Drawn West

By Jim002

Jim002@outlook.com

Copyright 2017 by Jim002@outlook.com

 

 

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This story is fiction. None of the characters are based on real people.

You can see a list of my stories at the Nifty Prolific Authors page by my name.

Two

Not long after that, there was a knock on the door. It opened and Harry stuck his head into the room.

"How is he?" Harry asked Tom.

Tom didn't pause. He continued fucking me.

"Real good. Better than Manuel. No complainin."

Harry nodded.

"I'm going to try his mouth after all," Harry said.

"Well, I'm done," Tom said.

I was very disappointed.

"Oh, look at that face!" Tom said, laughing.

"You just took away his favorite toy," Harry said.

"He'll probly get toys tonight," Tom said.

Tom pulled out of me and got off the bed.

"Sit up, Daryl," Harry said.

While Tom got dressed, Harry had me sit on the side of the bed. Harry moved between my legs and put his hands on his hips. I felt the crotch of his pants and felt him stiffen up as I rubbed him through his pants. I unfastened his belt, and then undid his pants. Tom left the room. I pulled Harry's erection out. He had a really nice cock. It was longer and fatter than Tom's, and the foreskin was real long. I pulled that skin back and ran my tongue over the sensitive head. I stopped to look up at him.

"This is a beauty!" I said. I meant it. I liked it more than Tom's.

"I decided to let you eat my cream," Harry said.

"Right now?"

"Yup. Before I tell customers that you do it, I want to see it for myself."

That made sense to me. I pulled Harry's balls out. They were big, too. I learned an important lesson. Harry wasn't all that handsome, but his equipment was very nice.

I began sucking. I did the best I could. Harry didn't say anything and I figured he'd had much better and wasn't impressed. Then his spunk shot out. He let out a long breath as a couple more shots went into my mouth. There wasn't a lot of cream, but it sounded like he had an awful lot of sex each day. His cream tasted very good. I swallowed all of it. I squeezed the last out of the shaft and then put his jewels back in his pants. I fastened them and buckled his belt. I looked up and him. Harry had a big grin on his face.

"I liked that a lot."

"Good! So did I!"

"Then you are going to be happy here with us, Daryl."

I smiled at him.

"Get dressed and come downstairs," Harry said. He turned around and left.

I was naked, so I closed the door. Then I wondered if that was what I should have done. I got dressed.

I walked down the stairs. I hadn't been upstairs that long, but when I went down, there were two men drinking at the bar and two more men. The men were facing the bar, but I could see they both had their peckers sticking out of their pants while they felt up a woman I hadn't seen before. I was shocked by the scene. The town didn't disappoint me, after all.

Harry led me around the room and introduced me.

"Ruth, this is Daryl," Harry said. Then he whispered, "He's taking Manuel's old job."

Ruth was a pretty woman with big, brown eyes. She was wearing a strange outfit. It was pink and it tightly covered the mid-section of her body, from her boobs to her upper hips. There were bows tied from ribbon on it and tassels. There were even little bells on it. I had no idea what to call it. A huge corset? A tiny dress? Of course, I was much more interested in the cocks of the two men standing by her, but I wasn't getting introduced to them. I smiled at her.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Ruth."

"Just call me Ruth. Miss Ruth makes me feel like a spinster and how can I be a spinster with these two handsome men after me," she said.

"You are definitely not a spinster!" I said.

She laughed. "Thank ya kindly."

Harry spoke to the men. "Welcome to the saloon. Enjoy yourselves."

I wanted to look at their peckers, but I knew they might be offended, or worse. They might even want to kill me. We walked off with me getting a close look.

Harry took me back to the table where my bag was. The picture of Dan's cock wasn't in sight, which was a relief.

Harry walked over to Tom and they started talking.

I sat there, trying to adjust to all the changes in my life in the last few days. Harry came over and sat down.

