• Mongolian Cowboys


    Our Story – The Mongolian Cowboys, reunites us with Jacob Anderson, aka Solomon Goldstein, and his sometimes fierce but loyal assistant Norene Yaraslova.  Jacob couldn’t find a job after law school so he followed his wife Jeanie to Rock Springs, Wyoming and started advertising as a mean Jewish attorney, Solomon Goldstein.  For those friends who know him, he is Jacob, for anyone else, he is Sol.




    “Boss, we have company.”


    They were driving up highway 28 headed for the Shoshoni turnoff to Thermopolis – a two-lane seldom-traveled road, even for Wyoming.  Norene was dressed in what she believed was haute couture – everything black – turtleneck, belt, Levi’s, knee high boots with four inch spiked heels, dark grey mascara, then red fingernails and lipstick, hair dyed coal black, and to top off her upscale look – earrings the size and shape of wind chimes. Jacob thought she looked like a vampire from outer space, but knew better than to say so. He was dressed in casual traveling attire – tan pants, blue shirt and blazer, cordovan loafers.  His head against the window, jaw slack, mouth open, breathing heavily – sound asleep.


    Jacob was dreaming about their stop in Lander. Norene had claimed her caffeine level had reached a dangerous low, and she needed a stop.  Lunch was at the Gannett Grill – chicken fried steak, sautéed onions, mashed potatoes with biscuits and double gravy – a garden salad came with his meal, but he gave that to Norene. The food had settled nicely, especially after being topped off by deep-dish apple pie alamode. He hoped Norene would not rat him out to Jeanie, who was threatening to put him on a strict diet if he didn’t lose twenty pounds and rein in the slight bulge that was starting to jut over his belt buckle.  Norene had suggested he start jogging, but Jacob replied,  “It’s a well known fact that many lawyers die from jogging, it’s right behind suicide as a cause of death.”


    Norene had some sort of Vegan dish that had to be made special. Looked like it was prepared for a marine iguana, and had cost twice as much, but it wasn’t worth arguing over. ­  She downed three cups of coffee, and bought a couple of highly caffeinated energy drinks to tide her over until the next stop.


    During lunch he had pressured her once again about concealed weapons.  Sure, it was her constitutional right, and she had a permit, but he insisted that while she was in the office or on business that she not carry.


    Aggrieved and insulted, she responded by pulling off her boots one by one, exposing the locations where she usually carried a pistol and a knife.  He was surprised to see a one-inch tattoo on each inside ankle – a rendering of a Glock and then one of a Spyderco knife – both were done crudely in black – almost as if they came from a drunken impressionist’s school of art.


    “What do you think?” said Norene.  “I think you should get your money back,” Jacob replied, “Looks like the tattoo artist was either going through the DT’s or had advanced Parkinson’s disease.” 


    “I’ll have you know I did these myself, Boss.  The parlor wanted $275, so I bought a beginner’s needle set and ink. Maybe I should have started on someone else, but these are shallow and will wear off in couple of months.  If you won’t let me carry, these will at least give me a sense of protection.” Jacob just rolled his eyes.  “I have my tattoo kit with me if you want me to ink you a small one somewhere.”


    “Boss, Boss, I said wake up.”


    Jacob jerked awake to the distinct roar of a Harley Davidson exhaust – more than one.  A black matte V-Rod pulled up to the side, a helmetless balding man with a pigtail motioned for her to pull over.  Norene just punched the accelerator of the old Mercedes 500 SEL and pulled away.  Ten seconds later the thug appeared again, at 90 mph.  He forcefully kicked the driver’s side door with a hobnailed boot.  When Norene didn’t even glance, he swung a long piece of rebar that shattered her window. She turned the wheel sharply and ran him off the road.  The speedometer was at 125 when another hoodlum pulled along side with a short-barreled shotgun.  Firing, buckshot pellets tunneled across the hood.


    “Pull over Norene, he’ll fire through the window next time,” Jacob said.  With a furious look she slowed down and pulled over at the next turnout.  As they rolled to a stop she reached into her black leather handbag. 


    “Boss, I think they mean to kill us.”


