Mark Beech and Linda Gray


The “Good Ol’ Days” weren’t always that great.

Take JED and JAKE. They met as young men in the California Gold Rush. Twenty-seven years later they’re still searching for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this time in Deadwood Gulch.

It’s been a mighty hard life, rushing from one gold rush to the next, making barely enough to live on. But the dream keeps them going. The dream of living like kings in a big ol’ house up on a hill. And maybe if they had that big ol’ house they could marry BLOSSOM, the cute as a button dance hall girl they’ve both taken a shine to.

Yes, both. They both want to marry her. These guys don’t always think things through. And they don’t have much luck either. But the luck part is about to change.

It starts when a mysterious STRANGER talks them into buying a team of MULES named Jim and Jim. (The mules know which one you’re talking to.) The stranger praises the mules extravagantly, like a used car salesman, and closes the deal with a bold promise:

“Someday you’ll thank me.”

Sadly the mules don’t help much at first. They don’t stop BLACK BART from tricking the guys into trading their good claim for a worthless one. Bart is the color-challenged owner of a failing brothel and a struggling Grub and Go. To prop up grocery sales he also smuggles in hundreds of rats and turns them loose to eat the miners’ food.

Jed and Jake run out of money and have to take a second job, not unlike folks today. And like today the second job doesn’t offer health insurance. This is too bad because they’re soon blown up in a terrible mining accident. Luckily the doctor is fascinated by the medical novelty of their survival; he wouldn’t think of charging to patch them up.

When Black Bart strikes gold on their former claim the guys are totally bummed out. At Lovey’s, Deadwood’s classy brothel, Blossom tries to cheer them up with free drinks. (Blossom is a bit of a social worker along with her other talents.) When a patron tries unsuccessfully to steal a big yellow cat from the cat house, the conversation logically turns to cats and the irritating rat problem. With rekindled enthusiasm Jed and Jake head for Cheyenne to scrounge up a wagon-load of cats they can bring back and sell at a huge profit!!

Naturally Fate has a different idea.

Convinced that cats threaten his grocery business, Bart aims to blow up Jed and Jake again, along with their cats, as they return to Deadwood. The explosion is spectacular indeed, but thanks to those magnificent mules the two old prospectors escape unharmed to find that good times are finally headed their way!

Copyright 2009 Mark Beech and Linda Gray
All Rights Reserved