It didn’t take much for my curiosity to get itself into a tizzy, what usually meant that it would demand in no uncertain terms that I put my nose right smack in the middle of things, which was just what I done. As I got to the door of the saloon, there was another round of shouts what was threatenin’ someone to get down or they’d call the sheriff. I suppose I should’ve knowd who they was yellin’ at, but for some reason, it caught me by surprise.
I had me a good laugh when I saw Henry T. hangin’ from the ceilin’, though I couldn’t figure how he was doin’ it. The poor barkeep, some young feller I’d never seen before, was in a real state of alarm, ‘cause this was the first time he’d run into Henry and that can be a shock in more ways than one. What was lucky, was that there weren’t but a few fellers in the bar, which was the regulars who didn’t get shook up very easy.
When Henry saw me, he gave a big smile and came down from the ceilin’, but not by any way I’d ever seen before. He dropped his self onto a table, far enough to the front of it that it tipped quickly, but not completely over.
This would’ve landed most fellers on their backside in a hurry, but not Henry, he just balanced there, with the table on its two legs. He had his arms out like a bird and was rockin’ slowly back and forth while he balanced, until I guess he’d had enough and then stepped forward onto the seat of a nearby chair with one foot and the back of it with the other. This released the table onto its four legs and caused Henry to move forward onto the chair, like it was bein’ tipped over.
He just walked off the back end of the chair onto the floor, but before he walked away too far, he gave it a little flip with the back of his foot, which brought it up to a seated position on its four legs. He had a broad smile on his face as he walked a couple of steps towards me, then he took a low bow and said, Greetings.
I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud as I saw my old friend again who always seemed to be doin’ somethin’, what caused me to wonder about who he really was, ‘cause I was way past wonderin’ how he done what he done. I suppose I’ll never knowd for sure, but it didn’t stop me from considerin’ whether there were others like him, what seemed to be so different that they’re fully beyond words.
The barkeep asked me if I knowd Henry, to which I said yes, so he came around the bar to talk to me. Turned out that Henry had drunk a couple of glasses of beer, but didn’t pay for ‘em. Accordin’ to the barkeep, after he told Henry what he owed, my friend smiled broadly, then offered him a smokin’ pipe for payment.
That’s when the barkeep got all uppity and told Henry he’d have to pay with money, not pipes and that he didn’t care if he had to string him up from the ceilin’ to get it. ‘Parently Henry thought he wanted him on the ceilin’, so he jumped up there, though I can’t imagine how he done it as the ceilin’ was nearly two men in height from the floor.
I stood there thinkin’ and found that I was at a loss for how to fix things, since I didn’t have any money and it was clear that Henry didn’t either. My mind did come up with a plan, what I’m sorry to say was a little underhanded, but it was all that made sense at the time.
Before Henry got into more hot water, I took the barkeep off to the side, where we could talk in private and told the flustered man that we was dealin’ with a lunatic, pure and simple. I explained that my friend was liable to do almost anythin’, even take a stroll up the wall or the like. The look I got from the barkeep told me that he weren’t agreeable to any part of what I was sayin’, probably ‘cause he’d heard many a good tale before and so far mine weren’t too overly believable.
I told him it was better to move Henry along and that I’d pay for him when I got some money. That part was true, ‘cause my word was good, though the barkeep weren’t agreein’ to any of that either and told me that he was plannin’ to fetch the sheriff. I got a bad feelin’ in my belly and was tryin’ to get my mind to think of somethin’ else, when Henry lit out fast towards the wall.
To this day I don’t knowd how, but Henry must’ve heard me tellin’ the barkeep that he might run up the wall, which of course I was just foolin’ about. Next thing I knowd, Henry was just a few steps from the wall, what tightened me up plenty as I braced my self for a mighty crash. I’ll try to explain what happened next, best that I can, but it was more like a flash of lightnin’, what left me and the barkeep standin’ there with our mouths open like a pair of dummies.
Henry took a big jump right before he hit the wall, what relieved me a little that he didn’t do a fool thing like runnin’ smack into it, but what he did next caused me a good bit of concern. Henry began to run a few steps up the wall, before he slowed down and did somethin’ what looked like he was fallin’ backwards, only to flip his self over and land on his feet. Don’t ask me why, but as soon as I got my mind back, I shouted loudly, see that, what made that poor barkeep jump but good.
The poor man’s face was all scowled up from what he’d just seen, makin’ it turn a shade of red, followed by a near purple color around the same time two big men walked into the saloon. The barkeep seemed to knowd the men and called them over to ask if they’d toss me and Henry out.
I was shocked to hear that the barkeep was goin’ to have me and Henry throwd out, but I suppose he’d seen and heard enough and was just about to lose his mind over us. I told him that we’d leave quietly and he didn’t have to worry, ‘cause I’d be payin’ him for what Henry drank before too long, but the feller showed no leniency.
I do truly believe that we would’ve been fine to leave the place without any more antics, but those big men weren’t havin’ any of it and I could see that there was goin’ to be trouble. One of the men came up from behind and grabbed me hard by the collar, what hurt my neck, so I twisted sideways and dragged my feet on the floor to make made it slow goin’ for him to pull me out of there.
The other feller walked towards Henry, who was just standin’ there smilin’ like he had no troubles in the world. He stopped short and pointed to my little friend, then asked the barkeep if this was the right feller. When the barkeep nodded, the big man laughed loudly, as he looked down at Henry, who was no bigger than a youngin and could’ve looked like one if he weren’t without hair on his top and all bearded up on the bottom.
