• Billy walked in as though the whole bar was waiting for him, and they practically were, both his subordinates and the other customers dreading the moment that he finally passed through that entrance. The customers knew that Billy was not somebody to ******** around with and the other gang members knew that they didn’t own the bar anymore; it belonged to Billy.

    He was wearing a tan windbreaker and a large white hat. The windbreaker had a Sheriff’s pin attached to it. “Sorry to be late, fellas, the Sheriff and his deputies were a little hard headed.”

    The Stranger knew that either meant the whole police department was dead or almost dead on the floor. He now reggreted ever getting this crazy idea of bringing somebody like Billy One Eye down. He was barely eighteen, just a kid, and he had never killed anyone before; he could barely kill a deer, and that’s because he was dying of hunger. The Stranger was now hoping that things would die down, soon before he got in trouble or was really noticed by the gang. Even if he somehow managed to fire his guns at people he was going ot be less than capable of taking care of ten plus one. He had managed to escape other shitbags but that was because they were no more than three.

    Billy One Eye looked around the bar. The other customers avoided eye contact to not piss him off, but it equally pissed him off to be ignored. He grabbed a chair from an empty table and sat himself down, taking away a beer from one of his subordinates. “Where are the girls at?”

    “Getting us some more drinks,” said the fat b*****d that was holding the brunette.

    Billy looked back at the four prostitutes that were hanging around the wall as he saw them impatient and bored. “This is the best this shitty town has to offer? And why is everyone here? Those girls need to get ********.” Immediately four of the shitbags got up and grabbed all the four prostitutes. “The inn is accross the street,” Billy told them before they exited.

    “You’re not going to get a girl yourself, boss?” asked the other shitbag that was holding the redhead.

    “Not yet. First I wanted to get rid of everyone.” Billy looks back at the remaining three members, “You three, go outside and guard.” They immediately go outside. “Much better now. It was getting stuffed in here, and all these other people looked really nervous.”

    “So now its just the three of us boss,” said the first shitbag, “I’ll order us some drinks.” He signaled over at Abby to get them some more drinks. “Bring us all those beers you were planning on giving us, and take three to them boys outside.”

    Millie, the brunette waitress, scoffed and grabbed three beers. Ellie, the redheaded waitress, was serving the other attendants. The only one available was Abby, who was relly hesitant.

    The Stranger took the bottle of tequila and served himself another shot. He initially wanted just one, but he was in a bar, nobody was expected to drink just one drink, and he also needed to keep up appearances. He lowered his scarf and took the shot. He didn’t mean to, but he put his hand over his mouth to prevent him from spitting out the alcohol. He had been able take down the first shot difficulty, but surely. He looked up, seeing that Abbey, the guy sitting next to him, and maybe Billy noticed. The Stranger just sat back and tried to look as relaxed as possible.

    Abby grabbed the two trays full of beers and walked over to Billy’s tables. She lay the two trays down on the table. “See, fellas,” said Billy to Shitbag #1 and #2, “now that’s a real woman.” Abby tries to leave before he has a chance to grab her or something. “Where are you going, sweetheart,” Billy grabbed her arm.

    “To work,” said Abby.

    “Come on, babe, just a couple of minutes.”

    “Maybe for a big tip,” Abby freed her hand.

    “I do have a big tip,” Billy grabbed his crotch, “But I’m not sure it will be big enough for you.”

    “You’re probably right. I don’t accept baby stuff.”

    Billy laughed hard. “God damn, girl. You turn me on.”

    Abby walks away. “Go ******** yourself, Billy.”

    “I would, sugar, but I need help for that, you know.”

    Abby grabbed a bottle of whiskey from the bar, along with a shot glass, and served herself a drink. “Assholes,” said Abby as she drank the whiskey.

    The Stranger was still trying to think and drink something. It was barely two days that he saw the wanted dead or alive poster for Billy, and being as desperate as he was for money, $500 was very tempting, as well as the extra $100 for every other member of the gang. The Stranger didn’t know where Billy could’ve been or how many members he had.

