Iragene Jones, New Mexico Sheriff Series

“New Beginnings”

By Jesse J Elliot


If yur too dam ruff

Then yur too dam drunk


Yur too dam mean

For this establishment and you aint wanted here!



The gaudily dressed and overly made-up woman banged the small room’s door 

open and hollered to the younger woman.  “Marnie, run and get the Sheriff, she’s in town 

tonight and we need her now!”

The younger woman, free of make-up and in the middle of delicately 

embroidering a blouse, quickly placed the needle in a safe position, threw on her shawl, 

and asked, “What shall I tell her?”

The older woman shot back, “The usual, a drunken S.O.B. hurting one of the 

girls, this time Matty.  Jenny heard her safety bell.  Now, hurry!”

The girl ran to the center of the town, a good 10 minute run since Mrs. Brown had 

been asked to build her establishment back in the trees away from town.  The girl was out 

of breath, and her sides were aching, but she sprang open the Sheriff’s door and loudly 

told the Sheriff that one of Mrs. Brown’s girls was in trouble. 

Iragene Jones, Sheriff of El Brazo County, New Mexico Territory, snarled and 

swore under her breath, hoping Marnie wouldn’t hear her.  She wasn’t angry that the girl 

was from Mrs. Brown’s but angry that so many men were so willing to hurt the working 

girls so frequently.  Iragene had encouraged Mrs. Brown to hire a strongman for 

incidences such as this, but good, strong men were not always so willing to work at a 

whorehouse or follow Mrs. Brown’s rules—no dallying with the girls.

Noting that Marnie was breathing so hard, Iragene encouraged her to stay until 

she caught her breath.  Gratefully, the girl sat down in the office and relaxed.  She sat 

there expressionless and thought pensively about how she arrived in this out of the way 

world and how she had ended up in a whorehouse, sewing and designing clothes for the 

girls and the few townspeople daring enough to ask the resident of a whorehouse to sew 

for them.  This sure wasn’t what she had imagined her life to be.

New Mexico was a long way from St. Louis, and she often found herself 

wondering about how she ever arrived here.  She looked at the ring on her right hand, her 

mother’s wedding ring, the last thing of value she owned and the last object from her past 

life.  Was it only six months ago that her mother had died and left her alone?  She sighed 

and walked out the door, trying to think about nothing and meandered back to Mrs. 


Iragene ran to the whorehouse.  She was in better shape than Marnie, and getting 

her horse and saddling it would have taken too long.  She arrived at the building and 

bolted up the stairs in time to hear Mrs. Brown demanding that a large, naked patron 

dress and get out of her house immediately. 

He turned away from the badly beaten girl and started towards Mrs. Brown.  

Iragene walked in and pulled her gun, ordering that he stop where he was and put his 

hands up.  He saw her for the first time and then laughed.  He wasn’t a pretty picture. He 

was unshaved, dirty and hairy, and he was huge, everywhere. 

“Hell, I don’t need to put no hands up.  I’m done with the whore.  Yur a purty 

little thing.  Yur next, Honey.”  Iragene looked him over quickly.  His fist and his other 

appendage let her know he was very serious.  She knew she had to do something since 

the distance between them was short, and he could leap and subdue her quickly.

 “Mister, you have one chance to get dressed and come with me or I’ll shoot you 

right here.”

He was big and drunk, but he chose to take his chances with the woman who 

challenged him.  Knowing she had no choice, she lowered her gun and shot him in his