And when the sun had not yet parted with the horizon, and the red canyon rock was aglow in the red of the sunrise, Joe came for the last two, and all their cowardices and all the bravery they thought they contained and the fragility of their human vessels were realized with the red sun for sullen witness.
Why you have two knives, asked the old man. One for me and one for you? The old man put his cigarette out in the small glass. A small blue flame passed along the inside of the glass, but it only lived for a second.
Joe thought on his plan for the old man and the unloaded shotgun Richard pointed in the window. He watched the flame in the glass.
You come in here with a plan to kill me, ah. The old man hadn't looked at Joe since he sat down, but only straight ahead across the bar. No, no. You don't want to kill me. You only want to protect your friend. Your friend, ah. Your friend wants to come here so you scare me.
No. I wanted to come here.
The old man held a coin in his hand. He tapped the bar with it as he said: Then what is the plan. What is the trick of the two knives.
Yes, you trick. You don't come to no bar to scare no old man who never been scared without a trick. Without adavantage.
Frank the bartender leaning against the bar at the other end. He looked out the window and pretended not to hear. His eyes met Joe's. The old man's fat friend stood in the middle of the room. He smiled when Joe looked at him.
The trick is the gun have no bullets, said the old man. How you must love your friend. He finally looked at Joe. What a great lover he must be. I buy you a drink, boy. He called for the bartender but Frank only stood there.
Joe took Richard's knife off his belt, and in a swift arch of his arm, buried the tip of the blade in the wood where the old man's hand had been.
No, you don't have it. You don't kill nobody.