“That truly is a fine heifer, and any man would be proud to own her.”
“Well…” said Jack, hope rising. “I suppose she might be for sale, if that is your meaning.”
“It is.” The stranger dug inside the pocket of his slick and shiny coat, and brought out a small lead case. The lid clicked open and he turned in over in his hand, three shimmering beads rolling in his palm. He offered them to Jack.
“What are those?” Jack frowned, suspicious once more.
“What are they? They might be beans.” The stranger laughed. “Then again, they might be more precious than rubies, mightn’t they? Truth of the matter, I’m not certain what they are, only that they are beyond any worth you can imagine.”
Rated G. Contains cattle theft, kidnapping, and crimes against fashion.