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Wild, Wild West
The Outlaw Sheriff of Montana, Part 1



The Outlaw Sheriff of Montana, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.03

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    barred, city-slickers, clean-shaven, gaudy, gold-seekers, grubby, gunfight, holdup, jumble, murderous, present-day, saloon, suitor, sweat-stained, would-be, lawman
     content words:    Civil War, Native Americans, In May, Henry Plummer, Electa Bryant, Handsome Henry Plummer


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The Outlaw Sheriff of Montana, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     "Gold!" That cry was sure to make things happen on the frontier. In 1862, gold turned up in the hills of what is now southwest Montana. It was the biggest strike since Sutter's Mill.
 
2     At the time, the U.S. was torn by the Civil War. That didn't stop the gold-seekers. In fact, the war fueled the nation's need for gold. The yellow metal was worth more than ever before. People near and far were bitten by the "gold bug." A boom town quickly sprouted near present-day Dillon, Montana.
 
3     Hopeful treasure hunters poured into the sagebrush hills. Rows of shacks and tents sprang up. Many of them were makeshift saloons. Men who had worked long hours wresting gold from the ground had many places to spend their "easy money."
 
4     The town's residents were a colorful mixture. Most were miners, grubby and sweat-stained. There were also merchants, a butcher, and a blacksmith. Among the rough miners, some "city-slickers" stood out. They were the con men who made their living at the gambling tables. Native Americans came and went. At first, the only women in town were saloon girls in their gaudy dresses.

Paragraphs 5 to 13:
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