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Runnin Iron

©Julia Elliott 12/13/19

The story is fiction – mostly – the tool and what it’s use was, is very real.

In the late 1800’s early 1900’s, New Mexico and Arizona were preparing to enter Statehood.

Tumultuous times; gunfights in almost every town; and remote cantinas. Hangings for all manner of offenses. (Illustration)

Hole diggers, preachers and coffin makers were busy 24 seven. Business was ‘booming’ it could easily be said.


And those dead folks were only the ones known about. There were more.

Many, many more.

They arrived in these wild towns – and some managed to leave alive. Try for their own fortunes, however they could, only to meet the same isolated defeat of death; many were left for vulture fodder; few buried.


It was the reality of that erra. Survive and prosper – or – don’t and die. Few, if any cared; few, if anyone, tried to find out fates.

Chapter One


This may seem strange to a lot of folks reading this – but I am runnin iron. Not a name – but a thing – a tool of the early West.

I will tell parts of this story as it goes along – other parts will be told by those who handled me.

I came into being in a small town along what’s now the New Mexico – Texas border. Forged in fire, sparks, intense heat and hammer blows. Quenched in cold water – then processed again and again – until you see me as I am.


A length of hardened iron with a very special curl on one end.

A cattleman ordered me from the Smithy. Took the Smith a full day to fashion my worth. The cattleman paid for me and tied me across the outside pommel of his saddle – mounted – and headed north – into the unknown of New Mexico.


It was late fall – cattle were still being moved toward the rail head in Magdalena; even as a piece of newly forged and fully purposed steel – I could sense anxiety & excitement in this rancher… His horse felt it too.

Several hours later dust could be seen from the tail end of the drive, ever headed westward.


The dust spread far and soon began settling on rider, horse and me.

A rider was pounding up from behind – I felt the vibration through horse n saddle I was strapped to.

Gunshot vibrations.

Horse stopped.

Cattleman’s weight shifted – felt him grab me – then release – then gone…


Horse shied as the shooter came up and grabbed the reigns of cattleman’s horse.

Then all kept moving toward the cattle trail dust.

Camping – I could feel the heat from the fire – then was untied from the saddle & taken to the fire; placed in the hottest part of the fire; held and turned. Turned. Turned.


I could feel my purpose.

Was taken out and pushed into a log, created smoke and fire and pulled free. It was my first demonstration as runnin iron.


I was not found wanting.


Chapter Two

Chad now had two good horses & what seemed to be an excellent running iron. Looked like it could alter the best and worst of brands; heated fast and held that heat too.

Dawn coming – coffee done he saddled both horses – tied the iron in front of the pommel of the horse he chose to ride this day; the dead man’s mount.

They started off after the cattle drive.

As he moved down the trail, Chad looked up toward the brightening horizon, he could see lightning in the distance – gauged it might reach his area about high noon. Plenty of time to get to the meeting spot.

McCaully, Raoul and he were joining up at the track which led to the mountains and ran adjacent to the drive trail. They would do their planning a couple miles into that ride, at their first camp.

True – he hadn’t known them that long, barely the few days they spent just inside Texas – chasing women – and catching em too!

But they seemed real interested when on the night of their departure North, he outlined his plan to peel a few beef off the drive they knew about.

Had to get his horse re-shod next day, so he stayed behind – McCaully and Raoul went ahead.

In the morning he was at the Smithy’s… Horse was shod & as he’s leaving, he noticed the cattleman pull up, dismount and began asking about doing a piece of iron work. How much, how long?

Curiosity got better of Chad – he stuck around til the cattleman rode back into town.

Then he watched the Smithy work for a bit.

Half hour into it Chad figured it out.

Runnin iron.

Had to be.

He left n rode a few miles out of town, found a nice shady arroyo a distance off the main trail and got comfortable.

Late that afternoon, after a stage and small group of cavalry went by – finally the solo cattleman – with the iron lashed across and in front of the saddle pommel.

Chad waited another half hour to make sure no one was behind the rider, then took up the pace with him.

He knew a spot and no one was around.

Chapter Three


Runnin iron here, and gotta say this isn’t turning out well – for the cattleman for sure.

Deeds like this never lead to much good – usually, to much bad and more bad. But since I’m just a piece of fresh iron – what do I know…

Something in the air though, a kind of electric feeling.


Chad was happy with his progress and prize. Now just to see where his two potential partners might fit in – if they showed.

Late mid morning and maybe another hour or so to meeting point. Storm was still coming but not as fast. “I’ll keep watch – might help with the plan” he thinks.

[To be continued of course ©J Elliott]

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I Was Just Told…

If I diselieved ‘God’ – I also disbelieved evil exists…

By someone I ‘believed’ I knew as an acquaintance then a friend for over 20 years.

He’s not a spotless guy either…

Where do ‘God’ people come off telling those who don’t believe “what they must believe or else”? Superiority complex? Comfort of ‘being forgiven’ for all ‘sins’ – forever? Fear of someone who might be onto something? Fear of self examination?

Dunno… But when someone out of hand tells me, threatens me in such a way… I’m finito with ’em.

The 20 years plus turns to dust & blows away in the wind without regret. Well, not much regret anyway – other than to say fairly big disappointment… I’ve learned this is the best way to handle ignorance of others… Get them out of what life you have.

I’ve self developed into as decent a human as walks on spaceship earth. The evolution to this point has been done by introspection, outward experience – good & very bad – polishing the better & ridding the bad.

No ‘God’ involved ever noticed.

