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Thirty-two

Doc was out on bail within the hour, and in three days the county attorney dropped all charges.

Said he couldnt find no grounds for them, Wyatt, Doc said, sipping whiskey and beer at the bar of the Alhambra. Im going to slap that bitch silly.

Maybe you didnt hit her so much, Wyatt said, she might not say bad things about you.

They got her drunk, Doc said. Behan and his crowd. Filled her with hooch and got her to sign the complaint. Shes drunk, shed sign a complaint against Jesus Christ.

Specially if he thumped her around, Wyatt said.

Doc laughed.

Well, shes gone off to Globe for a while, waiting for me to cool down, I suppose.

Wyatt was drinking coffee, even though the temperature in the street was over a hundred.

How come you never have a drink, Wyatt?

Dont like it.

What dont you like?

Dont like the taste. Dont like being dull and slow and loud from drinking it.

Like me?

Aint seen you dull and slow yet, but you do get loud. Doc finished his whiskey and ordered more.

I do, Doc said. Thats a fact. You know why I drink so much, Wyatt?

Yeah, Wyatt said, I do.

Being a drunk and having a temper like I do might get me killed someday.

Might.

You know I dont care if it happens, Doc said.

I know.

Doc drank some more whiskey and tipped his head back, letting the whiskey trickle down his throat. Then he swallowed and laughed and chased it with some beer.

And I like whiskey, and beer, and, he laughed again, and wild, wild women.

Why do you suppose Behan put Kate up to that trick? Wyatt said.

You got his girl, Holliday said. Johnny figured to paint me with shit and get some on you. You and Virgil ought to bring in them boys who really done the Benson stage. Take some of the bite out of Sheriff Behind.

Got to locate them first, Wyatt said.

He wasnt looking at Holliday. He was gazing out through the saloon doors into the street.

Theyre out there with the rustlers, Wyatt. Doc leaned back in his chair and made a wide sweeping gesture with his left hand. Somewhere out there.

Wyatt smiled, still looking out the door.

You aint being much of a help, Doc.

No, I probably aint, Holliday said. Mostly Im probably a hindrance.

And he drank off the rest of his whiskey.


Thirty-one | Gunman`s Rhapsody | Thirty-three