"Now. I'm going to admit right off that this job is one for someone who is hungry. Manuel was illiterate and you could count every rib in his body when he arrived. But you have lots of options in town, Daryl. I'm sure Joe Carpenter could use you at the store, and there are other jobs available. The last I heard, the accounting office of the mining company was looking for an accountant. Now, they may want someone with experience, not to mention older. But there are a lot of options. When the snow melts, you could try your hand at panning for gold. Are you sure you don't want to do something more respectable?" Harry asked me.

It was a very good question. And I knew what he meant. Being a prostitute was probably not what most people hope to be!

"I guess I was just grabbing at a place for myself."

Harry smiled.

"And I understand that. You aren't used to wondering where you'll sleep. I'm going to be honest with you. Tom thinks it's a mistake to have you working upstairs."

Tears formed in my eyes.

"Now, now. I know you like the man. He likes you. He's worried you are taking the job to be close to him. Like me, he thinks you could do much better. He said if you are only taking the job because you can have sex with him, that he will still do it, even if you work somewhere else."

I couldn't argue with much of that. If I was honest with myself, I had to admit that the job was more attractive to me because of Tom.

"I'm willing to give your drawings a chance," Harry said. I smiled. "If they sell, then you can support yourself in that way. If not, try across the street." Harry looked at me for a moment. "What do you think?"

"I suppose you are right. I was hoping to meet a man working here, though."

"You can. I can point out some of them. I'm not going to be making any money on them, so you might as well enjoy them."

"OK. I guess I know I should aim a little higher," I said.

"Now, I've got a girl upstairs. She's new. Her name's Mavel. I want you to do a couple of drawings of her. One in skimpy things and one completely naked. You want to do that now?"

"Sure!"

"Follow me."

I grabbed my bag and took it with me. We went back upstairs. Mavel's room was the last door on the left. Harry knocked lightly on the door.

"Come in," a girl's voice said.

Harry opened the door and I saw Mavel for the first time. She was young. I didn't think she could be over eighteen. She was wearing a shear white robe and writing a letter at a desk. She wasn't illiterate. I could tell she had big boobs. I knew some men loved those. Personally, I preferred a big set of balls. But this drawing was not for me.

Harry introduced us. Then he explained the whole thing. Mavel grimaced when he described how he wanted her for the naked drawing, lying on the bed on her side, with her legs spread.

"Be sure to show the slit in the drawing," Harry said to me. I just looked at him. What slit?

"Haven't you seen a pussy before?" Harry asked. "Of course you haven't. You are thirteen and there are probably not a lot of pussies in a boy's school.

"No there aren't. Just the nurse. She looked like she was pushing ninety, and I sure didn't want to see hers."

Mavel laughed. I smiled at her.

Harry told her to show me her pussy. She flinched.

"I'm not used to this in the bright day light!" she said.

Harry sighed. He opened a drawer and pulled out a bottle of a clear liquid.

"Have a couple of gulps of courage," Harry said to her.

She held the bottle and looked at it. I saw a glass on a shelf.

"Do you want a glass for that?" I asked her. While I did that, Harry walked over to the window and closed the curtains.

"Yes, please, Daryl."

I got the glass and handed it to her, smiling. She blinked her eyes at me. I don't know if it meant anything.

She poured a drink and sipped it.

"Why don't you lie on your side in bed, while you drink?" I said.

She tried it, leaning against head board of the bed.

"Like this?"

Harry was watching. He arranged her a little different, stood back and looked.

"That looks like a good pose to me," I said. "Are you comfortable? It will probably take about twenty minutes."

"I can stay still like this that long."

Harry pulled the robe off one leg and looked again. He pulled the robe partway off one shoulder.

"There. I like that," Harry said.

"I'll get started," I said.

"Mavel, try the naked shot posed the same way," Harry said.

"I will," she said.

I pulled the chair away from the small table and sat before I started drawing. Harry went back to her and moved the hand that was holding the glass.

