About an hour later, Bullock found himself nearly catatonic, silently staring at the wall as he sat in the back of Aunt Lu’s cafe. He wasn’t hungry. He just sat there.
Merrick and McGillicuddy, on the other hand, were scarfing breakfast down. Ham and eggs, bacon, home fries, grits, pancakes – it was as if Aunt Lu’s mission in life was to make everyone in town morbidly obese.
“Mr. Bullock,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “Please. Get a plate and take some of this. You don’t know what you’re missing.”
“No word of a lie,” Merrick added. “In all my travels I have never encountered a chef as skilled in the culinary arts as our own Aunt Lu.”
Bullock ignored both men and kept staring at the wall. Finally, he spoke up.
“I hate your guts, Merrick.”
“I know,” Merrick said. “I don’t blame you.”
“Why did you do this to me?” Bullock asked.
“I tried to stop you,” Merrick said. “Once I thought the whole thing through.”
Doctor McGillicuddy cut him off. “You assumed due to your experience as an officer of the law that you could handle Al Swearengen but he is like no other criminal you have ever seen, a modern day megalomaniac who has dotted his every “i” and crossed every last one one of his ’t’s.’ Our entreaties did not do the man justice and you did not realize how evil he was until you met him in person.”
“That sums it up,” Bullock said without taking his gaze away from the wall.
A hand waved its way past Bullock’s face. It belonged to Lu, who stopped by to drop more plates on the table. Corned beef hash and buttered biscuits with gravy.
“Oh no,” Merrick said. “Lu, please! I’m going to bust!”
“Well someone’s got to eat it,” Lu said. “I made too much and I can’t let it go to waste.”
Lu looked Bullock over.
“Why isn’t he eating?” she asked.
Merrick took a sip of coffee. “He’s had a rough morning.”
“Hey,” Lu said as she snapped her fingers in front of Bullock’s face. “Don’t you know its an insult to come in my place and not eat something?”
The cook noticed the star pinned to Bullock’s shirt.
“New sheriff?” she asked.
Doctor McGillicuddy sighed. “Afraid so. And worse, he’s contemplating a war with Al Swearengen.”
Lu threw her hands up in the air and walked away. “Oh hell no. Last thing I need is to make friends with a dead man.”
Bullock sighed. “I hate you Merrick.”
“I know,” Merrick replied.