Just Another Western Gunfight

The mornings out west were very peaceful. Ann was almost lulled to sleep by the friendly familiar sounds around her. The steady clip, clop of the horse's hooves, the gentle wind blowing through her hair, the soft whispering moos of the cattle. Yes, the mornings were very peaceful. Just then, the wagon bounced over a particularly large stone and practically threw her out of the wagon. She sighed. How she hated the west!

Everyday was exactly the same. As the daughter of a rancher she got to look after cows all day. Her high point in the week (which was hardly high at all) was when her father and herself went to the town for supplies. Well, if you could call it a town. The town consisted of a circle of buildings. The saloon, the bank, the post office, the sheriff office, the general store, the court building and the train station. In the middle of this ring of buildings was a town well. Just on the outskirts of the town was a pathetically small army outpost, also used as the town jail. And near it was a water tower. She sighed again as her father parked the wagon. How boring her life was.

She longed to leave this place. She needed adventure. What she needed and craved for was the crowded streets and big cities. She had heard stories of New York and knew that that was where her future would lay. She was going to get to New York City someday soon. She didn't care how.

She walked into the town. It was unusually crowded with strangers. Suddenly a gunshot went off. A man standing close to her fired at one of the town officials. These strangers were bandits! Then she remembered. The army men caught the leader of the gang and today was to be his trial. The bandits were trying to set him free. The last time this gang came to town her sister ran off with one of them and the sheriff shot her father. The sheriff never liked her father because they were both in love with Ann's mother and she married Ann's father. Anyway, there was another gunfight in the town and the sheriff took the opportunity to get revenge. Although the sheriff claimed it wasn't him, Ann and her father knew better. Ann looked at the man next to her, pulled out her pistol and plugged him. She sighed once more as she looked around. Nothing interesting ever happens in this town, she thought.

Before long, people were shooting each other left and right. It was all very chaotic. It was then she realized nobody was paying any attention to her. She looked across the street at the bank. It was unguarded. She thought for a moment. She was planning on taking out her savings anyway and who would know if she took a little extra? "I won't take much," she rationalized, "and I'll pay it all back when I'm rich. Just enough to get me to New York. It's not really stealing, It's more of a long term borrowing." And with that her mind was made up. She headed across the street.

As Ann was walking, a bullet, missing its original target, landed a bit too close to her foot for comfort. A soldier and a bandit had been exchanging bullets for a while now and neither had hit anything besides stones and buildings. She rolled her eyes. These cowboys really needed to learn how to use their guns. She took out her pistol and got the bandit with one shot. Ann looked at the soldier. "That is how you use a gun." She turned and walked into the bank before one of the bandit's buddies realized who shot his friend, leaving the confounded soldier behind.

A few moments later, Ann exited the bank with her pockets full of cash. "This is easier than I thought," she said to herself. All over town cowboys were running back and forth shooting each other. She watched as one man shot anybody who came within range. It didn't seem to matter to him who he shot. Another bandit had knocked a soldier to the ground. The bandit drew his gun and, standing right above the soldier, fired the gun to finish him off. He missed. The captain of the army kept dropping his gun and would charge at a bandit close to him with his fists raised, only to get knocked down. When he got up, he would charge again and once more get knocked to the ground. This was terribly pathetic.

On the other side of town, near the saloon, the deputy and a bandit were exchanging bullets. Some came remarkably close to hitting the other person. The bandit ran around behind the saloon shooting from around the corner so the deputy couldn't get close.

Ann ran into the saloon jumping over the bodies of the few fallen men. She raced up the stairs onto the roof. She could hide the money there, and shoot the bandit from above. She wouldn't look suspicious at all. She hid the money behind a bunch of pipes and crates and walked to the edge of the building. She aimed down at the man and pulled the trigger. Click. She was out of bullets. He looked up hearing the noise. Ann groaned to herself. So much for the element of surprise. She quickly loaded her gun while dodging bullets. Suddenly she realized that the bullets had stopped. She carefully peeked over the edge with her gun ready. The man lay unconscious on the ground. The deputy had been able to get a shot through.

Ann walked back down into the saloon and out the door. Things had pretty much settled down. There were one or two people still shooting at each other but those eventually ended as well. Her father had been able to get the prisoner to the courthouse and two of the soldiers had gotten him back in the outpost safely locked up. When the bandits realized that their leader was locked up again, they all scattered. Once the shooting had finally stopped, a few of the more cowardly cowboys came out of their hiding places from various buildings and from behind barrels.

After Ann and her father met up again, her father gave her some money and a list of things that they needed while he shopped for other equipment. Before she met her father back at the wagon to go home she made a quick stop at the saloon.

When Ann got to the wagon her father was already waiting. "Did you get every thing?" He asked.

She smiled "Mostly. And you?"

"There were a few thing that the general store was out of, but I got mostly everything. And we did help with the gunfight."

"I'd say that this was a pretty successful day," Ann said. She smiled. Her father didn't realize just how successful it had actually been.