Debating all day & night about biblical writings are fruitless, to me. Whole thing was scribed/written by ‘human hand n mind’.

“Blasphemy!” you yell..

“Fiction!” I say back… Loudly.

Religious sparring…

I look over my dead doggo’s graves & tell them I love them yet & always… It’s all they ever wanted – it’s all I ever wanted for them & myself.

But they’re both dead early – so I failed them miserably – I did… No ‘God’ involved.

‘God’ & religion of any kind is all based on threat.

“You must do this or that” or you’ll go to hell for eternity!…

That worked well for all the kids abused by all the religious heads doesn’t and didn’t it? For all abused and murdered by government officials – most called ‘Christian’?

As far as ‘good’ humans go – I prefer to keep improving much as I can in my own way.

I’m very little different from all the vaunted ‘Christians’ – in some instances better because I don’t accuse any of them for their belief in ‘God/Christ’ and the tennets that come with that.

But some meet me with vehement comments – such as former ‘friend’ mentioned.

I won’t ‘change’ – other than to get better.

And I won’t “go to hell” either. It’s here, everywhere. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, District of Columbia all parts cross this Nation.

With one solitary man valiantly trying to roll back a horror which has grown up since the 1700’s and before. President Trump.

Enough ‘hell’ for all…right here on top of the earth; we’ve all arrived within striking distance – no matter our beliefs or where we live…

Last but not least Twitter:

Seems most Conservatives on here classify themselves as Christians & Trump supporters.

Many (most) will drop off my ‘followers’ list once this is read. No one should feel discomfort regarding who they follow.

It’s just another ‘tell’ of who we all are.

Life… Int it?

Everyone be safe.

❣️🐾🐾💞 JE

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“The Dark Underbelly of the Dog Rescue Industry”

The title is a quote from a conversation with a Houston Texas, animal attorney.

Since the 28th of October a few people have been trying to secure an adoption of a dog ‘advertised’ on various levels of Social Media, and housed in Houston’s Harris County Animal Shelter.

Right at the beginning there was a ‘mix up’ of some sort by a representative of the adoptor; the ‘wrong dog was pulled’ but ostensibly the correct one was still available. Two people at the scene (Harris County) spent a lot of time trying to straighten it all out – to no avail… Harris was not budging. We likely will never know why.

Then Harris supposedly granted the dog to Day of the Dog rescue (which seems it’s a shill rescue – tied at the hip with Harris County Animal Control.)

Adoptors are supposed to take precedence over ‘rescues’.

Didn’t happen and the potential FUREVER pet parent was devastated by losing out. Harris was contact the 29th to find answers of where she was – who to contact for adoption. One person said she was gone – another person said she was still there, but on hold for Day of the Dog ‘rescue’.

DotD did not respond to requests.

This animal accrued quite a bit in donation pledges – particularly on FB.

On the 30th doggo was discovered on FB – being used to collect more pledges/donations.

Contact was made asking to adopt again. Semi Luke warm response – then nothing. I began sending Faxes to Harris, asking for assistance to adopt this gurl. No response. Until the third Fax.

Then an email from an entity named Rescue Me stated it was in response to the fax & she was no longer at Harris – location unknown.

There was no answer to my response either.

I contacted a Houston animal attorney to see us there was a way to hold anyone accountable for what seemed to be shenannigans of everyone involved. It had become too bizzare to make any sense whatsoever.

Darned if she (not using her name as didn’t ask permission) didn’t call! First few sentences & explaining – she said it sounded like a major mix up. Paused then got into the meat of the matter when she realized how upset I was.

Paraphrasing: “Most of the rescue industry is crooked. It’s sad but this is the truth of it – most are out to make money of these animals & that’s it.

They aren’t really interested in ‘saving them’ and most of these recues are on power trips trying to outdo one another – run by older bitch women.”

She goes on to say she herself got caught up in the horror of it and finally wound up buying a purebred from a reputable breeder.

“Nothing can be done as these people have discovered how to ‘work the system & internet”…

I thank her for all the story and was relieved to not be crazy. Her response was swift “Definitely NOT crazy!!!”

The call ended.

Have already shared a portion of this to those interested.

Today – by a rescue facillitator – 11/02/19 doggo leaving for illinois 11/03/19. I don’t believe any of it anymore – Pure Bull shit by professional liars.

Was also told doggo was ill.

If the facillitator follows this my bet is the doggo will be announced as having died during transit.

I also don’t believe gurldawg ever existed. She was always just a money making pic/vid, of the “Dark Underbelly”.

Doesn’t get much sadder does it?

Those of you who’ve tried to help in all sincerity – Thank you for the doggos you have saved – the rest of you can roast in a hot place.

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Sketch Samples & Other Artworks

I’ve begun to sketch again & am offering service to those folks who’ve lost a companion.

This is a hard route for those involved, so am doing remembrance work no charge – can’t see making dollars off a loss like that, of animals. Ok

I will estimate amounts on humans, however, living or departed & also on living animals; usually $1.50 per square inch in sizes ranging from approx 8×8 inches upward.The complimentary remembrance work originals turn out at roughly 8×8 or a bit larger.

Sketch work is loose & appealing and I generally work with Prismacolors, graphite, charcoal or a combination thereof – on light tan Bienfang fine art paper.

Included are some samples past & present, which are by no means all of it 😄Contact via email: or DM on Twitter @Elliott68150257Thank you for reviewing…🐾🐾❣️❣️🐾🐾




Rustico Animation: