Big Mound Regional Bank and Barber was an unassuming place, not the kind that seemed like it should stand out. It was remarkable only in that it you could get your hair cut while waiting in line for the teller. But today was different, for today the Wonder Bandits had come to Big Mound.
Riding all night from Dusty Ridge, the Wonder Bandits arrived just as the cock crowed in the morning hours. Once the bank had opened, they burst into the establishment wielding the wonderful weapons of their criminal benefactor.
“Nobody move now. This is a stick up!” said Texas Rex. “Fill my boys’ sacks will all the gold in here and no one gets vaporized.”
The bank’s patrons screamed in fright. Half the women fainted while the men collectively lost their lit cigars. One man raised his hand.
“I have a question,” he said.
“Get your hand down! What is it?” asked Texas Rex.
“Now I understand the general concept of vaporization, having observed it in my life as a farmer, but I don’t get what you mean when you threaten that you’ll vaporize us.”
“Are you stupid? Ain’t you ever heard of the Wonder Bandits? Fastest slingers of High Technology west of the Mississippi,” said Texas Rex.
“And east of it,” said Dallas Dan.
“Okay, I guess that’s technically true,” said Texas Rex.
“Really we’re the only ones doing any High Technology slinging,” said Daisy Mason-Dixon.
“What is this? A Vaudeville show? Get that gold!” exclaimed Texas Rex. As the bandits went to work, Rex continued. “Now, as I was saying, don’t try to be a hero. Vaporizing folks is messy business and y’all wouldn’t want to clean up after that. Trust me.”
“I have heard a you,” said a man by the barber with half a haircut. “You’re Professor Wonder’s boys.”
“Well pull my pantaloons round my ankles and slap my asshole! I guess that’s why they call us the Wonder Bandits, now ain’t it?” said Texas Rex.
“Boss, gold’s been got!” said Dallas Dan.
“Today’s robbery has been brought to you courtesy of Professor Wonder, the Edison of Crime!” Texas Rex bellowed as the Wonder Bandits exited the bank. “Y’all have a good day now.”
“Let’s get out of here,” said Daisy as the Wonder Bandits threw their loot into the back of the horseless carriage.
“Boss! Problem, boss!” said Yellowstone Jones.
“What?” asked Texas Rex.
“Carriage won’t start, boss!”
“Well what do we have here, boys?” said the sheriff of Big Mound, a stubby man named Wilbur Hite. “Looks like you boys forgot your horses.”
“Hey! That’s them Wonder Bandits who dun been stealing gold all over the place!” said one of the sheriff’s deputies. The sheriff sighed.
“Thank you for that, Deputy Wallace,” he said. “Now, I hope you’ll make this easy on everybody and return what you stole. Otherwise we’re going to have a nice long talk down at the jailhouse. Besides, it’s not like you’re going anywhere.” That got a laugh out of the deputies.
“You’re quite mistaken. That there’s a horseless carriage, sheriff,” said Texas Rex. The sheriff laughed.
“Ain’t ever seen a man go horseless that escaped the law,” said the sheriff. The deputies laughed again. “Drop your guns.”
“Oh, we don’t have guns,” said Texas Rex, which was technically true.
“Then drop whatever you got strapped to your back. You’re coming with us,” said the sheriff.
“Daisy,” Texas Rex motioned. Daisy flipped a switch on her gun and shot the sheriff’s horse, disintegrating it. The sheriff fell on his butt. Then the deputies followed, each landing in a pile of horse dust. “Looks like we’re all horseless now!”
“My horse!” the sheriff wailed.
“Oh Mary Lou!” said Deputy Wallace, sifting through the dust.
“You gentlemen have a swell day,” said Texas Rex just as Yellowstone Jones got the carriage running.
A day’s drive later, the crew made it back to Professor Wonder’s secretive headquarters. Texas Rex threw the bags filled with gold on the ground triumphantly. Professor Wonder swiveled around his fancy chair.
“Ah. Very well done, gentlemen and lady,” said the Professor.
“So, how are we splitting this up, Professor?” asked Texas Rex.
“Hmm?” the Professor asked.
“Oh, I need all of it for my work,” said the Professor.
“What? How the… What!” Dallas Dan shouted angrily.
“Quiet, Dan. Professor, we’re gonna need some compensation for our work,” said Texas Rex.
“Oh yes of course. I have that right here,” said the Professor. He opened a drawer in his desk and tossed a sack of coins at his minions.
“What are these, doubloons? What are we supposed to do with these?” asked Texas Rex.
“Was that not the right currency? This period in history always confuses me,” said the Professor.
“You know, Professor, I think it’s high time we had a talk about the going rate for bandits,” said Texas Rex.
“We want more money!” said Daisy Mason-Dixon.
“Yeah!” said Dallas Dan. Yellowstone Jones said nothing. Instead he stepped a few paces to his left.
“If you no longer want to be in my employ, the exit is over there. Always has been,” said the Professor.
“That’s not going to work. We want more money. Now. Or we’ll be disintegrating you,” said Texas Rex. Daisy flipped the switch on her gun. Jones took a few more steps to his left.
“I knew this was coming. Perhaps you’re right. I think it’s time to reexamine all of this,” said the Professor. He pulled a lever located next to his desk. “Proper payment is it? Very well. Here you go.”
A large bipedal weapons platform made of solid gold fell from the ceiling, squashing three of the Wonder Bandits. Jones dove out of the way, screaming.
“Oh I’m sorry, that’s not a valid form of currency for another ten millennium. My mistake,” said the Professor. Yellowstone Jones lay curled in the corner, shaking uncontrollably. “Uh, Johns was it? How would you like to be the new leader of the Wonder Bandits?
Yellowstone Jones peed all over himself.