"I'm going to do your arms last, so you don't need to keep it there until I say so," I said. "I'm going to start with your head and face." Mavel nodded.

I went to work. I had never drawn a woman. We drew lots of things in art class, but no women. But then, there weren't any women, except for the nurse.

Harry moved behind me.

"It amazes me that you are so fast," Harry said. "I'd be on my first line, with an eraser in my other hand."

Mavel and I both laughed.

After a few minutes, when the head and shoulders were done, Harry said, "Show Mavel what you've got."

I took the drawing to her.

"Oh, my. You have talent, Daryl."

"Thank you."

She drank a big gulp of whatever she was drinking. I sat back down and went back to work. After a couple of minutes, I had to sharpen the pencil.

"OK. Move your hand with the glass to the position Harry wanted," I said.

She did and I continued drawing.

"Have you ever made a mistake drawing?" Harry asked me. "I haven't seen you make one wrong stroke."

"Yes, I have. But to be honest, I draw the parts that are easy. This is a lot of outlines and shadowing, with detail only on the edges and the important areas. I don't have any detail on her robe, at all."

"You don't need it. Nobody cares what the robe looks like," Harry said. "The shadows you drew makes it seem more real."

I nodded.

A few minutes later, I held it up for Harry. "I think I'm through," I said.

Harry nodded. "Very nice. Show Mavel."

I showed it to her. She seemed to really like it. I had a feeling she wouldn't like the one with her slit, wherever that was.

"I was afraid I was going to look like a drunk, with a bottle and a glass. But I don't."

The next picture was very, very different. Harry had her take everything off before lying on the bed. I had no idea women had hair between their legs. Harry reached down and pulled her pussy apart. She flinched and turned bright red.

"This is the slit," Harry said. He ran a finger down it and then pushed one finger all the way inside her. Mavel shuddered. She poured a full glass of liquor and drank it all in one gulp.

"That's where your cock goes," Harry said.

"Don't you mean your cock?" I said to Harry.

Harry bent over laughing.

"I guess I do!"

He explained that I liked men. Mavel looked disgusted. I was surprised, but then realized I shouldn't be. No one was brought up to think it was normal. But then I remembered Tom. He was. I didn't care. It really didn't matter to me if Mavel was my friend. She was just a whore. I realized then that I didn't want to be one, myself. I didn't want to be just a whore.

Harry tried to arrange one of her boobs on a pillow. I thought that was very funny.

I finally finished the second drawing. I was very unsure of how much of the hair between her legs to draw, but Harry didn't want much. He wanted the pussy to be clearly visible.

Harry took the sketchbook and looked at the nude drawing. He nodded his head, slowly.

"Lemme see," Mavel said.

Harry showed the pictures.

"Oh. Oh," she said.

She wasn't looking at the nude drawing.

"I look real nice. Thank ya, Daryl."

I was surprised. I thought she hated me.

"Let's go see what the customers think," Harry said to me.

We left Mavel's room. I said goodbye to her as the door was closing.

We went down to the main room. Harry asked me to sit down. While I did that, he showed the pictures. I counted seven customers in the saloon. I wasn't exactly sure what time it was. I had a watch, but it was hidden in my bag. I guessed it was about three in the afternoon.

Ruth and the two men with her weren't there. I guessed they went upstairs. I wondered what it would be like to have two men inside you at the same time.

I didn't watch Harry. I was more interested in the customers. Only one of the men was attractive. The others didn't appeal to me at all. That was another reason not to be a whore. I couldn't turn every man down, because I didn't think he was handsome. Of course, Harry didn't excite me, either. But he had a nice pecker and tasty cream.

Harry sat down at the table. He put one of the pictures down. It was the one of Mavel with clothes. I looked at Harry. He was smiling.

"The other one already sold," Harry said.

"Really? That's great!" I grinned. "I guess the slit was visible enough."

"It was. There was absolutely no doubt it was a pussy. Of course, being where it was on her body was a clue."

