$10,000 for Durango — episode #28
Jason just finished a cattle drive. It was a good
looking herd! Of course, Ed Duggan’s beef always
brings top dollar and there was already a buyer
waiting for Jason. He gave Jason a check for
$10,000.00 and assured him
he could cash it at the local bank. Jason was on
his way out, and wondered how long it would take the
bank to raise that much money. Mr. Ross assured him
it would only take a minute since $30,000 more was
coming in as well. “The way the beef’s been coming
through, you better get yours while it lasts.”
“I’m on my way,” Jason assured Mr. Ross. Jason
assured him that that he’d ask Mr. Duggan to send
more beef his way.
When Jason arrived in town, he was a bit leery at
how quiet the town was. He watched a woman slowly
leave a house and walk into the street. On the other
side, a man left a building and started across the
street. The man approached the woman and grabbed
her. “Hey there, pretty lady…” She ordered the man
to take his hands off her. Jason, being the
wonderful protector he is, thought it was his duty
to intervene in such a scene. He grabbed the man and
gave him a hard shove in the water trough. Then he
lifted him out and punched him before shoving him
back into the building he had just exited. The lady
thanked him and introduced herself as Callie Clay.
“I guess you were the only one who could help me,”
Callie pointed out.
“Strange, isn’t it? An empty street and nobody
“Sure is,” Callie commented. “It’s eerie.” She said
she hated to go to the bank, but she had to make a
deposit before noon.
Jason smiled. “Well, I’ll walk with you.” She hated
to impose on him anymore, and tried to assure him
she’d be alright. “You’re not imposing. I was headed
for the bank myself,” Jason assured her with a
As they started toward the bank, Jason noticed men
hiding with guns trained on them. Callie sensed his
hesitation and asked him what was wrong. “The street
may be empty, but there’s plenty of men around…with
guns pointed right at us.” Callie wondered what
could be happening. “I don’t know.”
Suddenly, the Sheriff was standing in front of them
with his gun drawn. “You! Over here,” he ordered. We
approached cautiously. “What are you doing here?” I
told him I was just going to the bank. “Why?”
“I just delivered a herd to the stock yard, Sheriff.
What’s going on here?” I asked.
“That’s my question. Let’s hear your answer first,”
the Sheriff ordered.
I took the check out of my pocket. “I just want to
cash this draft, then head back to Durango to give
it to the man I work for.”
“I just came in on the train this morning, and I
have to make a deposit of over $500,” Callie
The Sheriff read the bank draft. “You THE Jason
“I’m Jason McCord,” I answered with an unsmiling
“You mean that fella Duncan trusted you with ten
thousand of his money?” Jason cast a sideways glance
at Callie, then answered. “He knows me.”
“Alright,” the sheriff said. “I guess you wouldn’t
have the nerve for it anyway.”
“The nerve for what?” Jason asked as he stepped
“The bank’s going to be held up any minute.”
“This is the first time I’ve heard of bank robbers
giving advanced noticed,” Jason commented. He said
received a letter. He had ever gun in this town
deputized and more on the way from Pearl River.
“I uh…I wouldn’t deposit that right now, ma’am,” the
sheriff advised Callie. “And you better pick your
money up quick, McCord, and ride on out of here!”
“I’ll walk you back to the hotel after I cash my
draft,” Jason assured Callie. She thanked me.
Jason went into the bank to cash it. Jason had his
bag already for the money and a pair of handcuffs
besides. The deputies kept a close eye out while
Jason worked on cashing his draft. Four men wearing
deputy badges rode into town. One of the deputies
held a rifle on them. “We’re from Pearl River,” one
of the incoming deputies assured him.
Jason was just putting the last of his money in the
bag when the sheriff deputy came in with the four
new deputies claiming to be from Pearl River. It
didn’t take long to figure out that they weren’t
from deputies from Pearl River. They drew their guns
and held them on us. They had apparently met up with
the deputies. “We needed their badges.” They ordered
everyone’s gun belts. The leader ordered his men to
start scooping the money up.
The banker was hit over the head. I just stood there
holding my money bag. The Sheriff stepped forward.
“You won’t pull this off. There’s fifty guns
That’s when things went from bad to worse. The one
named Ross grabbed Callie. “I’ll blow up the little
lady here!” he threatened.
Morgan pointed a gun at me. “Okay Mister, let’s have
the money you have in that case.”
Jas snapped the handcuffs shut. “The case is
“Open it,” he ordered. Jason just looked at him. “I
said open it!”
Jason held up his hand and let the case dangle from
his wrist. “Sure,” Jason promised him. “If you’ll
ride three hundred miles to Durango with me. That’s
where the key is.”
