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Show Down at Livingston
He saw the town from where he stood on the hill. A dusty haze hung over it. He smiled, knowing this was the right place. The description he had gotten from the crazy old man was spot on. Every building looked as if it had been through a hundred thunderstorms and sand storms. They were all run down, the wood looking as if it would buckle at any moment. Except for two buildings, which he knew would be the saloon and the livery stable, the two most important things to a man, his whiskey and his horse. He knew he was in the rights place; he was just hoping that the man he was looking for would still be here. If he was still here, which he was betting on, he wouldn’t escape death for much longer.
He climbed onto his horse, a black half mustang, half thoroughbred. As he approached, he saw a sign that read, Livingston. This was definitely the right place. He walked down the middle of the main road. Men were leaned up against the supporting beams; glaring at him as he walked by. He knew they were looking his horse up and down. He was a good looking horse and, he was the type of man who wouldn’t have a horse like this unless he stole him. He stopped in front of the saloon, pulling his horse up to the hitching rail and then dismounting. He patted his horse on the neck, giving him a treat as he did this. He left the reins looped around his saddle horn, leaving him untied.
“A horse like that could easily be stolen if left untied there mister,” a man about six foot tall glowered down at him from the board walk.
“The way I figure it is if someone wants a horse that bad they will likely untie him anyways. Why not give him a fighting chance,” he replied as he stepped up next to him. The man was three inches shorter than he was, but he was very broad and had hands the size of a grizzly bear. This was not a man he wanted to brawl with. So instead of starting any trouble he went inside the saloon.
When he walked in, it was the normal hustle and bustle of a normal saloon, until people noticed a stranger standing inside the swinging doors. It was suddenly very quiet, almost deafening to his own ears. He walked to the bar, his head high as all eyes were turned on him.
“What can I get for you sir?” the bartender asked.
“Just a glass of water, I don’t need to have alcohol clouding my brain. I need to stay sharp,” everyone kept watching as the bartender poured him his glass of water, something he very seldom did. He lifted the glass up and went to take a swallow, when he saw the sun glitter off the end of a barrel. “Mister I suggest you just leave me be,” he said as he cocked the hammer of his pistol. He always had one handy where he could reach it without any obstacles in his way.
He turned to the man in the corner, who looked more shocked than a rabbit when a dog catches it. The man slowly put his gun away, looking shameful for being caught.
“What are you doing here stranger? This town doesn’t take kindly strangers.”
“I’m looking for someone. Someone by the name of Clint, Clint Walker,” everyone had gone back to what they were doing until he mentioned that name. Then once again all eyes were on him.
“Well that there man is who runs this town. If you want to find him, you’ll have to go to the livery stable. He has an office there that he stays at most of the time.”
“Thanks,” he stood up from his stool and walked outside. His horse was still standing where he had left him, untouched. He patted his cheek and walked towards the livery stable, his horse following him. “Howdy mister,” he greeted the caretaker of the horses. “Can you take care of my horse? Don’t unsaddle him please. Just give him some water and feed and make sure he’s comfortable.” The man nodded and walked up to the horse, love already filling his eyes for the big black horse. “Can you point to where Mr. Clint Walker may be?” the man looked at him kind of suspiciously but he pointed to the back of the livery stable anyways.
He walked back there, seeing an ajar door and looking inside. Sure enough there was Clint Walker, in all of his “glory.” “Clint?” he looked up slightly surprised that someone had come here.
“You have a call from justice. You killed my brother in Dodge about a month ago and fled. You didn’t have the guts to be punished like a man, so now you’re going to die like man.” He pulled out his gun, showing him he meant business. He slowly got up and walked towards him. “Now go outside to the street.”
They walked slowly to the middle of the street. “Keep walking until I say stop,” he walked at least ten feet further. “All right stop and turn towards me.” He did as he said. Then he tossed his extra gun at him. “Now we are going to have a show down. And just so you know, I’m a lot quicker than my brother was.”
He looked at Clint in the eyes, hatred glazing over his eyes. He saw sweat start to prickle on his forehead as he started to get nervous. Slowly the clock ticked down the seconds to noon. When the clock struck twelve and the bell began to ring, he whipped out his gun a full five seconds before Clint did and he fired. He saw his face contort and his eyes scream out in pain. The gun shot rang out and echoed back to his ears, and in that one second, time stopped.