    Three Mongol Nation gang members pulled up to the driver’s side – two had baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire, the third was swinging the three foot piece of rebar.  On the back of the leather jackets, underneath the Mongol logo, were their names – Larry, Moe and Curley.  “Very funny, but I doubt this will be a laughing matter when we are done.  Good thing these thugs don’t know Norene,” he thought to himself.


    “We don’t want any trouble guys, said Sol, what do you want?”  “Just drive up to that big pile of road base on the right,” said Mr. Pigtail. They pulled behind the stacked gravel, realizing that the car was no longer visible from the road.  The gang members dismounted and ordered the them to open their doors.


    As soon as they were out of the car, Curley came up to Sol and sucker punched him in the chest, cracking a rib and knocking him to the ground, his wind gone. “So, I’m assuming you are Solomon Goldstein, Jew lawyer, who is representing the Slope Heads?” The giant, Moe, whacked Norene on the thigh with his bat, the barbs drawing blood through her ripped jeans.  She crumpled to the ground – falling on her stomach. She looked up, red murder in her eyes; ready to rip out their throats given half a chance.


     “You know, I’m sometimes called the Fortune Teller,”said Larry, the leader. How about a little preview of the future?” First of all we are going to have a little fun with the black witch here.  She looks pretty frisky.  Then we’ll sedate her, and eventually she’ll end up in Los Angeles. The boys there will also spend a little time with her, then we’ll sell her overseas if there is anything worthwhile left.”


    “As for you Mr. Goldstein, I’m afraid this is the end of the line – too bad there isn’t be a rabbi around to say Kaddish for you. A twenty-two-caliber slug in the back of the head – you won’t feel a thing. We’ll bury you three feet under this pile of rock.  Probably next spring someone will find your remains.  You could have avoided all this if you would have just left well enough alone and decided not to represent those gooks from Asia.”


    Norene was glaring during this conversation, but now she nodded very subtly towards Sol.  He couldn’t speak yet, but dipped his head.  He had an idea what was coming.


    Without warning she began drooling spittle – jaws clenching – choking sounds erupting from her throat, back arching, her whole body shaking.  She rolled heavily in the dirt, her hands underneath her.


    “She’s having an epileptic fit, get something to put in her mouth so she doesn’t bite her tongue,” gasped Sol.  “Serves her right,” said Curley. “She damned near ran me into the bar pit fence.  Let the bitch bite her tongue off.” 


    But the three gathered around, two bending down for a closer look.  As they did so, Norene whirled like a mongoose, mace in her left hand and pepper spray in her right.  She maced and peppered the closest two before they could register what was happening, and then maced the third directly in the eyes. In four seconds all three were writhing on the ground.  Then she grabbed one of the barbed-wire bats and tapped each on the head – hard enough to guarantee concussions.  


    “Norene, now would be a good time to leave,” said Jacob.


    “Nope,” she said, “I’ve got just the remedy for these morons.”  “So boys, you were going to turn me into some sort of sex slave.  I don’t thing any of you will be interested in sex for a while.” Then she went to each, jumped and stomped down on a particularly sensitive part of their anatomy, then maced each one to keep them prone.  Sol grimaced as he watch those spiked heels hit home – he hadn’t seen such concentrated violence from her in a long time. 


    She got cable ties from the trunk, stripped the three and hog-tied each one – hands and feet secured and then pulled together so that any movement was very painful.  Probably a little chilly, naked in the forty degree weather, but she knew that nude and cold they wouldn’t be any trouble – duct taped their mouths and eyes just in case.


    As they went through the saddlebags there was money (lots of hundreds) and about five pounds (not ounces) of crystal meth – and in one bag a record of transactions for the last three months – hundreds of thousands of dollars had changed hands in drugs, money laundering, weapon transactions and human trafficking.  Then there was a complete pharmacy – Trazadone, Seconal, Propofal, Hydroxyzine, and Phenergan.  Date rape drugs, plus some heavy-duty stuff – coke, heroin, meth, and angel dust.


    Finally Norene told Jacob that she intended to do something else to the three gang members.  But she didn’t think he should watch since he was an officer of the court.  “You can’t kill them,” he said, “even though I know you would like to.”  “I’ll stay and watch so you don’t.”  “Nope, Boss, I don’t want you to ever have to testify against me. I promise I won’t take their lives, but they were going to kill us and they deserve severe punishment.”


