When the Kid had returned from the saloon to the witch's old mill, hoping to catch a nice bit of sleep before the hangover set in, he'd found his boss standing, looking quite mad and desperate, with a mechanical monkey in her hand. She'd given him the monkey and told him to hunt down a thief and who'd stolen her crystal and return her precious world ending device to her.

The Kid didn't like the sound of that idea. In his opinion this was the most useless summer job he'd ever taken on. So what if someone wanted to take a magical glowing crystal to replace their candle consumption. The witch could just make another, didn't she know how easily attainable magically glowing crystals were?! Yes, she had said that hers was special and would bring about the world's end and blah, blah, blah. But to the Kid a glowing crystal was a glowing crystal. Just the same as a gunslinger was a gunslinger; not a hunter or a cold blooded assassin.

This is how the Kid came to be riding his horse on the lonely desert road following the chattering commands of a mechanical monkey. In the Kid's opinion and any self respecting gunslinger's, there was nothing more humiliating than taking orders for an heap of junk dressed in bananas. Taking orders from a crazy witch was the lowest the Kid would stoop...well apparently not as despite his own feelings and complaints he was still following the monkey.

The monkey clattered along the road, in front of the horse sniffing the air rummaging in the loose dirt every now and again. But then he came to a stop and the Kid almost crushed him under foot. Which wouldn't have been such a bad thing, the Kid thought.

"What's wrong you run out of juice?!" The Kid snapped, turning his horse to face the monkey.
No, the monkey hadn't run out of juice as he was still standing up and moving around. However, he seemed to have lost track of whatever it was he was following, the Kid couldn't remember what this monkey did.

"Have you lost it?" The Kid asked.

"Ah great." He sighed his dismounting. "I've gotten lost by a rotten ape." He scooped up the perplexed monkey and climbed back into his saddle.

"Ya'r pretty useless, ya know that?" The Kid informed the monkey. As there were still horse tracks in the road, the same tracks they'd been following since the inn. However, the Kid was beginning to the think that the thief hadn't come this way at all and the monkey had just gotten confused from the start; it is a known fact monkeys are easily bemused. These horse tracks didn't lead out of towards the badlands or even to a thief haven they lead into town. The Kid wasn't too disappointed about this. If there was one thing he fancied when the witch sent him out on demeaning tasks it was a nice hour or two of drinks and cards.

The Kid was no professional card player, he'd been told he was quite good at poker and had stolen quite a few pots; quite frankly this had gotten to his head. He thought he was the best player in the west now and any who denied that simple fact he challenged to a standoff. And since he was a professional gunslinger, they just let him have the champion poker player title too. Just to make him feel better and leave those guns at his hips. However, the Kid had heard wind of another poker player who was trying to steal his title. The Kid had never met him but he heard he was really good and wanted to beat this new comer. The way the other poker player's said his name with such awe truly annoyed the Kid. The So every now and again he'd go down to the card house and play into the night waiting for this challenger, this legend...this man who called himself Jack Pot!

The Kid pulled up outside of the saloon and tied his horse to the hitching post under the welcoming light that spilled from the open windows. The sound of a wheezing duet of a scraggly violin and honky harmonica wafted out threw the double doors on a wave of foul smelling breath and drunken laughter. He took the tracker monkey and shoved him unceremoniously into his saddle bags and latched the bag closed as tightly as it would go.

The Kid sauntered threw the door to the usual murmur that normal followed his entrance, murmurs of 'oh great, here he comes again'.

"Hey Joe." The Kid said, leaning leisurely on the bar and addressing the bartender; the bartender's name was not Joe. "Any games tonight?"

"Jus' missed a big un." The bartender who was not called Joe said, cleaning his thick glass. After a million and one bar fights the bartender clearly not named Joe had invested in two ply glass for his windows and glasses. They would knock somebody out before they broke. "Jack Pot was playing, he wiped everyone out."

"Jack Pot was here?!!" The Kid demanded his elbow slipping on the bar and his head slammed into the spot his elbow had recently been. The bartender who didn't go by the name Joe had also gotten thicker wood for his bar and stools. He was satisfied that his saloon was now indestructible
"When?" The Kid gasped pulling himself up on the bar. "when was he here?"

"Jus' 'bout en hour ago." The bartender who was by no means a Joe paused and thought about his words for a bit. "No I think it might've three of em' hours."

"Well has he left? Is he still here?!" the Kid asked quite desperately, feeling like someone whose just missed the last train to Chicago before a blizzard on the opening night of the St. Louie can-can dance show.

"He might've left, you could still catch him but knowing Jack he probably did something else."

"Great!" The Kid punched the air happily. "Watch out Mr. Pots ya'r about to have ya'r record broken." He exclaimed to a more than doubtful murmur of 'you wish.'

So the Kid waited all day and most of the morning in the saloon before deciding to seek out Jack Pot himself. He questioned everyone he met until he got a sufficient answer and checked the nearest strumpet house which proved a success. He took the stairs up to the second floor where he'd been instructed to go and walked slowly down the corridor trying to remember which room the lady had said was Jack's.

A scream to his left drew his attention and his gun was out in a heartbeat. A door to his left was thrust open and a woman wrapped in a sheet rushed from the room and down the hall screaming. The Kid frowned approaching the open door cautiously.

"Hello?" He called as he drew closer to the door. "Jack Pot?" He tried, stepping in front of the door he came face with an obviously pissed little lady.

"Do I look like a jackpot?!" She snapped.

The End

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