I laughed.

"Now, if you want to eat and bathe here--and sleep, too, if you want--then the saloon keeps half of the sale price. If you want to live at the hotel and eat elsewhere, the saloon will take a third. Which do you want?" Harry asked me.

"Half is good. Here, I'm with friends," I said.

"You are. And I prefer that because I know where you'll be if we have a customer asking about a drawing."

Harry put four bits on the table and pushed the money in front of me.

"I sold it for a dollar," Harry said. "He grabbed it. The price is going up."

I was amazed! I'd made two-fifty since arriving in town.

"I wonder if it wouldn't be better to sleep at the hotel. I still want to eat and bathe here," I said.

"To keep talk down?"

I nodded.

"It's up to you. But everyone in town is going to know you are the artist at my saloon," Harry said. "I don't think it would make a difference."

I nodded.

"I'll sleep here."

"That's just fine, Daryl."

"If I do well, will you let me, um, suck you again some time?" I asked Harry.

Harry grinned.

"Oh. You liked my meat."

"I did."

"I sure will, Daryl. I liked seeing your lips wrapped around my cock. Tom will let you suck, too. Don't repeat this," Harry said, softly. "Tom said you were just like Joey. Then he groped himself. He stopped soon as he realized what he was doing."

I smiled. I was happy.

"I plan to see that you get as much sex as you want," Harry said. "Think of it as a benefit of the job. This is my family, here in this saloon, and you've joined it. There are men that are going to want you. They will just be lucky to get you for free. You better believe they are going to be back every chance they get. Of course, they will have to pay to bathe here and they will buy drinks, so I still make some money.

"That reminds me of something important. You don't speak of anything that happens in the saloon to outsiders. That goes for every single person who works for me. Everything that happens in here stays in here. If you are out of the saloon, say over at Joe's store, and someone asks you about the drawings, bring them here to discuss them. That applies to everything that happens."

"I understand," I said.

"Good.

"Now. I vastly underestimated the interest in dirty drawings. We tried to sell photographs of the girls at four dollars each. They are expensive to make, so that's what I had to charge. But there's no two ways about it. That is a lot of money. And they didn't sell." I nodded. "Lloyd Wheeler, who is very fond of Mavel, said he liked the drawing better than a photo. He said that pose would have been cruder in a photograph. I can't say I disagree with him. You are drawing sex, but it is also art."

I couldn't believe it.

"I'd like to work for you, Harry."

"You got a job, Daryl. Now, ready to draw?"

"I am! Who and how many?" I asked.

Harry rubbed his hands together. "I love new revenue!"

"I just thought of something. I'll need a lot more paper," I said.

"I should have thought of that. I'll take this picture of Mavel across the street and ask Joe how soon he can get more this size, if he doesn't have it in stock."

"Oh, will you ask about pencils and charcoal?"

"I sure will. Now, like I told you, I pay your expenses. That includes supplies, even if you're drawing for yourself. You won't have to pay for anything here. Your clothes are in good shape, but when you need new ones, or want new ones, I pay."

I smiled at Harry.

Harry looked behind me. "Hey, Tom!"

I turned around Tom was talking to a man at the bar. He walked over to us.

"Daryl decided he is just going to draw for us," Harry said.

"Good."

"We sold our first drawing to the first man who saw it," Harry said.

Tom grinned. He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed.

"Lloyd Wheeler bought it. It's a picture of Mavel. But now I want some of Ann," Harry said to Tom.

"With her mouth shut?" Tom asked him.

Harry chuckled.

"Yeah. And look at Lloyd's drawing. That's the pose I want from Ann."

Tom nodded.

Then Harry turned to me. "Same pose, but don't bother drawing her with clothes. I just want naked pictures. Lloyd 's eyes passed right over the picture with clothes. If the one with clothes sells, maybe we'll do more that way."

