Behind the Mask | By: Jackie Peatorss | | Category: Short Story - Adventure Bookmark and Share

Behind the Mask

Chapter 1

Bambino and Willie


It was a bright sunny morning in the plains of Nebraska.  The buffalo were quietly grazing in the tall yellowing grass.  Bambino and Willie were sitting on their horses on top of a hill, watching as the puffs of smoke from the train gradually drew closer. 

“Well Willie, this is our first stop for the day and your first train holdup.  You ready for this?” Bambino a large and gruffly built man asked.  He looked just like a train robber should.  He wore his dark blue wranglers underneath his black chaps, held up by his buckle of a train coming around a mountain, which he had stolen from a train conductor on one of his runs.  His high black boots with the shining spears on the heels.  He had on his blue western shirt partly covered by an open black vest.  The vest was engraved with western style patterns.  His bandanna hung loosely around his neck, the white pattern overpowering the red.  And to top it all off his black cowboy hat.  His lucky hat, as he called it, he never did a job without it.  And the most important part of his costume, the holster secured around his waist, showing two newly polished pistols and plenty of back up bullets.  He wore a neatly cut mustache, and had dark beady eyes that glared down at the valley below. 

Looking a little nervous Willie stutters, “S-s-sure am b-boss.”  Even from a distance the difference between these two riders was very notable.  Willy was a little on the scrawny side to start off.  And unlike Bambino he wore brown rustic cowboy boots, worn tan pants, and a once white shirt covered in sweat stains turning it a mustic yellow.  He had on a tan leather vest that was slightly askew, and one hand pistol hooked on his belt around his waist.  His cowboy hat was a little on the flat side, but still succeeded in shading the slightly tan face. 

“Willie, how many times do I got to tell ya,” Bambino, a little angry shouts. “Call me Bambino.”

“R-r-right b-bos- um…. B-b-bambino.”  Stutters Willie.

 “Why you stuttering Will, got some of them butterflies in your stomach?”


            “Stop it! I can’t stand it when you stutter.”  Bambino yells, now really angry.

            “S-sorry.” Willie sheepishly says, receiving a glare from Bambino.

Bambino mutters, “One of these days I will be able to rob trains in descant company.” Aloud he says, “Okay its ‘bout time… you ready?”

            Noticeably trying not to stutter, “Ready boss.”

            “It’s BAMBINO!  You gonna ever get it right?” Under his breath Bambino adds, “At least you didn’t stutter.”

            A train whistle is sounded just around the closest rolling hill. 

            “Alright Will’s you know what you’re doin?”

            Concentrating really hard, trying to make it so Bambino won’t have to shout at him again Willie responds.  “Um…stopping the train?”

            “Right,” Willie lets out a lung full of air, “and how are you gonna to do that?”

            “I am umm… I-I-I am…”

            Sighing, Bambino repeats the question, “You’re gonna stop the train Willie.  You know how you’re gonna do that?”

            “I uh…” Willie starts looking around as if the answer was going to fall out of the sky and bonk him on the head.

            Giving up Bambino answers his own question.  “You’re gonna ride up to the engine, hold your gun up to the driver and tell him to sop the train.  Then ya gonna hop aboard and tie up the guy and anyone with him.  Then you’re gonna sit there and watch ‘em until I come and get ya.  Got it?”

            “What if he won’t stop the train?”

            “Shoot ‘em.”

           “What if he wants to fight?” Willie says trying to think of some excuse so he won’t have hop aboard the train.

            “Shoot ‘em.  Anything else?” Bambino glared down at Willie.

            “Nope, got it.”  Willie gulps.

            “Good! You ready?”

            “Yes sir!” Willie Confidently reply’s, “I mean Bambino” Sheepishly correcting himself.

            Grinning Bambino says, “There might be hope for ya yet Will.”

            Willie smiles as they watch in silence, the train rounding the hill below them. The horses start lifting their hoofs and stamping the ground.  They know what is about to happen.  They have done it a thousand times, but they never quite can control their excitement.

            “Alright, let’s do this!” Bambino Shouts.

            Shouting excitedly he rears up his horse and charges down the hill.  Willie a little slower, and not quite so confident, follows behind yelling a big “YEE HAW!”  Bambino pulls hard on the reins bringing his horse to a dead stop.  Willie who was following directly behind him yelps in surprise as hid horse dodges around Bambino.

            “WILLIE!” Shouts Bambino clearly mad again.  After gaining control of his horse, Willie slowly turns in the saddle looking worried.  “What was that you said?”

            “I-I-I don’t know.  W-w what did I say?” Stammered Willie keeping his horse a considerable amount away, just in case Bambino decided to charge.

            “If my ears ain’t mistaken, which they ain’t. I thought I mighta heard a yee haw come out of your mouth.”

            “M-m-maybe,” clearly confused.  “W-w-why?” 

            Bambino slowly walks his horse towards Willie’s and starts making rounds around it.  “Train robbers do not say Yee Haw,” He sarcastically says the words.  “Train robbers shout and yell and fire their guns.”  He draws his gun and fires off a few rounds making Willie jump.  “Got it?”

            “G-g-got it.  No Yee Hawing.”

            “Right, now put your bandana on so they don’t recognize you.”

            “Right.”  They both pulled their bandanas up and raced down the hill side again.  This time screaming and hollering, shooting off their guns into the once peaceful morning air.


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