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Banks & Llamas Cattle Co.

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Con man Harold Banks needs the help of a retired sheriff to track down his wayward son... but discovers that the old-timer isn't as naive as he looks.

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Western | 0 Reviews | 100 pages | 4 months ago | Draft 1

Summary

Harold Banks is many things. He is a con man, a gunslinger… A legend really. But to one young man named Timmy, Banks is something else too. To Timmy, he’s a father. Banks knows he’s lived a life of regret. But at his age, he also figures it’s too late to go back and start over, so he’ll have to settle for the second best thing. He wants to see his son turn out better than he did. Banks is determined to set Timmy on the straight and narrow. But as you can imagine, after living his whole life on the run, Timmy wants no part of it. Maybe that’s why Timmy runs off. Trying to prove himself capable. Maybe trying to prove himself depraved - a soul not worth turning around. But he does run… and since he’s still just a kid, not half smart enough to make it on his own, he gets picked up by a Marshall within the hour. …And, well let’s just say that to the Marshall that catches him, bringing in young Timmy Banks is like striking gold. No… he isn’t interested in the young man. It's Harold Banks he really wants. Everyone knows that Banks wouldn’t let his boy take the fall for his own crimes. And Banks is about to prove them all right. Now Banks always has a trick up his sleeve, and he knows how to play off of a person’s weakness. Well one such person - a sheriff named Juan Llamas - has just the sort of weakness Banks likes to make use of. Llamas is a man obsessed with justice… and he has a healthy dose of pride mixed in. He’s getting up there in years, and has recently lost his shooting arm… so there are plenty of young deputies who have their eyes set on his job. So when Banks catches up to Llamas, he finds the old man trying to prove his worth by tracking down a gang of cattle rustlers. Well, Banks plays the old man like a fiddle. …Or so he thinks. Before he gives himself up, Banks orchestrates a safety net for himself by hiring a gunslinger named Ben Roja to facilitate his jailbreak, just in case things go south and land him a little too close to the gallows. …But what Banks doesn’t expect to find is that Roja has already been hired as a security against the old sheriff. Those rustlers that Llamas is chasing aren’t just stealing cattle. The whole heist is a setup to cover insurance fraud. …So you can see why certain men prefer that Sheriff Llamas never makes it home. Banks can see that he has his work cut out for him, but out of concern for Timmy, he goes ahead and turns himself in to the old sheriff. The journey home is filled with adventure, but those are stories for another day. …The important thing is - that even though Sheriff Llamas is about to become the hero who brought in the legendary Harold Banks… he just can’t get that stolen herd of cattle off his mind. Maybe it’s that justice obsession. A depth of character that is more than Banks has ever seen in one person. And so Banks is entirely unprepared when he finds himself working alongside a crippled old man to drive home a herd of three thousand head. Well they hire a team of cowboys, and Banks plays along. The entire journey, he’s hoping that he and Llamas will ride on ahead and let the cowboys do the work. But Llamas is just too good a man to cut any corners. …And try as he might not to, Banks can’t help but take a liking to the old man. In fact, at one point when Llamas gets himself into a tight spot, Banks even risks his own life to help him out - something he swears will never happen again. When they come closer to Apache Junction, where Banks is to stand trial, he begins to regret the deal he’d struck with Ben Roja. He knows it isn’t likely to end well for the sheriff. Banks tries to warn Llamas away, but even so, Llamas is determined to finish his work, and finish it well. Banks is reunited with Timmy at the local jailhouse, and as promised, Ben Roja breaks them out. Now that it’s time for Banks to hold up his end of the bargain, he begins to feel something he's never felt before… and that’s guilt, worrying about Llamas’s fate. Meanwhile, it isn’t long before young Timmy runs off again. Banks ducks away from Roja’s gang just long enough to find Sheriff Llamas and warn him off for the last time. …But Banks isn’t at all prepared to find Llamas alone, defeated, and downright drunk at the local saloon. You see during Banks’s jailbreak, a certain man was shot in the town square… and that man was the only person who stood to benefit from all the hard work Llamas had put into driving home that herd of cattle. In that one moment, Llamas had lost every ounce of purpose he had left. In fact, it seems to Banks that Llamas no longer cares if he lives or dies. Well, Banks isn’t one to go down without a fight, and he hates to see that kind of defeat in a man he’s grown to respect. So he comes up with a final suggestion. Since the herd of cattle no longer has an owner, he thinks, what if he and Llamas were to start their own ranch? Llamas owns some land just east of the canyon. If the cowboys can drive the herd that far, Banks and Llamas can funnel them through the rest of the way on their own. The only trouble is… Banks knows Ben Roja will be there waiting. Timmy takes up with Roja’s gang, thinking that they’d be willing to give him a job. What the young man doesn’t realize is… the only job he’s qualified for is that of “hostage”. So Banks finds himself in a sticky situation as he and Llamas stand at the base of that canyon, surrounded by cattle. Roja’s gang has taken up position on the ridges, and Timmy is a hostage. It would take time to explain how it all unfolded, but Banks had been shot, and he figures he might not have much time left to leave a good legacy for his son. He has one last chance to give Timmy an example worth following, and he isn’t about to waste it. So Con Man Harold Banks comes out for one last job. He dresses himself up like the old Sheriff Llamas, and convinces the old man to wear his hat. From the top of the ridges, where Roja’s gang will be sniping from, their identities will appear swapped. They stampede the cattle and build some speed. Roja’s entire gang is sniping from the high ground, thinking they are aiming at Llamas. You wouldn’t believe it, but Banks almost makes it through that canyon. Almost… but not quite. Timmy does, and that’s what’s important to Banks. And something else happens too. Timmy sees something that day. He watches his father give it all for something good that he believes in. Today, Timmy is the sort of man Banks hoped he be. He owns half of a cattle company, with an old retired sheriff named Juan Llamas.

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