A drunken man always speaks the truth
Posted on Sat Sep 14th, 2013 @ 10:18am by Master Leftheris Vunos
Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Location: "Iron Buffallo" tavern
“See? I am bringing you good luck! You are winning again!” the dark-haired woman said, kissing the pirate on the cheek.
“Yes, you might be bringing me good luck, indeed! Now Mr. Copper here, who lost, has to pay for another round for our table!” Leftheris answered on a hesitant tone.
The “Steamhawke’s” master gunner was not as drunk as to slur his words. Not being his mother tongue, he just needed a little more time to find the proper words to use. They were playing for a while, and usually he knew his number of cups not to go overboard. But now, the euphoria of winning so many games in a row – with one or two accidental losses – and the willingness to impress the dark-haired woman who remained by his side, obviously liking winners, made him not pay attention to the fact that he hadn’t always received what drink he had asked for. They had mixed it on him, with obvious results which his table neighbours and gambling partners didn’t mind.
The bounty hunter known as Copperhead due to the metal enhancement on his skull, which looked like a part of a helmet, was a man in his fourties, with big hands which, now, were holding the worse card combination possible.
“Of course I’ll order it right away! I can lose with elegance,” he replied. “And tell me, that cowboy hanging with your people, is he able to drink as heavily as you? What else is he good at?”
He knew the answer very well. It was him that Wild Bill was after, and Copperhead promised to help him… as long as he got help too. And getting this pirate drunk enough to tell them most things they wanted to know was one of the steps. It seemed it worked, corroborated with deliberately letting him win and feel powerful. Ana’s seduction worked wonders too. They were glad they had taken her with them. Her wisely-formulated questions told them that the pirates would go to Kanesville next, and that they were “following a map”, whatever it might mean.
They would leave soon, so it would be better for the bounty hunter team to hurry up and wait for them in Kanesville. Especially, if they listened to Ray, that they had a few other marks to hunt for there too, some of the troublesome kind, whose head price was the same dead or alive.
“He’s good at warming the captain’s bed, all of us have heard it!” Leftheris laughed. “But yes, he drinks as a fish and it doesn’t affect his speed in gun wielding.”
Personally, he had nothing against Colton. The man didn’t look as friendly as he would have wanted, that was all. But this was fair enough.
“Would you like me to prove how good I am, instead of talking about him?” he looked at Ana, a possessive arm around her waist.
“Yes, I would, but a bit later,” Ana purred in his ear. “You have another game to win, first!”
Later he’d be too drunk to remember he wanted anything with her, the seductress was musing. She had seen enough men of his kind – somewhat reserved in the beginning, counting how much they drank, then, as the night progresses and their liquor got spiced with something else, they became far more relaxed, overconfident and with all inhibitions down. That was the moment those longing for their truths to ask the appropriate questions and “casually” find their answers. And she was well versed into this.
“What about that handsome dark guy who had fought here in both taverns?” Ana asked. “Is he as fearsome as townfolk say? What’s his name?”
Leftheris dealt the cards before answering. Damn Chago was always lucky with women. First that lookout girl, Miyra. Then, the new combat engineer, as people said. He had heard Nate saying that he had caught them together at night. Now, Ana was asking about him too? He had no romantic interest in his lady crewmates – at least the ones now aboard; he had a couple of affairs in the past – but he wanted Ana to focus on him, not dreaming about the one he wouldn’t get.
“You wouldn’t get that one, Ana! He is in a relationship with our lookout. Not so fearsome if not provoked, I’d say.”
Not only Ana, but the others paid attention to the information too.
“Come on, I was asking you only about his name… he seems familiar, I have seen him before,” Ana tried to appease him. “I am not saying that I want to conquer anybody else than my hero here,” she added, snuggling closer to the pirate.
“His name is Chago Moreno, and mine, Leftheris Vunos. So what?” he huffed.
He could say openly his name. He was wanted in Elladia, but not elsewhere.
“Nothing,” the dark haired woman kissed him briefly, teasingly, on the lips, as if wanting to make him beg for more.
Copperhead got now the winning cards. And the name coincided. It was El Moreno in person. The man he was after. And all the pieces and bits of information this man had offered during the evening, could be placed head to tail to get the whole picture. Everything they needed in order to catch both him and the other men's mark, the cowboy, in Kanesville. There the bounty hunters had help. They could organise themselves better.
“See, Ana? Now that you started asking about other men, you aren’t so good luck to me anymore. I start losing”.
“Losing at cards, winning in love, they say. Let’s play another hand!”
Leftheris took the next drink from Ana’s hand, not paying anymore attention to her movements, as she put something in the glass. Soon he was passed out, head on the table, snoring loudly. The woman caressed him tenderly, as if she regretted that he was too drunk already, then she left, stopping outside the tavern to wait for the others.
“All the money he had won from you is with me now. Let’s take Ray, hire horses and go to Kanesville. This place is too hot for us now.”