Sam Bowman may be the no good rat people say he is, but Iíll always have respect for the man, no matter how man people he killed before the cops cut him down.
Maybe he intended to rob us when he came into our place two years ago.
Then he saw how hard up we were and how empty our shelves were, and how skinny my wife and kids looked, and knew we couldnít make a living running a stores like that and decided not to hurt us worse than life already had.
With the economy as bad as it was, nobody shopped in our place so we ate more than we sold, and this kept us alive.
Bowman told me he wanted a job.
I laughed and said I wanted one, too, but I offered to feed him if he was hungry.
It was the least I could do.
I guess maybe I might have felt scared had I known how much of a killer he was, but he seemed to appreciate the company at the victuals, taking his share and no more, talking a little about what he had seen on the road.
When he decided to go, he pulled me aside and told me I was a lucky man, not just for having a family like the family I had, but for my ability to provide for them.
Not every man gets a chance to live a life like mine, he said, then left.
I donít know what brought him back our way a few weeks later.
Iím just glad he showed up when he did.
Three mean men had us at gunpoint and eyed by daughter as if they had more on their mind than just taking what little money we had.
Bowman eased in, saw the men and they saw him.
They told him to get in the corner with us.
He told them to get out or die.
They laughed until his gun blazed out from one of his pockets.
Maybe he was as quick as people claim, or these three were slow or taken by surprise.
They died; we didnít.
Bowman winked at me, thanked me again for the mean and vanished before the cops came.
They knew who he was and wanted me to give them information as to where he went so they could arrest him. They even threatened me with jail when I refused.
I didnít talk; but I didnít go to jail either.
A few months later, Bowman came back a hunted man, wounded from some shootout we only read about in the papers later.
We fixed him us as much as could, fed him what we had and let him move on again, he pausing once more before he left to tell me again how lucky I was, and how much he wished he was me.
Reports claim the cops caught up with him at a barn down the road and shot him dead when he refused to come out.
Since then, times got better for us.
We no longer eat more than we sell. But we always keep a framed newspaper picture of Bowman behind our counter
And now you know why.