9th Excerpt from “WESTERN LEGEND”

(For those who came in late, please click “WESTERN LEGEND SYNOPSIS” at top of blog for an immediate summation of the story.)

As July, and the date of publication approaches, these Excerpts will get briefer.  This passage occurs at  the beginning of the third act.  At this juncture, the story is about to change form and become an action-thriller, with much of the material resembling the centerpiece of a Michael Crichton novel.  This excerpt has been taken mid-chapter, from ..

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CHAPTER TWENTY  –  TALCUM POWDER, 1,001 USES

Suddenly, there was a flurry of activity among the men inside the saloon. Amid this, Frank retrieved the small, handled bag from the floor, pulled out an old belt with holster, wrapping it around his waist, and twirled a Civil War-era Navy Colt out of an oil rag. It had a myriad of notches carved into its handle. He loaded the antique, converted long ago from a percussion cap-and-ball weapon to a modernized cartridge firing six-shooter, and holstered it, giving the Peacemaker on his opposite hip a partner.

The barkeeper and the Sheriff exchanged a look — the barkeeper of concern; the Sheriff in turn placating him.

Jim’s eagle eyes took notice of Frank’s old Navy Colt.

“How come no one knows of them notches, Frank?” he muttered.

“How come nobody knows of your own?” Frank muttered back.

“Well, because I’m an effective liar,” Jim muttered again.

“Well quite clearly, Jim, so am I,” Frank muttered in return.

“Okay, knock it off, both of ya!” Virgil said, “I think we’ve all done a little lying here and there, today.”

Wind blew in through the swinging cafe doors, and thunder rolled in the distance.

“Barkeeper, you got any talcum powder handy?” Jim asked.

The barkeeper disappeared and quickly reappeared, sliding onto the table a small can, along with four individual boxes of matches. “Better take them along as well — night’s a comin’.”

Jim grabbed the can and sprinkled powder into his holster, then passed it among the other men, who did the same. Frank pulled from his bag a disheveled black slouch hat and light beige duster which had seen a lifetime of use, and slid into both.

There was chatter in the room at this time. And Frank took the opportunity to lean in close to Virgil, whispering, “Jim any good with that pistol?”

“He can put daylight through a man faster than anyone else I ever seen,” Virgil muttered.

“All I need to hear.” Frank whispered.

 

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