Friday, July 19, 2013

A Western in 30 Working Days--midday 5

Things happen. A man like Matt Stryker goes into a restaurant to eat a belated breakfast, and things happen.

Maybe her name is Marie.

“Thank you, Marie,” he said. “Mighty good omelet. You can tell Marcel I said that.”

“Why thank you. Merci beau coup. Coming from Matt Stryker, that is high praise indeed.” She turned to the other men. “Moment, Messieurs.” She’d noticed that Stryker’s coffee cup was nearly empty and needed refreshing. “More coffee in a moment, Matt,” she said, and hustled into the kitchen for the coffee pot.

“Scuse me,” said the broad man. “Did the waitress say you were Matt Stryker?”

“She did,” Stryker said.

“No shit?”

“I’ll thank you not to use such language in a public place,” Stryker said.

“Ah. Sorry. Just kinda slipped out.” The thick man said, “I’m Garth Upton and this here’s Elijah Carpenter.”

Stryker nodded. He’d never heard of either name. He took another bite of omelet.

“You’re that man what gunned down King Rennick up to Ponderosa, ain’t ya?” the thick man said.

“And took on the Nogales Guards all by hisself,” Carpenter said.

“If you will let M’sieur Stryker finish his meal in peace, messieurs,” Marie said. She poured coffee for Stryker.

“Just being friendly.” Upton’s voice had a pout in it.

“Thank you, gentlemen,” Stryker said. “Now. If I could finishing my breakfast, I’ll be on my way.”


The man at the left is probably not Upton. But he's a ringer. This is the kind of man I saw when writing the restaurant scene. 

Stryker didn’t wait. Once again he picked up the fork, and this time he attacked the omelet. Outside, it was golden egg, not over done, not runny. His fork gouged a large portion from the near end. Chopped ham, sausage, melted cheese, and diced onion oozed from inside. Stryker leaned over the plate and devoured the portion on his fork. As the robust flavors of the omelet and its filling invaded his senses, two men entered Chez Bennie. They glanced at Stryker, their eyes pausing briefly on his scarred face. Stryker seemed to ignore them, but his peripheral vision catalogued their peculiarities.

One was tall and gangly, dressed in a brown sack coat and California pants that seemed at least a size too big. He wore a bowler that he didn’t remove when he came into the restaurant. The other was shorter by half a foot, but broad-shouldered and thick bodied. They took a table close to the door and sat facing the windows that looked out on 12th Street.

Nevertheless. Regardless of who they are, Matt Stryker seems to attract trouble. Please note that the snippets from the scene are not in order.

“Why thank you. Merci beau coup. Coming from Matt Stryker, that is high praise indeed.” She turned to the other men. “Moment, Messieurs.” She’d noticed that Stryker’s coffee cup was nearly empty and needed refreshing. “More coffee in a moment, Matt,” she said, and hustled into the kitchen for the coffee pot.

“Scuse me,” said the broad man. “Did the waitress say you were Matt Stryker?”

“She did,” Stryker said.

“No shit?”

“I’ll thank you not to use such language in a public place,” Stryker said.

“Ah. Sorry. Just kinda slipped out.” The thick man said, “I’m Garth Upton and this here’s Elijah Carpenter.”

Stryker nodded. He’d never heard of either name. He took another bite of omelet.

“You’re than man what gunned down King Rennick up to Ponderosa, ain’t ya?” the thick man said.

“And took on the Nogales Guards all by hisself,” Carpenter said.

“If you will let M’sieur Stryker finish his meal in peace, messieurs,” Marie said. She poured coffee for Stryker.

“Just being friendly.” Upton’s voice had a pout in it.

“Thank you, gentlemen,” Stryker said. “Now. If I could finishing my breakfast, I’ll be on my way.”


You see, Matt Stryker had a face that had been terribly deformed and scarred by a man named Jake Cahill, who slugged him with lead-filled fists while his henchmen held Stryker pinned. He'll never look the same again.

“Perhaps an order of cinnamon toast to complement the coffee, then,” Marie said.

“Coffee,” Upton said, an edge of sharpness in his voice. “You hard a hearing or sumpin?”

“I’ll have one more cup of coffee, too, Marie,” Stryker said. “Marcel have any cinnamon rolls left?”

“Perhaps, Matt. I will look.” As Marie took a step away from Upton’s table, he grabber her wrist. “Where you going? We ain’t finished yet.”

“Upton.” Stryker spoke in a hard low voice, but it carried the impact of a shout. “Don’t know who you are. Don’t care. But no man restrains a woman by force. No one. Let go of the lady’s arm.” Stryker stood.

Upton pulled Marie around in front of him. “You trying to make me do sumpin? Huh?

Word count: 7279


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