    Norene gave each man got a shot of propofol to put him out.  Then shaved their heads and got to work.  She inked a rough, very deep orange tattoo on each of their foreheads. The three inscriptions were Hell’s Angel’s Forever, Hell’s Angel Reject, and Hell’s Angel’s Transgender, knowing the Hell’s Angels were the Mongol’s sworn enemies.”


    As she walked around the pile of material, there was Jacob waiting by the car – a very unhappy expression on his face.  “You just delayed our deaths,” said Jacob.  “They and their fellow gang members will never quit until we are under ground.”  “Nope, these three are going to jail for twenty years plus.  Do you really think they want to explain what happened to their Mongol brothers or to the police?  They have a better chance of getting rubbed out in jail that we would.”


     A half hour later Norene used a throwaway cell phone to call the police department in Casper, then tossed the SIM card in one direction and the phone in another.  By nightfall, the news of the capture of three notorious gang members from the West Coast was on the news but none had said a word.  Their public defender said he thought they might be victims of a rival gang.



    “What do you know about Manchuria, Boss?” asked Norene.  “Nothing, other than it is a large region in Northeast China.”  “No, No, this is an independent country by China and Russia.”  “Do you mean Mongolia?”  “Yeh, I think that’s it, do you know what it is?”  “I know a bit more that you might think,” said her boss.  “It is a country larger than Alaska, with high mountains in the north and west, and the Gobi desert in the south.  There are still remains of the Great Wall of China where it crossed the Gobi.  The wall was begun there in 275 BC.  Current population is around 3,100,000.  Somewhat nomadic but the capital, Ulaanbaatar contains about 45% of the population.  English is taught in all schools and sixty percent of all Mongolians go to college.  They are the best horsemen in the world going back to Genghis Khan, who conquered most of the known world around 1206.  The population is Buddhist  – in 1900 almost a third of the men were monks.

    “Are you sure about those facts, Boss, my new boyfriend Rett, says that Henry Wynn, the owner of the triple W, just south of Thermopolis, has brought six flat-faced slant-eyed yellow dirt farmers from Mongolia to help manage his spread – he says the leader is a short squatty grunt with a cereal bowl haircut.  They are heathens; stealing jobs from legitimate cowboys and ought to be kicked out of the state.  They even live by themselves in some sort of a hut called a Yup.  What’s that, a kind of sagebrush motel?  How in hell did these aliens get here in the first place?”

    “ It’s called a Yurt, Norene, very comfortable, and they got here with some of my assistance.  It’s part of a sister city program.  I helped arrange for six Mongolians to come for five months and work on the Triple W.  They are not only going to help Henry, who has trouble finding good ranch hands, but also show him some of their range techniques.  I didn’t tell you before now because of your intolerant attitude toward anyone who isn’t a relative of yours.”


    “Well, I don’t have an attitude, but you probably will after you talk to the Bulger brothers who are waiting outside.”


    “Dammit Norene, I told you last time that I would not let those two cretins into my office.  Look, there are still oil stains on the carpet from two weeks ago.”  “Okay, I’ll put down some papers and a cover over the couch,” said Norene.


    On Sol’s desk were scattered sheets of paper filled with figures and notes.  They represented eight years of the Bulger Brother’s Trucking’s financial dealings.  The brothers came in, dressed in what were once blue coveralls, but now dyed black with grim. The first thing Sol said was: “Why did you lie to me?  Even someone without my forensic accounting background could see you have been hiding cash overseas. I understand why the IRS is after you.  Based on what I see here you are both going to jail for fraud, plus back taxes and a gigantic fine. The last time you filed a federal or state tax return was five years ago. What did you think would happen?”


    “We thought they would tire and go away eventually.  But then we got so nervous, and they were so persistent, we decided to hire you to keep them away from us.” said Bob Bulger.


    “They never stop,” said Sol.  The IRS agents are inexorable, untiring, they never run out of funds, never run out of manpower – like the mills of the devil they grind slowly, but never cease until you are crushed between their millstones.  From your own handwritten records and bank statements it appears that for the last six years you two have been putting between $100,000 and $300,000 each year into the Bahamas Overseas Bank.  The deposits were made in cash, which I assume was carried there by the two of you.”


