The train platform was bustling with passengers milling around. Archie, looking dapper in his black suit, and Kate in her long pink dress with a parasol walked through the depot and into the street of Dawson, Georga.
They were somewhat dissapointed at the size of the town. The main street was only two blocks long. They walked up one side and down the other in a matter of minutes. “Kate,” Archie said, “why don’t you get yourself a soda, and I’ll have a beer over there at the Rialto Saloon.”
Kate slipped her arm into his and said, “Oh no you don’t. You’re not leaving me alone, in this town of one toothed men.”
Archie laughed. “All right, come on, but you’d better behave yourself.”
Kate squeezed his arm. “I’ll pretend I’m your girlfriend . That should keep the old geezers away.”
The saloon was crowded with locals and train passengers. They wedged themselves between two locals at a counter that ran the circumference of the room. “Excuse me,” Archie offered, when he hit a man’s leg with Doc’s case.
The man swung around, ready to fight, and grabbed the case from Archie’s hand. Archie lunged for the case, but the big guy held it away from him like a game of keep-away.
Archie said, “Give me that back!”
The man looked at the case, and read the brass inscription. Then to Archie, “You are Doctor J.H. Holliday?”
Archie glanced at Kate, then swallowing hard, said, “Yes I am, sir. Now will you please return my dentist tools.”
“Sure doc, I’m sorry about that, can I buy you and your lady friend a drink?”
Archie breathed a sigh of relief with the gun case back in his hands. “Yes, that would be kind of you.”
The man turned to the barkeep, “Three whiskeys over here.”
Kate had never drank anything stronger than a Mint Julip, and Archie wasn’t much of a drinker either. They accepted the whiskeys. Kate’s eyes watered as she sipped the whiskey, and Archie, after a quick toast with their new friend, shot his back. Smiling weakly at Kate he ordered them another round.
Kate, alarmed where this was heading, tugged Archie’s arm, saying, “We should head back to the train.”
The big man, engaged in conversation with Archie, said “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that train you’ll be here for a couple hours at least.”
“Say,” he continued to Archie, “You a poker player?”
“I am, sir,” Archie said, “Ouch!,” he glared are Kate for pinching his arm.
The big guy took Arnie by the elbow and guided him through the mulitude of people arguing, drinking, and singing. Over the racket of the room, he said. “My name’s Arnold Guessor.”
“I’m honored, sir, “Archie said.
Kate followed in their wake like a caboose.
There were already four people seated at the table. Introductions were made all around. Kate was introducted as Archie’s lady friend.
Archie and Arnold took seats across from one another. Kate stood behind Archie’s right shoulder.
“Studs the game,” said the dealer, a five cent cigar hanging from his lips.
The game was lively, and Archie was having a string of good luck.
To Archie’s left, a customer spoke up, “Are you by any chance the same