Rugged Chronicles: Cordell "Ace" Thornton
The Occidental Saloon in Buffalo, Wyoming, was buzzing with the rhythmic clink of glasses and the low hum of conversations. The air was thick with the smell of tobacco and the warmth of the wood-fired stove. The year was 1928, and the town was a blend of dusty trails and cowboy swagger.
In a corner of the dimly lit saloon, a figure clad in a clearly fine handmade black hat and a tailored suit approached the bar counter. His wool neckerchief, adorned with a Native pattern, hinted at a touch of sophistication amidst the rugged surroundings.
This fancy cowboy, known as Cordell "Ace" Thornton, had a reputation for playing his cards close to the vest. His sharp eyes surveyed the room as he nursed a whiskey, the burn of the amber liquid matching the intensity in his gaze.
The swinging doors creaked open, and a mysterious stranger in a tattered duster and a wide-brimmed hat stepped into the saloon. His eyes, concealed by the shadow of the hat, scanned the room before settling on Ace at the bar.
"Thornton," the stranger rasped, his voice like gravel grinding against stone.
Ace turned, his hand instinctively resting on the grip of his Colt. "Who's askin'?"
The stranger, known only as Flint, spoke of a secret treasure hidden in the hills outside Buffalo. A treasure that had led to more than one man's demise. As Ace listened, the tension in the saloon grew thicker than the tobacco haze.
The conversation between the two men carried on like a quiet storm, and the locals in the saloon couldn't help but eavesdrop. The wool-clad cowboy with the native pattern neckerchief found himself drawn into a mystery that echoed through the dusty streets of the town.
As shadows lengthened and the sun dipped below the rugged horizon, the promise of hidden fortunes mingled with the scent of gunpowder and the distant howl of a lone wolf. And as soon as the full moon illuminated the night, Flint's lifeless body was laying against the wall in an alley behind the Occidental.
The saloon held its secrets, and Cordell "Ace" Thornton was about to embark on a journey that would test not just his quick draw, but also his wits in unraveling the enigma of Buffalo's hidden treasure.