How the West Was Actually Won

by Mort Harris

Nineteen forty eight, the American West teemed with hostile Indians. As more settlers moved out West, Redskins attacked wagon trains and burned ranch houses, tarnishing the name of Washington’s famous football team. The President, in desperation called upon Stephen Gold, the Secretary of State. “We have a serious problem with terrorism in this country” said the President. “The Indians are attacking us indiscriminately. We have information that they are stealing herds of women and raping the cattle.”

“Sir” asked Gold, “Could that report be in error?”

“Never!” thundered the President. “Our intelligence is indisputable; worse than that, they have resorted to suicide knifing.”

Gold was shocked. “Suicide knifing?”

“Yes” said the President. “Terrorists are attacking saloons; they knife a few people and then stab themselves to death.”

Gold shook his head. “Insane fanatics.”

“What’s wrong with those Indians?” questioned the President. “Haven’t we been generous with them?”

Gold whispered, “Maybe they are a little upset about us being on their land and slaughtering their Buffalo.”

“Nonsense. It’s those wild extremists, the Redskin Supremacists.” He grabbed Gold by the shoulders, “Gold, you are an expert on the far West. I need you to go and check out the tribes. We have received reports that they are preparing for more attacks. More importantly, it is rumored that they are compiling arrows of mass destruction.”

Gold asked, “Have you intercepted any vital messages between the tribes?”

“Only one, when we broke their smoke signal code.”

“What did it say?”

“Yankee go home.” The President shook his head. “Those inconsiderate heathens.”

“Ungrateful savages.” echoed Gold.

The President slammed his fist against his desk. “We have got to have more rigid immigration laws. The Indians act as if it were their land.”

Gold grimaced but nodded.

“One more thing Gold, when you’re out West find out what we can do to lure more settlers out there. I’ll send a large army with you as a peace measure, of course.”

After his futile search for arrows of mass destruction, Gold wrote:

Dear Mr. President,
I picked up some pretty trinkets and got a great buy on a blanket. At our pow-wow, I learned the tribes were not open to our kind of democracy. However, they thanked you for the gifts of whiskey.
Stephen (One Braid) Gold

Toward the end of his trip, Gold found himself in Sutter’s Mill, California. Crossing the muddy main street, he was struck by a speeding stagecoach. People gathered around his injured body.

“Who is that?”

“That’s Gold.”

“What happened to him?”

“He was struck by a stagecoach.”

Word started spreading though the town. “They struck Gold.”


“Sutter’s Mill.”

The Pony Express carried the fake news all the way to Missouri. “They struck gold in California.”

The excitement spread by telegraph to Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Thousands of people stampeded out West to seek their fortune.
Swathed in bandages, splints on his arms and legs, Gold, leaning on a crutch, met the President in the Oval Office. The President nailed a medal into the cast that covered Gold’s chest. Gold attempted a salute but the cast on his arm locked at the half way point. The president heaped praises on his Secretary of State. “You have exceeded my expectations. You not only pacified the Indians with whiskey, but you discovered an ingenious way to get our people to migrate West.”

“Sir, the people of this nation are lucky to have a man such as you as President.”

“I know,” boasted the president. “I sent my best General and more troops to suppress the Indian uprising in the Dakota territory.”

Months later, General Custer stood proudly on a hill top waving the flag of the 27th Cavalry and shouted, “I will stop those Indians if it’s the last thing I do.”

Mort Harris is a comedy writer for Marty Allen.

Recurring Dream

Guest Author: ReNae Watsabaugh

I had a reoccurring dream once. I probably don’t need professional help to figure out the source and what it might mean. Usually, I would blame it on the bratwurst sandwich and the entire cheesecake I ate right before I went to bed. However, this one was different.

The Christmas lights flickered in the front of our house. Looking toward the street, he was tall and had strong shoulders. He actually enjoyed the cold north wind, though his hat offered little protection. As time passed, he worried his head might fall off as he felt somehow unsteady.

One morning my sister Sherrie, during a snowball fight, skidded into the him and knocked his head off. She promptly set it back but at a different angle. Instead of gazing out at the street, he faced backward toward our porch. He had been looking the other way for at least two weeks. This morning his snowman’s posture leaned a little. His feet were yellow from the salutations of the neighbor’s dogs. Now he saw behind him instead of straight ahead.

Aware his end was imminent, he began to feel he would soon melt and his life purpose would be to give the large oak tree next to him a drink of water. He hoped it appreciated his sacrifice.

The afternoon sun found him even smaller. He was very wet. Even his outer clothing was dripping. His carrot nose dripped, but not from a January cold. People began talking behind his back. They whistled and discussed the nice weather. They were all happy, but the snowman felt anxious.

“Are you okay?” I asked as I returned from school. He whispered that his head might slide to his shoulders. My mother called and I went into the warm house, sorry the snowman could not follow.

His head gradually slid down his shoulders. There was nothing I could do about it. I had chores to do before the sun set.

His view changed again and he faced up at the sky. He watched the stars coming out one by one. That was his last look. In the morning he was not there, just the green grass blades and a dirty pile of snowballs.