INT. SALOON/HOTEL – DAY
The newcomer is a lithe, strong, black man — MAL. He has no other weapon besides the rifle. Mal looks around the room and walks wearily to the registration desk, although there is no one behind it. He RINGS a bell for service.
At the sound of the bell several of the patrons look up and spot Mal for the first time. The three Tough Men are instantly displeased at the sight of the black man. Paden, returning to his meal, notes their attitude and glances over at Mal.
Mal leaves his saddlebags at the registration desk, but takes the rifle as he walks across to the bar. The nervous Waitress is working there. The sight of Mal only adds to her agitation.
What do you want?
I haven’t had a drink of whiskey or slept in a bed for ten days. Give me a bottle.
The Waitress hesitates, uncertain. She places a shot glass and a bottle on the bar beyond an elaborate, brass, nude
statuette whose upraised arms hold dishes full of hard-boiled eggs. Mal has leaned his rifle against the bar and must now move a few steps to stand before the whiskey.
The three Tough Men exchange looks as Mal uncorks the bottle and slowly, lovingly fills his shot glass. He puts the bottle down and regards the glass for a long moment of pleasant anticipation. Mal’s hand has started for the glass when the saloon’s PROPRIETOR appears from a back room.
Hey! What are you doing, buck?
Mal draws his hand back and straightens slightly. A different kind of weariness comes into his face.
Having a drink.