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"You've just gotta love this place," Jesse opined, licking his lips to taste
each drop and wiping the residue froth with the sleeve of his crusted
The six other bandits moved like a wave across the room, each choosing a dancing girl for the pleasure of the night, three moving directly upstairs to the dancing rooms that awaited the long tired traveler with condiments and the compliments of the proprietor. Nobody chose one pleasant looking young girl who sat to the left in a fine pink dress, scratching her arm; a large, dyspeptic woman with a facial mole near the bar; or the strong and confident lady who leaned against the player piano chatting with Piano Pete about his newest composition. Another bottle shot down the bar when Frank snapped his finger, repeating the earlier attempt by his sibling as both brothers rose from their stools.
Through the mayhem, Jesse and Frank walked across the floor toward an empty table situated beneath the railing of the stairs. Frank began to sit, but Jesse continued to pace toward the player piano and the confident dancing girl, Sylvia Jane Landsford. Her strong, fine features born from dark Irish stock and equal demeanor indicated something everybody in Freeborn already knew, ... that she could be his only equal in this town. Jesse snaked his arm around her shoulder.
"Jesse, I was gonna take Sylvia Jane tonight," Frank called as Jesse and his feminine match started toward the stairs without so much as one word exchanged between them.
"First come and all," Jesse reminded, glaring back toward his brother with a glint of pleasure gleaming from his bloodshot eyes.
"Come on, little brother. It's my birthday next week, how about an early present?"
"Now, what did mom tell us about patience," he stated with a wry smile. "Plus I already bought, ... err, procured you one last week."
"Okay. Okay. You can take Sylvia Jane then, ... but who'd you want me to get?" Frank asked with displeasure. Jesse pointed toward the scratching, left corner girl in the pastel dress with pink lotion on her arms.
"What about her?" Jesse laughed the question, nearly choking on the swill he slugged with the ascension of each next step. It's not as if these options had not been covered during the manly chest thumping cavalcade of insults hurled around last night's campfire. But pecking order has its privileges, as we all know, and Frank was well below the head rooster on the list of chicken coop foxes despite the fact that he was older.
"I'm not shacking up with Calamine Annie," Frank stated, incredulous to the option.
It was solely Frank's fault that his selection of women was below grade. No time to take a leak when the men were discussing next evening's whore draft. He knew better than that, but had eaten more than a few helpings of the hot sauce chili that had the tendency to cause a river to run directly through a bandit colon, so he had no choice but to miss the selections and never completely understood the concept of a proxy vote.
Calamine Annie was just eighteen, sweet as lime punch and more than pleasant to look at, if you could overlook the scratching. Apparently, that pink lotion made for a consistent foundation base for the young lass just learning a trade and finding out what pleased a man. As Jesse and Sylvia Jane climbed the steps toward the second floor balcony, he shrugged both shoulders at Frank.
"It's either her or Burping Bertha."
Seated in the chair beside the piano, Burping Bertha picked her mole,
actually just a bad-looking chocolate Raisinette, plucked it into her mouth, and
burped. Her ample rear creased the worn wood like two feather pillows that had
been well used and her round cheeks bulged like several ten pound sacks of
potatoes had somehow become lodged inside her mouth. No