut-shoot ya a couple-a times. That's purdy much how it makes me feel, ya thick-headed ninny!" Dr. Jung turns the page in his little black book and jots down a notation. "I suspect you are sublimating your true feelings, Mr. McMaster," he frowns. "You most probably feel survivor's guilt over not having been here to keep your younger brother out of harm's way."
McMaster looks the marshal in the eye. "No...I think I just feel like gut-shootin' ya."
The two men study each other for a full minute. "Very well," Jung says at last. "If that is what you must do to ease your inner turmoil, then fire when ready, dear fellow."
The bank robber takes aim. "I'm a-gonna do jest that!"
The explosive charge from 'Mean' Micky's Colt .44 is deafening. The blast echos from building to building throughout Ford City. A cloud of blue smoke fills the street.
When the smoke clears, the bank robber is shocked to see Marshal Sigmund Jung, still standing, with a look of kind understanding on his handsome face. "I'll be hornswoggled!" the outlaw gasps. "I missed!...I ain't never missed me a shot since the day pa learned me how ta shoot!"
"And how are we feeling about that?" the marshal asks.
"Can't rightly say as I know," the killer marvels. "I ain't never missed afore. I think mebbe I'm feelin' kinda good 'bout it, now that ya done brung it up. Ya nary a flinched, Marshal...nary a dang bit!" Micky takes off his hat and scratches his head.
"I am a trained professional, sir," the marshal smiles amiably.
Jung closes his notebook, replacing it in his vest pocket. "I was quite certain, judging from the conflicted look I saw in your eyes, that you were reaching out for help and had no real desire to actually cause my death. Now why don't you hand me that horrid pistol and we can talk all about this in my office?"
McMaster shuffles over to Jung, looking dazed. He slowly offers the marshal his hand gun. Jung accepts the weapon, tucking it into his waistband. He then puts his arm around the outlaw and the two men walk back over to the marshal's office. They step up onto the wooden sidewalk and enter the door to the jailhouse.
"Of course you know I will have to arrest you, Mr. McMaster," says Sigmund. "After all, you are wanted in at least three states." 'Mean' Micky walks past Jung's desk and steps into the empty cell. "That's OK by me, I s'pose," he sighs. "I need me some time ta think, anyways."
Marshal Jung closes the cell door and turns the key. "We have made a real breakthrough today, Mr. McMaster," he smiles. "Why don't we talk about your father for a bit? Perhaps we can discover together the root cause of all your anti-social behavior and unhappiness. By now, you must be feeling pangs of regret for having killed the man who brought you into this world." McMaster drops heavily onto the neatly turned-down bunk. "Naw," he grins, "I'm still purdy dang glad I gut-shot the mangy son-of-a-bitch." He squints up with a puzzled look on his sunburned face. "Mebbe ya could explain ta me jest why I didn't blast yor hide out there, Marshal."
Dr. Jung pulls out his gold pocket watch, peering down at it. "I see our time is up," he says.