A few years ago Bert and I were in a bar in downtown Natchez when we got talking to a guy named Tommy. He had caught my eye because he seemed to know everybody and was hopping around chatting to everyone. The hoppy thing was a bit odd but the reason became obvious when I saw the empty left leg of his Levis tucked into his back pocket.
Turned out Tommy was a Vietnam veteran. He went out at age 18 and lost his leg to a mine about a week later. That was the end of the war for him. We had a good chat with him and a few others in the bar. Before we left Tommy told us that every Thursday the regulars from the bar got together for a barbecue. He said we'd be very welcome to come. We would have liked that but we were touring the Southern States with Clint and Clint was running a tight intinerary. So, as we were leaving next morning, we had to decline. But before we left I asked Tommy to recommend somewhere for breakfast.
Next morning we went to the place he'd suggested. It was good and the lady who ran it was very pleasant and friendly. I told her that we'd had a recommendation from a local and she was very interested to know who this could be.
"Guy called Tommy."
"Tommy? Can't think who that would be."
"Tall man, fiftyish, slim, neatly trimmed grey beard, glasses."
"Nope. Can't think who. Where'd you see him?"
"We met in a bar."
She frowned a bit at this. I pressed on.
"He only had one leg."
"Oh yes! Thomas! Thomas the Cripple!"