Jayne scowled into his drink. "You call this donkey's piss whiskey?"
"No, I call it booze. Do you want more or not?"
Jayne grunted and shoved his glass over to the bartender. "It must have alcohol in it. No ruttin' way I'd drink this shit sober."
"Look, if all you're gonna do is sit in my bar and moan about the quality of my hooch, you can get out."
"If it'll make you shut up and keep the booze coming, I'll stop. Happy now?"
There was the unmistakable sound of the door swinging open and the sound of booted feet walking in. Twelve feet, if Jayne's estimation was right.
"Then again," he said, throwing some change on the counter. "There's a lot to be said for leaving."
He turned around to see, yes, six heavily armed men staring at him with violence in their eyes. Five of them seemed to be grouped around a taller one in the center.
The other five were chumps. Local goons who generally expected to be able to scare people by waving their guns around. Jayne remembered some of them from his younger days. The one in the center though.. Definitely wasn't from around here.
Tall and lank, wearing a hat that belied his off world origin. No one around this dump could afford a hat like that. It was his eyes, though, that set him apart. Not goon's eyes or thug's eyes. Not even a local slum boss' eyes.
No, these were killers eyes.
"You Jayne Cobb?" the Killer asked. If he was holding a weapon he was keeping it hidden under the folds of his duster.
Jayne turned back to his drink and sipped at it. "Might be. Might not be. Who's it that's being so nosy?"
"You took our father's cattle you gutless son of a-" one of the other men started to say before the Killer held up his hand.
"I represent a family who believe that you have unfairly taken their cattle and wounded the patriarch in the process. They seek compensation."
Jayne snorted. "Hell, I gave 'em compensation. Those cattle weren't there's to begin with. The bullet in their father's gut is compensation."
The Killer walked up to Jayne and leaned on the bar next to him. He looked down at Jayne and smiled. Jayne suddenly got a good look at the Killer's gun . A really good look.
"See, that's where I think the misunderstanding come into play. You mistakenly thought that those were your family's cattle. Now, I can easily see how that mistake could be made. Cattle do tend to look alike. And I'm sure that, with the difficulty of your sister's illness, allowances could be-"
Jayne suddenly produced a knife from somewhere and shoved in front of the Killer's throat. "Don't you ever talk about my sister you ruttin' piece of niu shi. She's too good to have your type talking about her."
"Then, by extension, you shouldn't be talking about her either," the Killer said. He smiled slowly. "Good. I was hoping it would go like this."
Most of the people knew that Jayne was back in town for a while and had stopped off at the bar.
Therefore, most people knew to ignore any and all sounds that might be coming out of said bar until Jayne was back out of town.
"Now see, that's a mighty fine gun. Man could take on a whole squadron of purple bullies with this. If he could use it right."
The goon who had tried to yell at Jayne whimpered as he held the Calahan Auto-Lock in a shaking hand. He looked at the gun eagerly, hoping to find salvation in it.
"Yep. That is a might fine gun. Lucky thing you grabbed it from that hired dandy when I slit his throat." He looked up at the goon and smiled. "Hey, I got an idea. Let's say whoever wins this fight gets to keep the gun."
The goon grunted and pulled the trigger.
Still smiling, Jayne calmly grabbed the barrel of the gun and pulled it out of his shaking hands. He pulled his pistol out and pointed at the goon. " 'Course, being a man who knows what he's doing, that hired dandy wouldn't have left the safety off of a weapon he had stored pointing at his foot."
He pulled the trigger and the gun gave a light click.
The goon screamed and scrabbled across the floor and out the door. Jayne holstered his gun and started inspecting his new gun.
The bartender peered over the bar. "Please tell me you're going to pay for this?"
Jayne looked up from the gun. "Why?" he responded, "they're the ones who caused this." He glanced behind him. "Well, I am kind of responsible for the piss in the corner."
He dug a coin of his pocket and flipped it onto a table before returning his attention back to his new acquisition. "This is a nice gun. I should give you a name…"