What is the setting of "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," and how does the setting affect the story?

The setting of this short story is the American Old West, which is key to the central conflict between the sheriff and a drunken man looking for a gunfight.

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The action of this short story is set in the frontier town of Yellow Sky, Texas, likely in the early to mid-1800s. As Jack Potter, the sheriff of the town, makes his way home with his new wife, a typical scene from the American Old West is presented: a drunk...

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The action of this short story is set in the frontier town of Yellow Sky, Texas, likely in the early to mid-1800s. As Jack Potter, the sheriff of the town, makes his way home with his new wife, a typical scene from the American Old West is presented: a drunk looking for a gunfight.

Jack is oblivious to this danger, though he has fought Scratchy before. Having just returned from his wedding, Jack is simply trying to sneak home with his wife. The rest of the town, however, tucks themselves out of view of Scratchy and his gun.

When Jack turns the final corner, he is confronted by Scratchy, who points a gun to his chest. It seems that either Jack will tragically be killed on the day of his wedding, or will enter into some heroic effort to save himself and his new wife from danger.

Interestingly, neither happens. Scratchy is so disappointed that the sheriff doesn't even have a gun that his angst fades away. Fighting an unarmed man doesn't seem all that exciting, even to a drunk man. Scratchy wanders away at the end of the story after being introduced to Jack's new wife, picking up his fallen gun as he leaves "deep tracks in the heavy sand." The man in charge of maintaining law and order in the town manages to escape harm without really engaging in the conflict which Scratchy sought.

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