Posts Tagged ‘diamond ring’

Week of 6/19/11

Prompt:

Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die

 

 

San Mohel

San Mohel was a hard scrabble town, at the end of the road, in a ditch next to nowhere. Wranglers, hit men and banditos where the common element in this broken down, shanty-town burg. When unsuspecting visitors accidentally stumbled into San Mohel, they were greeted by a large wooden sign that read: “The only law in San Mohel, is outlaw”, itself shot full of holes and held together with rusty nails.

Such was the welcome that Rodrigo Rosenberg received when he reigned in his sway-backed, strawberry roan and considered what fortune or misfortune lay ahead for him in place called San Mohel. Especially on such an auspicious day as today: the anniversary of the day that he planned to ask his love to marry him. He coaxed his steed toward the only building in town that wore a fresh coat of paint.

Like most folk in the wild west, Rodrigo couldn’t read, but he knew that when he saw the symbol “Saloon” that it only meant one thing: rotgut, gambling and whores. The man that he was looking for was addicted to all three, so he decided to start there.

He sauntered his horse up to the hitching post and stepped out of the saddle. As his boot heels touched the hard packed dirt, he could feel the heat from the dozens of pairs of eyes that were watching him surreptitiously from safer places.

But Rodrigo didn’t care. He was only in this town for one reason, and that was to find a man. Find him, and make him own up for what he had done.

He looped the reigns around the post and walked over to the swinging double doors of the saloon. He could hear people inside having a good time; hollerin’, yellin’, a-cursin’, and most certainly, drinkin’. He quickly checked his pistol and put it back into its holster, walked through the door. A hush immediately befell the place.

Rodrigo figured that maybe they weren’t used to seeing a stranger in these parts or at least any strangers that looked as good as he did. He winked at the barmaid and scanned the crowd for a familiar face. As if turning a faucet back on, the crowded saloon erupted back to life with renewed vigor. Rodrigo stepped up to the bar as a man carrying a woman over his shoulder, pushed past him. She grabbed at Rodrigo’s ass as she went by.

“Help you, stranger?” the bartender asked. He was a portly man with hair slicked with duck fat and a ruddy complexion. He wiped at a glass with a dingy towel.

“This here saloon is cash only; no credit. Especially to strangers,” the man added. “Now what’ll it be?”

Rodrigo wasn’t thirsty. Not for liquor anyway.

Rodrigo cleared his throat and leaned closer to the bartender.

“I’m looking for man,” he said. “A man that stole from me.”

The bartender smirked and shook his head. He rolled his eyes as he set the glass down and picked up another.

“Son, you just described every single man in here! They’re all thieves, every last one of ’em!  Now are you drinkin’ somethin’ or not?” the bartender asked again.

Rodrigo smiled at the man.

“I’ll take the biggest drink you got if you tell me if you’ve seen the man I’m lookin’ fer,” Rodrigo replied.

The bartender shook his chubby head.

“What’d this man do to you anyway, that makes him so interestin’?” the man asked.

Rodrigo’s jaw clenched as he looked down at the dirty floor. When he looked back up at the bartender, his eyes were heavy with despair.

“He stole the love of my life from me, the woman that I was supposed to marry,” he said. “And I got to give him what’s right.”

The bartender nodded. This wasn’t the first or last time that he would hear this story.

“Well, you know what they say, ‘All is fair in love and war’,” the bartender said. “But still, I’d want to kill ’em too.”

“Kill him?” Rodrigo asked. “Why would I kill him?”

The bartender stopped cleaning his glass. He looked at Rodrigo and shrugged.

“Then what do you want to see him for?” he asked.

Rodrigo reached into his vest and pulled out a small cloth. He unraveled it and held up a ring. A gold ring with a fancy diamond. Immediately the saloon fell silent once again. Rodrigo felt all eyes on him.

“To give him this ring. This was the ring that I was going to give her. She should have it, if he loves her as much as I did,” Rodrigo said.

Suddenly he felt the cold steel of a gun barrel pushing against the back of his neck.

“Howdy, stranger,” a feminine voice said into his ear. “Remember me?”

“Oy carumba!” he replied. And that was when Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die.