How Not To Win The West Part 3 (Short Story for citique)

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    Scarce days have passed since I announced the death of the mayor and the farmer’s daughter.

    Such a heroic tale of bullshit.

    The townsfolk believe the tale of a generous mayor counselling a girl about to take her own life. Everyone in town knew of her indiscretion that led to her pregnancy. Obviously she was upset and scared and the story made sense. Of course the tragic part is whatever the mayor had managed to accomplish a band of outlaws stumbled across them. They were clearly robbed and killed for the trouble.

    Of course I went after the “perpetrators”. Unfortunately they were too far gone to pursue further without leaving the town without a sheriff and mayor.

    I sit thoughtfully on porch if the sheriff’s office watching the town lazily drift by. They think I am some kind of hero, such simple fools. I am a coward who let a 15 year old girl die with a child inside her because I was afraid of making an enemy.

    What kind of sheriff does that? Takes a bribe and let’s someone get away with a crime? I know what kind, a cowardly one. I am a yellow bellied coward and if the people here knew the half of it they would run me out of town. Thankfully, in a few hours the region’s Marshall will be here and relieve me of my job. I failed to protect the mayor, obviously he will fire me.

    “You look nothing like the man I hired all those months ago.” A gruff voice announces from the street.

    “Marshall sir!” I shout stumbling up from my chair like a fool. “It’s been a while.”

    “An eventful while from what I hear. So you know why I am here I assume.” he replies while dismounting his horse. The poor creature is sweating from running so hard.

    “Yeah, come on inside so we can do this quietly.” my heart sinks at all I am giving up.
    He follows me into the shade of the office and sita down with me. I reach for my badge when he finally speaks again. “A lot of folks around here think very highly of you. It looks like I picked right with you.”

    “I am not so sure.”

    “Right to the heart of the matter it seems. No point in dancing around the heart of the matter. I will not take your badge sheriff, you’re doing good work here.”

    “There is so much blood on my hands.” I plead with him.

    “There is blood on most people’s hands in the west. At least yours is honest. Killing is part of the job. Think of the lives you saved killing that outlaw.”

    “What about the ones I fail to save, their blood weighs heaviest.”

    “Well the way I see it, the mayor made the waters awfully muddy on you. I might have even made the same choice in your boat knowing what little experience you have.”

    “Wait! How do you know what happened?”

    “Educated guess my friend. Great story for the folks. I doubt I would have come up with a better one.” He takes a long look at my confused look before continuing. “It was simple deduction. In this state all withdrawals over a certain amount are noted by the bank. They wire the Marshalls office with the information. Of course my aunt had wrote me with the latest rumours, so I knew there was a storm brewing.”

    “So that’s why you were here two days early.” I deduce.

    “Now your on to it. Way I see it, in the end you did the right thing. I came to help with situation if things had not already boiled over. That and we might need a new mayor which I have to be here for anyways.”

    “I just don’t know if I have what it takes to be responsible for so many lives.”

    “My aunt, the one that lives here, once told a young deputy marshall that you should not waste your time on doubt. Perform your duty today and the foundation for tomorrow will be stronger.”

    Suddenly I realized what had to be. The community needed an example, just like I did. If I could be the example these people need this whole community would be improved. “I think I know what to do.”

    “Good, before you get to that, let’s get these folks a new mayor.” he says with a pat on the back.

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