    He had to use whatever charisma he had, which wasn’t much, and ask around for almost two days. Of course, whatever charisma wasn’t enough to get him anywhere. He wasn’t experienced with handling people and the fact that he was a bounty hunter made people nervous. Of course they don’t want to get in trouble or get shot.

    The Stranger had just given up this morning and was even thinking of becoming a criminal himself and rob the grocery store. As he was riding his horse down the main road he heard a voice shout at him. He looked to his right side to see an old man, about 70, sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of a well maintained wooden house. “You talking to me, old timer?”

    “Sweet Jesus, boy. What’s with that tone?” said the old man. “You’re a ******** kid, ain’t cha? You tryin’ to intimidate a poor old man?”

    “No, sir, I’m just tired and irritated and hungry.”

    “Yes, I know. I’ve seen you for the past two days going up and down the whole damn town. And those two days I haven’t seen you eat a damn thing. How about your horse?”

    “Damn thing just needs to eat some grass and thats it. Thing’s lucky I don’t shoot it and start eating it.”

    “Come on in boy, I got bread and coffee inside.”

    “No, thanks. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

    “The ******** you say, boy? Take advantage of me? What does that mean? You gonna start touchin’ me or some s**t? You a gay?”

    “Um… no, sir.”

    “Then? I’m telling you to come in my house and eat my food. Damn! You rude, boy! Come on in!”

    The Stranger was at a loss for words. He just sat there surprised at the old man.

    “Well, boy, come on!” said the old man again.

    The Stranger got off his horse and tied him to a wooden pillar of the porch. He went inside and was surprised to see the inside completely empty of anything. The only things inside were him, the old man, round wooden table with four wooden chairs, a plate where the old man ate his food, a pan, a pot, and a fire stove. The Stranger was surprised to see the house so empty probably because the houses of other old people he had visited were full with furniture and memorabilia and collectibles.

    “Come and sit, boy,” the old man invited once more.

    “It’s a good place you got here,” said the Stranger.

    “It’s okay, I guess, for an old man as myself.”

    “How long you been living here?”

    “About thirty-five years. I was once the sherriff of this dog gone town.”

    “So you have quite the history here?”

    “Yes, I do, son. It’s grown quite a lot. Now theres an actual force of law enforcers to take care of things. Back in my day it was just me and maybe occasionally a deputy.” The old man grabbed the only plate and poured some beans from the pan onto it. “Hope you don’t mind beans in the mornin’.”

    “At this point anything’s good, sir.”

    “Say, boy, my first impression of you was of some stupid bandit out for an easy kill, but you aint. You is educated, ain’t cha?”

    “What makes you say that, old timer?”

    “The way you say ‘sir’ is how. No two-bit kid from the country is gonna know how to say that.” The old man grabbed a piece of dry bread from the counter and broke a piece. He put down the plate in front of the Stranger and handed him the piece of bread. “So what you doing here anyway?”

    “I was looking for someone.”

    The old man puts a mug on the table and pours hot water in it from the pot. “Who? One would figure that if that person was here you would’ve found him or her already. If not you would have at least gone to the next town by now.” The old man took out a metal canister that contained the coffee. Using a spoon he puts some in the mug and stirs it.

    “Well, I’m actually looking for someone who isn’t here.”

    “That makes a lot more sense, boy.” The old man hands over the mug to the Stranger. “Hope you don’t mind black coffee; I’m fresh out of milk.”

    “That’s fine, thank you.”

    “So you’re looking for someone who isn’t here, huh? Who?”

    “Well, if I told you, you’d probably kick me out instantly.”

    “Why? Who is it?”

    “Billy One Eye.”

    “Billy One Eye?” the old man didn’t seem moved at all. “You a bounty hunter?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    The old man gave out a laugh. “Boy, you funny. You a bounty hunter?”

    “What’s so funny about me being a bounty hunter?”

    “Cause you one strange boy.”


    “It’s a saying I have; the stranger the man the stranger the gun.”

    “What does that mean?”

    “It means ‘the stranger the man the stranger the gun.’ And boy, you’re a strange one.”

