“Hi yo Silver! “ The masked man yelled as he hauled back on the reins, his white steed rising in the air on its hinds. The townsfolk stared in awe. The man behind the mask smiled down at the gathered crowd and then with a nod to his Indian companion, reined the white beast to the left and at a gallop, headed east into a setting sun. His Indian side-kick, followed close behind. The towns-folk watched as the strangers disappeared into the dust and oncoming twilight.
“Who was that masked man, Mama?” asked a young boy, still sucking on the same lollipop given to him three hours earlier.
“That wasn’t just some masked man Jimmy. That was the Lone Ranger.”
“The Lone Ranger? How about the fella with him – the Indjun?”
“Beats me Jimmy. Tona, Tuna, Toe-nail – something like that. Hey have you finished your homework?
The Ranger and his companion rode for one full day without stopping. In the afternoon of the second day, by the coolness of a small creek, the Ranger took a leak against a birch tree. As he relieved himself, he glanced over his shoulder searching for his partner. Tonto sat on the ground nearby, rolling a joint.
“Tonto,” asked the Ranger, “why do I always hear the William Tell overture when we leave some place?”
The Indian rolled his eyes and muttered. “Of all the Texas Rangers in Texas, I had to save this idiot.”
Back in the saddle again, the Ranger and Tonto traveled over snow-covered mountains, through green valleys and across endless prairies. It was late afternoon on the third day of riding when the Ranger pulled his fob watch from his pocket and looking at the time, called to his friend.
“Tonto, I reckon we should camp for the night. It’s getting late.”
The Indian looked at the setting sun and then at the landscape. “Yes, Sun go down. Maybe 5:30. make camp.”
The Ranger smiled. “You know Tonto I think you’re sun-reading skills are slipping. According to my Seiko fob here, it’s 5:45. You’re 15 minutes slow.”
“Screw you,” the Indian replied tersely.
The two rode slowly to a nearby cluster of trees with a clearing in the center. “This looks like a good place to rest up,” said Ranger, dismounting Silver. Tonto nodded and dismounted his own nag – Scout. He pulled out another joint from his buckskin pocket and put a flame to the stimulant. The Ranger pulled beef-jerky from his vest pocket and began to chew.
He then led the two horses to a near tree and tethered them. Giving them oats, he watched as both animals munched on the fed. Placing a pail of water between them, the Ranger turned and headed for the camp. Silver and Scout took a long pull on the water. The Ranger moseyed back and found Tonto had prepared a hearty dinner of beans and bread. Coffee was brewing on the fire. The Ranger licked his lips and sniffed the air;
“That smells mighty good Tonto,” he said as he flopped down next to the fire.
“Me thank Kemosabe, for kind words.”
“I don’t suppose you picked up any booze and stuck in your saddle bags, did ya?” the Ranger asked.
“No, Kemosabe. Only coffee or Milo.”
“Oh Shit. I could really use a belt right now. Oh well, give me some of them beans and a hunk of bread.”
Tonto served the Ranger a plate of beans and half a loaf of bread. The two ate with gusto. Three cups of coffee later; the Ranger , again glanced at his fob.
“I reckon we oughta get some shut-eye, Tonto. We’ve got a lot of riding to do tomorrow.”
Tonto nodded. The two cowboys put up a small tent, crawled inside and under their own bed-roll blanket. The Ranger removed the mask, smiled at his friend and within minutes was snoring. Tonto was wishing he had brought ear-muffs. An hour later, both were sleeping. In the early hours of the morning, Tonto woke and frantically shook the Ranger awake.
“Kemosabe! Look toward sky, what you see?” he asked.
The Ranger rolled on his back and looked up.
“I see millions of stars Tonto, why?”
“What that tell you?” asked Tonto.
The Ranger pondered this for awhile. He rubbed his eyes and stuck a finger up his nose.
“Well”, he said after a few minutes, “astronomically, it tells me there are literally millions of galaxies out there. As for time, it tells me that it is approximately 3:15 in the morning. Theologically, it tells me the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant beings. Finally meteorologically, it tells me we’re gonna have a humdinger of a day tomorrow. What does it tell you Tonto?”
Tonto shook his head. “It tells me, you dumber than buffalo shit….somebody stole our tent!”