“You’re a good hand Red. That was sure fine work back there on the trail. Anytime you want to ride with the J-Bar outfit you just say the word.”
“Well thanks Mr. McCord but, I’m thinking it’s time to head southwest. Winter in Kansas is a might cold for me.”
“OK then, here’s your payout. Don’t spend it all in one candy store.”
“It’s got to last me a while I reckin so, just a bath and a sit down meal and then maybe share a couple of drinks with a good looking gal if I’m lucky.
“See you around Mr. McCord.”
“See you Red. Ride easy pard.”
“Hell Mr. McCord you don’t have to beg that saddle tramp to work for you,” Max Sunday said as he moved up to the pay table that John McCord set out next to the chuck wagon. “He ain’t nothin’ without those pistols of his.”
“Without those pistols he’d only be twice the man you are Max!”
“Why you…” Max seethed. “I ought to…”
“You ought nothing Max. Take your payout and stay out of trouble. You’re a good hand Max but, you’ve got to learn to control that temper of yours. Come by the J-Bar next season if you’re still alive and I’ll sign you on.”
Max took the money that John McCord held out and then signed his name in the register next to the amount $120.00; not bad for 45 days on the trail eating dust, fighting Comanche and near freezing to death.
Max turned and walked away, anxious to raise some hell in Wichita.
“Max,” John McCord called after him. “Do yourself a favor and leave Red Barbre be.”
Max just scoffed and kept on walking.
“That boys not gonna live long if he don’t get that chip off of his shoulder,” Max said to the next puncher in line, who answered with a sincere Amen brother.