a ragged stranger walked into the rawhide saloon and right up to the bar.
some folks might think the stranger looked kind of ornery, but sam smith behind the bar did not blink.
the name is railroad bill, the stranger announced, and i drink my whiskey straight.
most folks in these parts do, sam replied unceremoniously. but you say your name is railroad bill?
i seem to very much remember that that is what i said.
well then, we have a problem, because we already have a railroad bill in this town.
and what exactly am i supposed to do about that? the stranger replied exasperatedly.
what do you fellows think? sam turned to the poker table and the five hombres sitting at it.
who were none other than wyatt earp, doc holliday, jesse james, genghis khan, and robin hood.
it all seems pretty clear to me, wyatt opined adamantly.
but we don’t want to jump to conclusions, doc added banteringly.
color me indifferent, jesse contributed casually.
we have to get the real rairoad bill in here and settle this, genghis declared decisively.
except no one knows where he is, robin exclaimed emphatically.
for heaven’s sake, catherine the great exclaimed, flouncing into the saloon with her remington rifle over her shoulder, can’t you menfolk take a decisive stand on anything?
i thought i did, genghis grumbled guiltily.
i happen to know where the real railroad blll - perhaps i should amend that by saying, our railroad bill, is, came a voice from behind the swinging doors.
and pancho villa himself stepped into the saloon with his intrepid iguana on his shoulder.
and where might that be? john dillinger, who had been pretending to be asleep in a corner table, but had actually been listening to the whole conversation with his jaw clenched in steely resolve, asked jocosely.
holed up on king snake mountain, listening to the wind howl like a kangaroo.
it’s been a long time since i had to listen to such laughable nonsense, the ragged stranger who had identified himself as railroad blll, lamented laconically.
but it don’t make no nevermind, the stranger meandered on majestically. bring on this railroad bill of yours, and i will tie his mangy tail to any wagon in the world.
that is not exactly what we had in mind, wyatt earp noted nonchalantly.
oh? the stranger observed obstreperously.
perhaps this could all be settled peacefully, said st peter, who had popped up out of nowhere.
a deathly quiet settled over the saloon.
out in the distance they could all hear a rattlesnake hiss snd a riverboat rumble.