As Westerns Go

The dirty saloon fell silent as a dark mountain of a man blustered through the swinging doors. With heavy strides he came to the bar and surveyed the motley patrons. They stared back with enlargened eyes. He liked that look.

To his companion who had floated unnoticed in his wake, the large man said, “What says you, Marshall Pote?”

The other man, not a small man but not a large man either, doffed his hat wearily to the dance hall girl on the steps, “Ma’am,” then turned to his friend, “You seem to them as phantoms frighten beasts when shadows fall.”

“Well put, Marshall Pote,” the large man said before bringing a heavy black hand down on the bar, “Whiskey, if’n ya’ please. So, Pote, you suppose he thinks he’s getting out of here?”

Before an opinion could be rendered a hot voice came from the back, “Darn straight, Blue Jim, an’ I’m going through you both to do it!”

Marshall Pote did not budge, but grinned and intoned melodically, “Per me si va ne la città dolente, per me si va ne l’etterno dolore.

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