Loud banging sounds at the front door; behind the glass panel looms a dark silhouette.

Maurice

You’ve got to pull to open.

*points at the doorhandle*

Just like the sign says. Oh, for Chrissakes, can someone tell him you have to —

Duccio

I’ll get the door for the bro.

*backflips over to the door and holds it open*

There you go dude. Whoa. Who invited the Billy the Squid, here? Hahah.

*Doing his best John Wayne accent*

Well, get a load of John “Lame”, pilgrummms!

Cowboy

Name’s Buddy “Big Boy” Steele. Get it right. And get the hell outta my way.

The strange figure pushes past Duccio, patting little rags of dust from his tan duster, brown stitched cowboy boots clicking on the wooden floorpanels. He takes off his wide-brimmed hat and duster and sets them on a barstool, then reaches in his pockets and starts counting out change, placing the coins a few at a time on the bartop.

Buddy Steele

Baseburner.

Maurice

‘Scuse me?

Buddy Steele

*speaking louder*

BASE BURNER. Feel free to bend an elbow with me yerself, if ye like.

Maurice

You might as well be speaking Mandarin Chinese, buddy. I have no idea what you’re asking for.

Buddy Steele

The hell kinda watering hole is this? Let me put it in simple terms for ya, dunderhead. Give me the cheapest whiskey ye got that ain’t liable to make a man go blind.

*nods to the change on the table*

Ye can keep the change too.

Maurice

So, one quarter and…

*Squinting*

… And some strange-looking gold coins that probably haven’t been valid currency since shortly after the Civil War? Puts you at about twenty-seven cents total. Enough for… less than a quarter teaspoon of whiskey? A trickle, maybe?

Buddy Steele

Didn’t count the Boston Dollars in there, didja? Don’t I get a gentleman’s discount on account of this place reeking like sweat, piss and a stagnant sewer?

*narrows his eyes at Little Sack, the Old Timer and Duccio in that order*

Lil’ Sack

*muttering under his breath*

Rather smell like sweat, hard work and perseverance than literal horse shit.

Maurice

Discount? Those three guys are my best customers. They actually pay me for my wares with real money too — not a bunch of rust-blown, moss covered metallic bits that look like they were dug up from under a rotted log.

Lonk Jr.

*strolls up, humming the Legend of Zelda Overworld theme, places a cluster of shimmering green gems on the counter*

Here you go, Maurice, my good man. 50 rupees for the delicious Lon Lon Milk White Mudslide. Sorry, they’re covered in so many cobwebs; my dad had to pry ‘em from the spinnerets of a Giant Skulltula in an enormous Skulltula nest. By the Golden Goddesses, my dad is the bravest adventurer that ever lived, isn’t he?

Maurice

He sure is.

*scoops up the rupees*

You know what little Lonk — you’ll probably never amount to half the person your father is and lead a life of constant torment and inner turmoil due to living in his enduring shadow…. but I’ll gladly take ‘em. And you tell your father I said hello, will ya?

Buddy Steele

*spits*

So you’ll take them funny lookin’ baubles and bric-a-brac but you won’t take God’s honest legal tender, huh?

Maurice

Look, we’ve been over this. Pay me with something I can use or you’re staying thirsty and sober as a jaybird.

Buddy Steele

*chuckles*

I like your spunk, partner. Can’t say I like your dime’s worth of dog-meat lookin’ face, your pug-nose or the way your mouth moves to one side of your face every time you talk like some kind of barnyard animal chewing cud… but I like your dumb grit.

Maurice

Will that be all?

Buddy Steele

I’ll take some water, actually. My ol’ filly could stand to have her thirst quenched.

Maurice

We’ve got a tin dish out front. Usually for people walking their dogs as we don’t usually get cowboys venturing in from God knows what video game; hopefully not Custer’s Revenge, I’ll say that much.

Tell you what — you can let your horse water from it if ya like; not its fault that it’s got you as an owner. If that’s not enough we’ve got an empty bucket in the backroom. That’s how you say it, right? “Water your horse?” I haven’t read a Western in a while.

Buddy Steele

Oh, you don’t have to call me no cowboy ’cause you’re scared. I’m just a saddlebum. Didn’t come in here on no horse, neither.

Duccio

So, like, what’s your “ol’ filly” then, dude?

Buddy Steele

Ol’ filly I’m talking about is my old lady.

*Chuckles and slaps his knee*

Maurice

More importantly — how are you a saddlebum if you don’t have a horse? And why the hell do you have riding spurs on your boots?

Buddy Steele

*spits*

I reckon that’s for me to know and you to find out.

Maurice

Well, that’s why I just ask– you know what? Forget it.

Also, could you please stop spitting? Since this isn’t the late 1800’s we don’t have a spittoon in place for you and you’re just spitting directly on the floor. Damn disgusting, frankly.

Buddy Steele

*drags a coat-sleeve over his chin*

Shot “Mad Dog” Bandit Billy McDougal graveyard dead for these here spurs. Fixed ‘em to my spur ridges on the way here, like trophies. Like the way they jangle. You can be next to test my six-iron, you keep talkin’ to me the way ya been.

Maurice

That has to be the longest nickname for a human being I’ve ever heard. Also, did you just threaten to shoot me in my own bar? That’s it — take your grimy looking coins and get the hell out of here.

Buddy gets up from his chair, spits twice on the barstool, puts his hat back on and then swings his duster over one shoulder and heads for the door.

Duccio

Dude, hold up. Did you just say you’re a cowboy without a horse?

Buddy Steele

Sure, just shout it out for the whole bar to hear, yellow belly. I don’t mind none. Damn simpleton.

Duccio

Dude, you’re in luck. There’s plenty of wild looking horses around these parts. Whole herds of ‘em. I see ‘em everyday on the way here. All snorting and snuffling and stamping and galloping and taking enormous horse dumps in mid-stride. Gnarly creatures, bro.

Hey… why don’t you just wrangle yourself up one of those and ride ‘em around? That’d be downright amazing, dude. Watching you break in a mustang; can you even imagine how bad-ass you’d look?

Buddy Steele

Hah! *spits* Mustangs ain’t even wild horses. They’re feral. Big difference: ferals are mollycoddled domesticated horses that got loose and adapted to life in the wild. Or even had some ancestors that was domesticated. Don’t matter. Wanna know what I call ‘em?

Duccio

Uh, not real–

Buddy Steele

*spits*

Must-tames. Mus-tames is what I call them chickenshit horses. *chuckling* The only extant wild horse is Przewalski’s horse, which is truly a wild animal and cannot be tamed. Until I get my stallion wranglin’ hands on one of ‘em, that is.

Sir Gaywin

What, ho? Perchance thou speaketh of “stallion wranglin’?” Counteth me in.

Duccio

Nice. The more the merrier. We got ourselves a horse wranglin’ crew, pilgrummm dudes! Let me just ask Lonk Jr. and some other bros if they want in.

Buddy Steele

I ain’t goin’ anywhere with you unnatural lookin’ sons of bitches. Hell, you’re a talking turtle wearing a headband for Chrissakes. You creep the ever lovin’ hell out of me.

Duccio

Well, bad news then bro — I just picked up your tab. I paid for every time you spit on the bar floor and/or bar property. It came to $50.00. So it’s either you come along with us or you can stay here for a week and dishwash off your bar tab. I’m sure Maurice’d be really happy to hear about you tying on an apron and getting behind the sink.

Buddy Steele

Get me that quarter teaspoon of whiskey that I was askin’ for earlier and you’ve got yerself a hoss tamer.

To Be Continued…

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