Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Girl From Kansas City
"You know Javier, poets say that in the spring a young man's thoughts turn to love, but I think they're wrong." Fritz propped his feet up on the table and eyed the coal on his cigar, "A man's thoughts turn to love at about nine-thirty."
Javier nodded, took a sip of his tequila, and returned to the task of cleaning his rifle.
Fritz adjusted his feet and let his spurs dig into the wood of the table before he continued, "At nine-thirty, he has had his dinner and has had a couple of drinks. That is when he is ready for love. Hell, at that point, he is ready for anything!"
Fritz chuckles at his own joke and pulls out his pocket watch and examines it closely through blood-shot eyes. It is an hour until his appointment, so he closes the lid and continues to wax philosophical on man.
"About nine-thirty a man develops an itch like none other. Sure, it is a little stronger in the spring, but any man that would deny that the cold nights of winter don't make it enter his mind is a liar! On a cold night, nothing beats a warm woman!"
Javier looked up from his dirty ramrod and nodded his assent.
Fritz took a puff of his cigar and eyed the nearly empty bottle of whiskey. Javier had most of his bottle of tequila left, but cactus juice would only slow him down tonight. It would make him stupid and slow. No, the whiskey would keep him on edge and ready for whatever would happen next. It always had. Fritz upended the bottle and let the burn settle into his stomach. The burn would keep him safe and warm, while giving him the strength to carry on and be loose, without being stupid.
"I knew a girl in Kansas City that would make your eyes roll back in your head! Not you in particular, as she wouldn't hump Mexicans, but you know what I mean. Now that girl knew how to get rowdy! She'd cut loose and holler 'n yell. She had this little shimmy thing that she'd do..." His eyes glazed over as he recollected, and his spurs dug the gouge into the table a little deeper.
Javier nodded as he filled his rifle with as many shells as it would hold, worked the lever, chambered a shell, and took a bead at a point on the wall. Satisfied, he laid the rifle on the table.
"She would do things that would make you cry 'uncle' and a little more," Fritz said a little wistfully. He sat a little deeper into his chair and blew a large plume of smoke at the roof of the cabin. "What about you Javier? You ever been in love?"
"There was a girl once." He shrugged his shoulders.
"Yeah, and what happened?"
"I..I'm sorry to hear that," Fritz muttered.
"The neighbor woman thought her husband was cheating on her with my Naomi and she slit her throat. She didn't know it was Naomi's mother. She died in the street," he said matter-of-factly, then Javier bowed his head for a moment, adjusted his hat, and then finished his drink. He looked Fritz in the eye. "But they paid. They paid dearly." He smiled. "Tell me again, who we got for an inside man?"
"My brother Cormac. He's bringin' his new bride. Some girl he met in Kansas City I guess. His letter wasn't too specific. It was mostly about the job."
"I'm ready," Javier said flatly, "When do we meet 'em?"
"9:30," Fritz checked that his hammer was on an empty chamber in his pistol, dropped his feet to the floor and paused before he got up. "Do you mind if I have a sip of your tequila?" Javier slid the bottle to him. "I just need one more nip to calm my nerves," Fritz explained, and against his better judgement, tipped the bottle back and choked down three long gulps.
"Come on," he said as hie wiped his chin, "that stagecoach ain't gonna rob itself," and they headed to the horses.