film

Short stories

ALFERD PACKER

 

THE STORY YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS TRUE.
Pretty much.

In 1874 Alferd Packer advertised himself as a guide, shepherding would-be prospectors through the fearful Rocky Mountains. It appears that Alferd probably did have a good sense of direction, but he was seasonally challenged.

On his last excursion, he guided five prospectors over a high Colorado Plateau, only to find that his timing was somewhat off, and the six men quickly found themselves snowbound in the treacherous mountains.

Being of a practical bent, when the rations ran out, and feeling a bit peckish, Alferd did what any of us would do in when caught in such desperate circumstances. He killed all 5 of his clients, stashed them in a snowdrift, and used them as munchies until the spring thaw arrived.

Unfortunately, territorial law frowned on such pragmatism, and when the remains of the feast were discovered, (Alferd apparently had an aversion to cleanliness which was almost as large as his appetite,) he was arrested and tried for murder.

But even in 1874 as so often happens in our own era, the case was not judged strictly on it's merits, but political considerations reared their ugly heads.

Alferd's judge declared, "There was only six Democrats in all of Hinsdale County, an you et five of 'em!" and sentenced poor Alferd to hang.

But the story ends on a happier note. Almost.

In 1977, fearing that the name of Alferd Packer would be lost in the mists of history, the Department of Agriculture dedicated it's Washington D.C. cafeteria to him.

Unfortunately, the General Services Administration, which ran the cafeteria, thought this was in bad taste and had the bronze plaque removed. But long time Washington appointees still claim that during the first snows of winter, the cafeteria meatloaf has a unique flavor. Some people say it tastes a lot like chicken.

Copyright 1998 by Luther Conant III

 
...
  Write to Luther at Luther@lutheroutloud.com. Tell him what you think, what you know, how you feel, or what made you feel like writing.
 
All images, text, animations,and music 2000 By Luther C. Conant III (unless where otherwise noted.)