It's a cold, snowy day, so the fireplace is roaring. Grease-smoke long ago clogged the flu so smoke pours out from beneath the stone mantle, clouding the air like an old city bus.
The door opens, admitting a white swirl of cold into the dark-gray smoke. Dick Francis swaggers in, his eyes darting back and forth aggressively, looking for someone. He's wearing his fatigue jacket and combat boots from Vietnam over his T-shirt and jeans, and he's breathing heavily on his knuckles to warm them for action. He spies Dennis Dubois in the corner with a group of friends and calls out to him.
The implicit threat in his voice makes the place go suddenly silent.
DICKHey, Dennis! Where's that chickenshit brother of yours!?
Dick looks up to see Virgil standing by the bathroom door.
DENNISWell look who's back from Nam. The big War Hero. Howya doin', Dicky?
DICKWhere is he?
DENNISYou got a problem with Virgil?
DICKDon't get in my way, Dennis. This is between me and him.
DENNISMaybe I don't know where he is.
VIRGILYou looking for me?
Like a cobra, Dick springs unexpectedly at Virgil, smashing him back against the door. The cheap pine doorframe gives way, sending the two young men crashing into the bathroom.
Dennis and his friends are close behind, hauling Dick off of Virgil, whose head has hit the toilet hard. Dick struggles against his human restraints, trying to get back in the fray, but he is no match for their numbers.
Virgil lifts his face to the door and blood pours from a gash in his lip. He winces in pain as he gingerly reaches into his mouth and pulls out a tooth.
But that's all he got to say as Deputy Douglas Jones -- who had been watching all this through the bottom of his beer mug -- staggered across the room to glue a .38 Special to Dick's temple and order him to "freeze" (Deputy Jones had been watching too much TV). Dennis moved to help his brother up but the duty-bound deputy called him off, warning him to cease and deshist (his diction was a bit beer-shlogged). To the great amusement of the assembled throng, though barely able to stand upright, the teetering lawman managed to place both Virgil and Dick under arrest for "ashault and dishorderly conduct".
VIRGILShit, Dicky. What'd you do that for?
DICKFor my sister, you asshole.