The atmosphere of the saloon went from cheerful to sinister as soon as he stepped through the door. Being six foot two and having eyes as cold as steel, John Claude was quite intimidating and had that impact everywhere he went.
Everyone now whispered in hushed voices as he stomped his away across the room in his big black leather boots to the bar counter.
Claude hadn't come for a drink. He came to harass the new comer; Paul Daley, A mysterious man, who hardly ever spoke a word to anybody, sitting on a stool drinking whiskey.
He had just downed his fifth shot when Claude approached him from behind, his hot breathe loud and thunderous.
"Look at this little yuppie," He remarked with a wide grin, "you know you're in my seat right?" Of course that wasn't his seat but like I said he was merely harassing Mr. Daley.
The newcomer sat unmoving on the stool, not answering nor confronting John Claude. After getting no reply he became more serious.
"Hey!? Can you hear me yuppie," He leaned in close to Mr. Daley's ear, "that's…my…seat."
Faster than anyone could process, Mr. Daley had brought around his whiskey bottle, breaking it against the side of John Claude's face. This caught the big man by surprise and caused him to stumble and topple over onto the ground.
He rose from the counter and stood over John as the guy struggled to comprehend what happened. He had a few minor cuts and one big gash on the edge of his chin from where the bottle had caught him.
"Just who the hell do you think you are!?" exclaimed the injured giant.
To everyone's surprise Paul Daley actually spoke, saying, "I'm Paul Daley and I'm here on behalf of this."
He unlatched his satchel, rummaging around until he pulled out a wadded piece of paper. He tossed it at John Claude, who picked it up and unfurled it, squinting struggling to read it in the dimly lit saloon.
While he was busy reading the crumpled paper, Mr. Daley had taken out his revolver and was casually loading it with some .45 cartridges.
As John realized what he was reading his eyes swelled with anger and his face contorted with rage. He sprung from the floor at Mr. Daley but before he got far, Daley had pulled the hammer back on his pistol and shot a round right through John Claude's chest.
The women let out dismayed wails and some of the men rushed forward to restrain Mr. Daley. He pulled out another pistol, smaller but just as deadly, from within his jacket and pulled the hammer back again on the other, swinging them around to keep his new attackers at bay.
"Gentlemen," he said with a somewhat annoyed tone, like he had been through this one too many times, "Would you allow me to kindly explain myself."
The angry ring that had surrounded him eased off and parted for him. He went and picked up the paper he had previously tossed at John Claude; holding it up and presenting it to all the onlookers in the saloon.
The paper was clearly a wanted poster labeled for none other than John Claude. "You see, Mr. Claude here was in contempt of the law and I was merely dispensing justice as outlined by this here poster." He used the barrel of his revolver as a pointer, underlining the words underneath where it said wanted, "Alive or DEAD, see?"
A feeling of confusion and unease rippled through the crowd. "Now if one of you could be so kind as to help me lo a—"
Before he could finish his sentence, a gasp was let out by a female in the back and Mr. Daley turned swiftly fueled by instinct, swinging his pistol but he wasn't fast enough; his arm was caught by the supposedly deceased John Claude, who it seemed was very much alive and filled with immense hate.
John grabbed Paul Daley by the throat, picking him up and tossing him a good fifteen feet. The huddled crowd dispersed, leaving no soft landing for Mr. Daley as he hit the wooden planks with a thud.
Daley's revolver had fallen from his hands but he still had his other pistol and quickly brought it up firing blindly in the general direction of his opponent.
The saloon patrons scattered for fear of being shot by the man's wild shooting but John Claude kept coming, the bullet hole in his chest oozing. He wrapped his meaty hands around Mr. Daley's throat.
Failing to ease the tight clasp his assailant, who was clearly much stronger, had on his neck; Mr. Daley reached down grabbing a decent sized knife from his boot and stabbed John Claude in his side.
Screaming in agony, he stood up grabbing his side, supporting himself against the bar counter. Paul grabbed his pistol and also stood up, walking over and grabbed his other gun.
Blind with rage and pain John Claude charged again at Paul Daley and got about ten feet before he ran face first into a mirror, shattering the glass.
Realizing his stupid mistake; it was too late. A small cherry sized hole now presented itself in the back of his head from where Paul Daley had fired at him for the second time.
Claude fell forward, slumping against the shattered mirror, his chest wound smearing blood on the wall.
The bounty hunter, Mr. Daley grabbed his hat, which had been resting on the counter since this conflict had begun, dusting it off and placing it on his head. He cleared his throat and announced, "Now, where was I? Oh yes, would one of you kind gents help me load Mr. Claude here onto my horse so I may go collect my bounty?"
Three men scurried forward, hoisting up John by his legs and feet and carried him through the saloon doors, with Paul Daley right behind.
He stepped out into the bright afternoon sun, opening one if his front jacket pockets and plucking out a cigar and match. He placed it in his mouth and lit it up, blowing puffs of smoke while he watched the men sling the now definitely deceased man over the rear end of his dark brown horse.
"Thank you ever so kindly." He said with a grin and patted on of the men on the shoulder, causing him to jump a bit. Mr. Daley just chuckled and mounted his horse, heading up town to the sheriff's office to collect his reward for yet another bounty completed by the infamous Paul Daley.