Nebraska Center for Writers

by Toni V Sweeney

It was a warm spring evening at just about sunset, in Eighteen and Ninety-seven, when the red-headed stranger rode into the little town of Rosarita, Texas, tied his horse to the hitching-post in front of the Little Nugget Saloon, then walked inside and shot the owner, Race Jago, dead.
While everyone was still startled into immobility, he calmly placed his pistola upon the bar top, looked around and asked, "Well? Ain't nobody gonna call th' sheriff?" and waited while someone did so.
When Walt Jessup arrived, puffing with the exertion of running the two blocks from his office and buckling his gun belt around his big belly as he trotted across the street, the stranger surrendered the gun, admitted that he'd shot Jago in cold blood, and then fell silent, going docilely with the sheriff to the jail, leaving the townspeople with Jago's dead body and a thousand questions.
It took all of fifteen minutes before some enterprising citizen (with an eye to the publicity this would bring to the little town) raced to the local newspaper office, and perhaps another ten before that same someone had sent a messenger to the telegraph office to dispatch a notice to a key newspaper in the state capitol at Austin.

Reprinted with permission
from Vengeance from Eden
Copyright © 2007
by Toni V Sweeney
Double Dragon Publishing Co

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