They met on a mesa overlooking the burgeoning township of Bordello Falls.
They hadn't met before, at least not that they were aware of.
They'd travelled far, one from way out west, and one from the far North. They met at the Junction of twin trails, where many years in the future, a town would be established.
But not at this point.
They didn't shake hands.
Two grizzled men on horses.
"Ya made it then," said the man from the West.
"Yup," the man from the north said.
"Only, I kinda wasn't sure you would..." the man from the West said.
The man from the North honked and spat. A beetle became incapacitated by the tobacco tainted spittle. "What made you think that?" he asked.
The man from the west pondered for a moment before he answered: "You know...the problem with the wife, and settin' up the charitable non-profit making trust back up north. The one that puts the bucks in your pocket..."
"It's done," the northerner said. "I had a little chat with the wife. It's amazing how compliant they get when you talk 'em down all the time and back it up with a little light slappin' every now and then. Woman's got to know her place in the scheme of things."
"You still drinkin'?" the westerner enquired.
"Not the brandy..."
"Nope. The brandy makes me a little psycho. Just drinkin' beer and wine these days."
"So how d'you persuade the lady to let you come here?"
"I kinda twisted her arm up her back. Literally. Twisted it so far up her back she's still lookin' fer it."
The man from the west pondered upon this reply for a moment as he stared into the blazing sun as it baked Bordello Falls, way down below on the plain."
"I'm the Frisco Shalotte by the by," he said, extending a hand in greeting.
The man from the north ignored the proffered hand.
"I already knew that," he said. "You think I'm an idiot or somethin'?"
"I never said that," the westerner said.
"Hear me good here son," the northerner said. "I'm Dastardly Deano, the Springfield bitch-slapper, and I like to be in total control of everything. This is the reason why I speak slowly and with great deliberation. So you understand what I'm saying. And also because I prob'ly drunk too much and got the slap around bug again. Are you sure you're hearing me?"
"I hear you Dastardly Deano. You're a bad dude and that's the truth."
"I am the MOTHER OF ALL BADASSES and don't you forgit it! So, are we as one on this project? I ask you for continuing clarity. I ask you so as to ensure that you understand what I'm saying here..."
"I think I get it," Shallotte said.
With a withering glance, Dastardly Deano looked down on Bordello Falls.
The Frisco Shallotte's horse bucked impatiently.
"What's our priority here boss?" he asked.
"I want that fuckin' Sheriff. That Limey bastard. The ratfuck had the temerity to confront me one time. Nobody confronts me. EVER! I'll kill his family, I'll whale on his daughters. I'll twist his frickin' head round...I'll..."
"The Sheriff?" SF Shallotte gawped. "You're wasting your time man. The Sheriff is a hopeless drunk. He's only alive today because he's usually so drunk he's locked up in his own cells. For his own safety. The Sheriff is a frickin' fruit loop. Forget him."
Dastardly Deano looked through squinty eyes at his new-found partner in crime.
"I don't just want the idiot sheriff. I want all of them. I want to see them suffer. And you?"
"Muh name ain't Andrew," SF Shallotte said, somewhat bewilderedly.
"Listen to me," Dastardly Deano said. "I am talking to you. When I talk I expect people to listen. I command attention and obedience."
"How the hell should I know?" Dastardly Deano spluttered. "I was prepared to give up the brandy for wine and beer. That's some frickin' compromise ain't it?"
"Would have been," SF Shallotte said cynically. "Butcha didn't give up the brandy, and you still whup the ladies real good."
"True enough," Dastardly Deano said. "But who you lookin' to administer a whuppin' to? That was my question. Or did you miss it?"
SF Shallotte pondered for a moment.
"I want them there twins," he said, nodding sagely. "They ripped the piss outta me when I got knocked off my bicycle filming 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' by a guy who was drunk."
"Anybody else?" Dastardly Deano asked.
"Yeah, well, to be honest, I'd like to rip each and every one of 'em a new ass hole. I hate them all. Especially the good ones. You?"
"I wanna git that Bitters woman on her own and show her that real men ain't afraid to bitch-slap women from time to time. Just the way it should be bro."
Both villains squinted down on Bordello Falls for a few moments.
"Hey dude," SF Shallotte said. "I ain't really such a bad-ass. I ain't at all sure about this. And you're making me kinda nervous..."
"You'll do what I say," Dastardly Deano said. "Everybody does what I say. Even though I was always the runt of the family. Chupacabras got more respect than I did, but when I learned all about how to administer domestic violence in hefty doses on the female of the species at the University Of Illinois, I never looked back."
"Oh yeah! Right on bro!" SF Shallotte whooped. "Or is that a black thing?"
"Don't matter. Let's go," Dastardly Deano said.
They rode their horses down toward Bordello Falls...
THE OASIS SALOON, STRIP JOINT, BROTHEL, AND CHILLI CON CARNE HOUSE - BORDELLO FALLS
The Doc stopped examining Deeta Von Striptease's breasts for lumps when the two strangers walked into the saloon through the batwing doors.
They looked like a real pair of badasses.
"Afternoon gennelmen," Brothel keeper Bitters said. "What can I do fer you guys?"
At which point, local tycoon Nick Funsom emerged from a side door, alongside railroad tycoon El Morse, as the locals dubbed him.
"You ain't welcome here boys," Funsom said.
"We're stayin," Dastardly Deano announced.
"You sure?" Funsom challenged, never lacking in guts for a fight and ever aware that Big Dunc was only a cell phone call away.
"I am in control here," Dastardly Deano announced. To emphasise the point he drew his Buntline Special and waved it around.
Then everybody froze as the door behind the bar crashed open.
A man emerged. Wearing a red shirt with a number seven emblazoned on the back, with the legend 'Dieu' above the number.
"Mon dieu. Qui qui." he said.
Clearly, nobody expected this...
To be continued when Nelson gets his eye back.