He hitched his holster a little forward again as he spoke and a deep silence fell upon the crowd.

“Fellow citizens,” he continued, spitting liberally over the side of the bar, “whatever gun-play is carried on around here in the future is to be done strictly by me, and all you men can consider yourselves under warning to leave your shootin’-irons at home, unless you want to use them to dig premature graves.”

This advice was received with an ironical chuckle of appreciation from the crowd.

“As for Slim Malone,” he went on, “I’m goin’ out into the Weston Hills to get him single handed. I don’t want no posse. I’ll get him single handed or bust, you can lay to that; and if I come back to this town without Slim Malone, alive or dead, you can say that Malone has the Indian sign on me.”

Having finished all that he had to say, Lefty felt about in his mind to find a graceful manner of closing his exordium, when the mayor came to his assistance. He recognized that nervous clearing of the throat and wandering of the eyes out of his own first political experiences. Now he raised his glass of colored alcohol and water, which in Appleton rejoiced in the name of Bourbon.

“Boys,” he shouted, “there ain’t no better way of showin’ our appreciation of our new sheriff than by turnin’ bottoms up. Let’s go!”

Every hand in the barroom flashed into the air, and after a loud whoop there was a brief gurgling sound which warmed the heart of Sandy Orton.

It should have been the signal for a day’s carousal… chevronRight icon