« on: Yesterday at 03:02:35 pm »
Out in the desert
"You know," Hank said, looking at the dead nag, "I'm beginning to have a bad feeling about this."
"Yeah? It's not so hard," the Kid responded, "He doubled back to town. He'd have to...Ain't no place to go out here without a horse."
"Yeah, well, last time a horse died under him, he killed that other preacher."
"Don't care much about that part. Preacher's business is preacher's business. Ain't no worry for us."
"Then why are we chasing this guy?"
"Because the Undertaker told us to. Persuaded us for $500."
When they got back to town, nobody was surprised to see that the bartender was dead. Nor were they surprised to see the bartender's proper horse missing, the tracks leading toward the border, on a slightly different heading that they had returned to. Virgil grinned.
"We're heading East, boys."
"His tracks DO head South," Abner replied, "But I ain't here to argue. This one's slipperier than an eel, and no mistake. East where? Any place in particular?"
All of them stopped, looked at Virgil, and grinned.
Miles away, just outside of Faro
"Babylon," the Preacher muttered, "Perfect." And it was, really, if you were going to have a fight to the death against 4:1 odds. Faro was named after a notoriously crooked card game, and the town was itself notorious for gambling, whoring, drinking, opium, and every other abuse you could imagine. And then a few you couldn't imagine, but you had to know a guy who knows a guy. It was said that, for the truly connected, anything could be purchased in Faro. Everything, that is, except proper law enforcement, which was left to the bouncers of the various establishments.
He rode into town, and headed for the stables. Once there, he sold the horse. Had he felt the need to worry about tomorrow, he would have been angered by the selling price. He had most definitely been blatantly ripped off...Attested to by the toothless grin of the fat stablemaster, "Smiles", during the exchange. Still, he had enough money for his plan, and enough to live pretty high on the hog for a couple of weeks...Which was 10 days longer than he felt he needed. On the off chance his plan worked and he lived, then he might see the stablemaster again. And maybe teach him how to smile in a totally different way.
He walked over to the saloon, and glanced inside. The bartender was a fat, mustachioed Mexican. Sitting at one end of the bar was a collection of tired-looking working girls. Perfect.
He walked in, and slapped a coin down on the bar. "Whiskey, and."
The bartender brought up a bottle, poured a shot, and made the coin disappear. "And...?"
"I'd like to put your whores on retainer."
"You're a preacher, right? I'm not making a thing about it, but you are."
"Pretty horny for a preacher, you want all them girls."
"Here's $100. When I give you the say-so, I want all but 3 of them up in my room, in no more than 5 minutes. There won't be any rough stuff or anything like that. I just like lots of girls. Loads of girls. If they're there within 5 minutes, and stay, oh, let's say 3 hours, you get another hundred."
$200 for 7 girls, 3 hours. Ought to be about $42, maybe $50 for the short notice. What's your game?"
"My game is to give you money. Do you want it or not?"
"You rough them girls up, it's gonna cost you extra."
"Like I said, no rough stuff. This is in fact the easiest trick they'll ever turn...But..."
"I knew there was a catch."
"Well, I am a preacher. I'd like you and the girls to forget about this."
"Aha. Gotcha. Deal, mister", the bartender said, thinking that he'd found the reason for the weird request and ridiculously high offer.
He was, of course, wrong.
to be continued.