Walter pushed his empty glass forward, motioning for the bartender to fill it once more. After the whiskey was replaced and he had took a few hearty gulps he lazily placed an elbow onto the counter and rested his temple on his palm. Tired just wasn't the word to fit his demeanor. Defeated did him justice.
Dr. Walter Knox had been in this town for 3 years, tending to injured minors and range men, their cattle, horses, and pregnant wives. He once had hopes for the settlement, faith in what the gold claims could do for Laramie. But as of late those aspirations had faded. He and his daughter had managed to stay out of the town's rivalries and he was thankful for that much. But he worried what the town would do to his educated and lovely Elizabeth.
She had decided to come to Laramie against his wishes and he also wondered if she regretted doing so. She never complained and she expressed daily of her love for the few children in town. She was a good girl, a great teacher, and he was thankful to have her with him. He thoughts went uninterrupted even as his darling girl walked though creaky saloon doors.
Elizabeth pushed the dirty wooden saloon doors open and was instantly greeted with shouts and whistles. She felt herself blush, but continued to make her way in as the men gawked. A familiar voice stopped her in mid stride.
"Liz, you get purdier every time I see ya." She glanced down at a man with a grizzly beard, his arm in a sling, sitting at the table she was near.
"Hello Tom, good to see your up and about. How are you feeling?"
His smile was gap toothed. "I'm just fine darlin, the doc fixed me up good."
"That's good to hear."
She laid a gloved hand on his shoulder and leaned down to peer at the hand of cards he was holding. "Isn't this what got you all bandaged up in the first place."
He let out a long laugh and she smiled lightly.
"I'm not worried none, you'll protect me won't ya?"
It was her turn to laugh. "Oh yes dear Tom, don't let this delicate facade fool you. Underneath this cool exterior lies a furious gun fighter waiting for its chance to escape."
They both laughed until a cough from another man at his table interrupted them. Elizabeth cleared her throat and stepped back from the table.
"Well, I won't hold up your cards any longer." Tom nodded and she moved to the bar to her father's side. She took a seat on the empty barstool. She placed her hand on his arm to rouse him from his thoughts. He looked at her and smiled broadly.
"Well isn't this a pleasant surprise. How was your class today?"
"It went well enough, the children seemed to enjoy it."
He put his hand on her shoulder. "Your very good to them. I promise that we'll get a school house built soon."
She had been having lessons in their home since she arrived. It was fine for a few months, but more children had started to attend as of late and room was becoming sparse.
"Well I just wanted to make sure you were going to make it home for dinner."
"I know, for now why don't you sit for a few and have a drink with your papa." He motioned for the bartender to fill another glass.
"Ok da, but after I need to go home and make sure the table is set." He nodded agreement and nodded at the glass in front of her.