Harry turned to Tom. "Ann is probably going to resist doing it." Tom nodded. "I want you to pose her and stay with Daryl until he's done drawing. She'll just ignore Daryl, or worse, if one of us isn't with him. You know how she felt about Manuel, and she may have heard."

"I sure will. C'mon, Daryl."

We stopped at the bar. Tom introduced me to Lloyd Wheeler.

"You drawed this?" Lloyd asked me.

"Yes, sir."

"I just love it. I do," Lloyd said.

Tom looked at Lloyd's picture of Mavel. Tom grinned at me. We headed up the stairs.

Ann was at least as pretty as Mavel. Maybe even beautiful if she smiled, which she didn't. She was wearing a pretty, blue robe. She gave me a dirty look and then turned her back to us. Tom picked her up and threw her on the bed. She jumped off the bed.

"I demand to be paid, if I'm selling my body!"

"You already sold it," Tom said. "Harry bought it. You can always leave us, Ann. Go somewhere else. You'd make a lot of people happy if you did."

She ignored us.

"Tell you what, Ann. I'm going to fuck you in the ass," Tom said. "Lie on your stomach or I'll tie you down. Struggling will just make my pecker harder and I'll enjoy it more. So go ahead."

I was shocked when Tom ripped the robe off her. He was going to rape her! But he said she could leave the saloon. She wasn't being forced to stay. Then I remembered that having sex with Harry and Tom was part of working there. Tom had a right to do it. But Ann looked even more furious and there was real hate in her eyes, and it was directed at both of us. And I hadn't said a word to her!

"Oh! Get me some rope, about eight feet and some gun oil or kerosene from downstairs, Daryl. I don't want to fuck her ass dry. Oh. And ground black pepper. That makes it feel more interesting for a girl. You can get it from Samuel."

"Right away," I said.

I turned around and left the room. Then I stopped in the hall. Did he mean all that, or was it just a threat? Gun oil wouldn't be my first choice and kerosene sounded awful. Dan used cooking oil when he fucked me. He told me it might attract ants, so not to sit on any ant hills. We laughed a long time about that. He would look behind me every once and a while and say, "I don't see any ants!" And what did the black pepper do? Burn, maybe? But it would burn Tom, too.

Tom stuck his head out the door.

"Come on back, Daryl."

Ann was on the bed, in her pose.

"Do you want me to put that expression on the drawing?" I asked. Ann was still furious.

"OK, Ann. I've had enough. Get dressed, take your stuff and get out. Go back to Deadwood and Swearengen and have a nice life."

Ann started crying.

"I would have been a lot less trouble," I whispered to Tom. He laughed.

"And you'd thank me when I shot in your mouth," he whispered back.

"I would!"

"My brother Joey should be here tomorrow, for Christmas," Tom said to me.

"Oh?"

"You'll like him. He looks like me."

I grinned and Tom chuckled.

"So what's it gonna be, Ann?"

She lay down and I started drawing. Tom leaned back against the desk in her room and smoked a cigar. It smelled bad, but he looked even sexier, blowing smoke rings. I wanted to draw a picture of him like that.

After three drawings, Ann said, "I got to move around."

Tom nodded.

She got up and walked around the room, naked. Watching her boobs bounce as she walked looked funny to me, but I had a feeling laughing about that wouldn't improve her mood. But it couldn't make it worse, either.

I did three more drawings. By then the light was beginning to dim. The sun would be setting soon.

"That's six. Is that enough?" I asked Tom.

"Do one more," Tom said.

Ann screamed, but stayed on the bed.

I finished the last drawing.

I picked up my sketchbook and left her room.

"Bitch," I said.

"And that's the truth," a woman said.

A woman I hadn't met was walking out of her room. She was next door to Ann. This woman was wearing a flashy looking dress that you might see a woman wear in a revue. She seemed about thirty, making her older than Ann and heavier. Not fat, just no one would call her skinny. She had a wonderful smile that cheered me up. I liked her immediately.

