Guess Who's Coming to Diner?



All I can make out is his shape, tall and thin, black against the bright sky from the open door behind him. But I can see enough to make me take notice. That shadow jutting out low on his thigh, thatís a gun butt. Got his fingers, twitchy-like, hovering just over it. Heís turned toward our table now, studying, knows as long as he stays in the doorway we canít see him like he can see us. I know, because Iíve done that myself.

I donít like it much, him being here, not with my family sitting with me. Not much I can do, though. Guess he must be satisfied, heís strolling on into the diner. His spurs are chinking like some kind of a band announcing every step, and all the while heís looking over the room like weíre all here just for his amusement.

Dresses Mex, but he ainít. His hairís same color as Barrancaís mane. About the same length, too, puts me in mind of it right after Iíve combed him.

Shit, I know I seen him before. Down on the border, I seen lots of men I donít ever want to see again. Kind of blanked their faces out of my head. I turned my life around, donít need no reminders, things I did just to fill that hole in my belly. Sure as hell donít need none of íem recognizing me, not in front of my family. Murdoch donít know the half of what I done.

Damn, heís looking over here, smiling like he knows me. That ainít good.


This fellow needs to get on his horse and keep on riding. His kind just spells trouble in a town like this. And itís not like heís making any secret of it. That belt snugged low on his hips, fingers tapping at the air over his gun, those showy pants, tight as skin, with those damn conchos strung up and down the sides. Just like Johnnyís. I despise those pants.

Of course, heís coming on in. Heís a cocky bastard, too, strutting in here, taking his hat off and flinging his hair like a stallion shaking his mane. One thingís for sure, he hasnít been keeping any barbers in business.

I hope nobody told him how desperate Lancer is for hands, sent him over to find me. Well, we sure donít need his kind. Got enough problems with that son of mine. And it really wouldnít be fair to the other hands. Theyíd always have to watch their back, even when they slept.

Darn. Here he comes, smile plastered on his face. Iím not hiring.


Oh my, who have we here? Certainly donít see many men like this coming through town. Come on, step on in. He turns, and a sprinkle of lights dazzles me for a second before they dance on past my eyes to shimmer against the far wall. Iíve seen Johnnyís conchos reflect light like that, but only if heís just polished them. I admit I like him in those pants, but Johnnyís my brother, or, well, practically, and Iíd never tell a soul how I look at him sometimes. This man, though, heís fair game. His conchos gleam like jewels. His gun is just as shiny, and his fingers hang tantalizingly close to it. Itís pretty obvious what he is, and it gives me a tingle.

I wish Murdoch wasnít here, but it seems like he worries all the time about me going to town alone. Thereís no way I can meet a fellow with my family around, always poking their noses into my affairs.

Oh great, I should have known that floozy waitress Juanita would be eying him like a choice steak, smiling with her big teeth. And heís smiling back. Dratt! I guess that means Iím out of the running before I even got a chance.

Wait a minute. Heís looking at us, coming over, I think heís smiling at me!

Oh dear, I think Iím smiling too, and that wonít do. If Murdoch ever finds out what Iím thinking Iíll be on the next stage back to Boston.



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