“Kid,” Vyrim said. “You keep that up, and you’re gonna shoot someone you don’t mean to.”

The young man looked up. He had a hard look about him, a determined look, one Vyrim usually saw only on much older men. “I’m not a kid,” he said. “The name’s Cobb Tyler, and I gotta practice for the real thing.”

“No, you don’t,” Vyrim said. “Not here, anyway. Once you step off the train, you’re no longer the concern of me or the shareholders of the Eastern & Wilds Railroad. Now, that can be at the station in Smokewood…or it can be right here, right now, if you keep waving a loaded shooter around in my passenger car.” The conductor held out his only hand.

Reddening, the young man scooped up his live .44 rounds and dumped them into the elf’s outstretched hand, whence they were dumped into a pocket. “Damn greedy elves,” he muttered. “Always looking out for that bottom line. How much you gonna get for those bullets when you sell them out from under me?”

Vyrim had been half turned away when he heard this. Curtly reaching out, he snapped open the window, reached into his pocket, and threw the bullets out the window. There was the faintest ghost of an echo as they hit the ground, and then nothing but rushing wind until the window was secured. “Not much,” he said. “I let them go for far too little, I think.”

That did nothing to staunch the young man’s anger: “I paid five dollars for those bullets!”

“And if you keep playing with them like that, the next money you waste will be putting a bullet in something you didn’t intend,” said Vyrim. “Do I make myself clear?”

Young Mr. Tyler grumbled but put his shooters away. Vyrim nodded curtly, and then went through his normal rounds of punching tickets.

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