It started off as a simple request for a cigarette. It ended with a would-be convenience store robber fleeing after the clerk retrieved her gun, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office said.
About 8:47 a.m. Wednesday, a man entered the Country Corner Store at 3370 Price Grange Road near Eden and asked for a cigarette.
Tivis Smith, 68, was about to oblige. But as she opened a pack of cigarettes, the man demanded she "give it up or I'll shoot you," according to the sheriff's office.
Smith refused. She retrieved her firearm and displayed it, prompting the man to flee on foot on Price Grange Road toward Stoneville, the sheriff's office said.