Henry Huggins was one of the best liars in the county. He was a short, stocky, red-faced man with squinty eyes and a waxed handle-bar mustache. He wore bib overalls and a dirty broadbrim hat pulled down so far it bent the tops of his ears over. He read nickel Westerns and sat around the general store telling elaborate lies.

“I walked into a saloon in El Paso and ordered a shot of Five Star,” Henry said. “Suddenly I heard a six-gun bark and the glass shattered in my hand. I wheeled around, my own six-gun barked, and Poison Pete lay dead on the floor.”

One day Henry came into the store, bought a pouch of tobacco, and hurried for the door. The boys were all sitting around on their fruit crates and one of them said, “Hey, Henry, tell us one before you go.” Henry turned to them with a grief-stricken expression and said, “I ain’t got time, feller. My old daddy just died.” When Henry left, the men looked at one another speechless and bereaved. They all went home, put on their best clothes, and went out to Henry’s father’s farm to pay respects to the widow. When they arrived, they found the old man and his mule out plowing the cornfield.

Henry was sitting and whittling in front of the post office one afternoon. Another man was strolling by and stopped to talk.

“Did you catch anything at the pond yesterday?” he asked Henry.

“Ninety nine big ’uns,”

“Goddamn, Henry. Why didn’t you just say a hundred?”

“Why should I tell a lie for one measly fish?” Henry replied.