by Tom Johnson

Illustrated by Jim Garrison

The sheriff sat in his small office, shining his silver badge to a high gloss. His aged old hands slightly shaking as he gently polished.

Yesterday a gunfighter had arrived in the town of Oregon City, where old man Brock had vowed to keep the peace. He had been sheriff for more than twenty years. The occasional drunk, or a rowdy saloon fight when the cowboys came to town, was the most Brock had to deal with. He wasn't a gunfighter, not like sheriffs in Abilene and Tombstone. He was just an old man who wanted his town safe from gunmen.

But the gunfighter had killed a citizen then laughed in Brock's face. The townspeople expected the sheriff to do his job. That's why he was elected.

Brock walked out of his office, into the dusty street, to find the gunfighter waiting for him, death in his cold dark eyes.

The sun was to the gunman's back, shining into Brock's tired eyes. That was the way the gunfighter had planned it. The sheriff shuffled forward, his slightly bent back looked like a heavy burden lay upon it. He didn't face the gunman directly, keeping his body twisted to one side.

The gunfighter motioned the sheriff to stop, and a wide grin spread across his evil face, as his hand automatically reached swiftly for his Colt in the holster at his side.

Sheriff Brock turned his body directly into the sunlight, the rays suddenly striking the silver star in full fury.

The gunfighter blinked.