The old man buckled the worn gunbelt around his thin waist with the ease of long decades of experience. He was dressed in a black broadcloth suit with a white silk shirt and worn, but shiny low heeled black boots. On his head was an old ten gallon hat it's crown circled by gold eagles.
The gunbelt was old as well and shiny with age, the golden eagles inset into the belt and holsters had long ago been worn smooth from handling. The frontier Colts the old man wore had seen uncounted numbers of men fall over the decades.
The old man took the guns out and lovingly wiped the dust off and checked the loads. A few seconds later the guns seemed to appear in and out of the old man's hands as if by magic.
For decades the grin that now stretched across the old man's face would've caused any who saw it to dive for cover and pray that they weren't the ones he was smiling at.
Opening the door of his little white house with it's picket fence the old man took a second to bow his head and tip his hat at the small statue of a mexican woman kneeling in prayer.
"See you soon Conchita. It's time to pay the band sweetheart."
The old man turned and walked east up the dusty street towards Angelo's Italian Eatery. With every step an ever greater change came over the old man.
His back straightened, stride lengthened, chest swelled, and eyes long dimmed by age became clear and deadly cold once more.
Walking down that street the man who had called himself James Normal for a decade died, and the man who was once known far and wide as Broadcloth Jim Dandy took his place.
Jim never slowed when he reached Angelo's. The man guarding the door laughed when he saw the old man heading towards him. Moving forward to intercept the old man Micheal never saw Jim's hand sweep up with a knife in his fist.
Jim buried his father's knife up to the hilt in the tough's chest, and let him fall as he walked towards the door. He knew the tough was dead, long years of experience told him that.
Opening the door to Angelo's Jim stepped to the right and braced himself against the door frame.
The room was almost empty except for ten thugs in cheap suits and a fat slovenly man in a white silk suit. All in the dining room knew that trouble had walked through the door, and their hands darted under their suit coats.
Broadcloth Jim Dandy had for all intents and purposes died in 1902 in a range war over in Oklahoma. James Normal showed up and lived ten years of peace in Laredo untill a small offshoot of something called cosa nostra thought to make an example, and killed his wife Conchita on her sixtieth birthday.
Now it was time to pay the band, and over seventy years of slinging iron and lead came to the front one last time for Jim in that dim eatery in Lorado on that August day back in 1912.
Before the first hand even made it six inches Jim's colts were singing their death song and spitting vengeance and gunsmoke.
.... There is more of this story ...