|Benjamin Alderly Dalton|
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Ben was feeling mighty fine, all things considered. Not only had he gotten the bounty that lyin' polecat Mal had told him didn't exist, but she'd disappeared without taking him up on his promise of a drink, so he didn't have to seethe over it. A promise was a promise, but if she didn't want to take him up on it, well, he wasn't going to go lookin' for her. That way, he figured, he wouldn't run into the gnomes, either. He'd hate to have to shoot the Doctor dead in the street in front of his adoring public.
With people slapping his back and offering him both respect and drinks, and not a one of 'em gunning for him, he was in fine spirits when he finished the lone beer he'd been nursing and the tale of how he put down the band of monsters, especially the worst of them, Scalping Jack. Begging off further drink regretfully and waving off more calls to tell the story of his hair-raising fight, he went out to find if the gold weighing his belt pouch down could be put to use repairing the odd elvish antiquity he was carrying about.
He was sidetracked by the sound of a violin threading its way through the one-horse town. Curiosity got the better of him, and he followed it... until he heard a whiskey-hoarse voice singing. Familiar, that voice was, even if he'd never heard her sing.
Standing outside, he lit a cigarette and leaned against the wall, eyes following anything that moved while the rest of him stood still as stone, save for taking the occasional puff. He'd never have admitted it was because he was listening to the music. In any case, he'd be on his way in a minute. He just wanted to finish that smoke first, was all.