A Tale of Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War, in America
by Ken Liu
“All life is an experiment.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
“For an American, one’s entire life is spent as a game of chance, a time of revolution, a day of battle. “
— Alexis de Tocqueville
The Missouri Boys snuck into Idaho City around 4:30 AM, when everything was still dark and Isabelle’s Joy Club was the only house with a lit window.
Obee and Crick made straight for the Thirsty Fish. Earlier in the day, J.J. Kelly, the proprietor, had invited Obee and Crick out of his saloon with his Smith & Wesson revolver. With little effort and making no sound, Obee and Crick broke the latch on the door of the Thirsty Fish and quickly disappeared inside.
“I’ll show that little Irishman some manners,” Crick hissed. Through the alcoholic mist, his eyes could focus on only one image: the diminutive Kelly walking towards him, gun at the ready, and the jeering crowd behind him. We might just bury you under the new outhouse next time you show yourselves in Idaho City.
Though he was a little unsteady on his feet, he successfully tiptoed his way up the stairs to the family’s living quarters, an iron crowbar in hand.
Obee, less drunk, set about rectifying that situation promptly by jumping behind the bar and helping himself to the supplies. Carelessly, he took down bottles of various sizes and colors from the shelves around him, and having taken a sip from each, smashed the bottles against the counters or dashed them to the ground. Alcohol flowed freely everywhere, soaking into the floors and the furniture.