Clothes Make The Man
by  Dori


“There, Scott…..!  Do you believe me now?”

“Well, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t, Johnny…..but you’re right!”

“Look at him….!  Last week I couldn’t talk him into coughing up ten cents for a haircut, and today he’s walking around with one of Zeke’s four-bit, extra deluxe specials—including a shave and an extra dose of that smelly hair tonic. 

“I’d say he also went a bit heavy on the “eau de cologne’!”

“Kinda makes your eyes water, don’t it?”

“And all this is because of a woman?”

"Yep….!  Val and me was there when she stepped down off of the stage.  It turns out she’s from back east….here to visit her sister, the banker’s wife.  I ain’t never seen Val act so loco as he did over that female.  He’s bound and determined to ask her to the church social tonight.”

“I guess love can make a man do crazy things!”

“What the hell….!  Would ya look at that, Scott?  He ain’t even wearing his guns.”

“Perhaps he fears they would spoil the lines of that form-fitting waistcoat he’s sporting.”

“And where the devil do ya think he found that hat?  It could almost be the one you was wearing on the stage….that day we first met.”

“Actually, Johnny, I think that IS my hat.  You see, Lone Crow’s kids asked if they could have it…….said they were making a scarecrow for their mother’s garden.  I couldn’t foresee having any further use for it, so……”

“Yeah…..?  Well, it does go real nice with his outfit, don’t it?”

“So….is that the lady who’s stolen Val’s affections?”

“That’s her…!”

“I don’t blame him for being smitten—a veritable profusion of the most desirable feminine attributes.”

“All gussied up like she is….I can’t blame Val for thinking he’s gotta dress like a dude to have a chance with her.”

“And making a good job of it, I’d say….!  I’ve not seen any one make a finer bow in any of Boston’s most elegant drawing rooms.  And……is he kissing her hand?”

“Ha…!  I guess he’s been learning a little something from watching my example.”

“From this vantage point…….Val’s charm just might be doing the trick.”

“Hey…..ain’t that Jesse Taylor?’

“The foreman from the Bar J spread….?  I think so, but it’s hard to tell under all that dirt……looks like he’s been sleeping in the rough for a week or two.”

“Smells like it too…!  Hombre ought ta know better than to try being a third wheel in a cozy little set-up like that.”

“Apparently Val’s paramour has good manners, because she’s not brushing the lout off.”

“Uh..oh….!  That’s a little more than good manners, ain’t it, Scott?”

“When the lady in question walks off……arm in arm with another man…it’s a pretty sure bet that any chance of romance has flown the coop.”

“Val looks madder than a wet hen….!  This might be a good time ta…..”

“I’m right behind you, brother!”



“DANG IT….!!  Quit skulking back there in the shadows and get out here...both of you…!!  I may have left my pistols behind, but I still got two fists that work real fine!”

“Hi, Val…!  Scott and me was just checking out Barranca’s fetlock.  We’re afraid he might of pulled it during the ride into town.”

“Aw, give it up…!  I seen what you was checking out, and it wasn’t no horse’s leg!”

“No…no, Val….we just…”

“She dumped me…!  Ain’t no bones about it..!  And do ya want ta know the funny part?  She said she appreciated my ‘kind attentions’ and knew I had to be a ‘fine gentleman’.  But she’d kind of had her fill of fine gentleman back in Philadelphia.  Said this was her first visit to California and she was all agog to keep company with an authentic ‘Western’ man…..a real cowboy.  Guess Jesse Taylor fit the bill a little better than I did in these duds!”

“That is a shame, Val.  Perhaps matters would have gone in your favor if you’d paid heed to some words of wisdom from George Washington.”

“Now, you’ve said some fool things before, Scott, but what in Holy Hannah does George-blessed-Washington have to do with anything?”

“He wrote a book of rules for civilized behavior and one of them says—“Play not the peacock, looking everywhere about you, to see if you be well decked, if your shoes fit well, if your stocking sit nearly, and clothes handsomely.”

“Yeah…..?  Well, did he happen to write a rule about folks getting their noses punched when they stick’em into other people’s business?”

“Now, Val……calm down.  I’ve got another rule of ‘civilized behavior’ for you.  It may not be as high-faluting as Scott’s is, but I stand by it.  They say misery loves company…..but I say misery loves tequila shots.  What do you say we head over to the cantina and see if there’s anything to my rule?”

“I’ll even stand the first round—as an apology for sticking my nose where it didn’t belong…!”

“Well….I suppose…..!  Just so long as nobody says nothing about women…..or Philadelphia….or haircuts…..or Jesse Taylor….or church socials….or........







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