Back in the days of the old Wild West, a writer of cowboy stories arrived in a small Western town on the stagecoach.
He booked a room at the only hotel in town and then wandered into the saloon to quench his thirst and hopefully find something to write about which he might sell to a small local newspaper.
In a corner of the saloon he saw a group of rough looking cowboys who were playing poker and plucked up enough courage to sit down with them and asked if he could join in.
The group of cowboys gave him a look that almost had him up out of his chair, but he kept his cool and stayed seated, trying to hide his fear.
One of the group looked up at the clock on the wall, pointed out the time to the others and they all picked up their chips and got ready to leave.
The last one to leave turned to the writer and said, “You’re going to have to play alone buddy, we’re out of here, word has it Wild Bill’s coming to town!”
Well, the writer was confused, but he could sense that there was a story here somewhere, a good one maybe.
So he got up and went to the bar, noticing to his surprise that most of the other people in the saloon were also getting up and leaving.
The writer laid a whole dollar bill on the bar and said, “Say bartender, give me a beer and a story and you can keep the change”.
The bartender took a quick look up at the clock, shook his head, poured the beer and pushed the dollar bill back across the bar to the writer.
“The drink is on the house stranger, but I suggest you drink it quick and leave. Word has it that Wild Bill is coming to town”.
And with that, the bartender hung his last glass up on the rack and walked out the swinging doors, leaving the reporter in an empty bar.
Well by now the bar was so quiet and empty that you could hear a pin drop and the writer was beginning to feel a bit on edge. He got a lump in his throat at the thought that he might be about to be the last man in this town, alone in the saloon with only the sound of that ticking clock to keep him company.
True to form, a ticking clock in an empty room can sound incredibly loud, especially when you focus on in, but still the writer thought, there had to be a decent story to come out of this and so he waited…
Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock went the clock, then almost making the writer jump out of his seat it went BONG as it struck the first chime of midday.
At that moment, there was a loud CRACK followed by an even louder BANG as the doors of the saloon burst open with a sound like a tremendous clap of thunder.
The writer turned around to see that the sky had gone dark, a bad storm was coming in, the wind starting to whistle and whine.
He ran to the saloon doors to see what it was and in the distance he could see a twister, a tornado, that was headed right for the bar at great speed, stirring up huge clouds of dust.
Well, the writer dropped to the floor and watched as the tornado came up to the bar and suddenly stopped.
The wind and dust settled and looking up the writer could see a giant of a man there in the saloon, sitting astride a grizzly bear.
The man stepped off the bear and instead of hitching it to the post, he punche that great beast right in the face, knocking it out cold in a single blow.
The writerwais so scared that he dived behind the counter, feeling sure that this was going to the last of his days.
Crouching and trembling, he could hear this giant of a man walk up to the bar, breaking every floor board with each of his thundering steps.
The giant looked down at the writer, slammed his fist down on the bar, causing it to crack right down the middle.
“Get me a drink!” the giant bellowed out.
The writer got up, very shakily holding out two bottles of whisky, which the giant snatched up, bit the glass tops off and dranks both of down as fast as the liquid could flow from the bottles.
He threw both of the bottles in the air, whipped out his six-shooter and fired off a round. The single bullet smashed into both of the whisky bottles, showering the writer with splinters of glass that fell like rain.
Still trembling and in fear of his life, the writer said to the giant, “W-w-w-would y-you like a-another drink?”
The man turned to him, a rage in his eyes, then he glanced at the clock…
“Nope, it’s time for me to get out of here”, the giant said, “rumour has it Wild Bill’s coming to town!”
Image used under a Collective Commone License from https://pixabay.com/photos/saloon-bar-old-saloon-207396/