He Who Has the Weaponry Makes the Rules

He burst open the doors to the saloon, ripping one off its hinges and sending it clattering to the floor. The several Compsognathus that had been there scattered in a flurry of yelps and chitters.

The piano player noticed and slowly stopped playing, the notes entering a ridiculous ritardando. All human eyes in the bar turned to face the bounty hunter. Many were fearful; a few were sizing him up, gauging what a threat he was. One pair belonged to a severely drunken man who thought the hunter was a lamp.

He strode up to the counter and plucked the nearest whiskey he could find, which happened to be the drink of a rather timid-looking man with horn-rimmed spectacles. He exhaled in the man’s direction, and the man jerked back, falling off the barstool.

He made to do business. “Now,” he asked, “will you folks all cooperate, or will I have to do to this town what I did to New Combréra?”

Nobody moved.

He straightened up, whipping out his six-shooter. “Anybody here seen a blasted steg-for-brains named Ed Cope?”

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