He stepped into one of the back rooms of Bella’s Cage and found Tuco at cards. He marveled at the snake tattoo that crawled down the man’s left arm. The scales glistened in the afternoon light while the eyes on his fist seemed to watch him.
Three other men were with Tuco at the gambling table. It took a moment but the boy recognized two of them as having arrived in town with the twins. The other wasn’t a man he’d seen before but he had the dead eyes of a gambler.
Hesitantly, he tapped Tuco’s shoulder and proffered the note. Tuco eyed the kid and then tore the note from his hand. He quickly read through it before he growled and passed it on to one his men.
“Well aint that the most unlikely thing I’ve ever heard. Some nun is causing a ruckus?” uttered one of the rough and tumbles at the table.
Tuco turned to the boy, “She look like trouble?”
The boy stopped and thought a moment. He shook his head but then suddenly nodded.
“A nun up here?” cried the other man. “And she beat that hoghead down in a flat second?”
The gambler’s eyes brightened at the query, “A nun you say? Is she tall for a woman? Black hair and eyes like the devil?” After a nod from boy, he rambled, “I’ve heard a few stories about a traveling nun. Dangerous with a pistol and a fist.”
Tuco eyed the man. “Spit it out sharper. We aint got all day.”
“Well, the stories I’ve heard is she used to travel with one of them Wild West shows back East. She was billed as a Trick shooter but the big rumor was she got hired on as a boxer. She would fight anyone. Men, women, it didn’t matter. Hell in some of them tales I’ve heard, she even fought a bear!”
The piano in the main room could no longer be heard. What sounded like shouting took its place through the slim walls.
The gambler leaned into the table with a conspiratorial wink, “Something happened to her and she left to find God. Or God found her more like. She’s a special one alright. Some say she can read your sins in your eyes and mete out the punishment to match it.”
He leaned back and an ace slipped out of his sleeve to fall to the floor below, “The sisters took her in and now they send her out. From what I’ve heard, they call her, God’s Judgment.”
Tuco kicked the table into the gambler and yanked his pistol clear of its holster. Two shots were fired and the man slumped to the floor. A handful of aces fell out of his coat.
“The Melendez boys don’t tolerate no cheatin’!”
Just then, shots rang out from the main room.