The Last of the Troubadours (Henry)

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The Last of the Troubadours
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A troubadour named Sam Galloway visits a ranch and forms a close bond with the ranch owner, old man Ellison. When the ranch is threatened by a powerful cattleman, Sam takes action to protect his friend.

Sam Galloway, a wandering musician and storyteller, decides to leave his current residence at the Rancho Altito due to the poor quality of food provided by the cook, Nick Napoleon. Sam's departure causes great sadness among the residents, as his presence brought joy and entertainment to the ranch. Sam rides his pony to the sheep ranch of old man Ellison, where he is warmly welcomed.

Sam Galloway — troubadour; small, tough, and inactive; skilled musician and storyteller.
Old man Ellison — ranch owner; shrunken old man with a short, yellow-white beard; kind and hospitable.

Ellison is a lonely man who lives with a Kiowa Indian cook, a few animals, and his sheep. Sam finds peace and contentment at Ellison's ranch, as he is well-fed and appreciated for his musical talents.

One day, Ellison encounters a fearsome man named King James, who threatens to take over Ellison's land and kill his sheep.

King James — powerful cattleman; fierce, sunburned, blond man with two horizontal slits for eyes; menacing and dangerous.

King James claims to have taken over the lease on Ellison's land and gives him a week to remove his sheep. Distraught, Ellison confides in Sam about the situation. A few days later, Ellison meets King James again, and they discover that they are related through their Aunt Caroline Reeves. King James has a change of heart and decides to help Ellison by allowing him to keep his sheep on the land and providing him with financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Sam takes matters into his own hands and confronts King James in a saloon. A gunfight ensues, and Sam shoots King James three times, killing him. Sam is arrested but released on bail, as witnesses testify that King James drew his gun first.

I reckon playing a guitar as much as I do must kind of limber a fellow’s trigger finger up a little, don’t you think, Uncle Ben?

Sam returns to Ellison's ranch, and the two continue to live peacefully, with Sam's music providing comfort and solace to the old man.