Summary: Roy Coffee has his reasons for doing what he does. Really, he has.
Word Count: 700
Of course, there are easier methods to get from the Bucket of Blood saloon to the sheriff’s office than to wind one’s way crawling on the belly beneath the planks of Virginia City’s sidewalks. Easier methods and…um…more dignified. Methods of locomotion more appropriate for a sheriff.
Say, one could just walk on the wooden planks. Or on the street, straight and upright, in a striding gait, as it fit a real and true hero. One could bath in the warm sunlight there (instead of wallowing in the muddy puddles that remained in the shadowy places under the planks even after several days of scorching heat), and in the citizens’ admiration.
One could let themselves be entertained to a glass of beer, or let a cigar be slid into one’s breast pocket, could smile modestly and ward off the congratulations and the handshakes. Could say that one did only his duty, that one gets paid for it after all, and that one were just happy to hear that all the good people of Virginia City felt safe and protected in their town, on the streets and in their homes. That, at any moment, one would notice each suspicious movement, would pursue each suspicious noise, follow each suspicious character, halt each suspicious, no, each culpable act straightaway.
That in a town where Roy Coffee were responsible for Law and Order, no honourable woman needed to be afraid, no solitary lady would be molested, no reputable widow would be assaulted and robbed within her own four walls. That the sheriff patrolled the streets at night just for the purpose of preventing all such.
And then one would go back to the sheriff’s office, content with knowing one did his very best and was respected and venerated for that, would drink a cup of stale coffee and ponder, if it weren’t such a bad idea after all, to, possibly, only for one day…or a half—yes, certainly one half day would be enough as that man is so mercilessly efficient—so then for just a few hours (meanwhile one could easily have a nap in one of the cells, just so one didn’t have to witness it again and feel one’s blood boil again, unbearable hot, and—) well, if one would ask Adam Cartwright to come to the office, just for a very brief time, to straighten out all the paper work that likes to be left unfinished while one is busy with protecting the town.
And the widows.
Of course, one could simply stop thinking of widows. Just crawl along, on the belly, beneath the sidewalk’s planks, as far as the sheriff’s office, and then slip in unnoticed und think not of widows. At least not of the one. The one whom one saved last night. And who now is so infinitely grateful.
So grateful that she already heralded cookies, and sarsaparilla tea, and a picnic. A picnic, good gracious, a picnic with the widow, just he and she, all alone out there in the wide prairie, without anyone else… Only the sheriff, the widow, and those confounded, teeth wrecking hard tacks and the sickeningly sweet tea and, and…everyone knows what happened to Ben Cartwright after his picnic with the widow Hawkins…and NO! Roy doesn’t want any red artist’s tights hanging from a wall in his house or a poster of Harry Hawkins, strongest man in the world. And he doesn’t want…no, sir’ ee, he most definitely doesn’t want the widow to make true her proposition to come and clean up his office and to rearrange everything for “it’s so bleak and joyless in there, my dear sheriff. Certainly a woman’s touch is needed to remedy that.”
Of course, there are easier methods to get from the Bucket of Blood saloon to the sheriff’s office than to wind one’s way crawling on the belly beneath the planks of Virginia City’s sidewalks—but no safer as long as the Widow Hawkins is on the hunt.
A/N: This was not beta-read, so there must be mistakes. If you spot one, do not hesitate to tell me. Honestly, I want you to do it. Future readers will thank you (and I, too).