This is a fan fiction story based on characters from the Lonesome Dove television show,
which belong to Rysher Entertainment and Hallmark. No infringement on copyrights is intended.
Sorry I didnít have this beta-read, but I did use spell check. My thanks to Bobbie.


Clay Mosby ran his thumb across his bottom lip and smiled when the stage arrived and his order was unloaded. He had waited a long time for the shipment, many months. But they had finally come, all the way from San Francisco. Ike hopped from foot to foot excitedly and Austin grabbed at the string-tied boxes. Mosby slapped Austinís hand away and glared at him. "Be patient!"

Austin glowered and rubbed his hand and pouted. He stepped back and waited for the parcels to be unloaded and carried into the Ambrosia Club.

Clay sorted through the boxes and handed one to each of his loyal henchmen. The men eagerly accepted them and scampered off to inspect the contents. Soon the bar was filled with happy chatter, while the men compared their brand new corsets and frocks.

With a squeal of joy, Ike inspected the brand new corset, and bright-pink gown, embellished with pearlized buttons. "They had my size! They did, they did!" He held the soft-leather button and bow shoes next to the dress. "Oh my joy. A perfect match!"

Austin carefully unfolded his corset and sweet, cotton gingham number he had personally picked out. He beamed with happiness.

Carter, the bartender smoothed the wrinkles out of his simple skirt and blouse and tied his apron back on, to keep the new garments clean. "Wouldnít want to spill anything on this."

"Hey Ike, button me," Austin said. He brushed the crisp fabric lovingly.

Ike quickly secured the lime-green gingham dress, then turned around. "Lace my corset."

Austin pulled the laces tight, giving Ike a sweet girlish figure. "Where are my shoes?" He dug through the box, but the shoes were no where to be found. "I canít arrest anyone without my shoes."

Suddenly the room went silent and all eyes looked to the top of the stairs where Clay Mosby stood. The embroidered, devil-red hoop skirt complemented his dark-brown hair and amber eyes. He stood poised and proper for a moment before descending the stairs, to the envious ooohís and aaahís of his bulletproof, corseted men.

Call walked into the dimly lit bar and froze. He narrowed his eyes and glared at Mosby and the boys. They had set the fashion standard a rung higher and he knew it. "Damn you, Mosby," he cried, and backed slowly out of the saloon.

Luther stopped and slapped Call on the back. "How about a drink?" he asked.

Call snatched Luther by the arm and dragged him down the street to the Number Ten. He stopped and stared back at the AC for a second. "Tell me, Luther. Do these pants make my butt look big to you?"

Luther bent over and looked at Callís butt. "Nah, you look just fine," he said. "What about me?" He ran his massive hands up and down his rear.

"No, you ainít too big."

They continued to the Number Ten. Carefully avoiding Amandaís gravity defying chassis, the two men found a table and sat. "I should have known something was up when Mosby bought all those side-saddles."

"What are you talking about, Call?" Luther downed a shot of whiskey and picked at a warm strudel Amanda had brought them. "Whatís up?"

Call ran his fingers down his dirty shirt and sighed. Oh, how he wanted one of those soft, colorful frocks. "Ainít important," he muttered. He drank his warm beer in silence.

"It isnít proper," Amanda broke the quiet moment. "They all look better than I do...except for maybe Ike."

"Ike canít help what nature saw fit to give him." Luther observed. He licked his sticky fingers. "He just needs to learn how to accessorize."

With a slam of his glass on the table, Call stood and stalked out of the bar. "I ainít going to talk about it anymore." He wasnít sure where he was headed, but he knew he had to get away.

*****

Clay and the boys sashayed over to the Lonesome Dove to get brunch. He gracefully lifted his skirt up out of the mud and pranced across the street.

Ike was light-headed with joy. He twirled around in circles, his full skirt flaring around his hairy, bare legs. Mosby slapped him on the back of the head. "We have an image to uphold. Behave."

Ike hung his head and sulked. He tugged on the hem of his crocheted shawl. "I must have gotten a bit carried away. Iím sorry."

Austin snickered and stuck his tongue out at Ike. "Nah, nah."

They stepped coyly into the Lonesome Dove and sat at a table, waiting to be served. Mosby glanced up and gasped. There at a far table sat a hostile cattle baron who was wearing the exact same dress. His eyes blazed with anger Ė the designer had assured him the outfit was an original. Before he could react, the stranger flung back his table and challenged Mosbyís right to wear the red dress.

"Thatís my dress!" The man yelled across the room. "How dare you!"

