September, 2023

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Issue #168

Welcome, Western Fans!

Looking for free, tantalizing Tales of the Old West?
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Read this month's Tales and vote for your favorite.
They'll appear in upcoming print volumes of The Best of Frontier Tales Anthologies!

The Travelers
by Jack Wallace
Two bedraggled travelers show up at J.T.'s barn asking for lodging. To his wife's dismay, he offers the extra room in his house. But J.T. begins to worry about the safety of his family, and takes measures to kill the men if they mean any harm. Will everyone survive the night?

* * *

The Last Appaloosa
by Perk Perkins
The great stallion kept kept the herd on the move. The Nez Pierce were starving and hunted the horses for meat. But the whites also needed the appaloosas to keep their town from starving. There were many enemies but the great stallion had no fear.

* * *

The Opposition
by Martin Suppo
A demented actor and his henchmen have taken the train hostage. One of the passengers, an aged sheriff, is compelled to play a senseless game with the leader. Will he survive?

* * *

The Rogue Cowboys
by Robert Collins
When Jacob Wright saw the rustlers stealing his scattered steer, he knew it would be him against the thieves. He had put too much many years and effort into building his little spread to let anyone take what he had worked so hard for.

* * *

The Dirty Stranger
by Katrina Young
As the door to the one room schoolhouse slammed open, Jennie the schoolmarm recognized the imminent threat. Could she alone prevent this dirty stranger from taking a child while keeping all of her students safe? Would anyone come to their rescue?

* * *

Stampede, Part 3 of 3
by John Robinson
The third and final installment of the tale of a U.S. Cavalry officer Edward Godfrey riding the twists and turns of this alternate history that explores the dangers of military life and some modern political realities.

* * *

Want all of this month's Western stories at once? Click here –

All the Tales

The Opposition
by Martin Suppo

"Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Arthur Breton and these are my jesters"

"Yes, we are!" Shouted the jesters. One of them shot his gun toward the train ceiling. It was a funny-looking kind of gun. It didn't have a round chamber and it didn't seem to need cocking. All of the jesters had them but Arthur.

"You are in the process of being robbed of your mortal possessions. Would you be so kind as to surrender them to my dear Jesters? Don't worry they won't bite"

"I will, ladies," said one of the Jesters leaning over two nuns.

"Bugger remembers your manners, we don't rape on Sundays"

Arthur Breton walked over to the next coach and stopped in one of the seats. In it, an old man was sleeping. A silver star shined on his jacket`s left breast.

"Sheriff! Wake up a robbery is taking place"

The old man woke up and saw Arthur standing over him with a large colt aimed at his star.

"So I see. You must be that Arthur fella. The Shakespeare actor gone mad"

"That I am Sir. You must be a man of discernable taste. You see we need some sort of opposition to spice the evening up"

"What kind of opposition?"

"We would need you to pull out your gun and try to shoot me. And then my loyal Jesters will kill you"

"Do I have a choice?"

"Of course, we can use you or this nice little thing here"

Arthur turned to his left and grabbed a crying baby from her sobbing mother. He held it in front of the sheriff.

The old man got up from his seat.

"All right I will be your opposition."

* * *

The jesters had cleared a field next to the train tracks for the showdown. All six of them stood over the roof of the train aiming their guns at the sheriff. They had locked the two coaches shut and its occupants watched the unfolding scene.

Arthur and the sheriff were standing in front of each other. The leader of the jesters had his back to the coach.

"How impolite of me not to ask your name Mr?"

"O`Grady. Theodore O`Grady, Sheriff of Colson County"

"Alright Sheriff O`Grady we need you to reach for your gun and yell "Sic Semper Tyrannis". After that we need you to shoot it at me."

"And after that?"

"My jolly Jesters will shoot you down."

"Yes, we'll do" Cried the Jesters.

"What happens if kill you, Mr. Breton?"

"Then my Jesters will shoot you down. Then they will proceed to utilize all the fine dynamite we acquired down in Amarillo and use it to blow this fine train to kingdom come"

"So either way I`m fucked."

"That`s right. Just imagine what the papers will write about this event."

The Sheriff looked at Arthur Breton and reached for his gun. He felt his skin against the rusty iron.

"Shoot away whenever you feel like Sherrif O`Grady. We have all the time in the world"

Sheriff O`Grady pulled out his gun and shot. The bullet when straight to Arthur`s chest. He fell back and knocked his head against one of the rails.

O`Grady threw himself into the ground and aimed his gun at Bugger. His shot failed.

The jesters aimed at the Sheriff struggling to get up. Bugger gave the order.

"Shoot the bastard!"







"What the hell . . . " Were Bugger`s last words.

O`Grady got up and shot quickly against the jesters. He took four out with precise shots to the neck, including Bugger who fell off the roof as held his bleeding wound. The remaining three scrambled to the other side of the tracks.

The Sheriff quickly grabbed Arthur`s fallen Colt and went after them. He stood in between the coaches, aimed, and shot.

The first one was hit on the back of the head as he was running. He fell without making a sound. The last one was about to run into the woods when O'Grady last shot caught him in the back.

The Sheriff walked over to him ready to arrest him. There was no use. He had already died.

As he went back to the train he heard a voice. The voice of a dying man.


It was Arthur. His head rested against the tracks. A pool of blood spread under him.

"I had to give you a fighting chance Sir. I got them the guns before the robbery. Made sure they had only one bullet in the chambers. I knew they would waste it early on"

"How did you know there would be a sheriff on the train?"

"There always is Sir. Always"

Arthur Breton pulled his head back and died.

The End

I have always enjoyed Western films, comics, and stories. From time to time I try my hand at writing. I hope you enjoy them.

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