Once upon a time there was a dog named Cisco. He had a sheriff named Sheriff Jones. It was Cisco and Sheriff Jones’ job to keep order in the town of Culver’s End, and they took that job seriously. Culver’s End wasn’t a very big town, but there were gold mines up in the mountains near there and lots of men coming and going all the time. Most of them were good, hard-working men just trying to earn a living…but some of them were not.
One of these second kind was a man by the name of Slim Jim Donnelly. He was a black-hearted man, wanted in seven states for every crime from cattle-rustling to train robbery to murder. No one in Culver’s End had seen Slim Jim, but there was a rumor that he was hiding out in the area. Cisco first heard the rumor when he was sniffing out some thieving raccoons near the Black Buffalo Saloon. He trotted straight down to the sheriff’s office and made sure Sheriff Jones moseyed on up the street to hear the rumor, too.
That afternoon, Cisco set out to hunt for Slim Jim Donnelly, with Sheriff Jones riding by his side. Cisco knew all the good hideouts anywhere near Culver’s End. He had been roaming this range since he was just a little pup. Sheriff Jones was useful, too. He was an excellent tracker. It was said that he could track a polar bear in a snowstorm, though Cisco never really did understand what a polar bear was supposed to be or why you couldn’t wait until it had finished snowing to hunt one down. In any case, it didn’t take long before the sheriff saw signs that a large group of men had passed through that area. Cisco soon had the scent as well, the distinct smell of men who were up to no good. The dog and the sheriff followed the scent down to Graveyard Gulch. It was a long and narrow canyon, and Cisco knew that there was a large cave on the far side which was plenty large enough for Slim Jim and his whole gang. Cisco also knew that there was no way to get near the cave without being seen from the opening. If Slim Jim had a guard posted (and he certainly would) they would be spotted right away if they tried to make their move. The best plan was to wait until morning when Slim Jim’s gang headed out and take them by surprise at the canyon mouth.
Unfortunately, Sheriff Jones didn’t know Graveyard Gulch as well as Cisco did. He slid off his horse and began to ease his way toward the cave, using scrub bushes for cover. Cisco tried to pull him back, tried to warn him with a quiet growl, but Sheriff Jones could be stubborn at times. He just told Cisco to “Stay” and kept on creeping forward. Cisco sat down to assess the situation. He knew that the sheriff was going to be spotted soon and taken captive, so he only had a little time to figure out what to do. He reckoned his best chance was to use Sheriff Jones’ capture as a distraction and try to take the men by surprise.
Once he had a plan, Cisco moved quickly. He headed back the way they had come and out around to the other side of Graveyard Gulch to be in position. Sure enough, he was just barely coming up over the rise when he heard some shouts and a loud shot. Cisco truly hoped that the sheriff hadn’t gotten himself killed. He trusted not. Sheriff Jones could be quite resourceful when he needed to. A few steps further and Cisco could see what was going on below. Several men were dragging Sheriff Jones out of the bushes. Judging from the way the sheriff was struggling, he was plenty alive. Now a tall thin man came out of the cave, smoking a cigarette. His men handed him the sheriff’s rifle. All eyes were on Slim Jim as he broke the rifle over his knee and laughed.
It was the moment Cisco had been waiting for. Like a shot out of a gun, he streaked out from behind the rocks and took a flying leap. His timing was perfect. Slim Jim had no warning at all before Cisco landed directly on his chest, knocking him onto his back. The men erupted with shouts and drew their guns, but they couldn’t seem to figure out where to shoot. Slim Jim was rolling around on the ground, trying to keep Cisco away from his throat. Amidst all the chaos, Sheriff Jones was able to wrench his arms free and grab the rifle of the man nearest him. After that, it was only a matter of time before Slim Jim and all of his gang were tied up securely in the cave with Cisco standing guard while Sheriff Jones rode back into town for a wagon to take all the men to jail.
The reward for the capture of Slim Jim Donnelly was $100. Cisco let Sheriff Jones keep the money. His reward was the satisfaction of a job well done. Though he didn’t turn down the steak the sheriff offered him for dinner that night either.