Day 54 – The Defender

When a man is in trouble; when he cannot pay for his family’s food because his leg broke while laying rails; when a gun is pointed at a man just for being too close to the saloons where the overseers spend their time; when a woman or child is stolen by a law man consumed by lust – that is when Mr. Lightning appears.

Mr. Lightning is six feet tall. Mr. Lightning wears a traditional shirt and pants and shoes, but his hat is made of straw and flat like a White man’s. Mr. Lightning carries a walking stick carved from the sturdiest redwood, one found near the coast, not this deep into the desert. Mr. Lightning’s hands move as fast as his namesake, and his feet can fly like the wind it rides. Mr. Lightning once snatched the head from a rattlesnake’s body before it could even attempt to strike. Mr. Lightning struck a track with his foot, and it bent so badly that the next train derailed.

The first anyone saw of Mr. Lightning, a man was being threatened by his cowboy employer. The big rancher had a mean streak, and it only worsened when he drank, and he drank most of the time. That cowboy was holding the man by the neck in the middle of town, disappointed with the job he had done tying up their horses, threatening to cut off the man’s braid, claiming it would keep him out of heaven.

Then Mr. Lightning was there. He tapped the rancher on the shoulder, asking him to consider releasing his manservant and calmly going about his day. The first half of the request was met, as the cowboy swung his knife toward the throat of Mr. Lightning. But Mr. Lightning struck the knife from his hand with his redwood stick and kicked it into a pile of manure with the top of his foot. The rancher drew his revolver, but Mr. Lightning struck with the Snake Waiting In The Clouds, causing the drunk to drop his gun and stagger backwards, tripping over his feet and falling into a water trough.

So remember: if ever you need help, Mr. Lightning will be there.

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