It was near close time at the One Lucky when out of the blue a cheap slug swatted a barfly. He gave a slippery body blow that dropped the dipso dame to the floor. With his big hands "Beer Mugs' Moran could have crushed the little creep, but instead he used a black jack to swipe the perpetrator's head. The coward left the bar dazed and concussed.
Nobody called the cops. Not that they would have charged "Beer Mugs'. There was a rule at the One Lucky: you don't hit women, even if they happen to be a barfly. So to most everyone the bartender acted in character--stoic and righteous, the defender of the fairer sex.
But there was something nobody knew about "Beer Mugs'. When he went home at night he'd sit on the edge of his bed with the shakes. A half-bottle of whiskey calmed him down, but sleep still came hard. By morning he'd put on his mask, be stoic and righteous, once more the defender of women at a bar called the One Lucky.
Poetry Pantry #412
15 hours ago