Strangers Round These Parts

The chair’s legs squeaked as he rocked back, enough to let the man in black see the silver handle of the revolver in the holster, grooved for fast draws. As he pushed back the coat, dust fell from the white cotton. No one wore a white coat in that town.

“Mr. Dickens once said, ‘I do not know the American gentleman, God forgive me for putting two such words together.’” The young man tucked a cigarette between red lips and lit it with a match.

“You talk pretty,” said the man in black. He dressed like an undertaker, with a battered top hat and a manic grin. “My father talked big, too, saying I’m a child of perdition, and he’d mend my wicked ways. Then I knocked his head in with a sledgehammer.” He leaned closer. He had his thumbs hooked through holes in the coat, wearing the long sleeves like gloves. “Lets see how you talk with no teeth.”

Both pistols flashed up simultaneously, pointing dead on.

“So it’s true.” The man in white laughed. “God created man, but it took Colonel Colt to make them equal.”

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