     “I want you to tell me exactly how much you have in that bank so I can see if there is a chance to defend you.”  Bill Bugler whipped out his Iphone, tapped a bunch of numbers, and then said, “$1,256,932 as of this morning.”  Sol just shook his head.  “Alright, If I can keep you out of jail, are you willing to forfeit the entire amount?”  “Maybe,” Bob said, thinking this might be the time to split for Nassau and open a Bahamas’ branch of Bulger’s Trucking.


     “Well then, we’re done here if it’s only a maybe.”  Norene rose to show them out.  The two brothers looked at each other. “How much jail time?” said Bill.  “Up to three year’s,” said Sol.


    “Okay, I guess we have no choice.  What do we have to do?”  “Your assigned IRS agent in Salt Lake is a guy named Donald Fentz, I know him  – he is a reasonable guy. I’ll set up a meeting and see what he really wants, but don’t get your hopes up,” said Sol.


    “Thanks, Mr. Goldstein, Is your IRS guy an Israelite by any chance?”  Sol just them a disgusted stare.


    Three weeks later Sol called the two brothers in again.  Okay, here is what I negotiated.  You pay back taxes of $650,000 and a $400,000 fine.”  “How long is the jail term? “ Bob cringed. “None, I got you off the hook with three years probation.”  But you have to have your books prepared by Haskins and Sells from now on, and you’ll go through an IRS audit each year.”


    “Norene will settle up with you in her office.” 


    “Well boys, that will be $40,000, a nice even number,” said Norene.  “What, that is way too much, Sol only spent a few days,” exclaimed Bill. “One more word and the fee goes up,” she said.  “But Norene.”  “You should stop right there – you are now at $45,000 – want to keep going? And the money is due now unless you want to head for jail – here is a wire transfer form.”


    The two signed and then shuffled out to their mud covered Ford F350.  “You know,” said Bob, “That was a rip off, we ought to catch her out one night and kick her butt.”  “You are welcome to her, brother.  Remember Susan Shelton, the girl that was kidnapped about three years ago?  Eventually she was found in a hunter’s cabin south of Point of Rocks, beaten and raped, but alive.” 


    “The Bronson cousins had her locked in the back of the cabin.  Susan heard noise, then shouting the third night, then screaming, then silence – just the sound of a big diesel pickup as it pulled away.  The Bronson’s were never seen again.  Lots of people thought it was Norene because Susan was a shirttail relative.  Norene said she was sleeping off a bad hangover that night at home when the cops interviewed her about the Bronsons.  She drives a Denali truck but the Rock Springs cops were not too interested, based on the lack of evidence.  “You want to take on Norene Yaraslova and her family, you’re welcome to her Hoss, but you might just end up joining the Bronson’s down some coal shaft.”


    “Ok, Boss, money collected, no oil slick from the Bulgers, tell me more about the Mongoloids?”  “It’s Mongolians, Norene, but here is the story.  I did help bring six of the Mongolians from their high steppes to Wyoming – to help Henry Wynn with some of their animal husbandry techniques.   There are six of them, five riders and a sister of the leader, Altan Khan, a direct 22nd generation of Kublai Khan. 


     “They are delightful people, work very hard, appreciate the opportunity, and are very intelligent.  They weren’t allowed to bring in any weapons, except crossbows – so they can hunt sage grouse and rabbits, maybe even an antelope if Henry can get permits.  Anyone who meets them is very impressed.  However their adoption of western culture is slow.”  Altan’s sister prepares all their meals by cooking on a flat piece of iron.



    A month later, an unusual meeting took place at the WWW.  A man turned up at the Wynn ranch, dressed in a Pendleton wool shirt, Levi’s and Tony Lama cowboy boots.  Henry sat down with the man – Digger Phelps – found out he wanted to know if he could bring ten or so of the officers of the Mongol Motorcycle Club to meet the real Mongolians – it would be a once in a lifetime honor for them.  Henry thought it was an okay idea; said he would barbecue a steer on a Saturday afternoon and they could all have a meal together.  He did tell Phelps that there was to be no rough stuff, he had heard of the Hell’s Angels gang and other motorcycle clubs.  “There aren’t any gangs in Wyoming, and we like it that way.” Digger was adamant that this would be a cultural exchange, just to understand the life of the Mongolians, and to meet some of the people their club idolized.


