In Lonesome Gulch, Sheriff Terrorbull was continuing wrecking havoc on folks as the Masked Bull. He felt it was a safe place to do so, since Cowtown, thanks to a combination of panic attacks from the town alarmist, Puma (who couldn't see past his nose), and the actions of Moo Mesa's Marshal, Moo Montana (who had unmasked Terrorbull after Puma had another panic attack). Cowtown now knew of Terrorbull's role as the Masked Bull and would not tolerate it any longer, but they knew there was nothing they could do about Mayor Bulloney and his corruptness.
On this day, Terrorbull was masquerading as the Masked Bull again, and as usual, Saddlesore and Boot Hill Buzzard were helping him, though proving to be a pain in the butt as they always were. Terrorbull had organized a blockade so that the current wagon train could not get from Miller Glen (Moo's hometown) to Elbow's Bend (the town where Cowlorado had led Ewe Baby, Miss Lily's sheep, to help pay for hospital construction). He wasn't in Lonesome Gulch, however; he was in Steubensburg.
"Okay, now," he said to his henchman. "Whatever you do, don't let this wagon train continue. The longer it stays here, the longer I can see to it all those banks are robbed. And if that meddling Marshal and his two idiot deputies show up, pin them to the ground. I got me a bank to go rob!" He grabbed his two guns and ran to the nearest bank. Naturally, since it was before opening time, he was able to knock his way into the bank and rob it of everything. The weirdest part of it was that the folks of Steubensburg were used to seeing their bank robbed every other week on average, and the Masked Bull was only one in a rotating cast of outlaws. While they groaned about it, they didn't panic about it as any other bank would (especially the one Mayor Bulloney was formerly president of; he quit that job to focus on being the mayor).
"Oh, great," said the bank president, Michael Bovine (no relation to Miss Lily Bovine), when he learned his bank had been robbed by the Masked Bull (again) after going to open it for the day. "Another one. Well, I've had enough, and so has the Sheriff and everybody else. But there's no one in this town that knows how to handle the Masked Bull. Where's that telegram operator? I'm calling the Marshal." He informed his employees who were just starting to show up about the robbery and that this time "may or may not be the last time we're going to be robbed, but at least it should the last the Masked Bull robs us."
When the telegram reached Cowtown, Moo and his posse had just fully awakened from last night's restful slumber. Dakota noticed Jack hard at work and finally coming out of the office. "Well, back with another one, eh, Jack?" he said when Jack came out the front door.
"Yes, and at least I didn't have to travel all over Moo Mesa to find you this time," Jack replied. "The bank president of the Second National Bank of Steubensburg says you are the only ones who know how to handle the Masked Bull, and that he's using a blockade to stop a wagon train from delivering the goods it has on time to Elbow's Bend as a front so he can rob all the banks for all they're worth. That's getting two for the price of one."
"So it is. Thanks for the tip, Jack," said Moo. "Come on, boys! Let's rodeo!" The trio jumped on their horses and headed for Steubensburg.
When they got there, both the Sheriff and Michael Bovine were playing cards as a way to pass the time while waiting for them. After the Sheriff laid down a gin, he looked up to see Moo and his posse. "Oh, Marshal!" he exclaimed. "Thanks for getting here so fast. The bank's already been robbed, but at least there was no gunfire. I prefer to do my job without anybody getting hurt. Last I saw him, he was headed back to the blockade."
"Don't fret none, Sheriff," Moo assured him. "We'll get the varmint. Like it says in the Code of the West, 'You can't keep the cougar from prowling on his prey.'" Moo and his posse rode on down to where the Sheriff and Michael had informed them of where it was. When they got there, it soon became evident that the Masked Bull's plot was backfiring, as the blockade had started moving again. "Looks like they took care of it without our help," Dakota commented.
"I don't know, Dakota," said Moo. "Maybe the Masked Bull's trying to trick us."
"Well, in any case, there are his two bumbling sidekicks," said Cowlorado, pointing towards Saddlesore and Boot Hill Buzzard, whom the Masked Bull was yelling at.
"If you had remembered the bricks, lame brain," the Masked Bull had said to Saddlesore, "we could've blocked them off in that wall setup I stole from Mayor Bulloney instead of temporarily having to let them on through!"
"Yeah, lame brain!" Saddlesore snapped at Boot Hill, passing the blame on to him (and rightfully so, because he was the stupider of the two). "If you had remembered the bricks, we could've…everything he said!"
"Now get off my back!" the Masked Bull ordered, implying that Boot Hill was to go home.
"Yes, sir," said Boot Hill fretfully. "First let me tell you our cover's blown." He proceeded to walk home in a different direction than the direction Moo and his posse were facing.
"What?" exclaimed the Masked Bull, turning around. "Drat! It's that no-good Marshal again! It's getting so that a bull can't earn a dishonest living no more!"
"Who'd you expect?" Cowlorado taunted. "Matt Dillon?"
"So this blockade preventing the wagon train from getting to Elbow's Bend was just a front, huh?" Moo snapped. "You really think you can get away with crime in the West, can't you?"
"You blew my cover in Cowtown, but you're not blowing it again!" the Masked Bull snapped back. "You know better than that! However, if you're going to cuff us, go ahead. I've got to figure something much more drastic than this." Moo put him under arrested while Dakota went after Saddlesore, and Cowlorado roped up Boot Hill.
"Maybe he does and maybe he don't," Boot Hill spoke up, "but the bank robbery is just a front. The real money is in the laundry!"
"What laundry?" asked Cowlorado, all confused.
"Never you mind," said the Masked Bull. "The less he knows, the better. But what he's saying is that if you had minded your own business, I could've advanced to Phase 2, which would've involved setting up a brick wall and establishing a true blockade, rather than just holding up the thing like I was doing when you caught me." He took the blueprint and showed it to Moo. "Recognize this?"
Moo looked at the blueprint. "Yes, I do, actually," he said as he and the boys escorted the terrible trio to jail. "This is from the mayor's plot to hog all the water. J.R. helped us out with that one." As the Masked Bull and his henchman walked inside their respective jail cells, one of each of the three, Moo continued to talk to him. "He says he can give credit to a turtle, or whatever it was, for helping him get back to nature."
"Is he religious?"
"No, I don't think so, but he does do meditations." Moo turned to the Sheriff and to Michael. "Well, case is closed, boys," he said. "Anything else you need taken care of before we head on back to Cowtown?"
"No, that will be all," said the Sheriff. "Thanks for all your help, Marshal, and you two also." Moo and the posse left the office and headed for home.
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa © Ryan Brown