I decide it might be time for a night out playing cards at a new watering hole. I found a spot in a better part of town so I figure new clothes might be in order. I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. The English are a mighty uptight about their pecking order and such. I might have made this a bit more exciting in my head than it really is but it time to cool out for a while. Considering the way recent events have occurred, I need a bit of a pick me up and why not make it a highfalutin pick me up at that.
The company was polite which is a departure from the standard card tables I’m used to in the states. These blokes have a stern poker face mind you but the threat of someone pulling a gun over cards is pretty low in London. Can’t say the same about Kansas City.
As the evening wore on, I was able to satisfy their curiosity about the ‘Yank’ at the table and shared a bit of life on the plains as an officer in the Cav. The actually asked me if I was from Texas. I could tell they were all truly interested in my stories. One of the gentlemen, Jefferey, who seemed a bit more fascinated with the idea of the wild lands mentioned he’d have to make a trip to see it for himself. Of course he also wants to see New York and the California Gold. He’s in for a helluva trip the way he’s a thinkin.
Overall things weren’t going all too well for me. My luck had definitely crashed as I walked through door. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice. Almost all of my money was gone but I wasn’t alone. There was only one clear winner tonight. That is until a card fell out of his sleeve.
We all sat in stunned silence for a moment. Jefferey broke the silence and calmly told the man, ‘Oliver, get up and leave the table. Nothing else needs be said.’ Now I had only met the man a few hours earlier but you can be damn sure that was no poker face. There was something more behind the look. Pure determination pouring through as if it would physically beat them without a movement. I’ve seen it a few times before. Only for a brief moment though just before justice was answered. Oliver stood as commanded but pulled a pistol. Pointing it at Jefferey he said, ‘You knew this time was coming.’
It’s at this point that I begin to ponder on the fact that I’ve noticed these English chaps don’t have much practice for drawing a piece. It’s a definite edge I have in any serious scuffle. One I’d rather not rely on but I’ve always been happy to oblige in necessity. After only a what seems like an eternity has passed and I figure on the three ways this was likely to going down, I decide the smirk that crept on my face wouldn’t be a welcome sight.
I notice the instant his hand start to tense so it was time to step in. I draw my gun as quickly as possible from my seated position. At this range, I had a lot of leeway for my draw. He’s spun as my bullet hit and his shot wandered past Jefferey by more than a foot.
I remind myself that there’s no sense in feeling sorry for the chap. He’s done it to himself. I’m just grateful everyone’s account of how it played out matched mine once the investigator showed. It also didn’t hurt that Jefferey has connections with the department either. There might be more to this guy. In the end I was cleared, everyone got their money back so it was an even draw, and Jefferey has offered me a job as a body guard.
Hope Father Batch doesn’t mind. Maybe it’s best I don’t bring it up. I let him speak his mind if he finds out. No need in bringing it on myself though.