Sheriff Santa and the Ghost of Two Gun Jim
A “Sheriff Santa” Story
ROBERT J. RANDISI is the author of more than 550 books in the Western, Private Eye, Men's Adventure, and Horror genres. As J.R. Roberts he is the creator and author of the long running series "The Gunsmith." He also wrote and created the Tracker, Angel Eyes, Bounty Hunter, Mountain Jack Pike, Widowmaker, Gamblers, Sons of Daniel Shaye and Ryder series. Born in Brooklyn, New York he currently resides in Clarksville, Missouri—a town of 500 people overlooking the Mississippi River—with writer "Christine Matthews."
As the legend goes, Two-Gun Jim Turner suddenly changed his villainous ways on Christmas Day, stood up against a gang that wanted to take over a whole town as a Christmas present to themselves. He saved the town, but got gunned down at the same time. They say Turner died angry, and still roams the earth trying to find a way back.
That was forty years ago . . .
* * *
Kate Timmons told Sheriff Andy Tate, “Stand still, will you?”
“You’re pinching me.”
“We wouldn’t be having this problem if you hadn’t gone and got yourself shot last year while wearing your Santa suit.”
“Wasn’t my fault somebody tried to rob the bank during our fittin’,” he complained. “Besides, why couldn’t you just darn the hole?”
“It wasn’t just a hole, Andy,” she said. “You bled all over it.”
“Well, excuse me for bleedin’ when I get shot!”
Kate sat back on her heels and stared up at the man in the red suit, standing on a stool. They’d been playing this game for many years, and the townspeople were still waiting for them to make it legal.
“My God, Andy, did you get fatter since last year?” she demanded.
The Sheriff of Great Bend looked down at his own belly critically. She said this to him every year.
“I don’t think so,” he said, giving her the same answer.
Before Kate could respond a man rushed into Kate’s Dress Shop.
“Sheriff, that fella Brannigan and his boys are over to the bank.”
“Which one, Harvey?” he asked. The town had two banks.
“The Great Bend.”
“What are they doin’, Barney?”
”I think they’re gonna rob it.”
Andy Tate looked at Kate, then stepped down from her step stool and reached for his gun.
“Oh no, Andy Tate, don’t you do this again!” she said.
“I’m sorry, Kate,” he said, “but I gotta go.”
“Don’t you get shot in your Santa suit like you did last year!”
“Kate,” he said, “I’ll try my best not to get shot, at all.”
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