Tombstone Silver

Billy Typhon

Billy Typhon is the story of a mysterious stranger who watches an even more mysterious activity in the middle of Allen Street on a chilly October afternoon.

Listen To The Story

Read The Story

It was a chilly October afternoon in 1881. Billy Typhon was standing at the window of Brown's Hotel looking down onto Allen Street. Brown's Hotel is above Hafford's saloon on the corner of Fourth and Allen and there was a lot of activity on the street. Billy liked watching the people, horses, and wagons that moved up and down the street, he liked the noise of the buskers trying to make a few dollars, and even the occasional bar fight that spilled out into the street.

This particular October afternoon, Billy watched three well-dressed men calmly walking side-by-side down the middle of Allen Street toward the hotel. When the people in the street noticed them they stepped aside and let the men pass, like water parting before a boat in a river. Two of the men were older and walked confidently toward some appointment, but the third was younger and seemed a little more hesitant somehow. They stopped almost directly in front of Billy's window and one of them entered Hafford's saloon. After a few moments, he came back out into the street with another man -- so now there were four. They spoke briefly, turned the corner onto Fourth Street, and then disappeared from Billy's view.

Billy continued to watch the people and traffic on the street below, but about ten minutes later he heard some muffled shouts off in the distance. Shortly after that, he heard the sharp report of gunfire, a lot of gunfire, lasting only a few seconds. He noticed the citizens on the street began to run for cover and disappear inside buildings. Even those on horseback or driving wagons turned away from that gunfire and rode off as quickly as possible. Billy figured that they knew that gunfights often killed innocent bystanders and no one wanted to be in the middle of that.

In only a few minutes, the street had cleared and Billy was amazed that the business district full of people hustling to get someplace had changed almost instantly into the deserted street of a ghost town. He soon noticed three young men walking up the middle of Allen Street away from where the gunshots had just rung out. They were alone in the street and walked slowly and silently, looking only straight ahead. They were in no particular hurry to get anyplace and they ignored the buildings that they passed. It was almost like time was standing still.

They stopped in front of Billy's window and the closest man slowly turned his head and looked directly into Billy's eyes. The man was pale and thin, and his face was frozen into an emotionless mask. Most disturbingly, Billy noticed what seemed to be a bullet hole dripping a thin trickle of blood down the man's pale, dusty cheek. Then the man smiled and his yellowed teeth peeked from between heat-cracked lips. But there was no joy in that smile; rather, it was the sign of a resignation to a fate the man did not want.

Next, a swirling dust devil rose up in the middle of Allen Street directly in front of those three men. It grew larger and taller, powered by an unfelt wind until it stretched beyond Billy's gaze far into the sky. Slowly, the man farthest from Billy briefly shimmered in the sunlight and then, starting from his head and ending at his dusty boots, he vaporized into smoke. His essence circled that vortex three times, drawing ever closer, until he was sucked its core and vanished forever into the sky above. Immediately after that, the second man briefly shimmered in the sunlight, disintegrated, circled the vortex, and then vanished like the first. Finally, the third man vanished in exactly the same way, except that he never took his eyes off of Billy until there were no eyes left. It seemed to Billy that just before that last man vanished, his eyes widened slightly as he finally recognized Billy's true identity. Immediately after that, the dust devil simply dissipated into the air, the last of it swirling briefly in the street before disappearing entirely and leaving no trace of any of those men.

Shortly after that, the citizens began to reappear on Allen Street and within a few minutes, it was as alive as before. They seemed to be unaware of the three men, the dust devil, or anything that Billy had just witnessed. For his part, Billy stood at that window for just a few minutes longer, and then he smiled broadly. He briefly shimmered in the sunlight and then, starting from his head, vaporized into smoke. He was sucked out the window and upwards into an empty sky, unseen by any of the people on the street below.

A guest who entered that hotel room at exactly the same moment that Billy vanished reported the strange sound of hooves clattering on the floor, a burning stench, and thin wisps smoke swirling out the open window.