Well, there have been many a’ tales told of the wild west. Ruthless cowboys settling old debts. High-speed trains and the bandits who loot them. Worn-down sheriffs and their burdens of oath. The stories of men in the final frontier could fill a library like a bear in a barrel.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave room for much anybody else who doesn’t carry their rattlesnake on the horses back. A lady wouldn’t much find her name in a book unless she be a damsel.
Now, I know at least a few folks who would take exception to this blatant misrepresentation. For certain, there is one such folk who has shown many a’ these legendary cowboys the back of their own belt. And she wouldn’t find it too kindly that everyone didn’t know it.
This cow lady was a bonafide badass with the beauty to boot. The brunette bombshell was well known for beating and berating the boys. But they bet to beware her brains as she tended to come out better than best.
She was known as the Cow Puncher. Miss Kit West.
The Cow Puncher had adventures all through the west from Alberta to Sonora. She busted more bandits than a beaver eats bark. She saved so many towns they couldn’t decide which one to name after her. And she had such a slippery shot she could shoot the stinger off a scorpion.
Yes, Kit West was one mighty cow folk. But when it came to rootin’ and tootin’ she didn’t care much for the boys’ games. Nor did she care for the boys in general. Though, she wasn’t much like the other ladies of the time neither. The Cow Puncher was of her own breed and she was certain to do things in her own way.
That’s not to say Miss West didn’t know how to play everyone else’s games. In fact, she tended to know the rules better than anyone. There is one such story where she blew the boots off Big Bad Bart playing poker in his own establishment.
This was back in the days when Cow Puncher was still scouring the plains for Broken-Face, the mad man that done murdered her family. She would often get caught up with other which side adventures. She had a tendency to help those who needed it. And she was particularly more receptive to the indigenous peoples in ways most folks should a’ been.
Well, when she caught wind of the way Big Bad Bart was treating her buddies in the Blackfoot tribe, I bet her head blew up like a bean. But Miss West is much too clever to face a problem with a blown-up bean head. Intention is a more dangerous weapon than impulsivity.
So, Miss Kit West played their game.
She strolled herself all the way to town and found herself in front of Big Bad Bart’s own bar. You would a’ never guessed her anger through the composure she carried through those double doors.
Miss West knew when, and how, to flaunt. And flaunt she did as she approached the bartender and ordered herself a whiskey. Attention was her tool, she held it and used it to her advantage. With the glance of an eyebrow, she found herself involved in the nearest poker game.
As I said, Kit West knew the rules better than anybody. She made quick work of collecting money from the table. Soon enough the whole saloon was running low on chips. She even won the pants off two of the locals.
The commotion the situation stirred was enough to bring Big Bad Bart out of his backroom bunker. At shot of seeing his patrons sunken by a slick sally, he stood real straight. It wasn’t much longer before he wanted to prove his own skills at stealing pots.
Now Miss West may have lost a couple of hands to Big Bad Bart, but even those were likely broken bets to benefit her slippery swindle. Either way, their gambling went through the night, and into the time of breaking dawn and breaking fast. The drunks had long passed out and the streets were awaiting their first visitors of the day.
Big Bad Bart was ducking defeat but discovering desperation. The stakes had gotten much too high for Bart to back down when Miss Kit went all-in.
Though what the Cow Puncher meant by “all-in” was much clearer when she laid down her pistol at the centre of the table. Russki roulette did not just mean all-in for the evening’s winnings. It meant all in.
Men and their pride. It was one of Miss Kit’s favourite advantages over the other sex. She had him in a corner, and she knew that he would consent.
She provided the pistol, and he beset the bullets, three of them to the six-shooter.
The Cow Puncher was as calm and collected as ever as the pistol did circles between them. On the other side of the table, Bart’s sweat doubled as the shaft slowly set itself on him.
She winced more at his whimper than she did at the trigger being pulled. Regardless, Bart sat back relieved at his realization that he remained.
The Cow Puncher grabbed the gun showing no signs of the odds stacked against her turn. Bart watched eagerly, as did the last few remaining spectators.
She prepared and set the gun to her temple.
In a flash quicker than a swallow’s whistle, she turned that pistol and delivered three bullets into Big Bad Bart’s forehead.
The last few patrons sat stunned, uncertain of what to make of it. Cow Puncher declared her distaste for those that bothered the Blackfoot. She then holstered her pistol, collected her winnings, left the bar, and strolled herself back to camp.
Big Bad Bart’s ballad was done, and there wasn’t a soul in sight that would stop the Cow Puncher from being about her way.
Yes, Miss Kit West was one mighty cow folk. And folks best to remember her for the vixen she was. There weren’t many in the west that could outwit and outshoot that country canary.
But there are plenty of days left with the sun to tell the tales of the Cow Puncher.