When the blindfold came off, Gerald found himself in a run-down homesteader’s cabin, lit only by dusty shafts of light that peeked through the logs. He was bound hand and food to a rude wooden stool, and a big man in a duster and banana sat on a stool of his own nearby.

“Wh-who are you?” Gerald stammered. “What do you want?”

The man drew a piece of paper from his pocket and tossed it at Gerald. It wafted down onto his lap, and he could just make out in the dim light that it was one of the sketches he’d done for the Marshall’s office in Dunn’s Crossing. It was Bradley King Freeman’s face, wanted for rustling and robbery; carved into a printing block by the local engraver, it had furnished hundreds of copies dotted about the territories.

“You draw that?”

Gerald spat out his answer before he could think better of it. “Y-yeah,” he said.

The man pulled down his bandanna, and Gerald felt panic sweat prickle along his back. It was Bradley King Freeman, the spitting image of his composite sketch. “That was a mighty pretty picture you drew,” the bandit growled. “Mighty pretty.”

“I…I just did it for the money,” Gerald stammered, his voice rising to a squeak. “I listened to the witnesses and I drew it and they gave me ten dollars. I swear, I don’t have anything against you!”

“Just in it for the money, huh?” Freeman reached into his coat. “In that case I’ve got just the thing for you.”

Gerald winced. That was it–shot in the head while trussed up like a chicken. And all for ten dollars’ worth of art.

Freeman produced a stack of silver certificates tied up with twine and dumped it on Gerald’s lap. “How about you take ten times as much to do a nice portrait with color and a frame,” he said. “Get my good side and send it back upriver to my folks so they’ll have something to remember me by when I’m dangling from a noose.”

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