The sun hung high above the old town. It must have been around noon. The air was dry and the sand cascaded about the unpaved street, chasing small tumbleweeds as it went. Resurrection Joe Lazarus stood in that sandy street between the livery and the old saloon, his thumb on the revolver he held in his holster.
He wore a red cotton shirt, the kind with the lace tie at the neck, that had faded to a dull pinkish drab. He had a pair of faded jeans covering his muscular legs, and a pair of black boots that probably would have been expensive when they were new, along with his wrinkled leather Mexican bandito hat. His gun belt held as many silvery bullets as Resurrection Joe had teeth (and Joe still had all his teeth), and a couple of shining revolvers, the only thing on his person that had seen the lighter side of "new" in quite some time. Joe was big, perhaps six foot three, with a hard and slender, muscular build. Resurrection Joe was said to have never lost a gunfight, because even if he wasn’t quick enough (and he always was), bullets’d just bounce off his hard as hell hyde. Joe’s long reddish brown hair spilled from under his leather hat and framed his stern blue eyes and his tanned, rugged skin. The gunslinger had a stubbled face with a thin scar trailing down one cheek, and a mostly smoked cigar jutting out of one side of his mouth. He looked to be about thirty, but his eyes told the tale of a much more seasoned man. Resurrection Joe did not smile.
Joe didn’t want to die just now, but he was prepared to. He had always known that to be a gunslinger you had to be ready to die, but those who went looking for death tended to die badly. The man he saw facing him now was just such a man. Joe knew also that that this man had been damn lucky up until this point.
So, what’s it gonna be? Resurrection Joe thought. Him or me? I may be good, but dammit, Phantom Earl Dean’s never even taken a bullet. An’ this int the kind o’ fight we c’n both walk away from either. Leastwise, after what he did t’ ol’ Wheeley’s wife I druther die than walk on the same earth he does, or breathe his rank air.
"It’s over, city-boy.", Joe heard Dean shout. "Thass right, boy. I’m a-gonna blow a hole in yer college-boy ass so big they’ll be able t’ use yer gut as a hawg trough." Dean smiled displaying his horrible teeth.
"Listen ‘Phantom Earl’, it’s time t’ settle this like men.", Joe spit out the nub of his cigar. "So shut yer squawkin’ trap… an’ draw!"
Phantom Earl Dean’s smile faded (mercifully covering his mangled and discolored teeth), as he glared at Resurrection Joe Lazarus. "With plea-", Dean began, just a one of Resurrection Joe’s bullets split his ugly head clean open.
Joe watched as the rest of Dean’s body got word that he was dead and slowly fell. Joe casually walked over to the recently late Earl Dean’s corpse with the sand crunching beneath his leather souls.
"That’s what ya get for talkin’ too much.", he said. Joe Lazarus was a man of few words.
The crowd that had been forming on either side of the street produced six surly looking men in black, all carrying shotguns, all with six-shooters at the ready in their belts.
"Let’s go Lazarus!", said one of the men.
"So sorry, do I know you gentlemen?", Joe said in a mocking tone.
"Listen at Mister Boston Education, here!", the second man said. "Naw, ya don’t know us, boy, but we know you. We sure know you!" At this all six men cocked their guns in unison.