Just to take a break from all the political drama, Peter Grant offers an excerpt from his forthcoming Western, the sequel to Brings the Lightning:
Walt was interrupted as the batwing doors slammed back, and a big, burly man stalked through them. His gait was unsteady, as if he’d already had more than a few drinks and was feeling their effects. He was dark-haired, with a big, bushy beard. His grubby, stained checkered shirt was tucked into black trousers that fell to mud-stained boots. A revolver was holstered at his right side, balanced by a long-bladed knife on his left. He was followed by what looked like a younger version of himself, dressed and armed in the same style, also not very steady on his feet.
Rosa hissed in anger, and started forward. The men at the bar looked around, then backed hurriedly away from the new arrivals as the bartender lowered his hands out of sight behind it.
Walt pushed back his chair, and murmured to Isom, “Stand by for trouble.”
“Got it.” Isom gently moved his chair back as well, to give himself room to move.
Rosa stepped in front of the burly man, arms akimbo, fists clenched. “I told you not to come back here, Señor Furlong!”
“Aw, shaddup, Rosa!” the man slurred, trying to focus his drink-sodden eyes on her. “I gotta wait here in town for a reply to a telegraph message, an’ I want someone to keep me warm ’till then. Here – I’ll pay.” He fumbled in his pocket.
Rosa exploded with rage. “You hurt my girl last time! She couldn’t work for two weeks! No more of them for you! You get out of here, and take your son with you!”
“Aw, you’re cute when you’re angry. Maybe I’ll take you tonight instead!” Bart’s hand shot out and grabbed her right breast, squeezing. Rosa’s eyes bugged out and she yelled in pain, pulling back, trying to free herself.
The bartender lifted his hands above the bar. They were holding a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun. He began to swing it into line, but Walt was faster. He threw himself forward, drawing his right-hand revolver, lifting it, then chopping down with vicious force, clubbing Bart over the head with the butt of the gun. The man collapsed as if he’d been pole-axed.
Isom was right behind him. As the younger man staggered unsteadily, reaching for his holstered revolver, the teamster grabbed his shoulder, spun him around, and launched a haymaker that came around with all the weight of his body behind it. It landed on the side of the man’s jaw with an audible crunching sound. His victim flew sideways, crashing into the wall with an impact that shook the room. He hung there limply for a moment, then toppled forward to land face-down on the floor.
“Thank you, señor,” Rosa said, rubbing her breast absently, her eyes on the revolver in Walt’s hand. “You are very fast with that.”
“I get by,” Walt said shortly, holstering the gun and looking round at Isom. “I heard something break – not your hand, I hope?”
“Naw,” the other replied, massaging his knuckles with his left hand. “I think it was his jaw.”
There is an expanded excerpt at his site
Labels: Castalia House