"From what I can see, yours is nothing more than a cheap knock off!" Mosby threw his napkin on the table and gave the man a venomous look. "A second hand rag!"

The cattle baronís eyes grew wide with rage. "Take that back! You take that back."

"And your shoes need a good polish," Clay added out of spite.

Ike snorted and stuck out his chin. "Yeah!" He chimed in. "Polish those shoes!"

Clay turned to Ike for a second. "Shut-up Ike."

The cattle baron quickly pitched a dinner roll, bouncing it off of Mosbyís head. "Spiteful harpy!" He glanced down at his shoes. They were right, the shoes could use a polishing, but that was beside the point. "Take it back, or back it up!"

"Outside, in two hours," Mosby said. "After brunch and my manicure."

"Make it three, Iím getting my hair done this afternoon." The cattle baron tossed his napkin on the floor and stalked out of the Dove. "My men and I will tear this town apart."

"That went well," Clay said to his corseted cronies, "donít you think?"

They all nodded in agreement and proceeded to enjoy their brunch in peace.

The time passed quickly and word spread. Once again, the streets would be alive with the sounds of gunfire and over-testosteroned men bent on destroying one another. The citizens were elated Ė things had been pretty slow lately. Quickly, the street was hosed down for optimum mud production.

Josiah measured the depth and texture of the wet earth. He smiled. A job well done. "Never let anyone say that Curtis Wells doesnít have an excellent public works department."

Unbob ambled down the street in his Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirt. He sat his folding chair next to Callís bench and adjusted a large parasol. Unbobís pigs lounged under the chair, peacefully grunting. "You seen Call?" he asked Luther and Amanda when they walked by.

"No, Unbob. Not since this morning," Amanda said. She stood by him and waited for the action to begin.

Mosby and his fearless men stood on the wooden walk and surveyed the muddy street. "I distinctly remember telling them, no mud. Never when Iím wearing satin."

"Well, now Iím glad my shoes didnít come." Austin held up a bare foot and wriggled his toes.

Ike and the rest removed their new, dainty shoes. They hiked their skirts up out of mud range and walked into the mire.

Clay Mosby led the way. He worried that his holster threw the whole outfit off, but it was too late to change. He didnít bother to check and see if the revolver was loaded. Clay didnít have to Ė he was the star. "We both know that neither one of us is going to back down, so we may as well just start shooting," he called to the cattlemen, whose hair now sported blonde highlights and a nice wave.

"Okay, fine by me," the man said. He adjusted his frock and pulled a knit shawl off of his shoulders. The cattle baron handed the wrap to one of his cowboys, a man who wore a pale purple housecoat and clunky sandals.

Austin turned and whispered discreetly to Ike. "These men have no fashion sense whatsoever."

Ike nodded in agreement and chuckled. "Those colors are atrocious. They are so last year."

Suddenly the shooting started and confusion reigned. Mud flew every which way, but somehow Mosby stayed clean. His Scotch-Guarding really paid off.

The bullets flew, striking the corset stays and ricocheting off Clay and his men. Sadly, the cattle tycoonís men were just poorly written extras, and werenít wearing protective corsets. The cowboys were swiftly dispatched, leaving the cattle baron to stand alone.

Mattie Shaw watched the conflict, then shook her head in disgust. Men! Always having to settle things with fists or guns. She stomped across the muddy street toward her gun shop. "Iíve seen more than enough of this nonsense," she said.

Without warning, the cattle baron snatched Mattie off of the street. He held her as a shield and aimed at Mosby. "Once more, Iím going to tell you to take off that dress."

"In your dreams." Mosby aimed at the man. "Let her go, now!"

"Never!" the cattle baron yelled. He sputtered with rage. "Not as long as you insist on wearing my dress!" A shot rang out and the man dropped.

Mattie whirled. "Call! I had everything under control!"

Call sat on his bench. He wore a leather mini-skirt and a crocheted halter top. A gold ring adorned his bellybutton. He still wore his worn cowboy boots, but on some level they acually worked with the overall outfit. "I was just trying to help."

Amanda stood nearby, her rigid bosom slowly deflating from a bullet deflected by Mosbyís corset. "Nooo, Iíll never work again," she cried.

Mosby stared at Newt Call for a moment, then turned toward the Ambrosia Club. He stepped over a cowboyís body that had already begun to sink into the thick mud. "Call," he yelled back. "Cross your legs. We can see everything."

My apologies. I had a lot of time on my hands today.
Joanne Long
2/27/00

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