Things had a funny way of happening in town, and this was as good an example as any you’re likely to find.

“Slim” Whitemore, a local stockyard worker, was out leaning on the local Greyhound bus building. He’d just gotten what was left of his paycheck after alimony and garnishments and was nursing a forty in a plain paper sack as local statutes demanded. Thing is, he was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans he’d bought secondhand–not unlike the outfit favored by one Davis Cunningham, especially when you throw in the John Deere cap and long afternoon shadows.

The brother of Davis’ ex-wife happened to be passing by on the other side of the street, and mistook Slim for his erstwhile brother-in-law. This led to some rather uncomplimentary remarks being exchanged. Slim, never a particularly subtle man even when sober, responded in kind. Then he pulled out the .45 revolver he kept for putting down diseased stock at the yard, and things started getting interesting.

A pistol’s not too accurate at that range in the best of circumstances, and tipsy trigger finger doesn’t do much to improve things. Despite emptying all five loaded cylinders, Slim didn’t come close to hitting his target. And if that had been all there was to tell, it might not have gotten any further than that–a story people told when they saw Slim sauntering into Carrie’s Red Dot, maybe.

But Slim and Davis’ ex-brother-in-law weren’t the only people on the square that day.