About Lady Luck
Author: Julia Talbot
Word Count: 11280
Page Count (pdf): 40
Date Published: Feb 9 2014 second edition
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
Tomboy and Old West sheriff’s deputy Samantha has heard tell the pretty lady gambler, Lady Luck. When the Lady comes to her town, though, she’s prepared for fancy clothes and a cheating heart, not a down to earth woman who takes more of an interest in Samantha than any man ever has.
Maggie runs a clean game, and wants no trouble in Samantha’s town. Until she meets Sammy, that is. Then she wants all the trouble she can wrap her hands around. Can the two of them show all their cards, or will they be forced to fold?
Originally published by Torquere Press in the Locked and Loaded anthology.
“Now, gents,” Maggie said, backing away from the poker table, her valise in one hand and her little derringer in the other. “There ain’t no need to get all het up. Every dadblasted one of you knows I ain’t no cheat.”
“Ain’t right,” Callum Carter mumbled, staring at the bore of her little pistol. “Getting’ beat by a woman.”
Baring her teeth, Maggie let the barrel drift even more his way. “Oh now,” she said, “I was a “lady” until about two hours ago. What happened to that?”
“Well, you beat us,” the little fellar in the bowler hat spat out. “That changes things considerable like.”
“Don’t see why.” There. The door of the saloon hit her bustle, right on cue. Thank the good Lord. She might just get out of this after all.
“Just ain’t right.” That was another man, Davis something, and she’d thought him right handsome. Now he had the ugliest look on his face.
“I won fair and square, and if you set the sheriff on me like you’re threatening, I’ll make sure he knows how you hold aces, Callum. Or how Ed here deals from the bottom of the deck.”
She felt the sun on her back and Maggie whirled, clearing the swinging doors and sprinting for her horse. She had to let the derringer slip up her sleeve so she could hold her blasted skirts out of her way. That was the damned trouble with being “Lady Luck” she figured.
All of those clothes got in the way of a good escape.
“Well, now. Lookie there,” Sammy’s father said, pointing over the toes of his propped up boots.
She peered out from the porch of the little jail they’d just built last year and fingered her deputy’s star. That was one pretty lady for sure. Riding sidesaddle, too, on a paint horse. The lady pulled up in front of the livery and waited until someone came out to hand her down, just like someone always did for a woman like that.
Sammy snorted. “What about her?”
“That’s Lady Luck, honey. She’s right famous.”
Squinting with first one eye, then the other, Sammy shook her head. “She don’t look nothing like her poster.”
“Sure she does.” Her pa tilted his head. “Or at least the clothes and the hair does. She’s a sight prettier. Chico, now, he looks just the same.”
“He has his own poster?”
“Yes indeed. Word has it that nag broke the Lady out of jail once. And she always rides him sidesaddle.”
“Well, that’s just ridiculous.” Really, how did that woman ever make an escape? “We gonna run her in?”
“Nah. She’s never done nothin’ but beat men at their own game. We’ll just keep an eye on her. She cheats or fights, we’ll get her.”
“All right, then.” Sammy squinted, watching Lady Luck take off her little hat, exposing red curls piled high. She thought they ought to ask the brazen woman to leave town, right away, but her pa was the sheriff, and what he said was law in Bitter Creek.
The lady got out a parasol, for God’s sake, and stepped daintily onto the boardwalk, holding her skirts high and showing off a pair of button up shoes made out of fine, fine kid. A woman shouldn’t be in Bitter Creek if she was that fancy. Especially not and be headed for the saloon.