Zackary Lightyear ignited a match for the wax candle that stood in front of him on the desk. Taking a seat, the elderly man known as mayor Peter Smith sat himself down on a vintage Victorian chair and let out a small grunt when he lowered himself. He rustled through pieces of paper and cautiously stacked them together. After hitting the edges against the desk to straighten the pile he set them aside and grabbed the paper that Zackary handed him.
"Lets see now," mumbled Pete, groping for his glasses in his drawer while reading the title, "So this is the contract, correct?"
"Yes Mr. Smith," answered Zackary, readjusting his purple satin tie. His nerves were audible in his voice; intimidated by Pete's presence.
"Please, Mr. Lightyear, there's no need for formality. Call me Pete," the aged man enlightened with a smile, putting on his reading glasses. Zackary's face lit up. Here he was, making the deal of his life to the leader of Eastwood City.
"Alright. And you can call me by my nickname; Zurg." His son, Edward G. Lightyear, looked at his 48-year old father and grinned in delight. Pete turned to the offspring and asked what his first name was.
"My name is Edward," he responded, holding his hands behind his back, "But you may call me Buzz."
"There we go, now. Everybody's acquainted," Pete announced, extending his arms out for effect. He rotated his body back to face the desk and scooted up till his stomach touched the edge. The father and son peered over his shoulder. "I've been watching you and your company for some time now, Zurg. And I like what I see. You have one of the most successful private textile companies in this town."
"Thank you," was all the nervous businessman could utter.
"I like the way you carry yourself. I look forward to the future of our partnership," he added, signing the dotted line at the bottom of the contract. "There you go. And here's one copy for me I see," he said, eyeing a rolled up paper under Zurg's arm.
"Oh, yes. Here you are," he reacted as he gave it to him to sign. "I brought my son here to see this. Because my health hasn't been up to par lately, he is the heir to my company."
"That's right, Pete," interjected Buzz, "if you have any problems please feel free to come to me if my father isn't available or feeling well. I have had plenty of experience as a primary position in this business."
"Well I appreciate you telling me that."
"Mr. Pete," started Zurg, "How will the depression taking place now affect my company? Will it deduct or raise the values on my textile?"
"Well because your company is now government owned, they should raise. However, part of your profit will not be paying the same taxes as you currently pay but rather have them go directly to me, cutting out the middle man. You'd be able to buy more luxury items and afford the necessities that you require without any second-guessing of yourselves."
"So it's a win-win situation," Buzz stated in a serious tone of voice.
"It certainly is." His smile vanished. "However," he began, "there are criminals who might steal some of your supplies. We've have had plenty of reports from industries of thieves. We've mostly been able to catch them all."
A wave of recognition showed in Zurg's face. "I remember a group of robbers were prowling at night in the back of my building as I was locking up for the night. Luckily, they were caught by the nearby officers."
"Your lucky," responded Pete, raising his eyebrows, "The number robberies increased ever since the Panic of 1893 begun. Like I previously pointed out we've been fortunate to capture most of the burglars. But there are a pair of reoccurring robbers that we cannot seem to find."
"Who are they?" questioned Buzz. Pulling out the drawer again, Pete rummaged through and slammed down a pile of 'Wanted' posters. There was only a picture of a young man with a handlebar mustache and a beard that completely covered the entire bottom of his face from the lower lip to his neck.
"The Prides. Woodrow and Jessica. We could never get a clear view of the girl. She always dressed in pants and a cowboy hat, so she blends in well with then men."
"You mean you've never seen her in a dress or had a clear view of her face?"
"I can't say we have. And we haven't seen anybody with his facial hair around here for a while."
Buzz's eyebrows furrowed as he grabbed the beige, wrinkled paper. "Are they husband and wife?"
"Brother and sister. Their grandparents use to be wealthy back in the forty-niner days. That's how they arrived in California. Shame their grandchildren weren't smart enough to invest in industrialization when they had the chance." He started to pull them away but Buzz placed his hand on top of Pete's.
"Maybe I can pin these around town," Buzz suggested.
"Good luck," Pete retorted, sliding them towards the young entrepreneur, "They usually rip them off, afraid anybody will recognize them." He gave him a box of semi-rusted pins. Straightening his posture and pushing the chair back with his hamstrings, Pete extended out his hand to shake with the father and son. "Gentlemen," he dismissed.
"I appreciate your time," Zurg thanked, straightening his jacket. Buzz opened the door for his father and trailed after he stepped over the threshold.
The shine of the sun temperedly blinded their sight; they were only able to see white. Bringing their hands to cup over their foreheads, they looked down and headed over to their building.
"I'm very eager about this," Zurg spoke, gripping his paper tightly as sheriffs on their horses rode by, leaving a rush of wind behind.
"I am, too," Buzz agreed, fiddling with his top hat. As they arrived to the front door, Zurg searched for the key. The door was weathered by the heat of the climate; the brown paint started to chip off. Buzz looked down and saw he still had the group of 'wanted' posters in his hand.
"You should start pinning those things up now, Buzz," directed his father, "It's still daylight so the townspeople can see it easily."
Buzz swiveled on his heels as the lock clicked when his father turned the key. Pushing the sleeves on his jacket to his elbows, he fanned his perspiring face to wave off the warmth of the sun. Tipping his hat to welcoming ladies and gentlemen, he started to pin one poster at each building. The soil underneath his dress shoes let out small crunching noises that seemed to last forever. It was getting hotter as the morning mended into the afternoon. I need to get something to drink he thought to himself as he unbuttoned his blazer and hung it over his forearm. He walked to the nearest saloon.