Ulysses Alton Stillwater
A.k.a. The Coyote Kid
Height: 6’, 1"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Build: Tall cool drink of good looking kid
Features: brown hair, blue eyes
Mannerisms: Coyote is an unassuming, quiet but friendly young man. Unlike most gunfighters Coyote is not a braggart but rather lets his actions speak for him.
Ulysses was born on an independent homestead near a small town in Kansas. His parents are typical prairie farmers raising a family and scraping out a life from the land. From a young age Ulysses was a natural shot and quickly became the most successful hunter in the family. When he was 13 the farms around the local town were having trouble with a pack of coyotes disturbing livestock, so the Mayor put up a $50 reward for whoever brought the most pelts in by the end of the month. Ulysses brought in over twice as many as the runner up. From then on his friends started calling him “The Coyote Kid”. The nickname started as a joke but stuck and is often just shortened to Coyote. After that most folk he met learned his name as Coyote and often didn’t hear his real name for some time after.
At the age of 15, Coyote was running some errands for the family in town when trouble broke. The local law man, Sheriff Dixon was confronting a member of the Thomson Gang in a real shoot out on Main Street. As bullets started flying, Coyote and the rest of the townsfolk all ran inside for cover. Curiosity getting the better of him, he stayed near the door so he could see what was happening. As the Sheriff exchanged fire with the leader, 2 other members of the gang were running behind the General Store to get the drop on the lawman. Seeing that the Sheriff was about to get gunned down, Coyote sprang into action. In a move of half desperation and half youthful stupidity he jumped out and shouted for the attention of the two flankers. They turned, saw the youth attempting to interfere and drew their side arms. Before they could draw a bead on the boy, Coyote’s Winchester came alive and dropped both thugs in the blink of an eye. The distraction was all that the sheriff needed to put a slug into his opponent’s shoulder and disarm the gang leader. After the dust cleared, the Sheriff saw what Coyote had done and thanked him for saving his life. With the next breath he scolded the boy for doing one of the stupidest things he had ever heard of. From that point on Sheriff Dixon started taking an interest in the youth and had thoughts of grooming him for a future deputy position.
As the boy matured he found himself being asked to do more for the town and the Sheriff. He was proving to be reliable and able to handle himself out on the open prairie between the towns that dot the Kansas frontier. At the age of 19, he was on one such journey when he came along an abandoned covered wagon in open ground. He stopped to investigate and found a gruesome sight. The apparent owners, a young couple headed east, slumped in the back of the wagon each with a bullet wound to the head. The shots were fatal but somewhat recent as the blood was still wet. Coyote looked around for any evidence as to what happened but found little of interest and even less of value. Whoever killed the couple took whatever they may have had that was worth taking.
Just as he was about to get down off the wagon he heard the sounds of horses approaching, fast. As he climbed down 2 men approached on horseback. Coyote covered his eyes and squinted to get a good look at them in the distance and noticed the sun glinting off of gold stars worn on their chest. As the men came to a halt, Coyote pointed to the wagon “Thank God you’re here! It looks like there has been a murder and robbery”. As the boy turned to show the Deputies what he found he heard the sound pistols cocking and slowly turned to find himself at gunpoint.
“Well, look at what we got here, Roy!” The younger of the two scruffy looking men said behind an aimed 6 shooter.
“Looks like a two time killer, and a robber to boot!” chuckled Roy through a toothpick in his mouth. ”Now how about loosin’ that jewelry, real slow like.” He motioned to the 2 Colts hanging in Coyote’s gun belt. He boy paused for just a second to consider drawin on the 2 but decided they were more than ready to throw down. Besides, he thought, they’re lawmen. Once I explain to them that I didn’t do it, they’ll listen to reason.
Several hours later, Coyote found himself sitting in a jail cell. The two Deputies told him to just wait until the Sheriff came round. For the next 3 days they proceeded to sit around the sheriff’s office, drink whisky and take turns “checkin on the Hookshop”, which he later learned was them going to the brothel in town. After the third day the Sheriff finally made an appearance. As soon as he slid into the jail house, Coyote’s hopes for redemption were dashed. He may not have been the best judge of character but Coyote knew what a lawman looked like, and this here sheriff looked more like a rustler than a lawman.
As the man entered ha paused to look at Coyote and then turned to the two half drunk deputies. “What’s this I hear about you two catching a murderer? I thought I told you to take care of them farmers that just sold their land with the Ghost Rock vein? I don’t recall tellin you to do no law work…”
“Yea well, we did take care of them, it’s just that we had a little problem” the thug known as Roy chirped back to the sheriff.