"Hi, I'm Louise."

"Hi, Louise. I'm Daryl. I got hired to create drawings of you ladies." I showed her one of the drawings.

"Oh! That's nice. You're good! How much would it cost for you to draw a serious one of me for my daughter. With clothes, of course."

"I'll be happy to do it. If you keep it quiet, I'll do it for free." I stopped. "No. Don't keep it quiet if you don't want to. I'll do them free for friends. Non-friendsó"

"Also known as enemies," Louise added.

I laughed.

"Enemies must pay," I finished.

"Catchy line. You could use it lots of places, even in a war. 'Enemies must pay'," Louise said. I laughed.

Tom came out of Ann's room.

"It's nice to hear nice people bein nice," Tom said to us.

"Did you say ice people, because that's Ann for you in a nutshell," Louise said to Tom.

She turned to me.

"Coldest woman I ever met. She attracts men, but they never go back for seconds. And that's where the money is. The regulars. They like you, you like them, they know the price, they tip good, and they know the drill. They come up, finish their business, then go back down for a drink and maybe talk about how good it was to their friends. Some of those friends may decide to come upstairs."

"Louise knows what she's talkin bout," Tom said. "You can guess what they say about Ann when they finish."

"'It ain't worth it'," Louise said, imitating a man's deep voice.

"See you, Louise. Harry is chompin at the bit for the drawings. Which cain't talk, thank the Lord!" Tom said.

We went downstairs.

I wondered if Ann should have been paid for the drawings. I thought models got paid. But I really didn't know. I didn't worry about it. It was definitely none of my business.

Harry was very pleased with the drawings.

"Joe Carpenter said the paper will be here tomorrow and the pencils and charcoal the day after," Harry said to me.

"On Christmas?" I asked.

"Hmm. Good point. You better not count on it," Harry said.

I nodded. I had twenty sheets of paper left.

"Please, no more of Ann!" I said.

Harry shook his head.

"I want to get some use out of the girl," Harry said.

I sighed and Tom laughed.

"We should pose her with her pullin her pussy open with her fingers. Invite everyone in there to see if they like the pose," Tom said.

Harry laughed.

"Was it bad?" Harry asked Tom.

"Bout like you'd expect. Yellin, cryin, poutin. Dirty looks at Daryl."

"Was she rude to you?" Harry asked me.

"No."

"Good. Don't take anything she does personal, Daryl. I've always felt it's a compliment if someone rotten hates you," Harry said.

I thought about that. Having someone that you like hating you was worse. If Tom took a sudden dislike of me, it would hurt ten times more than having Ann dislike me.

"That makes sense to me," I said.

Harry nodded.

"How many of these do you think you can do in a day? Did your hand cramp doing these?" Harry asked.

"No. But my fingers feel stiff. If I stop for a few minutes each time I've done two or three, I don't think I'll have to worry about that. I guess at least twelve a day. Maybe more."

Harry nodded.

"Twelve is a nice round number. Let's aim for that. No point in wearing out your hand. And I'd rather sell out than have some left. With a fixed number, we can raise the price for the last few," Harry said.

Tom laughed. "Damned if you cain't wring two bits outa a rock!"

"I'm a businessman," Harry said, nodding.

"I don't get why you just want Ann," Tom said.

Harry raised his hand.

"George! A round over here."

George was the bartender.

Less than a minute later, George brought over four whiskeys. He put one in front of me. Personally, I would have preferred lemonade. I took a sip and it burned my throat.

"I think we will sell them as a series," Harry continued. "With all the girls in the same pose. Some men will want every one of the series and will grab them up quick. Once we finish the series. We start over, with the girls in another pose. Maybe make this one more explicit, like having them pull their pussy open."

Tom grinned and shook his head.

"He's a marvel, ain't he?" Tom said to me.

"Oh, shit!" Harry said, with feeling. He was looking at something behind me. I turned around and saw a man heading for us.

