BROTHERS OF THE MOUNTAIN
Blood on the Prairie
Lucas could no longer ignore the flurry of insults. He laid his pair of queens on the table, pushed away, and stood up slowly.
The boisterous fellow spoke again. “That’s right, you big horse’s ass. Git up and face me like a man. Maybe you got a little sand after all.”
Henry stood relaxed, watched from a distant corner, sipping his rum. He was certain his brother could handle the intoxicated buffoon.
Turning to the drunken man, Lucas narrowed his gaze. “Jake,” he began, “I was hopin you were gonna take your smelly skunk carcass and get the hell outta here.” The other patrons sniggered at the remark as Lucas continued. “But it looks like you can’t keep your damn mouth shut.”
The brawny, young trapper shoved the empty chairs aside and proceeded across the makeshift saloon. The man named Jake produced a devilish grin, displaying a set of dark, tobacco-stained teeth. The rugged trapper looked as if he hadn’t seen soap and water for some time. Behind his bloodshot eyes was the look of someone with a strong suspicion of being swindled. Earlier, Lucas had exhausted the fellow of his seasonal earnings in a friendly game of draw poker.
Jake spat a stream of tobacco juice, and said, “I’d say thar ain’t no way in hell any man could ever win that many hands in a row.” A bottle of rum sloshed in his right hand as he flailed and pleaded his case.
“I may be a lot of things, Jake, but I ain’t what you’re about to say I am.” Lucas followed with a cold, hard stare, but the foolish drunkard didn’t observe the cautionary gesture.