The Tale of Ellie Westcott


Mugshot and wanted poster for the outlaw Laura Bullion – found at

Ellie was working on her third glass of Cactus Wine when the stranger walked into Billy Bob’s Saloon. His six-shooter and holster hung low on his left hip as he swaggered up to the bar, but his spurs had lost their jingle. Through the haze in her brain, she figured he was the sort of outlaw or gunslinger who thought he’d tamed the frontier west.

Sam was serving hooch that afternoon and he bustled up to the newcomer next to Ellie.

“What’ll ya have?”

“Whiskey. You got any vittles in this joint?” His attitude was churlish, like the sneer on his lips.

“Some. I’ll get you your whiskey and see what Mabel’s got rustled up out back.”


She was surprised he replied to the barkeep with more than a snarl. A minute later, Sam delivered a full glass to the stranger and then hurried to the kitchen.

Ellie’s drink was almost empty, and she was trying to decide if she’d had enough or not when Sam brought out a bowl of some kind of stew, the meat being anything from goat to rattlesnake.

He ate in silence, even though Ellie bent low, supposedly to fix her skirt, but flashing ample cleavage in the stranger’s direction.

“You aren’t impressed by much, are you?” She wasn’t interested in rolling around in the sack with him, but she thought she’d flirt a bit to pass the time.

“Nope.” He took the last few bites of his meal, wiped his face on the cloth Sam had left for him, then finished off his whiskey.

“Why not?”

He ignored her and put down enough coin to pay his bill. Then he stood up and pulled aside his vest to show her the tin star he had pinned to his shirt. It said “U.S. Marshall.”

‘Cuz I’m workin.’ Eleanor Westcott, I’m placing you under arrest for robbing five stagecoaches in the territories of Illinois and Missouri and the murder of a Kansas City Sheriff. You going to come peacefully or am I going to have to lasso you?

“Aw, damn, Lawman. Can’t you let me sleep it off, first?”

I wrote this for the Bonus Wordle “Wild West” hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use at least 10 of the 12 words in the Wordle to craft a poem, short story, or other creative work. I used all 12.

The words are:

  • Saloon
  • Cactus Wine ((n.) made with tequila and peyote)
  • Holster
  • Outlaw
  • Spurs
  • Lasso
  • Hang
  • Frontier
  • Victuals or Vittles (n.)) food supplies, provisions)
  • Churlish ((adj.) rude)
  • Gunslinger
  • Lawman

In case you’re interested, here’s some information about the Missouri Territory and yes, there were notorious female outlaws in the old west.

3 thoughts on “The Tale of Ellie Westcott

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