This is from the western, which I've dug out of the trunk. I've spent the last couple of days, pasting all the chapters into one document and have started sweeping out the excess adverbs, stray commas and purple prose. It's been an interesting exercise because I wrote this three years ago and I'd like to think my 'style' has progressed since then. I've been applying what I've learned and re-learned from being on AW to this book.
In this bit, Tessie, Kristian and Salim have arrived in Springer, New Mexico.
The heavy rain held off long enough for the travelers to grab a hasty supper in the saloon. It was a crowded, smoky place where one or two card games were already in progress. Tessie tried not to stare at the loose women who watched the games with avid interest, as they plied the players with whiskey and displayed large, pale expanses of bosom. One or two of the whores took more than a passing interest in her companions. A red-haired piece leaned provocatively across Kristian to pour his whiskey. Tessie heard her murmur something in his ear but he smiled, patted Tessie’s hand and said, “No thanks, M’am, my wife here will do just fine.”
The women regarded Tessie. “Are you sure?” she purred. “There don’t seem much there to grab onto.”
Tessie surveyed her calmly, taking in the raddled cheeks and the hard, hollow eyes, “Quite sure.” She replied, sweetly.
Kristian chuckled. “M’am, you really don’t want to make my wife mad. She has a terrible, short temper.”
The woman appraised Tessie coldly. “And not much else, I warrant.”
“Oh, you’d be surprised.” He said. “Mrs. Laidlaw is much more than just a pretty face and a quick shot.” His hand strayed to Tessie’s shoulder as he played the role of protective husband to the hilt. “Now I’ll thank you to leave us in peace.”
With a shrug of rounded, over-powdered shoulders, the red-head flounced away. Tessie watched her go, surprised at her own fierce reaction to the flirtation.
“Nice work, Tess.” Her ‘Husband’ remarked as Tessie returned to her stew. “You really are an endless source of amazement. Did you really lead such a sheltered life?”