100 COFFINS

He nudged his way to the bar without a fight, without words. To his chagrin, however, there was no one tending it. He wasn’t a man to snap easily, but he needed that drink like a sick man needs medicine.

The man standing beside him acknowledged his presence first. “Stranger,” the man tipped his hat in greeting. He was an old gentleman of the professional class. He wore a heavy gray mustache that nearly hid his mouth and had steely eyes that revealed years of learning. His slick black suit spoke of money.

“Howdy,” Cadman offered. “You know how I can get a drink?”

A thin smile crossed the old man’s face; his mustache twitched. “Tonight,” he said, “you’re free to take what you wish. Though folks’ll frown on a drink, I hear,” he paused. “There’s no need of money where we’re going.

“Where’d that be?” Cadman asked, curious to hell but trying not to play it up.

“Just hop on over and take a bottle,” the man goaded.





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