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Patricia
Author: Don Fraser

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There was a girl born to some settlers as they were moving out west. the wagon train stopped just long enough for the midwife to help, the mother bare her child, and then it continued west. A little girl was born that day. Her parents chose the name Patricia.

By the time the wagon train reached what is now called Oklahoma. Patricia was walking and running. There were no other girls in the wagon train so she had to play with boys. It wasn't long before she could run faster than them, and when they tried to wrestle her down, she would throw them off of her back, and hold them down.

The wagon train moved on slowly through terrible snow storms. Patricia would leave the wagon and play in the snow, even if there was a blizzard. Spring came to the wagon train ever so slowly, it had fought it's way through ice and snow to get to Utah. The pilgrims and Patricia's ma and pa built a mud house and staked a claim, they now had sixty acres to farm.

Patricia was just going into her teens. She still did not know any girls. The nearest neighbors had four boys. And when both families went to church on Sundays, after the sermon was over, Patricia would go out in the church yard and wrestle with each of the four boy's, with her Sunday go to meeting clothes on. She was smaller than the boy's, but stronger, one by one she would hold them in the dirt until they said uncle.

When Patricia became fifteen the four boy's called her Pat. Because she was stronger and tougher than any of them, she should have a boy's name. She took her father's pistol down from the wall where it hung in a holster, and learned to shoot. She could not hit a thing at first, but she could recover the bullets and repack them. As time went by she became a crack shot. She was eighteen years old now, time to leave the homestead and visit the west.

She went north to Laramie and went into a bar. The bartender asked her how old she was, and was she a whore? Pat got furious at the question, but composed herself. If I was, old man, you couldn't afford me. On that, the bartender said, if you ain't a whore, get the hell out of here. Make me, Pat so bravely said, the bartenders face was beet red as he came around the bar, when he got to Pat she had her gun drawn. You best git behind that bar where you belong, old man. She was looking at him right in the eye. The bartender knew that she was serious, so he got behind the bar as fast as he could. Before Pat went out of the door, the bartender asked her name. Pat Oriely she answered, and don't you forget it old man.

She went to the livery stable and asked a kid to rub down her horse, and give it some grain and hay, and bed him down good kid, he's gonna be workin hard tomorrow. She went to the hotel and rented a room. Before I get in bed, I want to wash all of this trail dust off of my hide she said to the clerk. Yes sir, we have a private bath for men right in that room, I ain't no sir. I'm a lady can't you see, she lifted her shirt and exposed her breasts to the old clerk. Yes sir, I mean ma'am. Oh hell, I'm all mixed up. Just never make that mistake again, or you will get your head blown off. Yes Ma'am! He made sure he said ma'am that time.

There was a bathtub sent up to Pat's room, a Chinese woman filled it with hot water. Pat got in the tub and relaxed letting the hot water soothe her tired body. She washed and got out of the tub, the Chinese lady dried her shining body, and helped her dress, she went downstairs to the restaurant and ate, all the while she was eating. She saw out of the corner of her eye, the hotel clerk pointing at her while talking to strangers, she knew what he was saying, but it wasn't true, she was all woman and some day she wo
uld have a baby to prove it.

Pat laid in bed, thinking of her past. She had gone all the way through school, she had a diploma to prove it, Besides the four boys that lived on the next farm, there were three more in the one room school, all three were older than Pat, but they had all quit school before they got their diploma. The neighbor boys had quit too, They told Pat that they had to help on the farm, but their father told Pat's father that they were tired of being beat up by a girl. She laid there thinking what the rest of her life would be like, she had just had her eighteenth birthday, and she was determined to have a good life.

She fell asleep thinking of what a good life she was going to have. When she woke up the next morning. She dressed herself as a man, it wasn't much trouble, after all the hotel clerk thought she was a man. She didn't want anyone to see her so, she stayed in the hotel room until the bank opened. She had no watch so she watched out of the window. When she saw the banker unlock the door and go in the bank, she glued on a fake mustache, and sneaked down the stairs, making sure the clerk didn't see her. She darted past the entrance to the restaurant. no one saw her. She went to the livery stable and told the boy that her sister sent her to get her horse, the boy brought back the horse all saddled as she requested, she paid the boy and walked her horse to the front of the bank, and tied it loosely to the hitching rail.

Stick em up! this is a hold up! Give me all of the money in the bank! she told the teller. I will give you what I have in my drawer, but the banker is the only one with the combination to the safe. Pat walked to the end of the counter and told the banker, get up off of your fat ass and open that safe or I will blow your head off, she put the pistol to his head, the teller stood there with his hands in the air, while the banker opened the safe.

When the vault was opened, Pat made the teller and the banker put all of the money in canvas bags, don't bother with the coins she said. When the bags were full, she put her pistol in it's holster, and ran out of the door, she untied her horse from the rail, and stuffed the canvas money sacks in the saddle bags, and put her foot in the stirrup, and swung up on her horse. She rode as fast as the horse could run out of town. When she was sure no one was following her. She pulled up her horse and got off of it, She took off the mustache, and dug through the money sacks until she got a dress, she took off the mens pants and shirt, and pulled the dress over her head. She took her hat off and let her long hair drop to her shoulders. Now she was ready.

Patricia rode to town as a southern Miss. She rode up to the livery stable and asked the same boy to care for her horse. We have come a long way sir! Care for him well. She took the saddle bags with her and went over to the hotel. The clerk did not recognize her. Can a southern lady get a room in this fine establishment? Yes ma'am, and may I add we are honored to have you ma'am. Patricia went up to her room, bringing the saddle bags with her. She took the money out of the canvas bags, and spread it all out on the bed. I'm rich she squealed, rich, rich, rich, it worked and everybody in this town thinks the bank robber left town.

Patricia went to sleep that night with a smile on her face. She had done the perfect crime, and she was rich. She awoke the next morning and put on the dress. She went downstairs and ate a light breakfast, then she went to the livery stable and told the boy he could have the horse, and here is something for your trouble young man, She handed him a crisp dollar bill. Then she caught the stagecoach to Denver.

In Denver she had enough money to buy a gambling hall. It was making money hand over fist, thanks to the manager that she had hired. His name was Jack. Jack and Patricia were married the following year. And a year later the girl that was known as Pat had a baby. Patri
cia and Jack and their son, went back to the old farm that her parents left her, They had made enough money on the gambling house to hire people to run the farm. Patricia never told Jack where she got the money to buy the gambling house. And Jack never asked. They had three more children after that,. The last one was a girl, Patricia never taught her to fight the boys. She always had to be a perfect lady.

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