Adventures of Strangers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A stranger enters a saloon and wants more than a drink. What is he up to?

Submitted: July 05, 2016

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Submitted: July 05, 2016

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As I walked through the swinging saloon doors I noticed that the room was almost empty.

There were two cowboys standing at the far end of the "L" shaped bar, huddled over a bottle of whiskey; they both glanced my way and then went back to talking between themselves.

Three men in wool suits, one wearing an out of place Bowler Hat, were seated at a table next to the doorway. They stared at me continually from the time I entered the room.

The bartender was busying himself wiping off glasses with a well worn and fairly dirty towel.

"Howdy, what can I get for you?" He questioned without a second look my way.

I walked up to the bar in front of him and asked if there was wagering done there.

That is when I heard her voice, it was low, it was raspy, and it had that, {"I'm the Boss and don't you forget It."}, tone.

All eyes followed her every move as she walked down the staircase,

She had sleek-black hair, long and flowing down to the small of her back, and deep blue eyes; eyes that seemed to cut into you with every glance.

As she spoke, her raspy voice had that sort of sexiness to it that most men go for.

"Two whiskeys, Ben," she called out to the Bartender, “one for me and one for the handsome stranger." Then she laughed and took a drag from a thin and rather crocked cigar.

"What's your name stranger and how might I help you?" She asked as she blew cigar smoke in my face and brushed her Bustle against my weapon.

Her movements brought immediate gasps from the men at the table, and snickers from the two cowboys at the end of the bar.

She and I touched our shot glasses and down went the whiskey; God, it was terrible stuff.

After a few seconds to regain my breath, I replied, "Well Miss, my name is Boreguard Strangers, Bo for short, and I am a gambler for hire.

Would you be the proprietor of this establishment and by what name should I refer to you?" I asked with a slight lump in my throat.

"I am Elizabeth Shepherd, Sir, but you may call me Lizzie," She replied without hesitation, "and yes, I own this business, lock, stock, and barrel."

I quickly made my pitch by saying, "Then I offer up my expert services to you for our mutual gain and gratification, dear lady. Is there somewhere that we might talk business in private?"

She thought for a few seconds and said, "Come," then she motioned for me to follow her to a doorway situated under the staircase.

Once inside the door, I realized that the room we had entered was her office and I was surprised by how tastefully it was furnished.

I continued my pitch, "All that I require is a large table in a well lit area, away from the door and windows. I will need a House Stake of one-hundred dollars to start our mutual enterprise, my dear lady. The split is 50, 50, and from my earnings I will repay your one-hundred dollars before I take a nickel for myself," I said, arrogantly.

Lizzie laughed with a raspy sort of laugh; too many cigars and too much of that rot-gut whiskey was my guess.  

"How do I know that you can win enough to make this little enterprise profitable? One-hundred dollars is not chicken feed Mr. Strangers and I do not take kindly to people losing my money, even a handsome stranger like you. So you would do well not to find the wrath that is in my nature, Sir"

I replied, "Please, call me Bo." And I smiled ever so assuredly as I pulled a deck of cards from my pocket. I opened the deck and emptied the cards, face down onto her desk, asking her to choose five cards, six if she wanted. She took the five cards from the pile and as soon as she did I told her what the cards were, without hesitation. Then she retrieved a deck of her own cards and I repeated my little trick.

Lizzie motioned for me to sit and then she dealt a series of hands, as if five people were seated at the desk and all playing five card stud. She played four of the hands herself. At the end of ten sets, I was ahead by 40 percent of the total money bet. She was hooked.

Several weeks went by and all the so called big gamblers from the county had found their way to The Silver Slipper Saloon; our profits were escalating.

I should say that I am always careful not to win any more than is possible without cheating. It is not a good thing to draw too much attention during a game. However, there are those who drink too much and don’t know the difference. And if they are not winning then they presume that you are cheating.

My limited time in this stagecoach town of Birdie Creek was drawing to an end, Lizzie was finding my mysterious demeanor a little too alluring and my end goals were nearly attained.