“Shoot that thing off his wrist!” Ross ordered.
Instead, Morgan hit Jason over the head with the
gun. He collapsed on the floor. He shot the chain of
the handcuffs and took the money bag. “Now Sheriff,
you’re going to let
those guns out there know the problem. If one of
them so much as sneezes…she gets it. And nobody
tries to follow us for twenty-four hours.”
The bank robbers made their way to the door. The
sheriff hurried out with his hands up. Ross followed
holding Callie in front of him with a gun trained on
her. “Don’t anybody shoot!” The sheriff yelled out
on the street. “They’re holding the girl a hostage.
If you try anything, they’ll kill her!” Ross dragged
Callie out onto the wagon. The men got on the wagon,
and more followed behind. Then they rode out of
Jason came to after they rode out. He strapped on
his gun belt and asked the banker to find somebody
to cut the handcuffs off his wrist. “What are you
going to do now?” The sheriff asked him.
“I’m going after ten thousand dollars.”
“You can’t! They’ll kill that girl!” The sheriff
“They’ll kill her anyway when they’re through with
her,” Jason stated. “Maybe I can stop that.”
“I gave my word nobody would follow for twenty-four
hours!” The sheriff declared.
“They’ve got ten thousand dollars I’m responsible
for, Sheriff. And I didn’t give them my word!” The
sheriff nodded in agreement. I picked up my hat and
As the robbers made their getaway, there were three
men watching. One of the men was mad because he felt
he was being cut out of a lot of money. He’d worked
that bank job for Frank Ross a month ago. One of the
men suggested they go after them now. “No no…I know
we’re they’re going. They’re heading for that shack
up the gully. We’ll just let them get settled, then
we’ll pick them off like sitting ducks!”
When Jason showed up at the shack, one of the three
men started to shoot him. Tiny stopped him. He
decided that Jason could start the shooting. Maybe
he’d end up helping them. Tiny told his other man to
ride on up the hill and cover them in the back.
Jason drew his gun and ran toward the shack. He
kicked in the door and ordered for the men to “Drop
them.” They were all surprised. None of them had a
chance to reach for their guns. He told Miss Clay to
pick them up and step over there. Jason immediately
went to collect the money.
Unbeknownst to him, however, Callie Clay was on the
wrong side of the law. She pulled a gun on him.
“Drop it, Mr. McCord!”
Jason was shocked. “McCord…Jason McCord…” Ross said
then. “Old yellow tail? Well, you went through a lot
of bother, mister. “She’s part of the plan. Part of
a real good plan.” Callie walked up to Ross. He put
his arm around her. “I sent a letter to the sheriff
to make sure he’d be there to see Callie. You know,
solid citizens like him go all soft and hollow when
he says a frail little female in danger.”
“Why are you telling him everything?” Morgan asked
“Why not? He’s not going to spread it around,” Ross
declared. “He’s in more trouble than anybody when he
doesn’t show up with that money. Her folks may even
think that he planned the whole thing.” Callie asked
him what he was going to do with Jason. “What do you
care what I do with a coward?”
“Oh, he’s not a coward!” Callie declared. “If he
hadn’t saved me from that drunk, your well-though
out hold up might have ended you up in a
“Alright, then he’s a hero,” Ross said. “What do you
want me to do? Split the money with him?” She told
him to show Jason a little gratitude. “Well, you’re
the one he saved. Maybe you’ll want to show him a
little gratitude,” Ross commented as he glared at
“Come on…Let me put a bullet in him!” Morgan begged.
Ross told him to shut up. Ross told him to shut up.
Suddenly, bullets sounded from outside. The men
immediately thought it was the law. Ross
was a bit upset that his plan had backfired. “Maybe
he figures we let Callie go.”
Ross grabbed Callie, “Well, we’ll show him
different!” Ross realized it was Bradford out there.
“Let’s make a deal!” he yelled. “We’ll give you half
of what we got…Five thousand!”
“I got a better deal,” Bradford declared. “You give
us half…and we’ll take the rest!” Bradford laughed.
Morgan grabbed the money off the table and ran out
the door. “Bradford, don’t shoot! I’ve got the
money!” Morgan ran out into the yard. “Don’t shoot!
I’ve got the…”
Ross shot him in the back. Morgan fell in the dirt,
money flying all around him. Ross turned and looked
at the rest of the men in the house. “Anybody else
The men were beginning to panic. One of them
commented that he just wanted to get out of there.
They had the horses around back. Ross thought they
should try to get Bradford the slip. “Bradford will
shoot you down before you can get to the horses!”
“Well…” Ross said as he glared at Jason. “We’ve got
nothing to lose if we let that hero try it.”