"Hello, Ben," Harry said.

"Daryl, this is Ben Davis. He owns the Golden Bone Saloon down the street."

"So you be Daryl," Ben said.

He was an average-looking man, dressed well, like Harry, except he had a nicely-trimmed, short beard. I thought it made him look distinguished.

He craned his neck and looked at one of the drawings of Ann. He looked at me and frowned.

"You did this?" he asked me.

"Yes, sir."

He frowned again.

"Well, you don't strike me as a no-talent, nasty little pervert. So the grapevine isn't quite what it ought to be," Ben said to me.

I was too shocked to be hurt by his words, at first.

Tom took out his gun and placed it on the table.

"Calm down. That was a quote from one of your own employees," Ben said to Harry. Harry looked angry. Someone broke the rule about talking.

Ben looked at me.

"I personally don't feel that way. Things are looser at my place."

"Yeah. Like Belle, who sucks the donkey," Harry said with disgust.

I was shocked. Ben grinned at me.

"I just wish I could get her to swallow the donkey cream," Ben said to me.

I stared open-mouthed at him.

"So she just takes the...uh...end...in her mouth?" I wondered.

"No," Tom said.

How could she take more?

"You ever see a snake eat an egg?" Tom asked me.

I shook my head.

"She won't swallow donkey cream, even though the first of it is already in her stomach. She spits it out of her mouth. Since she won't swallow it, I let all the men customers rub it into her bare skin. For some reason, they like to push a lot of it up into her pussy and asshole with their fingers. Although some of the men are partial to wiping donkey cream on their peckers and then fucking her. You ever seen anythin like that?"

"He's trying to shock you," Tom said.

"He's doing a terrific job!" I said.

They all laughed.

"Never think you can out-pervert Ben," Tom said.

Ben wasn't bothered by that.

"Well, I've had years of experience doing perverted things. You can charge more for them," Ben added. I laughed, nervously. I didn't doubt him.

"So you see, when I say things are looser at my place, I'm not exaggerating," Ben said to me.

For some reason, Ben moved behind me.

"Was there any other point to your visit, Ben?" Harry asked.

Ben put his hand on my shoulder. What did that mean? Maybe he did it to show he didn't think I was a nasty little pervert. Or maybe he liked nasty little perverts! Then I felt a lump grow in his trousers pressed against me.

"I wanted to meet Daryl." Ben squeezed my shoulder. "And I want you to know that Ann is most unhappy," Ben said to Harry.

"Now that's a surprise!" Tom said.

"She would like to leave your employ."

Harry looked irritated.

Ben's hard meat was pressed against me. Then I felt him push it harder. I wasn't sure what it meant.

"I'll give you Rosie and thirty dollars for her," Ben said to Harry.

"No deal. You do know that her attitude won't change at your place," Harry said.

"The girl needs discipline. And she needs to understand her place."

Harry sighed. "I know that. You think I didn't try. She stops eating when we try to correct her. And she's not foolin around."

Ben frowned.

"I assumed it was a tantrum," Harry said. "But the last time, after three days...she was losing weight and her ribs were showing. Then no one wants her."

"She'd rather be dead than...friendly?" I asked Harry.

"That's well put," Harry said to me. "Yes. That is it, exactly."

"Well, I like Rosie," Tom said.

"I do, too. Everyone does. Enough to keep her pregnant," Harry added.

"You are exaggerating. She has two well-behaved children and the youngest is ten."

"I don't like raising children in a saloon," Harry said. "It's not healthy. The tobacco smoke alone is hard on them."

Ben pulled up a chair and sat.

"Rosie wants to know if you would be willing to teach her kids to read and write," Ben said to me. "If she was working here, or you came to my place, it would be easier."

"Oh, Ben. I don't have the temperament to teach. I don't have enough patience," I told him.

Ben shrugged. "Me, either. I can't imagine much I'd want to do less. But I told her I would ask.

 

 

 

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