A girl, not much older than the boy, appeared at the top of the roughshod staircase. The lace of her blouse fluttered as her pointing finger dropped to her side. The boy was entranced at the sight of her. He didn’t know this young girl. He hadn’t seen her about town before.
She was followed by an older woman whose attractiveness had been marred. The long scar that ran from chin to cheek rippled as anger twisted her face. She was as quiet as the graveyard when her fingers moved in quick succession to the young lady.
The little girl nodded before that same dead voice crawled out from her throat, “Let her go.”
Tuco cursed again and pushed the woman he held against him away. Her arms searched for purchase as she crashed into the table and fell heavily to the floor.
“You again?” Tuco brandished his pistol in their direction. “I thought Cavanaugh had run you out of town.”
The clicks of hammers being pulled back resounded around the main room. The two ruffians grabbed at their gun belts but slowly pulled their hands away as every single one of the ladies of the bordello had a pistol aimed in their direction. A rough laugh tore loose from Tuco as he mimed shooting the woman known as the Silent Madam.
They say she’d been a prostitute for most of her life and she had been a pretty one. As the story goes, in a fit of rage she had cursed a shiftless brigand. In reply, he had cut her tongue from her mouth then scarred her pretty face for life. Soon after she had disappeared, that man had died.
Tuco laughed again as he de-cocked his Dragoon revolver and slipped it back into its holster. “You tell me what happened here, Scarface, and I won’t come back to burn you out.”
The Silent Madam and the young girl who was her mouthpiece slowly came down the stairs. The flick of her fan being opened cracked across the room like a whip.
“The madam bids me to tell you that a sister of the order came here. She and your brother had words,” a chilling smile split the girls face, “And she won that argument.”
Tuco grunted as he hooked his thumbs into his belt. “What do you reckon they had words on?”
The fingers of the madam flew rapidly through a series of patterns. “It had something to do with a wagonload of stolen Chinese women.”
Tuco’s eyes tightened at the word Chinese. “Enough. Keep your women silent or this place will be known as the house of tongue-less whores.” He motioned to his two men and they stepped outside.
“Cavanaugh needs to hear this.”