    Henry did call Sol for advice, wondering if he’d done the right thing.  “Probably not the best idea I’ve ever heard, but if it’s just a few bikers I think it’ll be okay.  I’d have some other people around if I were you.”  “Why don’t you and Jeanie come up for that weekend?” said Wynn.  “Find someone to fly you up; our little strip is in pretty good condition.  You can stay overnight, and we’ll take a ride with the Mongolians the next day. You can watch them show off their skills, really impressive, besides you never know when I might need an attorney.”





    As you come north on highway 20 heading for Thermopolis, you have the Big Horn River running through Wind Canyon on your left.

    The Indians called this river Lisaxpuatahcheeaashis in the Apsaalooke language, which translates into Large Bighorn Sheep River.  In the 1880’s notable outlaws such as Harry Longbaugh (The Sundance Kid) and Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy) were frequent visitors, robbing trains in the vicinity and further south where the Union Pacific traverses the state.  They often stayed at Anderson’s Hog ranch and came over to Thermopolis to soak in the hot springs on the edge of the Big Horn.

    The huge limestone terraces have accumulated from what are the world’s largest hot springs – originally thirteen million gallons a day.  A stone’s throw away runs the river, first discovered by Lewis and Clark.  And the springs are free for anyone to use, per a 1927 treaty with the Arapaho and Shoshone Indian tribes.


    Some of the original private bathhouses are still in operation, such as the Star Plunge and the Teepee Baths.  Current population around thirty-one hundred.  Pretty tough to make a living – mainly tourism, service industries, digging for dinosaur bones, ranching, and some local, state and federal government work.  Town hasn’t changed much in the last fifty years.

    But that all began to change about noon on a Saturday in September, the same day as the scheduled WWW barbecue.  One hundred twenty-five Mongol Nation bikers rode into town from all over the country – rolling down from Meeteesee on 120 from the Northwest,  Up on 789 from Shoshoni and from Worland on 15 out of the Northeast. They stacked their bikes, then headed for the free hot springs.  Naturally none had brought a bathing suit, and so despite the signs, there were a hundred plus, ugly, tattooed men and twenty or so women splashing in the hot water.  Cannonballs off the terraces, chicken fights on top each other’s shoulders, trying to drown one another to settle old grudges, five-foot under water slugfests, seeing who could spit water the furthest through missing teeth, and some who slipped off together under the ledges for some private time. 


    There were three of the five Thermopolis police officers on duty – the first one present was foolish enough to order all the nude bathers out of the water with a wave of his sidearm.  He unfortunately got close enough to be pulled in, then stripped, and tossed naked from the pool.  No damage except to his pride.  The mayor showed up, looked at the semi-riot before him, and shook his head.  The police chief wanted to start arresting people, and to call in the highway patrol; maybe the National Guard if necessary.  “What do you think, Mayor?”


    “Look, we don’t want to be known as the town the Mongol Motorcycle gang took over. So don’t call any other law enforcement people or anyone else for that matter.  The minerals and acid in the water will neutralize any viruses, microbes, and STD’s they may be carrying.” He then told the police chief to hold his horses for the next half hour until he returned.


    The mayor came back 20 minutes later in full leathers, a black bandana tied around his head, and steel-toed Doc Martin boots.  In the rear seat was a passenger, dressed head to toe, but in white leather jumpsuit with a full-face helmet.

    He pulled up with a roar of exhaust, straddling a 1991 Harley Fat Boy – wrap around shades, rivets and chains on his jacket – looked just like the Terminator. He stood on up his bike saddle, took a deep breath and yelled above the din.


    “Howdy, I’m Big Bill Buckley, the mayor of this here wide spot in the road.  I want to welcome you to our delightful town of Thermopolis.  If we had a key to the city I’d give it to you.  We are glad you are here and we want you to enjoy the warm springs as guests of the town.” He actually got a round of applause as he strode over to the edge of the biggest pool. “Who is in charge of this rapscallion herd?” he grinned.


    The designated lieutenant of the gang (a blond giant named Eli) came over and they exchanged cordial greetings. After a few minutes and some bad motorcycle jokes, they agreed to a truce providing the bikers left by 2:30 and that no laws as to drugs, alcohol, weapons, violence, etc. had been broken.


