This is a part from later in my story "Krisco" I had been attempting to make publishable...
As Ray walked out the door, headed towards the General store to pick up some supplies, I laid my Centennial against the back wall of the station, with the other rifles. Billy did the same, propping his Henry right up against it. I looked at my ticket. The plain black number 27 occupied half of the paper. I looked around for the pistol lockups. I turned a full 360 around the room, and about eight large wooden crates lined the rim of the bay; most of them had stamped markings on them indicating that they had owners, and scrounging through them would not be permitted. I slid the note back into my pocket, and looked around at the other men who came; at least seventeen of them were standing around chatting amongst themselves, while twenty or so others were sitting around the station in various spots. I continued to walk around; Billy and Matt close behind, when I finally came across the pistol lockup. It was a wheeled metal shelf with an assortment of small safes on each side. Each of the individual compartments had a number engraved in, and filled with some gold like material, and a key lock for security. I pulled my own key from my pocket and inserted it into the groove, twisted, and pulled the small door open. The metal creaked as I pulled the door open, and I noticed that the compartment was bigger on the inside, at least 18x14 inches in size. It was plenty high too, with four individual shelves for pistols. I pulled my Remington 75' from its worn holster and slid it onto the second shelf from the bottom. Billy handed me his old Colt Army 60'; I placed it on the little shelf below mine. Then Matt gave me his peacemaker, and I put it on the top shelf. I slowly closed the door, twisted the lock shut, and pulled out the key. A few other mercenaries had just arrived, I could hear them laughing about something as they barged into the station. I walked towards the platform, followed by Billy and Matt, trying to avoid the new rowdy men as they sat their weapons in. A couple of engineers were standing on the platform now, staring off into the horizon. One of them started talking, so I listened.
“ I hear it's going to run late again.” One of the men said, he had a slightly ignorant look about him, but he looked experienced enough and was considerably older than the other man.
"Well, it could be worse." The other said, he had a short moustache and could not have been over thirty. "Any of your boys write you yet?" He asked.
"Nope, to be honest I do not give much a damn anymore. Far as I'm concerned they can keep their snouts in their own business rather than clutter up my space." The old engineer scowled.
"Hmm, I'd bet they do." The younger engineer muttered.
Apparently, that struck a sour note, and they both stopped talking. I looked out into the open plain, as a smoke plume towered miles away. I pulled my pocket watch from my vest, looking at the time. 4:37, it read, ticking away the time slowly. As the train made its slow turn across the vast plains, I decided to step back and try to acquaint myself with some of the mercenaries. There were many of them to socialize with. The rougher ones sat silent, patiently waiting for the train to arrive. They would be the men in the background, and they would be the ones doing the most killing. Overall, there were eight of these strong and silent men, spread across the room. One stood by the door, smoking a large cigar. Four were chewing tobacco and scattered across the benches, and the other three were dead silent and focused on silence. They did not move except for to blink, and their determination on the goal of silence was not hindered by anything. That meant, to try to talk to them is more of a death sentence, than a chance at making a friend.
I continued standing around. Matt left my company and found a place to sit, he pulled out his Bowie and slowly began sharpening it, rubbing the large knife against his belt calmly and carefully. Looking towards the entrance as more gunmen arrived each minute, each with different or similar guns, common or different personalities, short and tall, fat, and thin, seeing the multitudes of people was enjoyable. Although there were no more strong silent types arriving, the various mercenaries unloading their things from coaches and wagons gave me a good view on who exactly I was going to be working with, or who all I was going to be up against. I stood calmly, watching as more people maneuvered through the door, lugging cases, guns, and boxes. The room was quickly filling with rugged and tough men, willing to sacrifice themselves to kill off a hundred people. Then, someone much unexpected walked in through the door. She was a beautiful woman, yet she was lugging a Schofield revolver in a worn holster on her belt. She wore an old and weathered gray Stetson; it seemed to have seen the wear and tear of years of open frontier riding and had been passed down to her. She wore a new and bright white blouse, and somewhat tight brown leather chaps. She walked softly towards one of the support pillars. Her boots were short and small, moderately shining spurs sat on the heels of them. She looked around, nervously, and slowly propped herself up against the pillar. I could tell she felt uncomfortable in a room full of rowdy and mostly violent men, of course that was probably the reason she did not take her gun off and place it in the holding area either.
"David, what are you staring at?" Billy asked.
I snapped to attention and turned to face him. "See that woman over yonder?" I asked him.
He looked. "Son of a gun!" He said, obviously attracted as I was.
"Think I ought to go over and keep her company?" I grinned, asking him.
"No, no she looks like she's just another nanny looking for a tip." He said.
"Oh shut your lip, Nancy boy. Im'a go talk to her.” I said, Billy shrugged and went to join Matt on the bench. I tipped my Stetson back a little, slicked my bangs, said a quick prayer to the heavenly lord, and started on course to meet her.
I made my way towards her, she had her arms crossed over her chest, and she was watching patiently as another pack of hired soldiers came through the door lugging a large wooden crate. As they hauled it to the weapons section, I decided to try to strike up conversation with her. I just hoped that she would not take any offense that I found her, simply, attractive.
