The Whorehouse & Tobbaconist Saloon is a wretched, stinkin' hell-hole of a drinkin hovel. Every damned man inside reeks of stale booze an' disappointment. It's the kind of place a man would go to when he's on the edge and ain't go no other place to go, to drink himself dead one finger of booze at a time and grow old watchin' the mould grow on the wall.
They got two kinds of drinks in here, whiskey and water. One is served in a scum-encrusted glass that ain't never seen a ragged cloth to clean it, the other is served in the Barman's fist, straight into your face, with a suckerpunch chaser.
The walls are filled with dead animals, stag, wolves, deer, bears, and pidgeons - magnificent trophies to past huntin' glories and really stupid pidgeons that flew straight into the rotting wall while tryin' ta get out.
There's a dusty old piana in the corner. An old man in a waistcoat, with a little straw hat perched on his head, is hunched over it muttering to himself, playing the same notes over and over again. Soundtracking the misery with his own drunken yammering.
The floor is covered in sawdust and blood. There's so much blood the damn floor is near red. I heard the old fella at the piana sing "There's broken glass everywhere, people spittin' on the floor like they just don't care". This place had pushed him close to the edge.
The beaten up tables are littered with empty glasses and abandoned card games, no doubt settled outside at gunpoint. There's bullet holes in every surface, the windows are smashed and the jukebox don't work on account of not being invented yet.
I shoved my boot through the door, kicked it open and burst in with mah pistols in mah hand. I had adopted a clever disguise and a new name, so I announced mysel' as loudly as ma voice would allow.
"Ahm Justin J. Lawson, Blacksmith by trade. I just rode in to town, I came here ta drink whiskey and kill somebody, and I'm all outta whiskey!"
The Saloon fell silent. The old man at the piano stopped dead. The varmits cheatin' at poker in the corner looked up, the blackjack table fell silent and the whores stopped scratching their groins. The Barman stared deep into my eyes. He was a mean lookin' son of a bitch, 7 foot tall with shoulders as wide as the Brickshithouse Mountains. He had a greasy mop of hair on his head, one good eye and a scar down his cheek that looked like a possum had sliced him open and fucked his face so hard his tounge was pregnant.
"I don't know who the hell you are, stranger" the Barman growled, "but you're in luck!".
He held a bottle of whiskey up. "We've got loads of whiskey, in fact we've got very little else. Oh! And it's buy one get one free on shots".
I had decided the best way to hunt Likely down was to infiltrate his gang, I would assume the role of a simple Blacksmith. I'd need a few drinks to settle mah story and get into character. The Barman poured me a double.
"Leave the bottle" I instructed, turning away from him to face the unruley mob.
"It's empty" replied the Barman.
" Go get me another then, cocksucker!" I shouted angrily.
When he returned with another empty bottle and a smug grin on his deformed face I took both bottles in my hands and smashed them over his stupid fucking head. I thought about making a clever joke about the Barman not being able to handle his drink. Unfortunately I thought about that a few hours after the event, so it was wasted.
I drank on my own for an hour or so, elaboratin' mah story in mah head. I was Justin J lawson, unemployed Blacksmith. My business had been ransacked and my family all killed by outlaws.
By the time one of the other patrons would talk to me, I'd sunk a couple of litres of fire water and was feeling on my way to drunk. A tall skinny drink-a-water with a moustache came to the bar.
He turned to me and drawled "What's your story, friend?"
"I ran a sack business and my family were killed by inlaws!" I slurred.
I fell to the ground.
When I opened my eyes Lightnin' Lance Likely's gun was aimed straight for my head.