Whatever brought him in here ain’t gonna be what sees him out. Between the empties on the bar and the slop under his chair, it’s more like to be an ambulance than a woman.
Fella lifts his head ‘n’ shows me four fingers. Lays down again.
“You sure, mister?” I ain’t never asked that question, but Providence moves me merciful. It ain’t water he’s drinkin’.
But he grunts, and I ain’t one to turn down coin.
The ‘shine disappears from the glass faster’n I poured it, though I ain’t seen him move.
I turn ‘round to toss the bottle when a queer feeling runs up my spine. ‘Fore I kin turn back, the door bangs open. I drop the empty. Fella don’t twitch a muscle.
Spurs cross the floor. I hold my water, if barely.
Takes a second to remember that’s my name.
“You seen this man?”
I turn slower’n winter sap. There’s a paper hangin’ in the air with a pretty good likeness of Fella on it. The arm holdin’ it ends in a silver star.
I give the marshal a look like Momma gave when I asked a damn fool question.
I’m ‘bout to sass her some about Fella bein’ right in front of her, but when I look down, he ain’t there.
Marshal and I look at each other. Then she shakes her head and stomps out. As she goes, I hear her huffin’ into a walkie: “Slipped away again. Musta made me.”
Guess I was wrong: was a woman saw him out.
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