Somehow I was able to spin around just in time to see the big man reach out for Henry with a great meaty hand, only to have it grabbed quickly by my little friend, who looked like he was plannin’ to shake hands with the feller. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Henry shakin’ hands with that big man, who was sufficiently surprised his self, but that wore off in a twinklin’ as the feller started to tighten up.
Before the man could break Henry’s grip, my little friend put his left hand on the man’s forearm and started to shake it up and down with both hands, what made the man bounce around like he was ridin’ horseback. If I weren’t bein’ dragged by my neck, I would’ve shook my head at the sight of what that little man was doin’, ‘cause for the life of me, I’d no idea what he was up to.
The man what was draggin’ me must’ve looked back at his friend and wondered what in tarnation was goin’ on that he was lettin’ that little feller shake his arm like he was. I could tell that he was just about to shout to his friend and ask him what in the world he was doin’, but stopped short, almost like he’d just seen a ghost.
Henry had begun to shake the big feller’s arm with such vigor, that the man’s feet was actually bouncin’ off the ground a little, like he was no more than a rag doll bein’ shook by a child. If I hadn’t seen it for my self, there weren’t a person alive, ‘cept for Ernie, who could’ve made me believe what that little feller did next.
From what I could tell, everyone in the bar was watchin’ what Henry was doin’, most of them with their mouths open. I was amazed at how high Henry was shakin’ that big man off the floor, makin’ him look like he was fixin’ to dive into a lake. I could see that the poor feller was desperately tryin’ to say somethin’, but all that came out of his mouth was a long, tormented wail.
Finally when the big man’s feet had lifted a particularly high amount from the ground, Henry let go of his arm. The poor man fell straight to the floor hard, landin’ almost perfectly on his chin, what was followed by the rest of his body crashin’ down. He tried to find his feet to stand up, but looked more like some drunk what was long past his limit and in the end, all he could do was just lay there moanin’.
The man that I’d been wrestlin’ with lost all interest in me and headed towards Henry with fire in his eyes. He looked like he was goin’ to grab Henry or hit him hard and there weren’t no one in this whole wide world that was goin’ to stop him. I wanted to call out to my friend to warn him, but before any sound came out of my mouth, Henry began to prance around like a horse.
While Henry was prancin’ around, the man who’d been with me continued hell bent towards my friend, to avenge his buddy who was still lyin’ on the floor moanin’. Just as the big man was about to grab Henry, who’d turned his self around and was lookin’ the other direction, I heard what sounded like a horse whinnyin’.
The next thing I heard shook me, ‘cause it was like a loud windy groan, the kind a feller makes when all the air in his body is suddenly pushed out from a hard blow. That poor man never even knowd what hit him, ‘cause he was so intent on grabbin’ Henry by the neck, that he didn’t see what my friend’s legs was doin’.
Henry had leaned forward against a table and kicked his legs out like a horse does when it’s angry, catchin’ that big man clean in the middle of his body.
Glory be, that poor man looked like he’d just been kicked in the chest by a real horse, ‘cause he actually flew in the air a mite, before he took a few uncertain steps backwards and then slammed into the wall with a nasty thud. I have to hand it to him, he was a lot tougher than I expected, ‘specially for how he kept his balance and didn’t fall to the ground right away. Course all that changed as he was left leanin’ upright like a broom against the wall. He just stood there for a moment with his eyes open wide and a strange blank stare on his face, before he finally collapsed into a ball.
I do believe you could’ve heard a fly walkin’ on the ceilin’ it was so quiet, what ain’t easy to come by in a saloon. ‘Parently the regulars had been sufficiently impressed by Henry’s activities that they was rendered completely speechless. I looked at the barkeep, who was standin’ there with his mouth open and told him that there was no tellin’ what Henry was liable to do next and maybe he should let us leave before my lunatic friend started scarin’ folks off.
The barkeep was white as a ghost and without words as he stood there lookin’ at the wreckage Henry had single handedly caused, what almost had me laughin’ as I thought about all of the colors that man’s face could turn. He looked like he was in need of a strong drink, but he weren’t no fool and agreed to let us go only after remindin’ me that I was obliged to pay him for the two glasses of beer Henry drank. I nodded my head quickly, then grabbed Henry by the arm and lit out of there before somethin’ else happened.
When we got outside Henry seemed pleased, though he really didn’t say much and after a short spell, he began walkin’ down the street towards the east. I could’ve caught up to him, but I saw Gully sittin’ near the big ole oak and decided to walk over and tell him the news. I took a good look in Gully’s direction to make sure that man with the scar weren’t nearby and while I was makin’ my way across the road, I got a notion to turn around and take a look at Henry.
Just as I did, it appeared that he’d caught his foot in a root, but instead of fallin’, he jumped up in the air and made his body into a ball, then rolled over and landed on his feet. I was so surprised by what Henry had done and how he just kept walkin’ down the street like nothin’ happened, that I stopped smack in the middle of the road and stood there like a statue. I probably would’ve stayed there longer, but a man ridin’ by on a horse told me to get out of the road in a not too friendly way.
When I met up with Gully, he was pointin’ down the street with an excited look on his face and asked if I’d seen what Henry just done. I gave him a broad smile and nodded my head, then proceeded to tell him about the crazy antics he missed in the saloon. Gully laughed and shook his head in disbelief, but in the end, he knowd I was tellin’ him the truth, ‘cause he’d seen Henry do some amazin’ things his self.
After I finished tellin’ my story, Gully moved up close to me so he could whisper some news that he’d heard about Mr. Harden, the man what owns the general store. From what Gully was sayin’, Mr. Harden was in some kind of trouble with Boss Stump, ‘cause of a special horse that the Boss had an eye on.