Saturday, 21 July 2012
An extract from Wild Bill Williams by Jack Martin
There was nary a frown when Wild Bill Williams was in town. He had a way about his manner that enabled most folks to forget all their troubles and become positively festive. It was said that Bill could start off a dance at a funeral and carve a grin out of the most granite of faces.
He had been born a Welshman; in a village called Gilfach Goch, a name that was unpronounceable to all but himself. But as a young man of fifteen summers, with no compulsion to go and work in the coalmines, those same mines that had aged his father beyond his years, he had had set out in search of adventure and found himself stowed away on a ship making the Atlantic crossing to the United States. He’d landed in New York and after a few aimless years had started out West in search of the future he had in mind for himself.
“Go West, Young Man, and grow up with the country”, The New York Tribune had advised in striking headlines that had filled men such as Bill Williams with optimism for a future on the rugged frontier. It had seemed Bill’s destiny to follow the westward trail. What that destiny was no one, Bill included, knew.
Indeed if Bill had ever known what he had intended to do with his life then he’d long forgotten. And these days he just walked through life happy-go-lucky and faced whatever fate threw at him.
Fate sure did like to interfere with Wild Bill Williams....
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