I watched as the old man turned his head slightly, speaking out of the corner of his mouth he told the other two "We got company boys. Keep an eye out."
"Shit. Just what we need." This was from the one walking along side the cart.
The old man told him "Just keep your mouth shut boy and let me do the talking. This is far enough."
The bearded one didn't hesitate. He stopped dead and let the cart down with a clunk. I heard Cart Puller tell Beardless "You're up next." They were arguing about how far he had pulled it and whose turn it really was as the old man walked towards me grinning.
"Howdy stranger." He was wearing sunglasses. I don't like people walking up on me wearing sunglasses.
"Hey." I didn't grin, and I didn't put any emotion into my response. As far as I was concerned he was on my road. He didn't seem to be taken aback much by my lack of enthusiasm. He asked me "So where you headed?" "
"My, isn't he a chipper old man." I thought. "You want to take off them sunglasses." I told him. That threw him off a little and the two behind him must of sensed something because they shut the hell up about who had done what and when. He didn't move to take them off. Instead he kind of cocked his head and said "Say what?"
"Take off the sunglasses. I don't like talking to people who won't show me their eyes." This was it I thought. If he couldn't handle doing that then he was not going to be cooperative about anything else. Better to get that out of the way now rather than later. In the second or two I gave him to figure out what he was going to do I saw what I was going to do. Draw simultaneously. The Navy Colt in my right hand for him. The Ruger in my left for the other two. Hell, with a little luck they might have some cookies underneath that tarp.
He decided to take off the sunglasses. He did it slowly too. The skin around his eyes was paler than the rest of his face. He had spent some time in the sun wearing them. He looked at me "Good?"
"Good."I smiled. "So tell me about what you seen."