One Dollar's Worth (Henry)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
One Dollar's Worth
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A district attorney and his fiancée were attacked by a vengeful criminal, but they managed to defeat him using a counterfeit coin as ammunition, ultimately saving their lives.

A judge received a threatening letter from a man he had sentenced to prison, who called himself Rattlesnake. The man vowed to take revenge on the judge and the district attorney, Littlefield, who had prosecuted him. Littlefield and the judge's daughter, Nancy, were engaged to be married.

Bob Littlefield — narrator; district attorney; resourceful, determined, and caring.
Nancy Derwent — Bob's fiancée; brave, outdoorsy, and supportive.

Meanwhile, a young Mexican man named Rafael Ortiz was arrested for passing a counterfeit dollar. His girlfriend, Joya Treviñas, pleaded with Littlefield to release Rafael, claiming she had made the counterfeit money herself to buy medicine when she was sick. Littlefield refused, saying the case would have to go to trial.

If the life of the girl you love is ever in danger, remember Rafael Ortiz.

One day, Littlefield and Nancy went plover-shooting together. While they were out, a man named Mexico Sam, who was seeking revenge on Littlefield, began shooting at them from a distance.

Mexico Sam — villain seeking revenge; cunning, dangerous, and skilled with firearms.

When you sent me up for four years you made a talk. Among other hard things, you called me a rattlesnake. Maybe I am one—anyhow, you hear me rattling now.

Littlefield and Nancy took cover behind their horses, but they were unable to return fire effectively with their birdshot-loaded guns.

Remembering Joya's words about Rafael, Littlefield had an idea. He instructed Nancy to keep firing at Mexico Sam while he used his pocketknife to cut the counterfeit dollar into slugs. He then loaded his shotgun with the makeshift ammunition and fired at Mexico Sam, killing him.

I shot him with Exhibit A of your counterfeiting case. Lucky thing for me—and somebody else—that it was as bad money as it was! It sliced up into slugs very nicely.

The next day in court, Littlefield dropped the charges against Rafael Ortiz, stating that the counterfeit dollar was no longer available as evidence. He then asked his deputy to find Joya's home, as Nancy wanted to know where she lived.