    “My Mrs., Jill, wants to join you, is that okay?”  His rider slid off the bike, and walked up to one of the higher terraces.  She stripped off the form fitting white leather jumpsuit, and then shook loose a mane of auburn hair.  Her curves were brave, free and in high relief – barely covered by a flesh colored bikini. The mob went wild.  She was greeted with lusty cat calls, whistles, shouts and thunderous applause. 


    After waving and blowing kisses to the crowd she did a double somersault into the pool. The gang welcomed her with outlandish enthusiasm as she did several dives off the limestone plateaus before returning to Bill.  “Thanks for entertaining these Neanderthals,” he said, “you may have helped the town keep whatever reputation we still enjoy.”


    Around 2:00, the mob exited the pool, laid on the grass until dry and then departed leaving a cloud of exhaust over the town.  They were headed for the WWW ranch.



    Digger and the club officers were already at the Triple W, all dressed in their finest club livery.  Some with fresh tattoos to celebrate the occasion.  A few gifts were exchanged, Altan explained some of the history of their country and even invited the bikers to come and tour Mongolia.  The group took many pictures with the Mongolians, and all the members wanted a picture with the very beautiful Chatan, Altan’s sister.

    There were three WWW cowboys hanging around, pretty much refusing to mingle.  One hand, Rex, had befriended the Mongolians. He and Chatan had spent quite a bit of time together and become close, closer than her brother would have liked.  Rex even enjoyed the Mongolian Barbecue she prepared each evening.  Jeanie and Jacob had come up around 10:00 AM and were enjoying themselves, especially visiting with the Mongolians, who were already acquainted with Jacob.


    Just as everyone was about to eat, a faint roar could be discerned from the north, along with a cloud of dust.  Looked to Henry Wynn like a stampede.  Then as the roar turned into thunder, a lead bike broke out, ridden by Eli.  Behind him were approximately 120 riders, revving their engines and churning up the dust as they spread out.  Some dismounted, but others rode around the barns, sheds and behind the house.  No one could hear – it was like standing next to a space shuttle takeoff. 


    Henry, his face beet red, said to Digger, “What the hell is this?”  “Mr. Wynn, you are looking at some of the finest members of the Mongol Nation, biggest motorcycle gang in the country. I invited a few but this is way more than I thought would show – fraid this ain’t goin’ to be no Sunday School picnic.”


    Mr. Wynn ran inside and immediately called the police in Thermopolis and Casper and the highway patrol.  The Mongols were riding hell bent for leather.  Most had a pint or a fifth of something in one hand – and the sweet smell of marijuana was in the air.  Apparently they weren’t drinking spring water, because the more they drank, the more bikers and bikes ended up on the ground They were chasing cattle, trying to climb haystacks, dragging pigs toward the BBQ pit and turning crop circles through alfalfa that was just about ready to cut. A bunch had gone swimming in the stock pond and came up covered with algae – looking even worse than normal.  The roasted steer was torn apart like a school of Piranhas. Several rode their bikes through the embers of the BBQ pit – it was pure pandemonium.


    The six Mongolians were by the roasting pit, dumbfounded at the chaos, finally they began moving slowly towards the house.  But the Mongol gang wanted pictures, mainly with Chagan. There was a lot of shoving and some grabbing.  Fights broke out between those trying to get next to her and those pulling them away. It was evident that serious violence was right on the brink.  


    The giant Eli finally raised Chagan above his head and said he wanted some time alone with her.  That brought a hue and a cry and a charge by the Mongolians, which was easily subdued, and they were dragged to the porch of the house.  Digger, the Mongol leader jumped on the porch and yelled to tone things down.  “Let her go, this is Wyoming not Los Angeles, I’m not sure the ACLU is available to protect our rights.  Eli, put her down now,” he yelled over the din.  Jacob pulled Jeanie in the house and looked through the front door, thinking. “Should have brought Norene, she would have been right at home here.” 


    Altan and the others yelled for Eli to let his sister go, struggling to reach her.  He laughed and began to drag her away from the mob toward his bike at the side of the house.  Then he jerked, released his hold on Chagan, and gripped his throat, where a feathered bolt from a crossbow had penetrated his neck, just back of his Adam’s apple.


    Conclusion Next Month – The Trial

    February – 2018


    Joseph Ollivier


    Write a comment