100 COFFINS

Joseph, his hands clasped at his waist, left the sheriff’s office and headed back to the saloon. His heart still felt heavy, even more so than before.

#

Maybe it was the drink in his system, but Roth Cadman felt a sudden curiosity about the saloon’s proceedings. After downing a couple drinks, he had prepared to head out. The rain, as far as he could tell, had passed on. His horse had no doubt eaten its fill at the livery. But his thoughts of leaving had turned away when Joseph burst through the batwing doors, announcing that the arrival of Paul of the Holy Trinity was forthcoming. A matter of moments, he’d said. A murmur rose amongst the crowd which still hadn’t died away. It was a nervous chattering, a hundred voices going at once. Cadman became a spectator.

“You prepared to die?” Cadman said, still behind the bar, to the brooding Alexander.

“I thought so,” the old man said. His attitude had deteriorated steadily since Cadman’s arrival. “I hope Paul can get me going once more. Faith’s a brittle thing, you know that?”

“Not if it’s real,” Cadman said, waxing philosophic.

Alexander raised his thick eyebrows and sighed. “True,” he admitted.





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