I was sitting in my unairconditioned rig, stuck in gridlock on the 405 with a load of 8-track players bound for Barstow, slowly baking in the afternoon sun, when the barrel of his .45 caliber Single Action Army appeared in my window. It scared the half-smoked joint out of my mouth and onto the seat in a scatter of sparks (I had figured if I was going to get literally baked, I may as well do so metaphorically too).
“Motherfucker,” I swore, beating at a crotch full of smoldering weed.
“Not today I ain’t, son,” said the gnarled face in my window. “Leastwise, not yet,” he added, his single, bright blue eye winking at me through the pistol’s iron sights.
“You gonna shoot?” I asked.
“Nah. Ain’t in the habit of wastin’ bullets,” he replied. “But I’m commandeering this here mechanical stagecoach of yours.”
Without another word, he opened the door, tossed me from the cab, hopped in the driver’s seat, slipped the truck into gear, stomped the accelerator, and blazed off down the shoulder of the road.
I lay, sprawled on the burning pavement, and watched, awestruck, as Marshall Reuben J. Cogburn drove my stolen semi into the sunset.