A Chaparral Christmas Gift
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A jealous outlaw sought revenge on a man who married the woman he loved by attempting to kill him on Christmas Eve, but ultimately spared his life and was later killed by a sheep herder.
In the Frio country, a man named Madison Lane won the heart of Rosita McMullen, the daughter of a sheep ranch owner.
Madison Lane — cattleman; married to Rosita; cautious, protective.
However, another suitor, Johnny McRoy, was not pleased with this outcome. On their wedding day, Johnny, who later became known as the Frio Kid, attempted to shoot Madison and Rosita but was thwarted by a guest named Carson.
Rosita McMullen — Madison's wife; kind-hearted, believes in the goodness of people.
The Frio Kid then became a notorious outlaw, killing many people and evading capture. Years later, the Frio Kid decided to exact his revenge on Madison by killing him on Christmas Eve.
Frio Kid (Johnny McRoy) — outlaw; skilled shooter; vengeful, cold-hearted, and dangerous.
Madison, aware of the threat, instructed his ranch hands to be on the lookout for the Frio Kid. As the Christmas festivities took place, a man dressed as Santa Claus appeared and gave Rosita a mysterious present. Later that night, the Frio Kid was shot and killed by a Mexican sheep herder who was frightened by his appearance. It was later revealed that the Frio Kid had been dressed as Santa Claus, and it is implied that his mysterious present to Rosita was an act of kindness, showing that even the most cold-hearted individuals may have a small amount of goodness within them.
I’m going to ride over to-morrow night and shoot Madison Lane in his own house.
He has committed awful crimes, but—I don’t know. I think there is a spot of good somewhere in everybody.