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Temptation of Billy Cooper

short
By D Ray Van
Drama,Thriller,Western

An out-of-work cowboy rescues the daughter of a cattle baron from three would-be kidnappers. Maybe he would’ve been better off letting them recapture and ransom her.

Approved
Nominee
Draft #5
Peer Rating: 60%
Industry Rating: N/A
Draft 5: 60%
Draft 4: 47%
Draft 2: 73%
Draft 1: 67%
2 Reviews | 34 pages | 7 months ago | Draft 5

Summary

A down-on-his-luck, out-of-work cowboy, Billy Cooper, travels across the open plains toward Colorado Springs, CO, seeking work at the Bucking-R ranch. When still a day’s ride out, Billy stops for rest and water at a nearby stream. He sees three horsemen chasing a woman and gaining. He aims his rifle and fires at the men. They stop and hit the ground. The woman, however, makes a beeline for Billy. He discovers the woman is the Bucking-R owner’s daughter, Carrie James, and the men are kidnappers who want to hold her for ransom. Billy flesh-wounds two of the men and makes his escape with Carrie to a mountain cabin. Before long, the men pursue them. Billy has a shootout with the men and kills all three but is seriously wounded himself. When he returns to the cabin, Carrie nurses his wound. Billy finds a bottle of whiskey, and they both get drunk. While Carrie sleeps, Billy is tempted to molest her but doesn't. Carrie wakes up the next morning and discovers her shirt is unbuttoned, and her bosom is exposed. She immediately suspects Billy of violating her and reminds him that men have disappeared for minor infractions against her. He tries to explain, but Carrie remains suspicious and wants her pa and brothers to sort it out. Carrie orders Billy to escort her home. Billy imagines what will be in store for him if he takes Carrie to the ranch and decides on an alternate scenario.

Industry Reviews

Peer Reviews

A common criticism: when expressions/descriptions/feelings are STATED, NOT SHOWN. "Down-on-his-luck" is easy to write it, but we're dealing with a visual medium, not a novel. Other than the four basic: S.H.A.F. = sad, hate, anger, fear (and even those should be illustrated visually at times) you need to SHOW and convey by dialogue or action how Billy is perceived as being down-on-his-luck.
"Lustful thoughts creep into his mind" is not needed...

7 months ago | read more...
Alec Cuddeback Top Reviewer
I originally thought I was reading a romantic, idealistic, worn-out story of the wild west, nothing new. A young man saves a 'damsel in distress,' but the ending is anything but. I'm not sure what to make of it. The Indian hero is saavy to the dangers of bigotry, so in a larger cynical sense, I can see why the hero would feel compelled to make the choices he did. I found it hard to believe that the kidnappers would continue the fight after being...

7 months ago | read more...
Carol Newman Top Reviewer
Full disclosure. I hate westerns. They've been done to death. It's not a very important part of history, but it's all that American's really have, so they fixate on it.

Having said that, I am so glad that I read this. It literally took my breath away. As soon as I realized where the ending was going I became anxious about Carrie's fate and exhilarated at the audacity and cold-blooded nature of his decision.My heart raced. You also strung it ou...

8 months ago | read more...
This writer clearly has a grasp on the material and genre. Unlike many modern writers attempting a tale of the Old West, this one feels authentic. How much of the stylized dialogue would remain intact is a fair question, but it all works well.

The five characters act believably. This is not a simple tale of white hats vs black hats. The badguys all have enough personality and motivation that they seem believable; we are not actually rooting...

8 months ago | read more...
Plot: As a short, I like that this is a scenario that Billy finds himself in while he’s off looking for ways to survive. It could easily be made into a feature length which possibilities of exploring Billy’s life before the encounter as well as furthering the script after this scenario to continue his journey. With that being said, I feel like there were some plot points that weren’t too believable.
The shot to Theo’s neck needs to be a bit more...

8 months ago | read more...

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