Stranger with The Hat
Before I say anything else, I am glad Calandre is back with me at the bar. It was somewhat a busy three weeks for me. Who would believe I have been running this bar all by myself for these past years. Wow, good job Pete, I must say.
There are just some faces you can’t forget. Sometimes you meet people randomly and after a long time, you seem to remember you met them before. It’s strange that out of the nine billion people that are on earth, it has to be the annoying set of individuals we tend to hardly forget.
A couple of nights ago, I was about my job like every other night. People were singing to the karaoke and a couple of friends were seated at the bar making gossip and their usual trouble. For some odd reason, Larry was quiet that night. I asked what was wrong, and he shared with me a sensitive issue. That’s a story for another day when I hear the end of it.
The story from that night was rather from an unexpected source. Calandre drew my attention to a guy who sat at the corner with a hat on. It was one of those cowboy hats, it did seem he was from the rodeo. Quick to assess people, I guess.
He sat there a while and made his way to the bar to get his fourth pint of beer. This was one rough night for this cowboy, I presumed.
“Sit right next to me boy. I see your soul is as heavy as mine.” Samuel said.
Samuel, that one is an upcoming version of Larry. No, he is worse. There is no day that Samuel sleeps on his bed. It is a wonder how he keeps getting his drinks paid for. At least he doesn’t owe me like Larry, that’s the only upside. Back to the story.
I left the bar to the back for a short break, just to rest my head from the awful singing. About ten minutes later, Calandre strolled in laughing.
“You really need to be out there. This is going to be an epic night.” Calandre said.
It turns out Samuel and this stranger had turn the bar into a mini contest situation. From what I gathered, they had been telling each other how messy their life was and who was worse of the two. There Larry was, miserable, thinking he had a problem. From the only story I heard from this stranger was no good. This is how the story goes.
So, this stranger was new to this part of town. He had met a guy who just got paid and was planning to invest his money. They met in the bus and got talking, the stranger told his new companion of a company that just started newly and was looking for investors.
To save you the long boring story, it turns out that this company was fraudulent gang of thieves who was set up to scam people with fake business outlooks and offices. Turns out this stranger was in on the deal; he got this guy all hooked up in the plot and collected fifty thousand dollars from his victim.
He remitted the money to his friends and a week later they disappeared without a trace, abandoning him to his fate. He said he had only just met them, and this was his first dealing with them, but he got played.
Everyone who was listening to him became really quiet. We had nothing to say, because it was more of a confession than a story. Slowly I realized that many of the men who stood there had a little bit of investment in the same company this fellow was describing. Hell, that was actually the story Larry told me about an hour ago.
I looked at Larry, and he stared back at me. Immediately I remembered he said he met a guy in the bus with a hat who seemed very responsible. He looked like someone who owned a ranch, and he was investing a huge some of money into the farm, so he could start his own.
“Wow. That was awesome.” Samuel said, overly excited. Finally, someone was more messed up than him.
I would prefer not to explain what transpired that night, but I would say that was the second time in two months that someone was almost killed in my bar. The stranger with the hat owes me for my drinks and for saving his life by calling the police.
I still have his hat hanging in my bar as a souvenir, for those who come to drink. It’s a reminder to make better life decisions next time. I bet from that day forward, these folks including Larry will beware of any stranger with a hat.
Episode 9 Next…