    “Does me being a strange person have anything to do with the guns I carry?” The Stranger takes out his revolvers; common, nickel plated Colts. “I don’t think there’s anything strange about my guns.”

    “It means that the less you know a person the less you know their gun. There’s more that meets the eye. It can also mean that the weirder that person the more likely that person hasn’t fired his gun at all. Or have you?”

    “Of course I have.”

    “At another person?”

    “No. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it.”

    “Does it? Will you be able to take out your pistol and shoot poor Billy dead at that moment of truth.”

    “Of course. If he shoots at me first I’ll be obligated to defend myself.”

    “Billy only needs one shot to get you. You know why they call Billy the One Eye bandit?”

    “Because he has one real eye and one glass eye?”
    “He does, but that’s not it. They call him that because he likes to aim for the eyes and he’s a very good shot. Before you know it you’ll be falling down with only one eye open and a hole where the other used to be.”

    “That doesn’t scare me.”

    “It doesn’t? You is strange. What made you want to be a bounty hunter anyway?”

    “Hunger. The cold. The fact I need money.”

    “You look young, though, not the strongest or biggest, but healthy. You could’ve worked in the railroads or oil fields; there’s plenty of those here in Texas.”

    “I thought I had enough money when I left home two years ago to get me to the border. I ran out of money six months ago.”

    “You ever heard of trains? They could’ve gotten you here in less than that.”

    “I haven’t been travelling in a straight line, you know? I’ve been all over the state.”


    “I’ve been looking for someone.”

    “Don’t tell me it’s Billy.”

    “No, I barely heard of Billy when I saw the poster two days ago. It’s someone else. I went to Louisiana following him. When I got a tip there that that person might’ve been over here now, I used the last of my money to buy a horse, because I knew I wasn’t going to make the trip over to here by train with the money I had.”

    “Ah, so you are a little smart. Who is this person you’re following?”

    “Someone. Not really important.”

    “Not important? So unimportant that you traveled the whole state and even crossed once to another state looking for this person?”

    “I meant it’s none of your business.”

    “I see, it’s personal. So back to your bounty hunting quest: how do you plan on finding your prize?” The old man sat back up more comfortably.

    “As far as I have gone, just go to the next town east. Hopefully someone there will know something.”

    “And why east?”

    “Just because.”

    “Who were you asking?”

    “Just people.”
    “Just people? Like regular people?”

    The Stranger nodded.

    “If you ever want to get anywhere you need to ask the right people? Not regular people. Obviously they’re going to be too scared to get involved in any of anything.”

    “What do you mean by the right people?”

    “You have to ask the right people.”

    “The right people? As in those people who hang around in saloons and look like they’re going to shoot you if you approach them?”

    “Exactly. They don’t really give a s**t, or they might even have something against that person you’re looking for. Of course most of the time, being the opportunist they really are, they’ll ask for something in exchange.”

    “I don’t really have anything to exchange at this moment. Maybe when my career picks up. For now I might have to just look around all the different towns in this area.”

    “Lucky for you, though, I can tell you, and I don’t want anything in exchange.”

    “You have something against Billy?”

    “Of course I do. When I was sheriff of this town it was as peaceful as could be. But then my p***y deputy took over after I retired five years ago, and everything be hell now. Billy do with this town pretty much whatever the ******** he wants.”

    “So where did Billy go?”

    “He went down south to another town about twenty miles down. It’s Alvarez, that’s the name of the town.”


    “Do you even know why you you’re looking for Billy?”

    “Because he’s a wanted criminal.”

    “Do you know why he’s a wanted criminal?”

    “He… just went and ******** some s**t up.”

    “Damn right he ******** some s**t up. He held up a cargo train about a week ago. MIllions of dollars in Federal Reserve gold guarded by only five U.S. Marines; all shot dead. That’s why his head is worth more than it’s actually worth, as well as his friend’s heads.”

    “How do you know so much about this?”

    “Everybody does. As soon as someone is worth $500, they are considered too dangerous to deal with.”

    “Not if it were you, though, right?”

    “I don’t think not even I would want to deal with him, at least not while he has those asswipes hanging around with him.”

