I’d seen her around. One night it might be at the horse and four and another it would be down at Rick’s. She’d always walk in alone, dressed to kill but no patsy in sight. Prim and proper I’ll tell you but it’s always the nice girls that are the worst trouble. I was nurturing a hankering for her but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do anything about it. I was quite sure the likes of her would chew me up and spit me out quicker than you could lose a dime with the girls down in Precinct 12. I wouldn’t have minded though, she looked like it would be worth it. She hadn’t been long in town; she still spoke with that slow drawl of someone from cowboy country. I’d heard her tell a nosy barman that she was here searching for something, not quite sure what but she’d know when she found it. She told the self-same barman that her mam had been from that land of sombreros and shaking earth and had found herself an old hick who’d tied her down and broke her in, when he’d asked where she was from. Her tone made it abundantly clear that she herself would take some breaking. I could see it, there was a fire that smouldered in her eyes that said you burn once for playing, a second time if you crossed her and third time was the charm. Either way, you always burned. Ay, little slip of a dime but she was trouble. As all dames are. Maybe I’ll slink on by someday and introduce myself but for now I think I’ll nurse my drink and my sanity a little longer.


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