A little Humor---Short Western--Rachel & Daisy
All she had left was that broken down ranch that her father had worked himself and her mother into their grave for. She stood there looking out at the barn and could only see how run down it had become. The fields behind it no longer held cattle or horses, for she had sold them long ago accept for that damn fool burro.
It seemed that many prospectors turned the little animals loose to roam and mingle with the wild horse herds and that is how the little burro decided to be her companion and somehow found a way to be her shadow whether she wanted it or not. Some of the ole codgers that sat out in front of the sheriff's office gave the little burro the name of Daisy, for that seemed to be its favorite morsel and everyone's garden and flower box was fair game.
Now here she stood wondering what the future held for her. She was twenty five years old and all she had to show for it was this old broken down ranch. Her mother had never bothered to teach her how to cook but her father had taught her how to shoot and she was damn good at it. Rachel was grateful for the fact that Mrs. Lankie had given her a job serving food at the only hotel in town right across from the sheriff's office and a few steps away from the train depot. Without this small wage it would mean she or Daisy would not have a roof over their heads, even if it took a notion to rain.
The rail line had only recently reached this little town of Whiskey Bottom and Rachel was not sure if it was a good thing or not. Two more saloons were built quickly to take the money of the new folks that were stepping off the train each day. This kept the sheriff busy and it was said that he might not see well through those gold rim spectacles that he wore and it was doubtful that the holster that was strapped low would ever hit its target. He was a big man and if-in he got close enough his big fist would make a man wish he had been shot instead.
Today she would attempt to tie Daisy more firmly in the barn and place a heavier board on the corral gate for just yesterday she had attempted to snatch the new green hat right off the bankers wife's head as she made her way down the street. Of course all the old men that sat in front of the sheriff's office almost fell off the bench laughing and spread this embarrassing news all round town for all those that had not been there to enjoy all the screeching from the women and it was hard to tell which was louder, Daisy's braying or the Bankers wife.
Two weeks later as she was serving the sheriff his breakfast that he always took at the hotel, she was startled when everyone started laughing and pointing out the window. There stood Daisy munching on the flowers in the new flower box and she had on her head the banker's wife green hat minus the flowers. It seems someone had cut two holes in the top and Daisy's long ears struck proudly through. Rachel tried real hard not laugh but soon joined in with all the others. It was several days later that the bankers wife was seen wearing a new black hat with a veil.
This morning as she hurried towards the hotel to start the day she noticed the sheriff was handing out and posting some kind of papers to those walking by and he handed her one. It seemed that there had been a prison break up north and it was most certain that a man by the name of Slick Henderson that had murdered a whole family that lived just outside of town was coming this way. Slick had swore that he would get his revenge because it was their sheriff that had showed him what his big fist could do. Most folks thought that the sheriff should have just shot him. Rachel wondered how the sheriff would be able to handle this known gun fighter for he was no match even if he had his gold rim specks on
The word spread and the women and children were told to stay inside and off the street. All the men and shop keepers carried guns but none were known for their marksmanship, a coyote or a snake here and there and maybe was about it. She had noticed that there was a gun rack by the hotels kitchen door and it held one Winchester rifle that she had admired for it was the same make that her father had taught her to use.
It was around noon when a sudden eerie silence made her look out the hotel window as several other men stood to one side watching a tall man slowly making his way down the street. he stopped when he got in front of the sheriff's office and just stood there---waiting. The old wooden bench in front of the office was now empty and there was no sign of the old men that kept its rough wood warm. Rachel knew that if the sheriff stepped out that door that this man Slick Henderson would have no trouble putting a bullet in him. She quickly slipped into the kitchen and grabbed the Winchester off the rack and checked to see if it was loaded and then raced up to the front window on the third floor over looking the street below. Her heart was racing for she had never thought she could or would kill another human being but this man was a killer and he had murdered a whole family. This same man was ready to kill again and she knew that the sheriff really could not see well enough to defend himself at that distance. Rachel took a deep breath and she knew that everyone in town was watching this man in the street---but would anyone of them try and stop him?
"OK, you yellow-belly sheriff step out and let's see if you are any good with your guns---cuss I owe you one." Slick yelled.
The door slowly opened and the sheriff stood there squinting into the sunlight and the reflection off his gold rim glasses danced in the heat and mingled with the dust from the street. Rachel's finger lightly covered the trigger. She could see Slicks hand hover close to his pistol---then she heard it!
Daisy had somehow silently trodden up behind Slick and the let out one of her bellowing brays that almost knocked her green hat off.
Everyone still swears that they only heard two shots fired that day that Slick Henderson lay dead in the street with a bullet right between the eyes.?????