"Howdy." I said, with a smirk. I stared at the features of her face, from the light ridge in her nose, to her gentile eyes, and every smooth convex of her lips, and her flowing auburn hair. She rolled her eyes towards me as she turned her head to meet mine; she had a good feel on the handle of her gun when I decided to add onto my sentence. "You're pretty, out of place here..."
"I'm just here to earn a little money..." She said, impatiently, my lip twitched as I thought about what she might have meant, then she continued "And not the way you are thinking of right now... I'm here for the same reasons as you are."
"Well, no denying that, is there?” I said, thinking about what to say afterwards, "We both are looking for something, and we both can help each other find it." I stated.
"What are you on about?" She asked, vaguely confused.
"We are both here to kill every last one of those troubling Krisco." I said.
"Actually, no. I am looking to join up with someone so I can document the story of what happens, I am a journalist, I figured you were one too considering you talk appropriately. You're one of the gun wavers though, aren't you?" She asked.
"Damn straight I am, and I aim to kill as many of those as I can and keep all of my own men alive." I looked at her apparel again, she did not look much like a journalist or even a gunslinger, but I could have cared less. She was damn pretty. "What paper do you work for, anyways?"
"The South Western Daily." She said, calmly.
"Well, If you want to document anything worth knowing, then here is my invitation." I said as-matter-of-factly, and I held out my hand, expecting her to shake it.
"Well, if you manage to kill some of them, maybe we can work side by side on this." She said, and she took my hand. I gently took hers and slowly shook hers, her hand was smooth and she didn't have any straining, she either trusted me and seemed affectionate, or she had never handled a pen that much, let alone a gun that often.
"You shoot?" I asked.
"I can, good shot with this too." She said, tapping the handle of the Schofield. I looked down, trying to avoid staring at her breasts, the temptation was a bit much and my eyes drifted a bit. I had hardly noticed anything about her revolver; I was in wonderland thinking about how to unbutton her shirt with ease. I...
"Ehm." She coughed, I quickly glanced upwards to see she had a definite crooked smile on her beautiful face and was staring at me as if I were a stubborn ass that was causing a rather entertaining ruckus. Speechless, I smiled and shrugged. A pale sweat broke across the back of my head as I thought about what to say. I opened my mouth but nothing came out, as the seconds passed by with awkward silence and I thinking myself as a fool, she simply giggled and blinked a few times. "Come on; let's get over to your fella's before they lose themselves." She said, shaking her head with a clear as day smile.
"Uhokay!" I said happily, quickly feeling as if I were a fool for saying something so idiotic. She began walking towards the bench where Billy and Matt were relaxing, and I slowly followed, paying close attention to her backside, as she moved with a soft sway in her stride. I imagined myself walking beside her, with my arm wrapped around her waist, kissing her as we moved, then I found myself staring and smiling like an idiot again when she turned around again to ask me something.
"So what's your name, anyways?" She asked, noticing I was in La la land.
"De, David. David Parson" I quivered, throwing in a big smile to back it up.
"Oh, that's a civil first name for these parts." She said with a soft grin.
"So who are you?"
"My name is Katherine Rhodes." She said contently, then she looked forward again and we continued towards the benches.
A few of the mercenaries we passed by gave a few unsettling looks towards her, some with desire, others with lust, some with anger, and then they went back to their own business. As Katherine walked to the benches that Billy and Matt sat at, I sped up a little, I was then walking right beside her at the same pace. I saw Billy drinking soup from a bowl, he held it up to his lips and he was slurping it in a slobish manner, and much of the contents had began to drip down his chin. Katherine stopped directly beside him, and said in a soft shout "Hey!"
Billy, startled as a chicken in a firestorm, dropped his bowl, but quickly tried to catch it, knocking it around in the air with the contents fluttering about. Katherine and I began laughing at his antics. The bowl eventually fell to the floor, but not before Billy had covered Matt's lap with some of the noodle appendages. "Damn it boy, what in the hell is wrong with you!" Matt yelled, and then he looked up to see Katherine smiling. He saw me standing beside her, and in a state of shock, tore off his hat and held it over his chest. "How'd Do?" He said, in an enthusiastic manner.
While Katherine broke into laughter again, I began to explain the circumstances.
"She's a journalist, and I made a deal that she will come along with us as we root out the gang in Krisco. All we have to do is keep ourselves alive, and get some more people to come along with us." I said, I put my hand on her shoulder and gently squeezed. "She is going to write, and we are going to fight." She felt a little uncomfortable as my hand laid across on her shoulder, but she shrugged a bit and lost her tenseness. I let go and pointed at Billy. "Get yourself cleaned up now, boy." I said, and he got up and rushed towards the indoor washroom.
"What's her name?" Matt asked.
"Katherine." She said. We looked outside across the plains, the smoke plume was higher in the sky than before and the train was coming even closer.
"Dan better rush." Matt said. "It'll be here in about ten."