“If he makes it to those horses, he’ll hightail it
out of here!”
“No he won’t,” Ross assured them. “Not if we
promised him his ten thousand.” Ross ordered Jason
to give him his gun belt. Jason just stared at him.
“Come on!” Ross ordered.
“You know he hasn’t got a chance!” Callie argued.
“Now, you bring us all those horses…Maybe we’ll talk
about giving you back your ten thousand.”
“It’s suicide!” Callie argued. “He hasn’t got a
“Yes he has.” Ross had thrown me three bullets, then
threw the gun out the front door. He told me to get
out there. He shoved me out the door.
Of course, the minute Jason stepped out the door,
the men started shooting. Jason dodged the bullets,
grabbed the empty gun, and jumped behind the wagon.
He loaded the gun behind the wagon.
“That’s not one of Frank’s regular gang,” Bradford
commented. “We gotta get our hands on that money!”
He ordered his man to go on top of the shed and take
a shot at the big guy behind the wagon.
Ross sent Taylor out the door next. Taylor argued.
He didn’t want to be shot. “Out you go!” Ross
ordered. He didn’t get very far before they shot him
“They got Taylor!”
“And McCord got one of them. The odds are getting
better,” Ross stated.
Ross sent out another man. He died just as quickly.
As for the man on top of the shed…well, he made a
little noise, and Jason’s keen senses heard it.
Jason shot him, and he fell dead.
Tiny Bradford was the only man left outside. But in
another second, Jason shot him and he
dead. Ross was happy. “That’s it! That worked out
just right!” Ross felt like he was on top of the
world. “We got the money and no partners!” He
started throwing the money in the bag. He opened the
door, led Callie outside, and started across the
yard, a happy smile on his face.
Apparently, he’d forgotten about dear ol’ Jason.
Jason leapt out from behind the wagon. “Hold it,
Ross.” He held the gun on Ross. “The three of us and
that money are taking a little ride back to town.”
“You’re bluffing, McCord,” Ross declared. “I kept a
close count. I gave you only three bullets and you
fired them all.”
Jason looked down at the gun and knew he was beat.
He grabbed the barrel of the pistol and acted like
he was about to beat Ross with it. But Ross had his
gun drawn and pointed it at Jason. “Drop it!” Jason
obeyed. Ross cocked the pistol and started to pull
But suddenly, Callie grabbed his gun. They started
struggling with it. Jason sure wasn’t going to stand
by and let him fight the girl, so he tacked Ross and
they started fighting. The gun went off, but they
Ross had been on top of Jason when the gun went off.
Ross fell back onto the ground…dead.
Callie immediately threw her arms around Jason. “Oh
Jason, I’m so glad you’re alright!” she declared
“Forgotten him already?” Jason asked softly as he
pushed her away.
“I never really saw him for what he was until today.
I’m sorry I got you mixed up in this, Jason.”
“You didn’t,” Jason assured her. “I would have
walked into that bank anyway.” Jason picked up the
case of money and asked her if that was all the
money. Callie told him it was.
Jason went to pick up the rest of the money still
laying on the ground. “It’s all ours now, Jason,”
Callie said. “Enough to last for a lifetime. They’ll
never suspect us. We were innocent victims. We can
hide the money and…”
Jason interrupted her dreaming. “No. It all goes
back except the ten thousand dollars that goes to
the man I work for.”
“Alright, Jason. Whatever you say. Just let me…be
the woman you work for.” She begged Jason, the
I took the money back. The sheriff counted the
money, and I assured him it was all there, except
for the ten thousand dollars. “I would like to
apologize to you, McCord. I was thinking you were
part of the gang.”
“I can assure you he wasn’t,
Callie smiled at Jason. “If it wasn’t for Mr.
McCord, I wouldn’t be here now.” The sheriff told
her word was good enough for him.
Jason looked straight at her. “It shouldn’t be. She
wasn’t a hostage. She was part of the gang.”
“Oh no, Jason!” Callie begged.
“That’s why they wanted to make sure you’d be at the
bank. She was their ticket to a safe ride out. But
she did stand up for me against the gang and she
kept Frank Ross from killing me.”
“And we did get all the money back,” the sheriff
added. “I guess the law won’t be too hard on her,
seeing as how she’s a woman and all…”
“She’s a woman alright.” Jason smiled at her. “And
every man has a soft spot for a woman.” She knew
Jason didn’t. She wished he did.
“Think what we could have had.”
“I did think about it, Callie,” Jason assured her.
“Long and hard.” Jason shook his head as he watched
Callie try to seduce the sheriff. Jason walked out
and rode out of town.
*Thanks to Michelle Palmer for writing this episode!
around The McCain Ranch