Jesse kept playing and Gracie kept singing, and all the while the booze kept flowing. I had lost interest in my cards and I had lost interest in the newcomer. Gracie had me all wrapped up in her charms. But with the final bow to the applause for her songs and hoots for her looks, she gave Jesse a kiss on his bald head and returned to her work of table hopping. It was only then that I noticed my intriguing stranger had slipped away.
The bar was empty except for Danny, the part-time deputy, part-time blacksmith and full-time skirt-chaser. A quick check of the tables had no sign that he had chosen to play a few hands of poker. He just left, vanished, like a thief in the night.
And I thought, "Who in the hell was that?"
Lord, I would soon find out in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
With one final consideration of this apparition with the red velvet vest, I returned the evening's agenda of getting blind drunk and dead broke.