Snake Oil

He combed his greased hair, buttoned his starched shirt, and opened his tattered case.  50 bottles clinked as he set it on last night’s bed.  This frontier town looked the same as every other.

The stout man rolled up his sleeves and took a soft cloth from the nightstand, still sticky with spilled brandy.  He meticulously wiped the dust and dirt off each bottle until his entire supply glittered.

He smoothed his jacket and perched his top hat at just the right angle, not too serious, not too jovial.  After all, Phineas Whittaker’s Miracle Elixir had a reputation to establish.


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