“Yea, Sheriff Carolw! We was just finishen that off when this here tenderfoot came ridin along” the young and eager deputy added”
“Shuddup Glenn” said Roy.”We just did them in when we heard someone coming. We took cover and this kid here came ridin up. Not knowin what you’d want us to do, we brought him here and pinned the murder on him…” Roy’s voice trailed off as he saw the anger arise in the Sheriff’s face.
“Well, if you would have just shot him and buried all the bodies we’d be all clear with all the gold. But no, you two idiots had to think! And now the word is out about you two ‘heroes’ and we have to continue with this charade!” Sheriff Carlow rubbed his forehead in frustration. “Look, go set up the gallows and then stay outta my sight! We’ll hang him at sundown tomorrow and so help me I’m just looking for a reason to add you two up there with him!” At that the thugs scrambled out of the office faster than Coyote had seen them move yet.
The sheriff then turned to size up his prisoner. “You got a name greenie?” A large wad of chew spit landed at Coyote’s feet. The boy stood up slow and looked the crooked sheriff right in the eye. “They call me Coyote” he grinned. The sheriff returned the look “Really…Coyote what?”
“The Coyote Kid” he pronounced defiantly.
“Well Coyote Kid” the sheriff mocked. “I hope you had a good run, ‘cause it comes to a close tomorrow” With that, the sheriff checked his gun, adjusted his hat and walked out into the night leaving Coyote alone in the jail, terrified.
The next day was mostly a blur. Coyote kept trying to think of with a way to escape his predicament but kept coming up blank as he stared at the steel bars of his jail cell. Before he knew it the shadows started to lengthen as sundown approached.
He was lead out of the jail house, hands bound and the sheriff pointing his revolver at his back. The thug Glenn was leading him along and talking excitedly the whole time. “Yessir! We gonna hang us a murderer! Wait till you see what we got set up here! He hee! We don’t hang folks regular around here, no sir! We like everyone to see what happens to those that run afoul of Sheriff Carlow!” he yammered on as they came to the main intersection in town. The first building on the left looked like a three story Inn of some sort, and that seemed to be where they were leading him. Suddenly Glenn yanked on his hair and forced his gaze upward. On top of the inn there appeared to be a gallows right at the edge. “That’s where you’re headin! Right where everyone can see!” the corrupt deputy beamed with pride over the sheriff’s cleverness.
Up on the roof, Coyote’s knees started to buckle. He never was good with heights and he sure was never up on anything this tall. As they led him to the edge we knew he should be fighting back but he could not take his eyes off the drop and hardly realized it when they slipped the noose over his neck. At that he looked up and was staring at the prettiest sunset he had ever seen. The huge orange ball was just teasing the edge of the horizon and Coyote was faintly aware of Sheriff Carlow giving some kind of speech to the masses gathered on the ground below to witness the grim spectacle.
Just as the boy was realizing that it was all going to end this way, all hell broke loose on the rooftop. Next to him, Glenn’s chest exploded with an exit wound, and the Deputy tumbled off the rooftop down to the screaming crowd below. Coyote slowly turned around to see sheriff Dixon, crouching behind the rooftop doorway, in a shootout with Sheriff Carlow and Deputy Roy. Suddenly coming aware, he slipped his head out of the noose and started sawing at the ropes binding his wrists with the edge of the roof. As he worked his hands free he saw Roy take one in the shoulder and spin around to land on the roof face down. Sheriff Dixon the leaped up and shouted :”Run boy!” as he emptied his revolver towards Carlow as covering fire for Coyote. Just as he was passing by his rescuer, the downed thug Roy came to and aimed one right at Dixon. Eyes going wide, Coyote’s friend stated to slump down grabbing his gut. Quickly Coyote caught him around the chest and charged into the stairwell and slammed the door. Breathing heavy and spitting blood, the sheriff kept alert and started to tie the door shut with a hastily removed gun belt. “I heard about what was going on in this town. Knowing you and knowing that damn Carlow, I knew I’d better check up in ye..” A sound from behind the door elicited a gunshot from Dixon through the door to keep the enemies at bay. “Now GO! My horse is tied up behind the jail house and I stopped to get your guns back. Now Run and don’t look back!’
“But what about you!?!”
“ I’ve been gut shot kid. I can hold em off for a while, but I’m done for. Don’t go home, that’s the first place they’ll look for you.” While talking, the dying lawman was busily re-loading his gun.
Full of shock, outrage, relief but mostly fear, Coyote ran down the stairs and out to find a new life…