They came as quick as the thunder claps, coming in without a sign of welcome on their part. Clouds on the once settling dusty ground rose and whipped wildly as they came. Bolts of metal popped louder and louder, from their pistols.

Mixture of cries filled the dusty air, some were in fear of being caught in the crossfire, some in anger toward to those who shot for fun and pleasure, some of the screams came from those started this.

Howls of pure delight carried from them. The trotting of their horses covered their tracks, as they rushed into the heart of the town. Raging excitedly and inaccurately through the hotel, passing areas that of the bar, scaring up the drunks, showgirls, and owners, as to show they meant to come more than just business. Few stayed behind, mostly to rile-up the dancers for their deeds.

The fainted looks of fear, disgust, and anger only excited the riders more. As others batten the gambles for their cash in hopes to live, wanting little of any spare cash from the passer goes of the small town, owners safes. A few more the riders stayed outside, pure maniacs they were, doing whatever they pleased.

With the jostle within the hotel, leak slowly of cards, drinks, maybe a cloth of clothing or two, each of the riders making sure none didn’t have any more fun than another.

A light of curse ranged from of the riders, in mild pettiness as one his comrades shot his horse in the mess they made, it was no matter, and this town had plenty to give in a last minute hiccup on their part, for who would go against them.

They felt unstoppable.

With the setting lights of the falling sun, it near time to go, as the sky faded from a powder blue to colors of what the chaos they had done to the down, with rivers of red trailing down some of the bodies, purple matching the bruises on the showgirls once smooth skins, brown of the broken glass of finest whisker this side of the west, barren greens that match their ravenousness and bitterness, faint yellow that shy awaken from the golden finds from their slowly growing cargo.

By time the town fully understood what happen to their once peaceful town, the bandit riders would already near the mountains, forgetting the damage they had done, leaving the barely steading town back into the ground, much sooner than any citizen was thinking was going to happen.

The townspeople watch as they came in without knocking, looting and destroy just as quick, and by a blink of an eye or a subtle cry of lost, they were gone.

In Without Knocking by Charles Russell

Made in the year; 1909

Location when painted; unknown, but the scene itself took place in Old Stanford, Montana.

© Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; used with permission

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