My trip to Tiffany’s Waikiki went better than I expected. My fiance impressed me with her choice of wedding jewelry–a pair of mirror-bright Barrington brother’s 70 caliber game rifles trimmed in ivory and standing attentive in quickset florists foam with a splash of baby’s breath.
“They’re beautiful.” My lover struggled to remain composed but nearly wept at the weight of them.
The attendant smiled politely. “They have hair triggers and a set of 100 cartridges is included. “
As she handed one of the display cases to me, it was my turn to fight tears. The chamber was surround by a metallic starburst of precision machining. What I’d thought was a setting fixture for the rifles was instead a wreath of 700 nitro express rounds. I was beginning to hallucinate the scent of cordite filling the display cases and spilling into the street, telling the world of our love.
“For two young people like you,” he all but winked and nodded, “I’ll throw in a pair of tooled gunbelts that belonged to James Arness.” I was skeptical and it showed, but I owned leather from virtually every James Arness vehicle, and I had never seen anything like these. I figured I could get the price down if I expressed my doubt firmly, but politely. “I’m skeptical and it shows, but I own leather from virtually every James Arness vehicle, and I have never seen anything like these.”
He seemed to relish the banter and continued, “Remember the episode of Gunsmoke where Miss Kitty has to convince a Pinkerton that she and Festus are father and daughter? Remember just before the inevitable failure of the plan in a hail of Festus’s frontier jibberjabber when Marshall Dillon breaks in and catches the three of them in the parlor and threatens to shoot them dead unless they perform forbidden and thoroughly unpalatable sex acts at a sideshow in a nearby town while the marshall sells sniffs of Miss Kitty’s petticoats as a cure for impotence? You know how he drew on the angry mob when they knocked out the Pinkerton with a head of cabbage, interrupting the delicate finishing sequence of the “Golden Lotus”? Right when he starts firing indiscriminately into the mob, accidentally winging Miss Kitty’s niece, these very holsters are visible for a couple of frames. Then they get soaked in gore and are unrecognizable for the rest of the scene.”
He obviously knew his Gunsmoke, because I remembered that scene. However, I was determined to haggle a little more.
“How are we supposed to keep large-bore rifles in holsters meant for sidearms?” I asked. My fiance seemed mortified, as though I’d asked permission to relieve myself in the man’s jacket. He smiled the cloying rictus of all salesmen and closed the deal. “The stocks are removable and may be custom fitted by our in house weaponsmeister.“ He was already helping me into a belt and showing me how to balance the dread firearms into the holsters.
“See?” he noted,” perfect for young lovers.”
From his other side, my lady chuckled, “I couldn’t agree more.“
My better half shouldered her oil-wet dowry, already loaded, and leveled it at the salesman’s chest . Pressing him slowly into the wall behind the display case, she smiled and swiveled her good eye towards me. She took a long, slow breath. “Do you smell that, baby? It’s like the whole island knows we’re in love.”