The time, 1913. The last year of innocence. We're in Paiute, Wyoming. Little do the townspeople of this sleepy Wyoming burg know that next year, the war to end all wars breaks out. But the times, they are a changin'… This used to be a ranching town. Cowboys would come in and whoop it up, then maybe get a bite to eat at Mrs. Minniver's Beanery. But not any more… Why the beanery has flowers out front!

But now, everywhere you turn, there's progress. There's a two story department store where the saloon used to be, the town's got a sturdy brick bank called Gringott's, and there's even a dairy in town. Tine Dairy will deliver milk to you every morning… If that ain't living in the lap of luxury, what is?

Nope, this town's no place for a proper cowboy any more. Or his horse! The streets are swarming with those newfangled gasoline contraptions. They haven't replaced the buckboard yet, but the writing's on the wall. The days of the horse are numbered.

By far the majority of those belchers are trucks rather than cars… but Eneas Phidd got himself a Stutz Bearcat and it's working… he's getting some attention from the ladies, just as he planned. See him in the alley? Maybe Smith's upstairs hasn't changed?

Yes, the writing's on the wall but the blacksmith won't admit it. He just got a repair job, (the wheel on the dairy delivery wagon broke) but it's his first one all day. He'd better take auto mechanic lessons soon or he's going to be out of business.

Well, the ranchers around here know that things are changing too. They got together and decided to round up all those wild mustangs and clear the range of them… now that the railroad is here, they can ship them to the dogfood factory pretty easily. So they got a bunch of cowpokes to do one last big round up. Wasn't that big. Most of the 'stangs must have run off because they only came up with a dozen or so wild ponys. So they brought them to the railhead, which is here in town.

But what a mess! Those cowpokes ought to know better than to take a herd of wild mustangs right through the town's main street. Well, they didn't and boy did it cause confusion. Fortunately nobody got hurt but look at that crowd of gawkers. They've never seen this street so congested. Even the gasoline tanker's held up.

The townspeople have heaved a collective sigh of relief. The cowboys managed not to have a stampede and they've worked the herd around to the waiting stock cars. Union Pacific spotted three of them on the siding by the stockpens on the far side of town for them and that ought to be plenty… it wasn't much of a round up.

Layout scene

These punchers still know their business. They've cut the herd into one pen and have started loading even while the rest of the herd is still being worked into the pens. With a drover to keep things under control, one guy can even go check on the first stock car and see how things are going with the horses loaded already. Or did he go over just to say hi to the school marm who's come up on her bicycle? Who knows.

Showing off for the Schoolmarm

Well anyway, things are going fine. The rest of the herd is loading. Soon they'll be gone.

And here, we bid adieu. We say goodbye not only to this little vignette, and the good townspeople of Paiute Wyoming, but we say goodbye to an era as well. The wild west just isn't that wild any more. The boys of 1913 will find more excitement in books from Alfredo's Department Store than they will out there on the range.

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