TODAY WAS NOT MY day for coffee.

On the way to Clem’s I’d made a quick stop at the Happy Hamburger Drive-In. It wasn’t quite lunchtime yet, but they served up a few of them breakfast sandwiches. You know, sausage and eggs on biscuits and such. Plus they poured a decent cup of coffee.

The coffee rode in the cup holder I’d installed in the dashboard of my Scout. The biscuits I’d eaten during the drive. The moment I stepped out of the Scout and onto Clem’s driveway, I turned back to grab the coffee. Cup in hand, I turned back from the Scout. Unfortunately I had misjudged the distance between the cup and the edge of the door. In fact, I’d so terribly misjudged the distance that when the cup connected with the open door, it flew from my hand and fell to the gravel of Clem’s drive.

I’d yet to even take a sip. Before I knew it I had a pistol in each hand, cocked and ready to fire. Not sure exactly what I had planned on doing at that moment, to tell you the truth. Shoot the cup, maybe? I can sometimes let my anger get the better of me over the most mundane of situations.

So I took a breath, or twelve, eased the hammers down, and holstered both pistols. I took another few dozen breaths, eyes closed, head down, and got myself under control. Then I threw the empty cup into the Scout and slammed the door. There was certainly an argument to be made in regard to the amount of control I could maintain.

Clem could see, the moment he opened the door, that I was in no mood for much of anything. I’d left my hat and coat back in the Scout, so I’m sure I must have been quite the sight standing there on his porch. I’d replaced the shoulder holsters with the set I wear on my hips. I was going into the wild and I wanted my pistols where my hands were used to them being. Cradled in my arms I had my rifle, the trusty Winchester. There’s just nothing to make a man feel safe like a good old Winchester.


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