    “How many are they, do you know? He has ten asses accompanying him. That means you are looking at a potential $1500 dollar reward, if you can kill all of them.”

    “I’m sure I can pick ‘em off one by one.”

    “Billy would be more than happy for you to do that.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Billy could've held up a train with his other two main guys, he didn’t need the extra muscle. They’re just beasts of burden, to carry all they stolen s**t.”

    “His two main?”

    “Yeah, two guys he always hangs around with. The original three are the ones who orchestrated the whole thing. As soon as they get a chance they’ll get rid of the extra baggage and kill them. No way they’re going to share the loot with seven others.”

    “How do you know so much about this whole bounty hunting deal?”

    The old man drank a cup of hot water. “I was a bounty hunter before I was a sheriff.”

    “Really? Wouldn’t have figured it out. How’d you become a bounty hunter?”

    “I lived near a plantation when I was young, before the war, back over there in my home state of Mississippi. When a slave would run away and they couldn’t find it they would post a bounty on them. Me and my brother would do it for sport, to make some extra money. Then after the war my brother, who was already old enough to fight, entered and got killed, and my parents died of sickness, so I was orphaned by the end of the war at seventeen.”

    “And you had to feed yourself.” The Stranger started eating the beans that were served to him by the old man.

    “And I had to feed myself. After the war there were a lot of criminal activity, and a surplus of opportunities for a lonely kid like me. I was shot during my first bounty adventure, and I killed my first person at the same time, when I was eighteen. So I recovered and continued to work for the U.S. Marshalls, heading down south to Louisiana where a lot of ports and seaside warehouses were being vandalized. I eventually settled down here in Texas.”

    “Did you get married?”

    “Of course I did, no man can be alone.”

    “Did you have children?”

    “Yes, a girl, but she went and got married to a rich fellow when she was fifteen, he was thirty-somethin’, and forgot ‘bout us. Didn’t remember us ‘till her mother died. Don’t have children young one. If you do, make sure they’re boys, not girls.”
    The Stranger remained quiet as he hastingly ate his plate of beans.

    “You enjoying that dish, boy?”

    “I’d enjoy anything with this hunger. Why did Billy go south?”

    “He’s probably going to cross over to Tamaulipas, Mexico, where authorities don’t have jurisdiction. He’s gonna go to the city of Reynosa, bury it, and come back here for more action and spend some of the money as well, then he’s going to get his main two killed or kill them himself, come back to Reynosa, open a business, and live happily ever after over there.”

    “Thanks for the advise, I’ll head over to Alvares as soon as I finish.” The Stranger quickly finishes his meal and gets up.

    “You say you don’t have money, right?”

    The Stranger nods.

    “Come ‘ere.” The old man motions to the Stranger. The Stranger follows the old man to what is the living room of the house. The old man grabbed a cane and started tabbing different places of the wooden floor, until a hollow sound was heard. He bent down and removed a bunch of planks revealing money under it. The old man grabbed a stack, got up, and offered it to the Stranger. “Here’s a thousand dollars, this’ll last you a while.”

    “What? But… it’s your money.”

    “I made more than enough money in my bounty hunting adventures. What am I gonna spend it on, anyway? Might as well give it to someone who will put it to good use, like a fellow bounty hunter.”

    The Stranger awkwardly takes the money and looks at it.

    “But you better go ahead and kill that Billy, he’s troublesome.”

    “Okay, I will. Thank you.”

    “Alright now, go to town, buy gear, supplies, a new hat, and a scarf.”

    “I already have a scarf.”

    “Good, you don’t want people to see your face that easily.”

    The Stranger starts to walk out. “Thank you for the meal, sir.”

    “Oh, by the way, what’s your name?”

    The Stranger hesitated. “John.”

    “That’s good, son; don’t use your real name. My real name is Robert. And your’s is Stranger, Stranger the Gun, ain't it? How old are you?”


    “Good don’t tell people your real age either. You’ll be fine. Now, if only you knew how to shoot.”

    “I guess I’ll manage.” The Stranger walks out and gets on his horse. “Thanks again, very much."