An Inside Straight

The bottle of bourbon and a glass was exchanged for the sound of two coins hitting the polished mahogany wood of the bar, quite probably the most valuable piece of property in the county.  Oh, some might make a case for the big redhead who ran the cat house upstairs, but I still would think the antique bar shipped in from Boston still held top rank.

I thought the stranger might take a seat at one of the green felt covered tables, but he chose to do his drinking standing up.  I never was much into that.  I suppose I fearing that I might topple over halfway through the bottle.  The stranger did  some pouring, did some throwing the whiskey down his gullet, did some looking around, but it appeared to me, he was mostly thinking about something far away from this watering hole.

Ben dealt the cards.  Billy Cooper, the local blacksmith, twitched his mustache, a sure sign he liked his cards.  Missouri Smith, the lead hand of the Williamson Ranch, was stone faced as always. A tough read, he was.   And it looked like I would be drawing for an inside straight.  Two bits in and a fold coming up.

Billy bet more than he ought, Missouri, thought he had him, Ben followed my fold with a fold of his own.  And the stranger kept pouring and drinking, looking tough as nails and not really caring if anyone else cared that he did.

The End

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