That Friday night a cowboy came into town, I was told that he was the son of a wealthy cattle rancher and his Daddy pretty well owned the local sheriff.

Well, it seemed that this young cowboy was looking to make some easy money, or so he thought. So he seated himself across from me and pulled a sealed deck of cards from his shirt pocket. "We'll be using these, if-en you don't mind Mr. Dealer," he said as he placed his six-shooter on the table in front of him.

To appear unaffected by his actions, I checked my pocket watch for the time and said, "Good, the old deck is getting ragged anyway. You are just in time with a new deck, thanks."

There were six men seated at the gaming table, including myself, and in two hours there were only two, he and I.

To complicate things, the cowboy had got drunker and had found himself nearly broke. And, of course, the drunker the cowboy got, the loader he became.

I dealt what I was sure was going to be his final hand and readied myself for the inevitable outcome. 

When the last bet was made, and he raised me with the last of his wealth, a solid silver and gold inlaid belt buckle.

I had no choice but to call and then I threw my cards, face up, on the table. "Two pair I said, Aces and eights."

"Cheater!" The cowboy yelled, as he reached for his weapon, then I heard "Click", but his revolver did not fire. I stuck the barrel of my gun in his face and disarmed him, instructing him to be seated or I would blow his bucket-shaped head off.

After everyone settled down I asked the cowboy what he was thinking. "It is not enough that you have the winning hand, three queens, you wish to kill me too? What drunken sense is that?"" 

"What?" he said, "I had a deuce of hearts, a six of clubs, a jack of spades, and two red queens?"

"I think that the whiskey has dulled your senses Sir, you should look again." Then I motioned to the table where his hand still lay.

As he spread the cards out for all to see, there was a deuce of hearts, a six of clubs, a queen of spades, and the two red queens."

"The hand is yours Sir, but under the circumstances I think it best that you be on your way. Your money is no good at this table any longer." With that said, I laid his empty revolver on his winnings and I pointed toward the door, still holding my weapon.

 

Later that night, after the saloon was closed and the barkeep started cleaning up; I slipped into Lizzie's office to divide the nights take. As I watched her take her cut she asked, "How did you do it?"

"Do what?" I innocently questioned.

She laughed that scratchy laugh and said, "The cowboy put a loaded gun on the table, in plain sight of everyone. No one touched that gun until he reached for it, then suddenly it had empty chambers.

And from where I stood I could see the cowboys last hand, he had a black jack, but no black queen, but after the scuffle the black jack was somehow a black queen, but you never went near his cards."

Lizzie said with a smile, "I have to admit, you handled everything as good as gold. If you had shot him, well, his Daddy would have hung you and run me out of town. But I am still perplexed! How did you pull that off?"

I smiled and reached out for her hand. And as I kissed it I said, "That cannot be true Lizzie, the cowboy’s gun must have been half empty all the while, and after all, he was drinking a lot. Besides, he could not have had a black jack in his hand, because you have it."

As she looked down at her gloved hand she saw the jack of spades neatly tucked into it.

Her expression was that of amazement, but I had no time to explain for I had checked my watch and found that it was time to go; and leave, I did.

 

{OK, this is not a "Who Done It", it is a "How Did He Done It", and this is the time for you to make your guesses as to how Boreguard Strangers was able to do all the Sleight of Hand things that he did during this story, and no, he is not a Magician.

Done Guessing, or not, read on my friends.}

 

I have to say that I, being a pretty good judge of character, made the assumption that Lizzie was never going to let me leave that town with my cash of gold and silver coins. And I was pretty sure she was going to have her "Boys" beat me until I told her my little secrets; so I thought it best to exited when I did. I would not doubt that she had them search for me for many days.

You see, I am an inventor by profession and I am a collector of old coins; that is my passion. So I have combined the two so that I might have many wonderful adventures acquiring old coins throughout the centuries.

Of course, my Pocket Watch Time Manipulator makes collecting so much easier, and safer.

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  07-03-2016


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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