A Comedy for the Old West
Edward Mullany

The sheriff said he had too many deputies, that one of them had to go. "Not me," said Southpaw. "Me neither," said Sticks. "Then you'll have to flip for it," said the sheriff. "Do either of you have a coin?" Both men fished in their trouser pockets, but came up empty-handed. "Mary-Beth?" said the sheriff, calling to the secretary in the next room. A little gray-haired woman came in. "Do you have a coin?" the sheriff asked. "No, sheriff, I sure don't," said Mary-Beth. "Want me to go make change next door?" "Yes, Mary-Beth, why don't you do that. Meanwhile, Southpaw and Sticks and I'll wait here till you get back." Mary-Beth went out. The sheriff sat himself in the chair behind his desk, raised his boots, crossed them on the desk. Southpaw and Sticks looked at each other. The afternoon sun came through the window and shone on the wood floor.

Edward Mullany's work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Tampa Review, New Ohio Review and others.

Detail of illustration on main page courtesy of Bret Polok.

Read more of EM's work in the archive.

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