New in Town

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"Name's Bill Adama. Says their horse bolted after High Cliff Pass and they lost their wagon. Walked into town after that."

Al Swearengen poured for them both.

"Don't sound likely."

"Nope, it don't. Says he used to be in the Navy, thinkin' about offerin' to set up a local militia here, for a price."

Swearengen looked over the railing.

"Looks the part. Never seen that kind of uniform."

Dan snorted. "Still better-dressed than the mayor."

"That redhead with him, she a working girl?"

Dan lifted an eyebrow. "Says that's his wife, name of Laura. Used to be a teacher."

"Looks like a dance-hall girl to me, way she's dressed."

Dan nodded. "I kindly hinted at an offer of work to her, but he said she wanted to get back to teachin' if she could. Probably just as well…she looks the type that'd be a trick to manage."

Al tossed back his whiskey.

"They got any money on 'em?"

"They got this." Dan tossed a squared-off gold coin on the desk. "Dude wanted to know if it'd buy them a bottle…said I'd let you decide."

Al weighed it in his hand, then walked over to the railing, looking down at the couple. Older than he first thought, the man looking rough and bull-strong, the woman having a sensual beauty, but a set to her mouth that looked like she could be a pain in the balls. She seemed to be more comfortable around the whores than her husband was, even with her having a perpetually raised eyebrow.

"Johnny! Set these folks up with a bottle."

He turned. "Offer lot 22, plus tent and stove. This'll buy two weeks."

"And front them some cash to send out for a decent dress for the redhead. She can't call on Mrs. Bullock like that."

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A/N: For non-Deadwood fans, Mrs. Bullock runs the local school and is the sole teacher; the Gem is a saloon/brothel, Al's in charge of pretty much everything, and Dan's his right hand man.