Word Count 916
Joe looked out his window to see the three of them riding into town. Not often that that happened much anymore. Usually, the father drove a wagon or a surrey. Apparently, the gunshot wound when the land pirates tried to take his empire made long hours in the saddle too much for his back.
But today, he rode in, a son on each side, each as different as night and day, at least on the outside, where most folks based their judgments. But he knew different. As much as the boys were different, they were alike. As much as they seemed like their mothers, they were every bit their ol’ man’s sons.
All were his customers. The father, having been one for nearly twenty years, the older boy, a regular, and the younger one, the most gossiped about one, came in only when it was necessary.
He draped his current customer’s face with a steaming towel while he prepared the shaving soap.
“I see Murdoch Lancer and his boys riding in,” called out a waiting customer.
“Yep. Reckon the ladies’ll all be preening themselves,” said another.
“Right about that. When them boys come to town, they come out of the woodwork to prance around with their parasols, all smiling and shopping. Reckon Baldemero’s will be doing a booming business if that’s where they’re headed.”
“Seems to me he oughta pay that Johnny boy to come to town every Saturday and stand around in the store. Kill two birds with one stone. Make a bunch of cash, and not worry about gettin’ robbed.”
“Yep, well, ya’d think with all that money, that boy’d get a haircut every now and then.”
“Maybe he don’t see no need, what with that dandy of a brother, he gets enough haircuts for all of ‘em together.”
Joe snorted. “Just because the boy keeps his hair cut and his boots shined, don’t make him a dandy.”
“I’m just saying . . .”
“I know what you’re sayin’, but your forgetin’ that boy works hard out there on the ranch, just as much as the other one.”
“Well, he sure keeps himself all neat and clean if he is.”
“That other one, the gunfighter one, most of the time, he looks like he just rolled out of bed. ‘Reckon he might have, the way the ladies and the saloon girls fawn all over him.”
The shop broke into raucous laughter.
“Think either one of them’ll ever amount to the kind of rancher their daddy is?”
Joe answered this time.
“Probably so. They’re both smart boys.”
“Maybe that’s why that youngest one don’t get his haircut, like Samson and Delilah, he thinks it’ll take away his brains and his gun hand.”
The shop laughed again.
“Don’t let him catch ya talkin’ like that. That boys gotta temper.”
“So does the other one.”
“Yeah, but that little one, he’ll jump on somebody in a minute if they cross him.”
“Well growing up mixed and all, he probably learned to be that way. He’s pretty nice ol’ boy if you ever have the chance to have any dealin’s with him one on one like.”
“I don’t want to have no one on one with him. No siree. I seen him in a gunfight when he was just a little boy.”
“Was he fast Byron?”
“Fast ain’t even close to describin’ it. And cold, he’s about as cold as they come.”
Joe didn’t like the way the conversation was headed. “Now boys, he’s been workin’ hard to change his life.”
“Yep, shure has. I hear tell he’s the one that donated the thousand dollars that showed up in the offering plate at that mission that sponsors the orphan’s home.”
“Oh, come on, Lars.”
“No, really. Somebody seen him sneakin’ outta there, not too long after he come here.”
“Well, reckon he can afford it, bein’ a Lancer and all.”
“I heard it was his brother did it. He was rich before he ever come here. I heard he put it in there on the cause of his brother having such a rough time as a boy.”
“All I can say is, ol’ Murdoch Lancer’s a whole lot easier to be around now that them two’s home.”
“Them boys is keepin’ him on his toes.”
They laughed again.
“Yep, but they shore seem close.”
“Boy, aren’t they? They don’t let nobody talk bad about the other’n.”
“Ain’t that the truth. Steve Miller found that out the hard way. He made some comment about that gunfighter at the meeting in the city hall and that dandy of a brother tore him up. I think people forget he was in the military. He packs a hard punch as ol’ Steve found out.”
“I reckon they’re makin’ up for lost time.”
“But one thing you can say for shore, they may look and act like their momma’s, but they are about as stubborn and hard headed as ol’ Murdoch himself.”
Joe shook his head. Nothing like the buzz of a shop.
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16 thoughts on “Barbershop Buzz by d.b. brisbin”
Thanks, glad you liked it. I’ve worked most of my life with men, and a lot of old Southern men are just like that. Thanks for the comment.
Very nice thank you for writing.
Loved hearing this bit of gossip. Great piece!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read it and comment on it. Glad you enjoyed it.
Love the men gossiping. Perfect description of Scott and Johnny’s characters.
Having worked around men most of my life, it’s about how they gossip. Thanks for reading and for the kind comments. Donna
Sounds a lot like 6AM at the local coffee shop
Yep. That’s where men go to gossip. Early coffee shop or diner or the barbershop. Thanks for reading and for the comments! Donna
This was great to see what the other men in town think about the Lancers. Thank you.
Very welcome. Thanks for the read and for taking the time to comment. Donna
Nice round of gossip there and there would have been plenty of it. Really enjoyed the line about Johnny just rolling out of bed. And the bit about Baldemero hiring him.
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to read it and the time to comment! Donna
Such an interesting and unique perspective on the Lancer boys. Women always get the blame for being gossips, but put a bunch of guys together and it flies. Thanks for sharing!
Men in a barber shop, they can out gossip a beauty shop. Cute story.
The buzz in that barbershop is so true to life. I dont think any of them exaggerated when they talked about Johnny. Good story!